"To forget one's ancestors
is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root."
(An old Chinese proverb.)
|VOL. XLI||JUNE 1993||Whole Number 162a|
Here appears a drawing with annotations, beneath which is the following captions:]
The above drawing was made by William M. Sparks (1838-1922) on January 19, 1914, for his brother, Thomas J. Sparks, who was planning a trip to New Orleans, Louisiana, and to Vicksburg, Mississippi. William M. Sparks, who had served in the 72nd Illinois Infantry Regiment during the Civil War, drew this map to help his brother find the exact spots where he (William) had camped and fought during the siege of Vicksburg in 1863. For ease of interpretation, we have added typed reproductions of his explanatory notes.
(View annotated drawing)
|THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, published
by The Sparks Family Association.
Paul E. Sparks, President, 155 North Hite Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky (40206-2311)The Sparks Family Association was founded in March, 1953, as a non-profit 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 (1953-1991), including the seven indexes, may be purchased for $235.00. Orders for back issues, as well as the complete file, should be sent to Russell E. Bidlack, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104-4448. The forty years of the QUARTERLY (1953 -1992) comprise a total of 4,062 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 listing all of the articles and collections of data appearing in the QUARTERLY between 1953 and 1992.
A UNION SOLDIER RECALLS THE SIEGE OF VICKSBURG
A number of years ago, Minnie Mae (Pierce) Huffer, who died in 1984, (see the QUARTERLY of September 1984, Whole No. 127, p. 2673, for her obituary) shared with us a letter that had been written by her grand-uncle, William M. Sparks (1838-1922) on January 14, 1914. It is apparent from the contents of this letter, that William M. Sparks had learned that his brother, Thomas J. Sparks (1843-1936), a lawyer and a resident of Champaign, Illinois, was planning a trip to New Orleans, Louisiana, and also to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Wflliam wrote a hurried letter to his brother, urging him to visit sites in both cities that he remembered from his service fifty years earlier in the Union Army during the Civil War. He also drew a map to guide his brother in finding the area where his regiment had camped and fought at Vicksburg. Although, after half a century, William Sparks's memory of the landscape was probably a bit inaccurate, we believe that the reproduction of his drawing makes an interesting cover design for this issue of the QUARTERLY.
It was as a member of Company I of the Illinois 72nd Volunteer Infantry that William M. Sparks had participated in the Union Army's historic Siege of Vicksburg in 1863. In 1865, he had also been stationed in New Orleans, where
his company had camped near the site of the battleground in the War of 1812 on which Andrew Jackson had won his famous victory over the British in 1815. Sparks even remembered seeing the tree under which the British commander, Sir Edward Pakenham, had died from wounds received in the battle. In his Pictorial Field-Book of theWar of 1812, published in New York in 1869, Benson J. Lossing told of Pakenham being "placed under a venerable live-oak tree" where he had died from his wounds on January 8, 1815.
The chronology of events described in the Sparks letter is a bit confusing because, knowing that his brother would go first to New Orleans, he began by telling of the sites there that he remembered, but his memories of New Orleans actually followed those of Vicksburg, to which he devoted the remainder of his letter.
William M. Sparks had been born on December 20, 1838, in Clinton County, Indiana, being the fourth child of Joseph and Sarah (DeFord) Sparks. As a boy, he had accompanied his parents when, in 1844, they moved to Fulton County, Illinois. There, near the village of Ellisville, he became a farmer, but he also practiced medicine, having studied at the Rush Medical School in Chicago. On November 17, 1859, he was married to Harriet Emily Hossleton, and they had a son, Clarence Newton Sparks, before William joined the Union Army. In fact, Harriet was pregnant with a second child when William left for Chicago where, on August 14, 1862, he enlisted in the Seventy-Second Regiment Illinois Volunteers. He became a corporal in Company I. He was with the same unit when he received his discharge on August 7, 1865, by which time he had been promoted to sergeant. (A record of the branch of the family to which William M. Sparks belonged can be found in the QUARTERLY of June 1984, Whole No. 126; an abstract of his pension file at the National Archives also appears in that issue, pp. 2638-40.)
As will be seen in his letter, Sparks mentioned, what his brother obviously knew, that at Milliken's Bend he had become ill and been left "alone to die in a cotenfield." This incident must have taken place in April 1863. The division of which Sparks's regiment had become a unit landed at Milliken's Bend, Louisiana, on April 23, 1863, and it was from there that they marched with General Grant's army to Vicksburg, arriving at Champion Hill on May 16, 1863.
The letter of William M. Sparks follows. Apparently he was an early owner of a typewriter, for his letter was typed, though doubtless with the "hunt-and-peck" system, since he had lost his left hand in a sawmill accident in New Mexico, where he lived after 1879. Because of his numerous typing errors, we have taken the liberty to make corrections, along with adding punctuation, for ease of reading. We have not changed what are obvious spelling errors. Following the text of this letter, we shall quote from a history of the Illinois 72nd Infantry Regiment to make some of his references more clear.
Las Vegas [NM] January 19, 1914
We were camped on the north east corner of Vicksburge, just south of the little creeke called Graiveyard Canion, close up to the creeke. Our cook shanties was on the north side of the streete. My company was the 3 [third] co. from the streete, on the east of the camp. Co. A was camped right on the side of the streete, and Co. B was camped on the east side of the streete, on the west of camp. On the 4 of July, our Regt. was, or stood on, the streete north of the corthouse. I saw Dr. Moris their, the last time I ever saw him. He hunted me up for 6 months. I mounted gard at Jail No. I, just across the streete, south east of the corthouse. I was on duty every other day for over 6 months. During the Seage, we were stationed at the head of the Graveyard Canion in the second draw that comes in from the north. To get there from the city, you take the Jackson Wagon Road from Vicksburge to Jackson about 300 yards out from the Oald Fort that the Joneys (Confederate soldiers] had. We maid a road to where our Bregade lay. As you turne north on the road we maid, the 124 Ill. Regt. lay just on the left of the road. That was the Regt. that Steave Brink and Tom Roach of Walnutt Grove was in- - -I saw them quite often during the Seage. In going north, as you go out of the canion, there is, or was, quite a steap hill to clime, and our Regiment lay at the foot of this hill. Then came the 11 Ill., then the 95th Ill., then the 14 Wis., and then the 17 Wis. Then came the 124 Ill. of Logans Division, and on the right of the road going to Jackson, was the 17 Ill., Cosen [cousin] Jake Whealers regiment. It was raised in Fulton Co.
I will draw you a ruff map of whear we were camped while around Vicksburge. On the 5 of July 1863, we were mooved on the high ridge north of Vicksburge, about 1 1/2 miles from the citty. If you go into, Vicksburg on the R.R. from Jackson, when you get to Clinton look well to your left. As you go in, you will see the battleground of Champion Hill, or as some call it, Bakers Creeke. The next place will be Edwards Station, and the next will be Big Black River Bridge. Our Regt. was up close to the R.R. on the right as you go in. We left the R.R. after we crossed the river [on May 17th] and went across the country to the Jackson Road and folowed it into the Joheneys Works [the Confederate stronghold]. If you go down the River, look at Milagans Bend [Milliken's Bend, Louisiana]. Their is wheare they went off and left me alone to die in a coten field, but I did not stay long in that place, but it took me all day to get about one mile, but I found a good well of water and got away from the river. I began to get better, and the 3 [third] day I caught up with the Regiment at Smiths Plantation, and I had the pleasure of telling our Dr. what I thought of him. He said one of my pluck deserved better treatment, and he would see in the future that I got it, and he never forgot me after that.
On our road home to be mustered out in 1865, we walked from Jackson to the Big Black River Bridge and then took the cars into Vicksburge. Then we camped in the south side of the city, just in the edge of the town at the foot of Cherry St. You can hardley look at a place in Vicksburge but what I was in it 51 years ago. A long time, ain't it?
Newtie [eldest son of William M. Sparks] was down last night, but went home this morning. I am geting over the grip, but slow. Wright when you can. I wanted you to know just where we wer in Vicksburge so you could see it for your selfe, but to take it all in, it will take 3 or 4 days. We lay during the seage about 4 mile north of wheare Grant and Pemberton had interview on July 3 .
In a handwritten postscript, William M. Sparks added the following sentence to the letter to his brother: "When you come back, tell me all about Vicksburge and the National Cemetery; George Leeper, Will Hoit, Chris Lovewill, Joe Herr of Canton, [and] Ed Briminstall of Marietta are buried there."
From the listing of members of the Seventy-Second Infantry Regiment in the Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois, Vol. IV, pp. 525-52, published in 1901, we know that the George Leeper, to whom Sparks referred, was George W. Leeper of Fairview, Fulton County, Illinois, a private in Sparks's company. Although Sparks noted on his map (see the cover of this issue of the QUARTERLY) that Leeper had been killed on May 19, 1863, the above report indicates that he died at Vicksburg on May 27th. His death may well have been from wounds that he had received on May 19th, of course. The Will Hoit mentioned by Sparks seems to have been Abraham Hoyt of Avon, Fulton County, who was killed at Vicksburg on May 22, 1863; he was also a member of Company I of the 72nd Regiment, as was, likewise, Chris Lovewill. Lovewill was killed at Vicksburg on May 22, 1863; his hometown had been the village of St. Augustine in Knox County, just over the line from Fulton County, Illinois. Joe Herr was Joseph D. Herr, also a private in Company I; he died at Vicksburg on September 27, 1864. As will be seen in the history that follows, the 72nd Regiment returned to Vicksburg "on provost guard duty" in October 1863 and remained there for over a year. Joseph D. Herr's home town was given in the report noted above as Marietta, Fulton County, whereas Sparks stated that he had been from the town of Canton, also located in Fulton County.
Ed Briminstall, whom Sparks also stated had been buried at the National Cemetery at Vicksburg, may have been the Duane Briminstall of Lee Township in Fulton County, Illinois, who was also a member of Company I, but in the Adjutant General's report, he was listed as having died at St. Louis on April 22, 1863. Perhaps the Ed Briminstall of Marietta to whom Sparks referred was a different man belonging to another regiment.
Sparks also mentioned "Steave Brink and Tom Roach," identifying them as members of the 126th Illinois Infantry Regiment. Actually, both men held the rank of captain. Stephen Brink was captain of Company A, while Thomas K. Roach was captain of Company I. It was their 124th Regiment that "mined" beneath the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg called Fort Hill (shown on Sparks's map), and then packed the tunnel with gunpowder. The explosion was set off on June 25, 1863, and the crater which resulted came to be called the "Slaughter Pen" as soldiers from the 124th Regiment entered it, two companies each for half an hour, in an attempt to capture the fort. They finally succeeded in doing so on July 1st. Both Roach and Brink later resigned their commissions, Roach on July 11 and Brink on August 11, 1863.
Sparks also referred to his cousin, "Jake Whealar," of the 17th Illinois Infantry Regiment. This was Jacob Wheeler, whose home at his enlistment in 1861 was given as Havanna, Illinois, in Vol. II of the Reportof the Adjutant General of theState of Illinois, noted above. Wheeler had been a first sergeant of Company K when he was twice wounded at Frederickstown, Maryland, in October 1861; he was later promoted to the rank of first lieutenant and, before the 17th Regiment was sent to Vicksburg, he had become a captain. We have been unable to identify the "Dr. Moris" whom Sparks said he had last seen at Vicksburg.
The following history of the 72nd Regiment is taken from the Report cited above, Vol. IV, pp. 553-54. There had been 967 members of this regiment (including 27 officers) at its mustering-in. At the end of the war, 332 returned home. Seven officers and 78 men were killed during the war; 10 officers and 120 had been wounded; while three officers and 130 men had died of disease. Three officers and 76 men had been taken prisoner.
(The following are excerpts from a "History of Seventy-Second Infantry" found on pages 553 and 554 of the Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois, Vol. IV, published in 1901.)
The Seventy-second Regiment Illinois Volunteers was organized at Chicago, as the first Regiment of the Chicago Board of Trade. . . the entire Regiment was complete and mustered into the service of the United States, for three years, or during the war [on August 23, 1862]. The very day of their muster they were started off for Cairo.
On the 6th day of September they were ordered out to Paducah, Ky., where they went on post duty, until the 17th, when they were sent to Columbus, Ky., at which point they did guard and picket duty, mainly, until November 21. ... [They were sent on] two expeditions, one to Clarkson, Missouri, on October 6th, when they dispersed a rebel camp and captured a number of prisoners, horses, etc., and the other, on October 21, to New Madrid, which was not so eventful. ... On November 21 they were ordered to join General Quimby's command, Seventh Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, at Moscow, Tenn., and, with that command, they arrived on December 1, 1862, at Lumpkin's Mills, Miss., whence they accompanied Grant's Army as far as the Yaconapatafa River. ... [Later,] the Seventy-second was sent, as guard to the wagon train, to Memphis, Tenn.
On March 1, the Division, of which the Seventy-second Regiment formed a part, started down the Yazoo Pass; but finding Fort Pemberton in their way, and not being able to take it just then, went back. April 23, they landed at Milliken's Bend, La., and, from there, marched up with Grant's Army to Vicksburg. On May 16, they arrived at Champion Hill, just in time to turn the enemy's left, and, by that movement, decided the fate of the day. ... On May 17, they found themselves at Big Black, in the rear of Vicksburg, and on the 19th, this Regiment was the first to open the attack on the rebel stronghold. In the desperate charge of the 22d, they participated with the highest honor to themselves, losing some 130 of their number killed, wounded, and missing, but fighting as bravely as men could fight, until the last. From that time until July 4, when the rebels capitulated, the Seventy-second did its duty among the foremost in the siege, and on the capitulation were among the first to enter the city.
On July 12, the Seventy-second embarked for Natchez, Miss., where they landed the succeeding day, taking possession of the town, capturing a large number of prisoners, pieces of artillery, confederate government stores, and 5,000 head of Texas cattle.
October 18, 1863, they went on provost guard duty at Vicksburg, Miss., where they remained until October 30, 1864. [Here we omit the account given of this regiment's activities in Tennessee from November 1864 to February 1865, including "the great battle of Nashville" December 15-16, 1864. Following this battle] until January 3, 1865, they were engaged in the pursuit of Hood's Army, following it up closely as far as Clifton; but Hood managed to escape across the Tennessee River. From Clifton, the Regiment went, by boat, up the Tennessee River, to Eastport, Miss., arriving there on January 13, 1865, and there remaining in quarters until February 9 ...
February 9 [1865) they startedfor New Orleans, where they arrived February 21. Until March 21 they remained in camp eight miles below the city, and then they were embarked and taken across the Gulf to Dauphine Island, Ala., where they arrived on March 17. ... [We omit here the regiment's activities in Alabama between March 26 and July 19, 1865, when they started their homeward journey, from Union Springs, Alabama. On August 6, they were mustered out of the service at Vicksburg.]
SOME DESCENDANTS OF WILLIAM AND KESIAH SPARKS
OF PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA
By Paul E. Sparks
[Editor's Note: Prince William County, Virginia, was created by an Act of the Colonial Virginia Assembly in May 1730 from the upper parts of King George and Stafford Counties. John Frederick Dorman, one of Virginia's leading genealogists, has noted that only one will book for the colonial period of Prince William County exists today. Those for the 1750s and 1760s have been lost, as well as a few pages from the one remaining, which begins in 1734.
[Prince William County is located in the northeast portion of Virginia. Its eastern border is formed by the Potomac River, on the opposite side of which lies Charles County, Maryland. On the northeast lies Fairfax County, which had been created in 1742 from a portion of Prince William County. A small portion of Prince William County also borders Loudoun County on the northeast, which had been formed from Fairfax County in 1757. The western and most of the southwestern boundary of Prince William is with Fauquier County, which had been cut off from Prince William in 1759. On the south, Prince William borders Stafford County, which had been formed in 1664.
[Although the origin of the Sparkses of early Prince William County, Virginia, has not been established, a great deal of information has been preserved about some of their descendants. This article is published with the hope that some of our readers can add to this meager knowledge. Obviously, little is known about their lives before they came to Kentucky.]
The first official record we have found of William Sparks, ancestor of the branch of the family covered here, is the 1782 tax roll of Prince William County, on which he was listed as a poll (tithable). Other taxpayers named Sparks appearing on this same list included two men named John Sparks as well as a James Sparks. None of these Sparkses owned slaves.
In 1787, a tax was levied in Virginia that was different from any collected be fore - - -a law passed the year before required that the commissioner for each tax district in the state actually "call on every person subject to taxation or having property in his or her possession." Before 1787, taxpayers in Virginia were required, themselves, to report to their tax commissioner, with the result that some failed to do so and thus did not appear on the tax list that year. This 1786 law required, also, that the tax commissioner record the date on which he visited each household in his district. Not only was he to record the name of the head of each household, but also that of any other white male therein who was over 21 years of age.
The tax commissioner for the part of Prince William County in which William Sparks lived, called on him on March 28, 1787. Sparks was shown as owning five horses and eleven cattle. He was taxed for one "tithable," that being himself. (There was no tax on land in Virginia at that time.)
In all, the tax commissioner called on 26 households in his district that day, four of which were headed by women, all of whom were probably widows. One of these was Elizabeth Sparks, who owned two horses and three cattle. Being a female, she was not taxed as a "tithable." We think it probable that she was the widow of John Sparks, son of William Sparks. As will be seen, William Sparks indicated in his will dated March 7, 1787, the fact that his son, John Sparks, was deceased at that time. (This very valuable 1787 tax list for Virginia was published, county by county, in 1987 by Netti Schreiner-Yantis and Florene Speakman Love.)
WILLIAM SPARKS OF PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA, continued:
William Sparks died in 1788 in Prince William
County, Virginia, probably in the fall of the year. He had made and signed
a will on March 7, 1787, which had been witnessed by three men, Andrew
Lyons, Christopher Hopwood, and Peter Hopwood. The will was proven in the
Prince William County Court on Decem ber 1, 1788. Here is the gist of the
will as it was recorded on page 406 of Will Book G.
To my daughter, Nancy Wingate, one shilling sterling and no more.
We have no further information about William
and Kesiah (-------- ) Sparks. He was probably born about 1735 and was
probably married to Kesiah about 1760. Their five children were probably
born between 1760 and 1770. Three of their sons went to Kentucky about
A. John Sparks, son of William and Kesiah ( ) Sparks, was born about 1760. He was married and had a son, James Sparks, born prior to March 1787. John was deceased by the time his father made his will on March 7, 1787. We have no further information about him or his son. (An inventory and appraisal of the estate of John Sparks was recorded in Prince William County on June 4, 1787.)
B. James Sparks, son of William and Kesiah (------ ) Sparks, was born about 1760, probably in Virginia. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Margaret Dawson on December 15, 1785, in Fauquier County, Virginia. Fauquier County had been formed in 1758 from Prince William County, and James Sparks paid taxes there in 1787. He was shown as owning three horses and two cattle. The tax district in which James Sparks was taxed in 1787 was described as "District C to begin at the fork of the road above Mr. Darnalls, thence along the road leading by Barnetts to the line of Prince William County, thence along that line to the line of Frederick, thence along that line to the Falmouth road, thence down the road to the beginning." (There were three men named Daw son taxed also in this "District 3" in 1787, one of whom may well have been the father of Margaret Dawson, first wife of James Sparks. Their names were George Dawson, Henry Dawson, and William Dawson.)
WILLIAM SPARKS OF PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA (DESCENDANTS THROUGH HIS SON JAMES SPARKS OF VIRGINIA & KENTUCKY), continued:
Margaret (Dawson) Sparks apparently died in Fauquier County about 1800, leaving James Sparks with four young children. He was married (second) to Nancy Mathew on May 25, 1801, also in Fauquier County. She had been born about 1775 and was a daughter of Catherine Mathew. (On the same day, March 13, 1787, that the tax commissioner called on James Sparks in Fauquier County, he had also called on three men named Mathew, which means they were close neighbors. They were Edward Mathew, Nathan Mathew, and Thomas Mathew, and on the following day, March 14, 1787, the tax commissioner called on Benjamin Mathew and Isaac Mathew. It seems probable that one of these men was the father of Nancy Mathew, second wife of James Sparks.)
About 1805, James Sparks and his brothers, William Sparks and Thomas Sparks, apparently decided to move to Kentucky. Descendants say that they traveled down the Great Valley of Virginia to Cumberland Gap and then followed the Wilderness Road northward to Bourbon County, Kentucky, where they settled on Houston Creek. There, James Sparks bought a 94-acre tract of land in 1812. He paid $13.00 per acre for the land.
In 1819, James and Nancy (Mathew) Sparks sold the land on Houston Creek to John King for $32.00 an acre. They then moved north a few miles to Silas Branch, a small stream that is a part of the northern boundary of Bourbon County. There, they bought a 165-acre tract of land from Davis Biggs, paying him $4,132 for the tract. It was located on the north side of Silas Branch and was in Harrison County; thus the records of James Sparks and his family can be found in both Bourbon and Harrison Counties.
The household of James Sparks was enumerated on the 1810 census of Bourbon County. He was shown as the owner of eight slaves. He was not listed on the 1820 census, however; in all probability the family was simply missed by both the Bourbon and Harrison County census takers that year. When the 1830 census was taken, James Sparks was shown as heading a household in Harrison County.
James and Nancy were members of the Baptist Church, and when they arrived in Kentucky, they became affiliated with the Baptist Church in Paris, Kentucky. After they moved to Silas Branch, they were "received by letter" into the Silas Baptist Church at Jacksonville.
On September 9, 1829, James and Nancy Sparks sold their 165-acre tract of land to Samuel Ewalt for $4,132, exactly the same price that they had paid for the land ten years earlier. Nancy signed her name on the deed while James made his mark. Three months later, on December 17, 1829, James bought 23 acres of land from George Smiser, and the following year he bought a parcel of land of undisclosed size from John Trimble.
The last land transaction made by James and Nancy Sparks was dated January 5, 1835; they sold the 23-acre tract and a 137-acre tract to their son, Silas H. Sparks. Silas paid his parents $3200 for the land.
The disposition of the two tracts of land in January 1835 may have been prompted by poor health on the part of James Sparks, for he died the following year. The minutes of the Silas Baptist Church contain a record of his death on September 14, 1836. An inventory of his estate was taken on December 14, 1836, by Joseph Shawhan, Joel Frazer, and George Smiser.
WILLIAM SPARKS OF PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA (DESCENDANTS THROUGH HIS SON JAMES SPARKS OF VIRGINIA & KENTUCKY), continued:
James Sparks died intestate (that is, without a will), and the Harrison County Court disposed of his estate according to law. The court appointed his son, Wesley Sparks, as the administrator. Fortunately for those interested in genealogy, when the estate was finally settled on April 11, 1838, all of James's eleven children were designated. As named in Minute Book F, of the Harrison County Court, they were: E. Love, William Sparks, Barton heirs, Thomas Sparks, K. Jones, F. Forsythe, M. Jones, W. Sparks, S. H. Sparks, and E. M. Sparks.
Nancy (Mathew) Sparks survived her husband by five years, dying on June 15, 1841, according to the minutes of the Silas Baptist Church. She, too, died intestate, and her son, Wesley Sparks, was appointed as her administrator. An inventory was taken of her personal estate on July 20, 1841, by Joseph Shawhan, James Fraizer, and J. W. Lair, and a public sale was held on August 21, 1841.
Nancy (Mathew) Sparks and her husband, James Sparks, had seven children, all of whom lived to maturity. By his first marriage, James Sparks had four children, thus he was the father of eleven children in all. Here is the information that we have found about them.
1. Elizabeth Sparks, daughter of James and Margaret (Dawson) Sparks, was born about 1786, probably in Prince William County, Virginia. She was married to Philip Love about 1806. He was a son of Charles and Polly (Barnes) Love according to Pioneer Families of Missouri, published in 1876. He and Elizabeth moved to Callaway County, Missouri, about 1828. They had eleven children; however, we have learned nothing about them except their names and probable years of birth.
After he returned from service in the War of 1812, William Sparks was married to Sarah Barton on January 15, 1815, in Bourbon County, Kentucky. She had been born about 1790 and was a daughter of Andrew Barton. She died on March 7, 1826, leaving her husband with six children, the youngest of whom was just three weeks old. William was married (second) to Elizabeth Barton on September 21, 1826. She had been born about 1807 and was a daughter of David Barton. Some descendants believe that she was a cousin of Sarah Bar ton, the first wife of William Sparks.
Shortly after his second marriage, William Sparks moved to neighboring Fayette County, Kentucky, where he and his household were enumerated on the 1830 and 1840 censuses. He moved back to Bourbon County about 1845, however, and it was there that he died on August 25, 1848. He left no will, and the Bourbon County Court appointed William Barton (probably his brother-inlaw) as the administrator of his estate. Hiram Sparks was Barton's bondsman in the amount of $3200.
According to census records and information
furnished by descendants, William Sparks had thirteen children, six by
his first marriage and seven by his second marriage.
WILLIAM SPARKS OF PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA (DESCENDANTS THROUGH HIS SON JAMES SPARKS OF VIRGINIA & KENTUCKY), continued:
4. Fanny Sparks, daughter of James and Margaret (Dawson) Sparks, was born about 1795 in Virginia. She was married to Augustus Forsythe on January 7, 1819, in Bourbon County, Kentucky. Augustus died sometime between May 27 and June 12, 1846, in Harrison County, Kentucky. He and Fanny are said to have had nine children.
6. Catherine Sparks, daughter of James and Nancy (Mathew) Sparks, was born about 1804 in Fauquier County, Virginia, and it was there that she was married to William Jones on February 17, 1823. They moved to Monroe County, Missouri, where Catherine died, apparently between 1844 and 1850. William died there between 1850 and 1860. They had ten children.a. Nancy Jones was born about 1825.b. Silas Jones was born on September 28, 1828. He was married to Catherine Love on January 6, 1858, in Callaway County, Missouri. She had been born on February 14, 1843. She died on March 15, 1897, and Silas died on February 5, 1899.c. James Jones was born about 1829.d. Lucy Ann Jones was born about 1831. She was married to Hardin A. Key on February 3, 1853.e. William G. Jones was born about 1833. He was married to Susan L. Howell on January 5, 1859, in Monroe County, Missouri.f. Julia F. Jones was born about 1835.g. John G. Jones was born about 1837. He was married to Nancy Arthur on September 10, 1862, in Monroe County, Missouri.h. Dulcena Jones was born abput 1841.i. Elizabeth Jones was born about 1843.j. Jane A. Jones was born about 1844.
7. James Wesley Sparks, son of James and Nancy (Mathew) Sparks, was born on October 4, 1805, in Fauquier County, Virginia, and was just a baby when his parents brought him to Bourbon County, Kentucky. There he grew to man hood, and it was there that he was married to Jane Givens on April 8, 1828.
c. John Wesley Sparks was born on July 3, 1833. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Lucinda ["Lou"] Clark on October 6, 1857, in Bourbon County. She had been born about 1836 and was a daughter of Edwin and Nancy ( ) Clark. She died on July 26, 1858.
John Wesley Sparks was married (second)
to Julia Clay Garrard on Novem ber 3, 1859, in Bourbon County. She had
been born about 1839 and was a daughter of Charles Todd and Mattie (Kennedy)
Garrard. According to The Clay Family, published in 1899, she and
John had seven children; however, the only information given in that book
is the names of the children: Charles, Martha, "Mattie"], Lillie, James,
Elizabeth ["Betty"], Jesse, and William.
d. Elizabeth Sparks was born on February 18, 1836. She was married to Charles Perry Talbot on November 2, 1857, in Harrison County.
8. Mary Sparks, daughter of James and Nancy (Mathew) Sparks, was born about 1807, probably in Kentucky. She was married to Baylus Jones on April 10, 1826, in Harrison County. (The given name of Baylus was also spelled Balis, Bayless, Bayles, etc.) He had been born on December 10, 1804, in Harrison County. Two children had been born to him and Mary when the 1830 census was taken of Harrison County.
According to a descendant, Baylus Jones joined four other men and went to Monroe County, Missouri, about 1830 to investigate moving their families there. They then returned to Harrison County for their families and moved to Missouri. They traveled by steamboat down the Ohio River to its mouth and then up the Mississippi River to the mouth of Salt River. There, they changed to keelboats and went up the Salt River to the Cincinnati landing, where wagons were loaded to take them the final step to the middle fork of Salt River.
Mary (Sparks) Jones, wife of Baylus, died
shortly after the family arrived in Monroe County, Missouri, probably in
1831. As far as can be determined, no grave marker exists for her. Her
children were buried in the Jones Cemetery near their father. It is located
on the land Baylus Jones purchased on No vember 17, 1831. The two children
of Baylus and Mary (Sparks) Jones were:
10. Silas H. Sparks, son of James and Nancy (Mathew) Sparks, was born about 1811 in Kentucky. He was married to Isabella Givens on September 26, 1833, in Harrison County, Kentucky. (The license was issued on September 23, 1833.) She had been born about 1813 in Kentucky and was a daughter of John Givens.
On January 5, 1835, Silas Sparks bought two tracts of land from his parents. One tract was about 136 acres; the other was 23 acres. He gave his parents $3,200 for the two tracts. He became a well-to-do farmer. In 1860, he valued his farm at $8,500 and had personal property valued at $9,000.
Isabella (Givens) Sparks died in 1863 in Harrison County. Silas died there in 1866 at the age of 56 years. He and Isabella had thirteen children: (ror a listing of these children, see the following page.)
(8) William Henry Sparks was born about 1874. He was married to Edith Lester, and they had three children: Marjorie, Dorothy, and Florence.
(9) Christina Sparks was born about 1876. She was married to Lew Mills, and they had two children: May and Guy.c. Hiram Sparks, son of Elias and Elizabeth (Hall) Sparks, was born about 1841 in Ohio. He was married to Amanda Hill about 1864. She had been born about 1844 in Ohio. According to a descendant and the 1870 and 1880 census records of Fayette County, Ohio, she and Hiram had nine children.
(10) Albert Sparks was born about 1878. He was married to Linnie Stephens, and they had one child, John.
(11) Virgil P. Sparks. (He was the only child of Sflas Sparks and his second wife, Dora.)(1) Laura Sparks was born about 1865. She was married to William ["Will"] Allen, and they had two children, Lon and Lula.d. Mary Catherine Sparks, daughter of Elias and Elizabeth (Hall) Sparks, was born on May 31, 1844, in Ohio. She was married on January 1, 1863, to Caleb Ferguson. She died in 1898. She and Caleb had nine children.
(2) William Sparks was born about 1868. He was married to Bessie Brown Gibson, and they had two children, Edith and Burdette.
(3) Arthur ["Arty"] C. Sparks was born about 1871. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Nettie Acklin, and his second marriage was to Vada King. He had no children by either marriage.
(4) Frank C. Sparks was born about 1873.
(5) John W. Sparks was born about 1875. He was married to Mattie Culberson, and they had eleven children: Pauline, Louise, Frank, May, Lucile, Carrie, Ralph, Florence, Thomas, George, and James.
(6) Hiram S. Sparks was born on February 9, 1879. He was married to Sarah Elma Hook, and they had three children: Louise, Virginia, and Wilbur. Hiram died on December 9, 1953.
(7) James Sparks was born in the spring of 1880.
(8) Cora Sparks was born about 1882. She was married twice. Her first marriage was to --------- Roberds, by whom she had one child, Mabel. Her second marriage was to -------- Whisler, and they had three children: Thelma, Ruth, and Madelyn.
(9) Stanley E. Sparks was born about 1885. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Nellie Marie Belles, and they had six children: Robert, Alma, Hazel, Frank, Edward, and Margaret. His second marriage was to Johanna A. Bohnelamp. He had no children by his second marriage.(1) Elizabeth Ferguson was born in 1864. She was married twice. Her
first marriage was to Sewell Burr, and they had one child, Zora.
Her second marriage was to Smith, and they had one child,
(2) Margaret Ferguson was born about 1866. She was married to Frank Brickle, and they had one child, Paul.
(3) Carrie Ferguson was born in 1868. She died in 1887. She was never married.
(4) Allen Ferguson was born in 1871. He was married to Clara Barnes, and they had one child, John.
(5) Anna Ferguson was born in 1874. She was married to William Fawcett, and they had two sons, Carl and Willard.e. John Wesley Sparks, son of Elias and Elizabeth (Hall) Sparks, was born on April 30, 1847. He was married twice. His first marriage was to Mattie Vanneman. Apparently, they had no children. His second marriage was to Elizabeth Ellen Haines on May 20, 1875, in Fayette County; Ohio. He died in 1909. He and Elizabeth had three children.
(6) John Ferguson was born about 1875. He was married to Blanche Binns, and they had three children: Harry, Robert, and Mary Alice.
(7) Leota Ferguson was born about 1878. She was married to Jesse Taylor, and they had three children: Fred, Byron, and Harold.
(8) Adna Ferguson was born about 1881. She was married to Thomas Groves, and they had three children: Richard, Mary Ellen, and Paul.
(9) Mary Ethel Ferguson was born on March 3, 1887. She was married to Arthur Jones, and they had four children: Zella, Houston, Catherine, and Dean.(1) Alden H. Sparks was born about 1876. He was married to Marie Dun. They had no children. Alden died in 1944.f. Martha Ellen Sparks, daughter of Elias and Elizabeth (Hall) Sparks, was born in October 1849. She was married to Allen Barber on November 7, 1867. Ellen (as she was called) died in 1890. Allen died in 1926. They had four children.
(2) Pearl H. Sparks was born about 1878. He was married to Faye Dun, and they had one child, Louise. Pearl died in 1926.
(3) Vesta J. Sparks was born on September 28, 1882. She was intensely interested in genealogy and was most helpful in sharing information about the Sparkses of Fayette County, Ohio.(1) Lula Barber was married to Joseph Wilson, and they had four children: Ruby, Orren, Lenore, and Eunice. Lula died in 1947.g. Henry H. Sparks, son of Elias and Elizabeth (Hall) Sparks, was born about 1852. He was married to Cora Luttrell on December 18, 1884, in Fayette County, Ohio, and they had six children. Henry died in 1906.
(2) Charles Barber was married to Minnie Hoover, and they had two children, Ivy and Leo. Charles died in 1931.
(3) John Barber was married to Della Hunt, and they had five children: Mary, Grace, Nellye, Allen, and Florence.
(4) Maggie Barber was married twice. Her first marriage was to Edgar Brand, and they had one child, Victoria. Maggie was married (second) to James A. Keister. She died in 1952.(1) lonia Sparks was born in 1886. She was married to Howard Smith and they had two children, Robert and Richard.
(2) Homer Oscar Sparks was born in 1888. He died in 1891.
(3) Florence Sparks was born in 1890. She was married to Charles 0. Glass, and they had one child, Charles Dean Glass.
(4) Charles Sparks was born in 1891. He was married to Ora May Jacks, and they had one child, Harold.
(5) Ruth Sparks was born in 1893. She was married to Guy Fenner, and they had one child, Janet.
(6) Dana L. Sparks was born in 1897. He was married to Helen Strong, and they had three children: Donald, Joann, and Dwight.
[Editor's Note: Part one of the article by Dr. Paul E. Sparks about William Sparks (ca.1730 -1788) of Prince William County, Virginia, and his descendants, has been concluded on the previous page. The second and final part of this article will be presented in a future issue of THE SPARKS QUARTERLY.]
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
UNION SOLDIERS NAMED SPARKS WHO APPLIED
OR WHOSE HEIRS APPLIED
FOR PENSIONS FOR SERVICE IN THE CIVIL WAR
[Editor's Note: From time to time we have
been publishing abstracts of pension application files for Union soldiers
who served in the Civil War. (Confederate soldiers could not qualify for
federal pensions, although some received pensions from their respective
states.) These abstracts have been prepared by Dr. Paul E. Sparks, president
of our Association. They are based on copies of the "selected" pension
papers provided to us by the National Archives in Washing ton, D.C., from
the individual files. The National Archives charges $10.00 for a copy of
each such file; the "non-selected" papers may be obtained for an additional
fee, the amount depending upon the number of pages involved. The papers
which a clerk in the past considered to be of greatest genealogical inter
est are included in the "selected" series. For a more detailed description
of these records, the reader is referred to page 3730 of the March 1991
issue of the QUARTERLY, Whole No.153.]
|JAMES S. SPARKS,||son of Wflliam and Elizabeth (Barton) Sparks, was born about 1836 in Kentucky, and died on May 24, 1885, in Missouri. He was married to Hattie C. Hale on November 25, 1862, in Marion County, Missouri. He served in Company C, Berry's Battalion Missouri Cavalry. File Designations: Inv. Cert. No. 126,697; Wid. Appl. No. 501,253.|
On August 11, 1871, James S. Sparks, aged 35, a resident of St. Joseph, Missouri, applied for an invalid pension. He stated that he had enlisted on or about November 15, 1861, in Company C, 25th Regiment Missouri Volunteers and had served until he was discharged on or about February 14, 1862. He was then described as 5 feet, 7" tall; he had a fair complexion, brown hair and grey eyes; and he was a tobacconist. While charging on his horse near Liberty, Missouri, in an effort to dislodge some rebels (called Bushwhackers), his horse had stumbled and fallen, and, as a result, he had received a rupture which now rendered him incapable of earning his support. He said that he had never received a record of his discharge. Since leaving the service, he had lived in St. Joseph where he practiced his trade as a tobacconist. He appointed Hill & Trewitt, Washington, D.C., as his attorneys. Robert N. Phillips and John D. Holms witnessed his signature, and the declaration was sworn to before John B. Harder, clerk of the Buchanan County Court.
On October 3, 1871, Seril P. Hyde, late
captain and commander of General Prentiss' bodyguard, made an affidavit
to support the declaration of James S. Sparks. He stated that on December
1, 1861, he was in charge of Company C, of the 25th Regiment of Missouri
Volunteers near Liberty, Missouri, when they
Scanning edited by James J. Sparks