- The Sharp surname has many variant spellings: Sharp, Sharpe, Scharp, Scharf, Scherp To name but a few. It is most frequently found in England and Ireland but is also popular in Germany, Sweden and other Scandinavian countries.
- In 1640 a Swedish soldier in the service of Pieter Stuyvesant is found in New Amsterdam. His name was spelled Scherp. As the family grew and the colony became New York, the spelling was anglicized as Sharp, and the area where Andries Hans Scherp and his children lived outside of Kinderhook, Columbia County, became known as Sharptown. The Sharptown Road still runs through the area.
- According to SurnameDB: Recorded as Sharp, Sharpe, and the diminutives Sharpin, Sharplin and Sharpling, this is an English surname. It is a good example of a surname originating from a medieval nickname, with the derivation from the Olde English pre 7th Century wrd "scearp", meaning sharp and used to describe a "sharp or smart" person. As a surname it is found recorded all over the British Isles with great frequency, as would be expected of a soubriquet likely to be handed down as being complimentary. The surname is first recorded in the early 11th Century (see below), with other early recordings including Ailmer Scharp in the Pipe Rolls of Hertfordshire for 1184; Aylmer Sarp in tax registers known as the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1228; and Alan Sharp in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in the year 1296. Later examples taken from the surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London incluude Danis Sharp who married Joane Paynter on February 12th 1564, at Harrow on the Hill, John Sharpling, at St Dionis Backchurch, on December 8th 1724, and George Sharplin who married Mary Cranmore at St Katherines by the Tower (of London) on April 1st 1744.
- Robert Sharp, who departed from the port of London, aboard the ship "Abigall" bound for New England, in June 1635, was one of the first settlers in the new colony of Virginia.
- The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Healden Scearpa. This was dated 1026, in the "Old English Bynames", for the county of Kent, during the reign of King Canute, 1016 - 1035.
Sharp is frequently found in the counties Dublin and Donegal of Ireland.