THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION
“He who careth not from whence he came, careth little whither he goeth.” Daniel Webster
|VOL. IX, NO. 3||SEPTEMBER, 1961||
WHOLE NO. 35a
|Index||Next Page||Previous Page||Previous Whole No.|
[Here appears a photostat of a land grant dated
February 5, 1771 to Zachariah Sparks described supra on page 571.]
|THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, published by The Sparks Family Association.
Paul E. Sparks, President, 155 N Hite
Ave., Louisville 6, Kentucky.
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, 1953. 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.
ZACHARIAH SPARKS (died ca. 1781) OF SOUTH CAROLINA
By Russell S. Bidlack
Our earliest record of a Zachariah Sparks in South Carolina is a land grant dated March 5, 1754, a photostat of which has been obtained from the South Carolina Archives Department. This grant reads as follows: “South Carolina-- Pursuant to A Precept from George Hunter Esqr Surveyor Gen. Dated the fifth day of March 1754 I have Measured for Zachariah Sparks [torn - -looks like “of Berkley Co.”] one hundred and fifty acres of Land on the South Side of Collins’s River bounding to the South Westward and South eastward on Vacant Land and to the North westward on Jacob Pennington’s Land and to the Northeastward on the Said River and hath Such form and Marks as the Above platt Represents. Certified This 1st Day of May 1754.”
Zachariah Sparks does not appear to have taken up this grant, for on July 1, 1766, the same land was issued to Charles King, son-in-law of Jacob Pennington, whose land this tract adjoined.
That the Zachariah Sparks named in the above land grant of 1754 was the same Zachariah Sparks who was living on the Enoree River in what is now Laurens County, just over the line from Newberry County, South Carolina, at the time of the American Revolution cannot be proved conclusively on the basis of records found thus far. However, this tract of land was located in Newberry County, South Carolina. “Collins River” was the original name for Enoree River and flows along the north side of both Laurens and Newberry Counties. The Jacob Pennington, whose land is described in the above grant, was a resident of Newberry County where he died sometime between 1775 and 1779. According a book by George Leland Summer, Sr., entitled Newberry County, South Carolina, Historical and Genealogical (Privately Printed, 1950) page 371, Jacob Pennington left a widow Mary and children named Mary Noble, Abigail Cafey, Sarah Bright, Charity,
Elizabeth, and Deliah; the daughter Charity married Charles King, also a resident of Newberry County, who died about 1790 (see Summer, page 354). This is the Charles King who eventually acquired the land granted to Zachariah Sparks in 1754.
Our next earliest record pertaining to Zachariah Sparks of South Carolina is a land grant dated February 5, 1771. This document, with the plat which accompanies it, was reproduced on the cover of this issue of the Quarterly from a photostat obtained from the South Carolina Archives Department. The grant reads as follows: “South Carolina--Persuent to a precept Directed under the hand and seal of John Bremar Esqr D. Survr. Gonri. and Baring Date the 5 Day of FebrY 1771-- I have admeasured and laid out unto Zachariah Sparks a Plantation or tract of land in Barkly County Containing One hundred Acres situate lying and Being on the south side of Enoree River and Binding East By John Clarks land and N westerly by Avery Nolens land and on all other sides by Vacant land and hath such shapes form and Markes as the above Plat Represents-- Certifyed under my hand this 13 Day of Feby 1771 [signed] W. Gist DS.”
It should be noted that in this grant, Zachariah Sparks is identified as a resident of Barkly (i.e. Berkley) County. South Carolina was originally divided into four colonial counties (Granville, Colleton, Berkley, and Craven). The exact boundaries of these four original counties was often confused, however, largely because exactness was not of great importance since, for judicial purposes, South Carolina was also divided into districts, and these judicial districts had nothing to do with county organization. All of what is now Laureris County, along with nine neighboring counties, was included in the judicial district known as “Ninety-six District.” It was in 1783 that these judicial districts were divided into the present counties of South Carolina.
From various bits of evidence, it appears that Zachariah Sparks lived, at least during the latter years of his life, in what is now the north-eastern tip of Laurens County, on the south side of the Enoree River (once called Collins River), not far from the present town of Clinton. Union County lies to the north, on the opposite side of the Enoree River, and Newberry County is just to the east of this section of Laurens County. In fact, Zachariah Sparks may have lived right on the line between Laurens and Newberry Counties. John Clark and Avery Nolen, whose land adjoined the tract granted to Zachariah in 1771, were extensive land owners along the Enoree and appear to have lived in Newberry County.
When the four original counties of South Carolina were laid out by the Crown in 1683, the north-eastern section of present-day Laurens County lay in Berkley County, but in actual practice, this area was considered to be a part of Craven County. Thus, the land granted to Zachariah in 1771 was described by the Colonial government as being in “Barkly” County, but in 1775, when Zachariah sold this tract, the deed described him as a “planter of Craven County.” Claude Sparks of Union, South Carolina, who has done extensive research in South Carolina courthouses, reports that frequently the same tract of land in this area will be described in one early deed as being in Craven County while in another deed will be described as being in Berkley County.
Zachariah Sparks sold this tract for 225 pounds to William Wadlington, a son of Thomas Wadlington, Sr., who was one of the original settlers on the Enoree River, having come from Frederick County, Virginia, in 1767. The tract was described in this deed as follows: “a certain Plantation or Tract of land containing in the whole one hundred acres more or less situate lying and being between Broad and Saludy Rivers on a branch of Broad River called Enoree River butting & bounding on the South side of Enoree River bounding East on land Granted to John Clark Westerly on Aubry Nolands land all other sides on vacant land.” This deed was signed by Zachariah Sparks and by Mary, his wife, the latter signing by mark. It was witnessed by Daniel Johnson, Joel Chandler, and John Hogg. The deed is recorded in Book A, page 580, in Newberry
County. It was not recorded until May 11, 1785, on which date John Chandler appeared before Edward Wadlington, a justice of the peace, and swore that he had seen Zachariah Sparks and his wife sign the deed, and also that he had seen Daniel Johnson and John Hogg sign as witnesses.
No other records have been found pertaining to the land holdings of Zachariah Sparks in South Carolina. Early records of all kinds are extremely meager for this section of South Carolina, however, for most of its inhabitants suffered greatly during the Revolution. There were many Tories in this area, several battles were fought in the neighborhood, and there was extensive plundering. Countless records were thus destroyed, and all civil government was suspended for a number of years.
No clue has been found among South Carolina records to suggest where Zachariah Sparks was born or where he lived before coming to South Carolina. The name “Zachariah” is not common in any branch of the Sparks family, although John and Mary Sparks of Orange County, Virginia, had a son named Zachariah (sometimes called Zachary) who was born about 1715 (see the Quarterly of June, 1956, Vol. IV, No. 2, pp. 137-38 [Whole No. 10]). He married Sarah ----- and apparently died sometime after 1745. His widow, Sarah, married, as her second husband, Anthony Foster of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, who died in 1763. In his will, AnthonyFoster mentioned his wife’s daughter, Sarah Sparks. Is is probable that there were other children of Zachariah and Sarah Sparks beeides this daughter, Sarah, and it is possible that the Zachariah Sparks of South Carolina was a son.
Our knowledge of Zachariah Sparks of South Carolina would be limited, indeed, were it not for a sketch written before 1899 by a grandson of Zachariah named Hiram Sparks. This was published in the Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties, Indiana (l899) page 896, and reads as follows: “[Zachariah Sparks, a native of South Carolina] was an officer in the American Army in the War of Independence, and had many interesting and thrilling experiences and lost his life in that struggle. On one occasion he was taken prisoner by soldiers of Cornwallis and in the march which followed, while he and others were prisoners, the British encamped near his home. It is related that his wife went to the British camp at night and cut loose the bonds that bound her husband, and several other prisoners who made their escape. Not long after this remarkable escape, Zachariah Sparks reentered the army and was again taken prisoner. Pretending to be reconciled to the situation he was given much liberty and was finally placed on guard duty, but he had no intention of remaining with the enemy in his country and soon found an opportunity to escape to the American lines. His escape was attended by unfortunate results. As he approached the American lines he was taken for the enemy and fired upon, receiving a severe wound in the hip. After his recovery from the wound he served under General Greene with whom, it is related, he was quite intimate. One day while Mr. Sparks was being visited in his home by General Greene, the former was given, as a keepsake, a coat the latter had worn. Putting it on, Mr. Sparks stepped outside his home quite early the next morning and was immediately shot down by an enemy who had the view of shooting General Greene. Thus Zachariah Sparks’ life was sacrificed and General Greene’s saved. Zachariah Sparks left two sons, and of these, William, the father of Hiram was younger and but a small child when his father was killed. The other son was John. He disappeared in early life and no trace of him was ever found. William Sparks grew to manhood in his native state and married Mary Palmer, who like himself was of English origin.”
Hiram Sparks, the author of this sketch, has been dead for many years, making it impossible for us to determine today what may have been the source of his account. In all probability, it was based on stories that Hiram had heard from the lips of his father, William Sparks. It should be noted, however, that William Sparks was only about nine years old when his father, Zachariah, was killed, and that William died in 1862, almost forty years prior to the publication of Hiram’s account.
Stories such as this, handed down from one generation to the next, frequently become distorted. It should also be pointed out, however, that there is always an element of truth in a family legend. Our problem here is to attempt to verify what we can in Hiram’s story through official records.
There can be no doubt but that Zachariah Sparks died sometime during the Revolution. There are preserved among the records of Ninety-Six District in Abbeville, South Carolina, two papers pertaining to the settlement of his estate, both dated 1786. He did not leave a will, and the fact that these papers are dated 1786 does not help in determining exactly when he died--civil affairs were in such chaos in that section of South Carolina following the Revolution that several years often passed before estates were settled. One of these papers is an administrator’s bond dated September 1, 1786, by which Francis and Mary Luffsey were acknowledged as administrators of the estate of Zachariah Sparks, with Edward Gideon and Alexander Menary as bondsmen. From this and other scraps of evidence, it appears that Zachariah’s widow, Mary, had married Francis Luffsey (spelled Lufsoy on the 1790 census) prior to 1786. The other document is an inventory of Zachariah’s estate made September 29, 1786, by Adam Gordon, Joseph Glenn, and Andrew Endsley. It is important to note that all of these men mentioned in these papers (Francis Luffsey, Edward Giddeon, Alexander Menary, Adam Gordon, Joseph Glenn, and Andrew Endsley), were listed on the 1790 census of Laurens County, South Carolina, very near the name of William Sparks. The name of Francis Lufsey immediately precedes that of William Sparks (spelled Sparkes). On the 1800 census of Laurens County, however, no one named Lufsey or Luffsey was listed.
It has not been possible to obtain a sufficiently clear photostat of the inventory of Zachariah Sparks’s estate to reproduce it here. It lists only a modest amount of personal property, with a total value of 14 pounds and 11 shillings. Among the items listed are: “one Cow and Calf,” “one fether Bed,” “one oven,” “one plane whel,” “one flat inn,” “4 puter plate,” “2 puter Basons and one pint pot,” “1 Bell,” “1 Bible,” and “3 forks 1 knife.”
The story of Zachariab Sparks being shot by mistake for General Nathaniel Greene, as told by Hiram Sparks, is of great interest and surely must have some basis in fact. The present writer, however, has searched the papers of General Greene, which are preserved in the William L. Clements Library of the University of Michigan, but has not been able to find a single reference to Zachariah Sparks. It seems very doubtful that Zachariah was an officer, for surely his name would [be] in extant rosters if he had been. It is true, however, that during the Southern Campaign of 1780-83, General Greene camped near Zachariah’s home. On May 12, 1781, for example, he camped on Sparks Creek which is located just over the line in Union County (see the Quarterly of March, 1960, page 457 [Whole No. 29]), and on June 24, 1781, he camped on the Enoree River.
With all family legends, one can expect that different branches of the family will have different versions. Mrs. Esther Stanley of Connereville, Indiana, whose grandfather, William Lewis Sparks, was a brother of Hiram Sparks, has given us the following account: “Many years ago Uncle Hiram (Grandfather’s brother) and a friend took a trip to Atlanta, Ga. They found an owner of a drugstore there who also had the name of Hiram Sparks. They asked him about his family and he told them this same legend: That during the Revolutionary War the family home was near King’s Mountain on the Yadkin River. Several of the boys were in the army under General Greene who was a friend of the family and stayed overnight at their home when they were encamped nearby. In fun next morning, before the General was awake, the father tried on the General’s coat and hat, and strutted around for the merriment of his family. Hearing a commotion outside among the farm animals, he stepped to the door and was shot. The enemy thought they were shooting General Greene. After that the family scattered.”
It is interesting to note that in this version of the legend, the circumstances under which Zachariah happened to be wearing the General’ a uniform are perhaps more plausible than in the other. However, the place of residence of the family (on the Yadkin) is quite in error.
In 1940, a William P. Sparks of Maysville, Arkansas, since deceased, wrote to Mrs. Edna Briggs of Casper, Wyoming, an account of his ancestry. His great-grandfather was William Sparks, son of Zachariah. However, he stated, erroneously, that William’s father’s name was “Major William Sparks”; that he served with General Francis Marion (who in turn was under General Greene) and “was killed by Tories on the Banks of the Yadkin River in North Carolina at the end of the War in 1783.” Note that in this latter version, although William P. Sparks was in error regarding his great-greatgrandfather’s name, he did state that he was killed by Tories; whereas the Hiram Sparks of Atlanta had thought the family lived on the Yadkin, William P. Sparks stated that it was on the banks of the Yadkin that his ancestor was killed. This version also suggests the possibility that it might have been some other general rather than General Greene, (Francis Marion, perhaps) for whom Zaohariah was mistaken when he was shot. Curiously, a grandson of Zachaniah Sparks, Stephen Sparks (a brother of Hiram), married Asenath Greene who, according to family tradition, was a descendant of General Greene, arid they named one of their children Francis Marion Sparks. The William P. Sparks quoted above was a son of this Francis Marion Sparks.
As noted earlier, the present writer has searched the Greene papers without finding any reference to Zachariah Sparks. Two scholars currently writing biographies of Greene have also assured me that they had never heard of such a story. A possible explanation for this absence of references in the Green papers to Zachariah Sparks is provided by a descendant, Kenneth Sparks, of La Fontaine, Indiana. He states that it has always been his impression that Zachariah Sparks was a personal scout to General Greene, a spy in other words, whose identity was known only to the General and to his staff. There is one letter in the Greene papers that may possibly refer to Zachariah Sparks, although the name is clearly written “Starks.” On the chance that it was intended for “Sparks,” it is perhaps worth quoting. It is preserved in the William L. Clements Library and was written to General Greene by one of his scouts named John Butler.
At Col. Lanes 11th May 1781
11 0 clock morn
Since writing this morning informing you of the Enemy’s movements toward Halifax, your favors of the 3d instant is come to hand by Edwards & Starks. They informe me that your letters sent by Seymore, who left your camp two days before they did, were taken from him at Deep River by one Pile & 7 other tories and himself badly beaten Robbed of his Horse & his Clothes stripped of him.
I am your obedient Servant
On May 3, 1781, when the letters were written by Greene mentioned as having been delivered to Butler by Edwards and “Starks,” General Greene was camped at “Sawney’s Creek, Taunts Ford, west side of Wateree.”
According to the sketch by Hiram Sparks, Zachaniah Sparks was involved in a number of battles and was twice taken prisoner. Again, no official record has been found of his servioe. Irene McDaniel Titus, in her History of the McCray Family, in which a chapter is devoted to Zachaniah Sparks and his descendants, points out that many South Carolinians fought in skirmishes and minor battles that went unrecorded in military history. One of the engagements in which Zachariah may very well have participated was the Battle of Clark’s Ford. This was fought on the Enoree River near the home of John Clark, whose land actually adjoined Zachariah’s grant of 1771.
According to Hiram Sparks, Zachariah had two sons, William, born August 16, 1772, and John. John, it is said, “disappeared in early life and no trace of him was ever found.” It is not unusual in family traditions to find statements similar to this regarding a relative with whom the family has lost contact. In the days when letter writing was much less common than today, relatives frequently lost track of each other as they moved fron one place to another, simply because they failed to write. This is probably what happened to John. It also seems probable that there were other children of Zachariah Sparks besides William and John. There was another Zachariah Sparks who, according to his tombstone, was born January 12, 1756, and died April 16, 1852. This Zachariah, who was probably a son of the elder Zachariah, lived much of his life in Union County, South Carolina, which borders Laurens County on the north-east. He owned a farm in Union County located near the present town of Cross Keys, on which there is an old cemetery known as Sparks Graveyard. Zachariah Sparks (1756-1852), however, was buried in Cedar Springs Cemetery in Spartanburg County. In 1850, this Zachariah was living with his daughter Catherine (born about 1795) in the home of William Lawson in Union County. Claude Sparks of Union, South Carolina, who located the grave of this Zachariah, states: “I am not certain why Zachariah Sparks, who owned land near Cross Keys and in later life lived with the William Lawson family until shortly before his death, happened to be buried in Cedar Springs Cemetery in Spartanburg County. However, there was a Drury Sparks who was a member of Putman Baptist Church, located in the north-western part of Union County, and the indications are that he lived close to the Spartanburg-Union County line about the time Zachariah Sparks died in 1852; so this Drury Sparks may have been a son of Zachariah, and was living in the vicinity of Cedar Springs at that time.”
It seems probable that this Zachariah Sparks (1756-1852) also had a son named William Sparks who married Sarah Dodd and had children named Drury; Zachariah; Sarah, Jr.; Frances; and Elizabeth. William Sparks lived near the farm owned by Zaohariah Sparks in Union County and died on April 9, 1859. His daughter, Frances, was postmistress at Cross Keys at the time of the Civil War.
Zachariah Sparks, who, according to legend was shot by mistake for General Green., was probably the father of Stephen Sparks who was born about 1760 and lived in Newberry County, South Carolina, just over the line from Laurens County. Stephen Sparks owned 300 acres on Indian Creek in Newberry County and 227 acres on the south side of Duncan’s Creek in Laurens County. There are a number of references to Stephen Sparks among the official records of Newberry County, one being a deed dated February 12, 1810, by which Stephen Sparks, Daniel Loftin and William Loftin gave to the “Baptist Society of Christians” 3½ acres “on the waters of Indian Creek, part of our respective lands.” Stephen Sparks died intestate on July 10, 1816, leaving the following children:
(1) Zachariah Sparks, son of Stephen, born about 1780. He served in the War of 1812 (in Capt. Benj. Lewis’s Company, Col. S. Tucker’s Regiment of South Carolina Militia). He was a resident of Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio, in 1850 and gave his age as 70 on the census of that year. He was living with his brother, Joseph K. Sparks. He received bounty land for his war service.
(2) Jesse Sparks, son of Stephen, born about 1785. He moved to Shelby County, Alabama, before 1820. He was listed on the 1820 and 1830 censuses of Shelby County and appears to have had at least five sons and five daughters. Apparently the entire family moved from Shelby County after 1830. No further record.
(3) Joseph K. Sparks, son of Stephen, born about 1791. He served in the War of 1812 (in Capt. Nat. Martin’s Company of South Carolina Militia) and received bounty land and a pension for this service. Much of our information regarding him has been taken from these papers (see the present issue of the Quarterly, page 588, for an abstract of these papers). Joseph K. Sparks was a resident of Shelby County, Ala., in 1820, but by 1827 he was in Cincinnati, Ohio, where on May 10, 1827, he married Elizabeth Goodwin. He studied medicine and became
a physician in Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio. There his wife died about 1839. He married, second, Abi (Linton) Farquhar, widow of Josiah Farquhar, in Wilmington on November 10, 1842. Joseph K. Sparks died September 17, 1873, in Wilmington. His widow, Abi, later received a pension for his service in the War of 1812. It would appear from census records that Joseph K.Sparks had two children by his second wife, Stephen L. Sparks, born about 1845, and Josiah W. Sparks, born about 1848. A George Sparks, born about 1829, who was a resident of Wilmington in 1850, may have been a son by the first marriage.
(4) Isaac Sparks, son of Stephen, born about 1795. He was still a resident of Newberry County, S.C., in 1820, when he was given a power of attorney by his brothers, Jesse and Joseph, and his sister, Elizabeth, all of Shelby County, Ala. It is probable that this is the saixe Isaac Sparks who married, as a second wife, Christiana Thomas in Shelby County, Ala., on October 17, 1821. On the marriage bond his name appeared as Isaac E. Sparks and by 1830 he was a resident of Perry County, Ala. He died in Perry County about 1834. In the papers settling his estate, his chi]xiren were identified as(1) Mary Ann Sparks, married William R. Seal prior to 1839;(5) Phoeby Sparks, daughter of Stephen. She had married ----- Lewis by 1816.
(2) Sarah A. Sparks, married James R. Sparks prior to 1841;
(3) Elizabeth Sparks;
(4) Stephen Sparks;
(5) William Sparks; and
(6) Andrew Sparks.
(6) Elizabeth Sparks, daughter of Stephen; she was married to William Poole.
(7) Sarah Ann Sparks, daughter of Stephen. She was under 21 in 1816; she married in Shelby County, Ala, Feb. 13, 1820, George R. King.
(8) Mary (Polly) Sparks, daughter of Stephen; she was under 21 in 1816. She married in Shelby County, Ala., on Nov. 9, 1821, James H. Camron.
William Sparks (1772-1862), Son of Zachariah Sparks
The life story of William Sparks, son of Zachariah, was briefly summarized by his son, Hiram Sparks, in the Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties, Indiana, published in 1899, page 896: “William Sparks was born in South Carolina August 16, 1772, son of Zachariah Sparks.... William Sparks grew to manhood in his native state and married Mary Palmer, who like himself was of English origin. In 1812 he emigrated to Indiana and first located in Union County near the site of the present city of Liberty. He remained there for a time, or until land in this vicinity came into market when he removed to Fayette County and entered land on section 36 in Connersville Township and there made a home and passed away the rest of his life. He died Jan. 31, 1862. His wife passed away on her birthday, July 6, 1848, at age of 69 years. William Sparks was a most estimable citizen, honored arid respected by all who knew him and both he and his wife were life-long members of the Baptist Church,”
Mary Palmer (born July 6, 1779) and William Sparks were married in South Carolina about 1795. She was a daughter of Joshua Palmer. Both she and her husband were buried in the old Village Creek Baptist Church Graveyard near Connersville. Joshua Palmer, father of Mary, was a prominent minister in the Baptist Church. In 1833 he applied for a pension as a veteran of the American Revolution and stated that he had been born on March 12, 1750, in Amelia County, Virginia. Hiram Sparks stated that Joshua Palmer, father of Mary, was a native of England and that he served on an English ship at sea for thre. years and then came to America as a young man. However, as noted above, in his pension papers, Joshua Palmer himself stated that he had been born in Virginia. He died in Union District, South Carolina, in December, 1835. Hiram Sparks gave the following account of the Rev. Joshua Palmer’s later years: “It appears that when Joshua Palmer decided to emigrate north with his family he had appointments to preach at various
places and felt that he should fill these engagements. It was therefore determined that the mother and children should come north in advance of the father who would follow later. When passing through Kentucky the mother became seriously ill and they camped at a place now known as Crab Orchard. In that vicinity they found the hut of a settler and decided to move the sick mother to it. On entering the hut, however, they found it unfit for such purposes and returned to the wagon and there the children had the sad experience of witnessing their mother die. Tenderly they laid her to rest and carefully marked the spot, and sadly the children continued their journey to Indiana.
Later, when the father and husband came he sought and found the lonely grave in Kentucky where he tarried a time and while there he collected the scattered settlers and preached to them the gospel of eternal life beyond the grave. These events proved to be an amazing influence that resulted in the organization of a Baptist Church at Crab Orchard and finally the erection of the first church at this place. Rev. Joshua Palmer settled in Union County where nearly all the rest of his life was spent engaged in the work of the ministry. After taking up his residence in Indiana, he often returned to Crab Orchard and preached to the people and his visits were always warmly welcomed.”
William and Mary (Palmer) Sparks were the parents of the following children:
1. Zachariah Sparks, son of William and Mary (Palmer) Sparks, was born in 1796 in Laurens County, South Carolina. He was married to Elizabeth Carter on May 16, 1815, in Franklin County, Indiana, by James Smith. They had children named:(1) Stephen Sparks, born about 1823;2. Joshua Sparks, son of William and Mary (Palmer) Sparks, was born in 1798 in Laurens County, South Carolina. He married Rachael McCray, daughter of Phineas and Sarah Jane (Peters) McCray, on April 9, 1818, in Franklin County, Indiana. At one time they lived in Bartholomew County, Indiana; later Rush County. Rachael died prior to 1847 and Joshua married (second) Sarah Cross (Rush County marriage bond dated September 23, 1847).
(2) Amizah Sparks;
(3) Zachariah Sparks;
(4) Sarah Ann Sparks;
(5) Becky Sparks;
(6) Nancy Sparks;
(7) Jane Sparks;
(8) Matilda Sparks;
(9) Malinda Sparks; and
(10) Martha Sparks.
From deeds and probate records, it appears that Sarah Cross was a widow of James Cross. Joshua Sparks made his will on October 12, 1848, and died prior to May, 1850. In his will he referred to his daughter Sarah who had married William Newhouse in 1839 and his daughter Nancy who had married George Redding in 1838. He also provided for his son Pheneus (who married Elizabeth Sergeant in 1854). He provided also for an “unborn heir.”
From later probate records in Rush County, it appears that this “unborn heir” was a son who was named John Sparks and that Joshua’s brother, the Rev. John Sparks (1806-1863) became the child’s guardian. Although no other children were mentioned in Joshua’s will, it seems likely that the Moses Sparks who married Abigail Redding in 1838 in Rush County, and the Joshua Sparks who married Mary Nixon in 1842 in Rush County, were also sons of Joshua.
3. Jane Sparks, daughter of William and Mary (Palmer) Sparks, was born Dec. 22, 1800, and died Dec. 12, 1864. On Feb. 16, 1817, she was married to Moses McCray, son of Phineas and Sarah Jane (Peters) MoCray, in Franklin County, md. Moses McCray was born Aug. 15, 1794, in Bourbon County, Kentucky, and died May 5, 1883. He and his wife are buried in the McCray Cemetery, in Hancock County, md. They were the parents of 13 children:(1) Phineas McCray, born 1818;
(2) Mary McCray, born Aug. 20, 1820;
(3) William McCray;
(4) Rachel McCray, born 1825;
(5) John McCray, born 1827;
(6) Stephen McCray, born 1829;
(7) James Thomas McCray, born 1831;
(8) Martha McCray, born 1833;
(9) Moses A. McCray, born 1835;
(10) Nancy McCray, born 1837;
(11) Sally McCray, died in infancy;
(12) Sarah Ann McCray, born 1840, died in infancy; and
(13) Phebe L. McCray, born 1842.
4. Mary Sparks, daughter of William and Mary (Palmer) Sparks, was born Feb. 6, 1802, and died Nov. 23, 1887. She married, on Dec. 19, 1821, Stephen Harlan, in Fayette County, Ind. He was a son of Samuel and Nancy (Brown) Harlan and was born in Laurens County, S .C., on June 9, 1801, and died in Hancock County, Ind., on April 19, 1877. They moved to Hancock County, Ind., in 1834. They were the parents of the following children:(1) Jane Harlan;
(2) Nancy Harlan;
(3) Mary Harlan;
(4) Sarah Harlan;
(5) Caroline Harlan;
(6) Joshua P. Harlan; and
(7) Elizabeth Harlan.
5. John Sparks, son of William and Mary (Palmer) Sparks, was born Dec. 6, 1806, in Laurens County, S.C., and died at La Fontaine,Ind., on March 8, 1863. He was a prominent Baptist preacher and, with his brother, William, also a Baptist preacher, dedicated the new Baptist Church in Concord, Hancock County, Ind., in 1856. According to tradition, when the organ was brought to the new church, John Sparks refused to permit it to enter until it had been baptized in Sugar Creek. John Sparks married Elizabeth Harlan, (Fayette County, Ind., marriage bond dated Nov. 2, 1826), daughter of Samuel and Nancy (Brown) Harlan. She was born Jan. 25, 1807, and died at La Fontaine, md., on Sept. 19, 1879. They were the parents of the following children:(1) Nancy Sparks, born 1828;
(2) Mary Sparks, born 1829;
(3) Charlotte Sparks, born 1831;
(4) Amanda Sparks, born 1833;
(5) Martha Ann Sparks, born 1834;
(6) Jane Sparks, born 1837;
(7) WilsonThompson Sparks, born 1838;
(8) Elizabeth R. Sparks, born 1841;
(9) John Jefferson Sparks, born 1843;
(10) Sarah Emeline Sparks, born 1845; and
(11) William Thomas Sparks, born 1848.
6. Stephen Sparks, son of William and Mary (Palmer) Sparks, was born July 6, 1808, and died in Kansas on Feb. 11, 1899. According to family records, he was married on July 10, 1827, to Asenath Greene, who was born in Term. about 1806 and died in Leavenworth County, Kansas, before 1862. However, the marriage bond as recorded in Fayette County, Md., is dated July 9, 1828, and the wife’s name appears as Asenith Woolverton. Perhaps she was a widow whose maiden name was Greene. Stephen and his family moved from Indiana to Missouri in 1845 and later, in 1854, to Kansas where they were active Abolitionists. Stephen and Asenath were the parents of the following children:(1) Stephen Sparks, Jr., born about 1828;
(2) John Sparks, born about 1829;
(3) William Sparks, born 1830;
(4) Moses Sparks, born 1831;
(5) Lott S. Sparks, born 1836;
(6) Mary Jane Sparks, born 1838;
(7) Green C. Sparks, born 1840; and
(8) Francis Marion Sparks, born 1843.
7. William Sparks, son of William and Mary (Palmer) Sparks, was born in 1812 and died in 1891, He was a prominent Baptist preacher and lived most of his life in Fayette County, Indiana. In 1833 he married Elizabeth Webb in Fayette County, Ind.; she was born in 1818 and died in 1881. They were the parents of the following children:(1) Mary Jane Sparks, born 1834;
(2) John E. Sparks, born 1835;
(3) William Lewis Sparks, born 1837;
(4) Katherine Sparks, born about 1841;
(5) Sarah Elizabeth Sparks, born about 1843;
(6) Milton Thompson Sparks, born Nov. 25, 1842;
(7) Frances Emmerine Sparks, born about 1847;
(8) Hiram F. Sparks, born about 1848;
(9) Ella Sparks; and
(10) Phoebe Sparks.
8. Mathew Sparks, son of William and Mary (Palmer) Sparks, was born about 1815. He died before reaching maturity.
9. Joseph Sparks, son of William and Mary (Palmer) Sparks, was born about 1819. He died before reaching maturity.
10. Hiram Sparks, son of William and Mary (Palmer) Sparks, was born Oct. 21, 1821. He was married to Elizabeth Stoopes, daughter of John and Eady Stoopes, in Fayette County, Ind., on Feb. 17, 1842. Except for fifteen years spent in Kansas, they lived their lives in Fayette County, Indiana. Hiram Sparks was the author of the sketch quoted earlier regarding his grandfather, Zachariah Sparks, and his father, William Sparks. No record has been found of Hiram Sparks having any children.
SPARKSES IN THE WAR OF 1812
BOUNTY LAND AND PENSION APPLICAT IONS
(Continued from page 545)
|JOEL SPARKS,||born prior to 1793, died about 1861, of Surry County, North Carolina, and Bates County, Missouri. Bounty Land File BL Reg. 207 286-1855.|
On Aug. 13, 1855, Joel Sparks of Bates County, Missouri, applied for bounty land under the Congressional Act of March 3, 1855. He stated that he was 62 years of age (although from other records it would appear that he must have been several years older than this) and that he had served as a private in Capt. Witcher’s Company in a regiment of North Carolina Militia commanded by a Col. Adkinson in the War of 1812; that he was drafted at Surry County, N.C., in the fall of 1814 for the term of 6 months, but that he served only 14 days; that he was honorably discharged at Hillsborough, N.C., on or about Dec. 1, 1814. He signed the application as “Joel Sparks”; the witnesses were Ms.(?) M. Briseve and Geo. C. Pulliam. Squire G. Allen signed as a justice of the peace.
The Treasury Department reported that no record could be found of Joel Sparks’s service.
In 1857 Joel Sparks asked that his application be re-examined and he submitted as proof of his service a statement made on March 27, 1857, by his brother, William Sparks, of Cooper County, Missouri. This document reads as follows:
“State of Missouri County of Cooper On this 27th day of March AD 1857, personally appeared before me the Clerk of the County Court within and for the County of Cooper aforesaid, William Sparks who having been by me first duly sworn on his oath states that ----- [a fold in the paper has made the line illegible] ----- sixty seven years-- who was a private in the Company Commanded by Captain Witcher, in the 13th Regiment of the North Carolina Militia, Commanded by Col. Atkinson in the war with Great Br itam, declared by the United States on the 18th day of June 1812; that he was drafted on or about the month of July AD 181 [sic] for the time of six months and continued in actual service in said War for the term of more than fourteen days. This affiant further states that at the time he was drafted as aforesaid and in the County of Surry and State of North Carolina, his brother Joel Sparks--whose claim No. 207.286 far bounty land is said to be suspended--was drafted and to the Certain Knowledge of this affiant served as a private in the same Company same Regiment and same war for a period of more than fourteen days. And that whilst said service was being performed by said Joel Sparks as aforesaid, he said Joel, became so disabled on account of a rising in left leg near the ancle as to be unable to continue in said service. And that on account of said disability said Joel Sparks was honorable discharged by said Commander of said Regiment. This affiant was present and saw said Joel Sparks honorably discharged for the reason aforesaid, in the town of Hillsboro in Orange County arid State of North Carolina, and that he saw the said discharge afterwards in the possession of said
Joel Sparks, and that he has no interest in the claim of said Joel Sparks for bounty Land. And further this affiant saith not. [signed] William Sparks.” This statement was sworn to before Henry C. Levens, Clerk of the County Clerk, who certified that “I have long known the said William Sparks personally and that he is a credible person.”Another document that Joel Sparks submitted with his request that his application be reconsidered, was a sworn statement by his daughter, Nancy Ashcraft, who appeared before A. S. Pulliam, a justice of the peace of Cass County, Missouri, on April 11, 1857. The document reads as follows: “On this 11th day of Aprile AD 1857, personally appeared Before me A. S. Pulliam a Justice of the Peace in and for the County of Cass, and State of Missouri, Nancy Ashcraft who having been By me first duly Sworn on her oath Stats, that she is the oldest Chld of Joel Sparks and that She is forty Eight or nine years of age, that she was Knowing to her Farther Joel Sparks Enlisting in the war with Great Britton declared by the United States, 18th of June 1812 for the term of Six Months, She does not no how long he Continued in the servis. This Affeant further States at the time her Farther Joel Sparks Enlisted that he lived in the County of Surry in State of North Carolina and that she has frequently saw her Farthers Discharge and that she has no Interest in the Claim of said Joel Sparks for Bounty land.” Nancy Ashcraft signed this statement by mark.
On May 16, 1857, the Treasury Department re-examined the bounty land claim of Joel Sparks but reported that, whereas the name of William Sparks was on the roll of Capt. John Witcher’s Company of North Carolina Militia as having served from Nov. 28, 1814, until Feb. 22, 1815, the name of Joel Sparks did not appear, and he did not receive bounty land.
(Editor’s Note: Joel Sparks was a son of Matthew and Eunice Sparks of
Surry County, North Carolina, and a grandson of William
Sparks who came f rom Frederiok County, Maryland, to North Carolina about
1760. Matthew Sparks, father of Joel made his will in Surry County
on March 26, 1819; he named his children as: (1) Joel Sparks; (2) George
Sparks; (3) Matthew Sparks, Jr.; (4) William Sparks; (5) John Sparks; (6)
Nancy Smith; (7) Sally Bray; and (8) Peggy West. Joel Sparks, who
appears to have been Matthew’s oldest son, was married twice. By his first
wife, whose name we have not found, Joel Sparks is said to have had nine
children; the following are known to have been among these nine: Nancy,
who married ----- Ashcraft; John C. Sparks, born 1815; William W. Sparks,
born about 1817; and Joel Sparks, Jr., born 1824.
[Scanner's note: Joel was a son of Matthew Sparks, a grandson of William Sparks, and a great-grandson of William Sample Sparks. See SQ pp. 3390 and 3500 for this correction.]
Prior to 1850, Joel Sparks moved to Lafayette County, Missouri; by 1855 he was living in Bates County, Missouri. His first wife died in Surry County, N .C., prior to 1846, and as his second wife, he married in Wilkes County, North Carolina, Mary Shatley. The marriage bond for this second marriage is dated Nov. 23, 1846. By his second wife, Joel Sparks had three Sons: (1.) Andrew J. Sparks, born about l848; (2) David Francis Sparks, born about 1849; and, (3) So1omon Sparks, born about 1851.
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|JOHN SPARKS,||born about 1793; of Salem County, New Jersey. Bounty Land Warrant File 15366-120-55.|
On Dec. 19, 1850, John Sparks of Upper Penns Neck, Salem County, N.J., applied for bounty land. He stated that he was 57 years old and that he had served as 4th corporal in Capt. Peter Sander’s company in the New Jersey Militia coninanded by Col. Joshua L. Howell in the War of 1812; that he was drafted at Upper Penns Neck on or about Sept. 20 to 26, 1814, for 6 months, but that he served about three months and was honorably discharged between Dec. 20 to 26, 1814, at Salem, N.J. He added that he did not receive a written discharge. He signed his name as “John Sparks” before Hudson A. Springer, a justice of the peace.
John Sparks received 40 acres of bounty land (Warrant No. 19817) as a result of this application.
On March 29, 1855, John Sparks applied for additional bounty land under the Act of March 3, 1855. He stated that he was 64 years of age and a resident of Salem County, N.J. His other statements were essentially the same as those he had made in 1850. He signed this application as “John Sparks”; John Thompson signed as justice of the peace, and Lewis Mairey and James M. Allen signed as witnesses.
John Sparks was granted an additional warrant for 120 acres of bounty
land under the 1855 Act.
|JOHN SPARKS,||born June 26, 1784, probably in North Carolina; he grew up and married in Georgia; died Oct. 18, 1856, at Tallassee, Alabama. Widow SARAH (BROOKS) SPARKS, born Oct. 16, 1788, died in the 1860’s in Texas. Bounty Land Warrant File 44 943-80-55.|
On March 15, 1854, Sarah Sparks of Titus County, Texas, mad. application for bounty land. She stated that she was 65 years of age and that she was the widow of John Sparks who had been a volunteer in the Georgia Militia in a company commanded by a Capt. Varner; that he volunteered at Fort Hawkins, was mustered into service in 1813 for 6 months and was honorably discharged on or about March 1, 1814, “which discharge has been lost from her said Sarah’s possession.” She further stated that her husband, John Sparks, was also a volunteer in the Alabama Militia in the Creek and Seminole Indian War of 1836 in a company commanded by John H. Broadnax for 3 months. “Said Sarah further states that she was married to said John Sparks in Jackson County, Georgia, on the 29th day of March A.D. 1806 by one William Spencer, Justice of the Peace, and that her said husband, John Sparks, died at Tallasee [Alabama] on the 18th day of October AD 1836, and that she is still a widow.” She signed her name as “Sarah Sparks” and J. A. McLauren signed as justice of the peace.
Attached to the application of Sarah Sparks is the following statement by her son, Nathan F. Sparks: “Personally appeared before me F. N. Sparks & after being Sworn according to law declares that his father John Sparks was mustered into Service at Tallassee in 1836 for three Months & twenty Six days under Capt John Broadnax & continued in actual Service for near that time & was honorably discharged at the said Tallassee. [signed] N. F. Sparks. Sworn to & Subscribed before me March 15th 1854 [signed] J. A. McLauren, J.P.”
In order to prove that she was the widow of John Sparks, Sarah Sparks submitted an affidavit signed before a justice of the peace by James Brooks and Paschal Brooks of Chambers County, Alabama, who swore: “that they were acquainted with John Sparks and Sarah Sparks and that they were present when the said John Sparks and Sarah Sparks was married and that said marriage took place in Jackson County and State of Georgia.” Both parties signed their names to this document on Nov. 8, 1854, before Nathan Y. Hunter, an acting justice of the peace.
On Jan. 3, 1855, William Sparks and Francis M. Sparks, sons of John and Sarah (Brooks) Sparks, of Titus County, Texas, deposed that John Sparks had volunteered for service against the Creek Indians on or about May 1, 1836, and was mustered into service at Tallassee in Talapoosy (i.e. Tallapoose.) County, Ala., in the company of Capt. John H. Broadnax and that he was honorably discharged at Tallassee after 3 months and 26 days; and “that they were eye witnesses to what they have above stated” and that each of them had already received 40 acres of bounty land for his service. They signed this document as “Wm Sparks” and “Francis M. Sparks”; James Cowan was the justice of the peace before whom they swore.
Sarah Sparks was granted 80 acres of bounty land under the act of Sept. 28, 1850.
On Feb. 19, 1856, Sarah Sparks applied for additional bounty land under the Act of 1855. She made her application before R. J. Holbrook, a notary public of Titus Co., Texas, but in her application she stated that she was a resident of Stephens County. She stated that she was 67 years old and that before her marriage to John Sparks her name had been Sarah Brooks. She gave essentially the same information as she had in her earlier application. She signed her name as “Sarah Sparks”; the witnesses were William Sparks and Campbell English.
The Pension Office asked for proof of her marriage to John Sparks and on Dec. 9, 1856, Sarah Sparks wrote from Lone Star, Titus County, Texas, that she had submitted proof of her marriage with her first application. Francis M. Sparks and James B. Sparks of Titus County, Texas, added a statement to her letter, stating that Sarah Sparks was the widow of John Sparks and that “she lived with John Sparks as his wife and raised a large family of children.” They signed their names as “F. N. Sparks” and “James B. Sparks”; although they did not state their relationship to Sarah Sparks, they were actually her sons. R. J. Holbrook signed as notary public.
Sarah Sparks was issued a warrant for 80 additional acres of bounty land under the Act of 1855.
(Editor’s Note: This John Sparks was born, according to a family Bible
record, on June 26, l784. He was a son of Matthew Sparks, Jr., and
a grandson of Matthew and Sarah Sparks (see the Quarterly of June, 1961,
Vol. IX, No. 2, pp. 556-66 [Whole No. 34], for a sketch of John’ s grandparents,
Matthew and Sarah Sparks). (See the Quarterly of December, 1956, Vol. IV,
No. 4, pp. 179-182 [Whole No. 16], for the pension papers of Matthew Sparks,
Jr., father of John Sparks.) John Sparks was born at about the time his
father and grandfather moved from Wilkes County, North Carolina, to Franklin
County, Georgia, probably a few months before the family made the journey.
According to research done by Dee Brown Walker of Dallas, whose wife descends
from John and Sarah (Brooks) Sparks, they were the parents of the following
children: (1) William J. Sparks; (2) Nathan F. Sparks; (3) James Brooks
Sparks, born Jan. 31, 1809; (4) Sara Idris Sparks, married ---- Deny; (5)
Martha N. Sparks, married James T. Rutledge; and (6) Francis Marion Sparks,
born February 4, 1818. There was probably another daughter named
Nancy who married William Thomas.)
|JOHN SPARKS,||born about 1773 in New Jersey; died before 1831. Bounty Land Warrant Fil. No. 8 677-160-12.|
The papers in this file are obviously incomplete. This John Sparks was a private in Capt. Robinson’s Company in the 42nd Regiment of the regular U.S. Army. Among the papers is his discharge which states that he had enlisted on Nov. 13, 1813, to serve throughout the war, and that he was honorably discharged at Philadelphia on May 19, 1815; and that at the time of his discharge he was 42 years of age, 5 feet 10½ inches tall, of dark complexion, with brown eyes and dark hair, and that he had been born in New Jersey.
From the extant papers, it appears that on Feb. 10, 1817, a warrant (number 8677) had been issued to John Sparks for 160 acres of bounty land, but that he never located or claimed this land. In 1831, the heirs of John Sparks, residents of Pennsylvania, inquired whether they might obtain a new warrant, because John Sparks was now dead and the original warrant had been lost. Apparently nothing more was done until 1852.
According to a document in the file, on Dec. 1, 1852, at a court held in Lycoming County, Penna., “satisfactory evidence was adduced in court to prove that Margaret Sparks, Elizabeth Sparks, James Sparks, and Mary Sparks were the legal heirs and children of John Sparks, deceased, that Elizabeth is intermarried with Joseph Milnor, and Mary with Joseph Houghton, and now survive and that the other heirs [not named] have not been
heard of for twenty years & are supposed to be dead.” J. M. Green, prothonotary of Lycoming County, Penna., certified that this document was a true copy of the court record.
On Oct. 22, 1852, a sworn statement was made by “Charlotte Milner, wife of James Milner,” of Lycoming County, that she had “full knowledge of the heirs of John Sparks” and named them in the same way as in the court record. Charlotte Milner signed this statement by mark, which was witnessed by R. W. Carson and J. G. Rathwell, J.P.
(Editor’s note: According to a book entitled War with Great Britain,
1812-1815, John Sparks enlisted in the 42nd Regiment at Toms River,
|JOHN SPARKS,||of Union and Spartanburg Counties, South Carolina; born about 1795, di.d in 1857. Bounty Land Warrant Fil. No. 22 273-80-55.|
On Dec. 7, 1850, John Sparks appeared before a magistrate in Union County, South Carolina, and made application for bounty land under the Act of Sept. 28, 1850. He stated that he was 55 years old and a resident of Union County, and that he had been a private in a company commanded by Capt. Thomas White in the First Regiment of South Caroline. Militia commanded by Col. Hugh Means in the War of 1812. He stated that he had volunteered at Spartanburg District in South Carolina on or about Oct. 1, 1814, for 6 months and that he actually served 5 months; that he was honorably discharged on or about March 8, 1815, but received no written discharge. He signed his declaration as “John Sparks.”
Attached to the above declaration 18 a sworn statement by William Hall dated Dec. 7, 1850, in which he deposed that “he is well acquainted with John Sparks” and that “he Volunteered, served, and was honorably discharged at Charleston, South Carolina” arid “that he remembers well the said John Sparks Volunteered and left Union District about the first day of October 1814 and was In the service when deponant entered as a private.” William Hall signed by mark. Both declarations were certified by a magistrate whose name appears to have been J. M. Hadberry.
John Sparks was issued a warrant for 80 acres of bounty land under the 1850 Act.
On April 26, 1855, John Sparks applied for additional bounty land under
the Act of March 3, 1855. He stated that he was 62 years old and a resident
of Spartanburg District in South Carolina. His statements regarding his
service during the War of
1812 were the same as he gave in 1850. The witnesses to this declaration were J. W. Tucker and Henry Griffin--the latter signed by mark. O. E. Edwards signed as notary public.
(Editor’s Note: The above John Sparks was a son, probably the oldest son, of Josiah and Lydia (Tollison) Sparks of Union County, South Carolina. From information available at present, it appears that Josiah Sparks, father of John, was the same Josiah Sparks who was born August 26, 1761, in Prince George’s County, Maryland, (see the Quarterly of March, 1956, Vol. IV, No. 1, p. 120 [Whole No. 13]). In his will, dated Feb. 12, 1851, Josiah Sparks named his children as John, Thomas, James, Muse, Nancy, Elizabeth, Abigail, Frances, and Mary Ann. John Sparks, son of Josiah, was listed on the 1850 census of Union County, South Carolina, as a farmer 56 years of age and born in South Carolina. His wife, whose name appears to have been Fereby, had apparently died before 1850. Living with John Sparks in 1850 were the following: Sarah Sparks, aged 25; Mary Sparks, aged 11; ElIjah Sparks, aged 27; and Martha Sparks, aged 14--all were probably his children. Also living with him was Catherine Sparks, aged 70--perhaps she was an aunt. John Sparks died in Spartanburg County in 1857; his brother, Elijah Sparks, was administrator of his estate.)
|JOHN SPARKS,||born about 1789; enlisted in Brown County, Ohio, in 1813; a resident of Johnson County, Indiana~ in 1850. Bounty Land Warrant File No. 9 103-160-50.|
On Nov. 30, 1850, John Sparks appeared before a justice of the peace in Johnson County, Indiana, in order to make application for bounty land. He swore that he was 61 years old and was a resident of Johnson County; that he had been a private in a company commanded by Capt. William B., Watson in the 24th Regiment of Ohio Regulars commanded by a Col. Smith in the War of 1812; that he had enlisted at Decatur, Brown County, Ohio, on July 3, 1813, for one year and actually served one year and was honorably discharged at Buffalo, New York, on June 22, 1814, “as will appear by his original discharge, Deposited as he supposes in the pension office at the city of Washington.” He signed his application by mark before George Botsford, Justice of the Peace. His return address was given as Nineveh Post Office, Williamsbgh, Johnson County, Indiana.
Among the papers in this file is a letter written by Jonathan H. Williams for John Sparks on Sept. 12, 1851, explaining that he had sent his discharge to the pension office in 1846 for the purpose of applying for a pension. The discharge, however, is not among the papers in this file and there is no record of his receiving a pension.
John Sparks was issued a warrant for 160 acres of bounty land for his service. Since he made no application under the Act of 1855, it is probable that he died between 1850 and 1855.
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|JOSEPH SPARKS,||born about 1785, of Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Bounty Land Warrant File No. 82 175-120-55.|
On June 14, 1851, Joseph Sparks, a resident of Bedford County, Pennsylvania, appeared before a justice of the peace named John Sparks and made application for bounty land. Joseph Sparks swore that he was 66 years old and that he had been a private in the company commanded by Capt. Solomon Sparks in the Second 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; that he “was dismissed from the service at Black Rock on the Niagara River to find winter quarters some time in December, 1812, being absent from his home about four months.” He signed his name as “Joseph Sparks." Attached to this application is the following statement: “June the 14th 1851: Personally appeared before me John Sparks a Justice of the Peace within and for the County of Bedford, David Fletcher and James Sparks and after being duly sworn doth Depose and say that the above declaration is true according to the best of their Knowledge and belief they having been volunteered in the same Company with him and that they marched with him to Black Rock and were compeled to seek winter quarters and further saith not given under our hands and seals [signed] David Fletcher [and] James Sparks.”
Apparently there was some question in the Pension Office regarding Joseph Sparks’s statement that he had been “dismissed from the service” at Black Rock, and on Dec. 17, 1852, he again appeared before John Sparks, Justice of the Peace, and deposed “That he was honourably discharged at Black Rock, but never received any written or printed discharge; that Samuel Smith and David Fletcher to whom Bounty Land Warrants have been issued, served in the same company & returned home at the same time.”
Joseph Sparks was issued a warrant (No. 20,216) for 40 acres of land.
On April 28, 1855, Joseph Sparks applied for additional bounty land
under the new Act of 1855. He stated that he was 69 years old and was a
resident of West Providence Township, Bedford County, Penna. He gave no
additional information regarding his service in the war. He signed his
application as “Joseph Sparks” and David Fletcher and James Sparks, both
West Providence Township, Bedford County, signed as witnesses. John Sparks signed as justice of the Peace.
Joseph Sparks was issued a warrant for 120 additional acres of bounty land under the Act of 1855. (Editor’s Note: On the 1850 census of West Providence Township, Bedford County, Penna., Joseph Sparks was listed as a farmer aged 65 years and born in Penna. Living in the same household were Christiana Sparks, aged 70; Elizabeth Sparks, aged 60; and Andrew Hornlee, aged 28; all born in Penna. (For additional information on Joseph Sparks, see the following abstracts of papers in the file of Joseph S. Sparks and the Editor’s Note following those abstracts.)
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|JOSEPH S. SPARKS,||born about 1794, of Bedford County, Penna.; moved to Bureau County, Illinois, in 1851; died in 1868. Bounty Land Warrant File No. 358-40-55. Pension File W C 27 481.|
On Feb. 1, 1851, Joseph S. Sparks appeared before a justice of the peace named James Belford in Bedford County, Penna., and made application for bounty land. He stated that he was 57 years old and a resident of East Providence, Bedford County, Penna.; that he was a volunteer in the company commanded by William Piper, afterwards commanded by Solomon Sparks, in the 2d Regiment of Riflemen commanded by Col. William Piper in the War of 1812; that he was mustered at Bloody Run in Bedford County on Sept. 9, 1812, for the term of 6 months and continued in actual service for two months and “received a pass” at Black Rock, New York, in Nov., 1812. He signed his name as “Joseph S. Sparks. Attached to this application is a sworn statement by Abraham Sparks that he, too, was a private in William Piper’s company, afterwards Solomon Sparks’s company, and that Joseph S. Sparks was in the same company.
Joseph S. Sparks was is sued a warrant for 40 acres of bounty land.
On March 21, 1855, Joseph S. Sparks applied for additional bounty land under the new act. He was now a resident of Bureau County, Illinois, and gave his age as 61. His statement regarding his service in the War of 1812 was essentially the same as that in his application of 1851, except that he stated he had been honorably discharged at Buffalo, New York, on or about Jan. 1, 1813, “on account of being ordered home with a sick Brother then & there in said company by order of said Captain.” He signed his name as “Joseph S. Sparks” in the presence of Levi North, Justice of the Peace. The witnesses were J. Porter and Solomon Sparks.
When the 1855 application of Joseph S. Sparks was received, the Pension Office questioned whether Joseph Sparks and Joseph S. Sparks, both of Bedford County in 1850, were not the same person. On Feb. 21, 1856, Joseph S. Sparks appeared before Joseph V. Thompson in Bureau County, Illinois, and stated “that he was under the Command of Captain Solomon Sparks of Bloody Run, Pennsylvania in the War of 1812, that in the same company there was another Joseph Sparks, that at the time this affiant was enrolled and during the War his (the affiant’s) name was Joseph Sparks, that after the War some years, this affiant changed his name to Joseph S. Sparks, in order that their names might be distinguished, that this affiant is probably five or six years younger than the other said Joseph Sparks.” He further stated that by the time his warrant for 40 acres had been sent to him in 1851, he had moved to Illinois, and that it was forwarded to him by his brother now in Bedford County (he did not give the brother’ s name). He signed his name as “Joseph S. Sparks.”
Joseph S. Sparks died at Wyanet, Bureau County, Illinois, on March 31, 1868. On May 23, 1878, his widow, Elizabeth Sparks, applied for a pension. In her application, she stated that she was 79 years of age (thus born about 1799) and that she was a resident of Wyanet, Ill. She was unable to give many details regarding her husband’s service because she stated that “she did not become acquainted with her said husband until after
the close of the war.” She stated that she was married to Joseph S. Sparks near the town of Taneytown in Frederick County, Maryland, on March 27, 1817, by John Cropp, a Minister of the Gospel, and that before her marriage her name was Elizabeth Naill, and that “neither herself nor her husband had been previously married.” She stated that her husband had died at Wyanet on March 31, 1868; that from the date of their marriage to 1851 they had lived in Bedford County, Penna., that from 1851 to 1857 they lived in Enon, Bureau County, Ill., and from 1857 to 1868 at Wyanet, Ill. She signed her application as “Elizabeth Sparks” in the presence of a notary public named O. Weaver. John Latty, aged 40, and Andrew Sapp, aged 30, both of Wyanet, Ill., swore they had known Elizabeth Sparks for 30 years and 25 years respectively and were “well acquainted with said Joseph S. Sparks, and have heard him say that he was a Soldier in the War of 1812 and said deceased always treated and acknowledged claimant as his wife.”
As proof of her marriage, Elizabeth Sparks submitted a document prepared May 30, 1878, in Frederick County, Maryland, by David W. Naill of Frederick County. (Since Elizabeth Sparks’s maiden name was Naill, this was probably her brother.) David W. Naill made oath that he knew Elizabeth Sparks and Joseph S. Sparks and “that he was present and one of those who waited upon them and saw claimant and said deceased husband married, that claimant’s maiden name was Elizabeth Naill, and that she was married to said Joseph S. Sparks at her father ‘a house near Taney Town, Maryland, by the Reverend John Cropp, pastor of the Luthern Church in Taney Town on the 27th day of March eighteen hundred and seventeen ... that after their marriage he accompanied them to his father’s residence near Bloody Run, Bedford County, Pennsylvania.” This statement was signed “D. W. Naill” in the presence of H. Brenneisen, Justice of the Peace.
Also to accompany her application, Elizabeth Sparks arranged for a record to be prepared that is especially valuable to the genealogist--a true copy of the family Bible record of the births of the children of her and Joseph S. Sparks. Following is the list:
Mary Ann Elizabeth Sparks was Born the 19th day of December 1818
Solomon Christian Sparks was Born the 3rd day of December 1820
Rachel Rebecca Sparks was Born the 19th day of February 1823
Maria Sparks was Born the 28th day of August 1825
Susanna N. Sparks was Born the 18th day of December 1827
Abraham Sparks was Born the 3rd day of December 1830
David W. Sparks was Born the 15th day of July 1833
Joseph R. Sparks was Born the 17th day of December 1835
John E. N. Sparks was Born the 26th day of August 1839
In refering to this record of her children, Elizabeth Sparks stated that “the Said family Bible has always been in my possession was Published by M. Carey No 121 Chesnut Street Philadelphia in the year 1816.” Added to this declaration is a certificate signed by 0.Weaver, Justice of the Peace, that he had examined the Bible record and found it to agree with the above copy, adding “I have been acquainted with Joseph S. Sparks and Elizabeth Sparks and most of their living children Since the Fall of 1851 and know their ages to correspond with the above Record.”
Another document in this file is signed by Dr. F, C. Robinson, aged 42, and Jonas Peterson, aged 65, both of Wyanet, stating that Joseph S. Sparks died on March 31, 1868--that Dr. Robinson was his physician during his last illness and Peterson was the undertaker “and attended the funeral in person.”
On Feb. 20, 1879, Elizabeth Sparks wrote to enquire about her pension, stating that the lawyer who had taken care of her papers was under arrest and she feared he had never submitted her application. She stated in another document dated Aug. 26, 1879, that she was 80 years old and that “owing to her feebleness and old age she didn’t feel able to Stand the Journey to a court of record.”
Elizabeth Sparks’s application was approved on Oct. 21, 1879, and she was granted a pension of $8.00 per month. Exactly when she died is unknown, but on July 4, 1892, her name was dropped from the pension rolls because of death.
(Editor’s Note: Both Joseph Sparks (File No. 82 175-120-55) and Joseph S. Sparks (File No. 358-40-55) served as privates in Capt. Solomon Sparks’s company organized in Bedford County, Penna. On a pay roll of this company printed in the Pennsylvania Archives, 6th Series, Vol. 7, pp. 737-38, covering the period from Sept. 25 through Nov. 24, 1812, “Joseph Sparks” arid “Joseph Sparks, Jr.” are listed as privates receiving $13.32 for their service. Abraham Sparks was also listed as a private in the company and received $13.32. Solomon Sparks as captain received $80.00, and James Sparks, as 2d corporal, received $14.66. There were 50 men in the company. Solomon Sparks, the captain, a resident of Bloody Run in Bedford County, Penna., earlier had been a soldier in the American Revolution. (See the Quarterly of March, 1955, Vol. III, No. 1, pp. 59-61 [Whole No. 9], where his pension papers were published.) Solomon Sparks was born in 1758 in Frederick County, Maryland, and was a son of Joseph Sparks who moved with his family from Maryland to Bedford County, Penna., about 1778. This elder Joseph Sparks, who was born about 1730 and died in Providence Township, Bedford County, Penna., in 1809, left a will dated March 13, 1809, and probated April 3, 1809. He provided for his three sons, Joseph, Solomon, and James, and for his six daughters, Mary, Rebekah, Susannah, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Cloe. He referred to his son Joseph as being the eldest, born, therefore, about 1750; Solomon, we know, was born in 1758. His wife, whose maiden name is said to have been Mary McDaniel, had apparently died before 1809.
According to a History of Bedford, Somerset & Fulton Counties, Pennsylvania published in Chicago by Waterman,Watkins & Co. in 1884, page 309, all three of Joseph’s sons lived in Bedford County, although Solomon moved to Indiana in his old age and died there. There is also a reference in this volume to a son of Joseph Sparks named John, but this appears to be an error as he was not mentioned in Joseph’s will; according to the 1850 census, this John Sparks was not born until about 1799; he married Rebecca Warehani. According to the above history, Joseph Sparks, Sr., who died in 1809, was an extensive land owner and at one time he and his sons held “nearly all the land on Clear Ridge from the river southward nearly five miles.” Of the sons of Joseph Sparks, Sr., this history mentions the children of only James. James Sparks married Nancy Rogers and had children named: (1) William Sparks, born about 1800; (2) Absolem, born about 1805; (3) David Sparks, born about 1810 and died 1869; (4) Mary; and (5) Elizabeth, *~ married Wilson L. Weeks. Of the children of Solomon Sparks, born 1758, we know the name of only his daughter Delilah who married Uriah Hughes. We have no information on the family of Joseph Sparks, Jr., born about 1750.
The Joseph Sparks (born about 1786) and the Joseph S. Sparks (born about 1794) who received bounty land for their service in the War of 1812, must have been grandsons of the Joseph Sparks, Sr., who died in 1809. Joseph Sparks (born about 1788), who remained in Bedford County, Penna., was probably the son of Joseph Sparks, Jr., while Joseph S. Sparks (born about 1794), who moved to Illinois, was probably the son of Solomon (born 1758). See the Quarterly of December, 1960, Vol. VIII, No. 4, pp. 529-30 [Whole No. 32], for the bounty land papers of James Sparks, born about 1788, of Bedford County who also served in Capt. Solomon Sparks’s company. James Sparks must have been a brother of either Joseph Sparks (born about 1786) or Joseph S. Sparks (born about 1794).)
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|JOSEPH SPARKS,||born about 1790, of Bristol, Rhode Island. Bounty Land Warrant File No. 6 307-80-55.|
On Dec. 16, 1851, Joseph Sparks, a resident of Bristol, Rhode Island, appeared before a justice of the peace named Bennett J. Munro to make application for bounty land. He
swore that he was 61 years old and had served as a private in the War of 1812 in a company commanded by Capt. Adam S. Coe in the Rhode Island Regiment commanded by Col. John Wood; that he enlisted at Bristol on Oct. 18, 1814, for one year and continued in actual service for 4 months and 12 days and was honorably discharged at Fort Adams in Newport on Feb, 23, 1815; that he received no written discharge. He signed his name as “Joseph Sparks.”
Joseph Sparks was issued a warrant for 80 acres of bounty land (Warrant No. 37694) under the Act of 1850.
On March 27, 1855, Joseph Sparks again appeared before Bennett J. Monro (this time spelled Monroe) to make application for additional bounty land under the new Act of 1855. He stated that he was 65 years old and a resident of Bristol. He gave the same information regarding his service as he had earlier. Re signed his name as “Joseph Sparks.” Thomas G. Holmes and Samuel Sparks signed as witnesses. Re was issued a warrant for 80 additional acres of bounty land.
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|JOSEPH K. SPARKS,||born about 1791, son of Stephen Sparks of Newberry County, South Carolina; died Sept. 17, 1873, near Wilmington, Ohio; married, 1827, Elizabeth Goodwin; married (second) in 1842 Abi (Linton) Farquhar. Bounty Land Warrant File No. 6 355-30-55; Pension File W C 7 574.|
On Oct, 31, 1850, Joseph K. Sparks, a resident of Clinton County, Ohio, made application for bounty land for his service in the War of 1812. He stated that he was 60 years old; that he had served in a company commanded by Capt Nat. Martin that “marched from Laurens District, S. C., to a fort in the heart of the Creek Nation before they joined the regiment to which there were attached--that he thinks Col. Milton commanded the forces from that time till’they were overtaken by the North Carolina troops, that they were then commanded by Gen. Graham and joined Gen. Andrew Jackson at Fort Jackson near where the town of Montgomery, Alabama, now is; ... that he was drafted at Laurens District, South Carolina, on or about the 25th day of January A.D. 1814 for the term of six months and continued in actual service in said war for the whole of said term... and was honorably discharged at Fort Hawkins in the State of Georgia on or about the 25th day of July AD 1814. His best impression is that he never had a written discharge, but if he had the same has long since been lost or destroyed.” He signed his name as “Joseph K. Sparks” in the presence of Amos L. Sewell, Justice of the Peace.
The Treasury Department reported that there were records in that office proving Joseph K. Sparks had served in Nat Martin’s Company of South Carolina Militia from Feb. 1, 1814, to Aug, 2, 1814. He was issued a warrant for 80 acres of bounty land (No. 1754).
On April 23, 1855, Joseph K. Sparks applied for additional bounty land under the new Act, He stated that he was 64 years of age and a resident of Clinton County, Ohio. He gave no new information regarding his service in this application. He signed this declaration in the presence of John Darbyshire and David Linton; A. C. Diboll, Mayor of the village of Wilmington, signed as the official witness.
Joseph K. Sparks was issued a warrant for 80 additional acres of bounty land.
On April 29, 1871, Joseph K. Sparks appeared before the Common Pleas Court of Clinton County, Ohio, to apply for a pension under the act of Feb. 14, 1871. He stated he was 80 years old, a resident of Wilmington, Clinton County, Ohio, and “that his wife’s name was Elizabeth Sparks to whom he was married at Cincinnati, Ohio, May 10, 1827.” (Elizabeth was his first wife and was dead at the time he made this statement.) In describing his military service, Joseph K. Sparks gave the same information as in his applications for bounty land, but added that he had “done guard duty and. was in no
battle.” He signed his name as “Joseph K. Sparks” with J. W. Quinby and H. B. Crumly signing as witnesses; the application was made before L. D. Reed, Clerk of the County Court.
Joseph K. Sparks was granted a pension of $8.00 per month. He died on Sept. 17, 1873.
On May 13, 1874, Abi Sparks appeared before John Matthews, Judge of the Probate Court of Clinton County, Ohio, and made application for a pension. She stated that she was 66 years of age, a resident of Wilmington and the widow of Joseph K. Sparks. She stated she had married Joseph K. Sparks on Nov. 10, 1842; that prior to her marriage her name had been Abi Farquhar; she signed her name as “Abi Sparks,” with R. M. Wickersham and W, C. Hadley as witnesses. Along with her application, Abi Sparks sent a certificate of her marriage signed by John Matthews, Judge of the Probate Court.
The application of Abi Sparks for a pension was turned down because the Act of Congress providing pensions for widow’s of the War of 1812 required that the widow had to have been married to the soldier prior to July 17, 1815
On March 9, 1878, Congress passed a new Act providing pensions for all widows of soldiers of the War of 1812, regardless of the date of their marriage, and on April 11, 1878, Abi Sparks again applied. She stated she was 69 years old, a resident of Wilmington, Ohio; that she was married to Joseph K. Sparks near Wilmington, Ohio, on Nov. 10, 1842, by a Rev. Waters, a Baptist Minister; that previously she had been “married to Josiah Farquhar who died near Wilmington, Ohio, in A.D. 1838, and that her maiden name was Abi Linton and that Joseph K. Sparks was previously married to Elizabeth Goodwin who died about 1839 at Wilmington...” She stated that Joseph K. Sparks had died near Wilmington, Ohio, on Sept. 17, 1873. She signed her name as “Abi Sparks” in th. presence of John Matthews, Probate Judge. W. P. Wolf, aged 49, and L. D. Sayers, aged 38, both of Wilmington, signed as witnesses, stating that they had known Abi Sparks for 12 years and knew that she and Joseph K. Sparks had lived together as husband and wife.
Along with her application, Abi Sparks sent a statement by A. T. Davis dated June 5, 1878, to the effect that he was 75 years old and that he had been well acquainted with Joseph K. Sparks “long before his marriage with Abi Farquhar in 1842.” She also submitted a statement signed by Nathan M. Linton, dated June 5, 1878, to the effect that he was 40 years old and had known Joseph K. Sparks and Abi Sparks as long as he could remember and that Abi was still a widow.
Among these papers is a letter dated April 13, 1878, written by J. W, Sparks to Charles E. Brown, an attorney in Cincinnati who was handling the application for Abi Sparks. This letter has a letter-head reading: “Farquhar & Sparks, General Hardware & Implements, Wilmington, Ohio.” This letter reaçis as follows: “We filled the blanks of the application to the best of our knowledge not having the pension certificate or the discharge papers, we gave these papers to lawyer Ent in 1874 who claimed that J. K. Sparks widow was entitled to a pension, but from investigation found that she was not. We enclose letter from Washington that may give you information also enclose blank that you sent J. K. Sparks about the time of his death there would be about four or five dollars due if they allow up to his death. J. K. Sparks went as a substitute for his brother that was drafted. Yours [signed] J. W. Sparks.”
On July 29, 1878, Abi Sparks was granted a pension of $8.00 per month. The last document in the file is a letter to the Pension Office dated April 18, 1887, to the effect that Abi Sparks “is still living, and is well known as a pensioner of the War of 1812.”
(Editor’s Note: See the present issue of the Quarterly, pages 575 and 576, for genealogical data on Joseph K. Sparks.)
SPARKSES FOUND IN THE 1850 CENSUS OF FULTON COUNTY, ILLINOIS
By Carrie Grant Heppen
Town of Isabel (enumerated Oct. 21, 1850,
by H. Lancaster
(p. 194 or 387)
|26-26||Garring, Charles M.||27||(M)||Virginia||Merchant||$400|
Town of Farmington (enumerated Sept. 24, 1850, by
Milton F. LeMaster)
(p. 245 or 489)
|172-191||Sparks, Oziar||71||(M)||New York||Carpenter|
|" May||70||(F)||" "|
|" Oziar||15||(M)||" "|
|" George||9||(M)||" "|
Town of Deerfield (enumerated Oct. 7, 1850, by M.
(p. 251 ro 501)
|" James W.||10||(M)||"|
SPARKSES FOUND IN THE 1850 CENSUS OF JACKSON COUNTY, ILLINOIS
By Carrie Grant Heppen
The Northern District (enumerated Sept. 16, 1850, by John
|80-80||Sparks, N. M.||34||(M)||Ia. (?)||Teacher||$150|
|" Sarah A.||23||(F)||Kentucky|
(Same district) (enumerated Nov. 4, 1850, by John M. Hanson)
|604-610||Sparks, John G.||38||(M)||Indiana||Lawyer||$200|
|" Mary S.||14||(F)||"|
|" Francis M.||10||(M)||"|
|Index||Next Page||Previous Page||Previous Whole No.|
Scanned and Edited by James J. Sparks