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


Home Page Next Page Previous Page Previous Issue


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

Edwin Erle Sparks

July 16, 1860 - - June 15, 1924

Photograph Taken from the National Cyclopedia of American Biography

(View Photograph)


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 eight indexes, may be purchased for $280.00.  The forty-two years of the Quarterly (1953 -1994) comprise a total of 4,590 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. The International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) that has been assigned to the Quarterly is ISSN 0561-5445.

Orders for individual back issues of the Quarterly as well as for a complete file should be sent to the editor, Russell E. Bidlack, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104-4448.




By Russell Ee Bidlack and Paul E. Sparks

Several individuals who have joined the Sparks Family Association during the past forty years have claimed descent from Stephen Sparks, who is belleved to have been born in Maryland about 1774.  His wife, according to family records kept by descendants, was Anna Carman. She was born, according to the inscription on her tombstone, on July 21, 1787.


Stephen and Anna (Carman) Sparks had a number of great-grandchildren, one of whom was an historian named Edwin Erle Sparks, son of Erastus and Sarah J. (Dodd) Sparks. Edwin E. Sparks was born in Licking County, Ohio, on July 16, 1859; he died on June 15, 1924, at State College, Pennsylvania. Dr. Sparks be came president of Pennsylvania State College in 1908; he retired from that post in 1920. Dr. Sparks was married to Katherine Cotton, daughter of Dr. David B. Cotton of Portsmouth, Ohio, and they had one daughter, Ethel Cotton Sparks, who was married to Carvel E. Sparks of Pedricktown, New Jersey, on January 1, 1923. He was a son of Frelin Griffith and Emma Hannah (Shoemaker) Sparks. Ethel and Carvel were not related; they only happened to share the same surname. (Ethel was a charter member of our Association, continuing her membership until her death in 1971.)

Because of Edwin E. Sparks's prominence, he was asked about his Sparks ancestry on a number of occasions by persons named Sparks who thought they might be related to him . He regularly responded, however, by saying that he had never done extensive research into the matter. A typical letter that he wrote in responding to such a query was dated January 23, 1922, it being a reply to a letter from the Rev . C . E. Sparks of Bryan, Ohio . Obviously written in haste because he was about to leave for Florida, Dr. Sparks stated in part:

We have omitted a statement from the above letter In which Dr. Sparks made an obvious slip of the pen. He mistakenly referred to his grandmother, the wife of William Sparks, as Anna Carman. Anna Carman, as noted earlier, was actually Dr. Sparks's great-grandmother, the wife of Stephen Sparks. His daughter, Ethel Cotton (Sparks) Sparks, stated In correspondence with Paul E. Sparks, president of our association, forty years ago that Anna Carman had been her great-great- grandmother, wife of Stephen Sparks.

As seen above, in his 1922 letter, Edwin E. Sparks identified by name four sons of Stephen and Anna (Carman) Sparks: his own grandfather, William Sparks, along with William's brothers, Eli Sparks, John Sparks and Carman Sparks. Our research proves, however, that these were not the only children of Stephen and Anna (Carman) Sparks.

Edwin E. Sparks stated In his 1922 letter that Stephen Sparks had "probably" been born in Caroline County, Maryland, adding that Stephen's father . was named Richard and that he may have been born there as well. Dr. Sparks's lack of proof of this was indicated by his insertion of a question mark, however .


We do not know Dr. Sparks's source for believing that the father of Stephen Sparks had been named Richard. We may wonder whether this identification had been based simply on the fact that the 1790 census, which had been published in 1908 and was readily available in libraries, shows a Richard Sparks in Caroline County. In fact, he was the only Sparks named Richard appearing as head of a household anywhere in Maryland in 1790. Besides this Richard Sparks, there was also a Daniel Sparks shown as heading a household in Caroline County in 1790.

Caroline County, Maryland, was created in 1773 from parts of Queen Annes County and Dorchester County. It borders Queen Annes County on the north and the northwest, Talbot County on the southwest, Dorchester County on the south, and the state of Delaware on the east (Kent and Sussex Counties, Delaware). It may prove to be significant in our later research on the ancestry of Stephen Sparks that on March 5, 1805, a Stephen Sparks was appointed to administer the estate of a Margaret Sparks (whose maiden name had been Holliday) in Kent County, Delaware, bordering Caroline County, Maryland.

Stephen Sparks first appeared as head of a household on the 1810 census of Caroline County, Maryland . From this and later census records, it appears that he had been born about 1774 rather than 1784 as Edwin Sparks believed. Stephen Sparks had been married by 1810 to Anna Carman, and the ages of both were recorded as between 26 and 45 (thus born between 1765 and 1784). From the enumeration of their household, it would appear that they had four children by 1810:  one son and three daughters, all under ten years of age .

While more research remains to be done on the Carman family, it seems probable that Anna Carman was a granddaughter of John and Rachel (Burton) Carman who were married in St. Lukes Parish in Queen Annes County, Maryland, on January 24, 1735. Three children of this union were baptized at St. Lukes, accord ing to the surviving register: Burton Carman, born June 25, 1737, buried September 12, 1737; Rebecca Carman, born November 5, 1738; and William Burton Carman, born February 27, 1740 (baptized April 19, 1740). William Burton Carman must have died about 1766 according to the papers settling his estate. His widow, Elizabeth, had been married to Thomas Godwin before the estate was settled, at which time two surviving Carman children were identified as William Burton Carman, Jr., and John Carman, both of whom were "under age." We believe that future research will prove that Anna Carman, who was married to Stephen Sparks, was a daughter either of William Burton Carman, Jr., or of John Carman.

Edwin E. Sparks, great-grandson of Stephen Sparks, stated in his 1922 letter from which we quoted earlier, that Stephen had migrated from Caroline County, Maryland, to Ohio "in unknown year," but later in the same letter Dr. Sparks stated that his grandfather, William Sparks, son of Stephen, who had been born in Caroline County in 1806, "was taken to Ohio in childhood about 1817, settling in Coshocton County."

Coshocton County, Ohio, was created in 1810 from parts of Muskingum County and Tuscarawas County . (Until 1824, Coshocton County included a portion of Holmes County. Since then, Holmes County has bordered Coshocton County on the

Although Edwin E. Sparks thought that his great-grandfather, Stephen Sparks, had brought his family to Coshocton County, Ohio, about 1817, Stephen has not been found on any Ohio census taken in 1820. He may well have been living in Coshocton County when the 1820 census was taken, perhaps living with his family in someone else's household, or the census taker may simply have missed him. By the spring of 1824, Stephen may have been living in Guernsey County, Ohio, because on May 6, 1824, a daughter of Stephen and Anna (Carman) Sparks named Sarah Ann Sparks was married there to John Anderson by a justice of the peace named Peter Umstott. (Record Book A, p. 212)


When the 1830 census was taken, Stephen Sparks was living in Wills Township in Guernsey County, Ohio. Like Coshocton County, Guernsey County had been created in 1810. These two counties adjoin for a short distance at Coshocton's southeast corner and Guernsey's northwest corner .

Stephen Sparks's household in Wills Township, Guernsey County, in 1830 was enumerated with Stephen, himself, shown as between 50 and 60 years of age. This is further evidence that, indeed, he had been born earlier than 1784, the year in which Edwin E. Sparks had guessed that his great-grandfather had been born. (He would have been about 56 in 1830 if he had been born in 1774.)

William Sparks, son of Stephen and Sarah (Carman) Sparks, had been born in 1806 according to Edwin E. Sparks's 1922 letter; 1806 was also carved on William's tombstone as his year of birth. We believe that he was about 24 years old in
1830, and he was no longer living at home when the 1830 census was taken. He had been married to Sidney Cunningham of Guernsey County, Ohio, on May 17, 1827.

Stephen Sparks's household consisted of the following individuals in 1830 according to the census of Wills Township, Guernsey County, Ohio, that year:

1 male aged 5O to 60  (Stephen, himself)
2 males aged 15 to 20  (probably his sons, John and Eli)
1 male aged 5 to 10  (his son, Carman Sparks)
1 female aged 40 to 5O  (his wife, Anna [Carman] Sparks)
2 females aged 5 to 10
3 females aged under 5  One of these five females was surely his daughter Eliza
As noted, the male in Stephen Sparks's household In 1830 who was aged between 5 and 10 was surely Carman Sparks who, according to descendants' records, had been born on March 19, 1824. He had been named, obviously, for his mother's family .

Of the two males shown in Stephen Sparks's household in 1830 as between 15 and 20 years of age, one was probably the John Sparks mentioned by Edwin E. Sparks as having gone to Illinois "about 1855" with his brother, Carman Sparks.
The other male shown as aged between 15 and 20 in 4830 may have been Eli Sparks.

An interesting document pertaining to Stephen Sparks is found among the marriage records in Licking County, Ohio. On July 5, 1840, Stephen's daughter, Eliza Sparks, was married to David Anthony in Licking County. (Licking County had been created in 1808; Pike Township in the southwest corner of Coshocton County, borders Fallsburg Township in the northeast corner of Licking County.)

Because Eliza Sparks was under the age of 18 when she was married, it was necessary for her to have parental approval before the marriage could be performed. According to the record made of this marriage in Licking County (Volume 1, page 404), Stephen Sparks, father of Eliza, swore that he had "no objection" to his daughter's marriage.

When the 1840 census was taken, Stephen Sparks was shown in Pike Township, Coshocton County. Of his sons, only Carman (aged 15 to 20) was still at home, with his and Anna's two youngest daughers, aged between 10 and15.


As was noted earlier, Pike Township in Coshocton County borders Fallsburg Township in the northeast corner of Licking County, and in 1840 a John B . Sparks was shown living there with his family. There can be little doubt that he was the son of Stephen named John whom Edwin E . Sparks recalled in 1922 as having gone to Illinois "about 1855."

Apparently Stephen Sparks died between 1840 and the taking of the 1850 census. In 1850, his widow, Anna (Carman) Sparks, was living with her son, William, and his family in Brownsville Township, Licking County . Her age was given as 63 on this 1850 census, placing her birth in 1787 (as noted earlier, her date of birth appears as July 21, 1787, in the inscription on her tombstone). Her place of birth was given as Maryland on the 1850 census. She died on October 6, 1868/69 in Green County, Wisconsin, according to the inscription on her tombstone in the Saucerman Cemetery in Green County.

The children of Stephen and Anna (Carman) Sparks were as follows :

A. An unidentified daughter, born 1800-1810, perhaps about 1804, in Maryland.
B. William Sparks, born about 1806 in Maryland.
C. Sarah Ann Sparks, born about 1808 in Maryland.
D. An unidentified daughter, born 1800-1810, perhaps about 1810, in Maryland.
E. John Burton Sparks, born on July 20, 1811, in Maryland.
F. Eli Sparks, born about 1816, in Ohio.
G. Eliza Sparks, born about 1821, in Ohio.
H. An unidentified daughter (?), born about 1823.
I. Carman Sparks, born on March 29, 1824, in Coshocton County, Ohio.
J. An unidentified daughter (?), born ca.1826.
K. An unidentified daughter (?), born ca.1828.
L. An unidentified daughter (?), born ca. 1830.

A A daughter was born to Stephen and Anna (Carman) Sparks about 1804 in Maryland .

B . William Sparks, whom we believe to have been the first son of Stephen and Anna (Carman) Sparks, was born in 1806, according to the inscription on his tombstone in the Cedar Hill Cemetery at Brownsville in Bowling Green Township, Licking County, Ohio. He died in December 1879 at the age of 74. As noted earlier, William's grandson, Dr. Edwin E. Sparks, stated in a letter in 1922 that his grandfather had been brought to Coshocton County, Ohio, by his parents "about 1817." William probably continued to live in his parents' household until 1827. On March 17, 1827, he was married to Sidney Cunningham of Guernsey County, Ohio. This information is preserved in Sidney (Cunningham) Sparks's obituary that appeared in the June 5, 1850, issue of the Western Christian Advocate published in Cincinnati, Ohio. (A record of this marriage, in which Sidney is spelled "Sydney," is also preserved in the courthouse of Guernsey County.) From her obituary, we also learn that Sidney had been born on March 17, 1809, in Guernsey County, a daughter of William and Frances Cunningham . The text of this obituary follows :


In a letter written in 1953, Ethel Cotton Sparks, daughter of Edwin E. Sparks, called her great-grandmother "Sarah Cunningham," but she was called Sidney not only in her obituary, but on the 1850 census as well. (Although she had died on May 1, 1850, Sidney was included with her family on the 1850 census of Licking County taken on September 19, 1850; the reason was that census takers were directed to include all persons who had been living after June 1, 1849, through May 31, 1850.)

The listing of the children of William and Sidney Sparks on the 1850 census of Licking County indicates that, with Sidney's death in 1850, William Sparks was left with eight children, ranging in age from three years to twenty .

Later census records indicate that William Sparks was married a second time, within a few months following the death of his first wife. His second wife's name was Elizabeth Brady; she was a native of Ohio. She may have been a widow because on the 1870 census, she was shown as owning land valued at $900. Elizabeth's age was given as 34 on the 1860 census of Licking County, which would place her year of birth in or about 1826, Her year of birth also appears as 1826 on her tombstone, which stands beside that of William Sparks in the Cedar Hill Cemetery. She died in 1881. In the same cemetery there is a tombstone for a Dr. J. M. Brady, 1834-1888, who was probably related to Elizabeth.

Census records indicate that William Sparks was a carpenter by trade--he appears never to have owned any land. When the 1870 census of Licking County, Ohio, was taken, he was shown as "blind," and there his occupation was shown as "Carpenter Jobbing."

From census records, it appears that WIlliam and Elizabeth Sparks were the parents of nine children . These, added to the eight known children of William by his first wife, Sidney (Cunningham) Sparks, we can credit William Sparks with a total of seventeen children by his two wives.


Unfortunately, the census taker for Brownsville Township in Licking County, Ohio, in 1850 used only initials in naming the children of William Sparks, with the exception of "Wm. W. Sparks."

Following are the children of William Sparks and his first wife, Sidney (Cunning ham) Sparks:

Children of William and Sidney (Cunningham) Sparks, continued:
3. William W. Sparks was shown as 13 years of age on the 1850 census. If his age was given correctly on this census, it would mean that he had been born about 1837. There can be little doubt, however, that his brother, Erastus, was born in 1837, so William W. Sparks was probably born a year or two later than 1837.

4. N. P. Sparks, male, was shown as 11 years of age on the 1850 census which, if accurate, would mean he was born about 1839.

5. J. R. Sparks, male, was shown as 9 years of age on the 1850 census which, if accurate, would mean he was born about 1841. His first name may have been Joseph . There was a Joseph Sparks, age 19, in the household of John Cutridge, age 62, in Hopewell Township, Licking County, Ohio, when the 1860 census was taken. He may have been the J. R. Sparks, son of William.

6. G. B. Sparks, male, was shown as 7 years of age on the 1850 census. It is quite probable that this was George B. Sparks who served in.the Union Army in the Civil War. He applied for a pension based on his service in 1891, at which time he gave his age as 48 which, like the 1850 census, indicates he was born about 1843. In responding to a questionnaire from the Bureau of Pensions in 1898, George B. Sparks stated that he had been married to Rebecca Hoagland on December 12, 1877, in Stark County, Ohio. They had had one child, Charles C. Sparks, who had been born on February 14, 1879. George B. Sparks died on October 19, 1903, at Sparta, Ohio. His widow, Rebecca (Hoagland) Sparks, then applied for a widow's pension on November 27, 1903, giving her age at that time as 53. An abstract of the pension papers for George B. Sparks appears on page 4698 of the present issue of the QUARTERLY .

7. M. H. Sparks, a female, was shown on the 1850 census as five years of age, thus born about 1845, if her age was recorded correctly. She may have been the Mary Sparks whose tombstone in the Cedar Hill Cemetery has her birth and death dates as "1848-1852."

8. Benjamin F. Sparks appears to have been the last child born to William and Sidney (Cunningham) Sparks. On the 1850 census, he was shown as three years of age, but on the 1860 census his age was given as 11. When he enlisted to serve in the U. S. Veteran Volunteer Engineers at Newark , Ohio, on March 14, 1865, he gave his age as 17, which suggests that he was born about 1848. This regiment was the same unit in which his brother, Erastus F. Sparks, served.

Because Benjamin was was only seventeen, his father, William Sparks , had to give his written consent for him to enlist , certifying that Benjamin was "over seventeen years of age." His enlistment records show him to have been 5 feet , 11 1/2 inches tall, with a fair complexion , dark hair, and gray eyes. He gave his occupation as farmer. He was mustered out of the service with his company on September 26, 1865, at Nashville, Tennessee. He died in 1867 and was buried in the Cedar Hill Cemetery.

William Sparks had nine children by his second wife, Elizabeth Brady. They were:

9. Sidney Sparks, female, was shown as nine years old on the 1860 census of Licking County, Ohio, placing her year of birth at about 1851. She was obviously named for William's first wife, Sidney (Cunningham) Sparks. She died in 1868 . While the inscription on her tombstone in the Cedar Hill Cemetery has been copied for us giving her year of birth as 1853, we believe that this is in error by two years.

10. Rebecca A. Sparks was shown as seven years of age on the 1860 census. This matches the year of her birth given on her tombstone in the Cedar Hill Cemetery. She died in 1866.

l1. Leroy Sparks was shown as six years of age on the 1860 census. When the 1870 census of Licking County was taken, Leroy Sparks, age 18, was shown as a "Day laborer" in the household of William O'Bannen , a wealthy farmer in Madison Township , Licking County, Ohio. Leroy was married to -------- Holmes about 1874. She had been born about 1854 in Virginia. When the 1880 census was taken, she and Leroy were living in Perry County, Ohio. (Perry County adjoins Licking County as Its southern boundary.) They had two children, Eddie P. Sparks, age 5, and Allie Grace Sparks, age 7 months . Also living in the household were Leroy's sister , Lillie May Sparks, age 11, and his sister-in-law, A. C. Holmes, age 19.

12. Levi C. Sparks was born on December 4, 1855, in Bowling Green Township, near Brownsville, in Licking County, Ohio. He became a Methodist clergyman. His date of birth is found in a "Floral Birthday Book" that belonged to Nora Garnell Shafer who lived in McKean Township in Licking County . it is now preserved by the Licking County Genealogical Society in its Heisey Museum .

Levi C. Sparks was married to Annie Virginia Sapher on June 24, 1875, in Licking County, Ohio, and when the 1880 census was taken, they were living near Levi's brother, Leroy Sparks, in Perry County, Ohio. With them was their son, Homer Sparks, age 3.

In 1974, Elizabeth Jones of Newark , Ohio, provided us with biographical data on the Rev. Levi C. Sparks, whom she had known personally. She wrote :


Elizabeth Jones went on to state that Levi C . and Ann V . (Sapher) Sparks had a son named Virgil Sparks who died at the age of 84 at Xenia, Ohio, on April 14, 1967. They also had a daughter named Kate Sparks "who taught English in Newark High School until she married Fred Stimsole who was a chemistry teacher." Ms . Jolees stated that the Rev . and Mrs . Sparks had another son and another daughter whose names she could not recall .

13. Marinda Sparks, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Brady) Sparks, was shown as two years old on the 1860 census. She was probably the "Maunda Sparks," born in 1857, died in 1866, who was buried near her parents in the Cedar Hill Cemetery .

14. Irena Sparks was shown as two months old on the 1860 census. If the census taker calculated her age as of June 1, 1860 , as directed , she must have been born in March 1860. She was not shown with her parents on the 1870 census , which probably means that she had died by then.

15. Albert Sparks was shown as seven years of age when the 1870 census was taken of Licking County , Ohio. The census taker noted that he was blind , as was also his father, William Sparks. Albert Sparks has not been found on the 1880 census of Licking County.

16. Mattie Sparks was shown as four years of age on the 1870 census. We have not found her on the 1880 census of Licking County

17. Lillie Sparks was shown as one year old on the 1870 census. She was eleven years old and living in the household of her brother, Leroy Sparks, when the 1880 census was taken of Perry County, Ohio. (See Item B, 11, above.)
C. Sarah Ann Sparks, daughter of Stephen and Anna (Carman) Sparks, was born in Maryland about 1808. Her age was given as 42 on the 1850 census. She was married in Guernsey County, Ohio, on May 6, 1824, by Peter Umstott, J.P., to John Anderson. (Guernsey County Marriage Record A, p.212)

John Anderson had been born about 1800 in Pennsylvania; he died in October 1860 in Vinton County, Ohio. Sarah Ann (Sparks) Anderson died on March 30, 1887, also in Vinton County . This information about Sarah Ann Sparks was provided to us in the 1960s by Mrs. Edith McMullen Dines of Columbus, Ohio. An active member of the D. A . R. , Mrs . Dines was then doing research on the ancestry of her son-in-law , who was a great-great-grandson of Sarah Ann (Sparks) Anderson through her son, Andrew Clinton Anderson. Mrs. Dines also provided the following information about the children of John and Sarah Ann (Sparks) Anderson.

l. Mary Anderson was born in 1832. She was married to John Miller.

2. Isaac Anderson was born in 1835.

3. Rebecca Jane Anderson was born in 1838. She was married to John Hampton.

4. Harriet D. Anderson was born in 1839.

5. Samantha Anderson was born in 1841. She was married to Isaac Ayres on August 19, 1861.


6. Martha Anderson was born on August 5, 1842, in Ohio. She was married to Uriah Grounds on August 25, 1858, in Scioto County, Ohio. He had been born on February 22, 1835, in Virginia; he was a son of John and Melissa (Lee) Grounds. When Uriah reached adulthood, he went to southern Ohio to work in the Iron industry. Martha died on January 19, 1915, in Athens County, Ohio. Uriah died on January 2, 1917, in Kanawha County, West Virginia. They were buried in the Greenlawn Cemetery at Nelsonville , Ohio. They were the parents of eleven children.

8. James Carman Anderson, son of John and Sarah Ann (Sparks) Anderson, was born in 1848. He died during the Civil War in Libby Prison at Richmond , Virginia.
D. An unidentified daughter was born to Stephen and Anna (Carman) Sparks about 1810.

E. John Burton Sparks, son of Stephen and Anna (Carman) Sparks, was born in Queen Annes County, Maryland, on July 20, 1811. His name was probably chosen because of his mother's descent from the Burton family; the name Burton has been used a number of times among Anna's descendants.

John Burton Sparks was a boy of about six years when he came with his parents and older siblings to Ohio about 1817. He was married about 1835 to Susan Garner. She had been born on February 3, 1815, and was a nurse, according to the 1880 census of LaSalle County, Illinois. John Sparks appeared as head of his household on the 1840 census of Fallsburg Township in Licking County, Ohio. By 1850, however, he had moved his family to the north side of the Vermilion River in Livingston County, Illinois, where he was shown on the 1850 census as a farmer with real estate valued at $500. His and Susan's five-year-old daughter, Emeline Sparks, was shown as having been born in Ohio, whereas their one-year-old daughter, Mary J. Sparks, had been born in Illinois. This suggests that Edwin E. Sparks was probably mistaken by some ten years when he stated in 1922 that John B. Sparks and his younger brother, Carman Sparks, had moved from Ohio to Illinois "about 1855." This move appears to have taken place more nearly in 1845.

By the time the 1860 census was taken, John B. Sparks had moved his family north to the adjoining county of LaSalle , Illinois , in the township of Manlius , where he then owned land valued at $13,400.

Although he was well past the usual age for active military service , John Burton Sparks followed his sons into the Union Army during the Civil War. He may have misstated his age in order to join . An abstract of his military file is as follows:

John B. Sparks was discharged on July 15, 1865. He died at his home in LaSalle County, Illinois, on September 18, 1865, and was buried in the Summit View Cemetery in South Ottawa, Illinois . His wife , Susan (Garner) Sparks, died on July 9, 1889. They had the following children:
F. Eli Sparks, son of Stephen and Ann (Carman) Sparks, was born about 1816 in Ohio, according to information given to the 1850 and 1860 census takers of Green County , Wisconsin . He grew to manhood and learned to operate a grain mill in the Coshocton-Guernsey Counties area of Ohio, but in the middle 1830s , he went to Wayne County , Indiana. It was also about this time that he was married to Sarah ------- . She had been born between 1810 and 1820.

Eli Sparks has sometimes been confused with two other men who were also named Eli Sparks and who lived about the same time and in the same area of Ohio. One of these men was born about 1799 in Kentucky and was married to Rebecca Fulton in 1818 in Coshocton County, Ohio. He ultimately lived in Greene County, Indiana. The other Eli Sparks was a son of John Burton Sparks , the latter being a brother of the Eli Sparks who is the subject of this portion of the present article. (Eli, son of John Burton Sparks, served in the Union Army during the Civil War. See page 4700 of the present issue of the SPARKS QUARTERLY.)
A son, James William Sparks, was born to Eli and Sarah Sparks about 1837 in Wayne County, Indiana, and when the 1840 census was taken, the little family lived in Center Township where Eli was a miller. It was there that Sarah died, apparently a short time after the census of 1840 was taken.  On September 8, 1841, Eli was married (second) to Emily Bracklin in Wayne County , Indiana .


According to the letter written in 1922 by Edwin Erle Sparks, a grand nephew of Eli Sparks, Eli moved to Wisconsin about 1847 where his family was enumerated in the town of Cadiz in Green County when the 1850 census was taken. He was shown as 33 years old; a miller; a native of Ohio; and with real estate valued at $1440. His wife, Emily, was 36 years old and a native of Maine . Also living in the household were James W. Sparks, 12, born in Indiana, and Isaac Williams, 25, a native of Maryland.

James William Sparks, son of Eli, was married in Green County to Elizabeth Cummins on February 28,1858. She had been born about 1841 in Ohio and was a daughter of John and Lucy M. Cummins. When the 1860 census was taken of Green County , the young couple was living next-door to James's father.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, James William Sparks enlisted in the 6th Battery , Wisconsin Light Artillery on September 5, 1861. He died while in the service at Murphreesboro, Tennessee, on April 1, 1863. (See page 4177 of the September 1993 issue of the SPARKS QUARTER LY, Whole No. 163, for an abstract of his widow's pension file based on his service.)

Eli Sparks , probably grief-stricken at the death of his only child , may have sought revenge for his death, for a few months later, at the age of 48 years , he enlisted in the 4th Regiment Wisconsin Cavalry . He served until the end of the war , but died a few days after the surrender of General Lee to General Grant . He died in a military hospital at Greenville, Louisiana, on April 18, 1865. His widow received a pension for his service. (See page 4178 of the September 1993 issue of the SPARKS QUARTERLY, Whole. No. 163, for an abstract of his pension file.)

G. Eliza Sparks, daughter of Stephen and Ann (Carman) Sparks, was born about 1820, probably in Ohio. When she was married on July 5, 1840, she was then under the legal age of marriage for females , unless a parent gave formal permission for the marriage to take place . According to the marriage records preserved in Licking County, Ohio, Stephen Sparks swore that he had "no objection" to his daughter, Eliza, marrying David Anthony. Anthony swore that he, himself, was of legal age to marry. The marriage was performed by a minister of the Gospel named George Gardner.

Our knowledge of the famIly of David and Eliza (Sparks) Anthony is quite limited; the little we have has been shared by a descendant. According to this source, they had eight children. When the 1850 census was taken, the family was enumerated in Knox County. The names of their children were as follows :

H. An unidentified daughter was born to Stephen and Anna (Carman) Sparks about 1822.

I. Carman Sparks, son of Stephen and Anna (Carman) Sparks, was born on March 29, 1824, in Coshocton County, Ohio. He was obviously named for his mother's family. He died on August 19, 1867, in Will County, Illinois, and was buried there in the Wilton Center Cemetery .

Our information regarding Carman Sparks and his family was provided to us in 1971 by Carman's great-granddaughter, Harriet (Van Meter) Collier, of Kansas City , Missouri. Mrs. Collier's research into the family's history was aided by records that had been preserved by her mother, Alice (Sparks) Van Meter. According to Mrs. Collier, Carman Sparks was married to Margaret Fry, who had been born on November 3, 1826, in Pennsylvania. She died on August 16, 1907, in Wichita, Kansas. She was a daughter of Spencer Fry.   Mrs . Collier believed that Margaret's mother's maiden name had been Mary Norris, born in 1793. She also believed that the father of Spencer Fry had been John Fry whose will, made on June 8, 1844, in Perry Township, Perry County, Ohio, had named Spencer Fry as one of his six sons.

Mrs. Collier provided the following information about the children of Carman and Margaret (Fry) Sparks, all of whom were born in Coshocton County, Ohio:


[Editor's Note : Harriet (Van Meter) Collier, a great-great-granddaughter of Stephen Sparks (see page 4689) has provided information on some of the later generations of the Carman Sparks descendants that we have not used here . Should any descend ant of Carman Sparks wish to have a copy of Mrs. Collier's complete record given to us in 1971, your editor will be glad to provide a copy.

[An can be seen, this record of descendants of Stephen and Anna (Carman) Sparks is far from complete . We will welcome additions and corrections from our readers.]

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

Scanned and Edited by Harold E. Sparks