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

VOL. XLV, No. 4 DECEMBER 1997  WHOLE NO. 180a

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


Great Granddaughter of Daniel and Rebecca (Horton) Sparks
Copying Inscription from Gravestone of
Virginia N. (Sparks) Baker (1892-1923)
Highland Cemetery, Coulee, City, Washington

(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 $10.00 per year;  Contributing membership dues are $15.00 per year; and Sustaining membership dues are any amount over $15.00 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 (1953-1996), including the eight indexes, may be purchased for $290.00.  The forty-four years of the Quarterly (1953 -1996) comprise a total of 4,760 pages of Sparks Family history.  The eight indexes  amount to 874 additional pages.  (An index covering the years 1993-97 will be published in 1998.) A table of contents is also available for $5.00.  Comprising 65 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.

Orders for individual back issues of the Quarterly, 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.


DANIEL SPARKS (1846-1927)


[Editor's Note: On pages 3902-3903 (Item G, 8) of the March 1992 issue of the QUARTERLY, Whole No. 157, information was published about Daniel Sparks and his family. He was a son of Matthew and Alsey (Osburn) Sparks and had been married to Rebecca Susan Horton about 1871, probably in Johnson County, Kentucky . He Lived for a while in Elliott County, Kentucky, but sometime between 1880 and 1900, he moved to Kenton County, Kentucky . Relatives have assumed that this is where he died in 1929.


[A great-granddaughter of Daniel Sparks, Evelyn Collins, 3403 Woburn St., #207, Bellingham, Washington, 98226, has furnished some corrections to that article and has given additional information about the family of her ancestor. For the sake of uniformity, we are republishing a portion of this article; however, the same alpha numeric outline is used.]

8. Daniel Sparks, son of Matthew and Alsey (Osburn) Sparks, was born on June 11, 1846. He was married to Rebecca Susan Horton about 1871, probably in Johnson County, Kentucky. She had been born in November 1851 in Carter County, Kentucky, and was a daughter of Reece Duff and Susan (Cox) Horton. The first four children of Daniel and Rebecca Sparks were born in Johnson County but when the 1880 census was taken, the family was in Elliott County, Kentucky . Sometime between 1880 and 1900, Daniel Sparks moved his family to Kenton County, Kentucky, where they were enumerated on the 1900 census .

Apparently, some members of Daniel's family became chronically ill . Having heard of some healing waters at Soap Lake in the state of Washington, Daniel moved from Kentucky to Washington about 1907. He died at Wenatchee, Washington, on December 6, 1927, and was buried in the Baird Cemetery, now known as the Highland Cemetery, located about six miles west of Coulee City, Washington. Rebecca died at Wenatchee on May 2, 1930. They had nine children.

a. John N. Sparks was born about 1872. He was married to Mollie Osburn. He died in 1899.

b. Reece Duff Sparks was born about 1875. He was obviously named for his maternal grandfather, Reece Duff Horton . He was married to Elizabeth Elkins .

c. Jesse M. Sparks was born on March 6, 1876. He was married to Nola Gambill. He was a streetcar motorman in Covington, Kentucky, in 1900.

f. Susan Alsey Sparks was born on July 7, 1884. She was married twice. Her first husband (name unknown) died as the result of an auto accident . Her second marriage was to James D. ["Tom"] Baker. He had been married to Susan's sister, Virginia N. Sparks, who had died in 1923. (See Item i, below.) Susan and Tom are said to have moved to Tacoma, Washington. Apparently Susan had no children.

g. Martha Elizabeth Sparks was born on September 29, 1885, at Bruin, Kentucky. She was married twice. Her first marriage was to Brutus Ashcroft about 1901, probably in Kentucky. She and Brutus had two children, Damon Robert Ashcroft and Bertha Lee Ashcroft, both born in Kentucky. After the death of Brutus, probably in 1905, Martha and her children went to the state of Washington, probably with her parents . It was there, on November 27, 1913, that she was married (second) to John Arthur Purdy at Ephrata. He had been born on February 11, 1874, in Marion County, Kentucky. He died at Orting, Washington, on April 9, 1946. Martha died there on November 10, 1966. She and John had four children: John Arthur Purdy, Jr., James Horton Purdy, George Thomas Purdy, and Elsie Purdy. John Arthur Purdy, Jr. is the father of Mrs. Collins who has furnished much of the in formation contained in this article .

[Editor's Note: The photograph on the cover shows the old Baird Schoolhouse adjacent to the Highland Cemetery. Typical in design of country one-room schools throughout the United States in the 19th century, the Baird School was built of local, unfinished lumber, with narrow windows . A belfry or bell tower above the vestibule was also typical, its bell serving to denote the passing of time and to warn the tardy pupil It was also used to alert the community to an unusual event, such as a fire or major accident . In this photograph, Evelyn Collins is shown copying the inscription from the tombstone of Virginia (Sparks) Baker in Highland Cemetery, located near Coulee City, Washington.]

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


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In the QUARTERLY of June 1994, Whole No. 166, pp. 4302-03, we published the abstract of the Civil War pension file of John W. Sparks, born June 11, 1838, in Sangamon County, Illinois, died July 13, 1900, at Ringwood, Oklahoma. A member of our Association, Josephine Sparks Little, of Enid, Oklahoma, has sent us a photograph of his tombstone located in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery on U.S. Highway 42, three miles east of Ringwood. Mrs. Little has also noted that the records of the Pleasant Hill Cemetery indicate that "an eight-grave plot was purchased and that an infant named 'Boyle' was also buried there, but there is no marker."


John W. Sparks was married to Sarah J. (Curry) Myers on September 7, 1869. He was a son of Thomas and Luanna (McDaniel) Sparks. He was a descendant of William and Kesiah Sparks of Prince William County, Virginia . For a record of this branch of the Sparks family, see the QUARTERLY of June 1993, Whole No. 162, pp. 4109-4127, and that for June 1994, Whole No. 166, pp. 4291-4301.

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Family of Matthew and Sarah (Elmore) Sparks

On pages 2712/2723 of the March 1985 issue of the QUARTERLY, Whole No. 129, appeared a transcription of Sparks entries found on the 1850 census of Missouri. These had been located and copied for us by a professional record searcher . An unfortunate error was made in the transcription of the family headed by Matthew Sparks in Cass County. The name of the third member of this household, following the names of the parents, Matthew and Sarah Sparks, was copied as "Martha," age 30, a female. A re-examination of the microfilm of the original census (page 92) reveals that this name was actually Matthew, a male, whose occupation was that of farmer, like his father and his four younger siblings, all living in their parents' household. We urge that members with complete files of the QUARTERLY make this correction on page 2714, changing "Martha" to "Matthew."

[Scanning editor's note: Correction made.]

We are currently preparing an article on this branch of the Sparks family . We have learned that the Matthew Sparks heading this Cass County, Missouri, family was a son of Matthew and Eunice Sparks of Surry County, North Carolina. This elder Matthew was a son of William and Ann Sparks. Matthew, son of Matthew and Eunice, had been married to Sarah Elmore in Surry County, North Carolina, in 1808. She was a daughter of Athanasious and Susannah (Pinnex) Elmore.

The younger Matthew Sparks, whose name was mistakenly copied as "Martha," and so shown on page 2714 of the QUARTERLY, had been born about 1820, if his age was given correctly as 30 by the census taker in 1850. He had a brother named Isaac Sparks, however, who had been born on February 11, 1820, according to the inscription on his tombstone in a cemetery near the Ord Bend community in Glenn County, California, so Matthew Sparks, Jr. must have been born at least a year earlier than 1820, or at least a year later. Isaac Sparks died on November 1, 1867.

Matthew and Sarah (Elmore) Sparks moved from Missouri to Oregon in 1851 Whether their son, Matthew, Jr., accompanied them has not been discovered . When the elder Matthew died in 1854, his son, "Matthew Sparks, Jr.," was still living according to documents pertaining to the division of his estate, but Matthew, Jr.'s whereabouts seems not to have been known to the administrator of his father's estate .

We would welcome hearing from any descendant of Matthew and Sarah (Elmore) Sparks, especially descendants of their son, Matthew Sparks, Jr.

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With Notes by Russell E. Bidlack

An important source in genealogical research is the obituary published in local news papers. The obituary commonly found today in daily or weekly papers published in small and medium-sized towns across the United States is largely a 20th Century custom. In the 19th Century, and earlier, the deaths of local citizens reported in the local paper were more like the simple death notices found in large city newspapers today. The passing of a prominent person then, as now, received more space, of course, than did that of the ordinary individual .

An exception to the brief death notices appearing in 19th Century papers is that found in certain publications of religious denominations . An example of this was a Methodist weekly called the Western ChristianAdvocate published in Cincinnati, Ohio, beginning in 1834. Created by the Methodist Book Concern in response to a resolution passed during the Indiana Conference of the Methodist Church in 1833, the WesternChristian Advocate survived until 1939. Besides covering general news, it provided its largely Methodist readers (that number reaching 18,000 by 1850) with information in such areas as health and medicine, the temperance move ment, and the work of missionaries in foreign lands, as well as reports of Methodist meetings. Texts of sermons were sometimes included, which no doubt provided inspiration for many a Methodist preacher searching for a new message to deliver to his congregation.

From the start, obituaries, often of considerable length, were given space in the Western Christian Advocate . For the genealogist, however, we sometimes wish that a larger portion of their text had been devoted to the identification of the deceased individual's family rather than his/her religious experiences and pronouncements.

A microfilm of virtually the entire run of this paper in the 1800s exists at the Indiana Historical Society in Indianapolis, and in 1988 that Society published an index to the obituaries appearing therein between 1834 and 1850. In the introduction to that volume, it was noted that, while "most of the deaths reported were in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, and other middle western states, deaths in other states were reported as well."

The writer of each obituary was nearly always identified, that individual often being a relative or a minister who had known the deceased .

Seven obituaries for persons named Sparks were identified in this 1834-1850 index. A member of our Association who is a professional genealogical record searcher, specializing in locating obituaries for her clients, has not only provided us with the full text of each of the seven indexed Sparks obituaries, but keeps watching for, and copying, those of the later period when she comes across them. She is Linda Zapp, 4509 Southway Drive, Greenwood, Indiana, 46142. We are most grateful to Ms. Zapp for this service and are pleased to provide the text of each for our readers . Where possible, we will provide notes to further identify the individual .


Henry Sparks, Died August 15, 1836

(Issue for Friday, May 5, 1837, p. 8, col. 1.]
Died, in Owen county, Ky., August 15th, 1836, Henry Sparks, in the 83rd year of his age. He was born in Culpeper county, Va. When quite young, he served as a private soldier in the revolution--removed to Kentucky about 40 years ago, and was among the first Methodists in the west; and to the close of his long life, remained a very acceptable member of the church. His house for more than 30 years has been a regular preaching place, and a home for the weary missionary of the cross. Enjoying the life and power of the religion for more than 40 years, he was consequently delighted with the ordinances of God's house. He was like a tree planted by the rivers of water -- "his leaf did not wither." When called to change worlds, he realized that he had not served the Lord for nought. He had the promise fulfilled,  "I will be with thee. " Retaining his senses to the last, he spoke clearly and satisfactorily of his hopes beyond the grave, and calmly sunk in death, leaving behind a sweet savor of Christ to all who knew him.
                  April 4, 1837.                                                                               J. C. HARRISON

[Editor's Note:] Henry Sparks (1753-1836), son of Thomas and Mary (Towles) Sparks, was born on June 16, 1753, in that part of Culpeper County, Virginia, that later became Madison County. He was married to Lucy Clark, daughter of Captain James and Mary (Marston) Clark in January 1776. In 1795, Henry Sparks and his family moved to that section of Franklin County, Kentucky, that became Owen County in 1819. He died there on August 14, 1836, according to family records. On January 7, 1838, Henry Sparks applied for a pension based on his service in the American Revolution. The papers in his application for a pension were published in the QUARTERLY of June 1957, Whole No. 18, pp. 211-18. Material on the ancestry of Henry Sparks appeared in the QUARTERLY of June 1956, whole No. 14, pp. 129-147. A biographical record, with the listing of his and Lucy's twelve children, appeared in the QUARTERLY of December 1960, Whole No. 32, pp. 511-17. An error regarding Henry Sparks, Jr., the twelfth child, however, appeared on page 517. Henry Sparks, Jr. did not marry Sarah Smither as stated there. Actually, Henry Sparks, Jr. never married. The Henry Sparks (born June 28, 1810) who was married to Sarah Smither was a son of Anthony Sparks (1781-1865) and was a grandson of Henry Sparks (1753-1836).

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The Rev. Josiah Sparks, Died May 17, 1841

[Issue for June 18, 1841, p. 36, col. 1.]
Rev. Josiah Sparks died in great peace on the 17th of May, 1841, in Adair co., Ky., in the 84th year of his age. He was a native of Maryland, and when about 12 years old his parents moved to the state of Virginia, where he, about the age of 24, embraced religion and joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he ever afterwards remained a member. In a few years after his conversion he was licensed to preach the Gospel, after which he married and moved to South Carolina, where he remained more than ten years; after which he removed to Tennessee, thence to Kentucky, and settled in Adair co. , where he remained the last fourteen years of his life. While he was able he was faithful and useful as a local preacher. A few days before his death he appeared to be sensible of his near approach to death, and spoke of it as a matter of joy. On the day before his death, he was heard to sing a part of two hymns, one of which was,
"I'll praise my Maker, while I've breath, And when my voice is lost in death, Praise shall employ me nobler pow'rs," &c.
and the other was,
"My suffering time will soon be o'er," &c.
He exhorted his aged companion and children to be faithful and meet him in heaven. He closed his earthly pilgrimage in full hope of immortality and eternal life.
Columbia, Ky., June 1, 1841. J. C. CROW.
[Editorial Note:] The Rev. Josiah Sparks, subject of the above obituary, was the same Josiah Sparks who, along with a record of his family, was the subject of an article by Dr. Paul E. Sparks that was begun in the QUARTERLY of December 1979, Whole No. 108, pp. 2152-2189. A correction must be made in that article, however, regarding the parentage of Josiah Sparks. With the information contained in this obituary and a further study of the records that have come to light in our research on this branch of the family, we can now say with full confidence that the Rev. Josiah Sparks was a son of Matthew and Elinor Sparks, and that he was the Josiah Sparks shown in the parish register of Piscataway Church in Prince Georges County, Maryland, as born to Matthew and Elinor Sparks on August 26, 1761. (The name of the Piscataway Church was changed later to St. John's.) The births of two other children of Matthew and Elinor Sparks were also recorded in this parish register: Sarah Sparks, born May 23, 1753, and Truelove (a son), born July 21, 1764.

It was from Prince Georges County, Maryland, to Pittsylvania County, Virginia, that Matthew and Elinor Sparks brought their family in 1777, and it was there that Josiah was married to Susannah Phillips, daughter of Thomas Phillips, in 1794. (Their marriage bond was dated January 7, 1794.) A major article is now being prepared by Dr. Paul E. Sparks and the present writer presenting our evidence regarding the parentage of the Rev. Josiah Sparks and that of his first cousin of the same name. This latter Josiah Sparks was a son of Thomas and Elizabeth Sparks, Thomas Sparks being a brother, we are certain, of Matthew Sparks. Josiah Sparks, son of Thomas and Elizabeth Sparks, was nearly the same age as that of the Rev. Josiah Sparks, son of Matthew and Elinor Sparks. Both families moved to Pittsylvania County, Virginia, from Maryland in 1777. Josiah, son of Thomas and Elizabeth, went as a young man to Spartanburg County, South Carolina, before 1790 and was married there to Lydia Tollison (or Tollerson). He was a resident of Union County, South Carolina, when he made his will on February 12, 1851. He died there either in late 1852 or early in 1853. His will was entered for probate in Union County on January 29, 1853.


Mary Jane Sparks, Died February 18, 1842

[Issue for June 17, 1842, p. 36, col. 3.]
Mary Jane Sparks was born June 13, 1827, in Franklin, Warren county, O. She joined the Methodist Episcopal Church on February 17th, 1842, experienced the pardoning love of God on Thursday following, and died the Friday night following of something like the cold plague. Though in excrutiating [sic] pain, her last words were, --
"They that conquer shall wear the crown;"
thus proving to all who witnessed her exit from time to eternity, that
"Jesus can make a dying bed
Feel soft as downy pillows are."
She has left many pious friends to mourn their loss, but since it is her "eternal gain," they do not "mourn as those who have no hope."
[Editorial Note:1 According to the family Bible of her parents, Mary Jane Sparks had been born on June 13, 1828 rather than 1827, as stated in the above obituary. She was a daughter of Noah and Susanna (Woodward) Sparks who had been married on May 6, 1826, according to their family Bible. (See the QUARTERLY of March 1962, for the article "Amos Sparks (1785-1867) and His Descendants," most of the data for which had been provided by Mrs . Hazel T . Tarman of El Paso, Illinois . (Mrs. Tarman died on April 29, 1973.) The first child of Amos Sparks and his wife, Nancy Ann (Borough) Sparks, had been Noah Sparks, born on January 11, 1809. A list of all seven children of Amos and Nancy Ann, copied from their family Bible, appears on page 4908 of the present issue of the QUARTERLY following the obituary of the Rev. Amos Sparks.

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Matthew Sparks, Died June 5, 1845

[Issue for August 8, 1845, p. 4, col. 1.1
Matthew Sparks died, at his residence, in Schuyler county, Ill., June 5, 1845, aged eighty-two years, nine months and twenty-one days . He was born in Baltimore county, Md., August 14th, 1762, and married Mrs. Prudence Sharp, when about twenty-eight years of age, with whom he lived in great peace and happiness until June 12th, 1844, when she died of a few hours' sickness, in sure and certain hope of a blessed immortality. Mother Sparks embraced religion in the year 1790, which was shortly after her marriage, from which she never swerved until the day of her death. It was a real feast to hear her relate the trials and victories of other days . She had been an acceptable member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, at her death, fifty-four years. Peace to her precious memory . Father Sparks joined the Methodist Episcopal Church shortly after his wife, mainly through her influence, under the ministry of Rev . John Allen and Rev . William Colbert, in 1790, in the Baltimore circuit . He removed from Baltimore county, Md., to Shelby county, Ky., in 1803, and from there to Ohio in about eight years and six months, where he lived two years, and then removed to Indiana, and settled in Franklin county, where he lived until he removed to Illinois, in 1830, and settled in Schuyler county . Through certain difficulties in the Church while he resided in Kentucky, where he had acted as steward of the circuit for several years, growing out of the immorality of a certain traveling preacher afterward expelled, father Sparks' mind became some what dissatisfied with the Church, and when he removed to Ohio, he did not present his letter to the Church, and thus lost his membership and religion.


[Editorial Note:] Matthew Sparks was born on August 14, 1762, in Baltimore County, Maryland, and he was a son of Josiah and Penelope (Brown) Sparks.  Josiah Sparks, his father, had been born about 1729 and was probably a son of Thomas Sparks who purchased land in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, in 1748.  Thomas Sparks moved to Baltimore County, Maryland, between 1752 and 1756.

Josiah Sparks, father of Matthew, was married in St. Anne's Parish, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, on July 15, 1749, to Penelope Brown. The marriage was performed by the Rev . Andrew Lendrum . They became the parents of six children :

(1) Francis Sparks, born about 1750, who was married to Cassandra Wright;
(2) Josiah Sparks, Jr., born about 1752, who was married to Rachel Collett;
(3) Elijah Sparks, born about 1754, who was married (first) to Annie Anderson, and (second) to Jemima Cox;
(4) Ruth Sparks, born about 1756, who was married to Thomas Anderson;
(5) Thomas Sparks, born May 23, 1758, who was married to Rachel Perdue; and
(6) Matthew Sparks, subject of the above obituary.

(For further information on this branch of the Sparks family, see the following QUARTERLIES:June 1958, Whole No. 22, pp. 294-307; June 1970, Whole No. 70, pp. 1311-1314; and September 1985, Whole No. 131, pp. 2788-89.)

Matthew Sparks was married in Baltimore County, Maryland, in 1786 (marriage bond dated March 23, 1786) to Prudence (Wright) Sharp, widow of John Sharp. She was a daughter of Bloice Wright and a sister of Cassandra Wright, wife of Matthew's brother, Francis Sparks . As noted in the above obituary, Matthew and Prudence moved to Shelby County, Kentucky, where Matthew purchased land on March 1, 1804. On March 11, 1812, they gave land there to build a Methodist church. He purchased land in Franklin County, Indiana, in 1814, and he was appointed a justice of the peace there on December 16, 1815. He and his family were in Schuyler County, Illinois, when the 1830 census was taken, and it was there that he wrote his will on October 3, 1842. (The text of his will appears on page 299 of the QUARTERLY of June 1958, cited above.)


Mrs. Margaret Sparks, Consort of Jesse R. Sparks, Died July 30, 1849

[Issue for Wednesday, November 14, 1849, p. 184, col. 7.]
[Editorial Note:] The maiden name of Margaret Sparks was Burris, according to a biographical sketch of her son, Dr. Nathan B. Sparks, who was born April 2, 1815. (See the History of Knox County, Indiana, published in 1886, page 513.) She was married to Jesse R. Sparks who had been born in Queen Annes County, Maryland, about 1780. Soon after their marriage, which had probably taken place in the mid 1790s, Jesse and Margaret moved to Belmont County, Ohio, where Jesse earned a living as a shoemaker and auctioneer; he was also county sheriff for a number of years. About 1820, the family moved to Franklin County, Indiana, and, later, they lived over the line in Dearborn County. In 1850, however, following his wife's death, he was living with his daughter, Jane, and her husband, Elias Kerr, in Franklin County. When the 1860 census was taken, however, the Kerr family, with Jesse, was back in Dearborn County. Jesse R. Sparks died there in 1865. (See the QUARTERLY of September 1969, Whole No. 67, for information about Jesse R. Sparks and his family, beginning on page 1248. A portrait of his son, Jesse Sparks, Jr., who became a Methodist preacher, appears on the cover of that issue. See p. 4915 of the present issue of the QUARTERLY for the obituary of Jesse Sparks, Jr.

Jesse R. Sparks had a brother named Amos Sparks whose obituary begins on p.4907 of the present issue of the QUARTERLY. We published an article about Amos Sparks in the QUARTERLY of March 1962, Whole No. 37, beginning on page 618. In the editorial note following the obituary of Mary Jane Sparks (died 1842) beginning on page 4896 of this issue of the QUARTERLY, we indicated that she was a grand daughter of this same Amos Sparks. Both Jesse R. Sparks and Amos Sparks named sons Jeremiah, one of whom was born on November 15, 1808, and the other, one day later, on November 16, 1808. In writing the article on Amos Sparks for the QUARTERLY of March 1962, as well as that on Jesse R. Sparks for the QUARTERLY of September 1969, we incorrectly assumed that there was only one Jeremiah and that he was the son of Amos. In an article appearing in the December 1972 QUARTERLY, Whole No. 80, we corrected this error, beginning on page 1517.

It was also on the cover of the December 1972 issue that we were able to publish a photograph of Jesse R. Sparks from a tintype owned by a descendant, Mrs. Kenneth Dix Coffin. Until finding the above obituary of Margaret (Burris) Sparks, wife of Jesse R. Sparks, we had not known the date of her death.


We do not have a complete list of the children of Jesse R. and Margaret (Burris) Sparks. In the biographical sketch of Dr. Nathan B . Sparks, mentioned above, it was noted that he was one of nine children of Jesse R. and Margaret Sparks . In the article in the QUARTERLY of December 1972, we were able to identify only six: (1) Tamzon (or Tamson) Sparks, born in 1802, who was married to ------ Taylor; (2) Jesse Sparks, Jr., born January 11, 1807, who was married to Jemima Thorn; (3) Jeremiah Burris Sparks, born November 15, 1808, who was married to Eliza B. Rockafellar; (4) Amos Sparks, born about 1811, who was married (first) to Nancy Mercy Harper and (second) to Mary Dewees; (5) Nathan B. Sparks, born April 2, 1815, who was married to Harriet E. Skaats; and (6) Jane A. Sparks, born about 1821, who was married to Elias Kerr. The obituary following that of Margaret (Burris) Sparks, which appeared in the same issue of the Western ChristianAdvocate, proves that a daughter of Jesse R. and Margaret (Burris) Sparks, named Rachel, whom we had not identified from previous sources, had died at the age of 31 (in "the thirty-second year of her age") only a few days before her mother.


Rachel (SPARKS) PETERSON, Died July 18, 1849

July 18 - In Brookville, [Indiana], Rachel Peterson, daughter of the above, and wife of brother B . C. Peterson of Franklin county, Ia [i.e. Indiana] in the thirty-second year of her age. Sister Peterson united with the Church, and embraced religion, in her sixteenth year. For many years she was called to endure much bodily suffering; and when pressed down with these afffictions, she, at times, had painful doubts of her acceptance with God; but she and her friends wrestled with God, in prayer, and he revealed his love in her heart with such heavenly and overwhelming fullness, as enabled her, when almost in her death struggle, to shout aloud for joy . She requested her friends to tell her minister then absent from town, and every one they saw, that she had Christ within her, and feared no evil . Thus triumphantly, in her Savior, she bade adieu to earth and now rests with God .

[Editorial Note:] Rachel Peterson was a daughter of Jesse R. and Margaret (Burris) Sparks, as noted above . Her obituary followed that of her mother in the issue cited of the Western Christian Advocate .


 He and his brother had been out shooting squirrels, and when returning, they stopped to converse with a neighbor in the woods. Brother Sparks stepped upon a log, and while leaning upon his gun it slipped off the log, and the sudden concussion caused the cap to burst, and the gun was discharged Into his right side, causing instant death. Brother Sparks was a young man that promised much usefulness to the Church and community in which he lived . The Sabbath before his death, the writer met him in class and heard him express strong confidence in his Savior . Upon that occasion he quoted the language of the apostle Paul : "For we know, if this earthly house," &c. He was punctual in attendance upon all the means of grace. The morning before his death he conducted family worship with his parents and two brothers, and sung the hymn commencing,
"I'll praise my Maker while I've breath,"

and prayed with much fervency. But before the time of assembling around the family altar again, he had gone to join the blood-washed throng, and, no doubt, had turned his harp celestial in praises to that God he served so faithfully on earth.

[Editorial Note:] As noted in the above obituary, the parents of Joseph Sparks were Joel and Lydia Sparks . They had moved with their family to Clinton County, Iowa, in 1849. When the 1850 census was taken of Clinton County, Joel Sparks was shown as a farmer in Bloomfield Township and heading a household that included his wife, Lydia, and two of their sons, John M. Sparks, age 20, and William Sparks, age 25. Both Joel and Lydia were then 56 years old and were shown as natives of New York . There are ample records, however, proving that their births had actually occurred In New Jersey, not New York . Joel and Lydia's son, Edward E. Sparks, a farmer, age 27, with his wife, Mary, and two-year-old son, George, were listed by the census taker immediately following the household of Joel Sparks

A biographical sketch of John M. Sparks, son of Joel and Lydia, appeared in a biographical album of Clinton County, Iowa, page 193, published in 1886. According to this account, Joel Sparks had been born in Salem County, New Jersey, on August 21, 1794, whIle Lydia had been born in New Jersey on September 28, 1794. There is a record of the marriage of Joel Sparks and Lydia Whitaker in Cumberland County, New Jersey, on February 28, 1820. According to a query submitted to the D.A.R. Magazine, Vol. 48, Lydia was a daughter of Jeremiah and Sarah (Keen) Whitaker, they having been married on February 19, 1778.

According to the biographical sketch of John M. Sparks, noted above, Joel and Lydia (Whitaker) Sparks  had seven children, John, the third child, was twelve years old when his parents moved to Pennsylvania; they lived there three years, and John attended school in Philadelphia where they resided. From there they moved to Barnbrldge, Lancaster County, for two years. Thence to Warren County [Ohio], then to Putnam County [Ohio], and finally to Hancock [Ohio] until June 1849, then started with three teams for Iowa. They consisted in all of the parents and four sons, their three daughters had died in New Jersey . The journey to Iowa took three weeks. They rented a log house on Section 3, Brookfield Township, there father and sons took up land together in Section 16 where they built an humble dwelling, followed later by a better home. In 1850 the brothers divided the land.


From our research in New Jersey records, we know that Joel Sparks was a son of Simon Sparks who was born in 1766 and died on December 3, 1803, at the age of 37. He was married twice, and Joel was a son of the first wife whose name was Sarah We have not found her maiden name . The second wife of Simon Sparks was Martha Murphy Barnes, but he had no children by her . By his first wife, Simon Sparks had a daughter, Priscilla, and two sons, Joel and John . In his will written in Pilesgrove Township, Salem County, New Jersey, on November 26, 1803, he left his estate to the care and management of his wife, Martha, during her lifetime . After her decease one quarter of the estate was to go to his daughter, Priscilla, while the remaining three-quarters was to be divided between his sons, Joel and John.

Lydia (Whitaker) Sparks, wife of Joel Sparks, died in Clinton County, Iowa, on February 24, 1853. Joel Sparks died on July 11, 1871, in the home of his son, John M. Sparks, in Brookfield Township, Clinton County. The three sons of Joel and Lydia (Whitaker), besides Joseph, subject of the above obituary, were:


Sidney (Cunningham) Sparks, Died May 1, 1850

May I [1850] - At Brownsville, Licking county, O., sister Sidney Sparks, the wife of our Sunday school superintendent .  Sister Sidney Sparks was the daughter of William and Frances Cunningham, and born in Guernsey county, 0., March 17, 1809. Her parents were religious, her mother being a member of the Presbyterian Church. In early life she received a pious education. March 17, 1827, she was married to Wm. Sparks, her now bereaved husband. During the year 1834 she joined the Methodist Episcopal Church, in Mount Sterling, Muskingum county, O.  Soon after she joined the Church she made a profession of the religion of Jesus, and ever after retained an evidence of her acceptance, through faith in Christ, that she was a child of God . In the constancy of her Christian enjoyment and daily walk, in conversation, in life, and in her death, we have had portrayed before us a bright example of the happy life and triumphant death of the Christian . For the last fourteen years sister Sparks has been a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Brownsville, where she did much service . During her last illness, (which was a lingering consumption,) I visited her frequently, talked and prayed with her, and I always found her deeply engaged for a brighter evidence, and for stronger faith.

[Editorial Note:] We have published this obituary of Sidney (Cunningham) Sparks earlier, in the QUARTERLY of September 1996, Whole No. 175, pp. 4678-79 but for consistency, we have repeated it here . Sidney Cunningham was married on March 17, 1827, to William Sparks, in Guernsey County, Ohio. He was a son of Stephen and Ann (Carman) Sparks. For further information regarding this branch of the Sparks family, see the article entitled "Stephen Sparks, (born ca. 1774) of Maryland and Ohio, and His Wife, Anna (Carman) Sparks (Born 1787) With Some of Their Descendants,"  in the issue of the QUARTERLY cited above, pp. 4647-4693.


Charles Bonner Sparks, Died April 14, 1863

[Editorial Note:] Charles Bonner Sparks was a son of Hamlet and Elizabeth T. (Chrisman) Sparks. (Elizabeth's middle name was Toplis; her surname was spelled, also, as Chesman and Cheeseman.) A sketch of the life and family of Hamlet Sparks appeared in the QUARTERLY of June 1973, Whole No. 82, beginning on page 1563. Hamlet's obituary also appeared in the Western ChristianAdvocate in 1876 and is reproduced beginning on p.4913 of the present issue of the QUARTERLY. Charles Bonner Sparks appeared on the 1850 and 1860 censuses of Dear born County, Indiana, in his parents' household, age 10 and 20, respectively. The cause of his death in the Larson Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, was reported at the time as "anemia."


Anna Bell Sparks, Died April 6, 1865

[Editorial Note:] As noted in her obituary, Anna Bell Sparks, who had been born on May 20, 1856, and died on April 6, 1865, was a daughter of the Rev. R. H. and Rachel C . Sparks . She was shown, at the age of four, In the household of her parents when the 1860 census was taken in Sand Creek Township in Bartholomew County, Indiana. Her father's full name was Reuben Harper Sparks, and he was the eldest child of Amos Sparks and Amos's first wife, Nancy Mercy Harper. A Methodist minister, the Rev . R. H . Sparks had been married to Rachel C . Compton on August 5, 1855, near Connersvifle in Fayette County, Indiana. They were the parents of three children in addition to (1) Anna Bell Sparks: (2) Horace Beecher Sparks, born September 3, 1858; (3) Frank Lemon Sparks, born February 8, 1864; and (4) Mattie Mae Sparks, born July 23, 1870. This information is found in the Civil War pension papers of the Rev. R. H. Sparks at the National Archives. An abstract of these papers was published in the QUARTERLY of September 1996, Whole No. 175, pp. 4700-02.

Born on July 6, 1832, in Franklin County, Indiana, Reuben Harper Sparks, who preferred to use his initials, "R.H" died on January 23, 1917, at Ottawa, Kansas.  Amos Sparks (born ca. 1811), grandfather of Anna Bell Sparks, was a son of Jesse R. and Margaret (Burris) Sparks . Both of their obituaries were published in the WesternChristian Advocate; that of Margaret (Burris) Sparks appears on page 4899 of the present issue of the QUARTERLY. (See the QUARTERLY of December 1972, Whole No. 80, beginning on page 1517, for further information on thIs branch of the Sparks family.)


Mrs. Elizabeth Sparks, Died March 15, 1864

There came a day when a Methodist preacher made his way to Mrs. Weaver's neighborhood-- a house was opened to him, in which he commenced his labors with the people . Out of the merest curiosity, Miss Elizabeth Weaver, in company with several other ladies, went to hear him the first time he preached to their neighborhood . Elizabeth's curiosity was soon satisfied, for, as the preacher advanced in his discourse, she became deeply interested in the solemn Gospel truths uttered . His sermon concluded, he announced that four weeks from that day he would be there again . She then and there formed the resolution to hear him again. The day upon which he was to be there a second time came. He was at his post, and in the spirit of his Master. Miss Weaver was in the congregation, an attentive hearer, and ere the conclusion of that day's discourse she was pungently convicted for sin, as were also several of her lady comrades . The friends of these ladies be came greatly alarmed for them, and declared they should hear this setterforth of strange doctrines preach no more.  God, nevertheless, blessed the labors of. his servant among that people, and soules were converted, a Methodist class formed, and, before the close of the year, notice was given that, upon a specified time, a quarterly meeting would be held at that place . Elizabeth Weaver, and Major Ziegler's two daughters, and an M. D.'s wife made up their minds to attend the services of that quarterly occasion. The Doctor having learned his wife's designs, determined to keep her away from the meeting; and to make his purposes doubly sure, two or three days before the meeting was to commence he blistered her largely with cantharides [i.e. "Spanish Fly"]
Major Ziegler's daughters were, it seems, spinsters, and the Major, to prevent them from attending the meeting, told them they must spin double the amount of yarn the week of the meeting that they were accustomed to, and if they did this by Saturday night, they might go on Sunday. They wrought hard, and when Friday night came their task was accomplished .

Saturday morning came; the Doctor's wife, notwithstanding her suffering was great, from the influence of her blister, had a horse saddled--the Doctor having been called away that morning on professional business--and she, with the Misses Ziegler, set out for the quarterly meeting . They stopped at Mrs . Weaver's, and gained her consent for Elizabeth to go also. At that quarterly meeting they all joined the Church, and were powerfully converted. Elizabeth was then in her nineteenth year. In her twentieth year she and the Rev Elijah Sparks were married . At the time of their marriage Mr . Sparks was engaged in the mercantile Business in Winchester, Virginia. In 1798 they moved to Kentucky, and settled in Newport, opposite Cincinnati. They were members of the first Methodist class in Newport, and also attended a class in Cincinnati. A man whose name was Lyons was the leader. In 1806, March 6th, they moved to Indiana, and settled in Lawrenceburg. Here they opened their house for preaching, and also became members of, and assisted in forming, the first Methodist class in Lawrenceburg. Rev. E. Sparks died in 1815. Elizabeth Sparks, his widow, never married again. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church seventy-three years, fifty-eight of which she belonged to the society at Lawrenceburg, never having dissolved her connection with the Methodist people at Lawrenceburg from the time she first became a member of the little class there till the day of her death.


From the time of the death of her husband, Mrs. Sparks--so long as she kept house-- never failed under any circumstances whatever--with the exception of personal ill health--to sacrifice to God upon the family altar morning and evernng. Bishops Asbury, George, M'Kendree, and Roberts were among her spiritual advisers.  Her house was a welcome home for the weary itinerant. Strange, Griffith, Wiley, Lambden, and many others, welcomed her, no doubt, at the threshold of glory . All through her Christian life the Missionary cause laid near her heart. She felt that the Gospel that had saved her soul from death was able also to save the heathen world, and she gave liberally to it. She took the Advocate and Journal from the time it was first printed, til the first number of the Western Christian Advocate was issued; she then ceased to be a subscriber to the former, and became a life-long subscriber to the latter. She never failed to do her part in paying her pastor's salary. On her death-bed she gave him some money, stating at the same time she would not likely live to see the next ensuing quarterly meeting .

She was also patriotic in her feelings--a friend to her country and her country's soldiers during the diabolical Southern rebellion . In her ninety-first year she assisted in making clothes for the United States soldiers. She died in her ninety-second year. She never seemed to lose her social qualities, as do most persons who attain to old age. She was cheerful and happy to the end of her days .

[Editorial Note:] A photograph of Elizabeth (Weaver) Sparks, 1772-1864, taken in her old age, was featured on the cover of the issue of the QUARTERLY for June 1973, Whole No. 82. In that issue, beginning on page 1556, we presented a considerable amount of biographical information on Elijah Sparks, ca.1770-1815.  A descendant of Elijah and Elizabeth (Weaver) Sparks, Miss Myra Firnhaber of New York City, stated many years ago that the exact date of birth of Elizabeth had been December 1, 1772, and that she had been one of seven children of George and Frances (Brechbuhl) Weaver. George Weaver had died in May 1782. (Further information on the Weaver family, given in the issue of the QUARTERLY cited above, will not be repeated here.) Elizabeth (Weaver) Sparks died on March 13, 1864, at Moores Hill, Indiana, in the home of her son, Hamlet Sparks.

The children of Elijah and Elizabeth (Weaver) Sparks were :


REV. AMOS SPARKS (1785-1867)

Brother Sparks was a good man, and a firm believer in an evangelical ministry, called by the Holy Ghost to the work, and feeling, "woe is me, if I preach not the Gospel." Said he to me, "Brother Beach, I do not believe anything else is true religion, but that which we can feel and enjoy." Brother Sparks informed me he never had a Church trial or difficulty with any man. Dead to the world, he lived unto God. His wife had pre ceded him to the grave some years . Thus died our brother, Jan. 11, 1867, in the 82d year of his age, "an old man and full of days!"

[Editorial Note.] The Rev. Amos Sparks was a brother of Jesse R. Sparks, about whom information appears in the editorial note following the obituary of his wife, Margaret (Burris) Sparks, on pp. 4899-4900 of the present issue of the QUARTERLY.

In the above obituary of Amos Sparks, Queen Ann County, Maryland, was given as his place of birth; this should be Queen Annes County, Maryland . We have not succeeded in identifving the parents of Amos and Jesse R. Sparks. An article devoted to Amos Sparks and his family appeared in the March 1962 issue of the QUARTERLY, Whole No. 37, beginning on page 618. Most of our information for that article was supplied by a descendant, the late Hazle T . Tarman of El Paso, Illinois. According to the family Bible of Amos Sparks, owned by Mrs. Tarman in 1962, he was married on June 2, 1805, to Nancy Borough; she had been born on December 1, 1789. Amos and Nancy Sparks were living in Ohio when their first child was
born in 1807. Nancy died before Amos, but the date of her death has not been found. They were the parents of seven children, about whom biographical information can be found in the article cited earlier. They were:



Martha Sparks, ca.1802-1868, Wife of James S. Sparks

[Editorial Note:] From a descendant of Martha Sparks, Pamela Lucas of Kentwood, Michigan, we have learned that Martha was a daughter of Matson Peterson, a Revolutionary War soldier of the New Jersey Line. On October 2, 1832, Matson Peterson applied for a pension based on his service in the Revolution, and in his application, he stated that he had been born on May 21, 1765, in Gloucester County, New Jersey . He also stated that at the close of the Revolution, he had moved to Fairfield County, Ohio; later he had moved to Seneca County, Ohio, and it was from there that he applied for his pension in 1832. He signed his application as Matson Peterson, Sr.

From the brief information contained in Martha Sparks's obituary, we learn that she had accompanied her father to Fairfield County, Ohio . It was either there or in Seneca County, Ohio, that she was married to James S. Sparks about 1826.  We have not been able thus far to identify the parentage of James S. Sparks .  From census records, we know that he was born in Pennsylvania .

We have not found James S. Sparks on the 1830 census of Ohio, but he appeared as head of his household on the 1840 census of Scipio Township, Seneca County, Ohio . It appears that he and his family lived in the town of Republic . According to Pamela Lucas, Martha's father, Matson Peterson, was the male aged between 70 and 80 living with her and James S. Sparks in 1840. Matson Peterson died in 1848.


James S. Sparks was shown on the 1850 census of Scipio Township, Seneca County, Ohio, as a physician, born in Pennsylvania, age 48, with real estate valued at $4,000. Martha was shown as 46 years old, a native of New Jersey. Their eight children, ranging in age from 21 to 4, were all shown as born in Ohio.

When the 1860 census was taken, Martha Sparks was shown as heading her household, with real estate valued at only $100. Her son George, age 17, and daughter, Jane, age 14, were the only children still at home. The reason for her husband's absence is explained in a brief obituary for him appearing in the Tiffin, Ohio, Tribune of November 5, 1869:

Died in Poor House. Dr James S. Sparks, one of the early settlers of the county, on Sunday morning, Oct. 31st [1869]. He was for many years a prominent citizen of Republic with an extensive practice as a physician. Ruined financially and mentally, he died an imbecile pauper. Strong drink did it.

Our information regarding the children of James S. and Martha (Peterson) Sparks is limited to the following:

l. John G. Sparks, born in or about 1828, died in Seneca County, Ohio, on June 18, 1903. He was married (first) to Susan E. Measels (or Mearle) in 1851, in Seneca County. She died on July 3, 1874; he was married (second) to Samantha (Denison) Beigh on June 30, 1878; she died on February 25, 1929. He received a pension for his service in the Civil War in the 25th Regiment Ohio Infantry. See an abstract of his pension file in the National Archives in the QUARTERLY of September 1983, Whole No. 123, pp. 2554-56.

2. Josiah S. Sparks, sometimes called Joseph, was born in or about 1831. He may have been a twin of Jeremiah. He served in Company H, 5th Ohio Infantry in the Civil War. He was married to Callie Sluter on March 28, 1872, in Seneca County, Ohio.

3.Jeremiah Sparks, born in or about 1831. He may have been a twin of Josiah. He served in the Civil War in Company G, 40th Wisconsin Infantry.

4.Sarah Ann Sparks, born in or about 1834. She was married to George Longstreet on May 16, 1860, in Seneca County, Ohio. She died in 1918. She and her husband were living in Ingham County, Michigan, in 1883 when they made affidavits to support the application of Edgar G. Sparks for a Civil War pension .

S. Martha A. Sparks, born August 4, 1837. She was married to John Longstreet on March 2, 1856, in Seneca County, Ohio. She made an affidavit on May 21, 1896, supporting the pension application of her brother, James P. Sparks. She stated that she was two years older than James.

6. James P. Sparks, born August 14, 1839, died January 5, 1920. He served in the Civil War in Company H, 101st Regiment Ohio Infantry and in Company H of the 8th Veterans Reserve Corps . As a resident of Dundee, Monroe County, Michigan, he applied for and received a pension. (See the QUARTERLY of September 1983, Whole No. 123, pp. 2556-57, for an abstract of his pension file.) He was married (first) to Mary Celeste Cook on November 14, 1870, in Seneca County. Ohio; she died on April 14, 1894. He was married (second) to Isidora (Whitman) Fleming on October 6, 1897, at Petersburg, Michigan. (See an abstract of his pension file in the QUARTERLY of September 1983, Whole No. 123, pp. 2556-57.)


7. Edgar C. Sparks, born in or about 1841, died May 12, 1884. He served in the Civil War in Company K, 65th New York Volunteers, and in Company H-12, 2nd Battalion Veterans Reserve Corps. He received a pension for his service, the papers for which at the National Archives were abstracted in the QUARTERLY of June 1994, Whole No. 166, pp. 4309-4311. Edgar C. Sparks was married to Amanda J. Clingaman on November 19, 1865, at Springhill, Fulton County, Ohio. When the 1870 census was taken, they and three children were living in Kent County, Michigan, their post office being Grand Rapids. She died on March 27, 1923, at Jackson, Michigan.

8. George W. Sparks, born March 21, 1843, died August 25, 1919. He was married to Esther Showalter on March 2, 1875, in DeKalb County, Indiana. He served in the Civil War in Company H, 101st Regiment Ohio Infantry as did his brother, James P. Sparks. George received a pension for that service. (See the QUARTERLY of September 1983, Whole No. 123, p. 2558, for an abstract of his pension file at the National Archives.) In 1918, when he applied for an increase in his pension, he was living in Montpelier, Ohio.

9. Jane L. Sparks, born in or about 1846. No further information.


Jane Sparks. 1850-1872

[Issue for Wednesday, May 22, 1872, p. 167, col. 3]

Jane Sparks was born September 14, 1850, and died of consumption, at her parents' residence, near Clyde, Ohio, April 25, 1872. She embraced religion at a meeting held at Northridge meeting-house by brother Broadwell, in the Winter of 1868; was the first at the altar of prayer, and ever afterward was faithful. She left the world in peace. The direct witness of the Spirit was not so bright as she desired for a season during her confinement; but these words were quoted to her relief : "We know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethren." She calmly made distribution of her apparel, gave directions concerning the habiliment of her tomb, and the application of ten dollars for religious purposes; gave a charge to each member of the family to meet her in heaven. She left a like message for the school children. We miss her as leader of our devotions at the organ in the sanctuary and elsewhere. May the Lord support the bereaved!

[Editorial Note:] Jane Sparks was a daughter of Randall and Ann (Wingate) Sparks . Randall Sparks had been born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, on January 14, 1814. He and Ann Wingate were married on May 31, 1835. Randall was a son of Ephraim Lloyd and Sarah (Cook) Sparks of Salem County, New Jersey. (For a record of this branch of the Sparks family, see the QUARTERLY of December 1964, Whole No. 48, pp. 865-872, the article entitled: "Isaac Sparks of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and his Descendants.") Following is a biographical sketch of Randall Sparks that appeared in CommemorativeBiographical Record of the Counties of Sandusky andOttawa,Ohio, published in Chicago by the J. H. Beers Co., in 1896:


Randall Sparks was reared on the farm in Tuscarawas county [Ohio], attending school for a few months each year when pressing farm work was done. He was an apt pupil, and before his marriage, at the age of twenty-one, he had taught three terms of school.  On May 31, 1835, he married Ann Wingate, who was born in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, November 7, 1818, daughter of Henry and Mary (Bridall) Wingate, both natives of Delaware, who became early settlers of Carroll county, Ohio. Henry Wingate was of English ancestry; his wife of French parentage . He died at the age of sixty-six years, she dying when Ann, the youngest child, was five weeks old . She was the mother of fifteen children, twelve of whom grew to manhood and womanhood. . . . After his marriage, Randall Sparks settled in Tuscarawas county . He taught another term of school in the winter, and for nearly eight years he remained there, engaged in farming. In the fall of 1842 he came to York township, Sandusky county, and purchasing eighty acres of land on the ridge began to clear it up. In the following spring he removed with his family to the new home, and he has lived there ever since. [Note that this was published in 1896.]

Randall and Ann (Wingate) Sparks were the parents of the following children:


Elizabeth L. Sparks, Wife of Hamlet Sparks


[Editorial Note: Elizabeth Sparks's maiden name had been Chrisman (or Cheesman). She was married to Hamlet Sparks about 1819. The obituary of their son, Charles Bonner Sparks, who died while a soldier in the Union Army in the Civil War, appears on p. 4903 of the present issue of the QUARTERLY, while that of her husband begins on p. 4912. While her middle initial is given as "L." in her obituary, we understand from other sources that her middle name was Toplis.

Joseph Foster Sparks (1846-1873)

[Editorial Note:] From census and cemetery records, we know that Joseph Foster Sparks, subject of this brief obituary, was a son of Daniel and Mary Ann Sparks who were living in Vermillion County, Indiana, as early as 1840. Daniel had been born in Maryland, and Mary Ann in Ohio, accordto census records.

Located on the western edge of Indiana adjoining Illinois, Vermillion County bor ders Edgar and Vermilion Counties, Illinois, on the west, and on the east Parke and Fountain Counties, Indiana, Highland Township in Vermillion County, Indiana, partially adjoins Covington Township in Fountain County, Indiana, where Mary Ann Sparks (1818-1900) was buried in the Lower Mound Cemetery. Based primarily on census records, Daniel and Mary Ann Sparks appear to have had the following children, all born in Indiana.

l. Elizabeth Sparks, born about 1829.

The daughter named Elizabeth is said by a descendant to have been married on February 25, 1849, in Vermillion County, Indiana, to Sandy E. [or Andrew] Dennis. It was his second marriage; he died on September 18, 1853, and, subsequently, Elizabeth was married (second) to Horace A . Johnson. Sandy Dennis was buried in the Lower Mound Cemetery in Covington Township in Fountain County, Indiana. His gravestone is in the same lot as is the one for Mary Ann Sparks, wife of Daniel. Also buried in this lot is Samuel Sparks, born May 19, 1834, died April 9, 1898, believed to be Daniel and Mary Ann's son of that name. Nearby is a stone for Joseph E. Sparks who "died May 31, 1823," as well as one for "Deborah Towers, died February 1, 1877, age 88 years. 1 month. and 3 days ." How these two individuals may have been connected with Daniel and Mary Ann Sparks is unknown at this time.

(Continued in wn180b)

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