“He who careth not from whence he came, careth little whither he goeth.” Daniel Webster



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


of Henry Sparks


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THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, published by The Sparks Family Association.

      Paul E. Sparks, President, 155 N Hite Ave., Louisville 6, Kentucky.
      William Perry Johnson, Historian-Genealogist, Box 531, Raleigh, North Carolina.
      Russell E. Bidlack, Secretary-Treasurer, 1709 Cherokee Rd., Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Sparks Family Association was founded in March, 1953, as a non-profit organization devoted to the assembling of and preserving for posterity all genealogical and historical material pertaining to the Sparks family in America.  Membership in the Association is open to all persons connected in any way with the Sparks family, whether by blood, marriage, or adoption, and especially to those interested in genealogical and historical research. Membership falls into three classes: Active, Contributing, and Sustaining. Active membership dues are two dollars per year; Contributing membership dues are three dollars per year; Sustaining membership dues are any amount over three dollars. All members, whether Active, Contributing, or Sustaining, receive THE SPARKS QUARTERLY as it is published in March, June, September, and December. Libraries, genealogical and historical societies, and individuals may subscribe to the QUARTERLY without joining the Association at the rate of two dollars per year. Back issues are kept in print and are available for fifty cents per issue. The first issue of the QUARTERLY was published in March, l953. The editor from March, 1953, to September, 1954, was Paul E. Sparks; since September, 1954, the editor has been Russell E. Bidlack. The QUARTERLY is printed at the Edwards Letter Shop, 711 N. University, Ann Arbor, Michigan.


(Editor’s note: Much of the information contained in this sketch has been supplied by Mrs. Henry J. Miller, 350 Euclid Avenue, Oakland 10, California. Mrs. Miller is a great-granddaughter of Henry Sparks.)

In the June, 1956, issue of The Sparks Quarterly (Vol. IV, No. 2 [Whole No. 14]) appeared an article entitled “The Sparks Family of Orange, Culpeper and Madison Counties, Virginia” which included material on the ancestry of Henry Sparks (1753-1836) of Owen County, Kentucky. In the June, 1957, issue (Vol. V, No. 2 [Whole No. 18]) we published Henry Sparks’s application for a Revolutionary War pension. Here we propose to give a more detailed sketch of Henry Sparks’s interesting life and, in later issues, a record of his descendants.

Henry Sparks was born June 16, 1753, in that part of Culpeper County, Virginia, which had been a part of Orange County. He was the son of Thomas and Mary (Towles) Sparks and was reared on his father’s farm located in the north-east section of what is now Madison County, about two and one-half miles from the town of Slate Mills. His father, Thomas Sparks, who had been born about 1720, was a son of John and Mary (Taylor?) Sparks and his mother, who was born November 19 1723, was the daughter of Stokley and Ann Towles. Stokeley Towles, born about 1690 in Accomac, lived in Middlesex County, Virginia, until 1737 when he moved to a plantation on the east side of Robinson River, at the foot of Thoroughfare Mountain, in what is now Madison County. Without doubt, the Sparkses were Towles’s neighbors in Middlesex County and moved to what is now Madison County at about the same time. Stokeley Towles’s wife, Ann, died between 1742 and.1747, and on February 28, 1748, he made settlement of the estate of Thomas Wharton, whose widow, Jane, he had married. Jane was the daughter of John Sparks and a sister of Thomas Sparks, thus an aunt of Henry Sparks.

Thomas Sparks made his will on December 10, 1784, and died in 1786. This will was printed in the June, 1956, issue of the Quarterly, pp. l34-35 [Whole No. 14]. Henry Sparks received


 a part of the land on which his father was then living. Also mentioned in Thomas Sparks’s will, were Henry’s brothers and sisters: John Sparks (married ca.1767 Phoebe Smith); Humphrey Sparks (married Milly Nalle); Thomas Sparks; Ann Sparks (married Jacob Aylor); Lucy Sparks (married James Kilby); Mary Sparks (married first, Russell Vawter, second, James Smith) and Frankey Sparks.

Henry Sparks was twenty-two years old when the Revolutionary War broke out in 1775--just the right age to aid the American cause--and on February 2, 1776, he enlisted for two years as a private in Capt. Oliver Towles’s Company of the 6th Virginia Regiment. Oliver Towles, an eminent lawyer, eventually rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel during the Revolution, and it may have been through his influence that Henry Sparks, his nephew, was transferred at Morristown, New Jersey, on May 6, 1777, to the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard, commanded by Capt. Caleb Gibbs.

The Commander-in-Chief’s Guard was a unit whose purpose it was to guard the person, baggage, and papers of George Washington. It was composed of  “the flower and pick of the American Army.” (See Carlos E. Godfrey, The Commander- in-Chief 's guard, Revolutionary War, Washington, Stevenson-Smith Co., 1904.)  It was organized on March 12, l776 pursuant to a general order issued by Washington the previous day. Washington ordered that the unit be composed of men who could be recommended “for their sobriety, honesty and good behavior,” adding that he wished them “to be from five feet eight inches to five feet ten inches, handsomely and well made, and, as there is nothing in his eyes more desirable than cleanliness in a soldier, he desires that particular attention may be made in the choice of such men as are clean and spruce.” (Quoted from Godfrey, pp. 19-20.)

In June, 1776, several members of the Guard were suspected of having been engaged by the British to assassinate Washington and one, a private named Thomas Hickey, a deserter from the British army, was hanged for attempting to poison the General. Many members of the Guard were discharged during the winter of 1776-77, and in the Spring of 1777 Washington ordered that his guard be reorganized. He sent circular letters to the colonels of various Virginia regiments of infantry requesting that they each choose four men from their respective commands to form a new guard. He appears to have preferred Virginia soldiers for this important service, and besides asking that they be of a uniform height, he also insisted that only native-born soldiers “who have family connections in the country” be sent him. “You will therefore send me none but natives, and men of some property, if you have them.” (Quoted from Godfrey, p. 42.)

Between May 1 and 6, 1777, the new infantry guard was organized, consisting of four sergeants, four corporals, one fifer, and forty-seven privates, under the command of Capt. Caleb Gibbs. It was on May 6 that Henry Sparks joined the Guard as one of the forty-seven privates. On June 4, 1777, he was promoted to 3rd Corporal.

Henry Sparks, as a member of the Guard, accompanied Washington and participated in several important engagements during the summer and fall of 1777, including the Battle of Brandywine on September 11 and the Battle of Germantown on October 4. Late in November, Washington decided to winter his army at Valley Forge about twenty-one miles from Philadelphia. The Guard was quartered immediately to the east of the stone-house of Isaac Potts which was occupied by Washington. They lived in tents while they were building their log huts.

On February 2, 1778, Henry Sparks’s two-year enlistment came to an end, and he was discharged at Valley Forge. The story of that terrible winter at Valley Forge has been told many times, and there are numerous accounts of the suffering and privations which the American soldiers were forded to undergo. Unfortunately, Henry Sparks did not leave a written account of his experiences during this enlistment, and his


children and grandchildren who doubtless heard him tell of how he guarded General Washington have long since died. No one remembers the stories today. One thing has survived, however, and that is the tall hat which was a part of Henry Sparks’s uniform ‘while he was a member of Washington’s Guard. It is now preserved in the museum at Frankford, Kentucky. Below is a picture taken a number of years ago of George Madison Sparks, great-grandson of Henry, wearing the famous hat.

[Here appears the photograph described (above) without a caption:]

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Following his discharge, Henry Sparks returned to his home in Virginia - - to the wife whom he had married a few days before his enlistment and to his daughter, Elizabeth, now four months old, whom he had never seen. When spring came, however, he enlisted again, this time for six months as a private in his father-in-law, Captain James Clark’s Company in Colonel James Barbour’s Regiment of Virginia Militia. His company joined a brigade under General Edward Stevens and marched into North Carolina near Cheraw Hills where they remained for the period of their enlistment. In his pension application prepared in 1833, Henry Sparks recalled that one half of the soldiers from Madison County died of disease during those six months.

At the close of his second enlistment, Henry Sparks returned home where he again took up farming. On December 11, 1779, his second child, James, was born. In March, 1780, Henry Sparks re-enlisted for another tour of duty, this time in Captain Edward Terrill’s Company, Colonel James Barbour’s Regiment of Virginia Militia. The regiment marched toward Chesapeake Bay to engage a British unit which had been reported landing there, but before reaching their destination they received word that the British had reembarked and left the coast. The unit returned to Madison County where they were kept in readiness to march, but were not again called out.

Sometime in January, 1776, Henry Sparks had married Lucy Clark, daughter of Captain James and Mary (Marston) Clark, of Culpeper County, Virginia. When Lucy (Clark) Sparks applied for a pension in 1839, she stated that she had been born in 1760 or 1761, but that she had no record of her birth. In support of her claim for a pension,


Lucy’s brother, John Clark, stated that after Lucy and Henry were married, Lucy returned to her parents’ home and remained there until Henry returned from the Army.  Lucy’s father, Capt. James Clark, born about 1737, died in 1789; he was the son of William Clark, Sr., who died in 1787, and Ann (James) Clark. Mary Marston, Lucy’s mother, was a daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth (Towles) Marsden.  The latter was born December 7, 1716, and was a daughter of Stokeley and Ann Towles.  Thus, Henry and Lucy were first cousins, once removed, both being descendants of Stokeley and Ann Towles.

James Clark, Henry Sparks’s father-in-law, made his will on June 2, 1789, and died the same year. He left his daughter, Lucy, “a negro Girl named Rachael.”  When Henry’ a father, Thomas Sparks, died in 1787 he left Henry “a parcell of Land.”

In 1795, Henry Sparks and his growing family moved from Madison County, Virginia, to Franklin County, Kentucky, where they remained five years. In 1800, the family moved to that area which became Owen County, Kertucky, in 1819. There Henry Sparks became an extensive land owner, operated a distillery, made brandy, and ran a horse mill. According to H. L. Sparks of North Pleasureville, Kentucky, who was named after his great uncle, Henry Sparks, Henry was known always under the nickname “Harry” and, because of his mill, was often called “Horse Mill Harry.”  Mr. Sparks recalls that older members of the family referred to him as a “great Methodist.”  Mr. Sparks recently visited the ruins of the old horse mill and found the original mill stones which Henry had used.

Henry Sparks’s land in Owen County was called “Sparks Bottom” and was located along the Kentucky River near the town of Monterey. According to family tradition, Henry Sparks was granted this tract of land, consisting of one thousand acres, in payment for his services in the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard.

Henry Sparks died on August 14, 1836. Nine years earlier he had made his will which reads as follows (a photostat of the original document has been obtained from Owen County; punctuation and capitalization have been modernized in the following transcription):

        In the name of God, Amen. I, Henry Sparks of County of Owen and State of Kentucky, being weak in body but of sound mind and disposeing memory (for which I thank God) and calling unto mind the uncertainity of human life and being desirious of disposing of what worldly goods it hath pleased God to bless me with do ordain and establish this as my last will and testament in manner and form following, towit:

First, I give and beqeath to my beloved wife Lucy Sparks the whole of my estate, real, personal, and mixed, to have, hold and enjoy for and during her natural life.
2nd, I have  heretofore given to my son Anthony Sparks the tract of land on which he now resides and have conveyed the same to him which is to be the full of his portion of my estate.
3rd, I have heretofore given to my son Reuben Sparks one hundred acres of land where Samuel Horton formerly  resided, said Horton having conveyed the same to him heretofore which is to be in full of his portion of my estate.
4th, I have heretofore given my son Madison Sparks one hundred acres of land where Samuel Horton formerly resided, said Horton having conveyed the same to him, which is to be in full of his portion of my estate.
5th, I give to my son Henry Sparks and my grandson Elijah Sparks (son of Thomas Sparks, deced.)  five hundred acres of land in the county of Pendleton to be equally divided between them and their heirs forever.
6th, I give to my son John Sparks seventy 5 acres of land which I have lately purchased from William Marston and  he is to have twenty five acres more adjoining
the before mentioned 75 acres to be laid out of my present tract whereon I now reside.
7th, I give in addition to the former donation herein made to my son Reuben Sparks fifty acres of my farm whereon  I now reside to include the field in the river bottom which is enclosed with a stone fence and up land so as to make his fifty acres and if he should die without issue or never return (being at this time absent from the state) then and in that case the same is to be sold and eaqually divided between my three daughters.
8th, I give the residue of my farm be the same more or less, with appurtenances thereunto belonging, to my son  Alexander Iverson Sparks.
9th, I give to my three daughters, Betsey, Folly, and Rhoda, the whole of my personal estate be the same more or less, out of which George Hill is first to account for the sum of fifty eight dollars which he has already received from me,  after paying of which he is then to be eaqual with the residue with the following exception, that is to say my daughter Polly is to have fifty dollars more than either Betsey or Rhoda.
10th, I give my son Henry Sparks my horse mill with the appurtenances thereto belonging, including one half acre of  ground, to him and his heirs forever.
11th, I give my granddaughter Kitty Sparks one cow and calf, one feather bed and furniture which is to be taken out of my personal estate, the grant to my three daughters notwithstanding.
12th and lastly, I do hereby constitute and appoint my son Anthony Sparks my sole executor of this my last will and  testament, hereby revoking all and every will by me heretofore made. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 23d day of August 1827.
                Atteste:                                                                                                 [signed] Henry Sparks Sr. (Seal)
                        Cyrus Wingate.

Following Henry Sparks’s death, his son Anthony took an inventory of his father’s personal estate, with William Smither, Robert Smither, and Spencer Thomas acting as appraisers. This list of property reads as follows:

Cash on hand  $00.00   1 10 gallon kettle 2.50
1 note on James Medly for  24.00   1 salt kettle  5.00
1   "    on George P. Hill 54.34   1 conk shel .50
1 bay horse 30.00   1 plow& gear  2.00
1 desk 18.00   1 large clevis  1.00
 2 circle tables  6.00    1 fire shovel 0.50
1 corner cupboard  5.00   1 shovel & tongs 1.25
1 mantle clock  25.00   1 ox cart 17.00
1 hone 1.00   1 pr. large hand irons 2.00
1 doz. split bottom chairs 7.50   1 wheat fan 10.00
1 family Bible & notes on   20 head of sheep  30.00
 New Testament 3.00    31 head of hogs 155.00 
Dictionary of the Holy Bible 3.00    1 pided cow 18.00
Books 4.75    1 red heifer 12.00
1 bed and furniture 25.00   1 white face red cow 12.00
1 bed and furniture 18.00    1 white face pided [cow] 20.00
1    "     "        " 20.00   1 bedstead 0.75
1    "   and furniture 20.00   1 pr. stillards 1.00
1 trunk 2.00   1 yoke of steears 45.00
1 large dish  1.00   1 post & railing auger 2.00
1 lot of cupboard ware 2.00   1 18 gallon kettle 3.50

 I do certify that the foregoing inventory contains all the personal estate of Henry Sparks and which hath come to my hands Octo. 21st 1836
               [signed] Anthony Sparks, Exect.


Henry and Lucy (Clark) Sparks were the parents of twelve children, whose names are given below. A more detailed record of these children and their descendants will be given in a later issue of the Quarterly:

(1) Elizabeth Sparks, born Sept. 23, 1777, died Jan. 31, 1862. She married Leonard Smither.
(2) James B. Sparks, born Feb. 5   December 11, 1779, died sometime prior to 1826. He married Rachel Petty.

[Scanner's note:  For this error see SQ p. 4408.]

(3) Anthony Sparks, born Jan. 7, 1781, died in 1865. He married Mary Sparks.
(4) William Sparks, born Feb. 5, 1785. He married Kitty O. Peel.
(5) Thomas Sparks, born Aug. 11, 1787, died prior to 1827.
(6) Mary Sparks, born Dec. 14, 1790, died July 30, 1855. She married Joshua Wilhoit.
(7) Reuben Sparks, born Sept. 30, 1792.
(8) Madison Sparks, born Aug. 10, 1795, died Aug. 13, 1873. He married (first) Fanny Sparks; (second) Mrs. Winifred (Thomas) Stafford.
(9) Rhoda Sparks, born about 1800, died about 1867. She married George p. Hill.
(10) John Sparks, born June 13, 1803, died Sept. 18, 1871. Unmarried.
(11) Alexander Iverson Sparks, born Jan. 8, 1807, died June 28, 1879. He married (first) Mary A. Calvert; (second) Sallie A. Fades.
(12) Henry Sparks, Jr., born about 1810. He married Sarah Smither.

[Scanner's note:  This error is pointed out on page 1943 of the Quarterly for December, 1977, Whole No. 100, which states the following:The Henry Sparks who married Sarah Smither (as stated in error on page 517) was actually a grandson of Henry and Lucy (Clark) Sparks and a son of Anthony Sparks. Anthony Sparks, son of Henry and Lucy (Clark), was born January 7, 1781; he died in 1865 in St. Joseph, Missouri. He married Mary Sparks, a daughter of Humphrey and Milley (Nalle) Sparks. The third son of Anthony and Mary Sparks was Henry Sparks, born June 28, 1810, in Monterey, Owen County, Kentucky; he married Sarah (Sallie) Smither in Monterey, Kentucky, on December 22, 1831. He died on December 31,1884, in Barry County, Missouri.]

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


It is with deep regret that we report the passing of another charter member of The Sparks Family Association. Dr. David Hoyt Sparks, who had practiced medicine in Birmingham, Alabama, for the past forty years, died in a Birmingham hospital on October 3, 1960. Surviving are his wife, Maxine Elliott McCarty Sparks; a daughter, Mrs. Margaret Sparks Gaines, of Atlanta; a granddaughter, Jacqueline Gaines, and a grandson, Horace James Gaines, Jr.; and a brother, O. H. Sparks, of Doyleston, Penna.

Dr. Sparks was born on May 31, 1886, at Spring Garden, Alabama. He was a graduate of Jacksonville State Normal College and studied medicine at the University of Virginia. He was graduated from Tulane University in 1912 and interned at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. Dr. Sparks served as a captain in World War I. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Ensley, Alabama, the Jefferson County Medical Society, and the Alabama State Medical Society. He was a Mason.

Dr. Sparks was a son of David Martin Sparks (1846-1928) and America Pauline Nelson Sparks (1848-1903). David Martin Sparks was born near Cave Springs, Georgia, and died at Cedartown, Georgia. He was the son of Harris Sparks and Mary Martin Boone Sparks. Harris Sparks was born on June 2, 1815, in Fayette County, Georgia, and died in Cherokee County, Alabama, on June 7, 1854. The parentage of Harris Sparks has not been determined. Following are the names of the children of Harris and Mary Martin (Boone) Sparks:
        (1) Sarah Daniel Sparks, born Nov. 19, 1837.
        (2) Missouri Eveline Sparks, born May 22, 1839.
        (3) Banks Sparks, born Dec. 19, 1840.
        (4) Martha Ann E. Sparks, born Aug. 31, 1842.
        (5) Lucinda Catherine Sparks, born June 16, 1844.
        (6) David Martin Sparks, born July 15, 1846.
        (7) Harris Peolia Worth Sparks, born Feb. 22, 1850.
        (8) Mary Almedia F. D. Sparks, born Nov. 27, 1852.
        (9) William O. Butler Sparks, born June 4, 1848.


JEREMIAH SPARKS, SR., ca.1765-1840


For a number of years, your editor, with the help of several members of the Association, has been gathering information on that branch of the Sparks family which lived in Franklin County, Georgia, during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Because this branch of the family was large and because several members who were contemporaries had the same forenames, research has been difficult. The present sketch deals primarily with just one member of this family and his descendants--JEREMIAH SPARKS, SR., who moved from Franklin County to Morgan County, Georgia, where he died in 1840.

There were two men named Jeremiah Sparks living in Franklin County around 1800. They were closely related, but the degree of that relationship has not been determined. Various records have been found pertaining to each Jeremiah; because one consistently signed with a mark while the other signed his full name, it is possible to distinguish between them when their signatures appear on documents.

The Jeremiah Sparks with whom we are concerned in this sketch was the one who signed his name in his own hand, and he was frequently referred to either as “Sr.” or “Esq.” in the records, while the other Jeremiah was often referred to as “Jr.”

Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., was born between 1760 and 1770 (his age on the 1830 census was given as between 60 and 70), while Jeremiah Sparks, Jr., was slightly younger. It is not believed that Jeremiah, Jr., however, could have been the son of Jeremiah, Sr.; the designations “Sr.” and “Jr.” appear to have been used merely to distinguish the elder Jeremiah from the younger Jeremiah. This was a common practice.

Whereas the subject of this sketch, Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., moved from Franklin County to Morgan County, Georgia, Jeremiah Sparks, Jr., moved to Gwinnett County, Georgia. He was listed in that county on the census of 1820 with a large family.

Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., was probably born in either Virginia or North Carolina. We know that he served as a soldier in the American Revolution because when his name was drawn in Georgia’s “Fifth Land Lottery” in 1827 he was designated as being a Revolutionary Soldier. He was probably the Jeremiah Sparks whose name appears on the Revolutionary War Army Accounts in North Carolina as being a resident of Salisbury District (Salisbury District included the area which later comprised Rockingham County where we know Jeremiah lived during the latter part of the 1780’s.)

The earliest record of Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., which we have found thus far is a deed dated May 13, 1785, by which he purchased from Thomas and Margaret Sparks of Guilford County, North Carolina, a tract of land containing 402 acres. This land was located in that part of Guilford County which was cut off and became Rockingham County shortly after Jeremiah purchased his tract. He paid 50 pounds for this land, which was described in the deed as being  “on the waters of Lick fork of Hogans Creek it being the survey or Tract of Land he [Thomas Sparks] now live on as will appear by a Deed bearing Date March lst 1780 containing by estimation fours hundred and two acres to wit Beginning at a white oak on John Thrashers line Running South one hundred & fifty poles to a black Jack thence west one hundred & fifty poles to a white oak thence North two hundred and sixty poles to a post oak on Mullens line to a Beach on the bank of the creek thence East one hundred & fifty poles to the Beginning.” The witnesses to this deed were William Bethell and Isham Hancock, This tract was a part of a 452 acre tract granted to Thomas Sparks in 1780. Thomas Sparks sold the remaining 50 acres to Joseph McClain in 1786. (For abstracts of all the early Sparks deeds in Rockingham County, see William Perry Johnson’s “Sparkses of Rockingham County, North Carolina” in the September, 1.956, issue of The Sparks Quarterly (Vol. IV, No. 3, pp. 162-64.[Whole No. 15])


In all probability, Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., was closely related to the Thomas Sparks from whom he bought this land. Perhaps Jeremiah was the son of Thomas Sparks. It is also quite possible that Thomas Sparks belonged to the Sparks family of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and that he moved to North Carolina with his family about 1780. (Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and Rockingham County, North Carolina, adjoin each other.) See William Perry Johnson’s “The Sparks Family of Pittsylvania County, Virginia” in the Quarterly of September, 1955, and March, 1956, (Vol. III, No. 3 [Whole No. 11], and Vol.4, No. 1[Whole No. 13]).

Shortly after selling their land in Rockingham County, N.C., Thomas and Margaret Sparks moved to Franklin County, Georgia.

On November 10, 1787, Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., sold 200 acres of the tract of 402 acres which he had purchased in 1785 to William Bethell for 120 pounds (whereas he had paid Thomas Sparks only 50 pounds for the entire tract of 402 acres two years earlier). In this deed, Jeremiah’ s wife was called “Mary”. The place of residence of Jeremiah and Mary was left blank in this deed, probably meaning they either had moved, or were about to move, away from Rockinghain County. Jeremiah signed his name in full while Mary signed by mark. (For a description of this land, see page 163 of the September, 1956, issue of the Quarterly, Vol. IV, No. 3.[Whole No. 15])

On December 12, 1788, Jeremiah and his wife, Mary, sold the remaining 202 acres of their tract of land in Rockingham County, N.C., to William Bethell for 100 pounds. In this deed, Jeremiah and Mary were identified as “of Franklin County, Georgia.” Jeremiah again signed his name while Mary signed by mark. (For a description of this tract, see page 163 of the Quarterly.)

Thus we know that Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., and his wife, Mary, moved from Rockingham County, N.C., to Franklin County, Ga., about 1787-88. One other Sparks is known to have lived in Rockingham County and later in Franklin County, Ga. His name was Thomas Sparks, Jr., and was a son of Thomas and Margaret. On February 22, 1797, Thomas Sparks, Jr., purchased 108 acres of land in Rockingham County, N.C., from William Bethell. On August 25, 1798, Thomas Sparks, Jr., “and wife Elizabeth” sold this same land to Jeremiah Odell and moved shortly thereafter to Franklin County, Ga. When the first land lottery was held in Georgia in 1805 to distribute land formerly held by the Creek Indians, Thomas, Jr., was listed in those records as “Thomas, son of Thomas.”

The earliest record pertaining to Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., in Franklin County which we have found thus far is dated August 15, 1790. On that date, Jeremiah Sparks and Thomas Sparks, Sr., were both chosen as jurors. On this record, Jeremiah’s name was given as “Jere Sparks,” and on later records he frequently used this abbreviation in his signature. On May 5, 1793, he was listed as an Ensign of the 4th Company of Franklin County Militia.

Unfortunately, the early records of Franklin County, Ga., are fragmentary. The earliest tax list for the county which has been found is dated 1798. Among the land owners were listed the following Sparkses:

Jermh Sparks  350 acres, valued at  $250; 1 dwelling house, $50 
Jermh Sparks, Jr.  100    “          “     "   $  80; 1       “          “     $30
James Sparkes  132    “          “     “   $130; 1       “          “     $30 
Thomas Sparkes   50    “          “     “   $  90; 1       “          “     $40
Elijah Sparkes  198    “          “     “   $150; 1       “          "     $40

The first Jeremiah, with 350 acres, is the one with whom we are concerned in this sketch. On the tax lists of 1802 and 1803, he was listed as “Jeremiah Sparks, Esq.”


He was a slave-owner, and sometime prior to 1797 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace in Franklin County. An early marriage which he performed as Justice of the Peace was discovered by chance recently in a War of 1812 pension application made by Louisa (Odom) Manasco of Walker County, Alabama, in 1853. Mrs. Manasco stated in her application that she and her husband had been married in Franklin County, Ga., on November 4, 1797, by Jeremiah Sparks, J.P. No systematic search has been made for documents on record in Franklin County which Jeremiah signed as Justice of the Peace. We have obtained photostats of all the Sparks deeds on record in the county, however, and on a number of these his signature appears. For instance, on January 27, 1801, Jeremiah Sparks, Jr., purchased 100 acres of land from Daniel Morgan and on the following day, January 28, 1801, Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., signed a sworn statement attached to the deed--his signature appears as “Jerre Sparks J.P.”

No deeds have been found in Franklin County by which Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., purchased land, although he was taxed for 350 acres in 1798 and for 340 acres in 1802. In 1802, he obtained a grant of 200 acres from the state of Georgia. On December 13, 1805, he sold what seems to have been his total estate at that time in Franklin County, consisting of 300 acres “on both forks of Eastnollee Creek.” This deed of sale reveals that Jeremiah had purchased 100 acres of this tract from William Hay, and that the other 200 acres comprised his grant from the state. The entire tract, according to this deed, adjoined land owned by Elijah Sparks and Daniel Morgan. The deed was witnessed by Tho. D. Sparks and Jn. Smith. Jeremiah sold this land to Thomas Sparks for $200. (This was probably the Thomas Sparks, Jr., mentioned earlier, although when Thomas sold this same land in 1824 to Elijah Sparks (Book BB, pp. 55-6) his wife’s name was given as Sarah rather than Elizabeth, apparently indicating a second marriage. Elijah Sparks, mentioned earlier in this sketch, was probably a brother of Jeremiah, Sr.; he was born about 1770 and died in 1831 or 1832. Elijah Sparks married Judith Humphries. Following are the known children of Elijah and Judith: (1) William I. (or J.) Sparks, born about 1796, married in 1822 Naomi Prickett, and moved to Fayette County, Alabama; (2) Sarah, born about 1800, married Thomas R. Williams; (3) Amelia, born June 15, 1803, married John Bryson Word; (4) Thomas K. Sparks, born about 1807, married 1826 Elizabeth J. Wyly; (5) Malinda, born about 1810, married Benajah Williams in 1830; (6) Mary, or Polly, married Jesse Carter Hooper; and (7) a daughter who married Matthew Robertson.)

In 1805 was held the first land lottery in Georgia to dispose of vast tracts of land formerly occupied by the Creek Indians. Names were drawn from a list of citizens who had registered in 1803, These lists have been preserved and show that there were seven citizens of Georgia named Sparks living in Franklin County, as follows:

Jeremiah Sparks
Elijah Sparks
Jeremiah Sparks
Thomas Sparks (The older)
Thomas Sparks (Son of Thomas)
Thomas Sparks (The younger)
All of these except the last, “Thomas Sparks, The younger”, were heads of families (entitled to two draws). In the lottery of 1805, two Sparkses from Franklin County were lucky--Elijah Sparks drew Lot No, 93 in the 5th District consisting of 202½ acres located in Baldwin County which he sold to William Swife for $500 on December 10, 1805 (Morgan County Deed Book A, p. 4). The other lucky Sparks was one of the Jeremiahs, but the record does not make clear which one; he drew Lot No, 18 in the 2nd District, consisting of 202½ acres also located in Baldwin County (in the section which later became Putnam County).


Exactly when Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., moved from Franklin County is not known.  We know he was there as late as February 3, 1806, when he witnessed a deed. Morgan County was created in 1807 from Baldwin County. On June 3, 1811, Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., was appointed a Justice of the Peace for the 280th District in Morgan County. He was reappointed on January 30, 1813, and on January 13, 1817. On July 8, 1811, he purchased a 202½ acre tract (Lot 204, District 20) in Morgan County from John Shephard of Clarke County for $500 (Deed Book C, p. 227).  The land was located on Hard Labour Creek. The deed was witnessed by Martin P. Sparks and Edmund Brantley. On November 2, 1815, Jeremiah purchased one-fourth of Lot 187, 5th District, located on Long Branch Creek in Morgan County from John Coggin for $130 (Book E, p. 280). Two days later he purchased from John Weaver another quarter of this same tract for $105 (Book E, p. 201). On November 24, 1815, Jeremiah purchased Lot 240, District 20, containing 202½ acres, from Rebecca Patch for $20 (Book E, p. 67).

Throughout his life in Morgan County, Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., was closely associated with Martin Peeples Sparks, born July 18, 1786.  How these two men were related has not been determined, although Martin P. may have been Jeremiah’s son. (See the Quarterly of March, 1958, Vol. VI, No. 1, [Whole No. 21] for data on Martin P. Sparks and his family.)

The earliest tax list on which Jeremiah’s name appears in Morgan County is that of 1812. He was listed as owning two tracts in that settion of the county (20th District) which had been part of Baldwin County prior to 1807. One consisted of 165 acres and the other of 202½  acres. He probably purchased the latter from someone who had drawn the lot in 1805. The next available tax list for Morgan County is the one for 1818. It shows Jeremiah Sparks as owning 235 acres on Hard Labour Creek in the 20th District of Morgan County. He was also listed as owning 202½ acres on Buck Creek in the 19th District of Wilkinson County and 202½ acres on Borygal Creek in the 6th District of Wilkinson County, Georgia.

When the 1820 census of Morgan County was taken, Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., was listed by name and was enumerated as a male over 45 years and the owner of eight slaves.   In his family was also living one male between 10 and 16 years and one female over 45. On the 1830 census, which enumerated families in considerably greater detail with regard to age groups than did the census of 1820, Jeremiah was listed as between 60 and 70 years, with one female also aged between 60 and 70, and 12 slaves.

Since only the head of the family was listed by name in these early census records, we can never be sure of the identity of other members of a family. It would seem probable, however, that the female listed in 1820 and 1830 was Jeremiah’s wife-perhaps his second wife if Mary had died before he moved to Morgan County.

As noted earlier, Jeremiah drew two lots in the land lottery of 1827. Both of these were located in Lee County, Georgia, one in the 1st District and the other in the 20th District. He was designated as “R.S.” in this lottery, meaning “Revolutionary Soldier.”

Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., lived to be about 75 years old. On October 11, 1839, he made his will which is on record in Morgan County and reads as follows:

In the name of God Amen. I, Jeremiah Sparks, being of sound mind and disposing memory do make ordian [sic] and publish this my last will and testament.
Item 1st. I wish all my just debts paid.
Item 2nd. I will and bequeath to my son, Carter W. Sparks, at my death five negroes, to-wit: A man named Dick, a girl named Ann, a boy named Adam, and Nancy and Amelia, both girls. I further give to my son C. W. Sparks, two more negroes. Sall, a woman and Wilson, a yellow boy, the latter being given extra as more than I gave my other children.
Item 3rd. I will to my daughter Malinda Arnould five negroes, to-wit: Lend, a man, Dilly, a woman and her child Mahaley, Beaney, a  young woman, and Spencer, a boy for her use and at her death to be equally divided between the heirs of her body.
Item 4th. I will to my daughter Milly Crane, five negroes, to-wit: Rheany, a woman; Berry, a man; Sealy, a woman; Henry, a boy and Easter, a woman, to have and to hold during her life and at her death to be equally divided between the heirs of her body.
Item 5th. I will to my grandchildren, the children of my deceased daughter, Nancy Crane, all the negroes which I loaned to my daughter, Nancy Crane, in her life to be equally divided between them. I further will each of them one hundred dollars apiece.
Item 6th. I will to my grandson, Joshua Patrick, one hundred dollars to be paid out of the first money collected.
Item 7th. I will to my grandson, Ezekiel Partee, one hundred dollars, if he lives to be twenty-one years old.
Item 8th. I will all the rest due of my estate to be equally divided between my son, C. W. Sparks and my daughters, Malinda Arnold, Milley Crane and the children of deceased daughter Nancy Crane, they drawing the moiety which there Mother would be entitled to if in life.
Item 9th. I hereby appoint C. W. Sparks and Jas. B. Arnold my Executors to carry this my last will into Execution. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 11 of October, 1839.
                                                                                                                                            Jeremiah Sparks
            Test.     J. Gerdine Johnston
                         Elijah E. Jones J.I.C.

The above will was submitted for probate at a sitting of the Inferior Court of Morgan County on January 4, 1841, Elijah E. Jones swearing that he had witnessed the will and that the deceased had been “of sound mind and disposing memory” at the time he signed the will. It would appear from the date of probate that Jeremiah Sparks had died late in 1840. His name was not listed on the census of that year.

Our only record of the children of Jeremiah Sparks, Sr., is that contained in his will. Nothing is known of the two grandsons mentioned, Joshua Patrick and Ezekiel Partee, although in 1857 and 1858 the latter signed receipts for his share of his grandfather’s estate. Following is the information we have been able to gather on the four children listed by name in Jeremiah’s will:

(1)    Milly (or Emily) Sparks, daughter of Jeremiah, was born about 1790. In his will, Jeremiah left five slaves to his daughter Milly. In the later settlement of the estate, Milly’s husband was identified as Abijah Crain of Van Buren County, Tenn. On the 1850 census of Van Buren County, Abijah Crain was listed as a Minister of of Gospel, aged 65, born in North Carolina.  His wife’s name was given as Emily (probably a variation of Milly) aged 60, born in Georgia. A large number of persons named Crain were living near each other in Van Buren County, Term,, in 1850, and several were probably sons of Abijah and Milly. One known son was Oliver C. Crain  born about 1825. Living next door to Abijah in 1850 was Sparks Crain, aged 20, whose name appears in another record as Jeremiah Sparks Crain. Also living nearby was a Martin P. Crain, aged 27, who was surely a namesake of Martin Peeples Sparks.

(2)   Malinda Sparks, daughter of Jeremiah, was married in Morgan County on August 13, 1816, to James B. Arnold. Little is known of this family,  James B. Arnold was listed on the 1840 census of Morgan County as between 40 and 50 years  of age and his wife was listed as between 30 and 40 (thus Malinda appears to have been born between 1800 and 1810).  From the 1840 census it would appear that they had eleven children.


(3)   Nancy Sparks, daughter of Jeremiah, died before 1839. In his will, Jeremiah speaks of Nancy as deceased and left her share of his estate to her children. From the papers settling his estate, it appears that Nancy had married Stephen Crain,  and that they had had the following children: John D., William, Abijah, Dixon, Bethel, Jerry, and Stephen. Jerry, whose middle name was given as Sparks, was a resident of Osage County, Missouri, in 1844; the others were residents of  Tippah County, Mississippi.

(4)   Carter Walton Sparks, the only son mentioned in Jeremiah’s will, was born May 28, 1797, and died July 7, 1877.   Throughout his life, Carter W. Sparks was closely associated with Martin Peeples Sparks, and it is the belief of a number  of descendants that they were brothers. (See the Quarterly of March, 1958.)  If this was their relationship, it is difficult to understand why Jeremiah made no mention of Martin in his will. It is true that Martin P. Sparks had died two years prior to the date on which Jeremiah made his will, but since Jeremiah was so careful to refer to the children of his deceased daughter in his will, and to two other grandchildren, it would seem that he would have referred likewise to Martin’s son, Thomas Hunter Sparks, had Martin actually been his son.

Carter Walton Sparks married Susan Cade Whatley, who was born February 8, 1803, and died February 10, 1876.  Both were buried in the Cave Spring, Georgia, Cemetery. Susan C. Whatley is said to have been a niece of Elizabeth  Whatley, wife of Martin P. Sparks. It is believed that Susan was the daughter of William K. Whatley, for when the latter's will was filed in Morgan County, Ga., on January 10, 1823, Carter Sparks was given a slave named Nat valued at $300. Carter Walton Sparks was listed on the 1830 census of Morgan County with his wife and two daughters, both under five years.  In the 1832 land lottery he “drew” 384 acres of Cherokee land, bit it is not known in what county this was located, although he later settled in Floyd County. The military records of Georgia indicate that he was a militia capbain in Morgan County from 1824 to 1831 and a major from 1831 to 1833.

By 1835, Carter W. Sparks had moved to Alabama, for a deed dated August 6, 1835, which is recorded in Morgan County, records the sale of a lot in Morgan County to Martha Fowley by Carter Sparks. In this deed, Carter was identified as being of Benton County, Alabama. Martin P. Sparks and Thomas H. Sparks both witnessed the deed. (Thomas H. was a son of Martin P.)

How long Carter W. Sparks remained in Alabama is not known- - only one Alabama record has been found pertaining to him: In the Huntsville, Alabama, Democrat of October 7, 1835, it is stated that the Committee of Vigilance had met at  Springville in St. Clair County, Ala., and that Carter W. Sparks was one of those who attended. By 1840 he had  returned to Georgia and was living near Cave Spring in Floyd County. According to the census of 1840, he was the owner of seven slaves. He continued to live in Floyd County for the remainder of his life and by the time of the Civil War had become a prosperous plantation owner. The 1860 census valued his real estate at $6,000 and his personal property at $22,000. He owned a total of 23 slaves at that time.

Carter W. Sparks took an interest in all educational institutions of his area. He supported a Deaf and Dumb Institute and,   according to some of the early records, boarded a number of the male students in his home. He was one of the early trustees of the Hearn School.

Like other Southern aristocrats, Carter W. Sparks lost most of his property during the Civil War. Before the war began,  however, he sold his plantation to two of his sons-in-law, A. T. Harper and Alfred J. King. When the 1870 census was taken, his total property was valued at only $700. He died on July 7, 1877. He did not leave a will.


        Carter W. and Susan (Whatley) Sparks were the parents of the following children:

(1) Frances Sparks, born prior to 1830, married Thomas Blackman (or Blackborn). They had a son named Sparks  Blackman (or Blackborn) born about 1847. By 1850, Frances had died and on the census of that year her husband and son were living with Carter  W. Sparks.
(2) Tabitha Sparks was born in December, 1829, and died on October 29, 1860, at the age of 30 years and 10 months. She was living in Floyd County, Georgia, at the time of her death. She married Alexander King who was born in 1819 in Floyd County and died in1895 in Atlanta. They were the parents of the following children:
(a) Jack King.
(b) Samuel Stephens King, who died Oct. 7, 1899, at the age of 48 years. He married Miss Eva Wright of Floyd County.
(c) A. J. King, Jr.
(d) Frances King, born April 23, 1853, died May 25, 1914. She married (1st) Judge Francis Kirby, by whom  she had one daughter, May Kirby, who died in November, 1947. Frances married (2nd) W. R. Dimmock by whom she had one son,
(1). Avery Miller Dimmock, born November 11, 1893, in Atlanta, Georgia.
(3) Mary Sparks, born about 1833; married (1st) Col. Abbott of Atlanta, (2nd) a Dr. Columbus Smith of Atlanta.
(4) Elizabeth Sparks, born about 1835, married September 28, 1852, Alexander T. Harper of Cave Spring. He was  born March 25, 1832. They had children named Bessie, Armstead, Ella, Fannie, Grace, and Mattie.
(5) William Martin Sparks, born July 9, 1836, died July 19, 1896, at Cedartown, Georgia. He married Mary Elizabeth Phillipps at Cedartown on December 25, 1875. She was a daughter of William and Carolyne (Brooks) Phillipps,  and was born Sept. 8, 1854,  and died July 29, 1896, near Cedartown. They were the parents of the following children, all born at Cedartovm, Georgia:
(a) Dabney P. Sparks, born Sept. 7, 1876, died Apr. 5, 1956.
(b) Eugenia Sparks, born April 25, 1876, died Feb. 10, 1888.
(c) Elizabeth Sparks, born Jan. 24, 1880, died 1960.
(d) Thomas C. Sparks, born March 9, 1883.
(e) William Sparks, born Aug. 26, 1886, died Apr. 30, 1954.
(f) Hugh B. Sparks, born Aug. 25, 1887, died Sept. 17, 1887.
(6) Rebecca Sparks, born Dec. 29, 1837, died June 15, 1901. She married Prof. John Randolph Seals, born July 27, 1822, died March 12, 1900. Both were buried in Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia. They were the parents of  the following children:
(a) Mary Seals, unmarried.

(b) Claude C. Seals, born Oct, 8, 1861, died Jan, 18, 1908, unmarried.

(c) Thomas Albert Seals, born Dec. 20, 1863, died Aug. 22, 1897. With his brother Claude he established the Seals Brothers, a music business selling pianos and organs, which later became known as Seals Pianos Co. In 1892 Seals Hall was the cultural center of Birmingham, where all lectures and concerts were presented. For  years this Hall served a vital need for the growing community. Thomas Albert Seals married Ettie Harris, daughter of Dr. Bruce and Emily (Denson) Harris. They had two children:

(1) Mildred Rebecca Seals, and
(2) Alberta Seals.
(d) Medora Seals, born 1865, married William Henry Wyatt. They had one son, Henry Wyatt, Jr., who had a son who died young.

(e) Robert Lee Seals, born Feb. 12, 1868, died June 11, 1935. He came from Georgia as a young man and  worked with his older brothers in the music business. Shortly after Albert’s death, Claude retired from the

business and Robert continued the operation. Since then the Seals Piano Co. was known as “Alabama’s Oldest Piano House.” He married Julia Longstreet Blackwell of Morgan County, Ala., daughter of Augustus and Eleanor (Collier) Blackwell. They had the following children:
(1) Vivian Blackwell;
(2) Robert Haywood;
(3) Thomas Albert;
(4) Eleanor Rebecca;
(5) Jack Raymond; and
(6) John A.
(f) Annie Seals, born 1871, died 1929; married (1st) John Parks Dawson, born Sept. 9, 1870, died Dec. 8, 1903;  (2nd) Dr. Frank L. Whitman, born 1876, died 1935. By her first husband, she had the following children:
(1) Dora, married Joseph Rowoll;
(2) John Randolph, unmarried;
(3) Bessie, married Dr. Mark Butler.
(g) Herbert M. Seals, born May 30, 1874, died Oct. 28, 1934, unmarried.

(h) Susie Seals, married William Wyatt, her brother-in-law; they had two children:

(1) Rebecca Wyatt, married Joseph Isbell; and
(2) Joseph.
Susie Seals married (2nd) Dr. Kirksey of Kentucky; and (3rd) Lee Kinsman of North Carolina. She died in 1958.

(i) Nell Seals, born Sept. 6, 1881, died July 19, 1950. She married (1st) John K. Warren; (2nd) William J. Pratt;  (3rd) Charles W. Chambers of Colorado Springs, Col. No children.

(7) Eugenia Sparks, seventh child of Carter W. and Susan (Whatley) Sparks, was born about 1840. Her name was given as Clara on the 1850 census. She married John Green and had a son named Wallace.

(8) Susan Ella Sparks, born about 1842. She married Poleman King of Cave Spring. No children.

(9) Thomas Carter Sparks, born about 1844. He married Fannie Shropshire. They had children named Lamar, Cade,  Marion, King, and Jimmy.

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



(Continued from page 504)

GEORGE SPARKS of Wilkes County, North Carolina, and Elliott County, Kentucky; born  Nov. 9, 1796, died May 11, 1879. Bounty Land Warrant File 50 353-120-55.

        On June 17, 1854, George Sparks made application for bounty land. He was a resident of Carter County, just over the line from Elliott County, Kentucky, and gave his age as 58 years. He stated that he had been a private in Capt. Ambrose Catton’s (or Carlton’s) company in a North Carolina regiment; that he was drafted at Wilkesborough, Wilkes County, North Carolina, on Nov. 1, 1814, for 6 months; shortly after being drafted he went with his company to join the Virginia Militia at Norfolk, but when they got to within 3 or 4 miles of Hillsborough, North Carolina, the company was informed that the requisition had been filled and he returned home where he remained until about January 20, 1815, when his company again marched from Wilkesborough to Wadesborough in Anson County, North Carolina, a distance of 270 miles; that he arrived at Wadesborough about Feb. 20, 1815, and he was mustered into service; that on the same day news of the peace arrived and he was honorably discharged at Wadesborough. He remembered that one of the officers was a Major Allen. He also stated he had lost his certificate of discharge. He signed his name as “George Sparks.” The witnesses were Robert Rose and Abijah Thitt, both of Carter County, Kentucky.

        Official records revealed that George Sparks had served under Capt. A. Canton from November 24, to December 8, 1814, and from Feb. 19 to March 9, 1815.


        On April 7, 1855, George Sparks applied for additional bounty land under the new act. He was still a resident of Carter County, Kentucky, and gave his age as 58 years. He gave no information besides that which he gave in his first application. The witnesses were John B. Whitt and Allen Harper of Carter County.

(Editor’s note: This George Sparks was the great-great-grandfather of Paul E. Sparks, President of The Sparks Family Association, He was a son of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks. See page 102 of the December, 1955, issue of The Sparks Quarterly (Vol. III, No. 4 [Whole No. 12]) for additional data on George Sparks and his family.)
GEORGE SPARKS of Hardy County, Virginia, and Licking County, Ohio; born about 1777, died Feb. 5, 1868, Bounty  Land Warrant File 55583-80-55.

        On Nov. 2, 1850, George Sparks, a resident of Licking County, Ohio, appeared before Jeptha Smith, a justice of the peace, and swore to the statements contained in his application for bounty land. He swore that he was 73 years of age, and that he was the same George Sparks who had served as a private in Capt. David Vanmetre’s Company of Virginia Militia commanded by Colonel Boo in the War of 1812. He stated that he had been drafted at Morefield, in Hardy County, Virginia, on or about August 1, 1814, for the term of 6 months and that he had been honorably discharged at Fort Norfolk, Va., on Feb. 19 1815. He further stated “that never supposing his discharge would be of any use to him, he took no care of it and supposes it is now lost.” He signed his application by mark which was attested by George Buckingham.

        Official records revealed that George Sparks had served as a private under Capt. David Vanmetre from July 29, 1814 to Jan. 31, 1815. He was granted 80 acres of bounty land on March 28, 1851 (Warrant No. 2840).

        On March 28, 1855, George Sparks applied for additional bounty land under the new law. He stated that he was 78 years old and was a resident of Washington Township, Licking County, Ohio. He gave no information in his second application which had not been included in his first application. The witnesses to his second application were Isaac Schmicker [spe1ling uncertain] and Benjamin Briggs. He was granted an additional 80 acres.

        (Editor’s note: This George Sparks is buried on a high hill on a private farm near St. Louisville in Licking County, Ohio. The inscription on his tombstone reads: “George Sparks d. Feb. 5, 1868, in the 96th year of his age.” Nearby is a stone which reads: “Nancy Sparks, wife of George, d. Nov. 3, 1842, age 67 y. 10 d.” According to a statement in the Old Northwest Genealogical Quarterly (Vol. 12, p. 224), George< Sparks was a brother of  John Sparks who died in Licking County, Ohio, on Feb. 28, 1846, aged 88 years.  This John Sparks was a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. According to N. N. Hill’s History of Licking County, Ohio, published in 1881 (p. 546), John Sparks was born in 1758 "on the south branch of the Potomac River.” This branch flows through Hardy County, West Virginia, where George Sparks lived in 1814, so the account appears to be accurate. John Sparks was nineteen years older than George Sparks-perhaps they were half-brothers. John Sparks never married. George Sparks was living in Washington Township, Licking County, Ohio, as early as 1830--he was listed on the census of that year.

On the 1860 census of Licking County, George Sparks was listed as being 85 years old. Living with him was Jane Sparks, aged 55, who was probably his second wife, and Ann Sparks aged 15, and Cornelia Sparks aged 12.  Living next door was John Sparks (aged 40, born in Virginia) who was probaby a son of George.)


GEORGE SPARKS of Ulster and Seneca Counties, New York; born about 1792, died 1864. MARGARET  (OSTRANDER) SPARKS, widow of George Sparks. Pension File, WC 11 487.

        On April 26, 1878, Margaret Sparks applied for a pension under the Act of March 9, 1878. She stated that she was a resident of West Junius, Seneca County, New 4. York; that she was 81 years old, and was the widow of George Sparks who had been a private in the company of Captain Deyo in a regiment of New York Militia commanded by Cob. Hadenburgh in the War of 1812; that he volunteered at Newburgh, New York, in the autumn of 1813 or 1814, and served between 2 or 3 months and received an honorable discharge. She described her husband atthe time of his enlistment as about 21 years old, a weaver by occupation, born in Plattekill, Ulster County, New York, 5 feet and 10 inches tall, with brown hair, blue eyes, and a fair complexion. She stated that she had been married to George Sparks at Plattekill on Feb. 8, 1817, by the Rev. Mr. Perkins; that her maiden name had been Margaret Ostrander, and that neither she nor her husband had been previously married. She stated that George Sparks had died at Phelps, New York, on May 3, 1864; that she and her husband had lived at Plattekill, New York, from the time of their marriage until 1836 when they moved to Phelps, New York. She added that “by reason of old age being very feeble she is unable to go before a clerk of court to be sworn so asked to be sworn by a Justice or Notary.” She signed her application as “Margaret Sparks.” Her application was witnessed by Emily Fineback, aged 38, and Charlotte Philips, aged 70.

        On June 25, 1878, Hiram Musselman and Jane Musselman of West Junius, Seneca County, New York, aged 66 and 60 years respectively, swore that they knew George and Margaret Sparks in their lifetime and stated that George Sparks had died on May 3, 1864. On July 15, 1878, Jesse T. Conkling and Elizabeth Conkling of Shawangunk, Ulster County, New York, swore that they were 86 and 74 years old respectively and that they had known George and Margaret Sparks as early as 1817. Elizabeth Conkling stated she had been present at the wedding of George and Margaret Sparks which took place at Plattekill, Ulster County, New York, and that the ceremony was performed by the Rev. Aaron Perkins, a Baptist minister, and that Margaret’s maiden name was Ostrander. They added that they had known George and Margaret Sparks all their married lives.

        War Department records revealed that George Sparks served as a private in Capt. J. Deyo’s company from Sept. 8, 1813, to Nov. 9, 1813, a total of 63 days. Margaret Sparks was granted a pension of $8.00 per month commencing March 9, 1878.
HENRY SPARKS of Salem County, New Jersey, and Crawford County, Penn.; born about 1791.  Bounty Land Warrant File 18 007-80-55 and Pension File SC 16 917.

        On July 27, 1853, Henry Sparks, aged 62 years, of Evansburgh, Crawford County, Pennsylvia, applied for bounty land. He stated that he had been a private in a company in the 117th Regiment of Militia commanded by Major Potter; that he had entered the service as a substitute for one Adams at Roadstown or Smithsborough, Salem County, New Jersey on or about April 9, 1813, for 6 months and was honorably discharged at Salem in Salem County on or about Sept. 10, 1813; that he was later drafted at Bridgetown, Salem County, in Sept. 1814, for 6 months and was commanded by Capt. Peter Souder and Col. Joshua Howell; that he was discharged about Dec. 25, 1814; that during the last term of service he was sick for two months with camp fever.  He signed the application as “Henry Sparks.”

        According to official records, Henry Sparks served in Capt. Bilderback’s Company from May 24 to Sept. 30, 1813, and in Capt. Peter Souder’s Company, New Jersey Militia from Sept. 27 to Dec. 21, 1814. He was granted 80 acres of bounty land. On April 26, 1855, Henry Sparks applied for additional bounty land under the act of March 3, 1855. He gave his age as 63 and his residence as Crawford County, Penna.


Henry Sparks gave no information in 1855 that he had not given in his earlier application. He again signed the application as “Henry Sparks”. John Lynn and William Chapman, both of Crawford County, witnessed his application. He was granted another 80 acres of bounty land.

        On April 14, 1871, Henry Sparks applied for a pension under the act of Feb. 14, 1871. He stated that he was a resident of Evansburgh, Crawford County, Penna., and was 79 years old. He stated that his wife had died in March, 1859. He did not state her name, but said he had married her in Pittsburgh, Penna., on March 10, 1811.  He stated that he had been drafted at Penns Neck, Salem County, New Jersey, in the summer of 1813. He added that "he served as a Private in said service" and that "he first saw duty at Port Elizabeth, N.J., as guard for about one month, was then marched to Cold Spring down on the Cape - - where we were held as guard for about six months - - was drafted again the next year and was at Billingsport, N. J., all summer."  HIs signature was witnessed by Robert Scott and A. R. Stewart.  He was granted a pension of $8.00 per month.

        On April 24, 1883, the Dept. of the Interior inquired of the postmaster at Evansburgh if Henry Sparks were still living. There is no reply among the papers.
HENRY W. SPARKS of Killingly, Windham County, Connecticut} born about 1792, died 1886, Land Warrant File 36 259-160-55 and Pension File SC 23 696.

        On June 5, 1855 Henry W. Sparks of Killingly, Windham County, Conn., applied for bounty land for the first time. He stated that he was 62 years old and that he had been a private in Capt. Solomon Sykes’s company in the 11th Regiment of Conn. Militia commanded by Zepheniah Williams; that he had been drafted at New London, Conn., on or about June 25, 1813, and served 16 days and was honorably discharged at New London. He signed the application as “Henry W. Sparks”; his application was witnessed by Henry Sparks (probably a son of Henry L.) and Lydia A. Sparks. He was granted 160 acres of bounty land after it was determined from official records that he had served in Capt. Sykes’s company from June 21 to July 15, 1813.

        On May 13, 1878, Henry W. Sparks applied for a pension under the act of March 9, 1878. He was 85 years old, still a resident of Killingly, Conn. He stated in this application that his service had extended from June 10 to July 12, 1813. He also stated that he had always resided in Killingly. He gave his description at the time of his service as follows: “21 years of age, born at said Killingly, height about 6 feet, hair black, eyes dark, complexion light.” He signed as “Henry W. Sparks”; the witnesses were Henry Sparks, aged 65, and Ezekiel R. Bunlingame, aged 47, both of Killingly.

        Henry W. Sparks was granted a pension of $8.00 per month. In 1887 the Pension Office made inquiry and found that he had died in 1886. On May 15, 1887, Edith L. Aldrich of East Killingly, Conn., aged 21, school teacher, stated that Henry W. Sparks had been her great-uncle and that he had died in Oct., 1886, she thought on Oct. 22, and that he was 94 years old when he died. Also on May 15, 1887, James K. Logue (?), aged 70, baker, stated that Henry W. Sparks had been his wife’s grandfather and that he had died at East Killingly on either Oct. 22 or 23, 1886, at the age of 94. He added that Henry W. Sparks had little property when he died, that he had died very suddenly, “had no sickness, some kind of a shock caused his death.”

(Editor’s note: We have no information in our files pertaining to this Henry W. Sparks, although he was probably closely related to the Ebenezer Sparks of Killingly whose Revolutionary War pension papers were published in the March, 1957, issue of the Quarterly, Vol. V, No. 1.[Whole No. 17])


JACOB F. SPARKS, of Philadelphia, Penna., born about 1779. Bounty Land Warrant File 849-40-50.

        On October 29, 1850, Jacob F. Sparks, a resident of Philadelphia, applied for bounty land under the act of Sept. 28, 1850. He stated that he was 71 years old and that he had been captain of a company in the 88th Regiment of Pennsylvania Militia commanded by Cob. John Thompson; that he was drafted at Philadelphia on or about Sept. 14, 1814, for the term of 14 months, but that he was discharged after 4 months on Jan. 7, 1815, at Philadelphia. He stated that he had received no discharge. He signed his application as “Jacob F. Sparks.” Joel Cook, a Justice of the Peace, witnessed his signature.

        Official records gave his service as from Sept. 14, 1814, to Jan. 7, 1815. He was granted 40 acres of bounty land. Since there is no record of his applying for additional bounty land under the act of 1855, it is probable that he had died by 1855.
JAMES SPARKS, of Bedford County, Pennsylvania; born about 1788. Bounty Land Warrant File 13 552-120-55.

        On June 14, 1851, James Sparks, a resident of Bedford County, Penna., applied for bounty land under the act of Sept. 28, 1850. He stated that he was 62 years old and that he had been a private in the company commanded by Capt. Solomon Sparks in the 2nd Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers commanded by Col. William Piper in the War of 1812; that he volunteered at Bloody Run in Bedford County, Penna., on or about Sept. 1, 1812, for 6 months and was “dismissed from the service at Black Rock on the Niagra River to find winter quarters some< time in December, 1812, being absent from his home about 4 months."  He signed his application as “James Sparks.” His application was by John Sparks, Justice of the Peace.

        Added to this application is a sworn statement by David Fletcher and Joseph Sparks who stated “that the above Declaration is true according to the best of their knowledge and Belief they having been volunteers in the Same Company with him and that they marched with him to black Rock and wear [sic] Compeled to seek winter quarters.”

        On Dec. 17, 1851, James Sparks sutinitted another sworn statement to the effect that he had been “honourably discharged at Black Rock, but never received any written or printed discharge;” that Samuel Smith and David Fletcher, who had served with him, had already received bounty land. John Sparks, Justice of the Peace, again signed as witness.

        Official records revealed that James Sparks had served in Solomon Sparks’s company from Sept. 25 to Nov. 24, 1812. He was granted 40 acres of bounty land.

        On March 24, 1855, James Sparks applied for additional bounty land under the provisions of the act of March 3, 1855. He gave his age as 64, a resident of Bedford County. He gave the same information about his service as he had in his application of 1851. He signed his name as “James Sparks”; James Bedford, Justice of the Peace, signed as witness. Also signing as witnesses were Solomon Hollar and John Mortimer; the latter signed by mark. James Sparks was granted an additional tract of 120 acres.

(Editor’s note: We have several records pertaining to Solomon Sparks’s company of Riflemen of the Second Regiment commanded by Cob. William Piper. A pay roll of the company dated Nov. 24, 1812 (see the Pennsylvania Archives, 6th Series, Vol. 7, pp. 737-38) lists the names of the men in the company. James Sparks was listed as “2nd Corp’l.”   Three privates named Sparks were also listed: Joseph Sparks, Abraham Sparks, and Joseph Sparks, Jr. (Both of the Joseph Sparkses received bounty land and their papers will be published when we reach their spot in the alphabet.) The Solomon Sparks who was captain of this company was the same Solomon Sparks who served in the American Revolution whose pension papers for that service were pub-


lished in the March, 1955, issue of the Quarterly (Vol. III, No. 1, pp. 59-61 [Whole No. 9]). He was born in Frederick County, Maryland, in 1758and was a son of Joseph Sparks who died in Bedford County, Penna., in 1809. Solomon Sparks was either the father or an uncle of the above James Sparks.

        There are no records in this file of the widow of James Sparks receiving a pension. In the Pennsylvania Archives (6th Series, Vol. 9), however, Phoebe Sparks, widow of James Sparks, is listed as having received a pension about 1778. This may have been a pension given by the state of Pennsylvania.)

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It is a pleasure to report the names of five new members of The Sparks Family Association:

Bird, Mrs. Matthew F., 303 South 1st West, Logan, Utah.
Bullington, Mrs. Lawrenoe, Lincoln, Arkansas.
Rodgers, Mrs. M. B., 131 B. Broadway, Girard, Ohio.
Sparks, King, Jr., 2104 Chestnut Road, Vestavia, Birmingham 9, Alabama.
Sparks, Lloyd W., 1414 N. Cherry Street, Galesburg, Illinois.

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        During the next five years, 1961-1965, the United States will be observing the centennial of one of the most tragic wars of history, and one of the most dramatic chapters of America’s past. Although a century has passed, not all of the Civil War’s wounds have completely healed, and bitter memories still partially divide the North from the South. Yet the War’s centennial is being observed in all parts of the country, and an earnest effort is being made everywhere to preserve both sides of its history. Civil wars have always been the most heartbreaking of wars, for they divide families, pit brother against brother and neighbor against neighbor. Branches of the Sparks family fought on opposite sides, and some of the individual branches were divided to the point that brother did actually fight brother.

        No better insight can be gained of the Civil War than to read the letters of soldiers and civilians written during the conflict. Among the souvenirs of many of our members there are letters written by ancestors who took part in the War, some on the Confederate side, some on the Northern. During the next five years we hope to publish a number of these letters in the Quarterly. If you have Civil War letters written by Sparks ancestors, won’t you either loan them to the editor or make copies for his use? Their publication in the Quarterly will assure their preservation for future generations.

        With this issue, we complete another volume of The Sparks Quarterly. The editor hopes that the issues of 1960 have been of interest to the members and that many of you have found new information on your own Sparks ancestors in their pages. The financial statement for 1960, which accompanies this issue, shows a considerably smaller deficit than last year. The Association had a good year in 1960--each of you may assure its having a good year in 1961 by paying your dues promptly.

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Scanned and Edited by James J. Sparks