Unknown — Perry, Iowa
My father, Patrick Moore, Irwin Sharpe, was born 10 Aug 1840 in Moaghan County, Northern Ireland, the son of James Joseph Sharpe (1813-1888) and Elizabeth Irwin (Sharpe) (1819-1884). Father’s clan of Sharpes originated in Scotland and because of the constant internal disorders between the Scots and the Engish in which the various religious sects fought for control, many of the Scots, particulary those of Presbyterian Faith, found it necessary to leave Scotland to save their lives. These Scots immigrated to the North part of Ireland, among them the Sharpes'.
Father told my brother John Sharpe many times that his ancesty could be traced bck to Mary Stuart, the Queen of Scotland. Stuart has been a family name (with variations in the spelling to Sewart) for generations back. We are also connected with the Moores and the Irwins, both Scotch and Irish names. Thus father’s name of Moore Irwin Sharpe were family names.
Ten children were born of this family:
Susan M (Parriott) 1837; William 1838; Patrick Moore Irwin, 10 Aug 1840; Emma (Giggs) 1842; James 1846, (believed died in infancy); Margaret Jane (Wilson) 1850; Jemina (or Jane or Marky Jane) 1856; Samuel Stewart 1858; Joseph James 1859; Elizabeth (Stockdale) 1860.
Moore was educated in a school that taught Arithmetic and Reading, base on the Bible, so he was an exceptional student. Each student in school had to bring thier own peat to school, otherwise they couldn’t be near the stove to keep warm, which was in the center of the classroom. They only text books were the Bible and the arithmetic book. In his earlier years, used to walk to Monaghan and carry his shoes and socks with him and put them on when getting to town as was the custom at the time.
Moore and two Aunts. One of them “Auntie Sharpe”, possibly Aunt Nancy, the wife of Stewart Sharpe, who were resideing in a borough of Mercersburg, Pa.; according to the 1860 Census, gave him and his brother William, the necessary funds in gold to purchase two 3rd class steerage tickets on a boat sailing for American, the land rich in gold and full of opportunities.
My sister Emma wrote, Jim Sharpe under date of 11 Nov 1918 at father’s dictation, “that he left Dundalk Port Ireland, Saturday, 8 May 1864 and sailed for Liverpool, England, leaving there 18 May 1864, arriving at Philadelphia, Pa., 23 Jun 1864.”
The potato famine in Ireland forced further immigration. America, with it vast resources, offered opportunities for these Irish and our clan of Sharpes went on move again, this time to the States. It is believed most of this family came to America before James Joseph and Elizabeth Sahrpe migrated in 1872, James settling in Butler County, Iowa, then to section 22 of Hamilton Townshipe, Franklin County, near Hampton, Iowa, in 1875 where his son Joseph James had bought had bought an eighty acre farm. They raised Durham Cattle, having fifty head of stock, besides five horses and a graded Norman horse. James was a presbyterian, a republican, Elizabeth a member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church and son Joseph a Presbyterian.
Back to Mercersburgh, Pennsylvania, where Moore and William had come to live in the home of thier uncle Stewart Sharpe, a person of great means, and wife Nancy, who were without children, Stewart decied in 1864 to “bind them out” to learn a trade, for three years of apprenticeship. Father was “bound” to learn carriage blacksmithing and William to learn the carpenter work required to making buggies. They were set thus to work there in or near Mercersburg. The Civil War was then on, in its last stages.
Now William did not exactly like the thing for some reason, and after a while, he quit. He came to father one day, maybe at a picnic, clothes in a package in his hand and declared he was running away. He wanted father to go with him the worst kind, but father refused and stuck it out, learning his trade, and it was a good trade in those days, and father became a skilled work man. Father once related that a carriage commanded a price of $250.00. Apparently Uncle Stewart figured that his two nephews could work together and make these high priced carriages. Father was leaning the trade when President Lincoln was shot (1865).
Since father was over 18 years of age, he had to be naturalized. His declaration to become a citizen of the United States was filed at Chambersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, 14 Dec 1870. He was sworn and admitted as a citizen of the United States, according to a statement given Jim Sharpe 15 Nov 1918, by W.S. Kolb, Prothonotary, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
Incidentally, nothing was ever thereafter heard of Uncle William, and what became of him, non of us ever found out. Father thought he went to Georgia.
After father learned the trade, he worked at different places: Mercersburg, Newville, New Castle, Waynesboro, Saint Thomas. In Waynesboro, he worked in the Frick Machine Shope and learned a trade that became very useful thru his entired life. Mother told Jim Sharpe that father wore laundried white linen pants, while at work in the blacksmith shop. In or near St. Thomas, he worked for a similar proprietor.
written by Donald Sharpe (grandson) and Alfred Leonard Sharpe (son)