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(An old Chinese proverb.)

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


Daughter of Amos S. &Margaret (Cummins) Sparks

With her Husband Ernest M. Hodges

and her daughter Ethel Hodges

(View photograph)


THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, published by The Sparks Family Association.
Paul E. Sparks, President, 155 North Hite Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky (40206)
Russell E. Bidlack, Secretary-Treasurer & Editor, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan (48104)
The Sparks Family Association was founded in March, 1953, as a nonprofit organi- zation devoted to the assembling and preserving of genealogical and historical materials pertaining to the Sparks Family in America.  It is exempt from federal income tax under the provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, Section 501(c)(7). Membership in the Association is open to all persons connected with the Sparks family, whether by blood, marriage, or adoption, and to persons interested in genealogical research. Membership falls into three classes: Active, Contributing, and Sustaining.  Active membership dues are $7.00 per year;  Contributing membership dues are $10.00 per year; and Sustaining membership dues are any amount over $10.00 that the member wishes to contribute for the support of the Association. All members receive THE SPARKS QUARTERLY as it is published in March, June, September, and December.  Back issues are kept in print and are available for $3.00 each to members and $4.00 each to non-members. The first issue of the QUARTERLY was published in March, 1953. Seven  indexes have been published for the years 1953 -1957, 1958 -1962, 1963 -1967, 1968 -72, 1973 -1977, 1978-1982  and 1983 -1987.  Each index is available for $5.00. A complete file of the back issues of the QUARTERLY (1953-1988), including the seven indexes, may be purchased for $190.00. Orders for back issues, as well as the complete file, should be sent to Russell E. Bidlack, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104. The thirty-six years of the QUARTERLY (1953 -1988) comprise a total of 3,528 pages of Sparks Family history.  The seven indexes  comprise a total of 717 additional pages.  Each individual joining the Association also receives a table of contents from 1953 through 1988.



By Margaret B. Bock

[Editor's Note: We are very grateful to Margaret B. Bock of 49 Seaside Ave., Westbrook, Connecticut, 06498, for providing this record of an early Sparks famfly in New England. It will be noted that Ms. Bock has given her sources for the records she used in her research within the text of her article, including material provided to her by other researchers. A full list of these sources appears at the close of her article.]

John Sparks was born by 1669-70, estimated from the baptismal dates of his children, and he died in Windsor, Connecticut, on April 8, 1710. (See Henry R. Stiles, The HistoriesandGenealogies of Ancient Windsor, Connecticut, IncludingEast Windsor,SouthWindsor,Bloomfield,WindsorLocks,andEllington,1635-1891 [1892] Vol. II, p. 694; source given as East Windsor Church Records.)


Neither the parents nor the place of birth of John Sparks are known. No records for him have been found at Ashford or Woodstock, Connecticut, nor at Dedham, Massachusetts.

John Sparks was married to Dorothy---------, before November 1694, time and place unknown. She was married secondly on May 27, 1712, to John Parsons (see Hartford Vital Records, D:28). The date of her birth is unknown, but she was deceased by June 7, 1714, when John Parsons exhibited a list of expenses in court from the estate of John Sparks, for which she had been administratrix. (See Charles W. Manwaring, A Digest of the Early Connecticut Probate Records [1904] Vol. 2, p. 300, hereafter cited as Manwaring.) She owned the covenant at Hartford First Church on November 4, 1694. (See Lucius Barnes Barbour, EarlyFamilies of Hartford Connecticut,1645 -1825, [Baltimore, 1982] p. 554, hereafter cited as Barbour.)

John Parsons was born at Windsor, Connecticut, on July 29, 1678, to Ebenezer Parsons; he was married, first, at Hartford, Connecticut, on December 1, 1698, to Phillis Hills, daughter of William and Sarah (-------- ) Hills. She was born at Hartford about 1669 and died there January 9, 1711/12. They were the parents of Isaac Parsons, born August 2, 1699; Jacob Parsons, born April 15, 1701; Moses Parsons, born December 21, 1702; Phyllis Parsons, born November 25, 1704; Aaron Parsons, born September 6, 1706; and Ruth Parsons, born April 6, 1711. (See Donald Lines Jacobus and Edgar Francis Waterman, Hale,House, and Related Families Mainly of the Connecticut RiverValley, [Baltimore 1978] p. 583, hereafter cited as Hale,House.)

Probate records show that a bond was issued on July 3 (9), 1710, to Dorothy Sparks, widow, and Jabez Coult, both of Windsor. A second bond was issued on November 3, 1712, to Jabas Colt [Jabez Coult] of Windsor and to John Par sons of Hartford. A third bond was issued on August 5, 1725, to Noah Sparks and Jabas Colt, both of Windsor. The inventory of the estate of John Sparks, taken on May 20, 1710, by John Williams, Samuel Burnham, and Benjamin Coult, listed house and land, household items, farming tools and animals, with a value of 54 pounds, 14 shillings. On June 7, 1714, John Parsons exhibited in the right of his wife, Dorothy, now deceased, various accounts due, including one for himself for keeping two children about five years old from May 28, 1712, to January 21, 1712/13 (34 weeks), payable to Mrs. Wilson from the Sparks estate. [Mrs. Wilson was mentioned twice in the probate records.] John Sparks was described as "sometime of Hartford" meaning that he had moved away. (See Hartford Probate Records at the Connecticut State Library, "John Sparks, 1714, no town, #504BA"; also Manwaring; and page 982 of the June 1966 issue of THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, Whole No.54, where your editor provided an earlier record of this family.)

The following list of the children of John and Dorothy Sparks is based upon the probate records of John Sparks's estate, baptisms recorded at the Hartford First Church, Vol. 1, p. 40, and page-554 of Barbour.

F. Anne Sparks, daughter of John and Dorothy Sparks, was born ca. 1704. She may possibly have been married to John Hazeltine on February 10, 1729/30, according to a handwritten note on the Jacobus manuscript.

G. Dorothy Sparks, daughter of John and Dorothy Sparks, was born ca. 1706. She may have been the daughter married to John Hazeltine according to Richard Hart.

John Sparks, shown above under E., was the second son of John and Dorothy Sparks. As noted above, he was probably born in 1702; he died prior to June 27, 1746, when his estate was probated. He lived in Windsor, Connecticut, with his parents, but may not have been born there. The Court appointed John Parsons, his mother's second husband, as his guardian on May 4, 1713. He was living in Glastonbury, Connecticut, in July 1730 when his daughter, Susannah wasborn. He may have been a sailor, since the inventory of his estate referred to his Cape Breton wages. He did not leave a will.
The inventory of John Sparks's estate also included a loom and yarn, which could mean that he was a weaver, but it is more likely that these were used by his wife to make clothing and bedding for the family. Among the few surviving records pertaining to John Sparks is a church record indicating that on December 22, 1740, he was chosen to take care of the meeting house, and on December 17, 1741, he was voted a sum of money. (See Glastonbury, Buckingham, and Eastbury Congregational Church Records, 1731-1873, First Society, Vol.1, pp. 36 & 38, hereafter cited as GBE Ch Rec.)

John Sparks was married to Susannah ----------- (her maiden name was probably Webster according to Richard Hart). She died in 1752. She was called "late of Hartford" when the inventory of her estate was taken on January 19, 1753. Since Ezekiel Webster was surety for the probate of John's and Susannah's estates, this strengthens the possibility of her surname having been Webster. (Ezekiel was born in 1712, the son of Jonathan and Esther Webster. Probate records for Jonathan Webster (1758, #5770, Hartford District) show a wife named Esther, a son named Ezekiel, but no daughter named Susannah.)

Glastonbury Probate Records (CSL, 1746, #5049) show that a bond was given to Susannah Spark of Glastonbury and Ezekiel Webster on July 1, 1746. The inventory of June 27, 1746, included a weaver's loom, farm tools, and yarn, and the estate was valued at 40 pounds, 2 shillings, and 3 pence. On April 7, 1747, Susannah requested the Court to appoint commissioners to adjust the claims against her husband's estate, "the estate being insolvent," whereupon the Court appointed Richard, Juduthan, and Manoah Smith of Glastonbury "to adjust the claims of the creditors." On November 1, 1750, the inventory was set at 64 pounds, 6 shillings, and 1 pence. On January 1, 1748, a Court order gave all moveables to the widow.

The names of the following children of John and Susannah Sparks, with their dates of birth, are based upon the Vital Records of Glastonbury.
Thomas Sparks, son of John and Dorothy Sparks, was shown under "H" in the list of the children of John and Dorothy Sparks appearing on page 3586. He was their youngest child, having been born about 1708. On May 4, 1713, John Parsons, the second husband of Dorothy, mother of Thomas, was named as his guardian. Thomas Sparks died on September 15, 1760. He lived in Glastonbury where he was elected to take charge of the school funds for that town on December 24, 1750; he was also mentioned in the votes taken on December 24, 1753, and December 26, 1754, defining the boundary of the school. He was named Chorister on December 9, 1756, and was voted a sum of money on December 19, 1758. (GBE Ch Rec., lSoc:71,74,77,80.)

According to information supplied by Richard Hart and Tom Richter, Thomas Sparks was married to Sarah Hollister Keeney about 1771. She was born about 1712 and died on October 24, 1794, aged 82 years. (GBE Ch Rec. 2:133, called widow, no first name given.)

Joseph House sold 101&1/4 acres of land in Eastbury, Connecticut, for 110 pounds to Thomas Sparks on November 27, 1738. (See Hale, House, p. 334) Thomas Sparks sold land in Glastonbury to his brothers-in-law, Thomas and Richard Keeney, and to I. Mosly, in 1758. (Chapin, p. 200, and p. 85; LR 6:112)


There is a manuscript at the Connecticut Historical Society that was prepared a number of years ago by one of the most respected genealogists of the 20th century, Donald Lines Jacobus, which contains information on this branch of the Sparks family. Noting that Thomas Sparks had been born at Windsor, Connecticut about 1708, Mr. Jacobus concluded that he had died in 1760 while a soldier in the French and Indian War. He wrote:

Thomas Sparks enlisted, 5 Apr. 1760, in the 12th Co., 1st Regt., Conn. Troops, for service in the French and Canadian War; "Time of Death or Discharge" 15 Sept. 1760 [Conn. Hist. Soc. Collections, 10, 191.] Since most of the men in this Company were discharged 25 Nov. 1760, and the inventory of [the estate of] Thomas Sparks was taken 24 Nov. 1760, we conclude that he died 15 Sept. 1760 while in service.
Administration on the estate of Thomas Sparks of Glastonbury was granted, 5 May 1761, to Sarah Sparks and Amos Hollister of Glaston bury, with Jonathan Hollister surety. The inventory, taken 24 Nov. 1760, amounted to Ll63.15.0. Distribution was made 29 and 30 Dec. 1762 to:
As noted in the above list of heirs, Thomas and Sarah H. (Keeney) Sparks had only one son, Reuben Sparks, at the time of Thomas' death in 1760. An older son, Isaac Sparks, had died in 1757. The complete list of the children of Thomas and Sarah follows.
Reuben Sparks, son of Thomas and Sarah H. (Keeney) Sparks, died about 1829. He was a soldier in the American Revolution and was a member of the Second Ecclesiastical Society in Glastonbury, Connecticut, giving the oath in 1777. (See Chapin, p. 102) He was chosen "collector on December 7, 1767, and was mentioned in the votes of December 5, 1768, December 11, 1769, and December 5, 1774. On December 16, 1771, and on October 6, 1801, he was voted sums of money. (1 Soc: 105, 111, 115, 120, 125, 195)

Reuben Sparks was married to Mary --------, who was admitted to full communion on May 4, 1800. (GBE Ch Rec. 2:141, where Mary was called wife of Reuben.)

Reuben Sparks was listed in the 1790 census of Glastonbury (1:442) with a household consisting of one male over 16 (himself), and two males under 16, who were doubtless his sons Nathan and Elijah. Also enumerated were 5 females, who were doubtless his wife, Mary, and daughters Mary Ann, Honor, Hannah, and one other. Three of his children died in October 1779, undoubtedly from a contagious disease. In 1800, he was listed on the census of Glastonbury with a family of six (1:189) and in 1820 with a family of two, his age being over 45 in 1820. (1:833)

Reuben Sparks's will dated April 25, 1826, named his son, Elijah, and his daughter, Hannah Griswold (Glastonbury Probates 1829). The son Nathan, who was still living at the time of his father's death, was not mentioned.

Reuben and Mary Sparks were the parents of the following children (baptisms from GBE Ch Rec; information supplied by Richard Hart; and deaths from Louis Marinus Dewey, "Inscriptions from Old Cemeteries in Connecticut" in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 86, pp. 162-3, hereafter cited as Glast. Inscr. and Glastonbury Cem Rec. 187):

Thomas Sparks was married to Jemima Fox in Glastonbury, Connecticut, on August 5, 1784. (See Frederic M. Bailey, Early Connecticut Marriages as Found on Early Church Records Prior to 1800 [Baltimore, 1968] 5:106; GBE Ch Rec. 2:74). She died on October 17 1793, at the age of 22 years (ibid, 2:132) (This is probably in error as it would have meant that she was only 13 at the time of her marriage.) She may have been the Jemima Fox who was born March 6, 1767, in Glastonbury (VR 2:72), daughter of Jonah and Susannah (Wood) Fox.

On the 1790 census of Glastonbury, Connecticut, Thomas Sparks was shown as heading a household consisting of 4 males under sixteen (one of whom was surely Reuben); one male over sixteen (himself); and one female (his wife, Jemima). (1:442)

A birth record for Reuben or other positive proof that he was a son of Thomas Sparks has not been found, however, his parentage seems established by the following facts: when, for the 1880 and the 1900 censtises, Reuben Sparks, Jr., son of Reuben and Lucetta (Rice) Sparks, was asked where his father had been born, he answered "Connechcut"; the father of Thomas Sparks was named Reuben, so it was not surprising for Thomas to name a son in his father's honor; Reuben's son, Amos Sparks, named a daughter Jemima, probably after his grandmother. Thomas Sparks had four males under 16 in his household when the 1790 census was taken, six years after his marriage, so it seems logical to assume that these were his sons. (The name Amos had not been used previously in this branch of the Sparks family, but Jemima (Fox) Sparks had a brother named Amos.) Although Jemima died young, she was still living in 1788, the assumed date of Reuben's birth. (This information from Carol Austin, 9726 Mirage Circle, Garden Grove, California, 92644, hereafter cited as Austin.)

The probable children of Thomas and Jemima (Fox) Sparks were:

(1) Male, not identified, born ca. 1785 (between 1774-1790).
[Editor's Note: Most of the information that we have regarding Reuben Sparks (ca.1788 -1836) is found in the application for a War of 1812 pension which his widow, Lusetta (Rice) Sparks, made in 1875 and renewed in 1883. In this, she claimed that her husband had served in the War of 1812, but, because no proof of such service could be found, her application was rejected in both 1875 and 1883. In her application, as will be seen below, Lusetta referred to Reuben as "of Jefferson County, New York" and that it had been in the town of Watertown in Jefferson County that they had been married on January 24, 1814. The evidence found thus far, however, indicates that Reuben Sparks had lived in Canada for many years prior to his death in 1836. In fact, he was probably a pioneer in the area that became the town of Henrietta, about 30 miles from Canandaigua, as early as 1806. We have found him in no U.S. census, although he may well have returned to the state of New York at different times - - to serve in the War of 1812, for instance, and to be married in 1814. Perhaps Lusette stated that he was "of Jefferson County, New York" in order that her application would not be rejected automatically because she applied from Canada. It was doubtless true that Reuben was "of Jefferson County, New York" before moving to Canada.]
An abstract of the application of Lusetta (Rice) Sparks appeared in THE SPARKS QUARTERLY of September 1962, Whole No. 39. We repeat it here because of its significance to this study.
Nathan Sparks was born on October 17, 1774, and died on March 8, 1832, at the age of 57. He was buried in the Wassaic Cemetery in Glastonbury. (Glastonbury Cem. Rec. 161; Glastonbury Inscr. 318; Hale, House, p. 120)

Nathan Sparks was married on December 3, 1797, to Lucinda Hale, daughter of Jonathan and Mary (Clark) Hale. She had been born in Portland, Connecticut, on September 6, 1778, and had been baptized on November 16, 1779, "on behalf of its [her] Grandfather David Hale." She died at Glastonbury on February 5, 1868, at the age of 89 and was buried with her husband. (Glastonbury Cem. Rec. 161; Glastonbury Inscr. 60:318; Hale, House p. 120)

On February 21, 1800, Nathan Sparks and his wife were admitted to full communion. In this record, Lucinda's name appears (or has been copied) as "Philena." This may have been merely a copying error, or perhaps her full name was "Lucinda Philena." On February 1, 1825, Nathan and Lucinda were shown as members of the Methodist Church in Glastonbury, in full communion, ,


but under "watch and care."On March 14, 1825, this "watch and care" was withdrawn. (GBE Ch Rec. 2:141, 2A:56-57)

Nathan Sparks was listed as head of a household on the 1820 census of Glas tonbury, Connecticut, aged 45 and upwards, with a family of 10 and in 1830 as over age 50 with a family of 6.

Nathan's will, dated July 3, 1831, and proved in Court in 1832, named his wife, Lucinda, his daughters Caroline and Laura Sparks, as well as his married daughters Honoria Andrus [Andrews], Julia Ingham [Ingraham], and his sons Edward, William, and Chauncey. The daughters were not named in the distribution of his property on July 15, 1833. A guardian bond was posted by David Andrews and William Sparks, both of Glastonbury, for Chauncey Sparks in 1833, and permission to sell his land for his education was granted on April 6, 1833.

The children of Nathan and Lucinda (Hale) Sparks were as follows, based on family records appearing in Hale, House, p. 120, and Glastonbury VR 2:184.

Elijah Sparks, son of Reuben and Mary Sparks, is shown as "h." on page 3591. Here we give additional information regarding him and his family.

Elijah Sparks was baptized on October 18, 1785, (GBE Ch Rec. 2:25); he died in Glastonbury, Connecticut, on February 25, 1848, at the age of 62, and was buried in the Buckingham Cemetery (ibid 2A: 47; Glastonbury Inser 171, and Cem Rec. 193 where his age at death was given as 63.)

Elijah was married, first, probably about 1811, to Deborah Hurlbut. She
was born ca. 1791 and died in Glastonbury on May 16, 1824, at the age of 33; she was buried in the Eastbury Cemetery, Glastonbury (Cem Rec. 185; Glastonbury Inscr. 60:141, 162).

Elijah was married, second, on May 1, 1826, to Pamela Fox in Glastonbury (VR 3:89); she had been born about 1787 and died on April 6, 1863, at the age of 76. She was buried beside Elijah (ibid 171). On February 10, 1830, Elijah's wife was mentioned in a charge against Jonathan Strickland (GBE 2A:64). Bond was issued to Ruhannah F. Tryon of 'Glastonbury and Francis Swan of Hartford on May 19, 1864 (Glastonbury Probates, 1864).

Elijah Sparks was listed on the 1820 census of Glastonbury where his age category was marked as between 26 and 45 as was that of his wife, and there were five children in their household. His name was recorded as "Abijah" on the 1830 census, at which time he and his wife were both be tween 40 and 50, and there were five females in their household ranging in age from the category of 20-30 to under 5. On the 1840 census of Glastonbury, Elijah and his wife were enumerated as between 50 and 60 with but one female child was still living at home, aged 10-15. There was also a female enumerated as between 80 and 90 whom the census taker identified as Mary F. Sparks, age 81. This was doubtless Elijah's mother. (See the QUARTERLY of March 1985, Whole No. 129, pages 2730-34 for these census records.)
The children of Elijah Sparks by his first wife, Deborah (Hurlbut) Sparks, were as follows, although the exact order of their births is somewhat uncertain. This list is based upon the probate records pertaining to his estate and the Vital Records of Glastonbury.

Frederick W. Bailey, Early Connecticut Marriages Found on Early Church Records Prior to 1800 [Baltimore 1968].

Lucius Barnes Barbour, Early Families of Hartford Conn., 1645-1825 [Baltimore 1982].

Rev. Alonzo B. Chapin, Glastonbury for Two Hundred Years [South Glastonbury 1976]

Louis Marinus Dewey, "Inscriptions from Old Cemeteries in Connecticut" in New England Historical and Genealogical Register 60:141; 86:162, 171, 318, 322.

Glastonbury, Buckingham and Eastbury Congregational Church Records, 1731-1873 at the Connecticut State Library

Donald Lines Jacobus and Edgar Francis Waterman, Hale, House and Related Families Mainly of the Connecticut River Valley [Baltimore 1978].

Donald Lines Jacobus, "Manuscript" at the Connecticut Historical Society.


Charles W. Manwaring, A Digest of the Connecticut Probate Records [1904].

Probate File at the Connecticut State Library to 1940 and in the Town of Glastonbury after 1850.

Chauncey Sparks, Glastonbury, 1833.
Elijah Sparks, Glastonbury, 1848.
John Sparks, 1714, no town, #5048A.
John Sparks 1724, Windsor, #5048.
John Sparks, 1746, Glastonbury, $5949.
Nathan Sparks, 1832, Glastonbury.
Pamela Sparks, 1864, Glastonbury
Reuben Sparks, 1829, Glastonbury.
Susannah Sparks, 1753, Hartford, #5050.
Thomas Sparks, 1760, Glastonbury, #5051.

James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, Showing Three Generations of Those Who Came BeforeMay,1692,onthe Basis of Farmer's Register [Balflmore 1977].

The Sparks Quarterly.

Henry R. Stiles, The Histories and Genealogies of Ancient Windsor, Connecticut, Including East Windsor, South Windsor, Bloomfield, Windsor Locks, and Effington, 1635-1891 [1892).

Mary Kingsbury Talcott, "Records of the Church in Eastbury, Conn."in NEHGR 60:377, 380.

Correspondence with:

Carol Austin, 9726 Mirage Circle, Garden Grove, CA 92644.
Richard Hart, 2735 Forest Glen Trail, Riverwoods, IL 60015.
Tom and Virginia Howard, 59 Old Country Road, East Granby, CT 06026.
Tom Richter, 395 Newtown Ave., Norwalk, CT 06861.

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