Generation 1 - Children of John and Theodosia
Generation 1 - Children of John and Isabella
Generation 2 - Children of John Bentley Sharp
John Edwin Sharp was born on 28 April 1842 at 6 Regent Terrace, London, England. He was baptised in the Church of England. It is presumed he grew up and was schooled in London.
John Sharp's first marriage was to Theodosia Emma Hann who was born on 10 December 1844. They were married at Saint Barnabas Church, South Kennington, Surrey, England on 3 November 1864. (Reference: Indexing Project (Batch) Number M05846-1, System Origin England-ODM, Source Film Number 355617). (See Wikipedia for information on the history of Kennington.)
John and Theodosia had five children within the first six years of their marriage: (1) Ernest John, born 17 February 1866 at Blackheath; (2) Alice Theodosia, born 11 June 1867 at Blackheath; (3) Bertram, born 9 April 1869 at Lee, Kent; (4) Arthur, born 27 June 1870 at Lee, Kent; (5) Eleanor Rose, born 29 April 1872 at Lewisham.
Unfortunately the marriage did not last, and Theodosia filed for divorce in 1874 citing several reasons, including wife abuse and infidelity.
John married his first wife's younger sister Isabella Mary Ann Hann, which whom he had had a relationship and was part of the reason for the divorce. She was in her late teens when she married John and had not long left a convent in France. After their marriage, there was an ensuing scandal, as divorces were rare in those times, especially when there had been five children to the first marriage. And it was an even bigger disgrace to marry the sister of the first wife. The couple were therefore financed to leave England to escape the turmoil. They must have decided to live in New Zealand, where they had a family of six children, all of whom Eileen had met at some time during her early life.
John was 32 when he married Isabella on 11 May 1875. The marriage took place in a Registry Office at Bethnal Green, Middlesex. The marriage certificate says he was a bachelor, and she was a spinster, and his occupation was Clerk. They were living at 168 Waterlow Buildings, Bethnal Green at the time. His father is recorded as being John Sharp, a Commission Agent, his mother being Charlotte Davies Sharp (formerly Stewart). Isabella's father was James Hann, a labourer. The witnesses were Isaac Guymer and Albert E Panson.
John's occupation in Dunedin was Clerk-Landowner.
Some time after settling in Dunedin, John Edwin's three sons from his first marriage - Ernest, Bertram and Arthur, arrived in Dunedin. Arthur was a clerk and shopkeeper and Bertram a painter tradesman.
John Edwin also lived with his son John Bentley and Margaret for a time in Dunedin some time after the couple were newly married.
Eileen says: "I remember him well, about the age of 3-4 years. He loved Joan but I was too lively for him. His occupation during his life in NZ was storeman and clerk - Uncle Charles said he was a wizard with figures."
"Uncle Charles claimed that Grandad's parents were well off, and very social," according to Eileen.
And there is a suggestion that the family is connected with the Chippendales through marriage - the famous furniture manufacturer of the 18th century, and also claims linking to Captain Stewart who was a professional soldier training at Sandhurst and later served with the Imperial Army stationed in India and Ceylon.
John Edwin Sharp died of heart failure in Dunedin Hospital on 19 October 1920 aged 78 years, and was buried on 21 October 1920 at the Southern Cemetery (Block 19P, Plot 0020).
His death certificate says that his 3 sons from his first marriage were aged 52, 50 and 48, and from his second marriage, he had 3 sons aged 42, 34 and 32, and 3 daughters aged 40, 38 and 36. There was no mention of his two daughters from his first marriage, Alice and Eleanor. This remains a mystery!
A death notice published in the "Otago Daily Times" on 20 October 1920, page 4, column 4 under Deaths, reads:
Sharp, on October 19, at Dunedin, John, relict of Isabella Sharp, in his seventy-ninth year. 'At Rest'. Private interment – Frapwell and Holgate, Undertakers.
Direct descendants of John Edwin Sharp now number over 120 with more family members being located as they find this website.
Photo of John Edwin Sharp: Courtesy Maniototo Early Settlers Museum.
Photo of grave taken by Desmond Sharp.
Desmond Sharp visited the gravesite in 2008 and cleaned up the grave, and repainted the nameplate.
Lesley MacClure (right) and cousin Barbara Cameron (left) at the grave of Isabella and John Edwin Sharp in early January 2010. Barbara took some roses from her garden.