First, the foremost important, lasting and significant human influence in my life has been the marriage to my lovely bride, Suzanne Margaret Boggess Sharpe, my partner in life since our meeting and marriage in 1962! She, in many respects, has shaped & enabled me to be the man that I am, for which I sing her eternal praises!
Not only have we been marriage partners and genuine personal friends, but also, we have grown together spiritually over the years in ways that have brought the utmost of wholesomeness in our lives, as we have understood God’s Providence in how He intended us to pursue life.
Here she is as a very young girl. You can tell already that she would be beautiful!
Suzanne has been the most wonderful wife and mother that I ever could have imagined in the best of God’s Providence. This is a 1962 photo, the year of our marriage. Isn’t she beautiful? And still is!
Before embarking on this autobiographical journey, I realized that I possess hardly any written material by my parents, close relatives, or my ancestors in general. This startling revelation influenced me to pursue production of this work. Most of what I know of our family are the recollections of conversations and experiences witnessed in my family. Fortunately, some photographs from the past survive and are used in this autobiography. As time advances, some of the recollections fade in memory.
It seemed there is a place for the written expression of what has been my privilege to discover in genealogical researching since 1978 and the experiences it has been my honor to live. My research has resulted in the database collection of over 9,000 relatives, mostly ancestors who are long-since deceased. However, there is an accumulation of some 400 relatives seemingly still alive, distant though some might be in relationship.
In writing, I desire that other people who have crossed paths with my life and have made my life such a pleasing and blessed experience will identify with many of those factors. Certainly, I would sense great satisfaction, if this writing motivated our grandchildren to seek avenues of living outside merely themselves - - into spiritual lives, into community and public governance involvements, and into knowing from where their heritages have sprung.
Another motivation is to make known the vast range of historically publicly known personalities who have relationships in our family line, both direct lineage and laterally related. They include English royalty and American elected officials, including 17 of the 45 Presidents of the United States and seven of the Vice Presidents that we have had. Highlights of their Christian faith is included where such was able to be discovered.
Creation of this autobiography serves another reason: Educational purposes. I sincerely hope it will be an example of a modern approach to publishing a book. Being published on a website allows the embedding of hyperlinks to other sources. For example, to mention the name of an institution, a hyperlink can be imbedded to that institution’s website or to a Wikipedia posting about it for more detailed information or history.
Another example is telling about my surname’s descending from the 1600s. The autobiography can give a reader a ten or twelve-page summary of that family line, but a hyperlink can go to an online posted detailed family genealogy report of a dozen generations, with all the details known to me about that family line, totaling some 125 pages or more! The reader can choose to look at, save, or even print the long report or not.
Also, when mention is made about a distant relationship to a famous person, like Winston Church, being my 8th cousin, four times removed from the husband of my 4th great granddaughter of my 7th great grandfather, a hyperlink clicking on the person’s name can take one to a chart that shows those connections. Here’s my compilation about Sir Winston and his relation to our family.
This autobiography is to be freely available to read onscreen or by downloading from the personal website:
If the information is downloaded and redistributed, acknowledgement of its origin from this composition would be appreciated. Also, hearing how you’ve chosen to use parts of it would be interesting for me to hear from you.
An overriding motivation in my heart to compile this autobiography is to find multiple occasions in its writings and stories to witness to the fact of Christian commitment in my beliefs, and to illustrate a path of life from which our contemporary culture seems to have departed.
This is well stated by Brad Cummins, a general editor in his “The Origin of the Dream of Freedom,” which is a prefacing letter from the publishers of the Founders’ Bible (NAS), Shiloh Road Publishers, LLC, Newbury Park, CA, 91320, First Edition, August 2012:
“We have become a nation that has a tale of two histories. One that has a deep, rich spiritual heritage that speaks of a Godly purpose and destiny that was born in the heart of this nation as it was founded, and another that is progressively seeking to distance itself from that, trying to pretend it does not exist. Given a generation of dominance in public education where God seems to have been edited out of the equation, and we have become a nation with spiritual amnesia. We do not know, because we have not heard.”
Introduction to the Author
Here is a source of reasonably full disclosure about Dwight Albert (D. A.) Sharpe, who has several different hats to wear.
First and foremost, D. A. Sharpe stands firmly in line with his lift-time commitment as a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ as Son of God. His Christian testimony can be found in the “Who was D. A. Sharpe?” link.
He is a fifth-generation Texan, with family roots as citizens of the Republic of Texas; he is a sixth-generation United States citizen, descended from an American Revolutionary soldier; he is an eighth-generation German immigrant from 1710; and a tenth-generation American, descended from Mayflower leadership who arrived in 1620. His earliest direct ancestor is a Viking born around 400 AD, who is Sharpe’s 38th great grandfather.
His earliest ancestor recorded as professing faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God was a pagan English monarch led to that profession by a Roman Catholic evangelist baptizing the King in 591, sent to England by Pope Gregory the Great. He appears in Chapter 1.
Provided here are biographical sketches from six different perspectives: (1) A personal life biographical sketch; (2) a professional occupational experiences; (3) a Christian testimony; (4) a genealogical & historical sketch; (5) a political sketch and (6) a church experiences & organizations sketch. These are provided in the link at the end of the Introduction to the Autobiography section. They also are in the “Who was D. A. Sharpe?” link on the title page.
There are 23 organizations of which he is a member in Chapter 53.
There are 10 Churches of which he’s been a member in Chapter 54.
The 31 Publications to which he subscribes are identified in Chapter 72.
The 17 United States Presidents and seven U.S. Vice Presidents related to his family are displayed in Chapter 51.
There are 10 famous people of international governance or military roles who are related to our family.
There are 16 stores of life’s experiences that have been written and distributed to a subscription list, and there are copies of over two dozen articles written by or in which he is mentioned that have appeared over the years in four different newspapers. These are in Chapter 50.
There is a chart indicating the 63 British monarchs out of the 73 who have ruled over the past 1,400 years who are related to the Sharpe family. These are in Chapter 52.
There are some internationally known Christian people related to the Sharpe family, such and Isaac Watts and as Smith Wigglesworth. They are in the “Who was D. A. Sharpe?” link on the title page. Also, these are found in Chapters 47 and 55.
Miscellaneous other sources are available on his website for your review
D. A. Sharpe
805 Derting Road East
Aurora, (Wise County) TX 76078-3712
Introduction to the Autobiography
The arrangement of this autobiography will begin with several chapters covering various segments of my life. These chapters will tell about where my family lived and generally the activities that we experienced. They will describe individuals as they mixed into the Sharpe family life and things that evolved with them as they grew and matured.
You may notice that the online text displays numerous hyperlinks, which can take the reader to more detailed online explanations. For example, the autobiography text may describe one family line from the 1600s in four or five pages. A link in that text could take the reader to a far more detailed 150+ page genealogical report, such as this one for my Sharpe family line.
This autobiography is planned to be about 600 pages. However, the vast number of hyperlinks to other information of relevance to names of people or entities is something on the order or almost 15,000 additional pages. This is a work on the scale of encyclopedic produce!
Next will arise some chapters citing special categories of my life experiences. Therein, my spiritual experiences and commitments will be described in two aspects. One will be the spiritual experiences I had, both inside churches and in other arenas. The other part will describe the various churches and church structures in which my life was involved.
My political endeavors and events in life will be specified. Those sections will cover the numerous political activities and roles served over the course of time in two different states and in three different counties covering more than 40 years. Further, it includes the several US Presidential Inaugurations we have attended.
I realize that professional genealogists generally question the validity of researched records about people earlier than the 1600s. Some lines of royalty or of rulers may have more legitimacy, as information about such people presented has more likelihood of data being recorded and preserved. However, in my narratives, I will relate information I have discovered written somewhere, and often its authenticity is unable to be proven. However, those bits of information are interesting to me, so such is shared with you.
You will learn how there are cousin relationships with 17 of our 45 U. S. Presidents, including all four of them depicted on Mount Rushmore. You will discover how cousin relationships exist with English monarchy for all but 85 years over the past 1,500+ years. In fact, I have explained a family connection between what I consider the world’s two most importance documents of governance: The Magna Carta and the Mayflower Compact. Of course, I do place the Holy Scriptures on top of all written works which provide successful solutions for human beings to live corporately!
I have striven to learn as much as I can research about the Christian heritage and experiences of my ancestors. In 591, King Ceawlin, a pagan king in a part of England that later became Scotland, received Christian Baptism. As such, he is the earliest member of our family’s ancestry of whom we learned did claim Christianity.
Some writing will be about newspaper or magazine articles of mine that have been published. One of the newspaper articles published in our local Wise County Messenger in 2014 encouraged people to write brief stories of their life to preserve and to hand down to their children, grandchildren and friends.
That newspaper article led to the creation of a subscription list to which quarterly stories in my life would be circulated to subscribers for about three years as samples and illustrations of storytelling about lives so that they would be encouraged to write about themselves. All those dozen+ stories written so far will be included in this autobiography.
These stories include crossing paths with such people as Corrie Ten Boom, Chuck Colson, Billy Graham, and some US Congressional members. Looking back in history, they include Sir Thomas Abney (of my mother’s lineage) who was Mayor of London circa 1700 and his connection with Great Britain’s Father of Hymnody, truly an outstanding Christian musician.
The autobiography basically has the story that can be read onscreen in a PDF format. The Word document with all the hyperlinks must be downloaded to make use of the hyperlinks. However, those links provide multitude of additional documentation and information to supplement to basic autobiography. Here is a link to a chart that shows how many Basic pages there are, how many photographs there are and how many additional pages are available through hyperlinks.
The arrangement of this work follows the guidelines of this article, “How to Write a Book.” It might be useful for future writers of books, either hard copy of e-books.
I hope and trust that the readers of this work will find enjoyment, interest, and even some humor!
D. A. Sharpe
805 Derting Road East
Aurora, (Wise County) TX 76078-3712
Contributors to this worthy project, in alphabetical order. They are people to whom I am especially grateful
S. David Barton has been a worthy and noted historian from whose published works have come invaluable information that I have used and from which I have quoted. David is a personal friend,with whom my earliest connections were through political service we both served, though he has achieved a national-level reputation. His knowledge of history and his Christian convictions pursued in his writings is a continual source of inspiration. His major work is carried out with his being the founder and director of WallBuilders, a Christian, history gathering institution that has a library of about 100,000 or more original historical documents to validate Christian heritage in America.
Boggess, Thomas (T. S.) Shelton, Jr. (1912-2010) was my father-in-law. Not only is he the only father-in-law I have had, he is the very best man that I ever could imagine as a father-in-law. Though my father lived 19 years after our marriage, T. S. lived 48 years after our marriage. So, in many respects, he represented a father image for me. His help for me in assimilating vast amount of Boggess family heritage information was one of the most successful resources for me. He added, not only varied details, but it was colored with so many real life and fun stories. He was a fine gentleman in all the best senses!
Dr. Julian Eugene (Gene) Boggess III is the prime genealogist for the Boggess family that I know. His provision of information has been an immense contribution enabling the value of this autobiography, principally in the Boggess and related lines. He is forever helpful and interested.
Ehlers, Jr., Victor (Vic) Marcus (1923-1985) was my brother-in-law who learned that my father had the possibility of being included in the estate of a wealthy distant relative. The information he learned in researching that possibility motivated me to learn about Willis Sharpe Kilmer. Further, it led me into interests about family and genealogy, and I was off-and-running, bitten by the bug that drives the pursuit of genealogy! Vic was born and raised in Austin, Travis County, Texas, and was a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, my school as well.
Jann Alford Harper (born 1943) was a child in a family at Central Park Presbyterian Church in Houston, TX in the 1940s. Her parents were friends of my parents, my father of whom was their Pastor at that church. For years, her parents had enjoyed the custom of collecting Christmas Card photographs, including those my father created and distributed. I was age 12 when our family moved from Houston in 1951. Within the past decade, Jann and I found each other on Facebook, and she gave me her possession of those Christmas Cards, many of which are images used in this autobiography. Naturally, I am exceedingly grateful to Jann for that special gift.
Jones, Jr., FASG, Henry (Hank) Z.,(born 1940) is a retired RCA recording artist and film and TV actor, residing in San Diego, California. Though he authored numerous articles and books, the series that most impacted my research is his two volumes, “The Palatine Families of New York, 1710 Volume I & II” and his follow-up volume, “More Palatine Families,” then succeeded by the three-volume “Even More Palatine Families.” As we had occasion to interface in 2017 about this autobiography, Hank helped by giving some previewing and evaluation that was heart-warming to me. Hank is President & Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, and is a Fellow of the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society. After my progressing to about 25% of this project, his note of wonderful encouragement on March 21, 2017 was as follows:
On February 7, 2004, when Hank was the keynote speaker at a Dallas Genealogy Society Seminar at the library in Richardson, Texas, he and I met. We have communicated often over the years, and his genealogical and writing advice aided me greatly.
Jewell (Judy) Linn Shoup Shannon (Born December 25, 1941) provided numerous photographs and connections of stories about the years in the 1950s in Dallas. In those years, she frequently was a part of many of the activities in my life. She and her parents were members of our church and friends of my parents. She often was my date to social events in our high school days.
Sharpe, Taylor Marcus (born 1965) is our eldest son and child. His expertise has taught me much knowledge of computers and software development. As a resource for me in compiling this autobiography, Taylor’s special contribution is his patient scanning of the collections of family photographs from which I could select for this work. Remarkably, he scanned over 15,000 photographs from which I could choose over 200 for this autobiography! Thank you so much, Taylor.
Westmoreland, Betty Katherine
Covington (born 1936) is the mother of our son-in-law, Steven (Steve) O. Westmoreland, who married our daughter, Tiffany Lenn Sharpe. After Steve’s marriage to Tiffany, Betty conferred with me, sharing the extensive genealogical data available on their side of the family. Such information has represented a significant addition to my database, including going back to William the Conqueror. Particularly fun to realize is that Steve and Tiffany already were related as 34th cousins, four times removed to each other before they married! The ancestor in common for them was Eystein GlumraIvarsson, a man of Norway (a Viking) who lived in the 800s.
Westmoreland, Tiffany Lenn Sharpe (born 1966) is our daughter. She has contributed the onerous task of providing grammar refinements and corrections for me. Tiffany is one of the most accomplished professional women (was a CPA), mother and wife that we have ever known. We are so pleased for her to be in our family. Without her, many more of my discrepancies would be shown! Therefore, I greatly appreciate Tiffany for helping me shine compositionally!
In a sense, this autobiography is dedicated to anyone with an interest in and a love for history and family genealogical heritages. My purpose for this writing, especially, is intended for and, therefore, is dedicated to my seven grandchildren!
I hope and desire in my heart that all of them will someday take the occasion to browse this entire document to secure an understanding of the heritage from which each of them descends. Many people of vast public reputation or well-known persona, both contemporarily and historically, have crossed paths with our family members, and I would like for these grandchildren to be aware of these connections. Here are these dear grandchildren, all of whom have brought great pleasure, pride, and joy to Suzanne and myself:
The five Westmoreland grandchildren, children of Steve & Tiffany, are:
Katherine Michelle Jack David Twins Lily Taylor & Sarah Todd Samuel Lee
The two Sharpe grandchildren, children of Todd & Carrie, are:
Luke Maxwell Brooke Eden