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. XIII, NO. 4 DECEMBER, 1965
WHOLE NO. 52a

 
Index Next Page Previous Page Previous Whole No.

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



 

HARRY M. SPARKS

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY

(View photograph)

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THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, published by The Sparks Family Association.

      Paul E. Sparks, President, 155 N. Hite Ave., Louisville, Kentucky. (40206)
      William P. Johnson, Historian-Genealogist, Box 531, Raleigh, NC (27602)
      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 organization devoted to the assembling of and preserving of genealogical and historical materials pertaining to the Sparks family in America.  Membership in  the Association is open to all persons connected in any way with the Sparks family, whether by blood, marriage, or adoption, and to persons interested in genealogical and historical research. Membership falls into three classes: Active, Contributing, and Sustaining. Active membership dues are three dollars per year; Contributing membership dues are four dollars per year; Sustaining membership dues are any amount over four 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 three dollars per year. Back issues are kept in print and are available for seventy-five cents per issue. The first issue of the QUARTERLY was published in March, 1953. An index covering the first five years (1953-1957) and another covering the period from 1958 through 1962 have been published and are available for $1.00 each.  The editor of THE QUARTERLY 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 Ave,  Ann Arbor,  Michigan. 

HARRY M. SPARKS

A Biographical Sketch, by Paul E. Sparks

Dr. Harry M. Sparks, Superintendent of Public Instruction of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, possesses a rich background of experience for the leadership of approximately 30,000 teachers and administrators who serve the educational needs of more that 780,000 pupils in his native state. He is a firm believer in the American system of public education which provides equal educational opportunities for every individual, but at the same time he believes the schools have an obligation to place such demands on each individual that he must work up to his potential.

Dr. Sparks was born in Rockcastle County, Kentucky, son of Robert Absalom and Lena Bentley Sparks; grandson of Absalom and Susan Ann Turley Sparks (see p. 935 of The Sparks Quarterly, Marriage Bonds of Madison County, Kentucky); and greatgrandson of James and Matilda Sparks (see p. 228 of The Sparks Quarterly, Whole No. 18, Census of Laurel County, Kentucky). Harry was educated in the public schools of Rockcastle County; received his Bachelor’s degree from Transylvania College and earned his Master of Arts and Doctor of Education degrees at the University of Kentucky. During World War II he was a lieutenant commander in the Navy.

He began his teaching career in 1930 and has been teacher, principal, superintendent, and college department head as well as coach and referee. His career has taken him all over Kentucky from Greenup County in the east to Graves County in the west, 340 miles apart as the crow flies.

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Sandwiched in or concurrent with these positions were numerous offices in local education organizations climaxed by the presidency of the Kentucky Education Association in 1959. The teaching profession and the public have recognized his many services to education by bestowing upon him almost every honor available to an educator in Kentucky.

Dr. Sparks is in great demand as an after-dinner speaker, a special occasion speaker or just a plain speaker. He has a great capacity for liking people-and making them like him. He is active in church work and for seven years was Sunday School Superintendent of the Murray (Kentucky) Methodist Church.

Dr. and Mrs. Sparks (the former Lois Ogden Stiles) have three children: Harry M., Jr., a student of architecture at the University of Cincinnati; Phillip Stiles, a student at Berlin University, Germany; and Susan Nunnelley, a student at Murray (Kentucky) State College.

He has three brothers: Alfred Bentley Sparks, Conago Park, California; William J. and Robert A. (for Absalom) Sparks of Lexington, Kentucky, and one sister, Margaret Sparks Craig, also of Lexington.

Dr. and Mrs. Sparks live in Frankfort, Kentucky, during his term of office as Superintendent of Public Instruction.

(Editor’s Note: The great-grandfather of Dr. Harry M. Sparks was James Sparks. James was born about 1802 or 1803 in Virginia and married Matilda about 1825. On the 1830 and 1840 censuses he was living in Harlan County, Kentucky, but in 1850 and 1860 he was living with his family in Laurel County, Kentucky.

In 1880, James Sparks was still in Laurel County, living with his daughter, Matilda. He was an attorney-farmer and served as the representative from Harlan County in the Kentucky Legislature in 1845.

James Sparks and his wife Matilda were the parents of the following children:

          1. Calvin Sparks, born about 1826; he married Esther Green.
          2. Elizabeth Sparks, born about 1828; she married Caleb Catching.
          3. Rebecca Sparks, born about 1830; she was a school teacher.
          4. Martha Sparks, born about 1832; she married Wesley Johnson.
          5. Burton Sparks, born about 1834.
          6. Absalom Sparks, born about 1836; he married (1st) Elizabeth Miller in 1856; she
              died in 1861. He married (2nd) Susan Ann Turley in 1867.
          7. Nancy Sparks, born about 1838; she was a school teacher.
          8. James Sparks, born in 1840; he married Hila Moore.
          9. Mary Ann Sparks, born about 1843 (twin of Matilda)
        10. Matilda Sparks, born about 1843 (twin of Mary Ann); she married a man whose
              surname was Bible.

Conjecture places the great-great-grandfather of Dr. Sparks as Absalom Sparks who was in Harlan County in 1820 and who served on a jury there in 1829. The 1820 census of Harlan County gives Absalom Sparks and wife as over 45 years of age, thus born prior to 1775. Also listed on the census are two males--one born 1802-1804 and the other born 1804-1810) and three females--one born 1804-1810, the other born 1794-1804.

Absalom Sparks does not appear on the 1830 census of Harlan County, but James Sparks, born 1800-1810, is listed. Living with James Sparks are one male (probably a son) born 1825-1830 and two females (probably daughters) born 1825-1830.

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Also listed in the household of James Sparks on the 1830 census was one male adult, born 1800-1810, and four female adults, born 1800-1810. It is natural to assume that this is the family of Absalom Sparks and that living with James Sparks was a brother and three sisters. Absalom Sparks, the father, must have died between 1820 and 1830. This remains to be proved, however.

It is also interesting to note that on 5 January 1801, an Absalom Sparks married Elizabeth McQuown in Washington County, Virginia. Since James Sparks was born in Virginia and since he named his eldest daughter Elizabeth, these might be the great-great-grand- parents of Dr. Harry M. Sparks.)

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

SPARKSES LISTED ON THE 1850 CENSUS OF HARTFORD COUNTY CONNECTICUT

Copied by Carrie Grant Heppen

Town of Glastenbury, errumerated October 21, 1850, by Chester Adams. (page 774)

465—509 Sparks, William C.  45 (M) Connecticut Farmer  $4,000
        "       Mary A. 23 (F)           "
      "       Helen 18 (F)           "
      "       Laura 16 (F)           "
      "       Jennette C. 13 (F)           "
      "       Emeline M. 10 (F)           "
Warner, Nancy 25 (F)           "
Watrous, Mary A. 31 (F)           "
Warner, Jane 23 (F)           "
Tryon, Margaret 13 (F)           "
Taylor, Mary 23 (F)           "
Dutton, Francis 18 (M)           " Carder
Goff, Jacob 20 (M) Germany Laborer
Abel, Augustus 25 (M)           " Laborer
Sparks, Lucinda 67 (F) Connecticut

(page 775)

463-507  Sparks, Parmelia 62  (F) Connecticut    $600 
        "       Reuamah 20 (F)           "

(page 825) Enumerated October 10, 1850.

Sparks, Chauncey  37 (M) Connecticut Spinner $500
        "       Elizabeth 33 (F)
      "       Nathan 11 (M)
      "       Josephine   9 (F)
      "       Frank   4 (M)
      "       Noble   2 (M) 

Editor’s Note: The entire census of Hartford County for 1850 has not been searched for persons named Sparks. The above families were found in Part 2, comprising 926 pages.

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THE DESCENDANTS OF ROBERT AND ELIZ.ABETH (SHAW) SPARKS

OF NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA, AND ANOKA, MINNESOTA

(Editor’s Note: This record has been supplied by Mrs. H. T. Hanson, Box 582, Anoka, Minnesota; Mrs. Hanson is a great-great-granddaughter of Robert Sparks. The photographs of Uriah and Elizabeth (McFarlane) Sparks have been supplied by Mrs. Duane Sudman of Minneapolis. She is a great-granddaughter of Uriah Sparks.)

Robert Sparks was born somewhere in England in June, 1804. Nothing is known of his family except that he had a half-brother named Goodwin Sparks and sisters named Mary and Susan. (Mary married Abiel Bonney and Susan married a Murry.)  Robert Sparks came to Canada as a youth and settled in New Brunswick. On October 8, 1829, he was married to Elizabeth Shaw, daughter of William and Jane Shaw. According to this marriage record, on record in Charlotte County, Province of New Brunswick, Robert was a resident of St. George Parish while Elizabeth lived in the adjoining parish of Pennfield. Elizabeth Shaw had also been born in Ireland and had accompanied her parents to Canada when she was three years old. She is known to have had brothers named Willie and George and a sister named Mary. Elizabeth was born in 1809.

In their later life, after their children were grown, Robert and Elizabeth Sparks moved from New Brunswick to Minnesota. He died on November 30, 1880, and was buried in Oakland Cemetery, Anoka, Minnesota. Elizabeth died on July 18, 1887, and was buried beside her husband. Robert and Elizabeth (Shaw) Sparks were the parents of nine children:

1.  Mary Sparks, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Shaw) Sparks, was born in Canada about
1830. She married Winthrop Goss; they were the parents of four children:

(1) Robert Goss.
(2) Joseph Goss.
(3) Frank Goss.
(4) Winnie Goss.
2. Joseph Sparks, son of Robert and Elizabeth (Shaw) Sparks, was born in St. George Parish, New Brunswick, Canada, on May 1, 1833; he died at Sturgis, South Dakota, on March 6, 1913. He moved from Canada to the United States in 1854. On October 28, 1861, he enlisted in the Union Army at Fort Snelling and served in the 1st Battery of Light Artillery from Minnesota until December 27, 1862, when he was discharged because of disability. He married, first, Mary by whom he had two daughters, Clara and Emma. He married, second,
Johanna (or Josie) Murry on November 16, 1879, at Crook City, South Dakota. Joseph Sparks had moved to the Black Hills in April, 1876. Johanna had come to Crook City in 1876. She had been born in London, England, on March 7, 1850, and had come to America with her parents at the age of three years. She spent most of her childhood in Michigan and Minnesota. Joseph and his family moved from Crook City to Bear Butte Valley in 1880 and in 1896 they moved to Sturgis, South Dakota. Johanna was a member of the Catholic Church; Joseph joined the Methodist Church in 1897. They were the parents of four children:
(1) Mabel Sparks.
(2) Henry Sparks; he lived at one time in Mitchell, S.D., and had a daughter named Betty Jo.
(3) Myrtle Sparks, married L S. Fugate of Belle Fouche, S.D. Their children are: Mrs. Ted Cooper (Glenn) who has four children and lives at Miles City, Mont.; Constance (Mrs. Ray Blevan) also lives south of Miles City, Mont.; Tiny Jean (Mrs. Kenneth McCoid) has one child; Phyllis; and Shirley.
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Children of Joseph and Johanna (Murry) Sparks, continued:

(4) Anna Sparks, married Wynn M. Bennett; she lives at Buffalo, S.D.; her children are Betty, Wynn, and Donn.
3. Clarissa C. Sparks, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Shaw) Sparks, was born in either St. Joseph’s Parish, or St. George Parish, New Brunswick, on December 25, 1834. She was married to Elias Wright Pratt on June 24, 1854, at St. George, New Brunswick. He was a son of Elias and Adeline (Bassett) Pratt and had been born on August 8, 1834, at St. Josephs, New Brunswick. He came to Anoka, Minnesota, about 1860, and in 1862 enlisted in Company A, 8th Minnesota Regiment. His first two years in the Union Army were spent fighting the Sioux Indians along the Western Frontier of the state. He saw his captain killed near Lake Kandiyohi by an Indian who hung over the side of his horse so that its body protected him and fired under the horse’s neck. In May, 1864, the 8th Regiment was mounted for the purpose of taking part in an expedition against the Sioux. They marched to the Missouri River where they joined General Sulley’s command. A severe battle took place
at Kilideer, Montana, and the Indians were purused through the Bad Lands and into Montana and Wyoming and were thoroughly whipped and demoralized. In October the regiment was ordered South and Elias Pratt saw a great deal of service before the war ended. By occupation, he was a lumberman; he died on March 29, 1902, following an accident in which a log fell on his chest. He was buried in Oakland Cemetery, Anoka, Minnesota. Clarissa (Sparks) Pratt died on January 5, 1918, at the home of her son, Elias M. Pratt, in St. Paul, Minnesota. She was buried beside her husband in Anoka, Minnesota. Seven children were born to this union:
(1) Bessie Pratt, born in Minneapolis on March 29, 1858; she died on August 3, 1863, in Anoka, Minn., from the whooping cough.
(2) Maria Jane Pratt, born across from Stillwater, Minn., on the Wisconsin side, on March 31, 1856. She was married to David Stewart Gow on October 10, 1882. He was born in St. George, New Brunswick, on October 6, 1848, and was a blacksmith and carriage maker. He died on July 28, 1933. Maria Jane died in Anoka on October 21, 1942, at the age of 86 years. Two children were born to thisunion:
(1) Bertha Meriam Gow, born in Anoka on Aug. 8, 1886; she is a retired teacher but still has charge of a study hail in the Anoka Junior High School.
(2) William Henry Gow, born in Anoka on October 18, 1888; he married Ruth G. Smith in St. Paul on June 5, 1912; four children were born to this  union:
(a)  David (deceased);
(b)  Jean:
(c)  Almeda;
(d)  Jack.
(3) Elmer Ellsworth Pratt, born in Anoka, Minu., May 19, 1866; he married Mary Almeda Coggins in Anoka on July 4, 1891. In 1894 they moved to Rosebud, Montana, and lived on the Diamond Ranch at the time of the Indian outbreak. In 1898 they settled on a homestead near Sidney, Montana. He was one of the early freighters, driving Mondak, Glendive and the R.S. ranch on the Redwater. For a few years he operated a feed store at Crane. His wife died on January 10, 1905, at the birth of the fifth child. He died at Savage, Montana, on October 22, 1939. They were the parents of five children:
(1) Elmer Ellsworth Pratt;
(2) Guy Everett Pratt;
(3) Neale Wayland Pratt;
(4) Dwighk Linton Pratt;
(5) Almeda Blanche Pratt.
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Children of Clarissa C. Sparks and Elias Wright Pratt, continued:
 

(4) David Orlando Pratt, born in Anoka on August 27, 1868; he married Harriet Eliza VanNess on March 23, 1898. She had been born on December 25, 1866, at East Orange, New Jersey, and died on March 25, 1955, at Seattle, Wasnington. He died in May 1943 at Seattle. One child was born to this union, Helen VanNess Pratt (Mrs. John I. Shotwell).

(5) Uriah Sparks Pratt, born in Anoka, Minnesota, on August 19, 1872; he married Della Mae Jacobs on February 22, 1899, in Anoka. Before his marriage he was a woodsman, driving teams for a lumber company. After his marriage, he and his bride went to Montana where they lived on the Howard Ranch at Saber. They stayed about three years and lost heavily, due largely to grasshopper invasions. They returned to Minnesota. In 1918 he was elected sheriff of Anoka County and held this office for sixteen years. In 1934 he went to work at the Federal Cartridge Company as a guard where he remained until his retirement in 1951. While sheriff he was instrumental in solving many murders and bank robberies. He died in Anoka on July 11, 1954. Uriah and Della (Jacobs) Pratt were the parents of three children:

(1) Gladys Maria Pratt, born at Saber, Montana, on November 10, 1899 (now Mrs. Carl E. Nelson);
(2) Vivian Russell Pratt, born at Saber, Montana, on November 25, 1901 (now Mrs. Oscar W. Gustafson);
(3) Jessie Fern Pratt, born at Spencerbrook, Minnesota, on April 25, 1903 (now Mrs. Hartwick Theodore Hanson).
(6) Clarissa S. Pratt, born in Anoka, Minnesota, on September 19, 1876; she married John P. Middlebrook on May 1, 1901, at Anoka; she died on April 1, 1956, at Seattle, Washington. Her husband, who was born August 20, 1868, at Mankato, Minnesota, is still living. Six children were born to this union:
(1) George P. Middlebrook;
(2) Verna Maud Middlebrook;
(3) Katherine Ruth Middlebrook;
(4) John Gordon Middlebrook;
(5) Francis Marion Middlebrook;
(6) Helen Clarissa Middlebrook.
(7) Elias M. Pratt, born in Anoka, Minnesota, on June 6, 1878; he married Clara Reem in Champlin, Minnesota, on January 28, 1903. (She was born April 13, 1884, daughter of W. L. and Amy A. Reem.) He was a shoe salesman in St. Paul. He died in St. Paul on June 13, 1920.


4. Sophronia Sparks, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Shaw) Sparks, was born about 1836, probably in St. George, New Brunswick, Canada. She married Philo Hanson and they had four children:

(1) Reitha Hanson.
(2) Lida Hanson.
(3) Minnie Hanson.
(4) Marion Hanson.


5. Uriah S. Sparks, son of Robert and Elizabeth (Shaw) Sparks, was born at St. George, New Brunswick, Canada, on December 22, 1839. When he was nineteen years old he came west to Wisconsin hoping to prepare the way for his family to migrate there. Things did not work out and he returned home. At the age of twenty-four he was married to Elizabeth McFarlane. She was born on February 25, 1845, and died in August, 1931. In 1884, they migrated to Bear Butte, South Dakota. He was a deacon in the Baptist Church and in 1905
he and his wife and seven others united to form the first Baptist Church in Sturgis, South Dakota. He died at the age of 78 and was buried in Bear Butte Cemetery. Uriah S. and Elizabeth (McFarlane) Sparks were the parents of eight children.

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[Note:  Here appears photographs, beneath which are the following captions:]
 
 

URIAH S. SPARKS (1839-1917)   ELIZABETH (McFARLANE) SPARKS

                                     son of Robert Sparks                         wife of Uriah S. Sparks

                                     (View photograph)                              (View photograph)
 

Uriah S. and Elizabeth (McFarlane) Sparks were the parents of the following children:
 

(1) Mary Elizabeth Sparks (called Mame); she married Irving Johnson and they were the parents of six children:
(1) Arthur Johnson, married Anna - - - - -;
(2) Elizabeth Johnson, married Harry Blair;
(3) Walter Johnson, married Elizabeth - - - - -;
(4) Maurice Johnson, married Tillie - - - - - ;
(5) Marion Johnson, married William Middlebrook;
(6) Clarence I. Johnson, married Marion - - - - -.
(2) Lena Augusta Sparks, born May 10, 1870, died in Fargo, North Dakota, on August 18, 1937. She married Frank G. Cornwell in Bear Butte Valley on June 30, 1891. He died on September 22, 1904, in Sturgis, South Dakota. Both are buried in the Bear Butte Cemetery in Sturgis. They had two children:
(1) Frank George Cornwell, born Sept. 22, 1898; he married Loreta Griffin on Sept. 7, 1922.
(2) Gus Harold, born Feb. 21, 1903; he married Emily Moore on June --, 1927.
(3) David McFarlane Sparks; he married a nurse in Forest Grove, Oregon, and they had a daughter named Anna Elizabeth Sparks who married Dale Fuller.
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          Children of Uriah S. and Elizabeth (McFarlane) Sparks, continued:

(4) Clara Lorena Sparks, born December 9, 1873, in St. George, New Brunswick.  She married Robert Shoun on January 22, 1902. They were the parents of the following children:
(1) Cora Ethel Shoun, born Jan. 14, 1904, married Richard Moeller on March 16, 1932;
(2) Allen Shoun, born July 26, 1906;
(3) Carl Vernon Shoun, born Sept. 6, 1913.
(5) Robert Frederick Sparks, born June 15, 1875; he married Ava Zentz. They had no children.

(6) Ada Sophronia Sparks, born June 25, 1877. She married Frank Wilson at Vulcan, Alberta, Canada, They had two children:

(1) Edward Wilson, born March 5, 1906, unmarried;
(2) Maude Wilson, born in 1908; she married Charles Bales of Alberta, Canada, and they had three children, Frank, Helen, and Irene.
(7) Lulu Ethel Sparks, born May 30, 1879. She married Charles Seggelke on April 16, 1911, at Chalk Buttee, South Dakota. They had one child, Charles Henry Seggelke who was born Nov. 6, 1919; he married Mary Ellen and lives in Denver, Col.

(8) Roy Elmer Sparks, born February 23, 1881. He married Marie Lorang on February 2, 1906, and lived in Sturgis. They were the parents of four children:
 

(1) Blanche Sparks, born Dec. 13, 1906, married William Baker;
(2) Elmer Sparks, deceased;
(3) Floyd Sparks, born Sept. 27, 1910;
(4) Doris Annette Sparks, married Joseph McKenna.
6. Melissa (or Minnie) Sparks, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Shaw) Sparks; she married Jake L. Reed who was born in 1877 and died September 23, 1903. Melissa died on March 1, 1901.

7. Henry Sparks, son of Robert and Elizabeth (Shaw) Sparks; he married Jennie He was a carpenter and built houses in Anoka, Minnesota. They had a number of children, including:

(1) Birdie Sparks, born January 24, 1880.
(2) Tina Sparks, died in Minneapolis, Minn., in November, 1963.
(3) Bess Sparks, died in Hollywood, California, in December, 1964.
(4) Pearle Sparks, died in Los Angeles in 1953.
(5) Robert S. Sparks, married Edith ; he died in Los Angeles. He had a son named Richard Sparks.


8. Anna Sparks, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Shaw) Sparks, was born at St. John, New Brunswick. She married Alexander McGregor in 1870. He died in 1875 from wounds he had received during the Civil War. There were two children

(1) George A. McGregor.
(2) Charles McGregor, died at the age of three.
Anna married (2nd) Dr. Allen in 1878. She had one daughter by this marriage, Reitha Allen who married L. Laing of Alliance, Missouri. Anna died on December 27, 1930, and was buried in Aurora, Mo. Her granddaughter, Jean (Mrs. John) Hofferber, lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

9. Jane Sparks (called Jennie), daughter of Robert and Elizabeth (Shaw) Sparks; she married Seth E. Abbott who was born January 25, 1845, and died April 17, 1887. She spent most of her life in the East and after her death in May, 1931, her body was returned to Anoka, Minn, for burial beside her husband.  Jane and Seth Abbott were the parents of two children:

(1) J. Roy Abbott, born October 23, 1881; died May 4, 1887.
(2) Vera B. Abbott, born January 1, 1883; died June 6, 1887.
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SPARKS MARRIAGES IN KENTUCKY

By: Paul E. Sparks

(Continued from page 935)

MORGAN COUNTY, KENTUCKY, MARRIAGE BONDS 1822-1900

Copied by Paul E. Sparks

William Sparks & Folly Lyon, May 2, 1832. Book 1, p. 22.
John Sparks & Mary Lykins, November 10, 1841. Book 1, p. 57.
John Sparks & Lucinda Waggoner, November 7, 1844. Book 1, p. 68.
Elijah Sparks & Angebine Blanton, August 18, 1869. Book 2, p. 30.
Joseph Sparks & Cyntha A. Kilgore, August 18, 1881. Book 2, p. 182.
Reuben D. Sparks & Florence Hutchinson, February 16, 1898. Book 3, p. 216.
 
 

NELSON COUNTY, KENTUCKY, MARRIAGE BONDS (1785-1850)

Copied from Records of the Filson Club

William Sparks & Nancy Nall, June 5, 1817. Surety, John Nall. She a daughter of John Nall.
Joseph Sparks & Sally Bodine, November 13, 1848. Married by N. B. McClaskey.
 
 

NICHOLAS COUNTY, KENTUCKY, MARRIAGE BONDS (1799-1855)

Copied by Paul E. Sparks

George Sparks & Rachel McClenehan, April 18, 1805. By John Persons.
William Sparks & Miss Caly Knox, May 18, 1820. By Peter Horn.
Jonas Sparks & Betsey Knox, October 30, 1821. By Richd. Thomas.
Atrisma Sparks & Isaac Baker, May 16, 1822. By James G. Leach.
Patsy Sparks & Isaac Baker, August 28, 1823. By Peter Horn.
William Sparks & Malinda Mattox, - - - - - , 1825.
James Sparks & Polly Ellis, November 1, 1827. By John Rogers.
Susan Sparks & Abraham Inlow, July 17, 1828. By John Rogers.
Edward Sparks & Folly Moler, August 7, 1828. By Peter Horn.
Otho Sparks & Susan Snap, February 7, 1833. By Elijah B0 Chrisman.
Sally Ann Sparks & Noah Varner, April 7, 1833. By Abraham Shrout.
Polly Sparks & Abraham Shulse, January 20, 1836. By John Doughty.
George Sparks & Catherine Stokes, December 30, 1836. By James G. Leach.
Charles Sparks & Mary Ann Barnett, January 18, 1838. By Isaac Monson.
Elvira Sparks and James Hufstetter, September 21, 1841, By John Doughty.
Kitty Harriet Sparks & Ephraim Wilson, April 19, 1842. By Thomas Wilson.
John Sparks & Cyntha Bradshaw, August 23, 1849. By Peter Horn.
Margaret Sparks & Addison Young, September 30, 1852, By W. P. Ross, J.P.
Otha Sparks & Sarah I. Smith, July 6, 1853. By B. P. Buckner. Married at Charles Barnett’ s.
Samuel Sparks & Abigail H. McVey, July 18, 1854. By Abraham S. Barr. Married at John  McVey’s.

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OLDHAM COUNTY, KENTUCKY, MARRIAGE BONDS (1823-1880)

Copied by Paul E. Sparks

Jack Sparks & Mary Crews, March 13, 1832.
Jane Sparks & William Leaford, August 19, 1833.
Edmund Sparks & Elizabeth Armstrong, Aru’il 11, 1844.
L. I. Sparks & H. Roney, March 17, 1852.
Fred B. Sparks & Mrs. Elizabeth Ashby, August 16, 1855.
Elizabeth Sparks & J. A. Sandefur, September 11, 1856.
Mary E. Sparks & John W. Wallace, March 14, 1857.
G. W. Sparks & Edmonia Blakemore, November 3, 1864.
Mitchell Sparks & Maggie Ragsdale, December 24, 1868.
John F. Sparks & Emma T. Brumley, January 10, 1879.

OWEN COUNTY, KENTUCKY, MARRIAGE BONDS (1819-1890)

Copied by Paul E. Sparks

Rhoda Sparks & George P. Hill, January 8, 1821. Bondsman: Henry Sparks, father.
Ibby Sparks & Lewis Smither, January 8, 1827. Bondaman: Anthony Sparks, father.
Madison Sparks & Winifred Stafford, February 5, 1827. Bondsman: Thomas Carter.
William Sparks & Juliann Warner, September 14, 1831. Bondsman: William Warner.
Thomas Sparks & Mariah Sparks, October 17, 1831. Bondsman: Thomas Sparks.
Henry Sparks, Jr., & Folly Smither, December 21, 1831. Bondsman, William Smither.
Middleton Sparks & Nancy Williams, April 30, 1832. Bondsman: Charles Williams.
Lucindy Sparks & Delvill Walker, August 31, 1836. Bondsman: Jno. P. Sparks.
Lucy Sparks & Robert J. Hill, March 11, 1837. Bondsman: John Sparks.
Nancy Sparks & Daniel Stow, May 18, 1837. Bondsman, Nancy Sparks.
Martha Sparks & Jesse B. Hill, October 2, 1837. Married by Joshua Wilboit.
Sarah Sparks & Bayless G. Harden, December 16, 1844.
Frances Sparks & John L. Hill, November 21, 1846. Bondsman: Anthony Sparks, father.
Mary Sparks & William H. Smith, July 8, 1848. Bondsman, Anthony Sparks, father.
A. I. Sparks & Sarah Ann Eads, September 13, 1849. Bondsman: John Lawler,
George W. Sparks & C. L. Weems, January 17, 1853. Bondsmen: Clarissa Weems & John - -
Thomas J. Sparks & Mildred Sparks, November 10, 1856. Bondsman: H. G. Smith.
R. H. Sparks & M. A. Yarbrough, July 31, 1863.
Jno. M. Sparks & A. Hardin, June 18, 1864.
A. P. Sparks & Eva Roberts, September 16, 1869.
B. H. Sparks & M. B. Roberts, January 21, 1880.
Wesley S. Sparks & Sallie M. Sparks, February 25, 1885. Bondsmen: Thomas Moore &  A. T. Sparks.
John A. Sparks & Moblie Clements, November 5, 1885. Bondsmen: C. N. White & Sidney  Douthitt.
B. L. Sparks & Alice Bourne, August 25, 1889. Bondsmen: Dove Clark & William Gaines.

PERRY COUNTY, KENTUCKY, MARRIAGE BONDS (1820-1850)

Copied by Paul E. Sparks

James Sparks & - - - - - - - - - - - - - - , September 26, 1836. By J. Haddin, J.P.
Ephraim Sparks & - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -, January 31, 1839. By Abie Pennington.

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PIKE COUNTY, KENTUCKY, MARRIAGE BONDS (1821-1865)

Copied from Records of The Filson Club

Mary Jane Sparks & Lorenza D. Hinkle, March 24, 1846.
Richard Sparks & Mary Johnson, January 24, 1849.
Keziah Sparks & Jacob Ratliff, December 2, 1852. She a daughter of Martha Sparks.
Martha Jane Sparks & William M. Helvy, July 19, 1856. She born in Lawrence County, Ky., and a
          daughter of B. Sparks.
Richard Sparks & Rebecca DavIs, March 15, 1865.
Margaret Sparks & Andrew Ratbiff, August 22, 1861. Married at Squire Ratliff’s.

SHELBY COUNTY, KENTUCKY, MARRIAGE BONDS (1792-1860)

Copied by Paul E. Sparks

Elijah Sparks & Dinah Duncan, March, 1803. Book 1, p. 10.
Samuel Sparks & Caty Carr, May 8, 1806. Book 1, p. 22.
Richard Sparks & Mary Smith, March 27, 1806. Book 1, p. 28.
Leonard Sparks & Hannah Sharp, April 7, 1814. Book 1, p. 90.
John Sparks & Patsey Trailkill, September 26, 1822. Book 2, p. 3.
James Sparks & Sarah Threldkill, September 25, 1823. Book 2, p. 24.
James Jonas Sparks & Paulina Polleweight, April 5, 1827. Book 2, p. 99.
[Scanner's note:  This was originally printed as James Sparks and was corrected in the Quarterly at page 3969.]
Henry Sparks & Nancy Theldkild, December 9, 1830. Book 2, p. 128.
Nimrod C. Sparks & Penelope Tibby, February 10, 1834. Book 1833-1848, p. 76. She a daughter of Henry Tilly.
Walter J. Sparks & Eliza Ann Terrell, December 17, 1851. Book 1848-1853, p. --. She a daughter of A. B. Terrell.
William A. Sparks & Mary Louisa Haverton, December 30, 1852. Book 1848-1853, p. --. She a daughter of Allen Haverton.
Richard I. Sparks & Mildred Ann Pierce, March 2, 1858. Book 1853-1860, p. --. She a daughter of John M. Pierce.

SPENCER COUNTY, KENTUCKY, MARRIAGE BONDS (1824-1875)

Copied by Paul E. Sparks

Massey Sparks & David Prind, December 23, 1824. Bondsmen: Harmon Sparks & David Prind.  Witnesses: Paphall Lancaster.
Harman A. Sparks & Malinda Peak, December 26, 1824. Married by William Stout. Book 1, p. 3.
Sally Sparks & Willis McGaughey, August 24, 1827. Bondsmen: Willis McGaughey & Benjamin Sparks. Married by William Stout. Book 1, p. 19.
Betsey Sparks & James Booth, April 15, 1829. Bondsmen: Willis McGaughey & James Booth. Married by William Stout. Book 1, p. 33.
Duncan Sparks & Rachel Martin, December 2, 1834. Bondsmen: Willis McGaughey & Duncan Sparks. Married by William Stout. Book 1, p. 49.
Asa Sparks & Ailsa Purcell, June 13, 1839. Bondsmen: Alexander Purcell & Asa Sparks. Married by William Stout. Book 1, p. 94.
Asa Sparks & Jane Coleman, October, 1852. Bondsman: Robert Cunningham. Witnesses: Mrs. L, Page, Mrs .Collins, Mrs. Hartsciaw. Married at George L. Page’s. Book 2, p. 9.

(continued on next page)

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Spencer County, Kentucky, Marriage Bonds, continued:

Jackson Sparks & Ainanda J. Drake, December 1, 1852. Bondsmen: William Drake & Jackson Sparks. He over 21 years of age.  Book 2, p. 16.
Mary Elizabeth Sparks & John C. Markwell, October 4, 1853. Bondsmen: Walter Sparks and John C, Markwell. Married by William P. Barnett at home of Walter Sparks. Witnesses: Milton McGrew & Samuel Harrison. Book 2, p. 54.
Susan C. Sparks & Charles W. Noble, December 1, 1875. Bondsmen: James Sparks & Charles W. Noble, Witnesses: George Vandike and Jack Vandike. Married by J. A. Henderson at home of James Sparks. Book 2, p. 849.

(Note by Paul E. Sparks: The marriage books are quite mixed up at Taylorsville. Book 1 is the minister’s returns, and some ministers made one return each year only.  Consequently, there are no indexes. I spent the morning of July 9, 1965, going over Book 1 page-by-page of old faded writing. I believe I caught all the Sparkses.)

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TRIMBLE COUNTY, KENTUCKY, MARRIAGE BONDS (1836-1880)

Copied by Paul E. Sparks

.Polly Sparks & Elijah Wilihoit, February 28, 1851.

John Pressley Sparks & Fannie Barnett Hancock, November 1, 1866. He born in Henry County, Ky., aged 27; his father born in Virginia, his mother born in Kentucky. She born in Thimble County, Ky., age 18; her father born in Virginia, her mother born in Kentucky.

A. J. Sparks & Catharine Murphy, September 16, 1879. Married at Mt. Carmel, Kentucky, Witnesses: Mary Ferris & William Ferris.

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WOODFORD COUNTY, KENTUCKY, MARRIAGE BONDS (1788-1850)

Copied from Records of The Filson Club

Martin Sparks & Catty Middleton, October 3, 1801. Bondsman: Lewis Sullivan. James Sparks &  Rachel Petty, August 18, 1804. Bondsman: Jacob Wilson.

Archiball Sparks & Elizabeth Carter, June 18, 1814. Bondsman: Jno B. Carter, father.   George Ann Sparks & Allen Carter, January 9, 1838.

Adeline Sparks & Joseph W. Williams, July 2, 1838. Bondsman: Henry MoHarth. Berry F. Sparks & Sarah Simmons, Jane 21, 1849.

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SPARKSES IN THE WAR OF 1812

BOUNTY LAND AND PENSION APPLICATIONS

(Continued from page 932)


WILLIAM SPARKS, born about 1791 in Maryland; resident of Hamilton County, Ohio, in 1819 where he married on October 14, 1819, Jane Wiggins; moved to Ripley, Brown County, Ohio, in 1820 where he died November 22, 1876.  Pension File WC 15 462.

On March 15, 1871, William Sparks appeared before the Judge of Probate, Samuel H. Stevenson, of Brown County, Ohio, to make application for a pension under the provisions of the Act of February 14, 1871, based on his service in the War of 1812. William Sparks swore that he was 80 years of age and a resident of the town of Ripley in Brown County, Ohio. He stated that the maiden name of his wife had been Jane Avon Smith Wiggins and that they had been married at Cincinnati, Ohio, in December, 1819. He stated that he had enlisted as a private in Capt. Bumbery’s Company of Sea Fercibles stationed at Fort Molienry near Baltimore, Maryland, commanded by Maj. Armstrad in 1814 and was discharged in 1815. He could not recall the exact dates but swore that he had enlisted for one year and had served out his full time. He stated that he had been in the fight with the British in the spring of 1815 when they attempted to capture Baltimore with war vessels. “They did not succeed, but after a long bombardment they left in disgust.” He appointed Chambers Baird of Ripley to be his lawful attorney to prosecute his claim. He stated that his domicile or place of abode was “in Ripley, Brown County, Ohio, on Second Street between Market and Medburg Steets on the west side of the street at the corner of Second Street & Campbell’s Alley.” William Sparks signed this application by mark. Alonzo B. Palmer and David Tarbell were his witnesses.

When Chambers Baird submitted this application to the Commissioner of Pensions on March 16, 1871, he stated that William Sparks had obtained a land warrant “some years ago,” but the papers pertaining to that grant have not been located at the National Aràhives. The warrant number was 3173-160-50.

Treasury Department records revealed that William Sparks had served in Capt. Gill’s Company, U.S. Sea Fencibles, from February 21, 1813, to August 31, 1814; and that he had been transferred to Capt. M. S. Rumberry’s Company on March 23, 1814. His pension application was approved on December 26, 1871, and he was granted a pension of $8.00 per month from February 14, 1871.

William Sparks died on November 22, 1876. On May 20, 1878, Jane Sparks, widow of William, appeared before Judge John P. Biehn to make application for a pension under the provisions of an Act of Congress dated March 9, 1878. She stated that she was 78 years of age end that she was a resident of Ripley, Brown County, Ohio. She swore that she had been married to William Sparks on October 14, 1819, by one James Quinn, Minister of the Gospel, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and that her maiden name had been Jane Wiggins. She also stated neither she nor William Sparks had been previously married, She also stated that she and her hunsband  “have resided in Ripley, Brown County, Ohio, ever since about three months after their marriage, removing from Hamilton County, Ohio.” Jane Sparks signed by mark; her witnesses were Marion Johnson, aged 68, and David Gaddis, aged 72, both of Ripley. Marion Johnson stated he had known Jane Sparks for 46 years and David Gaddis stated he had known her for 48 years.

To prove her marriage to William Sparks, Jane Sparks submitted a sworn statement by the Probate Judge of Hamilton County, Ohio, that a record was on file of the

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marriage of William Sparks and Jane Wiggins dated October 14, 1819, signed by James Quinn, a Minister of the Gospel.

Marion Johnson also submitted a sworn statement dated May 20, 1878, that he had resided in Ripley since 1832 and that he had known Jane Sparks since that time. He swore that he was present when William Sparks died on November 22, 1876, that he had “helped lay out the corpse and attended his funeral at Ripley.” On the same date, David Gaddis swore that he had lived in Ripley since 1820 and had known the Sparkses since 1830, that he had attended William Sparks’s funeral, “being present & officiating as one of the Ministers of the Gospel on the occasion.”

On December 19, 1878, Chambers Baird wrote to the Commissioner of Pensions to ask about Jane Sparks’s application, stating that she “has no means of support except a mere pittance.”

Jane Sparks’s application was approved on January 3, 1879, and she was granted a pension of $8.00 per month from March 9, 1878.

(Editor’s Note: From census records we know that William Sparks was born in Maryland about 1791. He served in a Maryland unit in the War of 1812 and from the fact that this unit was stationed near Baltimore when he enlisted on February 21, 1813, we may speculate that his home was near Baltimore. Sometime between 1814 and 1819, he moved from Maryland to Hamilton County, Ohio, where he married Jane Wiggins on October 14, 1819. In the June, 1962, issue of the Quarterly (Vol. X, No. 2, Whole No. 38,p. 657- 8) we published the will of Isaac Sparks who died in Hamilton County, Ohio, in l834. In his will, Isaac Sparks mentioned his eldest son named William Sparks. (Cemetery records reveal that Isaac Sparks was born November 24, 1768, and died August 31, 1834, while his wife Sally died December 17, 1825.) William Sparks, son of Isaac,
 may have been the same William Sparks who married Jane Wiggins, however, while this William Sparks was born in Maryland, a daughter of Isaac Sparks (Mary who married Obadiah Seward) gave her birth place on the 1850 census as New Jersey. This latter record argues against the two Williams being the same person.

When the 1850 census was taken of Brown County, Ohio, William Sparks was listed as a cabinet maker, with real estate valued at $2200 and birth place as Maryland; his wife Jane was listed as 44 years old and born in Pennsylvania. A 7-year-old girl named Hester Ann was listed also, born in Ohio--she was probably a daughter. In 1870, William and Jane Sparks were listed in the household of Alonzo Palmer, aged 30, a carpenter. Two Palmer children were listed: Luella aged 9 years and William L. Palmer aged 7 years. On the 1880 census, Jane Sparks, now a widow aged 80, was listed as living with George Gabler (aged 23, a photographer) with his wife, named Louella, aged 19 years. George Gabler was called Jane Sparks’s grandson on this record, It appears, therefore, that Hester Ann Sparks, daughter of William and Jane Sparks, married Alonzo Palmer and died prior to 1870, and that Louella, daughter of Alonzo and Hester Ann (Sparks) Palmer, married George Gabler.)

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WILLIAM D. SPARKS born in Surry County, North Carolina, about 1790; died in - - - - - - -, Cooper County, Missouri, prior to 1860. Bounty Land Warrant File 54 795-120-55.

On November 21, 1850, William Sparks, a resident of Cooper County, Missouri, appeared before a justice of the peace named Thomas M. Campbell in Cooper County to make application for bounty land.  William Sparks stated that he was 52 years old, but from other records, including his own later application, we know that he was actually 62 years old in 1850. He swore that he had served as a private in

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Capt. John Witcher’s Company of the 5th North Carolina Regiment of detached infantry commanded by Lt. Col, Sam Hunter in the War of 1812. He swore that he had been drafted in Surry County, North Carolina, on or about July 15, 1814, for the term of six months and that he had continued in such service until he was honorably discharged at Norfolk, Virginia, on February 22, 1815. He added that it had not been until November 28, 1814, that he had been ordered to active duty. He signed his name to the application as “William Sparks.”

With his application, William Sparks sent his certificate of discharge which reads: “In conformity to General Orders received the 22d of Feb. 1815, William Sparks, a Private in Captain John Witcher’s Company of the 5th North Carolina Regiment, in the Service of the United States, at Norfolk, is hereby honorably discharged from his tour of duty, he was detached to perform, under General Orders of the 28th November, 1814. [signed]  John Witcher, Captain
                                                                                              5th Regiment, North Carolina Militia
                                                                              [signed]  Sam Hunter, Lt. Col.”

His application was approved and William Sparks was issued a bounty land warrant for 40 acres.

On April 14, 1855, William Sparks appeared before Henry C. Lewis, Clerk of the County Court of Cooper County to make application for additional bounty land under the new Act of March 3, 1855. He stated that he was now 65 years old and still a resident of Cooper County. He gave the same information about his service as he had in 1850 except he gave the regimental commander’s name as Col. Atkinson instead of Hunter. Apparently Atkinson commanded the regiment from which he had been detached. He again signed his name in a clear hand as “William Sparks.” Two men named Michael Son and Joseph H. Moore signed his application as witnesses. Again his application was approved and William Sparks was issued a warrant for 120 additional acres of bounty land.

(Editor’s Note: William D. Sparks was born about 1790 in Surry County, North Carolina. He was a son of Matthew and Eunice Sparks and a grandson of William Sample Sparks who came from Frederick County, Maryland, to North Carolina, about 1760. Matthew Sparks made his will in Surry County on March 26, 1819, and named the following children: (1) Joel Sparks, (2) George Sparks, (3) Matthew Sparks, Jr., (4) William Sparks, (5) John Sparks, (6) Nancy Smith, (7) Sally Bray, and (8) Peggy West. Joel Sparks, son of Matthew and brother of William, also served in the War of 1812 (see the September, 1961, issue of the Quarterly, Vol. IX, No. 3, Whole No. 35, pp. 579-80 for an abstract of Joel’s pension application.)

[Scanner's note:  See SQ p. 3501 for the following:  "The above statement that William D. Sparks was a grandson of William Sample Sparks is incorrect.  We know now that he was a son of the Matthew Sparks who died in 1819, and a grandson of William Sparks who died in Surry County, North Carolina, in 1801.  He was a great-grandson of William Sample Sparks."
]
When Joel Sparks applied for bounty land, William Sparks made a sworn statement dated March 27, 1857, that he and Joel had served in the same company but that “Joel became so disabled on account of a rising in [his] left leg near the ancle as to be unable to continue in service.” He added that Joel had been discharged in Hilisboro, Orange County, North Carolina.

William D. Sparks signed both of his applications for bounty land simply as “William Sparks.” On many other occasions, however, he signed his name as “William D. Sparks.” He may have added the middle initial “D” after he became an adult to avoid confusion with the several other William Sparkees in Surry County--there was a William S. Sparks and a William Z. Sparks. On the 1818 tax list for Surry County, he was listed as William D. Sparks with 55 acres of land valued at $60 and located on North Hunting Creek adjoining his father’s land.

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In March, 1819, probably in anticipation of his approaching death, Matthew Sparks gave land to a number of his children. On March 26, 1819, he deeded 70 acres to his son William “in consideration of the natural love and affection that a parent hath towards a child,” This land was described as being on the north side of Hunting Creek in Surry County and adjoining a tract that Matthew gave on the same day to his son George. It also adjoined the Wilkes County line. By the time the tax list was made for Surry County (Capt. Denney’s District), Matthew Sparks had died and William D. Sparks was taxed on 115 acres valued at $260 on Hunting Creek, which was described as adjoining the land owned by his mother, Unicy Sparks. He was listed regularly on the Surry County tax lists through 1839, and he was always listed with the middle initial “D”.

On August 11, 1827, William D. Sparks sold the land he had received from his father, along with 30 additional acres from an adjoining tract he had acquired earlier, to Wilie Felt for $250. He signed the deed as “William D. Sparks.” On September 24, 1827, he sold 5 acres to Philip Holcomb; he signed this deed as “W. D. Sparks.” On November 2, 1832, he purchased from David Chappel for $1.00 per acre 65 acres “on the head waters of Hunting Creek near the Brushy Mountain,” adjoining the land of Charles Johnson. in. this deed he was named was William D. Sparks. On September 22, 1839, he sola this tract to David Money and signed the deed as “Wm. D. Sparks.” His brother, Joel Sparks, signed both of these deeds as a witness. This deed of 1839 is the last deed on file for William D. Sparks in Surry County and it is belived that he moved about this time to Missouri.

There is no marriage bond on record in Surry County for William D. Sparks. (Only about one third of the marriages in North Carolina at this time were legalized through a bond, a much more common practice being that of crying banns, in which cases no record of the marriage was made in the courthouse.) Possibly he was the William Sparks who married Lethey Speer in 1816 (bond dated August 1, 1816) or the William Sparks who married Elizabeth Gentry in 1813 (bond dated January 4, 1813). On the 1850 census of Cooper County, Missouri, however, his wife’s name was given as Priscitta Sparks (perhaps intended for Priscilla).

On the 1850 census of Cooper County, Missouri, William D. Sparks is listed as aged 52, whereas he was actually aged 62. It is curious that in this census and well as in his application for bounty land of 1850 he should have made this mistake. According to this census, he was a farmer and owned land valued at $500. His eldest son, Richard M. Sparks, was married by this time and living on a nearby farm, but his other children were still at home. His wife’s age was given as 48.

William D. Sparks died sometime prior to 1860. He is known to have been the father of the following cnildren:
          (1) Richard M. Sparks, born May 4, 1829; married Mary C. Duncan. He died April 17, 1893.
          (2) Martin Sparks, born about 1832.
          (3) Almeda Sparks, born about 1836; she married Mark Kelly.
          (4) Edmond Jones Sparks (called Jones Sparks on the 1850 census) born October 12,
               1837.
          (5) Louisa Sparks, born about 1839.
 

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

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HOW AN AMERICAN FAMILY ACQUIRED THE NAME SPARKS

(Editor’s Note: The following letter was received recently from Miss Eleanor A. Sparks of 7054 North Damen Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. We believe that members of the Association will find this letter as interesting as we did.)

August 22, 1965.

Dear Dr. Bidlack:

Your Association recently forwarded literature concerning The Sparks Family Association to a sister-in-law of mine, a Mrs. Eleanor Sparks, who resides at 1840 No. Mobile Ave., Chicago, Illinois. Mrs. Sparks, in turn, forwarded the said literature to me, inasmuch as I am a Miss Sparks, and she thought I might be interested in reading your letter explaining the activities, etc., of the Sparks Association. Mrs. Eleanor Sparks is the widow of my youngest brother.

It so happens that my father came to America, with his parents, from Sweden. He was fourteen years of age. He had started to learn his trade while in Sweden and it was but a short time until he was apprenticed to an organization in America to complete his apprenticeship and then start his life in America. Soon thereafter, it was time to become a citizen of our Country arid this he did. He lived, in his adopted land, to the age of 92 years.

As you are probably aware, quite often our foreign-born folks decide they want an “Amer loan” name. How can anyone say a name sounds like an American name’ America is the melting pot of the world and we have all kinds of names. However, my father’s parents agreed that their son could select any one of the names of their grandparents or great-grandparents, or carry on with their own father’s name, which is a very beautiful name and is easy to spell. My father’s parents did not change their name. Those carrying the family name were well-known in Sweden. The very mention of the name brought respect and attention to the family members.

In his efforts to spell the name my father chose to use, when he stood before the members of the naturalization board as a teenager, he became confused and, as he told us later in life, an Englishman, who was standing by, suggested that he (my father) shorten the name to Sparks, since the Swedish name sounded like Sparks to everyone there at the time. Thus this helpless Swedish youth (who later became my father) suddenly became known as a Sparks. The name of Sparks is a common name amongst the English people.

My mother came from Norway when six years of age. Her family name ends in “sen” which immediately identifies it as Norwegian. When 21 years of age, she changed her name to Sparks.

As we children grew up and learned the reason why were were known as Sparks, and we learned what our name really should be, we were surprised and, I might say, disappointed, for we, as a family group, lost our family identity with our f orefathers in Sweden. ... I am the only single member of our Sparks family. My two brothers have passed away. Each brother had one son. Thus my brothers, my two sisters and I were the first Sparkses born in America. We were baptized, confirmed and admitted in schools under the name of Sparks and never thought of changing to our grandfather’s name. ... Our heritage was lost back in 1880, when an Englishman suggested to a teenage Swedish lad that he spell his name “Sparks” because the poor lad could not make himself understood in his efforts to spell his Swedish name. ... Sincerely yours, Eleanor A. Sparks.

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ARTHUR J. SPARKS (BORN 1873) OF LAKEFIELD, MINNESOTA

(Editor’s Note: The following sketch is copied from An Illustrated History of Jackson County, Minnesota, by Arthur P. Rose, published in 1910.)

Arthur J. Sparks is a farmer and thoroughbred stock raiser who resides within the corporate limits of the village of Lakefield. [Note this was written in 1910.] He owns the old Rasmus Larson homestead adjoining the village of Lakefield and the southeast quarter section 6, Hunter township. He was one of the first to bring a herd of registered Shorthorn cattle to Jackson county, and he has a fine herd of stock. He also has 400 growing fruit trees on his home farm.

Mr. Sparks was born in Grant county, Wisconsin, January 9, 1873, the son of Joseph and Mary A. (Tomlinson) Sparks. Both parents were natives of England. They came to America when seven years of age, lived one winter in Canada, and then located in Grant county, Wisconsin, in 1837, being very early pioneers of that county. The father of our subject crossed the plains to California in 1849 and was the first to reach the famous Grass Valley. He returned to the states by way of Panama, the gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi river and lived in Grant county, Wisconsin, until a short time before his death. He died in 1905, aged 78 years. His wife still lives [1910] and is 72 years of age. They were the parents of ten children, of whom the following five are living: Mrs. C. E. Buell, of Webster City, Iowa; Mrs. Allie Blank, of North Dakota; Frank T., of Buffalo Center, Iowa, Arthur J., of this sketch; and Clinton A., of Buffalo Center, Iowa.

Arthur lived with his parents in Grant county, Wisconsin, until 1897, and there he received a district school education. In the year last mentioned he came to Jackson county and bought the northwest quarter of section 36, Delafield township, where he lived nearly four years. Selling that, he bought the Larson homestead, on the edge of Lakefield, and there he has since lived, engaged in farming and stockraising. During his residence in Delafield township Mr. Sparks was a member of the school board of his district. He is a member of the Maccabee and M. W. A. lodges.

Mr. Sparks was married in Lakefield February 15, 1899, to Miss Lena D. Larson, who was born on the homestead where she now lives. She is the daughter of Rasmus and Christine R. (Hokansen) Larson, early pioneers of the county. Mr. and Mrs. Larson were natives of Norway. They came to America in 1867, lived three years in Goodhue county, Minnesota, and then came to Jackson county and located on their homestead where Lakefield now stands. At that time there was no Lakefield and no railroad. It took one week to get lumber from Madelia with oxen with which to build their abode. On this place they spent the rest of their lives. Mrs. Larson died in 1902 at the age of 75 years and Mr. Larson died in 1903 at the age of 67 years.

Lena D., the only child of these parents, was born August 24, 1875. She completed a common school education at Lakefield and then, to fit herself for teaching, she took a course of three terms at the Mankato Normal school. She taught four years in the schools of Jackson county and was married to Arthur J. Sparks in 1899. To Mr. and Mrs. Sparks have been born the following children: Stacey H., Florence C.M., D. Roscoe, D. Buth, Clarence J., Theodore A. and Eugene L.

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DEATH TAKES THOMAS ELIHUGH SPARKS

We regret to report the passing of Thomas Elihugh Sparks, who was born on October 16, 1893, and died on August 12, 1965. He was 71 years, 9 months, and 26 days old. Funeral services were held on August 14 at Rhodes Chapel, Runge, Texas, and interment was in Runge Cemetery. The Rev. James Dawson, Pastor of the First Baptist Church, officiated. Left to mourn his passing was Mr. Sparks’s wife, Elaine Waters Sparks; one son, Major Gerald H. Sparks (retired); and four daughters, Mrs. Rose Riggs, Mrs. Norma Deal, Mrs. Ena Lay, and Mrs. Joyce Wright.

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

SPARKS BURIALS IN A CEMETERY NEAR SPEARMAN, TEXAS

Copied by Mrs. Walter B. Polk

This cemetery is located about five miles west of Spearman, in Hansford County in the Panhandle of Texas, on State 282.

          Opal Sparks Boxford, 1910-1948
          Mary L. Sparks, wife of M. Sparks, born Burke Co., N.C. Jan. 3, 1844 died June 24, 1919
          Lizzie, wife of J. G. B. Sparks, Sept. 5, 1872-Oct. 19, 1915
          J. G. B. Sparks, Aug. 25, 1868-Aug. 30, 1949
          Allen R. Sparks, son of Roy and Lola Sparks, Jan. 24, 1937-Sept. 13, 1941
          Glenabelle, Dau. of Burnie Sparks, July 3, 1933-May 9, 1950
          Roy Sparks, 1908-1947
          Cora Delia Sparks, 1888-1953
          Lichford Sparks, 1882-1953
          Roscoe Sparks, 1914-1958

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

NEW MEMBERS OF THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION

It is a pleasure to report the names of nineteen new members of THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION. These are our new members who have joined since September, 1965.

B. T. Borum, 1337 S.W. 62d St., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Mrs. Ted Borum, Box 435, Earth, Texas.
Mrs. Sylvia Glass, P.O. Box 016, Burbank, Washington.
Sarah Beth (Mrs. Byron) Hoesman, 5619 Rosslyn, Indianapolis, Indiana.
Miss Josephine LeCompte, Rt. 2, Springfield, Missouri.
Lila C. (Mrs. B.) Ouzts, 9528 Little River Dr., Miami, Florida.
Allen DeWain Sparks, 504 Madison St., Batavia, Illinois.
Asa Sparks, Rt. 5, Maryville, Tennessee.
Miss Betty Sue Sparks, Apt. 6, 22 Peachtree Ave., N.E., Atlanta, Georgia.
George Sparks, 105 Bruce St., Maryville, .Tennessee.
Hanna G. Sparks, 3060 Meridian Way, Palm Beach Gardens, Lake Park, Florida.
Jerry L. Sparks, 1149 Morse Lee, Evanston, Wyoming.
John Crockett Sparks, The Stars & Stripes, A.P.O., New York. 09175
John E. Sparks, P.O. Box 742, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
L. D. Sparks, R. 2, Box 7, Bristow, Oklahoma.
R. K. Sparks, Radio Corporation of America, Bldg. 204-1, Cherry Hill, Camden, New Jersey.
V. W, Sparks, 1107 W. Lovers Lane, Arlington, Texas.
William E. Sparks, 4444 Arden Way, Sacramento, California
Theresa B. (Mrs. Charles V.) Stewart, P.O. Box 907, Mullens, West Virginia.
 
 

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