Sharp History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

A family of Strathclyde-Briton were the first to use the name Sharp. They lived in Peeblesshire. The name Sharp is derived from the Old English scearp meaning "sharp" or "keen." [1]

Early Origins of the Sharp family

The surname Sharp 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 Sharp family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sharp 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 Sharp History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sharp Spelling Variations

In the era before dictionaries, there were no rules governing the spelling or translation of names or any other words. Consequently, there are an enormous number of spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names. Sharp has appeared as Sharp, Sharpe, Scharpe, Scharp, Schearpe and many more.

Early Notables of the Sharp 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 Sharp Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sharp World Ranking

In the United States, the name Sharp is the 332nd most popular surname with an estimated 82,071 people with that name. [6] However, in Canada, the name Sharp is ranked the 897th most popular surname with an estimated 5,992 people with that name. [7] And in Australia, the name Sharp is the 259th popular surname with an estimated 13,309 people with that name. [8] New Zealand ranks Sharp as 235th with 2,522 people. [9] The United Kingdom ranks Sharp as 196th with 28,903 people. [10]

Ireland Migration of the Sharp family to Ireland

Some of the Sharp 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 Sharp migration to the United States +

The freedom, opportunity, and land of the North American colonies beckoned. There, Scots found a place where they were generally free from persecution and where they could go on to become important players in the birth of new nations. Some fought in the American War of Independence, while others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these Scottish settlers have been able to recover their lost national heritage in the last century through highland games and Clan societies in North America. Among them:

Sharp Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Sharp with her husband who settled in Virginia in 1620
  • Elizabeth Sharp, who arrived in Virginia in 1620 [11]
  • Judith Sharp, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [11]
  • Samuel and Judith Sharp, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Mrs. Sharp, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sharp Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Benj Sharp, who landed in Virginia in 1704 [11]
  • Robert Sharp, who arrived in Virginia in 1704 [11]
  • Richard Sharp, who landed in Virginia in 1704 [11]
  • Nich Sharp, who landed in Virginia in 1705 [11]
  • Adam Sharp, aged 30, who arrived in New York in 1710-1711 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sharp Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Pieter Sharp, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1801 [11]
  • Richard Sharp, who arrived in America in 1801 [11]
  • Robert Sharp, who arrived in America in 1811 [11]
  • Alexander Sharp, who landed in Virginia in 1811-1816 [11]
  • Calvin Sharp, who landed in New York, NY in 1812 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Sharp migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sharp Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • William Sharp, who settled in St. John's Harbour, Newfoundland, in 1703 [12]
  • John Sharp, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • John Sharp, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Sarah Sharp, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Thomas Sharp, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sharp Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mary Sharp, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1835
  • Robert Sharp, who arrived in Canada in 1841
  • Walter Sharp, who arrived in Canada in 1841
  • Ichabod Sharp, who landed in Canada in 1841
Sharp Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • D Sharp, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Sharp migration to Australia +

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

Sharp Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Sharp, British Convict who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Earl Cornwallis" in August 1800, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • Mr. John Sharp, English convict who was convicted in Surrey, England for life, transported aboard the "Dromedary" on 11th September 1819, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [14]
  • Mr. Joseph Sharp who was convicted in Hertfordshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Dick" on 2nd October 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [15]
  • Mr. John Sharp, Scottish convict who was convicted in Edinburgh, Scotland for life, transported aboard the "Chapman" on 12th April 1826, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [16]
  • Mr. Joshua Sharp, British Convict who was convicted in Sussex, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 20th April 1826, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [17]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Sharp migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Sharp Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Charles Sharp, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Mandarin
  • Charles Sharp, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Mandarin" in 1841
  • Captain Sharp, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mandarin" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 21st May 1841 [18]
  • Archibald Sharp, aged 38, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jane Gifford" in 1842
  • Helen Sharp, aged 25, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jane Gifford" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Sharp migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [19]
Sharp Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Sharp, (b. 1618), aged 17, British settler travelling aboard the ship "The Dorset" arriving in Barbados in September 1635 [20]

Contemporary Notables of the name Sharp (post 1700) +

  • Gene Sharp (1928-2018), American founder of the Albert Einstein Institution from North Baltimore, Ohio
  • Kevin Grant Sharp (1970-2014), American country music singer, author, and motivational speaker
  • Major-General William Frederick Sharp (1885-1947), American Commanding General Central Philippines Force, Philippines in 1942 [21]
  • Phillip Allen Sharp (b. 1944), American geneticist and molecular biologist, co-discovered gene splicing, co-shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • Phil Sharp, American Emmy Award winning screenwriter
  • Lester Whyland Sharp (1887-1961), American botanist, pioneer in cytogenetics
  • James "Hap" Sharp (1928-1993), American Formula 1 driver
  • Dudley Crawford Sharp (1905-1987), Secretary of the Air Force (1959 to 1961)
  • Elliott Sharp (b. 1951), American Avant-Garde musician
  • Graeme Marshall Sharp (b. 1960), Scottish former footballer
  • ... (Another 23 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Fraterville mine
  • Mr. Jacob Sharp, American coal miner at Fraterville mine in Tennessee, on the 19th May 1902 when an explosion collapsed the mine; he died [22]
  • Mr. Roscoe Sharp, American coal miner at Fraterville mine in Tennessee, on the 19th May 1902 when an explosion collapsed the mine; he died [22]
  • Mr. Benjamin Sharp, American coal miner at Fraterville mine in Tennessee, on the 19th May 1902 when an explosion collapsed the mine; he died [22]
  • Mr. Alex Sharp, American coal miner at Fraterville mine in Tennessee, on the 19th May 1902 when an explosion collapsed the mine; he died [22]
  • Mr. Frank Sharp, American coal miner at Fraterville mine in Tennessee, on the 19th May 1902 when an explosion collapsed the mine; he died [22]
Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Helen  Sharp (1862-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [23]
HMS Cornwall
  • Frederick William Sharp (d. 1942), British Able Seaman aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [24]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. John S Sharp (b. 1918), English Steward serving for the Royal Navy from Tynemouth, Northumberland, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [25]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. John Sharp, British sailor, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [26]
  • Mr. Gordon Kenneth Sharp, British Boy 1st Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking, also sailed aboard the HMS Exeter [26]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Ronald Sharp (1923-1939), British Boy 1st Class with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [27]
RMS Lusitania
  • Master Philip Archibald Sharp, English Steward's Young Assistant from Walton, Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [28]
  • Mr. Samuel S. Sharp, English 3rd Class passenger residing in Crooksville, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [29]
  • Master George Sharp, English 3rd Class passenger residing in Crooksville, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [29]
  • Mrs. Annie Sharp, English 3rd Class passenger residing in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 14 [29]
  • Mrs. Mary Jane Sharp, English 3rd Class passenger residing in Crooksville, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [29]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Percival James Sharp (d. 1912), aged 27, English Second Class passenger from London, England who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [30]


The Sharp 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.


Suggested Readings for the name Sharp +

  • A Brief History of Our Cook Family and our Sharp Family by Violet Sharp Cook.
  • The Family of John Sharpe, Revolutionary Soldier by Mildred J. Miller.
  • Descendants of Andrew Caldwell and Ruth Reese Sharpe by Archibald Henderson Caldwell.

  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ https://forebears.io/surnames/
  8. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  9. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  10. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  11. ^ 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)
  12. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-cornwallis
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/dromedary
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Dick
  16. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retreived 28th January 2021, retreived from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/chapman)
  17. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  18. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  19. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies
  20. ^ Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's retrieved 29th September 2021. (Retrieved from https://www.packrat-pro.com/ships/shiplist.htm)
  21. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) William Sharp. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Sharp/William_Frederick/USA.html
  22. ^ News paper article Fraterville Mine Disaster retrieved on 6th August 2021. (Retrieved from http://www.tn.gov/tsla/exhibits/disasters/fraterville.htm).
  23. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  24. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from https://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listcornwallcrew.html#A
  25. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  26. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  27. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  28. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  29. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/
  30. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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