Sharrock – where did they go?




       Maybe, as the Visitation of Cornwall suggests “the most part of this family fled” (from Lancashire) but it is obvious that many of those with the Sharrock and Shorrock name remained..


       Even today the heaviest Sharrock concentration, let alone Shorrock, is in Lancashire. A look at Mormon records shows many more entries for Lancashire than elsewhere. Some years ago I counted the number of  pre 1625 births and marriages on microfiche and found Brindle, close to Shorrock Green and Blackburn, the nearest large city, to contain a heavy concentration.  There were many more in nearby parishes.


       By the fifteenth century enclaves had spread to London, Hampshire and Cornwall. Largely they are evidenced by early Parish registers, but also by Wills, University and Clergy records.


       In the mid sixteenth century a large number can be found in the parish of Micheldever, in Hampshire. I have a Will of Nicholas Sharrock, Priest of Steep, also in Hampshire, which was proved in 1540. In view of the subsequent connection the Cornish “visitation” family had with Hampshire I wondered  if one stemmed from the other but later found the Visitation family moved away from Cornwall and later inherited property in Hampshire..


       Towards the end of the sixteenth century members of the Cornish Visitation family can be found in the Registers of Cornwall.  The marriage entry for Robert Sharrock, of both Creed, near Truro and St Tudy, who married Elizabeth Adams, in 1555, can be found in London. He appears in the 1568 Muster roll for St Tudy and paid the subsidy in Creed in 1594. He is the first substantiated member of the tree. Presumably he would have been born about 1530.


       The Visitation gives him only one child, John Sharrock who lived at Tregon- John, a farm, now, still to be found just a few hundred yards from Creed Church. John married Elizabeth Mathew, a prominent  St. Kew, Cornwall, family and they had three sons.


       As was usual the youngest went into trade, Matthew became a vintner, moved to London with his wife Phillipa, had many children, and died in 1640 leaving a Will.


       The second son went into the Church and later became Rector of Adstock in Buckinghamshire. His own son, another Robert, became Archdeacon of Winchester and is mentioned in the Dictionary of National Biography.


       John Sharrock, the eldest, would seem to have obtained estates in Norfolk. The detail from Carthews Hundred of Launditch, I believe, is open to suspicion but does seem to suggest that although the family moved to Gateley, in Norfolk there was a connection with Hampshire still. Certainly later members of the family were brought from Norfolk to be buried in East Meon Church.


       This fairly well documented side of the family does seem to have moved away from Cornwall and if I'm to find my own ancestors maybe I have to look at some of the other Sharrocks still left in Cornwall.