Sharpe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The first people to use the name Sharpe were a family of Strathclyde- Britons who lived in the Scottish/English Borderlands. The name comes from when someone lived in Peeblesshire. The name Sharpe is derived from the Old English scearp meaning "sharp" or "keen." [1]

Early Origins of the Sharpe family

The surname Sharpe 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 Sharpe family

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

Sharpe Spelling Variations

Surnames that evolved in Scotland in the Middle Ages often appear under many spelling variations. These are due to the practice of spelling according to sound in the era before dictionaries had standardized the English language. Sharpe has appeared as Sharp, Sharpe, Scharpe, Scharp, Schearpe and many more.

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

Sharpe World Ranking

In the United States, the name Sharpe is the 935th most popular surname with an estimated 32,331 people with that name. [6] However, in Canada, the name Sharpe is ranked the 701st most popular surname with an estimated 7,547 people with that name. [7] And in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Sharpe is the 228th popular surname with an estimated 191 people with that name. [8] Australia ranks Sharpe as 653rd with 5,983 people. [9] New Zealand ranks Sharpe as 832nd with 875 people. [10] The United Kingdom ranks Sharpe as 437th with 14,718 people. [11]

Ireland Migration of the Sharpe family to Ireland

Some of the Sharpe 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 Sharpe migration to the United States +

The North American colonies beckoned, with their ample land and opportunity as their freedom from the persecution suffered by so many Clan families back home. Many Scots even fought against England in the American War of Independence to gain this freedom. Recently, clan societies have allowed the ancestors of these brave Scottish settlers to rediscover their familial roots. Among them:

Sharpe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Samuel Sharpe, who arrived in Bermuda in 1609-1610 [12]
  • Samuell Sharpe, who landed in Virginia in 1609 [12]
  • Samuel Sharpe who settled in Virginia in 1610
  • Elizabeth Sharpe, who arrived in Virginia in 1621 [12]
  • Mrs. Samuel Sharpe, who arrived in Virginia in 1621 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Sharpe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jacob Sharpe, who arrived in New York in 1715 [12]
  • Henry Sharpe, who arrived in North Carolina in 1764 [12]
  • George Sharpe, who landed in New York in 1770 [12]
Sharpe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Sharpe, who arrived in America in 1805 [12]
  • Ann Sharpe, who landed in Massachusetts in 1812-1813 [12]
  • Jane Sharpe, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817 [12]
  • Thomas Sharpe, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1836 [12]
  • Alexander Sharpe, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1853 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Sharpe migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sharpe Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John Sharpe U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1784 [13]
  • Private. William Sharpe U.E. (b. 1764) from Pomfret, Windham County, Connecticut, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he served in the Queen's Rangers, married to Sarah Farrington having 3 children, he died in 1828 [13]
  • Mr. Cornelius Sharpe U.E. who settled in Adolphus Town [Adolphustown], Ontario c. 1786 he served in the Loyal Rangers [13]
  • Mr. Gusbord Sharpe U.E. who settled in Ernest Town [Ernestown], Lennox & Addington, Ontario c. 1786 he served in the Loyal Rangers [13]
Sharpe Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • S L Sharpe, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Australia Sharpe migration to Australia +

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

Sharpe Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Sharpe, (Grundy) who was convicted in Lincolnshire (Parts of Lindsey), England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Dick" on 2nd October 1820, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [14]
  • Mr. Edward Sharpe, (Sharp), (b. 1799), aged 22, English carpenter who was convicted in Leicester, Leicestershire, England for 7 years for grand larceny, transported aboard the "Claudine" on 20th May 1821, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1869 [15]
  • Edward Sharpe, English convict from Suffolk, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [16]
  • John Sharpe, a tin-plate-worker, who arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Mr. Thomas Sharpe, English convict who was convicted in Warwick, Warwickshire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [17]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Sharpe 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:

Sharpe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Margaret Sharpe, aged 26, a housemaid, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgeway" in 1840
  • Mr. J. Sharpe, Australian settler travelling from Sydney aboard the ship "Diana" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th July 1840 [18]
  • Miss Margaret Sharpe, (b. 1814), aged 26, British housemaid for Mr. Judd travelling from England aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 14th November 1840 [18]
  • Mary Sharpe, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • Harriet Sharpe, aged 16, a servant, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Slains Castle" in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Sharpe (post 1700) +

  • William Forsyth Sharpe (b. 1934), American economist, winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize in Economics
  • Matthew Sharpe (b. 1962), American novelist
  • Bud Sharpe (1881-1916), American baseball player
  • Charles Kirkpatrrick Sharpe (1781-1851), Scottish antiquary and artist, the second son of Charles Sharpe of Hoddam, Dumfriesshire
  • Mr. Andrew Michael Gordon Sharpe O.B.E., British Chairman for National Conservative Convention and Deputy Chairman on the board of The Conservative Party, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for voluntary political service [19]
  • Samuel Sharpe (1799-1881), English Egyptologist and translator of the Bible, second son of Sutton Sharpe (1756–1806), brewer
  • Louisa Sharpe (1798-1843), birth name of Louisa Seyffarth, an English watercolour-painter, third daughter of William Sharpe, a Birmingham engraver
  • Gregory Sharpe (1713-1771), English theologian, a native of Yorkshire
  • Edmund Sharpe (1809-1877), English architect and engineer, only son of Francis Sharpe, of Heathfield, Knutsford, Cheshire
  • Daniel Sharpe (1806-1856), English geologist, son of Sutton Sharpe (1756–1806), brewer
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Flight 191
  • V Sharpe, American passenger from USA, who flew aboard American Airlines Flight 191 and died in the crash [20]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Albert J Sharpe (b. 1913), English Stoker 2nd Class serving for the Royal Navy from Hinckley, Leicestershire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [21]
SS Southern Cross
  • Mr. William John Sharpe (1886-1914), Newfoundlander from Paradise who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found
  • Mr. Ambrose Sharpe (1895-1914), Newfoundlander from Paradise who was aboard the "SS Southern Cross" when it is suspected she sank between the 31st March 1914 and early April during the storm with a heavy load of pelts; no survivors were ever found


The Sharpe 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 Sharpe +

  • 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. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  9. ^ https://forebears.io/australia/surnames
  10. ^ https://forebears.io/new-zealand/surnames
  11. ^ https://www.surnamemap.eu/unitedkingdom/surnames_ranking.php?p=10
  12. ^ 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)
  13. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  14. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 8th July 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Dick
  15. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th February 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/claudine
  16. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  17. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  18. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  19. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
  20. ^ Flight 191's Victims - latimes. (Retrieved 2014, April 16) . Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/1985-08-04/news/mn-4349_1_fort-lauderdale-area
  21. ^ 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


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