THE
SPARKS QUARTERLY
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION

"To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root."
(An old Chinese proverb.)


VOL. XLVIII, No. 1 March 2000  WHOLE NO. 189a

 
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[Here appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]

LAMAR FRANCIS SPARKS, 1918

(View photograph)
 

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THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, published by The Sparks Family Association.

John K. Carmichael, Jr., President, 3408 N. Rosewood Ave., Muncie, Indiana (47304-2025 )

A. Harold Sparks, Vice President, 500 Ist St., N., #303, Newton, Iowa (50208-3104 )

Russell E. Bidlack,  Secretary-Treasurer & Editor, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan ( 48104-4498)

The Sparks Family Association was founded in March 1953 as a non-profit organization devoted to assembling and preserving genealogical and historical materials pertaining to the Sparks Family in America. It is exempt from federal tax under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, Section 503(c)(7). Membership in the Association is open to all persons connected with the Sparks Family, whether by blood, marriage, or adoption, and to persons interested in genealogical research.
Membership falls into three classes: Active, Contributing, and Sustaining.  Active Membership dues are $10.00 per year; Contributing membership, dues are $15.00 per year; and Sustaining Membership dues are any amount over $15.00 that the member wishes to contribute for the support of the Association. All members receive The Sparks Quarterly as it is published in March, June, September, and December. Back issues are kept in print and are available for $3.00 each to members of the Association and for $4.00 each to non-members.  The first issue of the Quarterly was published in March 1953. Nine quinquennial indexes have been published for the years 1953-57; 1958-62; 1963-67; 1968-72; 1973-77; 1978-82; 1983-87; 1988-92; and 1993-97. Each index is available for $5.00. A complete file of all back issues of the Quarterly, including the nine indexes, may be purchased for $325.00. The forty-six years of the Quarterly (1953-1999) comprise a total of 5280 pages of Sparks Family History.  The nine indexes (1953-97) amount to over 900 additional pages. A table of contents is also available for $5.00. Comprising 72 pages, this lists the articles and collections of data appearing in the Quarterly between 1953 and 1999; it is updated at the end of each year. The International Standard Serial Number that has been assigned to the Quarterly is ISSN 0561-5445.

Orders for individual back issues of the Quarterly and the table of contents, as well as for a complete file, should be sent to the editor, Russell E, Bidlack, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Grbor, MI, 48104-4498.  His Telephone number is: 734-662-5080;  He Has no E-mail address.

SOME DESCENDANTS OF SOLOMON SPARKS, JR. (Died 1817)
OF WILKES COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA
WHO MOVED TO INDIANA

[Editor's Note: As we enter the 21st Century, members of our Association who belong to my generation (born in 1920, 1 have been both young and old during the 20th Century), think of World War II as having been yesterday and of World War I as our parents' yesterday. The photograph of LaMar Francis Sparks in his World War I uniform reminds us of someone we might well have known, although he was born in the 19th Century and died just as the United States was entering World War II. To our children and grandchildren, however, his story of a battle in France where he was gassed, from which he would never fully recover will

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seem like ancient history if they read his obituary clipped from a newspaper the day following his death on February 15, 1942.

[Here we outline Lamar Sparks' ancestry, some of which has been noted in past issues of the QUARTERLY, but much of it has been added through correspondence and research conducted by relatives and descendants. Your editor notes specifically genealogical information provided by Kay Wolniak of Carmichael, California, and Leon K. Sparks of Grand Junction, Colorado. Mrs. Wolniaks grandmother, Lydia A. (Sparks) Hobson, was a daughter of Lamar's grandfather, Jacob Esau Sparks, while Leon K. Sparks is a son of LaMar. Like tens of thousands of other Americans, Lamlar descended from the William Sparks who died in Queen Annes County, Maryland, in 1709.]

William Sparks (died 1709) had immigrated to Maryland from Hampshire County, England, we believe, in 1662. Articles devoted to William have appeared in the QUARTERLY of March 1971, Whole No. 73, and that of Dedember 1992, Whole No. 160.

The youngest son of William Sparks (died 1709) was Joseph Sparks who was not yet of age when his father died. A few years later, he mbved west from Queen Annes County to Frederick County, Maryland, and there Joseph died in 1749. (See the QUARTERLY of March 1990, Whole No.149).

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Lamar Francis Sparks'  photograph with his sisters, Maybelle and Birdie Lena, taken about 1905, further suggests a point in time remote from that of six-year-olds today.

[Here appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]

Children of James and Lucinda (Craw) Sparks
Maybelle Sparks, born August 18, 1891
Birdie Lena Sparks, born October 12, 1892
Lamar Francis Sparks, born September 9, 1899

(View photograph)

A son of Joseph Sparks (died 1749) was Solomon Sparks, and with other family members he moved from Frederick County, Maryland, to North Carolina in 1754, using his inheritance to purchase land in a relatively unsettled area of the country. Hereafter in this article, we will refer to Solomon, son of Joseph, as "the elder Solomon Sparks" because he had a son also named Solomon whom we will call "Solomon Sparks, Jr."

The elder Solomon Sparks was accompanied in his move from Frederick County, Maryland, to North Carolina by his older cousin, William Sample Sparks and two of the latter's sons, James Sparks and Matthew Sparks; another son of William Sample Sparks, named simply William Sparks, joined his relatives in North Carolina in 1764.  Also making the 1754 journey were two of Solomon's brothers, Jonas Sparks and Jonathan Sparks.

The elder Solomon Sparks's wife's name was Sarah. We believe that she and Solomon were married in Frederick County, Maryland, and that they had one son, John Sparks, born February 25, 1753, before moving to North Carolina. (This John Sparks was the ancestor of our late President, Paul E. Sparks.) Their second son, Reuben Sparks, born about 1755, was born at the Forks of the Yadkin, as was their third son, named Solomon, whom we will call Solomon Sparks, Jr. in this article.

Information pertaining to the life of the elder Solomon Sparks appeared for the first time in the QUARTERLY of December 1955, Whole No. 12, pp.97-lO8, as part of an article about his son, John Sparks (born February 25, 1753), who received a pension for service in the American Revolution. Later research has added many

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details regarding the life of the elder Solomon Sparks as we have published articles on his sons and grandchildren. A considerable amount of information regarding him was included in a lengthy article devoted largely to his cousin, William Sparks, who died in Surry County, North Carolina, in 1801/02. This article appeared in the QUARTERLY of June 1991, Whole No.154, pp.3752-3798. William and Solomon lived near one another during much of their lives, both in Maryland and in North Carolina, although William did not join his relatives at the Forks of the Yadkin until 1764. Both Solomon and William remained loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution, although their sons became Patriots--a generational difference, no doubt.

When the elder Solomon Sparks moved to Surry County in or about 1771, the land office controlling the sale of vacant land had been closed, so settlers simply "squatted" on unoccupied land with the expectation of being able to purchase it when the war with Great Britain was over. When that day came, however, and the new state of North Carolina began controlling the granting of patents for vacant land, men who were known to have been Loyalists during the Revolution, like the elder Solomon Sparks and his cousin, William Sparks, were denied the right to purchase the land on which they had "squatted."  Also, the tract of 490 acres claimed by Solomon had been divided in 1777 when Wilkes County had been formed from a portion of Surry County. One hundred and fifty acres were now in Wilkes County, while 340 acres, including Solomon's house, remained in Surry County. A Patriot named Richard Goode, who had been a militia officer in the war, succeeded in claiming Solomon's 340 acres in Surry County, while another militia officer, who also had been a "bounty hunter" during the war, named William Terrell Lewis, managed to claim the 150 acres in Wilkes County. Solomon's5 sons, as noted above, had been Patriots during the Revolution, however, and his son whom we call Solomon, Jr. was able to purchase the 150 acres in Wilkes County from Lewis for 8 pounds and 6 shillings on January 12, 1791, while the son named Reuben purchased the 340 acres in Surry County from Goode for fifty pounds "current money" on August 11, 1792. We assume that the elder Solomon and his wife, Sarah, were thus able to spend their last days on the land on which they had squatted some twenty years earlier. (For a fuller account of these events and their documentary sources, see page 3788 of the June 1991 issue of the QUARTERLY.)

In the QUARTERLY of June 1959, Whole No. 26, pp.382-400, we published an article entitled "Descendants of Solomon Sparks, Jr. (Died 1817) & His Wife Charity of Wilkes County, North Carolina." We believe that Solomon Sparks, Jr. was born about 1757, thus about fifteen years old when he accompanied his parents on their move from the Forks of the Yadkin to Surry County. Our earliest record of Solomon, Jr. acquiring land is the Wilkes County deed dated January 1, 1791, by which he purchased the portion of the tract on which his father had squatted that lay in Wilkes County (150 acres). Thereafter, Solomon, Jr. lived in Wilkes County on the North Fork of Hunting Creek; adjoining Surry County, for the remainder of his life. In 1805 he added 61 1/2 acres to his tract through a purchase from George Denney and in 1808, he acquired a tract of 150 acres in Surry County on which his son, William Sparks, lived.

The name of Solomon Sparks, Jr. appears only occasionally in Wilkes County Court records. He served on a road jury in 1809, for instance, and again in November 1817. About 1785, he had been married to a woman named Charity, whose maiden name we have not discovered. We know that they had six sons: George, Solomon, William, Samuel, Jonathan, and Joseph, born between 1787 and about 1802.,

When the 1810 census of Wilkes County, North Carolina, was taken, Solomon Sparks, Jr. (though "Jr." was not part of his name on the census) was shown heading his household. (Only heads of households were named on federal censuses before 1850.) His age was given in the 26 to 45 years category, as was also that of his wife. Living with them were four males: two between 16 and 26; one between 10 and 16; and one under 10 years. These were probably their four youngest sons. Solomon Sparks, Jr. was also shown on the 1810 census as owning three slaves.

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As noted earlier, a Wilkes County Court record indicates that Solomon Sparks, Jr. was a member of a road jury in 1809 and again in November 1817. Not long after this latter appointment was recorded, Solomon appears to have become sud denly either very ill or mortally wounded. He died on the night of December 18, 1817. The document that reveals the exact date of his death was recorded in Wilkes County Will Book 3, page 171, a photocopy of which appears below:

Nuncupative will of Solomon Sparks, Jr.

(View will)

Photocopy of the Recorded Copy of the Nuncupative Will of Solomon Sparks

of Wilkes County, North Carolina, Certified December 23, 1817

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A "nuncupative will" is an oral will expressed by a person who believes he is near death, and having failed earlier to make a will, now wants it to be known how he wishes his estate to be handled. Unable now to summon someone able to prepare such a document in proper legal format for his signature or mark, he informs a person or persons present what he wants to be done, with the understanding that such person or persons will, following his death, report to a proper official what his oral statement had been. As seen in this document, Solomon Sparks, Jr. had told two individuals, his son named Solomon Sparks and Elizabeth Chappel, the manner in which he wanted to have his property divided,

We know from this nuncupative will that Solomon Sparks, Jr. made his wishes known to his own son, also named Solomon, and to Elizabeth Chappel "on the day before" he "died on the Night of the 18th of Dec. 1817."  On December 23, 1817, these two individuals appeared before Wilkes County's Open Court, probably the clerk of the court, and reported what Solomon had said. The court official recorded their statement for their signatures, Elisabeth, as her name was spelled here, having to sign by making her mark. It was she who then made oath regarding the document's authenticity, probably because she was unrelated to Solomon Sparks, Jr. This will was accepted for probate in the Wilkes County Court at its February 1818 term.

A Levi Chappel (or Chappell) owned land adjoining that of Solomon Sparks, Jr.  Perhaps Elizabeth was the same Elizabeth Chappell who was married to Jonathan Sparks, son of Solomon and Charity, about 1819, and was a daughter of Levi.

Charity Sparks, widow of Solomon, Jr., was shown as head of  her household on the 1820 census of Wilkes County, but she had died prior to February 3, 1829, when her son, Samuel Sparks, was appointed by the Wilkes County Court tb administer the final settlement of his father's estate. In his nuncupative will, Solomon, Jr. had directed that his widow use his estate to support herself for the remainder of her life, so we know that Charity had died by February 1829.

An administrator of an estate was required to post bond; Samuel's brothers, Joseph and Jonathan, served as his bondsmen. On May 6, 1829, Samuel Sparks reported to the County Court that his father's property had been sold for $2,185.91, out of which $186.25 had been paid for legacies, that is, the special provision that Solomon had made for his two youngest sons to receive what their four older brothers had received already. Apparently the remaining $1,999.66 was then divided among all six sons of Solomon, Jr., each receiving $333.28. Solomon and Charity apparently had no daughters.

We believe that Solomon Sparks, Jr.'s six sons were named in his will in the order of their birth: George, Solomon, William, Samuel, Jonathan, and Joseph.

1. George Sparks, eldest son of Solomon, Jr. and Charity Sparks, was born on December 14, 1787, in Wilkes County, North Carolina. We know the date of his birth because it was included in his family Bible, along with names and birth dates of his and his wife's thirteen children. We know that his wife's first name was Delila, but we have not found her maiden name. Her birth was not recorded in their Bible. This family record was copied for us many years ago by Florence N. DeSelms of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She had been able to copy the record from the Bible then owned by a relative named Wilcockson.

A sketch of the life of George Sparks appeared in the QUARTERLY of June 1959, Whole No.26, beginning on page 387, but this was written before we had obtained his family Bible record, and in this we made an unfortunate error by confusing his son, George Sparks, Jr., born January 31, 1820, with George W. Sparks, born February 16, 1817, who was a son of George's brother, Solomon Sparks and wife, Isabella (Swaim) Sparks. This error was corrected on pp.3706-07 of the QUARTERLY of December 1990, Whole No.152.

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George Sparks, son of Solomon, Jr. and Charity Sparks, was married to Delila _____ in Wilkes County, North Carolina, about 1806, and it was there that Delila bore their first twelve children. George brought his family to Randolph County, Indiana, in time for his household to be included on the 1830 census there, and it was in Randolph County that their thirteenth child, Mary Ellen Sparks, was born in 1832. They were probably in that part of Randolph County that helped to form Wells County in 1835. According to the Biographical Memoirs of Wells County, Indiana by B. F. Bowen, published in 1903, p.28, George Sparks was one of the first settlers in Liberty Township in Wells County. He lived there for the remainder of his life, dying in 1843. Delila was living in 1850 with her son, Abel Sparks, in Huntington County, Indiana. The thirteen children of George and Delila Sparks, as recorded in their family Bible, were:
 

a.    Lodicio ["Dicy"] Sparks was born on September 28, 1897. She was married to Richard Vernon ca.1827. He had died prior to 1845 when the estate of her father was settled. A descendant of their son, Andrew Jackson Vernon, has reported that Richard and Dicy were early settlers in Rush County, Indiana.
[Here appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]

Mary Ellen (Sparks) Wilcoxson (1832-1913) - Standing

(Might the the two women seated be her sisters?)

(View photograph)

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2. Solomon Sparks, the second son of Solomon Sparks, Jr. and his wife, Charity, was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, about 1792. Because his grand father had been Solomon Sparks and his father was Solomon Sparks, Jr., both of whom died in North Carolina, we call him, the third in line, simply Solomon Sparks; he was the first Solomon Sparks in Indiana. He died in Wells County, Indiana, on April 28, 1854, and carved with his date of death on his tombstone is his age, 62 years. He had been married in Wilkes County, North Carolina, about 1808 to Isabella Swaim who had been born, also, about 1792. Her tombstone in Wells County, Indiana, gives her date of death as May 25, 1852, age 59 years and 6 months.

Solomon appeared on the 1810 census of Wilkes County as head of a household consisting of a female (his wife), both in the age category of 16 to 20, and one male under 10 years, who was doubtless their first son, William Sparks, born on December 10, 1809. Solomon and his growing household were also enumerated on the 1820 census of Wilkes County, but he was in Randolph County, Indiana, by August 27, 1828, when he purchased from Jesse and Nancy Ruth of Union County, Indiana, a 50-acre lot for $175 located in Township 18, section 15. Solomon was identified in this deed as "of West River Township, Randolph County, Indiana." The witnesses were Isaac and Lilly Barnes. (Deed Book B, p.59) The families of both Solomon and his brother, George Sparks, were enumerated on the 1830 census of Randolph County.

Parts of Randolph County went to form a number of other counties as the population grew, including Wells County that was formed in 1835. B. F. Bowen, in his 1903 Biographical Memoirs of Wells County, Indiana, cited earlier, stated (p.29) that "the first settlers of Rock Creek Township (in Wells County], were Solomon Johnson, Benjamin Brown, Solomon Sparks, and Isaac Dewitt, who located here in 1836." The following is a further quotation from the sketch of Isaac B. Sparks:

After the death of his wife, Isabella (Swaim) Sparks, on May 25, 1852, Solomon was married to Susannah (Shibeley) Eikenbery, widow of Joseph Eikenbery. We have not found an official record of this marriage so are uncertain where it took place. Susannah had been born about 1805 in Ohio, according to census records.

Our information regarding Solomon's second marriage was provided many years ago by Denton H. Sparks, born September 24, 1804, who was a grandson of Andrew Jackson Sparks, the youngest son of Solomon and Isabella Sparks. It is interesting to note that when Solomon Sparks wrote his will on April 14, 1854, he left nearly all of his personal property to his second wife, Susannah, and also made the following provision affecting her:

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It is also interesting to note that Susannah's youngest daughter, Mary Eikenbery, born about 1839, was married to Andrew Jackson Sparks on June 22, 1854, in Wells County, Indiana. Thus, the mother-in-law of Andrew Jackson Sparks had been also the second wife of his father. When the 1860 census of Wells County was taken, Andrew Jackson Sparks, age 26, with wife, Mary, age 21, a native of Ohio, were listed with two children, Josiah Sparks, age 4, and Lydia Sparks, age 2. Numbered as a second family but living in the same dwelling, was the household of Susannah Sparks, age 55, a native of Ohio. Living with Susannah was a female named Hannah Bain (or Bane), age 21 and born in Ohio, and Sylvester Huff, age 15, born in Indiana, and called a "Laborer."

A more complete record of the life of Solomon Sparks, including the full text of his will, appeared in the QUARTERLY of June 1959. Alth6ugh he failed to name each of his children in his will, the record of the division of his property provides us with their identification. He had designated his son-in-law, Albert Draper, husband of his daughter, Rachel, to be the executor of his estate. The eleven children of Solomon and Isabella were:

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Photographs of Rachel (Sparks) Draper and Albert Draper

(Photocopies provided by Kay Wolniak from Photograph Album
of Mrs. Wolniak's Great-Grandfather, Jacob Esau Sparks)

(View photograph of Rachel Draper)   (View photograph of Albert Draper)

When the 1860 census of Rock Creek Township of Huntington County was taken, Albert Draper was credited with real estate valued at $10,600 and personal estate at $1300. In addition to their four youngest children then still at home, two of the children of Rachel's deceased sister, Charity (Sparks) Snyder, were living in her and Albert's household: Catherine Snyder and Rachel Snyder. Also living with them was Joseph Sparks, age 55; he was Rachel's uncle, from whom Albert had purchased 40 acres of land in Wells County in 1838. Joseph Sparks seems to have been a troubled man; he had left his second wife in Adams County, Indiana, and had apparently been "taken in" by his niece. (See p.5310+ of the present issue of the QUARTERLY for a sketch of his life.) Rachel's great-granddaughter, Mrs. Crowell, once provided us a list of Albert and Rachel's children:
George W. Sparks and his second wife, Phoebe Jane (Pouless) Sparks, were the parents of one child:
e.     Jane Sparks, daughter of Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks, was born about 1819. She was married to Nathan Washburn Rogers on April 20, 1839, in Wells County, Indiana. We are indebted to Emily Irons Rogers of Geneva, Illinois, and to Nancy Gilliam of Kingsville, Texas, for much of the information that follows.

Nathan Washburn Rogers had been born on April 7, 1818 (or 1819) in Delaware County, Ohio. He and Jane were the parents of five children. Jane died on July 3, 1850, at the age of 31, three months following the birth of her fifth child. She was buried in the Sparks Cemetery, then part of her father's farm in Wells County. Their children were:

After the death of Jane, Nathan W. Rogers was married (2nd) to Sarah Jane (Price) DeWitt, a widow with three children of her own, on July 7, 1852, in Wells County. Nathan and Sarah Jane had eight children born between 1853 and 1871. She died on May 20, 1895. Nathan died on November 24, 1895. Both were buried in the Markle Cemetery in Huntington County, Indiana.

f.     Isaac B. Sparks, son of Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks, was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, on April 2, 1822, and was twelve years old when he accompanied his parents and siblings on their move to Indiana. He was married on December 18, 1851, in Wells County, Indiana, to Cynthia A. Roberts, daughter of William and Martha (Hultz) Roberts. Cynthia had been born on December 27, 1832, and died on December 17, 1897. Isaac died on January 15, 1904, in Wells County. Both were buried in the Sparks Cemetery that had once been part of the farm of Solomon Sparks, Isaac's father.

A sketch of the life of Isaac B. Sparks appeared in the History of Huntington County (1887), pp.786-87. We published this in full in the QUARTERLY of June 1959, p.399.   A great-granddaughter of Isaac and Cynthia (Iva Sparks Lane of Marion, Indiana) provided us with a photograph of Isaac which we reproduced on the cover of the QUARTERLY for September 1975, Whole No.91. Mrs. Lane also provided a photograph of Isaac and Cynthia with 26 grandchildren taken about 1895, which we reproduced on page 1755 of the same issue of the QUARTERLY.

[Here appear two photographs, beneath which is the following caption:]

The two photographs reproduced above were sent by a relative to Lydia Anelie (Sparks) Hobson (daughter of Jacob Esau Sparks) many years ago. On the small envelope enclosing them was written: "Ike Sparks' sons Albert & William," but which was Albert and which was William is not known to Lydia Anelie's granddaughter, Kay Wolniak, who loaned them to us for reproduction here.

(View photographs)

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Isaac B. and Cynthia A. (Roberts) Sparks were the parents of twelve children:
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Scanned and Edited by Harold E. Sparks