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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Sharpley family come from? What is the English Sharpley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Sharpley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Sharpley family history?

The Atlantic Ocean to the north and west and the English Channel to the south borders Cornwall, the homeland to the Sharpley family name. Even though the usage of surnames was common during the Middle Ages, all English people were known only by a single name in early times. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Sharpley family originally lived in Yorkshire, at Shipley.

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Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Sharpley, Shapley, Shapleigh, Sharply, Shapell, Shaple, Sharple and many more.

First found in the county of Cornwall where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sharpley research. Another 173 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 120 and 1200 are included under the topic Early Sharpley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Sharpley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The records on immigrants and ships' passengers show a number of people bearing the name Sharpley:

Sharpley Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Alexander Sharpley, who landed in Maine in 1635

Sharpley Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Charles Sharpley settled in Boston in 1765
  • James Sharpley settled in New England in 1775

Sharpley Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • James Sharpley, who arrived in America in 1803

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  • Kate Sharpley (1895-1978), English anti-World War I activist, eponym of the Kate Sharpley Library


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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  10. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  11. ...

The Sharpley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sharpley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 28 May 2014 at 13:19.

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