Henry Sharp, Part III: Odds & Ends

Today, we’ll examine some of the UNDOCUMENTED and/or WRONG LEAPS concerning Henry Sharp and his family.

I don’t even know where to begin – there is SO much info out there that is either wrong or, I believe, posted by people who have conflated three or more Henry Sharps who lived in the 1700s.

Let’s begin with Henry’s name, which I found in one place as: Heinrich Henry Honas Webber Sharp!!!

Heinrich is correct, as Henry, by all accounts, was German.

What about Honas? I suspect that came from a Virginia mention of a man named Henry Harness, who lived in Henry’s neighborhood in Virginia before the family moved on to Tennessee. I am certain that I’ve never found a single record created in Henry’s lifetime that included “Honas” as part of his name!

Where did Webber come from? Well, someone generously added the maiden name of his TOTALLY UNDOCUMENTED and POSSIBLY INCORRECT mother, one Margaret Webber in Pennsylvania. In fact, there are several reasons to believe that she wasn’t his mother!

I love the research done by Genevieve Peters in her typescript book, downloadable as a PDF – Know Your Relatives – The Sharps – Gibbs, Graves, Efland, Albright, Loy, Miller, Snodderly, Tillman, and other Related Families.

However, I had actually done quite a bit of research on Henry Sharp before I came across her book online. I was thrilled to read through her work, noting all the sources that she cited and recognizing that I had already found many of them myself.

She discussed the possibility of one Isaac Sharp who married Margaret Webber of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania as being the parents of my Henry Sharp. Mrs. Peters stated that she found NO CONNECTION – e.g. no DOCUMENTATION – between Isaac Sharp and Henry Sharp. I came to the same conclusion 70+ years later.

In fact, I believe that “facts” concerning Isaac Sharp in online family trees actually pertain to two different Isaac Sharps, possibly a father and son.

The elder Isaac Sharp was reportedly born c1712 in the Palatinate and came to Pennsylvania in the 1730s. He reportedly married Margaret Webber in Germany in 1733, but no source has been found for this marriage.

Furthermore, the online tree gives a 1783 death date for Isaac, noting that he left a will in 1764. I Have found no will, but one Isaac Sharp seems to have died in 1764, while a second Isaac Sharp died intestate, with his estate administration held in 1784, for which I did find a record image. One Henry Sharp and a John Sharp were the estate administrators.

From this tidbit seems to have come the “fact” that my Henry Sharp was the son of the Isaac Sharp in Pennsylvania.

I immediately found problems, aside from there maybe being two Isaac Sharps.

Pennsylvania tax rolls show Henry Sharps listed as follows:

  • 1773, Hanover, Lancaster County
  • 1779, Whitemarsh, Philadelphia
  • 1780, North Liberties, Philadelphia
  • 1783, Hanover, Lancaster County
  • 1785, Martic, Lancaster County
  • 1785, Mulberry, Philadelphia
  • 1786, Martic, Lancaster County
  • 1788, Mulberry, Philadelphia
  • 1792, Henry Sharp died in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania [Dauphins formed in 1785 from Lancaster County.]

Because my Henry Sharp married Barbara [Graves], someone noted that he married Barbara Renouet in Philadelphia in 1756 and speculated that he is the same man.

When was Henry born? No known record survives. I’ve seen unsourced dates of 1735 in Germany and 1738 in Pennsylvania. Those dates are probably in the ballpark, but it’s impossible to state that either is correct with any certainty.

That Pennsylvania tax rolls show two men named Henry Sharp living there around the Revolutionary War years, one in Lancaster County and possibly the son of Isaac Sharp, and one in Philadelphia who may or may not be the man who married Barbara Renouet.

Henry Sharp, who may be the Henry who administered the estate of Isaac Sharp who died in 1784, may well be the man who died in Dauphin County in 1792.

If so, he most definitely isn’t my Henry Sharp, who died c1814 in Preble County, Ohio.

Furthermore, my Henry Sharp can be placed in Orange County, North Carolina in 1779, Virginia through much of the 1780s and in Tennessee in the early 1790s.

Another reason why my Henry has been connected to Isaac Sharp in Pennsylvania is found in the 1779 tax roll of Orange County, North Carolina. That’s because Henry wasn’t the only Sharp listed. Page 43 had Joseph Sharp, while page 44 included Isaac, Aaron, Henry, John, a second Aaron and George and page 45 listed Thomas and George Sharp.

Are all these men related? No records have been found connecting them, but it’s certainly possible. Does Isaac Sharp on the 1779 tax list “prove” a connection with Isaac in Pennsylvania? No, but it doesn’t disprove a family tie either.

What is evident is that no documentation has been found tying together any of the members of my Henry Sharp’s close knit FAN club with the Isaac Sharp family of Lancaster County either.

In other words, the origins of Henry Sharp of NC, VA, TN AND OH are inconclusive. Did he arrive in Pennsylvania as a young boy? Maybe. Was he born in Pennsylvania? Maybe. Is he somehow related to the Isaac Sharp family in Lancaster County? Maybe.

The bottom line – No proof!

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