According to family oral history, somewhere in Scotland the family of Mary (Rose?) Glass lived in a big house at the top of the hill. They were more prosperous than the family of Samuel (or Robert?) Sharpe. Mary was a very beautiful girl and she and Sam fell in love and were married over the objections of her parents, who thought he was not good enough for her. Mary and Sam eventually crossed the Firth of Forth probably first to England and then to Ireland and Belfast where they settled. There they raised a large family of 9 to 11 children. Among these children were Uncle Dennis and Grandfather Samuel.

There is not much known about the family in Scotland or Ireland. There was a relative by the name of Rose MacClarnen, who was probably Sam and Mary's daughter. The Glass and Sharpe families were Presbyterian in Ireland and also the United States. It was said that there was always a "Robert" in the family. Aunt Cora Glass remembers that when she was a child she had often heard her parents talk of old Bob Sharpe.

Samuel (or Robert) Sharpe was probably born about 1780 in Scotland and died in Belfast, Antrim, Ireland. His wife, Margaret Rose Glass was born November 10, 1782 in Scotland and died October 15, 1876 in El Paso, Woodford, Illinois. The 1860 United States Federal Census in Schuyler, Dix, NY, shows a Margaret Sharp aged 75 born in Ireland and a domestic in the household of George and Elizabeth McClernand. It's possible that Elizabeth is the Rose mentioned above or that Elizabeth and Rose married brothers. Also, by the Federal 1870 census (taken in June of 1870), George, Rose, young Margaret, and Margaret Sharp is no longer in the household. Rose had married and was soon widowed, leaving a son Benjamin. Since she is buried in Illinois in 1876, this makes sense.

George McClernan was born in 1802 in Ireland and died in 1865. Elizabeth Sharpe McClernan born August 29, 1814 in Ireland, died in 1908 in Schuyler County, NY. I believe George may have been buried in the Oddfellows Cemetery in Philadelphia but was moved to NY when the former cemetery was removed. Their children:

In 1829, the two brothers, Dennis and Samuel, along with their cousin Patrick Boyd came to the U.S. Sam took his mother's maiden name, thus the name Samuel Glass. It was said that they came in through Ellis Island but since it was not opened until 1892 that is impossible. It was said, that all three, Samuel Glass, Dennis Sharpe and Patrick Boyd, lived near El Paso, Illinois at one time.

Samuel Sharpe Glass

Dennis Sharpe was born September 16, 1811 in County Antrim, Ireland, died February 16, 1901 in El Paso, Woodford, IL. Dennis has two wives buried at the El Paso, IL, cemetery:

Lillie Boyle b: 5/12/1807 d: 12/16/1868 (burial)
Mary Sharpe b: 7/10/1831 d: 1/9/1878

Children of Dennis and Lillie:

Samuel Sharpe born November 4, 1832 in Ireland, d: March 6, 1901 in LaHarpe, Hancock, IL, married 1896 to Jane Ballenger born December 25, 1835 in Ireland, died January 26, 1913 in LaHarpe. Their children:

Jane Sharpe born November 2, 1840 in Ireland, died December 27, 1896 in Wayne County, IA, married Thomas Enright and had the following children:

Robert Sharpe born April 21, 1842 in Ireland and died January 2, 1886 buried at El Paso cemetery, married Emeline (Taylor?) and had the following children:

James Sharpe b: abt 1845 in Ireland

Margaret Eliza Sharpe b: abt 1848 married David Leahy

Harriet Orphelia Sharpe b: (1853-1936)

John W. Sharpe b: March 17, 1855 in Panola, Woodford, IL, died: July 28, 1905 in Panola, IL married April 4, 1876 to Margaret (Maggie) Barbara M. McCumber b: 26 Feb 1859 died: April 6, 1921. Their children:

Mary Sharpe

William Sharpe There are two William Sharpes. One was born in 1834 (burial) and the other "William D." was born in 1855 (burial) and both are buried at Evergreen Cemetery in El Paso, Woodford, IL—birth date doesn't make sense.

Patrick Boyd - Looking for any information on this cousin.

Woodford County, Illinois, Evergreen Alpha Listing

Woodford County, Illinois, Kappa Alpha Listing

El Paso Cemetery Listings

From courthouse records: Samuel Glass farm Book E-Page 362-Section 20: 40 acres southwest corner El Paso Township

Samuel's mother, Margaret (Maggie) Glass Sharpe, born November 10, 1782, died September 15, 1876, buried in Sharp Lot, El Paso, Illinois. Old notes gave her death about 1880) and said she was buried at Kappa, however Cora Glass found her tombstone in the Sharpe lot in the El Paso cemetery. The following is taken from that:

Margaret (Maggie) Glass Sharpe born Nov. 10, 1782 died Sept. 15, 1876.

Interestingly, in the beginning of this story we are told that her name is Mary Rose Glass, yet her headstone says Margaret. I believe it was indeed Margaret. Though I have found no traces of a Mary Rose Glass, there are Margaret's listed in various LDS records.

Gretchen tasting Bush Whiskey
Gretchen and Ruth at Bush Mills, Ireland

Gretchen and Ruth at Bush Mills, Ireland

Here are some pictures of my daughter Gretchen and I as we visited Bushmills, Ireland and the distillery in 2003.

Bush Mills distillery

The Bushmills distillery is the oldest legal whiskey distillery in the world. King James granted the original license to distill in 1608. The village is a mile from Giants Causeway and sits on the River Bush, one of the north's finest salmon rivers. The river provided waterpower for a number of mills in the village, which is how the village came to be name Bushmills.

For information on the Glass name click here.

For information on the role some Glass namesakes played in the furtrading era, please check out this excellent link:


1"Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 16 July 2015), Peter Mcgown and Albine Glass, 06 Nov 1880; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, , Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,114.

Other sites of interest:

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