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Tuesday 23 August 2016

From Barbara Wright (née Lane) of Cumbria.

I have been researching my ancestry for many years and visited Berwick Record Office some time ago before the start of this wonderful project.

I have been trying in vain to find out who was married to William Sharpe, (born probably about 1590/1600) in the late 1620s.
I think William Sharpe is my 8th great grandfather but search as I might, I can't locate the source of this person so it may be another name entirely. My American contact seems to think it should be William Robert.

When was William born and where and is there other information about him?
Was William a burgess/freeman?

He had a son, Edward, born in 1630. This Edward married Fortune Richardson who was born about 1633 and together they had Edward, born on 29th July 1658. This Edward died, it seems, in 1672.

Later in 1671, Robert was born to Edward and Fortune and married Elizabeth Blackhell/Blackhall. Robert is my ancestor.

Another Edward was born to Fortune and Edward Sharpe senior in 1675 and from contacts I have through my DNA test we believe this Edward went via Ireland to America. I am in contact with someone in Mississippi, USA, who is doing the same early Berwick research but is descended from Edward Sharpe junior.

Another friend and myself have also extensively researched the Fortune Sharpe connection with Charles Mace and Francis, his son. Francis' daughter, Jane Mace, married into my Fenwick side of the family. John Fenwick was a tailor and I have often wondered if he, in early days, did an apprenticeship in Berwick .After marrying Jane they lived in County Durham.


  1. I have looked in Berwick Freemen records and cannot find any references of that period to William Sharpe. However, the Ancestry website has numerous Public Trees with this name born 1590c so you may want to look on there. Good luck in your search!

    1. Thankyou for looking in the Freemen records.Sorry I was late in acknowledging your help but I've only just noticed it.
      Since my request I know now that Edward Sharpe was a soldier when he married Fortune Richardson in 1657 as I'm told it states this in the parish registers. ( baptisms of his first 2 children note that he was a soldier.)
      His other children 1662- 1674 do not say he's a soldier and as there are other fathers in the register at this period registered as soldiers I think he may have stopped being a soldier and stayed in Berwick doing something else.
      Am I right in thinking the Richardsons were burgesses?
      I believe that when he married Fortune it was under the Lord Protector Cromwell and that after 1660 men were not required to stay as soldiers because the king in charge had his own men again.
      I also found out that a regiment, Moncks Regt. normally garrisoned in Edinburgh composed of men taken from Fenwick's regt and Haselrigges regt.but were sent to Berwick in 1657- 1658 and stayed a while.
      I'm looking in the Ancestry public trees and intend to see if I can find a birth for Edward Sharpe perhaps in another area of Northumberland or maybe Edinburgh.
      Thanks again .Interesting research .


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