14 February 2015

Casting a wide Sharp net on Surname Saturday

Louise Sharp has always been a bit of a mystery for me. She is my husband’s great grandmother. His family had stories but no facts about her. I first “met” Louisa in those family stories that all state she was a Native American - a story whose pieces did not fit right. Over the years I have filled in some blanks and have (mostly) put to bed a rumor with DNA testing but still have many questions, including her lineage. 

To find Louise, I started with her son (and hubby’s grandfather) Morgan Deyoe. I traced him back to the 1880 Federal Census. I found the family in Lexington, Greene County, New York. Daniel G, age 44, is a white male farmer. His wife, Louise, is a 42 year old white female. This puts her born approximately 1838. Their son Morgan is five. Living with them also is a nine year old white male named William Parker. He was adopted by Daniel and Louise. All four were born in New York State, as were their parents. 

So today – on Surname Saturday – I am casting a net. Join me on my fishing expedition as I try to determine her parents! 

From the 1880 census I gathered that Louisa was born about 1838 in New York State. Since Morgan is five at the time, Louisa and Daniel probably got married before 1875. 

The 1875 New York State Census shows just Daniel and Louisa. He is 42 and she is 38. This time, probably since it is a state census as opposed to a federal census, it asks in what county or state the person was born. Daniel answered Greene but Louisa answered Delaware. Since she stated she was born in New York State on the 1880 census, I can infer this means Delaware County, NY and not the state Delaware. 

The 1892 New York State Census does not separate households. Daniel does not show up on this one but 17 year old Morgan G is here. Below him is 11 year old John W. Deyoe. Above Morgan is 47 year old Louisa Sharp, a farmer. Why she would have given the name Sharp instead of Deyoe is unclear. The family still resides in Lexington, Greene County. 

In 1850, Louisa would be 12, give or take a year. A Louisa Sharp shows in the 1850 Federal Census. The town is listed as “the Western Half 15 Ward” in New York County in NY. Her father is not listed but her mother – Sarah M Sharp – is listed. No occupation is listed for Sarah. Both list New York as place of birth. Listed in the same house is a 40 year old Richard and four year old Thomas Goddard. Richard is a merchant. He was born in Massachusetts; Thomas was born in New York. 

To find her father, and confirm Sarah is in fact her mother, I’m going to have be creative. Genealogy is often like putting together a rather large puzzle. Sometimes you have to try several pieces before finding the correct one. 
A search for Sarah Sharp in the New York, New York Death Index, 1862-1947 database revealed 652 suggestions. When I narrow the search to a Sarah M. Sharp and list a location, with no event, as “Western Half 15 Ward,” I then get just 52 results! So clearly, I still have much fishing to do.

Goal update

One of my goals this year is to find and confirm hubby’s 2x great grandparents, that is Louisa’s parents. While I believe Sarah may be her mother, I still would prefer to have more documentation.  

Surname Saturday is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers. 
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.