Sharp-Healy Family

The Story of the first two Generations

Isabella Mary Sharp 1882-1936

Isabella Mary was the 2nd-born and eldest daughter of John and Isabella Sharp. She was born on 17 May 1882 at Salisbury Lane in High Street, Dunedin, and was named after her mother.

Isabella Mary Sharp.

She was just ten years old when her mother Isabella died suddenly in 1892. It must have been a very big shock to lose her mother in such tragic circumstances. As the oldest girl in the family, Isabella would have had to take on family chores and probably spent a lot of time looking after her younger sisters and brothers.

Isabella married John Lewis Cameron and they had 3 sons: Roy, Frank and Colin. John was a linotypist with the Otago Daily Times newspaper.

Apparently Isabella had an inward goitre which eventually affected her in middle age, and she died of a heart attack in 1936. Their son Frank also suffered from a simple goitre in the neck and he died when aged 30 years. However John lived until he was 80 years of age. Their home address was 10 St Heliers Court, Dunedin.

Isabella's death notice reads: Cameron, On September 10, 1936, at her residence, 10 St Heliers Court, Dunedin, Isabella, beloved wife of John Lewis Cameron, in her fifty-seventh year. Deeply mourned. The funeral will leave the residence on Saturday 12th inst. At 11 am for the Andersons Bay cemetery. C J Thorn Ltd funeral directors.

Their headstone inscription reads:

In loving memory of Isabella, beloved wife of John Lewis Cameron, died Sept 10, 1936 aged 56 years. Rest in our affections. Also her beloved husband John Lewis, died Oct 2 1958 aged 80 years. Also Frank Albert beloved son of above, died Nov 13 1942 aged 30 years.

Headstone - John and Isabella Cameron


Roy went into the newspaper business along with his father, and Eileen last saw him at Jean Sharp's wedding, where they talked and danced.

Before the Second World War, Roy got a job as editor in Johannesburg, and he married quite late in life, and had no children. It is not known where and when he died.

Colin was a clerk in Land & Mercantile Farming Insurance business until the Second World War, although he was not called up for overseas duty. Eileen says she had not seen Colin since their days in Green Island when he used to bring friends out to have tea on Sunday evenings and play cards with the family.

Colin married Irene Levine (surname unknown). After he died on 22 October 1992, he was cremated and his ashes were buried in Andersons Bay Cemetery (Block 279, plot 26). Irene died on 23 January 1987 and is buried in Green Park Cemetery (Block 58, plot 23). Colin died ten years later on 19 March 1997 aged 87 years, and is buried with his wife.

Headstone - Colin and Irene Cameron

Colin had a son named Frank, and a daughter named Barbara, who was a sister in charge of a hospital ward in Dunedin. Colin and Eileen kept in contact over the years until he had a stroke, although a letter a short while later said he was recovering and back in his own home. His daughter Barbara was nursing him.

Frank Albert Cameron was the youngest of the family, and Eileen says she only met him once when she was about 13 years of age, at Caversham. She says her Aunty Isabella was a sickly woman, and with three sons and a husband to look after, she did not have much time for socialising.

Frank was a clerk or accountant who eventually married, but Eileen couldn't remember her name or going to the wedding (Nora Ellen). They had two children, a boy and a girl. The children were early school age when Frank died. Apparently he had the flu and had been off work at home for a fortnight, and on the day he died, it was quite nice weather wise. He decided to go out into the garden, and about 10.30 am his wife called out that morning tea was ready, but when he didn't come in, she went out to see what was wrong.

She found him collapsed in the garden where he had died of a sudden heart attack. The date was 13 November 1942, and his last known address according to the Dunedin City Council Cemetery Records was Invercargill.

His death notice reads: Cameron, on November 13, 1942, at Invercargill (suddenly) Frank Albert, beloved husband of Nora Ellen Cameron and son of John Lewis and the late Isabella Cameron; aged 31 years. The funeral will leave our Mortuary Chapel, Clark St, tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11 am for the Andersons Bay Cemetery. Hugh Gourley Ltd, funeral directors.

He was buried with his parents in Andersons Bay Cemetery (Block 134, plot 91).

Headstone photos taken by Margaret Bremner of Dunedin.

Eileen believes Frank's wife survived him by another six months, then passed away, "so now it was a question of the children". Frank's mother Isabella had died six years before, and "Uncle Lew was a widower. He used to come out to Green Island a lot for lunch. He was lonely and came out to be amongst the family. He eventually remarried a woman quite a bit younger than himself, and so it came that the young wife's parents took the girl and Lou brought up the little boy. We didn't see much of him after that".

Update July 2009

Cameron family group.

New information on the Cameron family has come to light since the above was written, including two photos. This photo provided by Lesley MacClure is of Isabella Sharp with Lew and the boys when she was much older.

Lesley MacClure contacted Dale after finding the Sharp-Healy website, and discovering the story of her parents grandparents, and great-grandparents.

Lesley says that she was interested in her Grandmother Isabella as she had the same name, and one of her brother Malcolm's granddaughters also has Isabella as a second name and had found this website.

Lesley Isabella Mary Cameron was born in Invercargill on 19th December 1941. She has confirmed that her parents died when she was young (her father when she was 11 months and her mother when she was 18 months old) and she was bought up by her grandfather John Lewis Cameron, mentioned above, and his second wife Violet.

Malcolm, her brother was bought up by their Uncle and Aunt on their mother's side.

Lesley married Clyde MacClure in 1960 and together they operated a garage business at Centre Bush, in Southland for 37 years. Her brother Malcolm Francis Cameron lives in Christchurch.

Lesley has updated her family story and provided her family tree.

Isabella Mary Sharp and John Lewis Cameron had three sons.

Lewis Roy known as Roy, 1908-1987 emigrated to South Africa before the war to work as a Linotypist and editor in the Newspaper industry in Johannesburg. He married a Scottish nurse named Jessie Macquarie Campbell, who was born in Glasgow on 28 March 1919. They had two daughters, Kathryn, born in 1947 and Fiona born in 1951. Kathryn lives in South Africa and Fiona lives in Jersey, Channel Islands, and has three sons, Andrew, Robert and Craig, and two grandsons Cameron and Adam.

Roy died in Cape Town, South Africa on 4 February 1987, and his wife Jessie died in July 1998.

Colin Stewart 1909-1997 continued to live in Dunedin. He married late in the 1930's and had three daughters and one son, Janette, Barbara, Gay and Stewart. Sadly Janette has passed away, but Barbara and Gay live in Dunedin and Stewart lives in Auckland. Colin worked at Cadbury Fry Hudson.

Frank Albert 1911-1942 married in 1934 and had two children, Malcolm and Lesley. Frank was a Fibrous Plasterer and a musician. Sadly Frank died early as did his wife (8 February 1943) and as noted by Eileen, so the children were bought up by relatives. Malcolm was raised by their mother's family in Canterbury and Lesley by her grandfather John Lewis Cameron, (known as Lew), and his second wife Violet, as Isabella (Bella) had passed away in 1936. They continued to live in Caversham, Dunedin in the house at 10 St Heliers Court that Lew and Bella had built for them and their family of three sons.

Cameron family group.

CAPTION: Cameron family photo taken approx 1915 at Dunedin, supplied by Lesley MacClure. "My Grandmother Isabella (nee Sharp) is on the far right above my father Frank Cameron, beside him is his brother Roy Cameron and at the far left the blond boy sitting on the ground is Colin Cameron, his other brother. My Great-Grandparents (Cameron) are the older couple in the middle, and my Grandfather Lew Cameron. Isabella's husband is the full faced man in the back row."

Family Trees

The family trees are currently compiled and will be posted here when they are complete.