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


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


Daughter of George and Delia Sparks

Wife of Thomas Brown

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In the QUARTERLY of June 1976, Whole No. 94, on page 1832, we published a photograph of three women that had been taken in Markle, Indiana, probably in the mid-187Os.  The original had been loaned to us by Florence N. DeSelms of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mrs. DeSelms was a granddaughter of Mary Ellen (Sparks) Wilcoxson, born January 3, 1832, who was standing behind the other two ladies in the photograph , both of whom were seated.   Mrs.. DeSelms could not identify either of the two seated ladies . When we published this photograph 1976, we invited any reader who could identify either, or both, of the "mystery women" to share the information with us.


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

Mary Ellen (Sparks) Wilcoxson (1832-1913) - Standing

Lydia (Sparks) Brown (Born 1816) - Seated on Viewer's Left

Is the Lady on the Right a Sister of Mary Ellen and Lydia?

(View photograph)

In the March 2000 issue of the QUARTERLY, Whole No. 189, we published an article entitled "Some Descendants of Solomon Sparks, Jr. (Died 1817) of Wilkes County, North Carolina." On page 5290 of that issue , we again included the above photograph , with the repeated hope that a descendant of one of the unidentified women might recognize her from another old photograph in his or her possession. Happily, a young lady named Sarah Brown of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, recently did, indeed, recognize the lady seated on viewer's left in this photograph as her great-great-great-grandmother, Lydia (Sparks) Brown, sister of Mary Ellen. Lydia Sparks had been born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, on May 11, 1816.

Sarah Brown , who had but recently begun doing research into her family history , had received from a cousin the photograph appearing on the cover of the present issue of the QUARTERLY . (Sarah had not yet been born when we published the above photo in 1976.) Lydia (Sparks) Brown, who was nearly 16 years older than her sister, Mary Ellen (Sparks) Wilcoxson , was obviously younger when the picture that we are using on the cover was taken than she was when she posed for the above photograph . We may now speculate that the lady sitting on the viewer's right in the above photograph was probably another sister. There are five possibilities among the sisters who apparently lived beyond young adulthood and could be she.  All were daughters of George and Delila Sparks who came from North Carolina to Randolph County, Indiana, prior to 1830. These five were:


Although Mary Ellen and Lydia Sparks had two other sisters , both had died prior to 1845, the year in which their father's estate had been settled. They were:

Phereby (or Faribee) Sparks, born November 10, 1812, who was married to Wiseman Brown, and Jane Sparks, born July 7, 1824.

In all, George and Derna Sparks were the parents of thirteen children. The nine daughters identified above had four brothers: Aaron, born April 14, 1809; George Jr., born January 31, 1820; Solomon, born October 5, 1822; and Abel, born in May 1827.

In the QUARTERLY of March 2000, noted above, we gave a record of this branch of the Sparks family that will not be repeated here, except to note that our information on Lydia (Sparks) Brown had been limited to her date of birth and her marriage. We are now able to provide the following information about her through her great-great-great-granddaughter , Sarah Brown .

Lydia Sparks, daughter of George and Delila Sparks, was born on May 11, 1816, in Wilkes County, North Carolina. She accompanied her parents and several siblings in their move to Indiana prior to 1830, settling in that part of Randolph County that helped to form Wells County when it was created in 1835. The record of the marriage of Lydia Sparks to Thomas Brown has been preserved in Randolph County:

"...State of Indiana, Randolph County, I Jonathan Shaw, a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church hereby certify that on the 30th of March 1834, I joined in marriage Thomas Brown and Lydia Sparks, as witness my hand this the 14th day of June 1834."
Members of the Brown family had also moved from Wilkes County , North Carolina, to Randolph County , Indiana , at or near the same time as the Sparks family.  Thomas Brown , husband of Lydia Sparks , had been born in Wilkes County in 1809.
He was a son of James and Suckey (Alvey) Brown who had been married in Wilkes County on August 10, 1808.

The Sparks and Brown families lived in that part of Randolph County that was cut off to form Wells County, Indiana, in 1835. Based on census and family records provided by Sarah Brown, Thomas and Lydia (Sparks) Brown were the parents of the following children:


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Charles (1855-1922) was a Son of Thomas and Lydia (Sparks) Brown

(View photograph)

Children of Thomas and Lydia (Sparks) Brown, continued

Charles Brown, born February 11, 1855, the 9th child of Thomas and Lydia (Sparks) Brown, was married to Mary Jane Rinker on May 18, 1882, in Huntington County, Indiana. (A photograph of them appears at the top of this page.) Mary Jane, who had been born on January 18, 1863, was a daughter of George and Nancy (Houser) Rinker. George Rinker was born in May 1830 in Ohio; he died between 1900 and 1910. Nancy (Houser) Rinker, the second wife of George Rinker, was born in September 1836, also in Ohio; she died after 1910. Charles and Mary Brown were the parents of seven children:
Charles Brown, son of Thomas and Lydia (Sparks) Brown, died on May 7, 1922, in Union Township, Huntington County, Indiana. His wife, Mary Jane (Rinker) Brown, died on July 7 , 1926. Both were buried in Union Church Cemetery, Huntington County, Indiana.

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Again we are grateful to Mr. Douglas C . Schenk, a longtime member of our Association , who has sent us a number of obituaries pertaining to the Sparks family in New England that he has copied for us from old newspapers. The following obituaries were for members of the family of Joseph Sparks of Tolland County, Connect icut.

Joseph Sparks was born on February 3, 1761, in the town of Tolland, which was, and is, the seat of justice for the Connecticut county of the same name . He was a son of Joseph and Mehitable (Johnson) Sparks who had been married in Windham, Connecticut, on April 29, 1747. (See the QUARTERLY of March 1987, Whole No. 137, beginning on page 3000 for a record of Joseph's ancestry.)   He was married on December 24, 1789, to Eleanor Orcutt, a daughter of Caleb Orcutt. Joseph served in the American Revolution and later received a pension for his service . The papers pertaining to his pension , as well as those for his wife following his death, were published in the QUARTERLY of March 1961, Whole No.33, pp.535-
39. A record of the children of Joseph and Eleanor (Orcutt) Sparks appeared in the QUARTERLY of March 1987, cited above, pp.3029-32.

Among the children of Joseph and Eleanor Sparks was a son named Origin Sparks, born June 23, 1800. Origin was married in Willington, Connecticut, on November 26, 1829, to Calista Converse. He died in Willington on April 2, 1852. His widow, Calista, survived him for over 45 years, dying in Willington on July 28, 1898. Mr. Schenk found her obituary in a newspaper called The StaffordPress, dated August 6, 1896. It reads as follows:

The inscription on the gravestone for Calista (Converse) Sparks in the Willington Hill Old Cemetery , was transcribed for the New England Historical & Genealogical Register, Vol. 69, p.85, as: "Calista, wife of Origen Sparks, d. 7-28-1898, age 88 yrs." That for Origen in the same cemetery was copied as: "Origen Sparks, d. 4-2-1852, age 52 yrs."  Because of the date (August 6, 1896) of the newspaper in which Calista's obituary appeared, there can be little doubt that she died on July 28/29, 1896, not 1898. On the other hand, the date of Origen's death engraved on his gravestone (April 2, 1852) is probably correct, rather than 1849, as given in Calista's obituary.

Other tombstones for members of the family of Origen and Calista buried in the Willington Hill Old Cemetery , have the following inscriptions , as copied for and published in the New England Historical &GenealogicalRegister :

Another son of Joseph and Eleanor Sparks was Solomon Sparks, who was born in Willington, Connecticut , on March 15, 1807. His name has often been spelled "Solymon." The 1850 census taker who recorded his family gave his name as "Lyman Sparks." This was probably a nickname.  No occupation was given for him in the enumeration of his family for the 1850 census.

Solomon Sparks was married on April 14, 1833, to Annis Holman in Willington, Connecticut . Annis had been born , according to her parents' family Bible , on August 20, 1810, at Union, Connecticut. She was a daughter of Rufus and Lucy (Eddy) Holman.  As noted in the following obituary , appearing in the TollandCountyPress of April 28, 1881, Solomon took his own life. The date recorded in a family record was March 23, 1881.


Another son of Joseph and Eleanor Sparks was named for his father.  Joseph Sparks, who was his parents' youngest child , was born on June 24, 1809, in Willington, Connecticut . He was a shoemaker according to the 1850 census. He died in 1901 at Willington. He was married to his first wife, Mary Battey, in Willington, on October 13, 1833. Born on October 13, 1813, she was a daughter of Amasa and Sally Battey . She died in 1854, the year following the birth of her fourth child , Ellen B. Sparks. Their other three were: (1) Andrew J. Sparks, born 1834, died 1906; (2) Sarah Sparks, born 1836, died 1856; she was married to Barrett; and (3) Mary E. Sparks, born 1846, died 1875.

Following the death of Mary (Battey) Sparks, first wife of Joseph Sparks , he was married, second, to Emily Morse (1814-1867), and, third, to Rosetta Felch (1818- 1896.

The following obituary was found by Mr. Schenk in the February 20, 1879, issue of the Tolland County Press . It was for Ellen B . Sparks , the fourth and last child born to Joseph and Mary (Battey) Sparks.

The person who prepared this obituary was mistaken in stating that the family of Joseph Sparks was "directly descended from the celebrated historian--Hon. Jared Sparks." Jared Sparks (1789-1866) was a brother (possibly a half-brother) of Joseph Sparks, as well as Solomon and Origen Sparks, thus an uncle of Ellen B. Sparks.  In the QUARTERLY of March 1961, Whole No. 33, pp.531-34, we published a biographical sketch of Jared Sparks, with his portrait on the cover . Of all the thousands of persons named Sparks who have lived and died in the United States, Jared Sparks, noted author and the 18th President of Harvard University, is the one scholar we meet most frequently in historical and literary studies , even today .




Margaret "Peggy" (Sparks) Evans (born ca.1825)
Frances Elmira "Almira" Porter (1830-1898)

In the QUARTERLY of September 1984, Whole No. 127, we published a record of the family of Matthew Sparks (1759 -1841) whose wife's name was Margaret. We stated there that her maiden name had been Traylor, but further research has disproved that assumption. We have no clue regarding what her maiden name might have been. We are now doubtful , also, that Matthew had the middle initial "J."  Among primary sources , we find only one census record where this appears . Here, and in future references to him , we shall refer to him as Matthew Sparks , Jr., even though , following the death of his father (the elder Matthew Sparks) in 1793, he dropped its use from his own signature.

The youngest of the children of Matthew, Jr. and Margaret Sparks was named Matthew Jefferson Sparks; he was born about 1802, probably in Jackson County, Georgia.

Matthew Sparks, Jr. (1759-1841) had served in the American Revolution and received a pension for his service. His pension application made in 1832 reveals that he had moved with his family many times during the years following the Revolution . They had been living in Greenville District , South Carolina, before moving to Jackson County, Georgia, shortly before Matthew Jefferson Sparks was born. He accompanied his parents and siblings in their move from Georgia to Kentucky in 1807, then to Illinois Territory in 1810, and to Arkansas Territory in 1817. A few years thereafter, he was married , we believe , in Pulaski County , Arkansas , to Mary , whose nick name was "Polly." We have not discovered her maiden name.

Matthew Jefferson Sparks continued to live in Pulaski County , and when the 1830 census was taken , the ages of both himself and his wife were enumerated as being between 20 and 30, thus born between 1800 and 1810. The four children living in their household were enumerated as follows: a male between 10 and 15, thus born between 1815 and 1820; a female between 5 and 10, thus born between 1820 and 1825; and a male and a female under age 5, thus born between 1825 and 1830. There may have been another child born after 1830; see Matthew's will below.

Matthew Jefferson Sparks died as a young man , probably at age 31. He must have known death was near when he made his last will on December 2, 1832. It was probated on February 4, 1833. As seen in the text below, it appears that his eldest son had died earlier, and that he thought his wife might be pregnant. His will follows :


The above will of Matthew Jefferson Sparks has been copied from the Probate Court's recorded copy , and we may wonder whether the clerk added the "e" to the spelling of Matthew's name. We are certain that he, like other members of his family, spelled his name "Sparks," not "Sparkes."

The will was entered for probate in the Pulaski County Court on February 4, 1833, by two of the witnesses : Richard Graves and Rebecca Hudson. Matthew Jefferson Sparks had probably died a few days before. As noted earlier, the eldest son, who had been enumerated with the family on the 1830 census, appears to have died before his father since only the three younger children were named in their father's will. Whether a posthumous child was born to Mary ["Polly"] Sparks later, as suggested might occur according to Mathew Jefferson Sparks's will, we do not know. We have not found Mary ["Polly"] Sparks in later census records of Pulaski County , and we may wonder whether she might have been married a second time before the 1840 census was taken.

When the September 1984 issue of the QUARTERLY, Whole No.127, was published, our only knowledge of the children of Matthew Jefferson and Mary [ "Polly"] Sparks was the listing of them in their father's will . We continue to have no information on the son named John Sparks, but Steven J. Porter, 7505 Camelback Drive , Shreveport, Louisiana, recently provided us with records that further identify the two daughters : Peggy (a nickname for Margaret) , and Almira (whose full name had been Frances Elmira) .

It was in Hot Springs County, Arkansas, that Margaret ["Peggy"] Sparks was married to Jonathan Evans on September 27, 1840. (Hot Springs County had bordered Pulaski County until 1835 when Saline County was created.) This couple appears on the 1850 census of Hot Springs County with five children, as follows:

Evans,  Jonathon H Age 29 born in Tennessee
    " Margaret  " 25   "     " Arkansas
    " Eliza V.  "   8   "     "      "
    "  Mary C.  "   7   "     "      "
    "  Almira  "   5   "     "      "
    " Egbert M.  "   4   "     "      "
    " Milton N.  "   2   "     "      "


Steven Porter has provided the following information about his ancestor, Almira Sparks, daughter of Matthew Jefferson and Mary ["Polly"] Sparks.  Almira was born in Pulaski County , Arkansas , on January 9, 1830.  Although she was cailed Almira in her father's will and was known as Almira in her family, she had been  named originally Frances Elmira Sparks.  She was married in Saline County, Arkansas, on January 4, 1846, to Joel Turner Porter, son of Ridley and Edith (Johnson) Porter. Usually called by his middle name, Turner, he had been born on June 4, 1825, and died sometime after June 1900, in Grant County, Arkansas. During the Civil War, he served in Logan's Brigade, Captain Miller's Company, 11th Cavalry Regiment of the Confederate Army . He and Almira lived near Hurricane Creek (pronounced "Hairkin Crick"), two miles east of Sheridan, Arkansas.

Almira (Sparks) Porter died on February 18, 1896, in Grant County, Arkansas. (Grant County was not created until 1869, from portions of Hot Springs , Saline , and Jefferson Counties.)   A record of the eight known children of Joel Turner and Almira (Sparks) Porter follows:

Children of Joel Turner and Almira (Sparks) Porter, continued:
Children of Joel Turner and Almira (Sparks) Porter, continued :
e. Frances Almira [ "Fannie"] Porter was born in 1864 in Grant County, Arkansas; she died in 1942 in Grant County, Arkansas. She was married to E. Andrew ["Ann"] Hardin in Grant County . Their children were :
f. Turner Porter was born in 1865 in Grant County, Arkansas.

g. Edward R. Porter was born March 20, 1868, in Grant County, Arkansas. He died in 1900 in Grant County.

h. Flora Eva ["Evy"] Porter was born January 9, 1874 in Grant County, Arkansas. She died on July 18, 1952, in Grant County. She was married to William Allison in 1899. They had no children.



The following queries are published on behalf of Kim Waller, 1412 Fairway Drive, Belmond, Iowa, 50421-1787.
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[Scanner's note : Corrections made.]



AND HIS WIFE, SARAH (ca.1739-1831)

Bailey Sparks (born May 3, 1788) & Isaac Sparks (born July 15, 1780)

By Russell E. Bidlack

If it were possible to identify all of the descendants, living and dead, of Matthew Sparks, who lived from about 1730 until his murder in 1793, and his wife, Sarah, who was born in or about 1739 and died in 1831, they would number in the thousands. Matthew and Sarah were the parents of twelve children, ten sons and two daughters. All ten sons are known to have been married and had children, as did their daughter, Eady. In earlier issues of the SPARKS QUARTERLY, we have published articles about eight of the sons; here we present material on the remaning two, Bailey and Isaac. First, however, we will review our research on the parents, Matthew and Sarah Sparks, and cite the previous issues of the QUARTERLY in which information has been published on eight of their sons.

Matthew Sparks had been born about 1730 in Queen Annes County, Maryland. As a child, he had accompanied his father, William Sample Sparks, on his move west from Queen Annes County to Frederick County, Maryland. (See the QUARTERLY of December 1989, Whole No. 148, pp.3484-3501; and December 2000, Whole No. 192, pp. 5443-5461, for articles on William Sample Sparks and his family.)

In 1754, Matthew Sparks moved with his father and other Sparks relatives from Maryland to North Carolina, settling in that part of Rowan County known as the Forks of the Yadkin. Today , this area is included in Davie County, North Carolina. We have found no record of the date that Matthew was married to Sarah , so we cannot be certain whether their marriage occurred in Maryland or after Matthew arrived in North Carolina. According to the memory of a great-granddaughter, Sarah's maiden name was Thompson.  Matthew and Sarah's eldest son, John Sparks, was born, according to the inscription on his tombstone, in 1755.  If the Bible record of Sarah's age when she died on August 23, 1831, "in the 93rd year of her age, " is correct, she must have been born in 1739. Thus, she was probably sixteen years old when her son, John, was born.

Matthew and Sarah Sparks lived in the Forks of the Yadkin until 1773/1774. A map showing the exact location of their land appeared on the cover of the June 1991 issue of the QUARTERLY , Whole No.154. Then, with their first eight children, they moved to the New River area in Surry County, North Carolina, settling in Benjamin Cleveland's tax and militia district. The earliest extant list of "taxable polls" (males 16 and over) for Cleveland's District, dated 1775, includes three males named Sparks: Matthew Sparks, Sr. , John Sparks, and Matthew Sparks, Jr.;   John and Matthew, Jr. , being the two eldest sons of Matthew and Sarah Sparks.

The western half of Surry County, including Benjamin Cleveland's District, was cut off in 1778 to form Wilkes County. Matthew and Sarah Sparks's third son, William, who was born in 1761, recalled in his application for a Revolutionary War pension that he had remained as a resident of Wilkes County , "till the close of the Revolution when he removed with his father to what was then Franklin County, afterwards Jackson, and now [1832] Clarke County, in the state of Georgia, and settled about four miles from Athens in that State."


Until the close of the Revolution, the part of Georgia where Matthew and his family settled had been the land of the Creek Indians, but in February 1784, the Georgia Legislature had voted to open this vast area to white settlement . In anticipation of this action, many "squatters" had already gone there to lay claim to tracts of land for future purchase .  " Squatting" on land not yet placed on the market was a common practice by which a settler would mark , often by notching trees , the bounds
(boundaries) of the land he planned to purchase, when possible. Other "squatters" usually respected the boundary lines made by an earlier "squatter, " as did the land office when it was opened. Because Matthew Sparks had "squatted" twice before in North Carolina, and had been successful in his later purchase of the land, he and his older sons may well have been among the Georgia "squatters" in anticipation of the February 1784 opening for official settlement .

As white settlers moved into these Georgia lands , the Creek Indians protested the loss of their hunting grounds and, under the leadership of a half-breed named Alexander McGillivroy , they began a series of depredations on the white settlements; a struggle followed that came to be known as the Oconee War, lasting some twelve years. Matthew Sparks, Jr. , who had been born in 1759, stated in his application for a Revolutionary War pension in 1832 that soon after coming to the Georgia frontier, he had assisted his father and other settlers in erecting a fort, called Sparks Fort, to which they could flee if they feared an Indian attack. Many years later, when the Federal Government agreed to compensate settlers for losses suffered during the Oconee War, several members of the Sparks family, including Sarah , widow of Matthew, made claims for stolen livestock and other propperty . From these claims, we learn that Matthew Sparks had been killed by the Indians "in the Month of November 1793." (The text of these claims appears in the QUARTERLY of June 1961, pp.562-65.)

In 1899, a great-granddaughter of Matthew and Sarah Sparks , named Bettie C . Smith , recalled for a nephew the family story of how Matthew Sparks had lost his life in 1793:  "He went out to kill a turkey one morning and was shot by the Indians." She added that Sarah, his widow, who died in 1831, "was buried at Old Pleasant Grove, " and that "the piece of shirt the ball went through when her husband was killed, was buried with her.  "Unfortunately, Bettie did not give the location of  "Old Pleasant Grove , " in her letter , although it was somewhere in Tennessee.

Bettie Smith's letter, dated March 11, 1899, has been an important source for us in tracing Matthew and Sarah's family. A copy of it was found in 1948 by William P. Johnson , one of the founders of the Sparks Family Association.  Bettie was a grand- daughter of Nathan Sparks (1775-1844), the ninth child of Matthew and Sarah, but it was her grandfather's brother, Matthew Sparks, Jr. (1759-1841), whom she credited with telling her the family's history.  Bettie Smith was in her seventies when she wrote to her 34-year-old nephew , Samuel T. Sparks , explaining that "when you get to be older , you will want to know more than now , who was your ancestors . "Samuel T. Sparks was then living in McKenzie, Carroll County, Tennessee.

In 1937, a great-great-grandson of Matthew and Sarah Sparks , William Levi Pinkerton, of Centerville, Tennessee, obtained a copy of Bettie's letter and shared its contents with other Sparks descendants. It was a copy of this shared copy that
W. P. Johnson found in the Tennessee State Library in 1948. We published its text in the QUARTERLY of June 1961, and again in the issue of December 1995, Whole No. 172, p.4575, with a detailed record of the letter's history. When old letters are transcribed , errors are often made . There are several mistakes in the copy of Bettie Smith's letter that was found by Mr. Johnson in 1948. Whether they were made by Bettie, or by a later copyist , we do not know .

The most serious of these errors is the name given for Bettie Smith's great-grand father : his name was not John Sparks , as appears in the copy found by Mr . Johnson , but rather Matthew Sparks , although his wife's name appears correctly as Sarah. In recalling the names of their children, Bettie Smith , or the copyist , failed , also , to include that of their eldest son , John, although elsewhere in the letter there is mention of John's service in the Revolutionary War. There is also an error in the inclusion of a son of Matthew and Sarah named David; we have found no other reference to David , although it is possible that such a child could have died in childhood. Bettie Smith's letter is our only source for the color of the Sparks sons' hair; she said they were all "red-headed."


Another important source for identifying the children of Matthew and Sarah Sparks is a record brought to our attention in 1994; this was discovered under a most unusual circumstance . A member of our Association , Mrs . Dolly Ziegler , learned from a colleague who was helping Cadette Scouts in Billings , Montana, to earn "family history badges, " that one of the girls had brought an old Sparks family record that contained a transcription from a family Bible printed in 1816. This Bible had belonged to Nathan Sparks (1759-1841), a son of Matthew and Sarah Sparks. The person who had copied this record from Nathan's old Bible had died prior to 1994, and we have been unable to locate the old Bible, itself. Nevertheless, the photocopy of the record made for us by Mrs . Ziegler has provided an important supplement to Bettie Smith's 1899 letter.

Based on the sources cited above , and the research we have done on each of the ten sons of Matthew and Sarah Sparks, and one of their daughters, we believe that we now know the order of birth of all twelve of their children. Following is a brief biographical sketch of each one, with an indication of previously published material.

l. John Sparks, eldest child of Matthew and Sarah Sparks, was born in 1755 and died in February 1831, according to the dates on his gravestone still standing in the Sparks Cemetery a few miles west of Russellville, Franklin County, Alabama. The Wilkes County, North Carolina, marriage bond for him to be wed to Mary Parmely (1763-1853) was dated August 14, 1781. Often callled "Mollie," Mary Parmely was a daughter of Giles Parmely . A record of the lives of John and Mary (Parmely) Sparks, with the identification of their six children, appeared in the QUARTERLY of March 1966, Whole No. 53, pp.960-968. In that article of 1966, we speculated that John had been born in Maryland before his parents moved to North Carolina. Based on later research, we now believe that his father, Matthew Sparks , had moved to North Carolina in 1754. While we cannot be certain whether Matthew and Sarah were married in Maryland or North Carolina, there can be little doubt that John was born in what was then Rowan County, North Carolina. John Sparks, son of Matthew and Sarah Sparks, should not be confused with the John Sparks (1753-1840), son of Solomon and Sarah, about whom we published an article in the QUARTERLY of December 1955, Whole No. 12.

2 Matthew Sparks, Jr. , second child of Matthew and Sarah Sparks , was born on Jan uary 20, 1759, in what is now Davie County, North Carolina, then Rowan County. He died on August 14, 1841, at the home of his daughter, Jane (Sparks) Steele, in Clinton County , Illinois . His wife's name was Margaret . We have not found her maiden name. We were in error in stating earlier that Margaret's maiden name may have been Traylor. We have also sometimes included the letter "J" as his middle initial. This appears on one census record, but this may have been an error made by the census taker.  The text of Matthew Sparks, Jr.'s application for a pension for his service in the Revolutionary War appeared in the QUARTERLY of December 1956, Whole No. 16, pp.179-182.  It was approved.  A few years ago, a descendant established a chapter in the Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution in his name in Claremont , California. An article devoted to Matthew Sparks, Jr., with a record of his known children, appeared in the QUARTERLY of September 1984, Whole No. 127, pp.2644-2669. Some corrections to this article appeared in the QUARTERLY of March 1989, Whole No.145, pp.3367-68. In that article we called him "Matthew J. Sparks. " As noted above , we cannot be sure that he had a middle initial. It appears that none of his siblings were given middle names or initials. Matthew Sparks, Jr., did, however, give a son of his own a middle name. This was Matthew Jefferson Sparks (ca.1802-1833) See a separate article in this issue of the QUARTERLY, beginning on page 5599, pertaining to two daughters of Matthew Jefferson Sparks .


3. William Sparks, son of Matthew and Sarah Sparks, was born on April 3, 1761, in what is now Davie County, North Caroilna, although it was then part of Rowan County. He died in 1848, age 87, near Nacogdoches, Texas. He was married to Mary [ "Polly"] Fielder, daughter of William Fielder, about 1791. He served in the Revolutionary War, and in 1846, he made application for a pension based on that service , which had involved primarily his fighting the Cherokee Indians. His pension application was not approved because he could not present evidence of his service other than his own memory of it . (See the QUARTERLY of March and June 1954, Whole Nos. 5 and 6, for a copy of his application.)  He stated that he had accompanied his father in his move to Georgia " shortly after the Revolutionary War, " and that he had remained there until "about A. D. 1811, when I moved to the Territory of Mississippi on Pearl River , now Lawrence County . . . . " A record of his life and his seven children appeared in the QUARTERLY of June 1985, Whole No. 130; September 1985, Whole No. 131; and June 1986, Whole No. 134.

4 Eady Sparks, daughter of Matthew and Sarah Sparks, was born about 1763. No article hase been published about her , so we report here what we have have learned , based largely on the research of Johnella S . Boynton . "Eady" was a nickname for Idris , but because she seems always to have been called Eady , sometimes spelled "Edie , " we will call her Eady here . There can be little doubt that she was married to Randolph Traylor in Georgia, sometime after her parents moved there from North Carolina in 1783/84. On September 19, 1797, William Sparks , brother of Eady , sold land to Randolph Traylor that was located in Jackson County , Georgia . A deed for land sold by Traylor in Clarke County, Georgia, dated January 3, 1807, was signed by his wife, "Edie Traylor," as well as by Randolph. (See Deed Book D, p. 224.)

Randolph Traylor was a son of William Traylor , who died in Wilkes County , Georgia, in 1791, having moved there from Halifax County, Virginia, after the Revolution . When William Traylor died , he left 12 heirs . (See Halifax County Pleas Book 21, page 105, August Court 1802). Besides Randolph, the heirs included Elizabeth (Traylor) Brooks, the mother of Sarah ["Sally"] Brooks, who was married to Eady's nephew , John Sparks, in Jackson County, Georgia, in 1806.  John Sparks was a son of Matthew Sparks, Jr., Eady's brother.

Randolph and Eady Traylor moved their family to Mississippi about the same time that Eady's brother, William Sparks, moved there in 1811.  They settled in that part of Marion County, Mississippi, that became Lawrence County in 1818. We believe that a "Landel Traylor" listed on an 1813 Mississippi tax list is an incorrect rendering of Randolph. In Georgia records , he was sometimes called "Randall. " Randolph Traylor died in Mississippi before November 6, 1818, when an inventory was made of his estate in Lawrence County.   Matthew Traylor, probably the eldest son, and Joseph Cooper, were made administrators of his estate. Richard Sparks, son of William, was made guardian of Randolph's minor heirs, named Thomas, Elizabeth , and Jo Ann Traylor. A later record shows Richard Sparks received a distribution from the estate of Sarah Traylor; we are uncertain if Sarah was another child, or whether an error was made in copying the earlier names. The 1823 Mississippi state census shows a Miss Sarah Traylor in Lawrence County. "Mrs. Traylor" was mentioned in an estate inventory of March 1820; other heirs included in Randolph Traylor's estate settlement were Hiram Traylor, William Traylor, and Nathan Traylor.

5. Ann Sparks, daughter of Matthew and Sarah Sparks, was probably born in or about 1766.  We have no further knowledge of her beyond Bettie C. Smith's listing her in the 1899 letter as one of the two daughters of Matthew and Sarah Sparks.


6. James Sparks, son of Matthew and Sarah Sparks, was born on April 14, 1768, in what is now Davie County, North Carolina, although the Forks of the Yadkin where Matthew's land was located was then part of Rowan County. He died, probably in Wilkes County, North Carolina, between 1830 and 1840. He appears not to have accompanied his parents and siblings on their move to Georgia in 1783/84, although he was then no more than sixteen years of age. We have not succeeded in finding the name of his wife , but from census records , it appears that he was the father of eight children , five daughters and three sons.  We believe that we have identified his three sons. See our record of them in the article devoted to James Sparks in the QUARTERLY of June 1998, Whole No. 182, pp.4998-5003. (Unfortunately, at the beginning of that article , we stated that James was one of Matthew and Sarah's "eleven sons"; We now feel certain that there were ten sons , not eleven.)

7 . Absolom Sparks, sometimes spelled Absolem , son of Matthew and Sarah Sparks, was born in or about 1771 in what is now Davie County, North Carolina, although the Forks of the Yadkin, where Matthew's land was located , was then part of Rowan County. Absolom accompanied his parents in their move to Georgia in 1783/84; he was then about thirteen years old. He remained in Georgia following his father's death in 1793, having earlier been married to a daughter of Benjamin and Francine Elsberry, whose name was either Lydia or Mary Elsberry. She was a sister of Sarah ("Sally") Elsberry who was married in Oglethorpe County, Georgia, to Absolom's brother, Nathan Sparks, on May 10, 1800. It appears that Absolom and his family moved with his brother, Matthew Sparks , Jr. , from Georgia to Illinois Territory about 1807, then to Arkansas about 1820. He was the father of ten children. For an article about Absolom and his family, see the QUARTERLY of September 1982, Whole No. 119, pp. 2443-48. (In this article, we stated that his parents, Matthew and Sarah Sparks had migrated from Maryland to North Carolina about 1758; we are now certain that Matthew had come to North Carolina with other members of the Sparks family in 1754; whether he and Sarah were married in Maryland or North Carolina, we cannot be sure. In the QUARTERLY of September 1989, Whole No. 147, pp.3463-72, we published an article about Absolom's son named Willoughby Sparks, born in 1802.)

8 Jesse Sparks, son of Matthew and Sarah Sparks, was born on July 23, 1773, probably in what is now Davie County , North Carolina. His parents moved in the same year he was born to that part of Surry County, North Carolina, that was cut off by an Act of the North Carolina Legislature in 1777 (effective Feb ruary 15, 1778) to form Wilkes County. It is possible that he was born after they arrived in Surry County . Many years later (in 1799) the area where Jesse's father obtained a land grant became part of Ashe County.

Jesse Sparks was about ten years old when the family moved to Georgia. He remained in Georgia following his father's death in 1793; there is a record that he served on a grand jury in Jackson County, Georgia, in January 1797. Earlier he had been married (first) to Elizabeth Jones . When Clarke County was created from Jackson County in 1801, Jesse became a resident of the new county. About 1808, he moved his family to Hickman County, Tennessee, where his first wife died in 1817, after bearing her tenth child.  Jesse was married (second) to Susan May in 1818, and by her became the father of eight more children.  He died in 1858 in Perry County, Tennessee. An article about Jesse Sparks and his family appeared in the QUARTERLY of March 1990, Whole No. 149, pp.3530-3553, continued in the issue of September 1990, Whole No.151, pp. 3630-49. (On page 3530 we stated that Jesse was one of eleven sons of Matthew and Sarah Sparks; we are now certain that there were ten sons, not eleven.)


9. Nathan Sparks, son of Matthew and Sarah Sparks, was born on October 23, 1775, in the part of Surry County, North Carolina, that was cut off in 1778 to form Wilkes County . The area in which his father settled was, many years later (1799), cut off from Wilkes County to form Ashe County. He was a lad of eight or nine years when he accompanied his parents on their move to Georgia. He remained there after his father was killed by the Indians in 1793, and it was in Oglethorpe County, Georgia, that he was married (first) to Sarah ("Sally") Elsberry, daughter of Benjamin and Francina Elsberry, on March 10, 1800. She was a sister of the wife of his brother, Absolom Sparks . Sarah died soon after their marriage , and on September 2, 1802, Nathan was married (second) to Nancy Hancock (1782-1856), a daughter of Martin Hancock.  Nathan Sparks died on September 4, 1844, in Wilson County , Tennessee . He was physically handicapped , apparently unable to walk. For an article about him and his nine children, see the QUARTERLY of December 1995, Whole No. 172, pp.4548-4574.

10. Bailey Sparks, son of Matthew and Sarah Sparks, was born on May 3, 1778, in what is now Ashe County, North Carolina, but at the time of his birth it was part of Wilkes County. He died sometime after 1832 in Carroll County, Tennessee. He was married about 1809 to Martha Noland (also spelled Knowland and Knowling) who was a daughter of James Noland , and a sister of Wilmoth Noland, the second wife of Bailey's brother, Isaac Sparks. Bailey and Martha (Noland) Sparks were the parents of eleven children according to census records , of whom we have been able to identify seven . See the present issue of' the QUARTERLY, beginning on page 5611, for an article about Bailey Sparks and his family .

11. Isaac Sparks, son of Matthew and Sarah Sparks, was born on July 15, 1780, in what was then Wilkes County, North Carolina, but is now Ashe County. He died about 1869 in Carroll County, Tennessee. He had been three or four years old when he accompanied his parents and a number of his siblings in their move to Georgia. He was married in or about 1804 in Clarke County, Georgia, to Sarah Nutt, a daughter of William Nutt. Sarah died. between 1806 and 1808, and shortly thereafter Isaac was married (second) to Wilmoth Noland (also spelled Knowland and Knowling) , daughter of James Noland and a sister of Martha Noland, who was married to Isaac's brother, Bailey Sparks. Isaac was the father of twelve children. See the present issue of the QUARTERLY, beginning on page 5621, for an article about Isaac Sparks and his family.

12. Hardy Sparks, youngest child of Matthew and Sarah Sparks, was born on May 23, 1783, in what was then Wilkes County, North Carolina, but is now Ashe County. He died between 1850 and 1860 in Arkansas, probably in Scott County, where he and his wife were living when the 1850 census was taken. He was a babe in arms when his parents moved to Georgia. He was married about 1805 to Mary Hale (also spelled Hales and Hailes). We believe that she was a daughter of Isaiah Hale , for whom their first son was named; Isaiah Hale, born 1763/64, applied for a Revolutionary War pension from Hickman County, Tennessee, in 1832. Census records suggest that they were the parents of eight children, four sons and four daughters, but we have been able to identify only three sons . An article devoted to Hardy Sparks and these three sons appeared in the QUARTERLY of December 1990, Whole No. 152, pp.3687-3703. (We did not have Hardy's date of birth when that article was written, and we were then under the impression that he was one of eleven sons of Matthew and Sarah Sparks. We are quite certain to day that there were only 10 sons, and two daughters.)


Bailey Sparks (born 1778, died after 1832)

Son of Matthew and Sarah Sparks

Bailey Sparks, the tenth child and eighth son of Matthew and Sarah Sparks , was born on May 3, 1778, near the present-day village of Jefferson on the New River in what, since 1799, has been Ashe County, North Carolina. At the time of his birth, however, the land on which his parents and nine siblings were living was in Wilkes County , Wilkes having been formed in 1778 from Surry County . It was not until the close of the 18th Century, long after the Sparks family had moved to Georgia, that the part "of the County of Wilkes , lying west of the extreme height of the Appalachian mountains . . . is hereby erected into a separate and distinct county by the name of Ashe."

Matthew Sparks, Bailey's father, who seems always to have been an adventurer, had moved to this New River site in 1775 from the Forks of the Yadkin in what is now Davie County, North Carolina. At the time of Bailey's birth, his father was still "squatting" on a 400-acre tract that he planned to purchase from the state of North Carolina when it should become available. Such "squatting" was a common and respected custom among pioneers on the frontier at that time . Happily for Matthew and his family , he succeeded in obtaining from the Raleigh Land Office Warrant No. 163, for this tract in the fall of the same year that Bailey was born:

The abbreviation "Impt . " was the commonly used word "Improvements , " that is, whatever Matthew and his sons had built on the tract while they had been "squatting" on it, a log cabin and stable, no doubt , along with some rail fencing around a portion that they had cleared and begun cultivating .

Upon obtaining his warrant , a settler would then have his tract surveyed to establish the boundaries to enclose the number of acres authorized in the warrant . Using a compass and a measuring chain 5.5 yards long , also cailed a pole or rod , the surveyor would begin at the point designated in the warrant , which usually also included the direction that he should proceed , mapping the distances between landmarks . A landmark might be the boundary of a tract already surveyed, a road or path, a tree on the bank of a stream , or even a stake that the surveyor drove into the ground. The surveyor was usually aided by two "chain carriers," often being young men of the neighborhood.  In measuring Matthew Sparks's tract , Surveyor Joseph Herndon engaged 19-year-old Matthew Sparks, Jr., along with a James Vaningle, probably a neighbor , as his chain-carriers.  The survey prepared by Herndon for Matthew Sparks's tract was published in full in the QUARTERLY of June 1961, Whole No. 34, in the article entitled "Matthew Sparks (died 1793) of North Carolina & Georgia, a Biographical Sketch."

The three oldest brothers of Bailey Sparks served in the American Revolution : John (born 1755), Matthew, Jr. (born 1759), and William (born 1761). In 1832, Congress passed an Act authorizing pensions for all veterans of the Revolutionary War who had served for at least six months . Applicants did not have to prove financial need nor a health problem , but they were required to describe the nature of their service , the period of time , and written proof of some sort , often consisting of affidavits of citizens who had personal knowledge of it. Although John Sparks did not apply, the other two brothers of Bailey did so.   In their applications, both Matthew, Jr. and William stated they had been living with their parents in Wilkes County, North Carolina, when they had been drafted or they had enlisted in 1778.


It is in the pension applications of Matthew, Jr. and William Sparks that we learn of Matthew Sparks's last venture into a new frontier.  In applying for a pension under the 1832 Act , a veteran was required to state where he had lived following the war. Both Matthew, Jr. and William stated that initially they had returned to their parents' home on New River in Wilkes County.

Sarah Sparks gave birth to her eleventh child, a son named Isaac, on July 15, 1780. Less than three years later, she bore her last child, Hardy Sparks, on May 23, 1783. It was in 1783, when Bailey Sparks was five years old, that his father again felt the urge to venture to a new frontier as word spread that the state of Georgia would open for settlement the Creek Indian lands east of the Oconee River in 1784. We may wonder what Sarah's feelings were as her husband talked of the opportunity this might provide for their older sons, as well as himself, to buy new land.

William Sparks stated in his application for a pension that , with the "close of the Revolutionary ..... . he removed with his father to what was then Franklin, afterwards Jackson , and now [1832] Clarke County in the State of Georgia and settled about four miles from Athens in that state." Matthew Sparks, Jr. stated in his pension application that he had remained in Wilkes County "until three or four years after the close of the Revolutionary War" before leaving with his father for Georgia. (After half a century , veterans differed in their recalling the date that the conflict had actually ended; the surrender of Cornwallis had occurred on October 19, 1781, but the peace treaty with Great Britain definitively ending the war did not take place until September 3, 1783.)

Matthew Sparks last paid taxes in Wilkes County in 1782. We believe that it was a few months after the birth of Hardy Sparks in May 1783, that the family , with the exception of sons John and James , started for Georgia , again to find choice land on which to "squat" until a purchase of it could be made .

We will not repeat here the story of the Oconee War, during which, in 1793, the elder Matthew Sparks was killed by the Indians. Bailey Sparks was then fifteen years old.

We have only two records from Georgia pertaining to Bailey Sparks. It appears that he purchased land in Jackson County on August 20, 1798, from a man named William M. Stokes. (Deed Book A & B, page 128.) Jackson County had been formed from Franklin County in 1796 and included the land on which the Sparks family had settled in 1783184.  In 1805, Clarke County was created in part from Franklin and included the Sparks settlement . Unfortunately, no census record from Georgia has survived prior to the one for 1820 to assist us in tracing Bailey Sparks, but we know that he was there on February 22, 1810, when he sold land in Clarke County connected with the settlement of the estate of one Charles Stuart. We have not obtained actual copies of these two Georgia deeds.

From later records, we believe that Bailey and Isaac Sparks, with only two years difference in their ages , were close friends as well as brothers . Another reason promoting their closeness was the fact that their wives were sisters. Isaac's first wife , Sarah Nutt , had died , we believe , after only a few years of marriage , and in about 1808, Isaac was married, second, to Wilmoth Noland, daughter of James Noland. Bailey Sparks was married at about the same time to Wilmoth's sister, Martha Noland. It also seems probable that these two couples moved to gether to Tennessee prior to 1810, as had three brothers of Bailey and Isaac before them, Matthew, Jr., Jesse, and Hardy Sparks.

A militia muster roll has been preserved showing that on January 12, 1812, a company was formed commanded by a Captain William Teas and comprised of settlers in the counties of Hickman and Humphreys, Tennessee, which adjoined , "for the pro tection of the frontier of West Tennessee."  Both Bailey and Isaac Sparks were included in this roster.


From later records , it seems certain that Baiiey and Isaac had settled initially in Humphreys County. On the census of 1820, Bailey was shown as head of a household there, as was Isaac. Now 42 years old, Bailey was shown as heading a household that included his wife, enumerated in the 26 to 45 age category, as was Bailey himself. With them were five children , one male and four females , all under the age of ten. A female was also enumerated with Bailey's family in the "45 and up" category; this may have been Bailey's widowed mother, Sarah Sparks, who would then have been eighty-one, assuming that Nathan Sparks was correct regarding her age when she died in 1831, as recorded in his family Bible.

Sometime during the mid-1820s, both Bailey and Isaac Sparks moved west to Carroll County, Tennessee. Carroll County had been created in 1821 from what until then had been what was called the Western District of Tennessee. Until Benton County was created in 1835 from Humphreys and Henry Counties, Carroll adjoined Humphreys County. A researcher who has examined the land records in Carroll County has found no record of Bailey acquiring land there, although, as a resident of Carroll County in 1826, he sold land that he still owned in Humphreys County, as shown in the following abstract of this deed (Carroll County Book D, p.111).

This Indenture made this the Twenty fourth July in the year of our Lord Eighteen hundred and Twenty six between Baily Sparks of the State of Tennessee and Carroll County of the one part and William Blair of the County of Humphreys in consideration of the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars to him in hand paid by the said Blair , the receipt thereof is acknowledged, hath given, bargained, granted, sold, aliened, conveyed and confirmed unto the said Blair, his heirs and assigns forever, a certain tract or parcel of land situated, lying and being in the County of Humphreys and State afforesaid , on Hurricane Creek of Duck River bounded as follows, to wit:  Beginning at an elm the South West corner of Isaiah Hammilton's occupant claim on the North bank of said creek. Thence North two hundred and two poles to a small white oak and double ash .  Thence West twenty eight and a half poles to a black gum and red bud . Thence South one hundred and two and a half poles to a stake on a hill. Thence East seventy eight and a half poles to the Beginning, containing fifty acres. . . In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and fixed my seal the day and date above written.. . .
Witnesses: Henry Epperson
Benjamin Nolan
[signed] Baily Sparks
Bailey Sparks often omitted the "e" in signing his name. (A pole is, like a rod, 16 1/2  feet in length.) This deed was also registered in Humphreys County in Book D.

As early as 1802 members of the Sparks family began appealing to both the state of Georgia and to the Federal government for reparations for their losses to the Creek Indians. It was not until the 1820's, however, that the Federal Government began giving serious consideration to these claims . In a file entitled "Indian Depredations" at the Georgia Department of Archives and History in Atlanta, a number of documents pertaining to the Sparks claims are preserved. We published several of these in the article devoted to Matthew and Sarah Sparks in the QUARTERLY of June 1961, Whole No . 34. Included is an inventory of the losses suffered by Matthew from 1786 until his death in 1793. His older sons made similar, but smaller, claims.


Many years ago, the present writer corresponded with a great-grandson of Jesse Sparks (1773-1858), the eighth child of Matthew and Sarah Sparks. This great-grandson was J. Kent Sparks of Pope, Tennessee, who died in 1966. Jesse Sparks was living in Hickman County, Tennessee, in the late 1820s when the Federal Government agreed to receive reimbursement claims from the victims of the Creek Indian attacks. A number of documents in this connection had been inherited by J. Kent Sparks , who kindly loaned them to this writer to copy . Unfortunately , this was before the invention of photocopying .

Jesse Sparks, himself, claimed that a mare he had owned, worth $70.00, had been stolen. One of the documents in J. Kent Sparks's possession was Jesse's application for letters of administration for his father's estate, which was approved on September 14, 1829. This gave Jesse the power to collect the reparations for his father on behalf of all the heirs . A commission had been appointed to determine the amount to which each victim, or his heirs, was entitled.  In anticipation of a payment to Matthew's heirs, Jesse Sparks and his brother, Nathan, had obtained authorization to travel to Milledgeville, "the Executive Department of Georgia," to collect and divide this payment among the heirs. Among the documents in Jesse Sparks's collection is an agreement dated September 11, 1828, signed by Sarah, widow of Matthew, and sons Isaac, Hardy, and Bailey Sparks, authorizing Jesse and Nathan to serve as:

. .our true and lawfull Attornies in fact for us and in our names and for our use and benefit, to demand and receive any sum or sums of money which may be due or coming to us or either of us . . . in consequence of the destruction or loss of the property of Mathew Sparks by the Creek Nation of Indians. . .
Sarah Sparks signed this document by mark as "Sary Sparks." Her three sons signed their names . Isaac and Bailey Sparks also witnessed their mother make her mark.

A letter to Jesse Sparks from R. A. Green, Secretary for Georgia Governor, William Schley, dated November 20, 1835, is among the papers owned by J. Kent Sparks in the 1960s. This letter informed Jesse that, at long last, the reparation funds due himself and the heirs of Matthew Sparks were available : " . . . Jesse Sparks is entitled to $70.00 principal and $17.25 interest making $87.25, and Matthew Sparks is entitled to $1112.00 principal and $316.00 interest, making $1,428,10..." By this time, Sarah, widow of Matthew, had died.

When the 1830 census of Carroll County, Tennessee, was taken, Bailey Sparks  was shown as head of his family there, as were, also, his brothers, Isaac and Hardy.  Bailey's age was marked in the 40 to 50 category; his wife in the 30 to
40 range. The children in their family now numbered nine , as follows :

1 male
1   "
1 female
2 females
4 females
15 to 20
  5 to 10
10 to 15
  5 to 10
 under 5

Sometime prior to September 1832, James Noland, father of Martha Sparks and Wilmoth Sparks, died in Humphreys County, Tennessee.   On September 10, 1832, Jesse Noland, who was probably a son of James, purchased the rights of inheritance to tile land of James Noland in Humphreys County held by Martha and Wilmoth Sparks , as well as that of another daughter, Elizabeth Epperson. The text of this deed follows:


This indenture made this 10th day of Sept. A.D. 1832 between Bailey Sparks and Martha, his wife, Isaac Sparks and Wilmoth, his wife, and Henry Epperson and Elizabeth, his wife, all of the County of Carroll, heirs at law of James Noland, late of Humphreys County, dec'd of the one part and Jesse Noland of said County and State of Tennessee of the other part. Witnesseth that. . for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred and seventy dollars to them in hand paid by the said Jesse Noland. . have given, granted, bargained and sold. . . unto the said Jesse Noland a certain tract or parcel of land containing one hundred and twenty two acres be the same more or less, situated, lying and being in Humphreys County, aforesaid, on Hurricane Creek and adjoining the lands of James Teas, Esquire, and others and which said lands came to them by descent as heirs of the aforesaid James Noland, dec'd.. .
In testimony whereof the said parties have hereunto set their hands and affixed their seals.
Isaac Sparks (seal)
Baily Sparks (seal)
Henry Epperson (seal) her
Martha X Sparks (seal) mark
Wilmoth Sparks (seal) 
Elizabeth Epperson (seal)
State of Tennessee )
Carroll County Court )
September Term 1832
. . . The said Martha Sparks , Wilmoth Sparks and Elizabeth Epperson they being privately examined as the law directs, separately and apart from their husbands and having voluntarily relinquished their right of dower to the estate conveyed without compulsion or coertion from their said husbands by the said Indenture to be their act and deed and ordered to be certified to Humphreys County for registration and the State tax paid to me. A copy Test.
From the above document , it is evident that Bailey Sparks was alive in September 1832, but this is the last record that we have found of him. A researcher named Mrs. C. F. Delap of Springfield, Tennessee, who examined the court records of Carroll County, Tennessee, a number of years ago, reported that Bailey Sparks had been a member of the Carroll County Court prior to September 1832, when it was noted that he had resigned his post. We may ponder whether he may have resigned for reasons of health or whether he was about to move from Carroll County.  In no extant census for 1840 has a household headed by Bailey Sparks been found.

There is some reason for us to wonder whether he and Martha, in 1832 or 1833, moved to Mississippi, possibly with at least the younger members of their family, settling in the Carroll , Lafayette . and Yalobusha Counties area. These and other Mississippi Counties were part of the "Choctaw Indian Cession" of 1830.  As noted below , it appears that some of Bailey's children are found in the records there .


Based on the census records of 1820 and 1830 where Bailey Sparks was shown as head of a household in Tennessee, it appears that he and his wife, Martha (Noland) Sparks, may have been the parents of as many as eleven children, but for a num ber of these we can only speculate regarding their identification .

l. A son appears to have been born to Bailey and Martha Sparks about 1809. He was shown on the 1820 census as a male under the age of 10 years, and on the 1830 census as between 15 and 20. We have not learned his name.

2. Mary H. Sparks, daughter of Bailey and Martha (Noland) Sparks, was born about 1811. She was married to Michael F. Fields prior to 1830; they were living in Carroll County, Tennessee, when the 1830 census was taken, but by 1840 they were in Carroll County , Mississippi; they then lived briefly in Yalobusha County, Mississippi, but by 1850 they were in Choctaw County, Mississippi.

We are indebted to Mrs . Lemuel M. Rathbone of Austin , Texas , a great-great-granddaughter of Michael F . and Mary H . (Sparks) Fields , for information on this family; she has provided us with a llst of their children : Some years ago , Jeff Lovelace of Dallas, Texas, wrote that his great-great-grandmother, Eady (Sparks) Goodrum , had been born on December 7 , 1816, he thought, in Dickson County, Tennessee. Dickson adjoins Humphreys County, Tennessee; we are certain that it was in Humphreys County that Eady was born . Mr . Lovelace sent us a photocopy of a page from a family Bible that he had found--he did not know the whereabouts of the original. We give here the contents of this record in the hope that it may prove helpful to someone. Family Bible record of John J. and Eady (Sparks) Goodrum, continued: The household of John J. Goodrum appeared on the 1850 census of Yalabusha County, Mississippi (page 478) "South of the Yalabusha River."On this census Eady's name was given as Edith; perhaps the census taker misunderstood or just assumed that Eady was a nickname for Edith .
John J.  Goodrum age 39   Born in Mississippi $250 Real Estate
Edith      " 33         " Tennessee
Martha      " 10         "  Mississippi
Mary      " 8         "          "
James L.      " 2         "          "

Jeff Lovelace has noted that Eady (Sparks) Goodrum died in Burleson County, Texas, and was buried in the Hix Cemetery in Burleson County. Her husband's date of death was not known to Mr. Lovelace, but he believed that he had been buried in the Little River Cemetery in Milam County, Texas. Sarah Francis Goodrum, from whom Mr . Lovelace descends, was born in Gonzales County, Texas; she was married to William Henry Lovelace on February 4, 1875. in Milam County, Texas. She died on January 5, 1929, in Brown County, Texas.

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