Richard Sharpe (1827-1898) was born in Kent, England. He married Emma Evendeen (1828-1857) in 1851, and together they had three children: Richard (1852-), Thomas (1854-1959) and Mary Ann (1857-1858) . Unfortunately, Emma died while giving birth to her only daughter, Mary Ann. Her daughter died one year later in 1858.

A few years later, Richard married Sarah Anne Jessup on April 14th, 1860. At the time, Richard was working as a labourer and the newly weds were living with his parents and his brother in Kent. Richard and Sarah Anne had five children together: Sarah Anne (1861-1942), Samuel (1865-), Charles (1864-1944), Emma (1868-1868), and George (1870-). Emma died a few months after she was born in 1868.  According to the 1871 Census of Kent, England, Richard, Sarah, Richard  Jr., Thomas, Samuel, Sarah A. Jr.  and George were living together while Richard Sr. was working as an agricultural labourer alongside his sons, Richard Jr. and Thomas. His other children between the ages of 5 and 10 were attending school. 

In April 1871, Richard and his two brothers, Stephen (1837-) and George (1850-1940), set sail aboard the Peruvian ship to Quebec, Canada. The rest of Richard’s family arrived in New York a few months later on November 15, 1871. A participant on stated that Sarah Anne, the mother, supposedly died at sea, when in Indonesia.

It is unclear how the children met up with their father, Richard, over the next month. However, according to our archives, the children made it pretty quickly to the Village of Waterloo where they were staying 2 weeks before they were committed to the Poorhouse. Richard Sr. and his children, Sarah Anne Jr., Charles, Samuel and George arrived at the Poorhouse on December 9, 1871. Richard is listed as deaf and an emigrant and all the children are recorded as “All were infected with Smallpox lodged in pest house”. 


Sharpe entry in Registry 1871

1871 Register of Paupers, Vagrants, and Idiots received at the House of Industry and Refuge; Source: Region of Waterloo Archives


Richard Sr. left the Poorhouse on January 27, 1872 while the children were taken out of the pest house and remained in the Poorhouse’s main building until May 14th when they were discharged. There are no notes detailing to whom the children were released.

Richard Sr. remarried Elizabeth Pummell (1849-) in 1876. In 1881, they were living together with Richard Jr., Sarah Jr., Charles, Samuel and George in Wellesley, Ontario. Richard Jr., his father and his younger brother, Charles, were all working as labourers. Richard moved up North to Korah County sometime before 1885. It is unclear as to whether Elizabeth, his new wife, was with him or not. Richard was living with his daughter, Sarah Anne, and her family in 1891. At the time, he was working as a carpenter. Richard Sr. died in 1898 from “inflammation of the lungs”.

Thomas stayed in New York for a few years until he immigrated to Durham County, Ontario where he eventually met his wife, Alberta DeLong (1864-). They were married in July 1880 and has eight children together. They eventually moved back to New York where Thomas worked as an engineer in the Forge industry.

Richard Jr. also stayed in New York for a few years and immigrated to Ontario in 1876. Richard found his father and they were living together along with his other siblings and his father’s new wife, Eliza, in Wellesley. Richard eventually met and married Mary Ann and they moved up North to Root River in Algoma where Richard worked as a farm mason. In the 1890s, they headed out West to Saskatchewan. In 1897, they had their first and only child, William. It is unknown when Richard and his wife died, but they were still living in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan in the 1910s.

Sarah Anne Jr. married William James Gilmour in October 1885 in Korah County. They had seven children together. They eventually moved to Macleod, Alberta in 1906 where her husband worked as a labourer. Sarah Anne died one month before her husband in 1942. Both causes of death are not recorded.

George almost moved with his family up North. He married Susan Beatrice Scott in June 1898, a few months before his father died. There are some records showing that George moved to Lethbridge, Alberta, just like his sister, Sarah Anne. George and his wife had one daughter together.

It is unclear as to what happened to Samuel and Charles.