THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE SPARKS
"To forget one's ancestors
is to be a brook without a source, a tree without a root."
(An old Chinese proverb.)
|VOL. XLIV, No. 4
||WHOLE NO. 176a
[Here appear two photographs of grave markers, next to which are the
GEORGE C. SPARKS
BORN NOV. 9.
DIED MAY 11
Lawson-Sparks Cemetery near Ibex, Elliott County, Kentucky
|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
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-three
years of the Quarterly (1953 -1995) comprise a total of 4,590 pages
of Sparks Family history. The eight indexes amount to 874 additional
pages. A table of contents is also available for $5.00. Comprising
63 pages, this lists the contents of each issue beginning with that for
March 1953; it is updated at the end of each year with a listing for the
year just completed and is mailed to each member without charge.
The International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) that has been assigned
to the Quarterly is ISSN 0561-5445.
Russell E. Bidlack, Secretary-Treasurer
& Editor, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan (48104-4448)
Orders for individual back issues of the
table of contents, as well as for a complete, file should be sent to the
editor, Russell E. Bidlack, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104-4498.
GEORGE G. SPARKS (1796-1879)
SON OF JOHN AND SARAH (SHORES) SPARKS
WITH A RECORD OF HIS KNOWN DESCENDANTS
TO ABOUT 1900
By Paul E. Sparks
[Editor's Note: John and Sarah (Shores)
Sparks of early Wilkes County, North Carolina, had eleven children, eight
sons and three daughters. (See pp. 94- 104 of the December 1955 issue of
The Sparks Quarterly, Whole No. 12, and pp. 2269-2272 of the March 1981
issue, Whole No. 113, for additional information about their family.) An
article about their oldest son, Levi Sparks, was pub lished in the June
1996 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 174. We now present an article devoted
to another son, George Sparks, and his descendants to about 1900. This
record has been compiled by the Association's president, Paul E. Sparks.
Dr. Sparks Is a great-great-grandson of George Sparks. Articles about other
children of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks will be published as space permits
in future issues of the Quarterly.]
George G. Sparks, son of John and Sarah
(Shores) Sparks, was born on Novem ber 9, 1796, In Wilkes County, North
Carolina. Some descendants say that the initial "G" in his name stood for
Graham, but no record has been found to prove that this is correct. Few
records have been found pertaining to his youth. It can be assumed that
he was a good hunter and fisherman for most of the lads of that period
of time learned to provide food in this manner. It can also be assum ed
that he received the usual schooling of that period of time for he could
read, write, and cipher. A preserved record shows that his father, John
Sparks, bought four spelling books at the Fisher River store located near
his home at Traphill, North Carolina.
George was a lad of sixteen when the second
war with Great Britain broke out In 1812, and when he reached his eighteenth
birthday, he was enrolled in the North Carolina Militia to fight the British.
He recalled his military service forty years later when, in 1854, he applied
for bounty land as a veteran of that war. (See pp. 525-526 of the December
1960 Issue of The Sparks Quarterly, Whole No. 32, for an abstract of his
bounty land file.)
According to Information furnished by descendants,
George Sparks was married about 1815 to a woman named Mainer (or Maynard);
however no record has been found of this marriage. There is a record of
the marriage of George Sparks to Elizabeth Armstrong In Wilkes County on
October 24, 1814. We have not found the parents of this George Sparks,
and there Is a possibility that he was the George G. Sparks, son of John
and Sarah (Shores) Sparks, who Is the subject of this article.
Shortly after his marriage, George Sparks
and his bride, along with some other Wilkes Countians, went to Georgia,
probably to settle on some undeveloped land that was opening up in that
state. Prior to going to Georgia, however, he had received some money from
a neighbor, as is shown by the following note which has been preserved
by a descendant of his brother, Reuben Sparks. The note reads as follows:
Mr. Daniel Wilcockson, sir, plese to pay
George Sparks twenty-
seven and half for me and my order shall
be a receit for you.
October 15, 1815. [signedl Francis Kerby.
Test: [signed] John Sparks.
It was In Georgia, on March 21, 1816,
that George's oldest child, Lucinda Sparks, was born; shortly afterwards,
his wife died. We can only imagine his feelings! In a strange land, bereft
of his young wife, and burdened with a helpless baby girl, he surely became
despondent and homesick, and so he returned to Traphill. When the 1820
census was taken of Wilkes County, he and Lucinda appear to have been living
with his parents according to the enumeration of John Sparks's household.
The Sparkses settled generally on the headwaters
of Big Blaine Creek and on the Little Fork of the Little Sandy River. They
constituted a sizeable group. There was Thomas Sparks and his nine sons
from Surry County. A brother of Thomas Sparks, James Sparks, joined the
group, probably in Lee County, Vir ginia, along with the family of his
son, Jesse Sparks. Wesley Sparks and William Sparks, sons of Robert Sparks,
were in the company, along with their uncles, Levi Sparks, George 0. Sparks,
Reuben Sparks, and Colby Sparks. And finally there was a cousin, Jonathan
Sparks, son of Solomon Sparks of Surry County.
They did not all stay in Kentucky. Jonathan
Sparks went back to Surry County while Reuben and Colby returned to Wilkes
County where they married and reared large families. When the federal census
was taken of Lawrence in 1830, there were nine heads of households named
SPARKS, constituting the largest surname group of all the families listed
on that census. (See p. 421 of the Sep tember 1959 issue of the Quarterly1
No. 27, for this census record.)
George Sparks left Wilkes County owing
a neighbor $5.00 which his father paid. A preserved document reads as follows:
Mr. John Sparks, Please to pay
John Brooks Five Dollars that your son, George, promised to fetch to me
at Court. In so doing you will oblige your friend, &c. This is the
first of November 1821, and this shall be your receipt in full. (signed]
Whether George ever repaid his father, we
shall probably never know.
George met, courted, and was married to
his second wife, Nancy Short, soon after he arrived in Kentucky. They were
married on August 7, 1822, in Law rence County by the Rev. Stephen Wheeler,
a Baptist minister. (The license was issued on July 31, 1822.) Nancy had
been born on April 7, 1800, in Kana wha County, Virginia, now West Virginia,
and was a daughter of Aaron and Elizabeth (Chaffin) Short, both natives
In 1825, George was involved in a land
transaction of short duration. He bought fifty acres of land on the Left
Fork of the Keaton Fork of Blame Creek from his father for 100 pounds.
We have not found how John Sparks had acquired the land, but a story has
been handed down that it had been given to him for his Revolutionary War
service. John's signature was witnessed by two of his friends in Wflkes
County named John Johnson and Jesse Johnson, and the deed was re corded
in Lawrence County on October 28, 1825. On the same day, George 0. Sparks
resold the land to John Lyon for $150.
About 1826, George Sparks returned to North
Carolina with the intention of bringing his daughter, Lucinda (now ten
years old), to Kentucky to live with him. He was unsuccessful in persuading
her to return with him; in fact, she did not even recognize him. She was
so comfortable and contented living with her grand parents and her Uncle
Reuben Sparks, who also lived with them, that she re mained in Wilkes County
where she was married to James Hanks in 1838.
On February 26, 1827, George Sparks bought
100 acres of land on the Little Fork of the Little Sandy River. Here, he
and Nancy settled down with their growing family consisting of John, born
in 1823, and Nancy, born in 1825. It was here that their third chfld, Cynthia,
was born a few months later, and by the time that the 1830 census was taken,
a fourth child, Hugh, had been added.
The section of the Little Fork of Little
Sandy River where George and Nancy Sparks lived is best identified as the
general area where present-day Lawrence, Carter, and Elliott Counties join.
Carter County was formed from Lawrence County in 1838, and Elliott County
was formed in 1869 from portions of both Lawrence and Carter Counties.
Thus, records of George Sparks can be found in all three counties. He and
his household were enumerated on the 1850 census of Lawrence County, and
on the 1860 census of Carter County.
George and Nancy Sparks sold their 100-acre
farm on Little Fork to Alfred Sparks and Nelson White on February 9, 1854,
for $550, and shortly afterwards, they bought 400 acres of land on Lick
Branch near the mouth of Big Gimlet Creek. It was here that they lost their
youngest son, Colby Sparks, in 1858. The 16-year- old lad cut himself severely
while sharpening an axe, and the wound became in fected. He died on February
27, 1858, in a Cincinnati, Ohio, hospital.
On March 27, 1866, George and Nancy sold
100 acres of their land to their newly married daughter, Mary Lawson, for
$250. They may have broken up housekeeping at that time for,. when the
1870 census was taken, Nancy was living by herself in Carter County.
Nancy died on January 11, 1879, in Elliott
County. George died there four months later, on May 11, 1879. They were
buried in the Lawson-Sparks Cemetery in Elliott about one mile north of
the old post office of rbex. Photographs of their tombstones appear on
the cover of this issue of the Quarterly.
George G. Sparks had nine children, one
by his first marriage and eight by his second. They were:
A. Lucinda Sparks, born March 21, 1816.
B. John W. Sparks, born November 5, 1823.
C. Nancy Sparks, born ca.1825.
D. Cynthia Sparks, born July 16, 1827.
E. Hugh S. Sparks, born May 21, 1829.
F. Levi H. Sparks, born May 31, 1834.
G. Emmaella Sparks, born February 23,
H. Colby Sparks, born ca.1842.
I. Mary Sparks, born June 7, 1844.
A. Lucinda Sparks, daughter of George
G. and (Mainer?) Sparks, was born on March 21, 1816, In Georgia. Apparently
her mother died shortly after her birth, and she was carried by her Uncle
Reuben Sparks as an infant to the home of her grandparents in Wilkes County,
North Carolina. There she re mained until her marriage on January 13, 1838,
to James C. Hanks. A story handed down to her descendants relates that
when her father came to take her to Kentucky when she was ten years old,
she did not recognize him and refused to go with him.
James C. Hanks had been born on July 4,
1813, in Wilkes County and was a son of WIlliam and (Lyon) Hanks. He died
sometime between 1870 and 1880. Lucinda died on March 2, 1907. She and
James had nine children.
1. Winnie Angeline Hanks, daughter
of James and Lucinda (Sparks) Hanks, was born on October 30, 1841. She
was married to Jacob Smith on March 7, 1861, in Wflkes County. She was
95 years old when she died there on February 17, 1937. According to a descendant,
she and Jacob had three children.
a. Conrad Smith was born in November 1867
in Wilkes County. He was married to Nannie Cockerham.
b. Calvin Smith was born in May 1869.
He was married to Nancy Norman.
c. Eli Smith was born on August 10, 1881.
He was married to Samantha Settle.
2. George W. Hanks, son of James and Lucinda
(Sparks) Ranks, was born on January 1, 1843. He was married to Martha Gentry,
and they had at least one child, Leonard Hanks. We have no further information
about this family.
a. Rebecca Jane Elizabeth ["Bett"]
McCann was born on February 22, 1869/1870. She was married to John Harrison
Taylor Harman on August 1, 1884. She died on October 1, 1961, at Falls
Church, Virginia. She and John had twelve children, but we have learned
none of their names.
b. Julia Ann McCann was born on March
28, 1872, in Wilkes County, North Carolina. She was married three times.
Her first marriage was to Gideon Sisk on June 26, 1889. They had ten children,
but we have learned none
their names. Her second marriage was
to Albert Doak on September 30, 1913. They had no children. Her third marriage
was to Byrd Wickram on July 31, 1916. They had one child. Julia died in
1951 in Mercer County, West Virginia, and was buried in the Shrewsbury
Cemetery near Arista, West Virginia.
c. Thomas Winifred McCann was born in
1874. He was married to Emma Dera Cunningham, and they had five children,
none of whose names we have learned. Winifred (as he was called) died in
1945 at Pocohontas, Virginia.
d. Mary Frances McCann was born on July
14, 1876, in Wilkes County, North Carolina. She was married to William
M. Folden, and they had eleven children, none of whose names we have learned.
Mary Frances died on January 9, 1965, at Princeton, West Virginia.
e. John Quincey McCann was born in March
1880 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He died in 1885 from a fall from
4. Jemima Jane Ranks, daughter
of James and Lucinda (Sparks) Hanks, was born on Ap~ 16, 1848. She was
5. Joshua Patton Ranks, son of James and
Lucinda (Sparks) Hanks, was born on May 20, 1850. He was married to Emma
C. Smoot. She had been born on May 21, 1850. Joshua died on June 12, 1903;
Emma died on May 10, 1924. They had five children: (a) Morgan Ranks; (b)
Carrie Ranks; (c) Lillie Ranks; (d) Lonnie Hanks; and (e) Laura Ranks.
6. Lewis Williams Ranks, son of James
and Lucinda (Sparks) Ranks, was born on November 7, 1852. He was married
to Ellen Haggins, and they had four children: (a) Mamie Ranks; (b) Max
Ranks; (c) Effle Ranks; and (d) Lincoln Ranks.
7. James Tunis ["Toon~] Ranks, son of
James and Lucinda (Sparks) Ranks, was born on December 18, 1854. He was
married twice. His first marriage was to Susan Baugess by whom he had five
children. His second marriage was to Susan Blackburn. He died on December
4, 1942. His five children were: (a) Clifton Ranks; (b) Cora Ranks; (c)
Fannie Ranks; (d) Reuben Ranks; and (e) Emory Ranks.
8. Phoebe L. Ranks, daughter of James
and Lucinda (Sparks) Ranks, was born on September 12, 1857. She was married
twice. Her first marriage was to Thompson Woodruff by whom she had four
children. Her second marriage was to James Tucker. She died on March 19,
1948. Her children were:
(a) Kell Woodruff; (b) Alice Woodruff;
(c) James Woodruff; and (d) Dollie Woodruff.
9. Sarah ["Sallie"] Ranks, daughter of
James and Lucinda (Sparks) Ranks, was born on December 5, 1860. She was
married to John B. Smoot. He died on June 13, 1917, and she died on December
13, 1945. They had three children:
(a) Charles Smoot;
(b) William Smoot;
(c) Maude Smoot.
B. John Wesley Sparks, son of George G.
and Nancy (Short) Sparks, was born on November 5, 1823, in Lawrence County,
Kentucky; he was undoubtedly named for his paternal grandfather. He grew
to manhood In Lawrence County, and It was there that he was married to
Almeda Green on Decem ber 21, 1845, by Rufus Humphrey, an elder in the
Baptist Church. Almeda had been born on March 13, 1826, in Virginia, and
was a daughter of James and Dulcena (Stallard) Green, natives of Virginia.
John Sparks was said to have been a strong
man with a short temper. The story has been handed down that he subdued
a cantankerous horse by striking it between the eyes with his fist and
knocking it to the ground. He was about six feet tall and weighed about
170 pounds. He had blue eyes, dark hair, and a dark complexion. He was
a member of the Baptist Church and a member of the Masonic Order.
John and Almeda lived on Big Sinking Creek,
a stream that flows from west to east in north-central Elliott County.
He was a collier and worked at providing charcoal to make iron in one of
several blast furnaces in Carter County. He and Almeda had seven children
when the Civil War broke out in the fall of 1861.
In October 1861, John and his brother,
Hugh Sparks, rode to Prestons burg, Kentucky, where they enlisted in the
5th Regiment Kentucky Infan try, Confederate States Army, under the command
of General Humphrey Marshall. John was mustered into Company C on October
28, 1861, proba bly as a lieutenant.
The Civil War activities of John W. Sparks
are reflected in the ill fortunes of the Confederate forces in eastern
Kentucky. Probably the largest en gagement between Union and Confederate
forces in that section of Kentucky was at Middle Creek near Prestonsburg
on July 10, 1862, which resulted in no decisive victory for either side;
however, the Confederates, under Gen eral Humphrey Marshall, withdrew to
Abington, Virginia. The Union gen eral, James A. Garfield, followed them
to Pikeville, Kentucky, and then stopped.
John Sparks was a part of the withdrawal
to Virginia and received the pay of a first lieutenant ($90.00 per month)
from January to July 1862. He was with his unit when it re-entered Kentucky
in August 1862 as part of a major attempt to strike through to central
Kentucky and join the army of General Bragg in the Bluegrass. The unplanned
Battle of Perryville on October 8, 1862, doomed this attempt, and again
General Marshall withdrew his troops to Virginia.
Although the military records of John W.
Sparks are scant and offer no direct proof, he apparently did not accompany
his unit back to Virginia. This may have been because of the expiration
of his term of enlistment or, what is more likely, he was offered a post
in a new" military organization to be known as "Partisan Rangers." The
objective of this unit was to harass the Federal troops by "procuring horses
and supplies from them and then scattering in all directions to confuse
the foe. The new unit was Fields Partisan Rangers and was under the command
of Captain William J. Fields. It was also designated the 10th Regiment
This method of "procuring" horses was made
a matter of record by a Grand Jury of the Carter [CountyKentucky] Circuit
Court, as follows:
The Grand Jury of Carter County in the
name and by the authority of the Commonwealth of Kentucky accuse (the above)
of the offense of horse-stealing committed as follows: The said men on
the 1st day of April 1863 in the county and circuit aforesaid did willfully
and feloniously take, steal and run off with a certain horse, the personal
property of H. Easterling of the value of more than four dollars, against
the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
[signed] E. P. Davis, Cik. Cir.
The men were never brought to trial,
John Sparks was in command of a small cavalry
force of "Rangers" near Grayson in Carter County on May 9, 1863, when it
collided with a squad of Union cavalry. The Confederate unit was badly
trounced. Sparks's role in this skirmish is not known, but shortly afterwards
he wrote the following letter:
Camp Lebanon, Virginia. June 5,
To the Hon. S. Cooper, Adj. Geni. Dear
Sir: existing cir comstances Renders it necessary that I feel it to be
my duty to resign the Position which I hold as first lieut. in Capt. William
J. Fields Company of Partisan Rangers. I do so not with the intention of
leaving the Service but to change from branch of the Service to another.
I Therefore hope that you will accept my resignation for the Reasons before
mentioned. I therefore with much respect remain your obedient Servant,
[signed] John W. Sparks, 1st Lieut.
Captain Fields forwarded Sparks's
letter of resignation with the following endorsement:
Near Lebanon. June 5th 1863. Approved.
Respectfully forwarded with the recommendation that the resignation of
Lt. Sparks be accepted as he is incompetent for the position he holds.
The resignation of John W. Sparks was accepted
on June 6, 1863, by Brig. General W. Preston, at Headquarters, Preston's
Brigade, Abington, Virginia, and Sparks returned to Kentucky. There, on
October 16, 1863, he was captured in Magoffin County by Union troops. He
was sent as a prisoner-of- war to Camp Chase, Ohio, where he was imprisoned
until November 14, 1863, when he was sent to Johnson's Island,Ohio. He
remained a prisoner until May 16, 1865, when he was released after taking
[signed] W. J. Fields, Capt. Com. Co.
the Oath of Amnesty.
A military record, written at Johnson's
Island on April 24, 1865, is quite revealing, not only as to the personal
feelings of John W. Sparks, but also it shows the feelings of these war-torn
times. Here it is in its entirety:
JOHN W. Sparks, 1st Lt. 10th Regt.
Ky. Cav., appears on a Roll of Prisoners of War at Johnson's Island, hio,
Applicants for the Oath of Amnesty. Roll dated: Office Supt. Pris. Rolls
& Corresp. Johnson's Island, Ohio, April 24, 1865. Captured
[Here appears a certificate, beneath which
is the following caption:]
A Certificate Worth 25 Cents, Issued
by Washington County,
Virginia, on June 18, 1862, but never
Handed down to a Descendant of John
Magoffin Co., Ky., Oct. 16, 1863. Remarks:
Is a native of Kentucky. Occupation: before the war a collier; entered
the Rebel service in Oct. 1861 as a private in the 5th Regt. Ky. Infantry;
Served as such for one year; was then transferred to the 10th Regt. Ky.
Cav., and in Dec. 1862 was elected 1st Lieut. of Co. A of that Regt; entered
the Rebel service under the influence of the strong excitement in his part
of the state, but is not a secessionist and never voted as such ; became
convinced that he was wrong, and resigned and left the Rebel service on
the 5th day of July 1863; returned home and while making arrange ments
to give bond and take the oath of allegiance, was arrested and sent to
this depot. Has no sympathy with the Rebellion whatever; desires to return
to his allegiance, and live hereafter as a true and loyal citizen of the
Unites States; does not wish to be exchanged under any circumstances."
John Wesley Sparks returned to his
family in Carter County, Kentucky. (Elliott County was not formed until
1869, a political move to separate the strong Democratic faction In southern
Carter County from the equally strong Republican faction in northern Carter
County.) He and Almeda had two more children. For the rest of his life,
he was called "Capt." John Sparks. He died on November 17, 1895, and Almeda
died on May 1, 1900. They were buried in the Lawson-Sparks Cemetery. They
had nine children:
1. Minerva Jane Sparks, daughter
of John W. and Almeda (Green) Sparks, was born about 1847 in Carter County,
Kentucky. She was married there on February 23, 1868, to George Washington
Boggs by Alfred Catron, a justice of the peace. Wash (as he was called)
had been born about 1844 and was a son of Elijah and Catherine (Gambill)
Boggs Wash and Minerva moved to northern Wisconsin about 1912 where he
was a timberman in and around Langlade County.
In her latter years, Minerva lived with
her daughter, Katie, at Nashville, Wisconsin, and this is where she died
and was buried. She and Wash Boggs had five children when the 1880 census
was taken of Elliott County; there may have been other children born to
them at a later time. These five were:
a. Amanda E. Boggs was born about 1869.
She was married to Claiborne ["Clabe1'] White about 1895. He
had been born about 1854 and was a son of James and Mary White. He had
been married (first) to Susan Sparks, an aunt of Amanda. (See Item B, 6,
below.) Clabe and Amanda had six children: Winona White, Jane White, Margaret
White, Lillian White, Charles White, and Marion White.
b. James Price Boggs was born on October
11, 1870. He was married to Nancy Jane Johnson. She had been born about
1875. She died in August 1907 in Elliott County. She and James had at least
one child, John Henry Boggs.
c. Julia H. Boggs was born on June 14,
1872. She was married to Hugh Harris. She died on June 16, 1902.
d. Catherine E. ["Katie"] Boggs was born
on June 10, 1875. She was married to Charles Harris, and they lived in
e. George C. Boggs was born about 1878.
He was married to Mattie Lester.
2. Cynthia A. Sparks, daughter of John W.
and Almeda (Green) Sparks, was born about 1849 in Carter County, Kentucky.
It was there that she was married to Arthur Prince on February 2, 1869,
by David Maggard, a Baptist minister. Arthur had been born about 1846 in
Carter County and was a son of Thomas and Hannah (Terry) Prince. He was
a veteran of the Civil War, and at his death, his children received a pension
based on his service. When the 1880 census was taken of Elliott County,
Cynthia Prince had died just a few years earlier, leaving Arthur with three
children. They were:
a. Alice Prince was born about 1870. She
was married to John Brown.
b. Alpha Prince (a daughter) was born
c. Logan B. Prince was born about 1875.
He is said to have been married to a woman named Parker.
a. James E. Sparks was born on December
b. Mary Susan Sparks was born on June
11, 1877. She was married twice. Her first marriage was to James Monroe
Sloas. They had at least one child, Monnie Belle Sloas, before they were
divorced in 1921. Monnie Belle Sloas was born on July 21, 1911. She was
married to a man named Wandell, and she was living in Steamboat Springs,
Colorado, in 1961. Mary Susan Sparks was married, second, to a man named
Johnson. She died on October 13, 1960.
c. Minerva E. Sparks was born in February
d. Henry C. Sparks was born in April 1883.
e. Leburn Sparks was born in May 1886.
f. Almeda Sparks was born in July 1889.
g. Molly B. Sparks was born in January
h. Rosa M. Sparks was born in December
4. Sarah Sparks, daughter of John W. and
Almeda (Green) Sparks, was born on October 3, 1853. She apparently died
when she was quite small.
5. Delcina ["Cena") Sparks, daughter of
John W. and Almeda (Green) Sparks, was born about 1856. She was married
to James Wilson ["Wilse"] Tackett about 1876. He had been born about 1834,
and it was his second marriage. He was a son of Moses and Peggy Dicie (Osborn)
Tackett. Wilse and Cena (Sparks) Tackett went to northerm Wisconsin about
1900 where they died about 1925. According to census records and information
furnished by relatives, they had seven children, as follows:
a. John W. E. Tackett was born about 1877.
b. Nancy A. Tackett was born about 1879.
c. William ["Bill"] Green Tackett was
born on January 23, 1883. He was married to Roseanna Morrison in November
1903 in Menifee County, Kentucky. She had been born on November 23, 1886,
and was a daughter of Purn and Sarah Elizabeth (Hatton) Morrison. Bill
and Roseanna Tackett left Menifee County shortly after their marriage and
went to Alvin, Wisconsin. After a short stay in Wisconsin, they went to
the state of Washington where they settled near Grand Mound. Bill died
there in July 1958, and Roseanna died there on October 21, 1961. They had
eight child ren: Guy Tackett, Warren Tackett, Virgie May Tackett, Amanda
Tackett, Frank Tackett, Stella Tackett, Lawrence Tackett, and Mildred Tackett.
g. Mary R. D. Tackett was born about 1889.
She was married to Taylor Ingram In 1903 in Menifee County, Kentucky. He
had been born in May 1881 and was a son of John T. and Servella (Coldiron)
Ingram. Taylor Ingram died in 1929 at Alvin, Wis consin. Mary died there
In December 1951. They had eight children: Walter Ingram, George Ingram,
Edna Ingram, Fred Ingram, William Ingram, Nora Ingram, Albert Ingram, and
6. Susan Emma Sparks, daughter of John
W. and Almeda (Green) Sparks, was born on February 20, 1854, in Carter
County, Kentucky. She was married to Claiborne ["Clabe'1] White
on March 27, 1878, in Elliott County, Kentucky. He had been born about
1854 and was a son of James and Mary White. He and Susan had four children
before her death, which occurred about 1890. After her death, Clabe was
married to her niece, Amanda E. Boggs. (See Item B, 1, a, above.) The children
of Clabe and Susan were:
a. Dewitt C. White was born about 1879.
He was married to Cordelia Hall about 1909, and they lived at Clearfield,
Kentucky. Dewitt died there about 1951. He and Cordelia had six children:
Cecil White, Clyde White, Chester White, Debra White, Earlene White, and
Clara Nell White.
b. Leota White was born on February 22,
1880, in Elliott County. She was married to Leslie Craft about 1905, and
they lived at Grassy Creek, Kentucky. Leota died on March 22, 1974. She
and Leslie had twelve children: Hattie May Craft, Orville Craft, Arthur
Craft, Garland Craft, Martha Susan Craft, Minnie Green Craft, Willard Craft,
Rena Craft, Eunice Pearl Craft, Arnold Craft, Exie Ray Craft, and Charles
c. Robert White was born about 1885. He
is said to have died at White Lake, Wisconsin.
d. James Monroe White was born on May
10, 1888, in Elliott County. He was married to Bertha Collins in 1909 in
Morgan County, Kentucky. She had been born on September 7, 1895, and was
a daughter of Samuel and Cordelia (Johnson) Collins. James Monroe White
died on October 4, 1964, in Rowan County, Kentucky. He and Bertha had ten
children: Orville White, Roxy White, Allie White, Wayne White, James F.
White, Arleena White, Leona White, Rose Mary White, Denver L. White, and
7. Rachel Sparks, daughter of
John W. and Almeda (Green) Sparks, was born on September 1, 1861, and died
when she was quite young.
8. Nancy Sparks, daughter of John W. and
Almeda (Green) Sparks, was born about 1866.
9. Mary E. Sparks, daughter of John W.
and Almeda (Green) Sparks, was born about 1867. She was married to Ison
C. Nancy Sparks, daughter of George
and Nancy (Short) Sparks, was born about 1825, in Lawrence County, Kentucky.
It was there that she was married to John N. Hutchison on March 21, 1847.
He was a son of Peter Hutchison. Nancy and John lived for a time at Elk
Fork, Kentucky, and relatives have vague memories that they went to North
Carolina. They apparently had only five children. No further information
has been found of them.
1. James Hutchison was born about
1850. Relatives say that he grew to adult hood but never married.
2. Colby Hutchison was born about 1852.
3. An unnamed daughter was born to John
and Nancy (Sparks) Hutchison on September 17, 1854, at Elk Fork, Kentucky,
in Morgan County.
4. Robert Hutchison was born on June 7,
5. Emma G. Hutchison was born on August
D. Cynthia Sparks, daughter of George
and Nancy (Short) Sparks, was born on July 16, 1827, in Lawrence County.
She was never married and lived with her parents until their deaths; she
then made her home with her brother, Levi Sparks, until her death, which
occurred on September 9, 1889. She was buried in the Lawson-Sparks Cemetery
near her parents.
E. Hugh S. Sparks, son of George G. and
Nancy (Short) Sparks, was born on May 21, 1829, in Lawrence County, Kentucky.
Some descendants say that the initial "S" stood for Stokes, but no record
has been found to confirm this statement. A relative also said that he
went to Mississippi when he was a teen-age lad and spent a few years there,
returning to Kentucky about 1850.
Most of the information that we have of
Hugh Sparks has come from his son, Colby Sparks, by word of mouth. Colby
was almost eight years old when his father left home to return to his unit
in February 1865, just a short time before the end of the Civil War. Colby
remembered that he was a handsome man with black hair and mustache, a fair
complexion, and a ready smile.
Hugh Sparks was married to Nancy Curnutte
on April 10, 1852, in Carter County, Kentucky, by Daniel Carroll, a Baptist
minister. She had been born on October 7, 1834, and was a daughter of William
and Polly (Berry) Curnutte. Hugh and Nancy began housekeeping near the
village of Mount Savage in Carter County where he worked in the iron industry
as a collier. When the 1860 census was taken, they had four children.
Hugh acquired a Bible, printed in 1857
by the American Bible Society, in which he recorded the births and deaths
of members of the family. The last entry he made in the Bible was the birth
of his son, Hugh Sparks, Jr. in 1862. The Bible is now in the possession
of a great-great-grandson, Colby Sparks.
The first child of Hugh and Nancy was born
in 1853. The birth left Nancy feeling poorly, and a younger sister, Elizabeth
Curnutte, came to help with the baby and take care of the house. She was
a fifteen-year-old girl and promptly fell in love with her brother-in-law
and became pregnant. She gave birth to a son in 1855, an event that Hugh
recorded in the Bible. She and her son were living in the Sparks household
when the 1860 census was taken. (See Item E, 7, below.)
The activities of Hugh Sparks during the
Civil War have been told in an earlier issue of The Sparks Quarterly and
will not be retold here. Evidence points strongly to his death in the spring
of 1865 as a guerilla in eastern Kentucky, probably in Lawrence County.
After his sons were grown, they made a trip to West Virginia to try to
find him, but they found nothing. (See the December 1991 issue of the Quarterly,
Whole No. 156.)
Nancy (Curnutte) Sparks made some effort
to keep her family together after the war ended and her husband did not
return. When the 1870 census was taken of Lawrence County, she was shown
as head of her house hold in the 1st Precinct. She was 35 years old and
was described as "housekeeper." With her were her children: Elizabeth Sparks,
17; James Sparks, 14; Colby Sparks, 12; George Sparks, 10; and Hugh Sparks,
Shortly after the 1870 census was taken
of Lawrence County, Nancy (Curnutte) Sparks gave birth on September 7,
1870, to her seventh child, a son whom she named William.
Billy Sparks, as he was called, grew to
maturity In Lawrence County and was married there to Elizabeth ["Lizzle"]
Sammons in 1888. She had been born on March 11, 1868, and was a daughter
of Joel and Anna (Copley) Sammons, Billy and Lizzie lived on Yellow Creek
in southeastern Lawrence County where Billy was a farmer and a Baptist
preacher. They had twelve children: Nora, Gertrude, Effie, Joel, George,
Rosa Bell, Charlie, Lindsey, Bennett, Blanche, Maud, and Ella. Billy died
on April 7, 1947, and Lizzie died on November 6, 1963.
Nancy (Curnutte) Sparks was married to
Bobby Stewart about 1877, and they moved to Iowa where they stayed about
three years. Bobby became Ill and Nancy brought him back to Kentucky. They
apparently separated shortly after their return, and Nancy then made her
living by housekeeping for others. She also stayed one time or another
with one of her children. She was taking care of an elderly couple on Morgans
Creek in Lawrence County when she died on June 19, 1913. She was buried
in the Colby Sparks Cemetery. The children of Hugh S. and Nancy (Curnutte)
1. Mary ["Pop"] Elizabeth Sparks, daughter
of Hugh and Nancy (Curnutte) Sparks, was born on April 18, 1853, in Carter
County, Kentucky. The only information we have about her comes from the
memory of her brother, Colby Sparks. She visited Colby several times and
was buried In the cemetery on Colby's farm in 1924. She was married three
times. Her first marriage was to a man named Auxier, and they had three
children. Her second marriage was to John Vermillion in 1884 in Lawrence
County. They are said to have had one child, Oscar Vermiffion. The third
marriage of " Pop " Sparks was to Harve Walker, by whom she had a daughter,
a. Nancy ["Nan"] Auxier was born about
1873. She was married twice. Her first marriage was to Richard Copley,
and her second was to Frank Bowen. She lived at Gilbert, West Virginia.
b. James Auxier was born about 1875. He
was married to Mamie James and they are said to have moved to New Jersey.
c. Bascomb Auxier was born about 1877
and died when quite young.
d. Oscar Vermillion was born about 1885.
He lived at Nolan, West Virginia.
e. Dixie Walker was born about 1895. She
was married to Kelley Ingram, and they lived in Dayton, Ohio.
2. America Frances Sparks, daughter of
Hugh and Nancy (Curnutte) Sparks, was born on November 19, 1854. She died
on December 6, 1854.
3. James Buchanan Sparks, son of Hugh
and Nancy (Curnutte) Sparks, was born on November 18, 1855, in Carter County,
Kentucky. He went to West Virginia when he was a young man, and he remained
there for the rest of his life working in and around the coal mines. He
was married three times. His first marriage was to Elizabeth Evans about
1875, and they had four children before her death, which occurred about
1882, probably after the birth of their fourth child. Jim was married,
second, to Mary Jane Taylor, and they, too, had four children before her
death, which occurred about 1892. Jim's third marriage was to Nora Belle
James on March 16, 1893, in Braxton County, West Virginia. She had been
born on May 20, 1874, and was a daughter of Joseph P. and Margaret (Cunningham)
James. They had ten children.
Jim Sparks died on June 7, 1941, and was
buried at Cedar Grove, West Virginia. Nora died on March 21, 1958, and
was buried beside her husband. The children of James Buchanan Sparks by
his three wives were:
a. Effa Sparks was born about 1875
b. Colby Jacob Sparks was born on October
15, 1878. He was a miner. He was described by a relative as a fiddler,
dancer, and a good mixer. The only information we have about him has come
from his obituary. He died at the home of a daughter, Merlie King, in 1973.
He was survived by his daughter and three sons: Cecil Sparks, Dewey Sparks,
and Clyde Sparks.
[Here appears a photograph, beneath which
is the following caption:]
(Seated, left to right) COLBY SPARKS (1857-1951) & JAMES B. SPARKS
(Standing, left to right) BILLY SPARKS (1870-1947) & HUGH
S. SPARKS (1862-1951)
Scanned and Edited
by Harold E. Sparks
c. William Curtis Sparks was born
on May 17, 1880. He was a young man when he was killed in a logging
d. Hugh Henry Sparks was born in June
1882. He was married to Lyon. He was killed in a mining accident.
e. Nancy ["Nannie"] Jane Sparks was born
on September 8, 1885. She was married to Lyon, and they lived at Blakeley,
f. Cecil Clarence Sparks was born on February
g. Bessie Blanche Sparks was born on November
6, 1889. She was married to Beard.
h. James Theodore Sparks was born in March
i. Charles Hyer Sparks was born on January
25, 1894, in Braxton County, West Virginia. He was married to Nannie Rothwell.
He died in June 1956.
j. George Festus Sparks was born
on March 16, 1896. He is said to have been shot and killed by a jealous
(Continued on next