THE
SPARKS QUARTERLY

THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION

“He who careth not from whence he came, careth little whither he goeth.”

                                                                                                                               Daniel Webster
 
VOL. XII, NO. 3 SEPTEMBER, 1964
 WHOLE NO.  47a

 
Index Next Page Previous Page Previous Whole No.

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

THE WEDDING PICTURE OF

IDA ELIZABETH SPARKS & FREDERICK WILLIAM VENTER

MARCH 14, 1895

(View photograph)

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THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, published by The Sparks Family Association.

Paul E. Sparks, President, 155 N Hite Ave., Louisville 6, Kentucky.
      William P. Johnson, Historian-Genealogist, Box 531 Raleigh, North Carolina.
      Russell E. Bidlack, Secretary-Treasurer & Editor, 1709 Cherokee Road, 
                                                                                       Ann Arbor, Michigan. (48104)

   The Sparks Family Association was founded in March, 1953, as a non-profit organi-
   zation devoted to the assembling of and preserving all genealogical and historical 
   material pertaining to the Sparks family in America.  Membership in the Associa- 
   tion is open to all persons connected in any way with the Sparks family, whether by 
   blood, marriage, or adoption, and especially to those interested in genealogical and 
   historical research. Membership falls into three classes: Active, Contributing, and 
   Sustaining. Active membership dues are two dollars per year; Contributing member-
   ship dues are three dollars per year; Sustaining membership dues are any amount 
   over three dollars.  All members, whether Active, Contributing, or Sustaining, receive
   THE SPARKS QUARTERLY as it is published in March, June, September,  and 
   December. Libraries, genealogical and historical societies, and individuals may 
   subscribe to the QUARTERLY without joining the Association at the rate of two 
   dollars per year. Back issues are kept in print and are available for fifty cents per 
   issue. The first issue of the QUARTERLY was published in March, 1953.  An index
   covering the first five years (1953-1957) has been published and is available for 
   $1.00.  An index for the next five years is in preparation.  The editor from March, 
   1953, to September, 1954, was Paul E. Sparks; since September, 1954, the editor 
   has been Russell E. Bidlack. The QUARTERLY is printed at the Edwards Letter Shop, 
   711 N. University, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

THIS IS MY LIFE

by

IDA SPARKS VENTER (1867-1964)

(Editor’s note: In the September, 1959, issue of The Sparks Quarterly, we published two letters written in 1867 by William H. Sparks from Missouri to his brother back in Indiana. A few months after the second letter was written, William H. Sparks and his wife, Mary Jane, had their fourth child, whom they named Ida Elizabeth. She grew to womanhood, married Frederick William Venter, and lived to be ninety-six years of age. Not long before her death on March 16, 1964, Mrs. Venter wrote a sketch of her life. Her daughter, Mrs. Jewell Venter Frieze, has kindly consented to our publishing it here. Mrs. Frieze also loaned us her parents’ wedding picture to use on the cover. Speaking of her mother in a recent letter, Mrs. Frieze wrote: “Mother remarked a year or so ago that she had lived during the walking stage to the space stage. She adjusted nicely to the many changes and always took the attitude that things happen for the best.”)

I was born December 18, 1867, the 4th child of a family of fourteen. My parents, William Henderson Sparks and Mary Jane Sale Sparks, in company with my grandparents, Hiram and Margaret Mitchell Sale, came to Missouri in the fall of 1866 - - one year after the close of the Civil War. They settled on a farm in the edge of a wood about three miles north of Osceola, in St. Clair County, near Caliniper Creek.

The living quarters consisted of two large log rooms and a lean-to kitchen.  Each room had a big fireplace. My parents occupied one of these rooms, in which I was

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born.    When I was about four years old,  my father bought a small farm on the
prairie three miles away to which he moved his family, now numbering six. I attended my first year of school at High Hill, one-half mile away. I well remember my first day in school. My teacher, Mrs. Cynthia White, called the beginners to her desk to teach them the A B C’s in Webster’s blue back speller. I refused to go, and lay down on the slab bench and cried. She came and petted me, showed me her little pearl handled knife. We became good friends and I learned the alphabet quite rapidly. I went to school at High Hill for six years, and have fond recollections of my school days there - - playing games at recess and noon hours and gathering big bouquets of Johnny-jump-ups, of which the school grounds were thickly carpeted. During these eight years, the family had grown to nine. Mother and Daddy had a hard time to keep the wolf from our door. Daddy collapsed while fighting a prairie fire and was never a well man again. He had a shoe cobbler’s set of tools and made us shoes out of the tops of old boots given to him. (I was ten before I had a pair of store shoes.) Mother spun the wool into rolls of yarn and knit stockings until midnight many a time. I learned to knit, too. She wove blankets and linsey for our dresses. I sometimes wound shuttles for the loom and would stand at one end to catch the shuttle when mother was weaving. She later bought brown domestic and colored it with sumac berries and walnut hulls for school dresses. The seam down the back was bias. I complained that it sagged.  Daddy said, “You ought to be glad for something to hide your nakedness.”

As there was only one boy to six girls, I helped in the field a lot, planting and gathering corn, shocking wheat and hay, planting and digging potatoes, harrowing, etc. One happy occasion was in the fall after a hard frost when Daddy would hitch up to the wagon and we would go about five miles to Horshoe Bend on the Osage River where groves of hickory trees grew. We would gather a wagon bed almost full of nuts. They were large nuts, and we enjoyed eating them along with apples around the fireplace on cold winter nights. When the meal barrel got empty, Daddy would pick out the nicest white ears of corn and pile them on a blanket in the middle of the floor around which we all gathered and shelled corn for the grist mill. A biscuit for breakfast was a rare treat. Some of us slept in the attic which we reached by climbing a ladder. Sometimes when it snowed, it sifted through the roof on our beds. We were thrilled at Christmas time to get an orange or a stick of red striped candy.

When I was six or seven, I would go down to stay several weeks with Granny Sale and Uncle Bub during the summer.  She would give me lumps of brown sugar as candy, which was scarce in those days.  I can yet recall the odor of her wooden cupboard. Grandpa died when I was a year old.  There was a Negro family near her house, and she often had Aunt Hannah to work for her.  She baked the best pound cakes I ever ate.  She would take Granny’s laundry home with her and bring it back.  I would watch for her coming up through the woods with a bundle of clothes on her head.  She would take me on her lap and call me “Honey.” I don’t know what became of her.  My Granny was the tiniest, sweetest old lady.  She died when I was fourteen, at the age of seventy-seven, and was buried in the Landaker Cemetery. One of my happiest remembrances was at Christmas time when Daddy would put the wagon box on the big horse sleigh, fill it with clean straw, over which Mother spread a comforter, load us all in, and then “over the hills and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we’d go!”

When I was twelve, Father sold our little home and rented a farm for two years. I would baby-sit and help with household chores at fifty cents a week for neighbors and go to school. After two years, Father bought another farm where we lived until I was around twenty. I joined the New Light Christian Church and was baptized in the Osage River on October 16, 1886, with fourteen other young people. Some of my happiest recollections are associated with this period of my girlhood. We had spelling matches, Sunday night singings, apple and peach cuttings, and play parties.

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We would peel and cut fruit until the baskets were empty, then clear the floor for Old Dan Tucker, Skip-to-my-Lou, Old Jim Lane, etc., games of forfeit, button and snap. Happy, carefree days of yore!

When I was twenty, Father sold our farm, had a sale of all our possessions and moved to Bay Center in Washington Territory - - it became a state while we were there. Brother Harrison was a school teacher and had a school out there. Sister Allie (Alice) was married, so that left eleven of us children to go with our parents to that frontier country which was so different from “Old Missou”, but the change was an inspiration to me. Oh! what a task it was for Mother to prepare for the move. I got work at five dollars a week soon after we landed, so did Rosa, Ella, Ettie, and Laura, earning enough to pay our fare. I worked for my room and board while I attended high school at Oysterville. I took the teacher’s examination and got a certificate, taught two terms with only five in the district. I also taught twelve Indian children at Bay Center. I formed some very dear friendships during our stay there, and two proposals of marriage, but refused (they were fine boys); I loved the West, such a lovely climate, energetic peoplet Bay Center was an oyster shipping center. Father couldn’t adjust himself to the western country with no kind of conveyance but by water, and the climate, so in a year and a half we came back to Missouri. He insisted on my coming back. The trip on the Columbia River was a delightful one. It called to mind a passage from Bryant’s Thanatopsis:  "Where rolls the Oregon and hears no sound save its own dashing.”

When we returned to Missouri, I immediately entered Weaubleau Christian College for one year, passed the teachers’ examination, and rated a first grade certificate. I taught one term at the Denny School House, then returned for a spring term at Weaubleau. I heard of a school in the Cole District, so one hot day in July, Brother Charlie and I went on horseback to see about it, making the trip of twenty miles in one day. I rode on a side saddle the entire journey. They hired me. Here is where I first saw my future husband. As I stood in the school house door ringing the bell, a gay young guy came dashing up in a buggy and deposited two fine looking school girls whom he had overtaken on his road home from Cobb. I did not meet him that winter as he left for college at Weaubleau. I taught at Cole School the next winter and boarded with Mrs. Venter (F. W.’s mother). Then our romance began. One evening in October we were standing under a lilac bush tree when, on gazing up, I spied a lilac bloom. He broke it off and handed it to me - - ever since, the lilac has been my favorite flower. Our courtship lasted a year and a half. I lived at Lowery City at that time, and he came to see me often. Once he rode a mule. A little boy seeing him pass said, “He sat up so straight that he looked like he had a board at his back.” I taught two more terms of school, then on March 14, 1895, we were married.

Fred began building our little yellow house near the Venter Bluff the winter before we were married. The neighbors asked what he was building and he said a hen house. Our wedding day was a cold, bleak day. Conrad and J. T. (Tayo) came up with Fred to attend the wedding as the only guests. Brother Shackleford read the ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Several of the young came that night and brought musical instruments. The next day was Friday, the 15th, and it was a bright, sunny day as we drove in a buggy to my future home. I taught that spring at Cole School and took the path over the bluff that was strewn with flowers. I taught at Hard Scrabble (Green Valley) the next winter and drove old Baldy for two miles hitched to a two-wheel cart and most froze on the cold days. The next winter, I taught at Black Jack about two miles south.  Sac River was between our place and the school house. I walked to the river, got in a small boat, rowed across, tied up the boat and walked one-half mile to the school house. I enjoyed that school more than any other. But it was very hard on me to teach, keep up my house work, do my laundry, etc. The doctor advised me to quit teaching and I did.

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After we were married five years, our first baby was born on March 28, 1900. We named her Jewell Fern and we thought her a jewell indeed. When I helped her daddy at the sorghum mill, I would put her in the big clothes basket under a shade tree. She would sleep or sit for hours at a time, guarded by our dog, Major. Poor kid! On March 14, 1902, our springtime fairy made her debut. She was so like a little spring bloom that we named her Vernal Fay (which meant “Springtime Fairy”). Her daddy had counted on a boy. When Jewell was four years old and Vernal two, their Grandmother Venter died at the age of sixty-nine. Their Grandpa Venter had died in 1888. They are both buried up on the hill, back of our old home. Two weeks after their Grandmother Venter died, their Grandfather Sparks died, so they remember only their Grandmother Sparks, who passed away three years later.

Often we would stroll along the Venter Bluff on Sunday afternoons. We would go also up on the hill to gather flowers where an old Indian path could be seen. There was a spring called the Prairie Spring at the foot of the bluff. A drainage ditch made by Negro slaves could be seen here, too. We had preaching once a month and Sunday School every Sunday at River View where to took them. I was a charter member of the Union Church which was quite active. The girls attended River View School until they were fifteen and thirteen. During the year of 1911-12, Daddy and John Stauffer made a large wooden clock with a dial 10 feet across. They placed it in the big red barn and painted the face on the gable end of the barn. Two weights weighed 75 pounds and the gong could he heard to ring a mile away. It burned when the barn burned in 1917.

In 1915, having lived twenty years in the little yellow house “under the bluff,” we sold off our stock, implements, household goods, and went to Roswell, New Mexico, where we lived for nearly two years. We drove down there in a Maxwell car, camping out at night. Roswell was a beautiful city, situated in the heart of a vast desert. It had good schools and churches. The girls both entered high school. Daddy ran his Maxwell car as a taxi. The night before we got to Roswell, there came the worst hail and wind storm I ever experienced. The wind raised the back of the tent, left one pole standing. The hail piled in on the hay bed we had made.  We cleared enough dry hay for the girls a bed. Dad and I sat up, fearful of another cloud burst.  We drove into Roswell the next morning and rented an apartment at 305 North Kentucky. There were some Bottomless Lakes three or four miles east where we would go for picnics. Our little black dog, Nero, was poisoned and was buried out in the flowercovered desert.

We had rented our farm to Freddy Venter, and they kept writing for us to come back and look after it. So on a bright morning in June, 1917, we set out in our new Dodge for Missouri. The trail led through a vast desert with no habitation in sight. The desert was carpeted with flowers. Cactus of all hues met our eyes. Reminds me of Thomas Gray’s Elegy in a Country Churchyard:  “Full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air.”  We arrived home in June. We rented an apartment in El Dorado Springs and started the girls to school where they graduated, went on to Columbia to the University and graduated from there four years later. I think their girlhood days were very happy. Meanwhile, Daddy built and ran a garage. The girls both taught school and Jewell did office work, too. They were baptized and united with the El Dorado Christian Church in 1917.

The first break in our family circle was made in 1930, when Kenneth McCall, a fine young fellow, asked for the hand of our daughter, Vernal, whom he met while both were teaching in Portales, New Mexico. They were married in August, 1930. Our lives were made fuller when our three darling grandchildren were born. Some eight years later, Jewell met her future husband in the refined and respected person of Zola Frieze, whom she was fortunate to marry in 1938. Though their home has been childless, she has spent much of her time caring for others. Two better sons-inlaw were never known.

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In July, 1945, after we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary, Daddy decided he could no longer carry on his beloved business, which he had run for over thirty years. He sold out the garage, equipnent, and rented the building to Mr. Price. The next February, he became bedfast. We took him to Springfield to St. John’s Hospital where he died on March 6, 1946. This was the darkest day of my life. Only those who have lost a beloved companion can ever know how empty life can be. That was my “Gethsemane.”  But one has to go on, and I was blessed with two dear, devoted daughters and grand, understanding sons-in- law, who have cared for me ever since and have made life fuller and happier than most women enjoy who have been bereft of the one who shared their joys and sorrows of their declining years. Our sunset days together are but pleasant memories.   “God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.”   It is true, some of the roses of memory have sharp thorns, but time and age, to some extent, blunt their sharpness.

(Ida E. Venter passed away on March 16, 1964, at the age of ninety-six years. She is buried in the El Dorado Springs City Cemetery beside Fred W. Venter, her husband, in the north-western portion of the old section. Many oak trees are nearby.)

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


 
 
This picture was taken on Ida Elizabeth (Sparks) Venter’s ninety-fifth
birthday. The framed pictures are of her great-grandchildren, Cynthia
and Elizabeth (Lisa) Beebe and Denise McCall, who are the great-great-great-great-great-great-granddaughters of Solomon and Sarah Sparks, who left Frederick County, Iviaryland, for Rowan County, North Carolina, about 1753.

(View photograph)

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JOHN SPARKS (1755-1834) OF NEWBERRY COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA

AND WASHINGTON COUNTY, GEORGIA

In an early issue of The Sparks Quarterly, that of December, 1955 (Vol. III, No. 4, Whole No. 12) we published the Revolutionary War pension application and a biographical sketch of John Sparks (1753-1840) of Wilkes County, North Carolina. In that article, we pointed out (on page 99) that John Sparks of Wilkes County, North Carolina, had been confused by some genealogists with the John Sparks who was born in 1755 and died in 1834 in Washington County, Georgia. In fact, some descendants of John Sparks of Washington County have used the pension application of the John Sparks of Wilkes County, North Carolina, to join the D.A.R.  It is the purpose of this article to make available the information we have been able to gather on John Sparks of Washington County, Georgia, and to correct some misinformation that has been published about him elsewhere.

The date of birth of John Sparks is given in his family Bible as February 27, 1755. There is no statement in the Bible regarding his place of birth, although we know that he lived as a young man in what is now Newberry County, South Carolina.

Our earliest official record of John Sparks is a land grant dated February 2, 1771, (but not certified until August 2, 1773) by which he received from the Colony of South Carolina a tract of 100 acres of land. This document, with the plat which accompanies it, is reproduced on page 836 from a photostat obtained from the South Carolina Archives Department. The grant reads as follows: “South Carolina. Persuent to a precept Directed under the hand and seal of John Bremer Esqr. Debt. surv. Genl.  and Baring Date the 2 of February 1771 - - I have admeasured and laid unto John Sparks a plantation or tract of land in Craven County Containing one Hundred Acres situate lying and being on the south side of Enoree River and Binding s. west by Mary Frost and s. east by Francis Wafers land and N. East by Isaac Denetant land and hath such shapes form and Marks as the above Plat Represents. Certified under my hand this 2 of August 1773. [signed]  W. Gist, D.S.”

At the time this grant was made to John Sparks, South Carolina was divided into four counties: Granville, Colleton, Berkley, and Craven. The exact boundaries of these four original counties were often confused, in part because South Carolina was also divided into districts for judicial purposes, and the districts had no relationship to the county organization.  In 1783, these judicial districts were divided to form the present counties. This tract of land granted to John Sparks was located in what was then Craven County and in what was called “96 District”; on a modern map, this land is in the northern part of Newberry County, just south of Union County and a short distance east of the Laurens County line.

At about the same time that John Sparks obtained his grant of 100 acres in Newberry County, Zachariah Sparks obtained a similar grant, also on the Enoree River. Zachariah Sparks, about whom an article appeared in the September, 1961, issue of the Quarterly (Vol. IX, No. 3, Whole No. 35) was a generation older than John Sparks. There can be little doubt but that they were related, and it is quite possible that Zachariab was John’s father. No proof of such a relationship, however, has been found.

Our next record of John Sparks is a deed recorded in the Newberry County Courthouse dated March 24, 1778, by which he purchased 100 acres of land from Abraham Anderson. John Sparks was identified in this deed as “of [the] settlement of Enoree and Province of South Carolina, 96 District,” and the tract of land was described as being “on a small branch of Enoree River called Hogg’s Creek, adjoining Daniel Johnson.” (Newberry Co. Deed Book B, p. 368) The witnesses to this deed were Robert Wilson,

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[Here appears a photo-reproduction of a document (described above), beneath which is the following caption:]

South Carolina land grant to John Sparks, 1773

(View document)

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Williamson Liles (Lyles), and Thomas Johnson. Abraham Arderson and the three witnesses were all residents of Newberry County.

On January 13, 1779, John Sparks was married to Margaret Hampton, according to the family Bible. Margaret Hampton was born October 14, 1757. It is believed that she was a daughter of Edward Hampton, but we have not succeeded in finding proof of her parentage. She was closely related to the famous Wade Hampton and is known to have had a younger brother named Wade.

On October 9, 1784, John Sparks purchased for 50 pounds a tract of 32 acres in Newberry County located “on draughts of Second Creek and Gossett’s Creek.” He purchased this tract from the widow Ann Johnson and Bartholomew Johnson, executors of the will of Daniel Johnson who had been granted some 400 acres in 1773. The witnesses to this deed were John Hampton, Elizabeth Johnson, and James Lindsey. (Newberry Co. Deed Book B, p. 329) (The Daniel Johnson who had owned this land had been a witness to a deed made by Zachariah Sparks in 1775.)

On December 15, 1785, and on December 16, 1785, John Sparks purchased tracts of land in Newberry County, “on the waters of the Enoree,” from John Hampton. One tract comprised 39 acres and the other 65 acres, and he paid 100 pounds for each. Joyce Hampton, John’s wife, signed these deeds with her husband and the witnesses were John Malone, John Macoy (McCoy), and James Lindsey. (Newberry Deed Book B, pp. 362 and 365) There can be little doubt but that John Hampton was closely related to Margaret, wife of John Sparks. In her application for a Revolutionary War pension in 1832, Joyce Hampton stated that her husband, John Hampton, had been born in Frederick County, Virginia, on December 22, 1761, and that they had been married on September 18, 1782; she stated that her maiden name had been Joyce Malone and that she had been born June 24, 1766. She was a resident of Jackson County, Georgia, when she made her application in 1832.

In January, 1795, John and Margaret Sparks sold their land in Newberry County preparatory to moving to Georgia. On January 20, 1795, they sold the 100 acres that John had been granted in 1773 to William Calmes. (Newberry Co. Deed Book C, p. 178) John and Margaret Sparks both signed the deed, and the witnesses were Levi Johnson, John Wadlington, and James Vardiman. A week later, on January 27, 1795, they sold the remainder of their land to Lewis Hogg for 75 pounds. (Newberry Co. Deed Book C, p. 825) Both John and Margaret Sparks signed this deed also, and George Johnston,
W. Malone, Jr., arid Richard Darby signed as witnesses.

John Sparks is believed by his descendants to have served in the American Revolution, and it is probable that this is true, although no official record has been found to support the tradition. Newberry County figured importantly in General Nathaniel Greene’s Southern Campaign of 1781, and nearly every able-bodied resident of the county who was not a Tory gave service. There is no record in the National Archives of John Sparks applying f or a Revolutionary War pension. The statement has been made that John Sparks received a large tract of land in Georgia (1150 acres) for his service in the war.  No record of this grant has been found, however. The fact that the Washington County Courthouse and all the records it contained was burned by General Sherman during his march through Georgia seriously hampers our research on John Sparks and his family.

There can be little doubt but that John Sparks moved from South Carolina to Georgia because of the cheap land available in Georgia. Beginning in 1780, Georgia began attracting immigrants from other states by offering “head-right” grants to prospective settlers. Alex M. Hitz, writing in the Georgia Historical Quarterly of December, 1954, stated that “Revolutionary soldiers were not given any favor or consideration over any other prospective settler” in these grants, so the fact that

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John Sparks obtained land in Georgia cannot be considered proof of his service in
the Revolution. Any head of a household could obtain a grant of 200 acres, plus additional acres depending upon the size of his family, provided that after the land was surveyed he immediately cleared and began cultivating at least three out of each 100 acres granted. In 1797, John Sparks obtained a grant of 390 acres in Washington County. (A Samuel Sparks obtained a grant of 370 acres in the same county and in the same year.)

According to a family record of John Sparks published in Vol. IV of Historical Collections of the Georgia Chapters Daughters of the American Revolution (p. 303), John with his family moved from South Carolina to Georgia in 1793, arriving at their destination in Washington County, Georgia, on February 2, 1793. From the deeds quoted above, however, it appears that it was in January, 1795, rather than 1793, that John Sparks sold his land in South Carolina, at which time (1795) he was still described as being a resident of Newberry County. There is a tradition in the family that John Sparks took a cotton gin with him to Georgia. Whitney patented his gin in 1794, although he had perfected it in 1793. It is known that Wade Hampton, hero of the Revolution and probably a close relative of Margaret (Hampton) Sparks, was very much interested in the cotton gin. (Margaret had a younger brother named Wade who accompanied the Sparkses to Georgia, died there, and is buried in the Sparks burying ground.)

When John Sparks and his family moved to Georgia, they traveled by ox cart. They settled twelve miles from what is now the town of Sandersville in Washington County, where they built a house of walnut logs. (This house burned in 1826.) According to the 1820 census of Washington County, John Sparks owned five slaves, three males and two females. The record kept in the family Bible by John Sparks has been preserved and reads as follows:
                    (1) Sara Ann Sparks, born December 5, 1779.
                    (2) Mary Sparks, born December 7, 1782.
                    (3) Rachel Sparks, born July 9, 1784.
                    (4) Benjamin Sparks, born January 19, 1786.
                    (5) Isabel Sparks, born November 13, 1787.
                    (6) Stephen Sparks, born May 23, 1789.
                    (7) Margaret Sparks, born January 13, 1791.
                    (8) George H. Sparks) born September 6, 1793.
                    (9) John Sparks, born May 17, 1797.
                  (10) Thomas Sparks, born March 24, 1799.
                  (11) Elizabeth Sparks, born August 23, 1801.

Little information has been obtained on most of these children. Of the six daughters, it is known that Rachel married Enoch Gray, Margaret married -----  Renfro, and Elizabeth married David Curry. Of the other three daughters, Sarah Ann, Mary, and Isabel, two married Jethro May (son of Edmund and Temperance May). Which daughter he married first has not been learned, but following the death of his first wife, he married another daughter of John Sparks.

Of the five sons, Stephen and George H. died in youth. Benjamin married Sarah May and Thomas married Arm McNeal Collins. Nothing is known of the son named John.

Benjamin Sparks, son of John and Margaret (Hampton) Sparks, married Sarah May. Almost nothing is known of him. In the Georgia land lottery authorized by legislative acts of 1818 and 1819, and drawn in 1820, Benjamin Sparks was twice a winner, drawing a lot in Early County and another in Habersham County. In 1820, or possibly late in 1819, however, Benjamin Sparks died. His widow, Sarah, was listed on the census of Washington County in 1820 with one male and two females, all under 10 years of age. They were doubtless her children. Since the courthouse reccrds of Washington

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County have been destroyed, we have no means of checking the probate records on
Benjamin Sparks that we can be sure once existed. However, a Milledgeville, Georgia, newspaper, The Southern Recorder, carried a notice in 1826 in which Enoch Gray, “Administrator of the estate of Benjamin Sparks, deceased, of Washington County, Georgia,” advertised for sale the land that he had owned in Habersham and Early Counties. (Enoch Gray was Benjamin Sparks’s brother-in-law.)

Thomas Sparks, son of John and Margaret (Hampton) Sparks, was married to Ann McNeal Collins on February 19, 1829. Thomas was born March 24, 1799, and died December 8, 1868. Ann McNeal (Collins) Sparks was born January 18, 1811, and died July 17, 1880. Thomas Sparks was a wealthy planter and spent his life on the land settled by his father in Washington County. He held the title of major in the state militia. Following is a list of the children of Thomas and Ann McNeal (Collins) Sparks as given in the family Bible:

          (1) Mary Elizabeth Sparks, born December 27, 1829. (She married Reuben May.)
          (2) John J. Sparks, born June 29, 1831. (He served in the Confederate Army; never
               married.)
          (3) William A. Sparks, born March 30, 1833. (He was a captain in the Confederate
                 Army; died of illness in Virginia.)
          (4) Sarah A. Sparks, born December 20, 1834. (She married Malcolm Mathis.)
          (5) George W. Sparks, born November 5, 1836. (He was a captain in the
               Confederate Army; became a Baptist minister; never married.)
          (6) Martha Ann Sparks, born January 4, 1839. (She married Buford Mathis.)
          (7) Stephen S. Sparks, born September 8, 1841. (He served in the Confederate
               Army and was killed at Gettysburg.)
          (8) Thomas Harris Sparks, born November 18, 1843. (He served in the Confederate
               Army; was imprisoned at Elmira, New York; married Patricia Mathis. He died
               December 19, 1920.)
          (9) Andrew Jackson Sparks, born November 1, 1845. (He joined the Confederate
                Army when he was 16 years old and was wounded in the last battle of the war; he
                married Julia McIntosh; he died in 1918.)
        (10) Gracy Ann Sparks, born July 18,1848. (She married J. W. Smith.)
        (11) Aylesberry S. Sparks, born September 15, 1850. (He married Mary Marsh
                Warthen.)
        (12) Isabel Jane Sparks, born January 2, 1855. (She married Joseph Daniel.)

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TWO SPARKS BURIALS NEAR REEDSBURG, WINCONSIN

The following Sparks items appear in a compilation by Doris Bering of Reedsburg, Wisconsin, entitled “Veterans’ Graves Prior to World War I in Reeclsburg and Reedsburg Area Cemeteries, Wisconsin, with Annotations and Additions.” This record appears in the Summer, 1964, issue of The Detroit Society for Genealogical Research Magazine, Vol. 27, No. 4.

  SPARKS, DAVID, born Oct. 9, 1845, Hounsfield, Jefferson Co., New York (obituary
  gives birth as 1847), died June 8, 1917, buried in Greenwood United Cemetery. He
  married Hattie E. Percival, nee Decker, who was born in Fulton, Schoharie Co., New
  York, a sister of Will Decker of Plainfield, Wisc. David was a son of James and Amanda
  Sparks. He served 1864-5 in Co. B, 4th Wisc. Regt. Batt. Lt. Arty.

  SPARKS, SGT. JULIUS MORTBvIER, born 1834, died March 2, 1899, buried in
  Greenwood United Cemetery. He married Minnie A.     . His father’s name was George
  Sparks. He served in Co. G, 19th Wisc. Vol. Inf., transferred to Co. D, 19th Wisc. Vol.
  Inf. He enlisted at Ironton, Wisc.

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WILLIAM H. SPARKE (1807-1896) OF NEW YORK, MISSISSIPPI, KENTUCKY, AND

LOUISIANA

Mrs. Jeannette Sparke Holt, of 489 Ockley Dr., Shreveport, Louisiana, is seeking information on the ancestry of her grandfather, William H. Sparke, who was born in Elmira, New York, on October 22, 1807, and died in Shreveport, Louisiana, on June 30, 1896. Mrs. Holt has not been able to determine the name of William H. Sparke’s father, but from his family Bible we know that his mother’s name was Hannah Jones, born in 1779 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; she was a sister of Anson Jones, the last President of the Republic of Texas. Mrs. Holt recalls that her grandfather stated that his father’s family came from North Umberland, between Scotland and Wales.

William H. Sparke was married three times. He married, first, Abitha Rochelle on August 10, 1831 in Warren County, Mississippi. She died on April 9, 1832, in a steamboat accident on the Mississippi River. William H. Sparke married, second, Mary M. Stevens, on August 31, 1833, also in Warren County, Mississippi. She died on October 10, 1847. By 1850, William H. Sparke had married his third wife, Eliza Withers Perrin, who was born in Kentucky on May 17, 1828, and died in Shreveport, Louisiana, on December 7, 1893. She was a daughter of Green Kennedy and Mary Bogan (Ingalls) Perrin. When the 1850 census was taken, William H. Sparke was living in Warren County, Mississippi; his occupation was given as stable keeper and the value of his real estate was set at $1,000. During the 1850’s and 1860’s, William H. Sparke lived in Louisville, Kentucky, and was listed in the city directories of that period as a “grocer” and “commercial merchant.”

According to the family Bible of William H. Sparke, he and his second wife, Mary Stevens Sparke, were the parents of the following children:

          1. Ann Cordelia Sparke, born June 16, 1834, died August 24, 1893.
          2. Walter Sparke, born March 25, 1837.
          3. Henrietta Sparke, born September 1, 1841, died in Louisville, Kentucky, March
              24, 1864.
          4. John Stevens Sparke, born October 15, 1843, died February 21, 1853.
          5. Francis Bartlett Sparke, born October 21, 1845, died May 23, 1850 (?).

William H. Sparke and his third wife, Eliza Withers Perrin, were the parents of the following children:

          6. Julia Sparke, born September 7, 1851, in Grant Co., Kentucky; died April 28,
              1931.
          7. Willie Sparke, born March 31, 1853, in Vicksburg, Mississippi; died April
              12, 1853.
          8. Louise Sparke, born April 8, 1856, on Steamer Eclipse, near Memphis, Tenn.;
              died July 19, 1936, in Texas.
          9. Eliza Sparke, born July 5, 1857, in Jefferson Co., Kentucky; died August 3,
              1871, in Shreveport, Louisiana.
       10. Perrin Sparke, born June 29, 1860, in Louisville, Kentucky; died September
             18, 1873, of yellow fever.
       11. Mary Johnston Sparke, born August 30, 1862, in Louisville, Kentucky; died May
             10, 1879, in Shreveport, Louisiana.
       12. William Preston Sparke, born April 6, 1864, in Louisville, Kentucky; died February
              8, 1932, in Shreveport, Louisiana.
       13. Flora Va. Sparke, born November 21, 1865, in Louisville, Kentucky; died August
             1, 1866, in Louisville, Kentucky.
       14. Birdie Guy Sparke, born October 28, 1869, in Louisville, Kentucky; died July 31,
             1870, in Shreveport, Louisiana.

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When Mrs. bolt sent the Sparke data from her grandfather’s family Bible, she including a fascinating account of a tragic incident in the life of William H. Sparke. Mrs. bolt has kindly consented to our publishing it here:

“As the story was told to me, Grandfather and his first wife, Abitha, were aboard a steamboat on the Mississippi River in April, 1832, some eight months following their marriage. The boat caught fire, Abitha could not swim, but I am told that Grandfather was an excellent swimmer, and he prevailed upon her to let him jump overboard with the promise that she would jump into his arms. She promised, he jumped, but she became too frightened to jump and was lost with the boat. Many years passed, and two marriages later, my grandfather happened to be on a train traveling through Mississippi, and seated next to him was a gentleman. As the train was traveling rather close to the river’s edge, the gentleman remarked to Grandfather about a certain spot they were passing. “Right there, many years ago, I found a woman’s body that floated ashore, and this wedding ring I am wearing was on her finger.” My grandfather looked at the ring the man was wearing and asked what year it was that he found the body. “In 1832,” was the reply. My grandfather then asked, “If I can tell you the date and the inscription inside the ring, will you give it to me?” The man agreed. It was the wedding ring that Grandfather had given to Abitha Rochelle on their wedding day, August 10, 1831. My grandfather then asked what disposal had been made of the body, arid the man said that he had buried her in his own family plot, for which my grandfather insisted upon paying him.”

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DEATH TAKES MAJOR  CHARLES H. SMITH

It is with deep regret that we report the death of Major Charles H. Smith, a charter member of The Sparks Family Association. We believe that Mr. Smith was our oldest member at the time of his passing, and he was certainly one of our most earnest supporters. A tribute was paid to Major Smith in the March, 1962, issue of the Quarterly, on the occasion of his 90th birthday. Many of our members sent him greetings on that occasion, which pleased him greatly. It was one of his sorest regrets that he was never able to answer each one of these letters and cards individually. Major Smith’s health began to fail shortly after this, and he gradually lost his eyesight. The last two years were years of tragedy. He was forced to spend most of his time in the hospital, his only daughter’s husband was killed in an automobile accident, and on February 4, 1964, his wife died.

Charles H. Smith was born in Athens, Georgia, on June 15, 1872, and died on August 11, 1964, in the Oakland Veterans Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His parents were Hines Maguire and Sarah Jane (Sparks) Smith. (See the Quarterly of March, 1958, Vol. VI, No. 1, Whole No. 21, for a record of his branch of the Sparks family.)

Mr. Smith was an electrical engineer for the Westinghouse Electric Corporation from 1894 until his retirement in 1938, and was three times elected president of the Wilkinsburg branch of the Westinghouse Club. He served as a major in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War and worked for the Hercules Power Company in Ravenna, Ohio, during World War II.

Mr. Smith is survived by his son, Charles, and his daughter, Mrs. Sally S. Miller, both of California, and by a sister, Mrs. Sara K. Henshall of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Burial was in Myrtle Hill Cemetery, Rome, Georgia.

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SPARKSES IN THE WAR OF 1812

 BOUNTY LAND AND PENSION APPLICATIONS

       (Continued from page 822)


URIAH SPARKS born in North Carolina about 1797; a resident of Morgan County, Georgia, in 1815; lived later in Newton County and Carroll County, Georgia. Land Warrant File 13 318-80-55.

On November 28, 1850, Uriah Sparks, a resident of Carroll County, Georgia, appeared before a justice of the peace named Arthur Hutcheson to apply for bounty land under the provisions of the Congressional act of September 25, 1850. He stated that he was 53 years old and that he had served in the War of 1812 as a private in the company commanded by Capt. Henry Lane in the Rifle Battalion commanded by Col. Jones. He stated that he volunteered in Morgan County, Georgia, on November 1, 1814, for the term of 6 months, and continued in actual service for the length of his term and was honorably discharged at Fort Hawkins on or about May 1, 1815. He stated that he did not receive a written discharge. He signed his name as “Uriah Sparks.”

Records in the Treasury Department revealed that Uriah Sparks had actually served from November 21, 1814, until May 6, 1815, and he was issued land warrant no. 10,385 for 80 acres of bounty land.

On April 10, 1855, Uriah Sparks applied for additional bounty land under the provisions of the Congressional act of March 3, 1855. He gave his age as 57 and stated that he was still a resident of Carroll County, Georgia. He gave essentially the same information about his service as in 1850, except that he stated that his company was made up of rifle men. He again signed his application as “Uriah Sparks,” and William A. Johnson and Richard L. Winkles, both residents of Carroll County, signed as witnesses.

Uriah Sparks was issued a land warrant for 80 additional acres of bounty land.

(Editor’s Note: Although Uriah Sparks stated that he enlisted in Morgan County, Georgia, we have found no Morgan County record containing his name. Perhaps he was related to the David Sparks who also enlisted in Morgan County and was also a member of Capt. Henry Lane’s company; David Sparks and Uriah Sparks both stated that they had enlisted on November 1, 1814. (For an abstract of David Sparks’s bounty land application file, see the Quarterly of September, i960, Vol. VIII, No. 3, Whole No. 31, p. 501.) Perhaps Uriah Sparks was also related to the John Sparks of Morgan County about whom we published data in the Quarterly of March, 1961 (Vol. IX, No. 1, Whole No. 33, pp. 540-42).

Uriah Sparks probably lived in that part of Morgan County that went to help form Newton County, which was created in 1821. Uriah Sparks was listed as a resident of Newton County on the 1830 census. His family at that time consisted of a female (probably his wife) between 30 and 40; 2 males between 5 and 10; and 2 males under 5. Apparently the first wife of Uriah Sparks died between 1830 and 1832, for he was married in Newton County, Georgia, to Mrs. Sarah Whatley in 1832.

By 1837, Uriah Sparks had moved to Carroll County, Georgia, for on July 4, 1837, he
purchased a tract of land in Carroll County from Levi Phillips, Sr. and Levi Phillips,
Jr. (Deed Book C, p. 171) On July 3, 1840, he purchased another tract from William
R. Duke (Book D, p. 98); this tract was “on the road from Pyre Watson’s to Reubin
Newton’s.” On September 1, 1846, Uriah Sparks sold the tract he had purchased in
1840 to J, and A. Hutchison. The witnesses to this deed were William Sparks and
Green Sparks.

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-843-

Uriah Sparks was listed on the 1840 census of Carroll County. At that time his household consisted of himself, aged 40 to 50; 1 female (probably his wife) between 30 and 40; 2 males between 15 and 20; 2 males between 10 and 15; 1 male under 5; two females between 5 and 10; and one female under 5.

Uriah Sparks was listed on the 1850 census of Carroll County in the 11th division; his occupation was given as farmer, his age as 50, and the value of his real estate as $1000. His birth place was given as North Carolina. He owned no slaves. His wife, Sarah, was listed as 42 years of age, a native of Georgia. The following, all probably the children of Uriah and Sarah Sparks, were listed in their household:
                      1. Mary Sparks, born about 1833.
                      2. Simeon Sparks, born about 1837.
                      3. Sarah Sparks, born about 1839.
                      4. C. N. Sparks (male), born about 1841.
                      5. Jos. Sparks (male), born about 1843.
                      6. Andrew Sparks, born about 1846.
                      7. Dennis Sparks, born about 1847.
                      8. Nancy Sparks, born about March, 1850.

From earlier census records, it would appear that Uriah Sparks had at least four children by his first wife. There was a George W. Sparks, age 28, living near Uriah Sparks in 1850, with wife named Martha, age 24, and children named Green Sparks, born about 1843; Augustus Sparks, born about 1845; Georgia Sparks, born about 1847; and John Sparks, born about April, 1850. This George W. Sparks may have been a son of Uriah; living with his family was a William Sparks, aged 24, who may also have been a son of Uriah.)
 
 
,WALTER C. SPARKS of New York City, born about 1791. Bounty Land Warrant File No. 84 926 - 120-55. Pension File SC 11 343.

On January 29, 1851, Walter C. Sparks, a resident of New York City, appeared before a notary public named Nicholas Haight to make application for bounty land under the Congressional act of September 28, 1850. He stated that he was 59 years old and that he had been a sergeant in a company commanded by Capt. Sampson and Capt. Livingston in a regiment of New York infantry commanded by Lt. Col. Jasper Ward in the War of 1812. He stated that he had volunteered in the city of New York on or about September 2, 1814, for the term of 3 months and had been honorably discharged in New York City on December 2, 1814. He stated that he had not been given a written discharge. He signed his application as “Walter C. Sparks.”

Records in the Treasury Department supported his claim and Walter C. Sparks was issued a warrant for 40 acres of bounty land.

On June 27, 1855, Walter C. Sparks appeared before a notary public named Lewis W. Ryckman to apply for additional bounty land under the new act of March 3, 1855. He stated he was now 63 years old and still a resident of New York City. He gave the same information regarding his service as he had in 1850 and again signed his application as “‘Waiter C. Sparks.” Henry Raymond and Morris Lewis, both residents of New York City, signed as witnesses. He was issued a warrant for 120 additional acres of bounty land.

On May 29, 1871, Walter C. Sparks made application for a pension under provisions of
the Congressional act of February 14, 1871. He gave his age as 79 years and stated, as he had in 1851 and 1855, that he had served for 3 months in a New York Regiment. On this application, however, he added that he had also served in the U.S. Navy “as

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captain’s clerk & midshipman on board the U.S. Brig Spark in the “Algerine War under command of Com. Stephen Decatur.”  He gave his address in New York as No. 150 Waverly Place. He stated that his wife, whose name he did not mention, had died October 13, 1868. He signed his application as “Walter C. Sparks.” James V. Reich of 227 W. 13th St., and Alonzo R, Hampton of 60 West 12th St., signed as witnesses. A pension of $8.00 per month was authorized for Walter C. Sparks, but there is no record in his file of how long he lived to receive it.

(Editor’s Note: We have no information on the branch of the family to which Walter C. Sparks belonged. He was listed on the 1840 census of New York City in Ward 4; his household consisted of himself, one female aged between 20 and 30, one female between 15 and 20, and one female aged under 5 years. According to the 1850 census~ there was a Walter C. Sparks, aged 45, born in New York, living in the 9th Ward in a family headed by Ellen Watson, aged 47, who was born in Ireland.  If the age of this Walter C. Sparks was correctly given, he could not have been the one who served in the War of 1812. Mistakes were frequently made in ages on census records, however, and it is possible that this was the case here. This Walter C. Sparks, aged 47, was listed as a “Gentleman” with property valued at $6,000. Living with him was Mary Sparks, aged 42, and a Mary Sparks, aged 15;  both were born in New York.)
 
,WALTER SPARKS, of Henry County, Kentucky; died in Indiana in 1843; son Isham Sparks. Bounty Land Rejected Warrant File 303 313-1855.

 On January 15, 1851, William Sparks, a resident of Henry County, Kentucky, appeared before a justice of the peace named A. D. Johnson to make application for bounty land on behalf of Isham Sparks, aged 18, “a minor child & the only minor child of Walter Sparks, who died on the 15th day of August 1843, leaving no widow now surving him.” William Sparks stated that he was the guardian of Isham Sparks and that Isham’s father, Walter Sparks, had been a soldier in the company commanded by Capt. Edward George “in the Regiment under Governor Shelby” in the War of 1812. He stated that it was his belief that Walter Sparks had volunteered as a mounted horseman at Newcastle, Henry County, Kentucky, in August and was discharged on November 20, but he was not sure of the year. William Sparks signed has name by mark.

Along with this application, William Sparks submitted a sworn statement, also dated January 15, 1851, which reads as follows, “State of Kentucky, Henry County. On this 15th day of January 1851 Personally appeared before me, A. D. Johnson, a justice of the peace within & for the County and State aforesaid, Robert Sparks and Richard Sparks, who being of good sound mind & disposing memory deposeth & saith that they was personally present and saw Walter Sparks die, he died in the State of Indiana in the County of Orange on the 5th day of August 1843; they also state that they saw him buried; they also state that no widow survives him and that Isharn Sparks is the only minor child of the said Walter Sparks.” Robert Sparks and Richard Sparks both signed this statement by mark, It was witnessed by I. (or J.) Stone.

Also on January 15, 1851, William Sparks made a separate application for bounty land on the behalf of Isham Sparks based on another tour of service performed by Isham’s father, Waiter Sparks.  Apparently, William Sparks believed that it was necessary to separate the two terms of service in this way.  In this other application, William Sparks stated that Walter Sparks had served in a company commanded by Capt. Ziba Holt in the regiment commanded by Col, Presley Gray in the War of 1812; that he believed Walter Sparks was drafted in Henry County, Kentucky, on or about October 25, 1814, for a term of 6 months and was honorably discharged on May 25, 1815. William Sparks also signed this application by mark.

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Records in the Treasury Department proved that Walter Sparks had served in Capt. E.
George’s company of Kentucky Militia from August 29, 1813, until November 2, 1813,
and also in Capt. Holt’s company from Nov. 10, 1814, until May 10, 1815.

The office of the Secretary of the Interior, which handled bounty land cases, insisted upon having additional proof of Isham Sparks’s being the son of Walter Sparks and that William Sparks was truly his guardian. On March 17, 1852, Robert Sparks swore before a justice of the peace named Lemuel B. Wenburn in Henry County that he was with Walter Sparks “during his sickness & waited on him until he died, he further states that he on the next day after his death saw him buried.”  He also stated that Isham Sparks “was nineteen years old sometime in the month of December 1851” but that he knew of no record giving the exact date of Isham’s birth. Robert Sparks signed this statement by mark.

Also on March 17, 1852, Elisha Pruit signed a statement swearing that he was ‘well acquainted with Isham Sparks “ever since he was born and believes him to be only nineteen years of age in December, l851."  He also stated “that he was present in person when Susan Sparks died and was buried and that she died in the state of Indiana, in the month of April, 1843; he further states that Susan Sparks who died as aforesaid was the mother of Isham Sparks.”  He further stated that he had “lived a near neighbor to Walter Sparks up to his death & has continued so to live near his wife until she died and also lives near his children now.”  Elisha Pruit signed this statement by mark.

Also on March 17, 1852, William Sparks made another sworn statement, stating that he could not find a record of the age of Isham Sparks, but he was positive that he was nineteen years old sometime in December 1851. He added that he could not find a written discharge among Walter Sparks’s papers. He again signed by mark.

On March 30, 1852, the Henry County clerk, E. P. Thomas, copied the following from the County Court’s records: “December Term 1850, Isham Sparks who is over fourteen years old (and orphan of Walter Sparks who is dead, said Walter having served in the War of 1812) came into Court and chose William Sparks his guardian and said Sparks thereupon entered into and acknowledged bond in the penalty of fifty dollars conditional on no security being required.”

This bounty land application was finally approved and Isham Sparks was issued Warrant No. 35,326 for 80 acres of bounty land on April 23, 1852.

On March 3, 1855, Congress passed a new act that provided that soldiers of the War of 1812, their widows and minor orphans were entitled to a total of 160 acres of bounty land. On October 4, 1859, Isham Sparks applied for the additional 80 acres to which he believed he was entitled.  He was now a resident of Oldham County, Kentucky, and gave his age as 24 years and 10 months. He swore that he was the son of Walter Sparks and referred to having received 80 acres of bounty land in 1852. He stated that “there is a family register of his birth, that he was born the 22d day of November 1834” and was thus under the age of 21 years when the new act was passed by Congress on March 3, 1855. He signed his name to this application as “Isham Sparks.” A. J, Fendley and I. I. (or J. J.) Berry, both residents of Oldham County, signed as witnesses.

Isham Sparks also submitted a sworn statement by his lawyer named J. W. Clayton that he had examined the family Bible that had belonged to Walter Sparks and found Isham’s birth recorded as November 22, 1834.

When William Sparks had applied for bounty land on Isham’s behalf in 1851, he had stated then that Isham’s date of birth was not recorded anywhere, but that he was

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19 years old in December 1851. By that calculation, Isham would have been born in
1832 and would not have been eligible for additional land under the act of 1855.
The Commissioner of Pensions, therefore, requested that the family Bible be sent to
Washington so that the entry regarding Isham’s birth could be examined. This Isham
Sparks refused to do for fear the Bible would be lost.

The Commissioner of Pensions also asked for proof that Walter Sparks’s widow was dead. J. W. Clayton, Isham’s lawyer, writing from La Grange, Kentucky, on November 30, 1859, stated that  “as luck would have it, I met with a man in town yesterday whose wife is niece to Walter Sparks’ wife, whose evidence I took.” This man’s name was Jonathan Stows (or Storm), a resident of Oldham County, aged 42 years. He swore that he had been well acquainted with Isham Sparks since childhood and that he was a son of Walter Sparks; he could not remember his mother’s name for sure, but thought It was Sukey (nickname, apparently, for Susan). He remembered that she outlived her husband, but they had both died in Indiana many years earlier.

On February 15, 1860, J. W. Clayton again submitted a sworn statement, also signed by George L Ray, that a Bible containing the births of the children of Walter Sparks had been examined and that one entry under the heading “Births” read “Isum Sparks, November 22, 1834.” He called attention to the spelling (Isum for Isham), but swore it was the same person.

The last document in this voluminous file is an undated letter, probably written about 1862, by J. W. Clayton, Isham’s lawyer. He protested the fact that Isham’s claim had been rejected because the Commissioner of Pensions insisted that Isham Sparks had been born prior to 1834. Clayton stated: “The Bible in which his age and those of a large family of his brothers & sisters are recorded, is an old book, one which from appearance had been in his father’s family from the birth of their first child."  Unfortunately, however, he did not copy any of the other births that he said were listed. He stated: “It would be impossible for me, were I so disposed, now to furnish the record if required as Sparks has removed to a distant part of this state and has taken the record with him, and if be loses his warrant, he also loses the small fee I charged him for my services, as he paid me that before he left.” The Commissioner did not reconsider, and the claim was finally rejected.

(Editor’s Note: Readers interested in this family will find the records of Sparks marriages in Henry County, Kentucky, to be of interest (see page 763 of the September, 1963 Quarterly, Vol. XI, No, 3, Whole No. 43.) The Walter Sparks who was married to Susan Prewitt (or Pruit) on February 8, 1814, was undoubtedly the father of Isham Sparks. Likewise, the Isham Sparks who married Sarah Prewitt (or Pruit) on July 11, 1854, was the same Isham Sparks who was a son of Walter Sparks.

Isham Sparks was listed on the 1860 census of Oldham County, Kentucky--his age was given as 35 and he was designated a “laborer" with $50 worth of real estate. His wife, Sarah, was listed as 22. years old; both were born in Kentucky. Living with them were Georgianna Sparks, age 5, and Mary Sparks, age 3 months; both were born in Kentucky and were probably Isham’s children.)

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,WESLEY SPARKS, of Parke County, Indiana; born about 1790. Bounty Land Warrant File 54 846-20-55.

On April 19, 1851, Wesley Sparks, a resident of Parke County, Indiana, appeared before a justice of the peace named Samuel Laverty to make application for bounty land under the provisions of the Congressional act of September 28, 1850. He stated that he was 61 years old and that he was the identical “Westley Sparks” who had been a private in Capt. Jacob Zenor’s company in the 5th Indiana Regiment of Militia

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commanded by Col. Tipton in the War of 1812. He stated that he had volunteered at Corydon, Harrison County, Indiana, on October 20, 1812, for one month and that he was discharged at Harrison County on November 19, 1812. He also served as a private in the company commanded by Capt. John Huse (?) in the 5th Regiment of Indiana Militia, commanded by Col, Tipton; he volunteered for this tour of duty at Harrison County on or about March 5, 1813, for one month and he stated that he was discharged on or about April 5, 1813, He signed his name as “Wesley Sparks.”

With his application, Wesley Sparks submitted the following document: “I do certify that Westley Sparks, of the fifth Indiana Regiment, Harrison County, as a good and faithful Solder has sarved a Tower of Duty under my Command Commencing on the 20th of October 1812 Ending on the 19th of November 1812. [signed] Jacob Zenor, Captain.”

Treasury Department records proved that Wesley Sparks had served under Capt. Zenor from October 20, 1812, to November 18, 1812, and under Capt. Hughes from March 12, 1813, to April 16, 1813. He was issued a warrant for 40 acres of bounty land.

On May 22, 1855, Wesley Sparks made application for additional bounty land under the new act. He was still a resident of Parke County, Indiana, and gave his age as 65 years. He gave no additional information regarding himself. He signed the application as “Wesley Sparks.” Wesley Strain and Hargus M. Stone, both residents of Parke County, signed as witnesses. Wesley Sparks appointed William H. Nye of Parke County as his lawful attorney. Wesley Sparks was issued a warrant for 120 additional acres of bounty land.

(Editor’s Note: From Wesley Sparks’s applications, it would appear that he was a resident of Harrison County, Indiana, at the time of the War of 1812. By 1830, however, he was living in Parke County, Indiana, for he was listed on the 1830 census in that county. From the enumeration of his household at that time, it would appear that he was married and had six children (three males and three females) under the age of fifteen. One other Sparks was listed on the 1830 census of Parke County--he was Adison Sparks, slightly younger, apparently, than Wesley. When the 1850 census of Parke County was searched for us some years ago, Wesley Sparks was not found, For the Sparks families that were found in the 1850 census of Parke County, see page 468 of the March, 1960, issue of the Quarterly (Vol. VIII, No. 1, Whole No, 29).)

Abstracts of the applications for bounty land and pensions made by Sparkses who served in the War of 1812 will be continued in the next issue of the Quarterly.

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QUERY - PRISCILLA SPARKS, BORN ca. 1780

Mrs. Elizabeth Duffield Boone, 6630 McCallum St., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is seeking information regarding her great-great-grandmother, named Priscilla Sparks, who was born about 1779/82 in Woodbury, New Jersey. Priscilla married Jonathan Duffield in Woodbury on February 28, 1799. He was born about 1770/75. Mrs. Boone descends from Priscilla’s son, Joseph Duffield, born in 1812 and died in 1888, who married Hannah Shafer on November 15, 1835.

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NEW MEMBERS OF THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION

It is a pleasure to report the names of thirty-five new members of THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION. These are our new members since March, 1964.

     Adkins, Franklin B., 773 N. Edgelawn Dr., Aurora, Illinois (60506)
     Barnes, Mrs. Asa C., 326 Lincoln Ave., Lincoln, Illinois.
     Beck, Miss Shi, 4105 Shenandoah Ave., Dallas, Texas (75205)
     Carter, Lyle, 901 North K St., Lake Worth, Florida (33460)
     Dines, Mrs. Edith McMullen, 145 South Harris Ave., Columbus, Ohio (43204)
     Dittes, Lucille, 2826 N.E. Taylor, Minneapolis, Minnesota (55418)
     Ducey, Mrs. Jean B., 1517 Hickory St., Niles, Michigan (49120)
     Durham, Mrs. Kathryn, 5647 Orizaba Ave., Long Beach, California (90805)
     Elscott, Madeline Sparks, Box 34, Lynnville, Iowa.
     Evans, Mrs. Sultana, 9124 N.E. Prescott, Portland, Oregon.
     Gasaway, Mrs. Ferne S., 228 — 10th St., Lincoln, Illinois.
     Holt, Mrs. Jeannette S., 489 Ockley Dr., Shreveport, Louisiana (71105)
     Hull, Mrs. Neta Sparks, 1210 A Ave., East, Oskaloosa, Iowa.
     McCoy, Mrs. Lawrence, 12401 Ridge Ave., Palos Park, Illinois (60464)
     Miller, Mrs. William C., Galeana 6, Erongaricuaro, Michoacan, Mexico.
     Needham, Timothy, Lynnville, Iowa.
     Parman, Luther H., 105-107 South Summit, Arkansas City, Kansas (67005)
     Pranter, Mrs. L. J., 2857 Northwest 19th St., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (73107)
     Rees, Ruby Connaway, R.R. 5, Connersville, Indiana (47331)
     Reinhardt, Mrs. Hazel S., 2204 B. 1st St., Apt. 3, Long Beach, California (90803)
     Rode, Dr. H. Milton, 441 Gainsboro Rd., Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania.
     Smith, Mrs. Lyle B., 2392 St. Mary’s Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah (84108)
     Smith, Miss Ruby, Route 2, Smithville, Arkansas (72466)
     Sparks, Charles B., Jr., 3751 B. 3rd St., Tulsa, Oklahoma.
     Sparks, Claude E., 1905 Liberty Dr., Russeliville, Alabama (35653)
     Sparks, Miss Emma Laverne, Box 85, Lilbourn, Missouri.
     Sparks, Fielder A., Onaga, Kansas (66521)
     Sparks, Fred L., Jr., Georgia School for the Deaf, Cave Springs, Georgia.
     Sparks, J. Kenneth, Station WAYR, Orange Park, Florida.
     Sparks, Roy, 622 Sylvan, Emporia, Kansas.
     Sweaney, Mrs. Flossie, Box 34, Vero, Oklahoma (74082)
     Taylor, Mrs. Mary Alice, 743 Alvarado Dr., S.E., Albuquerque, New Mexico.
     Whitlock, Wood, 6851 So. Meadow Dr., Salt Lake City, Utah.
     Williams, Mrs. John R., 130 Norris Circle, Sheffield, Alabama (35660)
     Zimmer, Mrs. May Sparks, 698 Main St., Poughkeepsie, New York (12601)

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

S K R A P S

We are pleased to be able to report that 35 people have joined The Sparks Family Association during the past six months, who, with the ten new members reported in March, give us a total of 45 new members thus far in 1964. However, we regret to report that 74 members who paid their dues in 1963 have failed to do so in 1964. Thus, we are far from holding our own with regard to our total membership. It is rather startling to note that, during the almost twelve years that the Association has been in existence, no fewer than 856 individuals have joined, yet our total membership today stands at but slightly over 300.  We are sure that most of the 74 who paid in 1963 but not in 1964 do not really wish to drop their membership. Yet we have sent two reminders to each one. What shall we do?

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