Show ContentsScharp History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Scottish name Scharp was first used by the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. The original bearer of the name lived in Peeblesshire. The name Scharp is derived from the Old English scearp meaning "sharp" or "keen." [1]

Early Origins of the Scharp family

The surname Scharp was first found in Peeblesshire, where "there are few early notices of this surname. William Scharp was a tenant of the earl of Douglas in the barony of Kilbucho in 1376. Later, Patrick Sharp held land in Denburn in 1439 and John Scharpe was merchant and bailie of Dumfries, 1656." [2]

"This name is rare or absent in the south-west of England and in the south coast counties, excluding Kent. It is also, generally speaking, infrequent in the north, except in the West Riding and in Cumberland and Westmorland. It is mostly crowded into Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Rutlandshire, and Nottinghamshire, extending also into the adjacent counties; but it is also fairly numerous in Kent. In Scotland it finds its home in Perthshire in the form of Sharp." [3]

So as to confirm the preceding entry, the source Old English Bynames includes the Saxon entry for Healðegn Scearpa in Kent in 1026. Other early entries include: Ailmer Scharp in the Pipe Rolls for Herefordshire in 1184; Richard Serp in the Curia Regis Rolls for Cambridgeshire in 1210; Aylmer Sarp in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1228; and Alan Sharp in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Alexander Scharp, Buckinghamshire; John Scharp, Sussex; and William Scharpe, Lincolnshire. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Adam Scharpe and Leticia Scharppe. [5]

Early History of the Scharp family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Scharp research. Another 159 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1433, 1454, 1535, 1474, 1639, 1707, 1618, 1679, 1431, 1638, 1613, 1679, 1661, 1679, 1644, 1714, 1691, 1714, 1689, 1691, 1651, 1742, 1650, 1702, 1643, 1707, 1681 and 1735 are included under the topic Early Scharp History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Scharp Spelling Variations

The many spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names result from the fact that scribes in that era spelled words according to sound. Translation too, was an undeveloped science, and many names were altered into complete obscurity. Over the years Scharp has been spelled Sharp, Sharpe, Scharpe, Scharp, Schearpe and many more.

Early Notables of the Scharp family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Jack Sharp (d. 1431), and English Lollard rebel, a weaver of Abingdon; his real name is given in the official documents as William Perkins, but some of the chronicles call him Mandeville; George Sharpe (d. 1638), Scottish professor of medicine who studied medicine at Montpellier; James Sharp (1613-1679)...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Scharp Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Scharp family to Ireland

Some of the Scharp family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 115 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Scharp migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainties and discrimination faced in Scotland, many decided to head out for North America. Once they arrived, many Scots fought with relish in the American War of Independence; some went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Many ancestors of these Scots have recovered their lost national heritage in the 20th century through Clan organizations and Scottish historical societies. Among the settlers to North America were:

Scharp Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Andries Hanse Scharp, who landed in New York in 1660 [6]
Scharp Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johan Scharp, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1754 [6]
Scharp Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Abraham Scharp, who arrived in Ohio in 1869 [6]
  • Conrad, Scharp Jr., who arrived in Iroquois County, Illinois in 1886 [6]

Australia Scharp migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Scharp Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Fritz Scharp, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Anna Maria" in 1849 [7]

The Scharp Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Dum spiro spero
Motto Translation: While I have breath I hope.

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The ANNA MARIA 1849. Retrieved from on Facebook