52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks

52 Ancestors #13 Sarah Jane Sharp

Last week my ancestor of the week was Joseph Whimpey (born 1848 died 1919).  This week my ancestor of the week is his wife Sarah Jane Sharp.

The first information I had for Sarah was on my grandfather’s birth certificate.  At the time of his birth in 1884, she was lived as being 31 years old, and born in Yorkshire, England.

The birth certificate also showed that Joseph and Sarah were married on 27th March 1872 in Laanecoorie, Victoria.

Laanecoorie is near Tarnagulla, and the next information I received for Sarah was extracts from the book “Tarnagulla & District: The Way It Was” by Ken and Edna Arnold, sent to me by my dad.  This book had information for Joseph and Sarah, and their children, as well as information about Sarah’s parents.

This book showed that Sarah had been born in 1853, and that she was the daughter of Henry Sharp and Jane Elizabeth Oldroyd, who had married in Wakefield.  The family had travelled to Australia on the “Marco Polo” which departed from Liverpool on 6 August 1863, and arrived in Melbourne on 16 November 1863.    This information was confirmed by the Unassisted Shipping Indexes for Victoria on the Public Record Office Victoria website


A record for Sarah’s birth was found at ancestry: in the West Yorkshire, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910 database.  This entry shows Sarah was born 3 January 1853, and baptised 27 January 1856.  There is also an entry for her in the England & Wales, Free BMD Birth Index , 1837-1915.  (Sarah Jane Sharp born Jan-Feb-Mar quarter 1853, in Wakefield, volume 9c, page 29).

As the family came to Australia in 1863, I checked the 1861 England Census for the family.  The census showed that Sarah was in the household of her uncle Rowland Tidd, with her parents and sister Elizabeth, at Newton Heath, Lancashire.   The immigration lists show that Rowland and his family came to Australia on the same ship as Henry, Jane, Sarah and Elizabeth (Source Citation: Class: RG 9; Piece: 2966; Folio: 12; Page: 17; GSU roll: 543057.).

In 1995, I was sent copies of a number of certificates for the Whimpey family, which included Sarah’s death certificate.  Sarah died 28 June 1906 in Tarnagulla.

The following obituary was found on the microfilm at the State Library of Victoria for The Tarnagulla + Llanelly Courier.  The obituary was inserted in the issue dated Saturday June 30 1906.

Death of Mrs J Whimpey

We regret to announce the death of Mrs Whimpey, wife of Mr Joseph Whimpey, of this town, which sad event took place at her late residence, Commercial Road, on Thursday morning, the cause of death being ulceration of the bowels.  For several years past the deceased lady had been a great sufferer from the complaint, and about four years ago she went to Melbourne and underwent an operation, but the relief was only of a temporary nature.  Periodically ever since she has had bad attacks, which caused her great suffering and confined her to her bed, each attack leaving her weaker than before.  Although in great pain at times, Mrs Whimpey bore it with Christian fortitude, and never murmured or complained.  Every care was bestowed on her and all that medical still could do was used by Dr Rinder to give relief.  The deceased lady had a kind and loving disposition, and was greatly esteemed by a very large circle of friends, who were always anxious to learn the state of her health, and were pleased to hear when there was an improvement.  Mrs Whimpey ……. husband and ten children – eight sons and two daughters – to mourn the loss of a loving wife and mother.  The deepest sympathy is expressed for Mr Whimpey and family in their sad bereavement.

The funeral will take place at the local cemetery to-morrow (Sunday) afternoon, and will leave her late residence at 3 o’clock.