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. XVI, NO. 1  MARCH, 1968
WHOLE NO. 61a

 
Index Next Page Previous Page Previous Whole No.

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

CURTIS T. GAY

BORN SEPTEMBER 29, 1947, IN McKEESPORT, PENNSYLVANIA

KILLEN IN ACTION JANUARY 20, 1968, IN VIETNAM

(View photograph)

***************
-1124-


 
 
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, North Carolina
                                                                                                                   (27602)
   Russell E. Bidlack, Secretrary-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 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; and Sustaining membership dues are any amount over four dollars which the member wishes to contribute.  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 associations, 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 second five  years (1958-1962) have been published and are available for one dollar 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.

CURTIS T. GAY

BORN SEPTEMBER 29, 1947, IN McKEESPORT, PENNSYLVANIA

KILLEN IN ACTION JANUARY 20, 1968, IN VIETNAM

On January 20, 1968, Curtis T. Gay, whose picture appears on the cover of this issue of the QUARTERLY died in the service of his country in Vietnam. He was killed in action in the Battle of Qui Nbon.

Curtis was born on September 29, 1947, in MoKeesport, Pennsylvania, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph T. Gay of 112 O’Neil Blvd., McKeesport. He was a member of the First Christian Church, the Young Men’s Christian Association, and the McKeesport Boys’ Club. He was twenty years of age when he died.

Curtis T. Gay was a great-great-great-great-grandson of Martin P. Sparks (1786-1837) whose life was sketched in the March 1958 issue of the QUARTERLY. His descent was through Martin’s son, Thomas H. Sparks (1814-1863), and through Thomas’ son, James Martin Sparks (1839-1876). A daughter of James Martin Sparks, Medora Waddell Sparks (1859-1937) married George W. Brewer; they were the parents of a daughter named Carrie Josephine Brewer (1883-1936) who married Joseph T. Gay, Sr. They were the parents of Joseph T. Gay, Jr., who is Curtis’ father.

***************
-1125-

Curtis T. Gay enlisted in the United States Army in September, 1966, a few months after his graduation from McKeesport Senior High School. He receiwed his basic training at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, and was then sent to Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, to train for three months. He left for Vietnam on April 24, 1967. He had served there in the Army Signal Corps for nine months prior to his death. His rank was that of Army Specialist Fourth Class.

The major in command of the Security Force at Qui Nhon wrote to Curtis’ father as follows: “Curtis was a member of a security force that occupied the summit of Ke Sien Mountain to protect the city of Qui Nhon from possible mortar attack. The enemy attacked the position at 2:30 A.M. with satchel charges and small arms fire. Curtis was defending a bunker which was attacked from the rear and was mortally wounded by rifle fire in his attempt to repel the enemy force.”

The Army Commendation Medal for Valor and Heroism has been awarded posthumously to Curtis.

On behalf of all members of The Sparks Family Association, we extend our deep sympathy to the parents of Curtis T. Gay. Each of us is proud to claim kinship to this brave young man who gave his life for his country.

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

DEATH TAKES FIELDER L. SPARKS

Roy Sparks of 622 Sylvan St., Emporia, Kansas, has informed us of the death of his cousin, Fielder L. Sparks of Clyde, Kansas, and formerly of Emporia. Fielder had been a faithful member of the Association for many years. He was born in 1908 in Butler, Missouri, the son of the late John and Lily Sparks. He was reared on a farm east of Emporia and attended the Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia. Following his graduation, he spent his life in the educational field, first as a teacher and later as a school superintendent. He was Superintendent of Schools in Onaga, Kansas, before taking the position of Superintendent of Schools in Clyde, Kansas.

Fielder L. Sparks was preceded in death by his wife and his father. Among the survivors are one son, J. D. Sparks of Clyde, his mother of Perry, Kansas, and a sister, Mrs. Merrill Greenlee of Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was buried beside his wife in Delavan, Kansas.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
-1126-

SPARKS FAMILIES IN MISSISSIPPI -- 1850 CENSUS

Although French and Spanish adventurers in the sixteenth century visited the area that eventually became the State of Mississippi, the first real settlement was made in 1699 by the French at Old Biloxi. In 1716, a colony was also established by the French at Natches. In 1763, the French ceded the province to Great Britain and during the period leading up to the Revolution a good many English families settled in the Natches area. The Natchez District remained loyal to Great Britain during the Revolution - - In fact, it became a haven for Loyalists all the way to the Atlantic. Following the Revolution, Spain laid claim to the Natchez District and it was not until 1798 that Spanish rule was overthrown. On April 7, 1798, Congress created the Mississippi Territory, with Natchez as the territorial capital.

Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 and the opening of the Mississippi River, thousands of settlers came from the east and the north to take up land. On December 10, 1817, the State of Mississippi was created, with the eastern half of what had been Mississippi Territory cut off to form Alabama Territory. In 1820, the population of the state was 75,448. Jackson became the state capital in 1822.

The last of the Indian lands in Mississippi were opened for settlement in 1837, bringing another great migration.

Today the population of Mississippi is overwhelmingly native born. The greatest number of original settlers were Scotch-Irish from the Atlantic seaboard states Cotton became Mississippi’s leading crop, especially in the Delta, which meant that a great slave population developed. From 1840 until recently, the black population outnumbered the white.

When the 1850 census was taken, 139 individuals named Sparks were listed. Not a single adult male among these people named Sparks, however, was a native of Mississippi. Most of the Sparks families had migrated from other southern states, such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Virginia.

The identification of these Sparks families living in Mississippi in 1850 has been made possible through the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Norman B. Gillis of 2519 Lakeshore Drive, Shreveport, Louisiana. The Gillises have made an index of all surnames appearing on the 1850 census of Mississippi, and for a modest charge Mr. Gillis copied the Sparks data for us from this index. We sent Mr. Gillis’ report to Carrie Grant Heppen to check against microfilm of the original records in Washington and she supplied additional details. Mrs. Heppen found Mr. Gillis’ research to be remarkably accurate and we would recommend that anyone searching for a Mississippi ancestor of the 1850 period would do well to engage Mr. Gillis’ services.

In the following list, the page number refers to the page of the bound volume (handwritten) in the National Archives containing the particular county named. (In some instances, two different series of paging have been given In these volumes.) The two numbers below the page number are those given by the census taker in 1850 as he went from house to house. The first is the number he assigned to the house, while the second is the number he assigned to the family. These numbers are often the same, but when two families were found to be living in the same house, the sequence in numbering would thereafter be different. These numbers are useful to the genealogist because through them one can often judge how near one family lived to another. For example, in Ponola County,

***************
-1127-

Matthew Sparks was given the house and families numbers 586-586, while Clary Sparks was given the numbers 587-587. From these numbers, we can be quite certain that the two families lived side-by-side and they were probably closely related. On the other hand, Moses S. Sparks in the same district was given the numbers 251-251, which probably means he was living some distance from Matthew and Clary.

Opposite each person’s name is given his age, whether male or female, the state in which he was born, his occupation, and the value of his real estate. It should be remembered that the census taker simply copied the information given him by the person whom he interviewed. In some instances, the age merely represented an estimate, and even the place of birth might represent hearsay.

It should be kept in mind that each family group represented a household and that besides the parents and children, a household might have included relatives and hired-hands. In Attala County, for example, Allen Sparks (fourteen years of age) was living with the family of Nelson L. Taylor. He may have been a relative or a hired-hand. Nearby lived David and Rody Sparks; perhaps Allen was their son.

All members of each household containing a Sparks are listed here because these names may at times aid in establishing relationships.

The date on which the census taker made his enumeration is also given because this has a bearing upon the ages given. Furthermore, a child born in 1850 after the census taker had visited a household would not, of course, be included.

Adams County, Mississippi - -  1850 Census

City of Natchez, South; enumerated July 30, 1850, by J • Warner.
(Vol. 1, p. l6A)

262-251 Near, Cynthia   50  (F) South Carolina     
  Duval, Ellen  39  (F) Tennessee
Batchelar, L. F.  10  (M) Missouri
SPARK, Alice A.    9  (F)      "

-   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -

Attala County, Mississippi - - 1850 Census

Township 13, R 9 B; enumerated October 28, 1850, by B. H. Sanders.
(Vol. 1, p. 173)

1223-1231 SPARKS, David   45  (M) Georgia  Farmer   
        "           Rody  45  (F) South Carolina

(Same township and enumeration as above)
(Vol. 1, p. l73A)

1231-1239 Taylor, Nelson L.   40  (M) North Carolina  Farmer   
       "      Charlotte  32  (F)    "            "
     "      Mary J.  12  (F) Mississippi
     "      Margaret    8  (F)        "
     "      Charlotte    6  (F)        "
     "      Rebecca    4  (F)        "
     "      Sarah 4/12  (F)        "
SPARKS, Allen  14 Alabama 

-   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -

Chickasaw County, Mississippi - - 1850 Census

Eastern Division; enumerated October 14, 1850, by John T. Murray
(Vol. 1, p. 332)

458-458 SPARKS, Mathew  51  (M) Georgia  Farmer  $460 
        "          Jane  45  (F) South Carolina
      "          Jeremiah  10  (M) Alabama
      "          Susanah    7  (F)       "
      "          Nancy E.    5  (F) Mississippi
      "          Mary A.    2  (F)         "

Eastern Division; enumerated October 23, 1850, by John T. Murray
(Vol. 1, p. 338A)

543-543 Gates, George E.   30  (M) Alabama  Farmer  $5000
  SPARKS, Robert  26  (M) South Carolina Farmer
      "          Jane  18  (F)     "          "

-   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -

DeSota County, Mississippi - - 1850 Census

Northern Division; enumerated September 14, 1850, by H. Car Forrest
(Vol. 2, p. 381)

196-196 SPARKS, David   34  (M) North Carolina Farmer   
          "         Permelia  27  (F) Georgia
Clark, Isam D.  39  (M) Virginia Genwright
   "      Mary F.    6  (F) Mississippi
   "      William A.   5  (M) Alabama

-    -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -

Itawamba County, Mississippi - - 1850 Census

District No. 6, enumerated September 3, 1850, by W. W. Gaither
(Vol. 3, p. 306)

57-59 SPARKS, John B.  40   (M) South Carolina  Farmer  $800 
        "           Martha  16  (F) Alabama (deaf and dumb)
      "           Frances  14  (F)       "
      "           Jane  13  (F)       "
      "           William    8  (M) Mississippi
      "           James    6  (M)       "
Ramsey, Henderson  18  (M) South Carolina Farmer

District No. 6. enumerated October 3, 1850, by W. W. Gaither
(Vol. 3, p. 347A)

612-612 SPARKS, Jesse   65   (M) South Carolina Farmer  $500 
        "           Mary  60  (F)      "          "
      "           Jesse F.  34  (M) Alabama
Ramage, Nancy J.  27  (F) South Carolina

District No. 6. enumerated October 27, 1850, by W. W. Gaither
(Vol. 3, p. 356A)

730-737 SPARKS, John   20   (M) Kentucky  Farmer   
        "           Martha  18  (F) Alabama

***************
-1129-

Lafayette County, Mississippi - - 1850 Census

No town shown; enumerated September 2, 1850, by James D. McKay
(Vol. 4, p. 227A)

30- --- SPARKS, Citizen   49  (M) Georgia  Farmer   
        "           Abigail  28  (F) Mississippi
      "           Cynthia A.  15  (F) Georgia
      "           Solomon  13  (M)      "
      "           Moses  12  (M)      "
      "           Susan H.    3  (F) Mississippi
      "           Marion    8  (F)           "
      "           Lydia    1  (F)           "
SPARKS, Isaac   35  (M) Tennessee  Farmer  $500 
        "           Frances A.  30  (F) Louisiana
      "           William C.  10  (M) Mississippi
      "           Mary R.    8  (F)           "
      "           Joseph J.    6  (M)           "
      "           Sarah J.    3  (F)           "
      "           Franklin A. 10/12  (M)           "

-    -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -

Lowndes County, Mississippi -- 1850 Census

  No town or township shown, enumerated September 7, 1850, by W. H. H. Patterson
(Page 62a)

183-183   Sparks, Joseph R. 35  (M) South Carolina Farmer           $800
      "          Frances H.  25  (F) South Carolina
    "          Mary B. M.   2  (F) Mississippi

[Scanner's note:  This family was added per correction at SQ p. 3517.]

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

Marshall County, Mississippi - - 1850 Census

Northern Division; enumerated December 3, 1850, by Jno. R. McCarrole.
(Vol. 5, p. 360)

1113-1113 Rogers, Stephen   45  (M)  North Carolina Farmer  $400 
        "       Mary  45  (F)      "          "
      "       Benjamin R.  14  (M) Tennessee
      "       Mary E.  13  (F)         "
      "       Stephen M.  10  (M)         "
      "       Jane    8  (F)         "
      "        Sarah F.    4  (F) Mississippi
SPARKS, Jesse  23  (M) Tennessee Farmer

-   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -

Monroe County, Mississippi - - 1850 Census

Western Division; enumerated November 22, 1850, by E. B. McGuire
(Vol. 6, p. 96A (192)

474-474 SPARKS, John T.   50  (M) Maryland  Planter  $9960 
         "          Eliza  39  (F) Kentucky
       "          George T.  12  (M)       "
                    (Note:  John T. Sparks owned 29 male slaves and 22 female slaves in 1850; he was a son of Josiah Sparks, see p. 298 [Whole No. 22] of the QUARTERLY.)

***************
-1130-

Neshoba County, Mississippi - - 1850 Census

No town shown; enumerated August 8, 1850, by Jas. Watts.
(Vol. 6, p. 126)

175-184  SPARKS, E.  24  (M) Alabama Farmer  $150 
         "           Issabella (sic.)  24  (F)       "
       "           Columbianna    3  (F) Mississippi
       "           Uriah    1  (M)           "

No town shown, enumerated October 1, 1850, by Jas. White.
(Vol. 6, p. 153A.)

536-569 SPARKS, Andrew J.   36  (M) Georgia Clerk of Probate $500 
         "          Amanda  28  (F) North Carolina
       "          Winfield    2  (M) Mississippi
       "          Blanch 1/12  (F)           "
       "          Mahala B.  28  (F) Georgia

-   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -

Noxubee County, Mississippi - - 1850 Census

No town shown; enumerated October 11, 1850, by L. J. H. Foster
(Vol. 6, p. 228A)

551-551 SPARKS, G. P.   50  (M) Alabama Schl. Teacher   
         "          Catharine A.  19  (F) Florida
       "          Eliza    6  (F) Alabama
       "          Boney    1  (F) Mississippi

-   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -

Penola County, Mississippi - - 1850 Census

District 13.
(Vol. 6, p. 325A)

251-251 SPARKS, Moses S.   38  (M) Virginia  Blacksmith  $800 
         "          Elizabeth  30  (F) Kentucky
       "          Helen  11  (F) Mississippi
       "          Hannah  10  (F)          "
       "          Joseph H.    8  (M)          "
       "          Benjamin    6  (M)          "
       "          Elizabeth    5  (F)          "
       "          Simeon    2  (M)          " 

District 13; enumerated October 31, 1850, by Wm. Raney
(Vol 6, p. 348)

586-586 SPARKS, Matthew  23   (M) South Carolina  Farmer  $400 
         "          Caroline  20  (F) Tennessee

 
587-587 SPARKS, Clary  50  (M) South Carolina     
         "          Eliza  15  (F) Tennessee
       "          Jane  18   (F)          "
       "          Andrew    9  (M)          "
       "          Martha    6  (F)          "

-   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -   -


Index Next Page Previous Page Previous Whole No.

Scanned and Edited by James J. Sparks