The Sharp family of Wetwang ERY

For many years we were unable to locate the Sharp family because of a mix up regarding the Beasley/Sharp marriage. We were faced with two couples of the same name marrying about the same time and living in the same places. Fortunately after some effort we resolved that our couple married in Victoria and the marriage certificates for this state give details that enabled us to follow the Sharps back to Yorkshire.
The research in Yorkshire has centred on early censuses and parish registers. The earliest Sharps located came from Wharram Percy and since that village has been deserted since the 1500s, they must have lived on a farm in the parish. In the 1820s this parish had only 44 people. Wharram Percy is an interesting place with evidence of continuous human settlement from Neolithic times until the growth in the sheep industry finally saw the demise of the village about 600 years ago.

The Sharps can be found in many small hamlets centred on Wetwang including Duggleby and Weaverthorpe. Families marrying into the Sharps include Newlove of Wetwang, Hodgson of West Lutton, Bullock of Skipsea and Bonwick, and the Kirks.

We were very fortunate to find some registers using the Dade system which were a delight to see. William Dade developed a parish register system that collated a huge amount of genealogical data for each event.
wharram percy
Pictured above: St Nicholas Wetwang Pictured left: St Martin Wharram Percy

James was the son of Lewis Beasley and Hannah Sharp. His birth certificate indicated that his parents were married in Adelaide 5 Nov 1853 and originally came from Somersetshire and Yorkshire. Searches of SA records failed to reveal the marriage but a whole family of children were born both in SA and VIC. Early searches of Somerset and Yorkshire records also failed due largely to the lack of detail. Searches of shipping arrivals into Australia have never revealed any details either.

The mystery of the origins of this family were destined to remain obscure until recent developments which saw all Victorian Birth, Death and Marriage records put on CDs. This gave the opportunity to look at the data afresh because the material was sorted in families. When the Beasley family was called up, a surprise awaited us. It recorded James' parents marrying at Ballarat. Another look and there was almost the same family marrying in Adelaide as we had already discovered! I suspect that these two apparent families are likely the one single family but I cannot explain the two distinct marriages.

Louis BEASLEY, born 1831 Somerset married Ann SHARP, born 1832 Yorkshire in Adelaide 5 Nov 1853 and they had a son, James born 1859 near Linton VIC.

Lewis BEASLEY, born 1833 Somerset married Hannah SHARPE, born 1835 Yorkshire in Ballarat 29 Jan 1857 and they had children, Louisa born 1848 Smythe Creek VIC, James born 1860 place unknown and Lewis George born 1862 Linton VIC.
Because the marriage certificate for the second family was available and the fact that Victorian certificates show much more information than South Australian ones, we were able to find out much more about the second family.

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