"To forget one's ancestors is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root."
(An old Chinese proverb.)

VOL. XLIII, NO.  2  JUNE 1995   WHOLE NO.170a

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

JOHN SPARKS (1843-1908)


Photograph taken ca. 1905

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THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, published by The Sparks Family Association.
Paul E. Sparks, President, 155 North Hite Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky (40206-2311)
Russell E. Bidlack, Secretary-Treasurer & Editor, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan (48104-4448)
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. Eight quinquennial  indexes have been published for the years 1953 -1957, 1958 -1962, 1963 -1967, 1968 -72, 1973 -1977, 1978-1982,1983 -1987; and 1988-92.  Each index is available for $5.00. A complete file of the back issues of the QUARTERLY (1953-1994), including the seven indexes, may be purchased for $260.00. Orders for back issues, as well as the complete file, should be sent to the editor, Russell E. Bidlack, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104-4448. The forty-two years of the QUARTERLY (1953 -1994) comprise a total of 4,410 pages of Sparks Family history.  The eight indexes  comprise a total of 874 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 1994.

MILLINGTON SPARKS, III (ca. 1775-ca. 1835)

(Sometimes called William Millington Sparks)


Compiled by Paul E. Sparks

[Editor's Note: Much of the materials used in this article have been collected by Mary (Sparks) Matthews and Abbott Sparks. The arrangement of these records was done by the editor, while the compilation was prepared by the Association's President, Dr. Paul E. Sparks.]

The September 1991 issue of THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, No. 155, contained an article about Millington Sparks, born about 1715, died about 1780, of Queen Annes County, Maryland. He was a son of John and Cornelia Sparks and a grandson of William and Mary Sparks who had come from Hampshire County, England, to Maryland about 1663. Millington Sparks was married to Mabel Ruth on February 9, 1740, in Queen Annes County. Among their six children was a son who was also named Millingtron Sparks, born about 1745, whom we will designate as Millington Sparks, Jr.


Although the records pertaining to Millington Sparks, II, are scant, we believe he was married and that he had at least one son, born about 1775, who was also named Millington Sparks. This Millington Sparks, whom we will designate as Millington Sparks, III, was married to Rebecca Brooks on May 25, 1797, in Kent County, Maryland. Some records indicate that his full name was William Millngton Sparks. [Editor's note: Millington Sparks, III, may have added the name "William" after becoming an adult in order to distinguish himself from others with the same name.]

(For further details about this branch of the Sparks family, see also the March 1971 and December 1974 issues of the QUARTERLY, Whole Nos. 73 and 88, respectively.)

Millington Sparks, III (also called William Millington Sparks) was born about 1775 in Maryland, probably in Queen Annes County. On the 1800 census of Queen Annes County, he was enumerated as 16 to 26 years of age. We have not found him on any 1810 or 1820 census, but on the 1830 census of Lauderdale County, Alabama, his age was enumerated as between 50 and 60, thus he was apparently born between 1775 and 1780.

We have been unable to make a definite identification of the parents of Millington Sparks, III; however, there can be little doubt that he was a descendant of John and Cornelia Sparks of Queen Annes County. This couple had a son named Millington, and because of the unusualness of the name, and the fact that later census records indicate that Millington Sparks, III, had been born in Maryland, we can almost be certain that he inherited his name from Millington Sparks, Jr.

Millington Sparks, I, had been born between 1710 and 1720, and he was thus about 55 to 65 years older that Millington Sparks, III. For this reason, we are reluctant to suggest that he could have been the father of Millington, III. More information is needed, however, to clear up what appears on the surface to be a fairly simple family relationship.

The first official document that we have found perttaining to Millington Sparks, III, is his marriage record. He was married to Rebecca Brooks on May 25, 1797, in Kent County, Maryland. The marriage license had been issued on May 23rd. Rebecca had been born on February 6, 1777, and she was a daughter of Esau and Mary (Wyatt) Brooks.

A second source of data about Millingtbn Sparks, III, is found in a Bible which was in the possession of a descendant, Miss Eunice McLeod of Haynesville, Lousi ana, in 1960. The Bible had belonged originally to Samuel Wyatt Brooks, son of Esau Brooks. Esau had been a soldier in Maryland during the Revolutionary War. He died in Maryland in 1797. Some of his descendants had gone to Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, before the Civil War. Here are some pertinent entries found in this Bible.

Mary Brooks, Wife bf Esau Brooks, died March 31, 1782.

Rebecca Brooks, daughter of Esau Brooks and his wife, Mary, was married on May 25, 1797, to William Millington Sparks.

Miilington Sparks, son of Mfllington Sparks and Rebecca, his wife, was born April 9, 1799.

William and Mary Sparks, son and daughter of Millington Sparks and his wife, Rebecca, was [were] born January 5, 1801.

Samuel and Eliza Sparks, son and daughter of Millington Sparks and Rebecca, his wife, was [were] born July 7, 1803.


Rebecca Brooks, wife of Millington Sparks, departed this life January 5, 1807.

Millington Sparks and Ann Swanway were joined in Holy Matrimony on May 12, 1808.

John Wesley Sparks, son of Millington Sparks and Ann, his wife, was born December 21, 1809.

Rebecca Sparks, daughter of Millington Sparks and Ann, his wife, was born September 1, 1811.

Lloyd Sparks, son of Millington Sparks and Ann, his wife, was born August 15, 1813.

It seems obvious from these entries in the Bible of Samuel Wyatt Brooks that the full name of Millington Sparks, who was married to Rebecca Brooks, was William Millington Sparks. His full name was seldom used, however, and he was usually referred to as Millington Sparks, as in each of the entries in the Bible record following that of his marriage to Rebecca Brooks.

On September 10, 1799, Millington Sparks, III, bought property from his brother- in-law, Samuel Brooks, in Queen Annes County, Maryland. The consideration was 147 pounds and 4 shillings. The property included livestock, farming implements, household goods, and two slaves. Apparently this sale was in preparation for Samuel Brooks to move to Georgia.

Millington Sparks was shown as bead of his household when the 1800 census was taken of Queen Annes County. He was enumerated as 16-20 years of age. Living in his household was a female, aged 10-16, who was probably his wife, but if so, the enumeration was incorrect; there were also two males, under 10 years of age. Millington Sparks also had two slaves, probably the two whom he had purchased from his brother-in-law, Samuel Brooks, the previous year.

Sparks apparently followed his in-laws to Georgia about 1803. (The birthplace of his son, Samuel Wyatt Sparks, was listed as Maryland on the 1860 and 1870 censuses of Lampasas County, Texas.) In all likelihood, Rebecca (Brooks) Sparks was in Georgia when she died in 1807, and it was probably there that Millington was married to Ann Swanway the following year. She had been born about 1782 in Georgia. She was the mother of three of Millington's children: John Wesley Sparks, Rebecca Sparks, and Lloyd Sparks.

During the War of 1812, Millington Sparks, III, served as a 3rd-Sergeant in Capt. Jones Kendrick's Company of Infantry, 4th Regiment Georgia Detached Militia. On the company payroll, his record was as follows: "He traveled 90 miles (a trip that took six days) to reach the rendezvous on November 21, 1814. He served as a 3rd-Sergeant until May 6, 1815, for a total term of service of 5 months 27 days. He was paid $11.00 per month and received a subsistence of $1.08. The total amount of his pay was $65.98."

Prior to the taking of the 1830 census, Millington Sparks, III, had moved west ward to Lauderdale County, Alabama. He was shown on that census as aged be tween 50 and 60 years; his wife was enumerated as between 60 and 70, which was probably an error Also in their household were: 1 male, 10-15; 2 males, 5-10; 1 male under 5; 1 female, 15-20; and one female under 5. It appears quite likely that the male aged 10-15 was the youngest son of Millington, and that the female, aged 15-20, was his youngest daughter. The four children shown as under 10 years of age were probably his grandchildren.


We have found no further record of Millington Sparks, III. He does not appear on any 1840 census that we have searched; he probably had died by the time that census was taken. When the 1850 census was taken of Lauderdale County, Alabama, his wife, listed as Nancy Sparks, was shown as 68 years of age; she was living in the household of a daughter, Rebecca (Sparks) Berry.

Millington Sparks, III, had eight children: three sons and two daughters by his first marriage and two sons and one daughter by his second marriage.

A. Millington Sparks, IV, son of Millington and Rebecca (Brooks) Sparks, was born on April 9, 1799, in Maryland. We have found no further record of him.

B. William Sparks, son of Millington and Rebecca (Brooks) Sparks, was born on January 3, 1801, probably in Maryland. Few records have been found pertaining to him. Descendants say that his full name was William Andrew Sparks. He may have been married twice. Apparently he was the William Sparks, born 1800-1810, who was shown as head of a household on the 1830 census of Lauderdale County, Alabama; however, there were no children enumerated in his household. With him was a female., presumedly his wife, born 1810-1815, and another female who had been born 1780-1790.

Sparks may have been the William A. Sparks who was married to Cordelia Thomas on June 30, 1840, in Lauderdale County. (The license had been issued on June 20, 1840.) He may have been the W. Sparks shown on the 1840 census. If this is correct, however, the census taker was apparently given incorrect age information. This record Is the last official document we have found of this man; however, we have received further information from his descendants.

A descendant, Mrs. Mildred (Sparks) Singleton of San Angelo; Texas, wrote  in 1964 that William's middle name had been Andrew. She also stated that he had a son named William Andrew Jackson Sparks who had been born about
1824. She shared the following account which had been given to her by her father, Emmette Elwood Sparks:

Several years ago, another relative of William Andrew Sparks, named John Baxter Sparks (1869-1958), stated that William Andrew Sparks and his brother, Samuel Sparks, had left Mississippi together and had moved to Arkansas. They had lived near each other there until Sam left to go to Texas about 1857. William stayed in Arkansas until about twenty years later when he, too, moved to Texas. There he rented land from his nephew, John Sparks (later to become Governor of Nevada) in Williamson County.


From the statements given above, we believe that William Andrew Sparks had at least one son, William Andrew Jackson Sparks.

C. Mary Sparks, daughter of Millington and Rebecca (Brooks) Sparks, was born on January 3, 1801. She was a twin to William Andrew Sparks, next above. We have found no further information regarding her.

D. Samuel ["Sam"] Wyatt Sparks, son of Millington and Rebecca (Brooks) Sparks was born on July 7, 1803, probably in Queen Annes County, Maryland, and was just a baby when his parents moved to Wilkes County, Georgia. It was there that his mother died on January 5, 1807, leaving his father with four small children, the oldest one being just eight years old. His father re-married the following year, and Samuel was reared by his step-mother, Ann (Swanway) Sparks.

Samuel had attained adulthood when he went westward with his father to Alabama, and it was there, in Tuscaloosa County, that he was married to Sarah Deal on January 29, 1829. The license was issued on January 22nd. Sarah had been born on February 15, 1811, in Pendleton District, South Carolina, and was a daughter of John and Frances Deal. The first child of Samuel and Sarah was born in Alabama on October 4, 1830.

Shortly after the birth of his first child, Samuel Sparks followed his in-laws (the Deals) to Noxubee County, Mississippi. He settled with his family near Cooksville. Here, two more children were born to him and Sarah. They did not remain in Noxubee County for very long, however, and when the 1840 census was taken, Samuel Sparks and his household were shown in Winston County, a few miles west of Noxubee County. Samuel and Sarah Sparks now had five children.

Samuel Sparks continued to move westward, according to descendants, and in 1844 he was in Arkansas where he stopped in that portion of Drew County that became a part of Ashley County in 1848. When the 1850 census was taken, he arid his family were living near the village of Fountain Hill. Descendants say that he had been accompanied to Arkansas by his brother, William Andrew Sparks, who settled near him.


Samuel Wyatt Sparks made his last move to the west in the summer of 1857, settling at Sparks Crossing on Sulphur Creek in newly-formed Lampasas County, Texas, on September 14th. When the 1860 census was taken of Lampasas County, he was described thereon as a farmer with real estate valued at $6,000 and personal property valued at $3,300. His four sons were still at home, but his three oldest daughters were married. His youngest child, a daughter named Atelia, was now 14 years old and at home.

Three sons of Samuel and Sarah Sparks, Van, Tom, and John, served in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. Van and Tom were sergeants in Company D, 17th Regiment Texas Infantry, while John served in a regiment of Texas Frontier Cavalry. The war took a toll from Samuel's property, and in 1870 his real estate was valued at only $1,000, while his personal property was valued at only $1,200.

According to a descendant, Mrs, Mary (Sparks) Matthews of Glendora, California, Samuel Sparks was killed on August 19, 1871, while blasting for a well. He was buried in a cemetery on the Sparks farm, but no tombstone can now be found to mark his grave. He and his family were members of the Baptist faith.

Sarah (Deal) Sparks survived her husband for more that twenty-five years, dying on November 20, 1897, at the age of 86 years. She and Samuel had nine children, eight of whom lived to adulthood. with families of their own.


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(1837-1914) (1842-1870)
Photographs taken about 1865
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Van Sparks served in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. He entered into service at Camp Terry in Capt. Hillary Ryan's Company of Allen's Regiment Texas Infantry. This company subsequently became Company D, 17th Regiment Texas Infantry. His incomplete military record on file in the National Archives shows that on August 6, 1863, he "resigned office of 3rd Sgt.; pay due him as Sgt., April 30 to Aug. 6, 1862."   From April 17 to May 28, 1864, he was in the C.S.A. General Hospital, Shreveport, Louisiana. He was discharged as a sergeant on April 30, 1865.

A grandson of Martin Van Buren Sparks recalls that in reminiscing as an old man, his grandfather said that his greatest concern during his army life had been for the safety of his younger brother, Tom Sparks, who served in the same military unit - - Company D, 17th Regiment Texas Infantry. This regiment served in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

Sometime near the end of the Civil War, Van Sparks was married to Susan ["Susie"] Leonora Bull. She had been born on September 26, 1842, in Yazoo County, Mississippi, and was a daughter of Ambrose and Sarah (Maxwell) Bull. (See Item D, 2, above.) Van and Susie started housekeeping in the village of San Saba, Texas, where Van taught school for one year. Their first child was born there in 1866. They returned to Lampasas County shortly thereafter, and it was there that Susie died on March 22, 1870, of typhoid fever. She left Van with three small children.

On October 6, 1875, Van was married (2nd) to Mary Elizabeth ["Betty"] Newton in Lampasas County. She had been born in 1839 in Walker County, Texas. She and Van had one child. Van died on December 12, 1914, in Lampasas County, and Betty died on April 11, 1926, in MeCulloch County, Texas. They were buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery in Lampasas County.

Fred Winchell Sparks wrote the following description of his grandfather, Martin Van Buren Sparks:

MV. B. Sparks was elected a justice of the peace in Lampasas County in 1873, and in 1876 he was elected the district clerk of Lampasas. He then was elected Presiding Justice, the same as county judge; to serve from 1886 to 1888.

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(1866-1934) (1866-1925)
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Lucy Belle (Eubank) Sparks died on January 12, 1925. Two years later, Lloyd was married to Pearl ["Sally"] Bolding. He died from complications involving a ruptured gall bladder on September 12, 1934, in Temple, Texas. He was buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery beside Lucy Belle. Lloyd R. and Lucy Belle (Eubank) Sparks were the parents of four children.
(1) Fred Winchell Sparks was born on November 13, 1891, at Georgetown, Texas. He became a teacher when he was nineteen years old, and he made teaching his professional career. His teaching experiences ranged from the elementary grades to graduate school. He was a full professor at Texas Technological College from 1926 to 1961. He earned his Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Chicago.

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Left to right: Robert Burdette Sparks,Gladys Sparks,
Mattie Ruth Sparks and Fred Winchell Sparks

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Dr. Sparks was best known as the author of a series of mathematics textbooks published by McGraw, Hill & Company. He was honored by many professional organizations, Including membership in Sigma Xi.  Fred Sparks  served in the united States Army during World War I and was in France for nine months. When he returned from military service, he was married to Mary Elizabeth ["Madge"] Romans on January 13, 1921. She was a daughter of William M. A. and Ella E. (Kelly) Romans; she had been born on May 15, 1894, in Austin, Texas.

Fred Sparks died on February 15, 1982, at La Verne, California. Madge died just two months later, on April 15, 1982. They were buried at Pomona, California. They had one child, Mary Romans Sparks. She was married to Kermit D. Matthews, and they have two children, Fred K. Matthews and Mary Lois Matthews.  Mary (Sparks) Matthews has done an outstanding job of collecting information about her branch of the Sparks family and has furnished several photographs used in this issue as illustrations. Mary and her husband, Kermit Matthews, are planning to publish a book about her Sparkses and Knights.


1) Baxter Abbott Sparks was born on August 7, 1891, in Lampasas, Texas. He was married on April 25, 1915, in Garvin County, Oklahoma, to Vivian Braden; She had been born on August 2, 1894, in Garvin County and was a daughter of Robert Edward and Jessie(Manning) Braden. Vivian died on September 27, 1978, and Baxter died on February 6, 1985. They had one child, Baxter Abbott Sparks, Jr.
d. Samuel Buren Sparks, son of Van and Betty (Newton) Sparks, was born on January 5, 1879, in Lampasas, Texas. He became a Baptist minister and served for a time in a church at Santa Fe, New Mexico; he was also chaplain for the New Mexico Senate, in the state legislature. On November 17, 1910, he was married to Mayme Lou Harper in Bell County, Texas. She had been born on September 11, 1891, and was a daughter of Lee Walker and Lora Elizabeth (Hoover) Harper. Buren (as he was called) Sparks died on December 13, 1948, at Burnet, Texas. Mayme died there on December 18, 1973.

The Rev. Buren Sparks made his last appearance as a clergyman in June 1946, according to an account written in a book, HometoTexas by Stanley Walker, 1954, about the funeral of Walker's mother. Walker wrote:  "Sparks was dying of cancer and could hardly see, but he was still a delight. He was religious, make no mistake about that, but he never for got that he was a human being. He could tell wonderful west Texas and New Mexico cow-country stories. He was a pretty good writer; he was a dead shot; and if he felt like it, he would take a drink of whiskey without appologizing to anyone.  His remarks at my mother's funeral were brief, sensible and terribly moving; mercifully fre of mawkishness and false eloquence.  He spoke of her pioneer girlhood, her rugged life, her devotion to her family, her friends and neighbors, and to her church, and he reminded his listeners of thier loss,  That was it.

5. Samuel Wyatt Sparks, Jr., son of Sam and Sarah (Deal) Sparks, was born on January 30, 1839, in Winston County, Mississippi. He was married to Sarah (Landrum) Piper on January 27, 1868, in Lampasas County. She had been born about 1843 in Tennessee and was probably a widow with a seven-year- old daughter, florence. Sam Sparks, Jr. died on August 7, 1872, at the untimely age of 33 years, leaving Sarah with two small children. He was buried in the Sparks Cemetery, three miles east of Lampasas.
a. Harvey Deal Sparks was born on November 2, 1868. He was married to Eleanor ["Ella"] Christian on February 7, 1895. She had been born on October 2, 1875. Harvey died on August 22, 1917, and Ella died on May 13, 1928. They were buried in the Oak Hill Cemetery at Lampasas.