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

VOL. XII, NO. 1  MARCH, 1964 

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



Son of Achilles Knight and Martha Ann (Lake) Sparks

(View photograph)


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, 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.

LUDLOW E. SPARKS, 1840-1922

A Sketch by His Daughter,

Martha Sparks Smith

(Editor’s Note: Ludlow Ekillis Sparks, son of Achilles Knight and Martha Ann (Lake) Sparks, was born April 21, 1840, near Forsyth, Monroe County, Georgia. A record of his branch of the Sparks family was published in the September, 1958, issue of the QUARTERLY (Vol. VI, No. 3, Whole No. 23) including a record that he prepared prior to his death in 1922 describing his experiences in the Confederate Army, 1861-1865. Ludlow E. Sparks was a great-grandson of Charles Sparks of the Pee Dee River section of North and South Carolina (see the QUARTERLY of December, 1962, Vol. X, No. 4, W hole No. 40). Mrs. Smith recently sent the editor the following sketch for his own information, but he found it so delightful that he asked permission to publish it here.)

My father’s first wife was a Roman Catholic, but he remained in the Methodist faith in which he had been reared. After her death, he married my mother, a deeply religious woman descended from French Huguenots and Scotch-Irish Presbyterians. My father then joined the Presbyterian Church, and in our home the Sabbath was observed in all the old Presbyterian ways. On Saturdays the baking and cooking were done for the next day so that nothing unnecessary need be done on the Sabbath. No music was permitted on Sundays except sacred music, and the reading material was restricted to the Bible, the Christian Observer, or Sunday School papers. On every day of the week, there was grace at the table and family worship in the evening, with scripture reading and a long prayer--with all kneeling. I often went to sleep!


The Presbyterian Church was four miles from our home, with services only twice a month, and on those Sundays the carriage was ready to take us all to Sunday School and church. My father sat in the “Amen Corner,” while my mother sat on the opposite side of the church with the other wives, as was the custom. We children had to learn the Shorter Catechism and go before the Elders to recite it. In addition to services at the church, there was Sunday School in our front yard in the afternoon (during good weather). The entire community was invited, services were held under a huge oak tree, and were followed by refreshments of some kind.

There was a Methodist Church near our home, with Saturday and Sunday services once a month, at which time the pastor and his wife stayed with us. Naturally, we attended those services, as well as the prayer meeting during the week.

After we moved from the farm to the little village of Morrow Station, we no longer attended the Methodist Church, but became active in the Baptist Church in the village, attending those services when they did not occur on the same Sundays that the Presbyterians met. My mother did much work in this Baptist Church, getting lecturers, people to show magic - lantern slides, etc. When we attended services there, I resented, as a child, the fact that when the Sacrament was passed it was not offered to my mother. I did not understand then that it was because she was not a member of that church.

My parents did much for the community in which they lived, taking the responsibility for getting a school teacher or a music teacher and providing a home for them. Often they helped parents of other children to pay for books and tuition, which were not free at that time. When anyone in the vicinity was in trouble, he came to our house. I recall one time a mother, with several children, came to our home for protection against a drunk and abusive husband. My mother was sure the man would come there to look for his family, so she had them go and hide in the orchard. When he did come, she was able to tell him In all honesty that they were not there. Boys who ran away from the Correctional Institution near Atlanta would come to the house, be taken in, fed, and cared for until the next morning. My parents would talk to the boys and persuade them to return, or intercede for them with the authorities.

During a race riot in Atlanta (I think it was early in the 1900’s), the colored people streamed out of the city, and several came to our house f or protection. And they were fed and taken care of until the riot was over, and they could return to their homes.

Our home at this village was not far from the railroad, and many, many hoboes stopped and were taken care of, as well as the old Jewish peddlers who came along with packs of merchandise on their backs. Some of their descendants are probably heads of big merchandising firms now. My parents visited the sick and those who were in trouble. I recall they obtained wheel chairs for two people who could not walk, possibly buying them themselves. Through the week my mother drove around to tenant houses in the community, white and black, and distributed literature.

Among other community activities, my parents made several lasting contributions to the lighter side of local life. They introduced the annual Easter Egg Hunt, which was held in our grove, an area between the main road and the circular driveway leading from it up to the front of our house. After the hunt, there was food for everyone at long tables. (Before the eggs were hidden, all children were sent down the hill to a tenant house, and when the big farm bell rang, that was the signal for us to come to hunt the eggs.) When my family moved away from this neighborhood, “the hunt” was taken over by a local church as an annual event, and has been continued there ever since.


Another innovation was that of Christmas Eve visits by the Fantastics-—usually local young men in fancy costumes arid wearing masks, riding horses similarly decked out. They went from house to house, providing quite a thrill for the children, and, at our house, were served pound cake and something to drink-probably coffee.

I remember my father always wore a white shirt, a black bow tie, and a suit. In winter he wore a derby when outside, and in summer a panama. He would ride a horse over the farm dressed as if he were going to church. (When I referred to the “farm” once, I was corrected by a relative and told that it was a plantation. I never thought that a few hundred acres of land and several tenant houses constituted a plantation!) Sometimes my father would let me ride with him, placing me in front of him on his horse. He would not have colored folks (we always had to refer to them that way, never as negroes or niggers) working in the house, although he did have them in the fields. This may have been based in a distrust he had of them from an attempt just after the Civil War to poison the family. At any rate, the household help was chosen from what the colored people called “po’ white trash” as opposed to "quality folks ." In my adult years, the colored help would not work for any but those they considered quality folks. I was not permitted to play with the children of these white tenants, although no such ban existed for playing with the colored children. Although my father did not employ colored people in the house, he did give them land for a meeting house and graveyard. My little brother and I were fascinated and would creep close to that church to hear the shouting, and we were most interested in the graveyard. All sorts of things were placed on top of the graves--sometimes toys, and a great amount of cheap glass. Years later, antique dealers took this sun-colored glassware and sold it in their shops--the colors were very beautiful.

My father did some surveying - - why, I do not know. I know that my little brother and I would come across him in our rambles and see him sighting through an instrument. Perhaps he was measuring certain sections of the farm--the Four-Acre Field or the Fifty-Acre Pasture, etc. He also had a cider mill to which neighbors from miles around would bring their apples. He had made frames for drying peaches and apples, which were sliced and laid out on the frames. I remember a daily chore of mine was to help turn the slices so that both sides were sun-dried. After the fruit was dried, it was placed in muslin bags. They, too, were put out in the sun for many days and brought in at night, and finally stored for the winter. We also had barrels of apples to eat whenever we wanted them. The neighbors brought grain (wheat??) to my father’s threshing machine.

While my father had the farm, he also had some kind of a factory at Rex, which was not far away. I think it was a chair factory, and barrels were also made there. Following the Civil War, my father had been apprenticed to a cabinet maker and I remember that in our house there were several pieces of beautiful furniture that he had made.  For several years he was Tax Receiver for his district.

My father never used tobacco or alcohol in any form, and was never known to use a swear word. (Once when I used an ugly word I had heard at school, my mouth was washed out with soap--I never used that word again!) He was a strict disciplinarian, although often he did not need to say anything if were were doing something wrong- - he just looked at us with those gray eyes. My sister and I were never permitted to cross our legs -- that was not lady-like. I wonder what he would think of short-shorts!  The few times I remember his getting cross with anyone, he would take me on one knee and my little brother on the other and sing--usually some religious tune.


I remember very little reminiscing about the war from my father. I do remember his saying that he was often hungry when on the march and that he would gather berries to eat. He also told about making a bed out of fence-rails by taking some top rails and placing them across the corners of a sig-zag fence so he would not have to sleep on the wet ground. When he was stationed at Memphis, he saw the Mississippi River grow to forty miles wide at flood time.

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


Born 1893

Son of Ludlow Ekillis Sparks

(View photograph)

As my father served in the Civil War, so his youngest son, Robert Ludlow Sparks, served in the First World War. He volunteered on June 21, 1917, and received his training first at Fort McPherson, then at Camp Gordon in Atlanta, Georgia. He sailed from New York Harbor on April 25, 1918, aboard the British steamer Caronia and landed at Liverpool, Eng1and, on May 7, 1918. He sailed from Southampton, England, on May 12 and landed at LeHarve, France, on May 13. He was in the reserve lines in the Somme Sector from May 15 to June 16. He served in the Toul Sector from June 27 to August 20, at Saint Mihiel from September 12 to September 18, and in the Argonne Forest from October 6 to November 7. Originally With the 29th Ambulance Corps, he was transferred to the 82nd Division Headquarters. He was in the Base Hospital 208, Bordeaux, France, from March 13 to April 12, 1819, convalescing, and sailed from Bordeaux on April 18 aboard the U.S. Hospital Ship Siboney, and landed in New York on April 27. He was discharged, with the rank of Sergeant, on May 15, 1919, at Camp Gordon, Atlanta, Georgia. The above picture was taken in France.




 by Russell E. Bidlack

(Compiler’s Note: A number of people have contributed valuable information for the preparation of this sketch. William P. Johnson has done extensive research in North Carolina, while Paul E. Sparks has searched many Kentucky records. Louise Jones of Salt Lake City, Utah, a descendant of Jonas Sparks through his son David, has helped immeasurably; among her contributions has been the portrait of Mary Sparks Hunter, daughter of David. Helen Sparks of Los Angeles and Col. Leonard C. Sparks of Washington, D.C., both descendants of Jonas’ grandson, Cornelius Sparks, have contributed valuable data and very kindly read and corrected the manuscript for this sketch.)

Jonas Sparks was a resident of Rowan County, North Carolina, from about 1760 until his death in 1805. He lived in that portion of Rowan County that became Davie County in 1836, often referred to in early records as “the forks of the Yadkin,” about ten miles from Salisbury. Jonas Sparks was, in all probability, closely related to Solomon Sparks, Matthew Sparks, and William Sample Sparks who moved from Frederick County, Maryland, to Rowan County, North Carolina, in the late 1750’s and early 1760’s.

We have not been able to determine exact birth dates for any of these Sparks pioneers, but judging from the birth dates of their children, it appears that all four were born between 1725 and 1740. We are certain that William Sample Sparks was a son of  Joseph Sparks, whose wife's name was Mary and who died in Frederick County, Maryland, in 1749.   Joseph Sparks did not leave a will and his widow, Mary Sparks, was appointed administratrix. The inventory of his estate was taken on May 1, 1749. William Sample Sparks and Rachel Sparks signed this inventory as kinsmen. It seems probable because of the close association of Solomon, Matthew, William Sample, and Jonas after they came to North Carolina that they were all brothers, or at least closely related. A son of Matthew Sparks, who made application for a pension for his service in the Revolution, referred to his Uncle James Sparks--probably still another brother of the four just named. (See the QUARTERLY of June, 1961, Vol. IX, No. 2, Whole No. 34, pp. 556-566, for data on Matthew Sparks, and the QUARTERLY of December, 1955, Vol. III, No. 4, Whole No. 12, pp. 97-98, for data on Solomon Sparks.

[Scanner's Note:  William Sample Sparks was a son of William Sparks, Jr. who was a brother of Joseph Sparks.  See the Quarterly at p. 3500.]

Our earliest record of Jonas Sparks in Rowan County is the tax list of 1761--in Caleb Osborn’s District the name of Jonas Sparks appears along with that of Matthew Sparks and Solomon Sparks.

The earliest record of Jonas Sparks acquiring land in Rowan County is a deed dated January 1, 1763, by which he purchased for 20 pounds a tract of 130 3/4 acres from Solomon Sparks. (See Rowan County Deed Book 5, p. 275.) This was the lower portion of a 290-acre tract of “vacant land” which Solomon Sparks had purchased on August 28, 1762, from the Right Honorable John Earl Granville. (Rowan County Deed Book 5, p. 228.) This land was located, according to the description in the deeds, on the south side of the Yadkin River just opposite the point at which Muddy Creek flows into the Yadkin. On the same date that Solomon Sparks sold this portion of his tract to Jonas Sparks, he sold the remaining l59 1/4 acres to Valentine Vanhouser. In 1761, Solomon Sparks had purchased a tract of 250 acres on the south side of the Yadkin (Rowan County Deed Book 4, p. 389) immediately below the mouth of Muddy Creek, and it was on this tract that Solomon lived for a number of years before moving to what is now Yadkin County, then a part of Surry County, North Carolina. Thus, Jonas and Solomon lived on adjoining land for several years after 1763.


In 1764, Jonas Sparks served on a jury in Rowan County, as did also Solomon Sparks and William Sample Sparks.

Whether Jonas Sparks was married when he came to North Carolina, we have not been able to determine, nor do we know the date of birth of his oldest child. We know that his daughter Elizabeth was born in 1765. It is possible that she was the oldest of his children. No record of the name of the wife of Jonas Sparks has been found. He married a second time in 1786, but it was his unknown first wife who was the mother of his children.

A few years before the Sparkses moved from Maryland to North Carolina, a family that was later to become famous in American history had settled along the Yadkin River. This was the Boone family, Squire Boone, father of Daniel, having moved there with his family from Pennsylvania in May, 1750. Another prominent family that had preceded the Sparkses to the Yadkin River was that of Morgan Bryan who had moved there from Virginia in 1748. (Daniel Boone, the famous frontiersman, married Rebecca Bryan, daughter of Morgan Bryan, in 1755.)

[Scanner's note::  Rebecca Bryan was not a daughter of Morgan Bryan but was a daughter of Joseph Bryan who was a son of Morgan Bryan.  See SQ p. 3885, Whole No. 156b.]

These three families, the Boones, the Bryans, and the Sparkses, became close friends, and on September 25, 1773, members of all three of these families set out to find a new home in the wilderness of what is now Kentucky. Daniel Boone had spent two years exploring (from May, 1769, to March, 1771) and, according to his autobiography which he wrote with the aid of John Filson in 1784, when he returned home he was “determined to bring them [his fami1y] as soon as possible at the risk of my life and fortune, to reside in Kentucke, which I esteemed a second paradise.” He then relates that he sold his farm on the Yadkin “and what goods we could not carry with Us; and on the 25th of September 1773, we bade farewell to our friends and proceeded on our journey to Kentucke, in company with five more families .“ The other five families were those of his brother, Squire Boone, Jr., James, Morgan, Jr., and William Bryan (all brothers), and Jonas Sparks. Each of these men was accompanied by his wife and several children, some of whom were approaching maturity. According to Dr. J. Bryan, whose article on this migration was reprinted in the QUARTERLY of September, 1953 (Vol. I, No. 3, pp. 13 -16), enough of the sons were old enough to carry rifles so that there was a total of some twenty armed men.  The path followed by this emigration party has become known in American history as the Wilderness Trail.

When they reached Powell’s Valley, which is located near the present border between Western Virginia and Tennessee, they were joined by five other families, including forty well-armed men. The following description of the events which followed is taken from Dr. Bryan’s article: “The daily order of march was for the armed men to take the lead, then came the women and children on horseback, then the cattle and young stock driven by the older boys and young men, who thus brought up the rear, and acted as a rear guard. In this order, they took their daily march, and proceeded without incident worthy of note until October 10th, when they were crossing Powell's River for the last time, as they approached ‘Cumberland Gap.’ While moving, the cavalcade would stretch out on the road for a mile or so. The armed men had forded the river and were halted and formed in line to proteot the company, expecting attack, if at all, from the front. While the main force were thus on guard, other men were helping the women and children to ford the river. The time consumed in fording the river had brought the rear guard up to within half a mile or less cf the river. While some of the women and children were still in the midst of the stream, the entire company was startled by a sudden and heavy fireing in the rear Some of the armed men hastily mounted and rushed back across the river, and as they got fairly on the bank, met one of the young men, wounded, dashing up, who reported that they had been fired on from ambush. The men soon came upon the indians, and after a sharp fight, drove them off, to find the other six young men dead. All had


received fatal wounds at the first fire, showing the Indians had lain in the thicket at the roadside, and, as the company was too strong for them, they had allowed the cavalcade to pass by, but when the seven young men came up, it was too tempting for Indian enmity to resist. They evidently each picked his man, took deliberate aim, and but one, sent their bullets but too true, killing outright the six and wounding the seventh.”

According to Dr. Bryan, Elizabeth Sparks, daughter of Jonas, who was then about nine years old, was one of those “still in the midst of the stream” when the attack was made. She “was riding a gentle horse and carrying a baby brother before her .“

One of the six young men killed was Daniel Boone’s eldest son, James. After burying their dead, the group decided not to proceed any further until Spring. In his autobiography, Boone stated: “Though we repulsed the enemy, yet this unhappy affair scattered our cattle, brought us into extreme difficulty, and so discouraged the whole company, that we retreated forty miles to the settlement on the Clench River. We had passed over two mountains, Powell’s and Walden’s, and were approaching Cuniberland Mountain, when this adverse fortune overtook us.”

An Indian war now broke out, known as Lord Dunmore’s War, and the emigrants remained in their settlement on the Clinch River for two years. During this time, Daniel Boone served the government of Virginia in various ways, including the building of a fort on the Kentucky River which was called Boonesborough. Finally, on June 14, 1775, he returned to his family and led those who wished to continue to Kentucky to the new fort.

Jonas Sparks did not remain in Kentucky, but sometime prior to 1778 he returned with his family to their old home on the Yadkin. Several members of the Bryan family also returned to Rowan County. In 1778, Jonas Sparks was taxed in Rowan County on property valued at 4 pounds, 3 shillings and 6 pence. He moved back on the farm that he had purchased originally from Solomon Sparks and did not acquire additional land for a number of years. In 1784, for example, he was taxed 17 shillings on this farm of slightly over 130 acres.

Sometime prior to 1786, Jonas Sparks’s first wife died. Possibly she died in Kentucky before the family returned to North Carolina. On September 5, 1786, Jonas Sparks obtained a marriage bond in Rowan County to marry Mary Eakle. The bond was signed by Peter Little, while Hugh Magoune signed as witness. Mary Eakle had been twice a widow when she married Jonas Sparks. Her first husband, whom she married about 1751, was Capt. Daniel Little (born in 1731, died December 10, 1775), who was a prominent citizen of Salisbury in Rowan County. (He held numerous high offices in Salisbury: Constable, Jailer, Commissioner, High Sheriff, Justice of the Peace, and Captain of the Militia.) Daniel and Mary Little had seven children: Peter; Daniel, Jr.; John, Henry, James, Lewis, and Mary. In 1779, Mary, widow of Daniel Little, married as her second husband, Jacob Eakle (also spelled Eckle); the Rowan County marriage bond was dated January 5, 1779, and Mary’s name appeared as Anne Mary Little; the bondsman was John Lewis Beard, while the witness was William R. Davis. Jacob Eakle (or Eckle) died, date not known, and Jonas Sparks became Mary’s third husband.

According to a tradition among the descendants of Jonas Sparks’s son, David, this second wife was a “Dutch woman,” (that is, German), and David, who would have been about eighteen years old at the time, strongly objected to his father marrying her. Later, however, David married the “Dutch woman’s” pretty daughter, whose name was Mary. A descendant who could remember Mary recalled many years ago that she had a German accent. Daniel Little is said to have come to Rowan County from Pennsylvania about 1750. Without doubt, both he and Mary, his wife, were Pennsylvania Dutch.


On May 3, 1788, Jonas Sparks again purchased land from Solomon Sparks, who had moved by this time to Surry County, North Carolina (that part which became Yadkin County). On this date, for 150 pounds, Solomon deeded to Jonas 82½ acres on the south side of the Yadkin River opposite the mouth of Muddy Creek, just below and adjoining his earlier purchase from Solomon. This was a portion of the tract of 250 acres purchased by Solomon in 1761. The deed (see Rowan County Deed Book 11, p. 436) was signed by mark by Solomon and his wife, Sarah, and was witnessed by two of Solomon’s sons (Solomon Sparks, Jr., and Joseph Sparks) and by Jonas’s son, David Sparks. One year earlier, Solomon and Sarah had sold the lower portion of this tract, comprising some 160 acres, to Zephemiah Harris (Rowan County Deed Book 11, p. 271). Also in 1788, Jonas Sparks purchased from James Lindsey for 80 pounds a tract of 330 acres “in the Forks of the Yadkin” (Rowan County Deed Book 11, p. 630), and the following year sold to Roland Jones for 35 pounds a portion of this land comprising 111 acres (Rowan County Deed Book 11, p. 747). On October 29, 1789, Jonas Sparks sold to his son, William Sparks, for 40 pounds, the tract of 82½ acres on the Yadkin River that he had bought from Solomon Sparks in 1788. (See Rowan County Deed Book 11, p. 835.)

The 1790 census of Rowan County, North Carolina, lists three Sparkses living in the Salisbury District as follows:
                         Jonas Sparks         2 males over 16
                                                          3 males under 16
                                                          3 females
                         David Sparks         1 male over 16
                                                          2 males under 16
                                                          1 female
                         William Sparks       1 male over 16
                                                          2 males under 16
                                                          3 females

The extra male over 16 years of age living with Jonas Sparks was his son, Jonas, Jr., who did not marry until 1796. Perhaps the three males under 16 were his wife's children by one of her previous marriages, since Jonas’s will makes it clear he had only three sons. David and William were his other two Sons; both of whom had married and had children prior to 1790.

On August 17, 1804, Jonas Sparks sold to Lewis Little, his step-son, a tract of 100 acres for 100 pounds (Rowan County Deed Book 19, p. 194). Then, on May 3, 1805, just a few days before writing his will, Jonas Sparks sold 120 3/4 additional acres of his land on the Yadkin River to his son William for 600 pounds.

On May 11, 1805, Jonas Sparks made his will. He described himself as “very weak in body” and he apparently died soon afterward. He signed with his mark, probably because of his illness. It reads as follows: (See Rowan County Will Book D, p. so.)

In the name of God, Amen, the 11th of May 1805. I Jonas Sparks, of Rowan being very weak in body but of perfect mind and memory, thanx be to God for it, therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make [and] ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say principally and first of all I give & recommend my soul unto the hands of God who gave it & for my body I recomend it to the earth to be buried in a descent and christian like maner at the discretion of my executors nothing doubting, but at the general resurrection, I shall receive the same again, by the mighty power of God and as touching such worldly estate, where with it had pleased God to bless me with in this life, I give, devise and dispose in the following manner and form -


I give & bequeath unto my well beloved wife Mary Sparks, the dwelling house where I now live and a sufficient maintenance of the plantation during widowhood or lifetime, one desk, a bay mare & six pewter plates & two pewter basons, one flax wheel, one bottle, one pot, one old small pot, one looking glass, one coffee mu, one corner cuberd, one grddel, pare of dogs, one old coper kettel, one stillard.

I give & bequeath unto my son Jonas Sparks, junr., dec[eased] widow, Anna Sparks during her widowhood the land & plantation where she now lives.

Item, I give & bequeath unto my grand son Joseph Sparks, son of Jonas Sparks, jun. & his heirs forever all the land & plantation and premisses with all the pertanning their unto where I now live.
Item, I give & bequeath unto my daughter Rachel Griggs one silver dollar & no more.

Item, I give & bequeath unto my daughter Easter Caton one silver dollar & no more.

Item, I give & bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Bryant one silver dollar & no more.

Item, I give & bequeath unto my son William Sparks one silver dollar & one half of the waggon which we have now in use between us for the use of both the plantation and one third of the fishery.

Item, I give & bequeath unto my son David Sparks one silver dollar & one third of the fishery.
Item, I give & bequeath unto my three grand children, my son Jonas Sparks children, Elizabeth Sparks, Jeramiah Sparks and Joseph Sparks, the balance of all my stock of every kind with the ballance of my house hold furniture & plantation utintinals to be equally davided between them three children.
And further I do by this present, constitute and appoint my son David Sparks & Josuah Caton my whole & sole executors and administrators & I do utterly disallow, revoke and disanull every other former testaments, wills, legacies & executors by me in any way before this time named, willed & bequeathed ratify & confirming this & no other to be my last will & testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this day & year above written.

                                                                                  Jonas     X     Sparks (Seal)

[Witnesses:] Rowland Jones
                      Jacob Hill

           As was noted earlier, the wife named Mary whom Jonas Sparks named in his will, was his second wife, and he had no children by her. We may assume that he named all of his living children in his will, as well as his deceased son, Jonas, Jr. It is possible, however, that there was a daughter omitted, perhaps because she had died earlier without issue. Lewis Little, born November 4, 1770, a son of Daniel Little and his wife Mary (who became Jonas Sparks’s second wife), is known to have married a Tabitha Sparks. Since there was this family connection and because Jonas Sparks sold land to Lewis Little in 1804, it is possible that Tabitha was another daughter of Jonas; perhaps she had died prior to 1805.

            We have not been able to determine the order of birth of the children of Jonas Sparks named in his will. We know that Esther was born in 1770 and Elizabeth in 1765, but since he named Esther before Elizabeth in his will, it is apparent that Jonas Sparks did not name them in the order of their birth. Following are the data we have been able to gather on the children of Jonas Sparks:

        1. Jonas Sparks, Jr. Although mentioned first in his father’s will, it is doubtful that he was the oldest son. He was married in 1796, so we may guess that he  was born in the early 1770’s, perhaps while the family was  seeking a new home in Kentucky, or perhaps he was the baby brother that Elizabeth was carrying on her horse when the Indians attacked. It was on


October 15, 1796, that Jonas Sparks, Jr., obtained a marriage bond to marry Anna Caton (spelled Anney Katon on the marriage bond). John Hill was his bondsman; the witness was John Rogers. In 1802, Jonas Sparks, Jr., was taxed in Capt. Phillip’s District of Roway County for 100 acres of land.  Between this date and the making of his father's will in May, 1805, he died. He and his wife, Anna (Caton) Sparks, had the following children:

(1) Elizabeth Sparks, daughter of Jonas Sparks, Jr., and his wife Anna (Caton) Sparks, was born between 1797 and.1805. On May 7, 1807, her uncle,  David Sparks, was appointed her guardian; she was called “Betsy Sparks” on this record. On February 16, 1815, Samuel Jones was made her guardian in place of David Sparks, who was about to move to Tennessee. It was probably this Elizabeth Sparks who married Benjamin Dulin in 1815 (Rowan County marriage bond dated December 9, 1815; David Call, bondsman; John Marsh, Sr., witness.)
(2) Jemima Summers Sparks, daughter of Jonas Sparks, Jr., and his wife, Anna (Caton) Sparks, was born between 1797 and 1805. On May 7, 1807, her uncle, David Sparks, was appointed her guardian. On February 16, 1815, Samuel Jones was appointed her guardian to take the place of David  Sparks, since he was about to move to Tennessee. It was probably this Jemima Summers Sparks who married Daniel Fults (or Felts) in 1816 (Rowan County marriage bond dated September 2, 1816; James Orrell, bondsman; Thomas Hampton, witness).
(3) Joseph Sparks, son of Jonas Sparks, Jr., and his wife, Anna (Caton) Sparks, was born between 1797 and 1805. On February 2, 1808, his uncle, William Sparks, was appointed his guardian. On August 12, 1814, Samuel Jones was appointed to take William Sparks’s place as guardian, since he had moved to Kentucky. Joseph Sparks inherited from his grandfather, Jonas Sparks, Sr., the old homestead on the Yadkin River and appears to have lived in Rowan County for a number of years. He may have been the Joseph Sparks who married Polly Call in 1814 (Rowan County marriage bond dated December 15, 1814). The bondsman for this marriage was also named Joseph Sparks, and was probably the son of David Sparks, a brother of Jonas Sparks, Jr. The witness was Jesse Walker.

The last deed for land sold by Joseph Sparks in Rowan County is dated January 2, 1832, by which he sold 140 acres on Brian’s Mill Creek to James Wood. One of the witnesses was named John Call (see Rowan County Deed Book 32, p. 52). Joseph Sparks lived in that part of Rowan County that was cut off and became Davie County in 1836, and he was listed there on the 1840 census as between 40 and 50 years of age. A female in his household, doubtless his wife, was listed in the same age category, and there were also enumerated  two males between 15 and 20, 1 male between 10 and 15, and one male under 5 years; also a female between 5 and 10. The only Sparks family listed on the 1850 census of Davie County was that of a fifty-one-year-old widow, Martha E. Sparks. She may have have been the widow of Joseph Sparks, but if so, she was either a second wife or perhaps it was not this Joseph Sparks who married Folly Call in 1814. Living with Martha E. Sparks in 1850 were the following, all born in Davie County:

(1) James Sparks, aged 22;
(2) Emily Sparks, aged 19;
(3) Harvey Sparks, aged 16; and
(4) Charles Sparks, aged 10.
2. Rachel Sparks, daughter of Jonas Sparks. She was called Rachel Griggs in her father’s will, but there is no marriage bond for her on file in Rowan County; it must be remembered, however, that many early North Carolina marriages were accomplished through the crying of banns rather than through bonds, and that no
record was made of the banns type of marriage. (See “Sparks Marriage Bonds from North Carolina” by William P. Johnson in the December, 1954, issue of THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, Vol. II, No. 4, Whole No. 8, pp. 54-55.) Several Sparks deeds in Rowan County were witnessed by Minus Griggs,  and it seems probable that he was the husband of Rachel. Rachel’s brother, David Sparks, named a son Minus, perhaps for Minus Griggs.
3. Esther Sparks, daughter of Jonas Sparks, was born in Rowan County, North Carolina, on March 20, 1770. She was married in Rowan County, North Carolina, in 1787 to Jesse Caton (the Rowan County marriage bond is dated January 20, 1787). Jesse Caton was born April 20, 1762; he was the son of Jonas Caton and was doubtless a close relative of the Anna Caton who married Jonas Sparks, Jr., brother of Esther. They settled near Marthasville,  Warren County, Missouri, in 1811. They were the parents of the following children:
(1) Noah Caton, married a Miss McDermid.
(2) Jonas Caton.
(3) Jesse Caton, Jr., married Missouri Lamme, daughter of William T. and Frances (Callaway) Lamme.
(4) Elizabeth Caton, born August 16, 1790, died September 20, 1821; married February 22, 1809, John Boone Callaway, son of Flanders and Jemima (Boone) Callaway, and grandson of Daniel Boone. They had children named Emaline, Verlinia, James, and Octavia.
(5) Nancy Caton, married Adam Zumwalt.
(6) Jemima Mahala Caton, married John Carter.
(7) Rebecca Caton, married McCutchen.
(8) Fannie Caton, married Daniel Gillis.
(9) Hester Caton, married H. C. Lynn.
4. Elizabeth Sparks, daughter of Jonas Sparks, was born February 5, 1765, and died June 25, 1863, at the age of 98 in Missouri. She was married in 1786 (Rowan County marriage bond dated February 11, 1786) to Henry Bryan, who was born January 15, 1761, and died August 20, 1820. He was a son of James and Rebecca (Knox) Bryan. Elizabeth was nine years of age when the family left North Carolina for Kentucky. According to Dr. J. D. Bryan, who knew her in his youth, she “was riding a gentle horse and carrying a baby brother before her” and was “in the midst of the river when the Indians fired on the rear guard.” She and her husband, Henry Bryan, were the parents of the following children according to a genealogy published in the Sunday editions of the Lexington Herald between February 27 and May 29, 1927, by J. H. Cooper of Lexington:
(1) Joseph Bryan, married Parthenia Bryan, daughter of Jonathan Bryan.
(2) Susanna Bryan, married John Davis.
(3) Joanna Bryan, born 1790, married Chester Wheeler.
(4) Rebecca Bryan, married Joseph Johnson.
(5) Elizabeth Bryan, married Luke Holder.
(6) Mary Bryan, married David Reed.
(7) Cynthia Bryan, married Alonzo Fourtelatt.
(8) James Bryan, died single.
(9) Esther Bryan, born May 20, 1806, died April 15, 1860; married Samuel Morris, who was born September 28, 1791, and died February 15, 1885.
(10) John Wesley Bryan, jockey; married Verlinda Callaway, granddaughter of Daniel Boone; moved to Texas.
5. William Sparks, son of Jonas Sparks, was probably born during the early 1760’s, since he had a daughter who was married in 1801. His wife’s name was Mourning - - - -.  The earliest record that identifies her as his wife is a deed dated 1812. She was still living at the time of his death in 1822 or early in 1823.
As noted earlier, on October 29, 1789, William Sparks purchased from his father for 40 pounds a tract of 82½ acres on the Yadkin River which Jonas Sparks had purchased from Solomon Sparks the year before. (Rowan County Deed Book 11, p. 835) Until 1805, this seems to have been the only land William Sparks owned in Rowan County. It was located in that section that is now Davie County. The 1802 tax list of Rowan County has been preserved and indicates that William Sparks was taxed that year for 82½ acres of land and one slave. On May 3, 1805, only a short time before he died, Jonas Sparks sold another tract on the Yadkin (120 3/4 acres) to his son William for 600 pounds. On November 9, 1811, William Sparks sold both of these tracts to Nathaniel Markland of Stokes County for $1,250 (Rowan County Deed Book 22, p. 317). Shortly after selling this land, William Sparks moved to Kentucky, settling in what is now Oldham County, then a part of Jefferson County.

On June 15, 1812, William Sparks purchased for $945 a tract of land in what is now Oldham County, Kentucky, from Joseph Oglesby and his wife, Ann. (See Jefferson County Deed Book 9, p. 376) This tract was located on Floyd’s Creek. On the same date, William Sparks mortgaged a part of this land for $322 to William Taylor, Charles Ellis, and Wilson Mallen of Shelby County, Kentucky. (See Jefferson County Deed Book 9, p. 376)  Mourning Sparks signed this deed with her husband. On March 1, 1816, William and Mourning Sparks sold 61 acres of this tract to their son, Hampton Sparks, for $120. (See Jefferson County Deed Book K, p. 146) On the same date they also sold a similar portion to their son, Ephraim Sparks (also recorded in Deed Book K, p. 147).

William Sparks made his will on November 18, 1822, and died sometime prior to April 14, 1823, when his will was probated in the county courthouse at Louisville. This document reads as follows: (From Jefferson County, Kentucky, Will Book 2, page 220.)

I, William Sparks, of the County of Jefferson and State of Kentucky, being in a perfect state of health and of sound mind and memory, thanks be to God for  the same, I do ordain and declare this my last will and testament in form and manner following:
1. Item. It is my will and desire that my just debts and funeral expenses be paid.
2. Item. I give and bequeath to my loved wife, Morning Sparks, my plantation with sufficient timber for her support during her life; also two feather beds and furniture; also two heffers and one rone mare with a oauld face; also my kitchen furniture; also my flock of sheep.
3. Item. I do give to my son, Hampton Sparks, the tract of land where he now lives containing of sixty-two acres.
4. Item. I do give to my son, Ephraim Sparks, the tract of land where Molen Pain now lives containing one hundred two acres.
5. Item. I do give to my son, David Sparks, the balance of my land where I now live containing one hundred fifty one acres, and also one rone calf.
6. Item. I do give to my daughter Fanny one pided filly.
7. Item. I do give to my daughter Nancy one cow and calf.
8. Item. It is my desire that at the death of my widow all the rest of my property should be ecally [sic] divided among my daughters. I do hereby ordain and appoint my son, Hampton Sparks, and son-in-law Rowland.

Hampton, my whole and sole ecrs. to this last will and testament. In witness ‘whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 18th day of November, 1822.
                         Attested signed and
                         sealed and delivered to:                                                William Sparks (seal)

                        Joseph Wilhite (seal)
                        Willis     X     Griggs

State of Kentucky: At a County Court held in Jefferson County in the state aforesaid at the Court House in Louisville on the 14th day of April 1823, the within instrument of writing was produced in Court and proved to be the last will and testament of William Sparks, deceased, by oaths of John Brown and Joseph Wilhite, subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded and it is recorded in my office.

                                                                                       Test: Worden Pope, Clk.

An inventory of the estate of William Sparks was made on June 5, 1823, by William Brown, William P. Rodman, and David Hampton. A sale of this personal property took place soon after the inventory was made; it was not recorded at the courthouse until July 3, 1826, however. This list of property provides an interesting insight into the way of life at this period of history - - note that Mourning Sparks, widow of William, purchased several items: (From Jefferson County Court Records, Book 6, p. 187)

List of Sail [sic] of Property of William Sparks, deceased.

Benjamine Wilhoite 1 Age
$1.43 3/4
John Brown 1 Pare of sheep shares
  1.67 1/4
William Brown 1 Pare pinchers       . 50
Hampton Sparks 1 Bell and other
  1.37 1/2
Benjamine Wilhoite 1 hoe
  1.67 1/2
Blueford Noel 1 Axe        .43 3/4
Blueford Noel 1 Pare cumperses      5.29
Hampton Sparks  1 Wedge      2.00
Blueford Noel 1 Log chain      3.00
Hampton Sparks 1 Log Saw
  3.62 1/2
William Brown 1 Flax Chackle
    .31 1/2
Benjamin Wilhoite 1 saw        .50
Joseph Wilhoite 1 Large auger
    .62 1/2
John Brown 1 cooper adze      2.00
Hampton Sparks 1 Pare of shears      1.25
David Hampton 1 Broad Axe      2.00
Henry Snyder 1 Grass Scythe
  1.62 1/2
Henry Snyder 1 lot tools
    .37 1/2
Wiley Gregg 1 Shovel Plow      5.00
Joseph Wilhoite 1 shovel plow      2.00
William P. Rodman 1 collar      1.75
Joseph Wilhoite 1 hoe
    .62 1/2
Blueford Noel 1 Pare of Doubletrees
  3.37 1/2
Hampton Sparks 1 lot of Tobo.
 26.62 1/2
Hampton Sparks 1 empty Hogshead       1.50
Rowland Hampton 1 cutting box       2.25
John Brown 1 hogshead preped [tobacco]
 11.37 1/2
Blueford Noel 1 horse     20.00
Blueford Noel  1 half bushe       l .25
Widow Sparks 1 Sow and pigs      2.00
Widow Sparks  1 steers    10.00 
William P Rodman 11 geese 
  4.58 1/2
Fanny Sparks 1 Saddle and Bridle 
  8.12 1/2
Widow Sparks 1 table       8.00
Widow Sparks 1 upboard       5.00
Benjamin Wilhoite 1 wheel [i.e. spinning wheel]
    .41 3/4
 Fanny Sparks 1 Loom       5.00

                             Total amount of sale of property of William Sparks, deceased $149.18 1/2

                                                                                                  [signed] Hampton Sparks
                                                                                                                 Rowlan Hampton

[NOTE:  The last ten items above plus three lines actually appear on page 799 of the QUARTERLY and have been included here for convenience only.]


                    At a county Court held for Jefferson County in the state aforesaid at the Court House in Louisville on the 3rd of July 1826, the foregoing sale of the  estate of William Sparks, deceased, was returned to said Court and ordered to be recorded and it is recorded.
                                                                                                     Test: Worden Pope, Clk.

William Sparks did not name all of his children in his will; he omitted the names of four daughters. However, when his son, Hampton Sparks, died without issue and his estate was divided among his brothers and sisters, or their heirs, we find what is doubtless a complete list of William Sparks’s children. In all probability, Mourning was William’s only wife and was the mother of his children, although we have no proof.  Since a son was named Hampton and a David Hampton was one of those who took inventory of his estate, Mourning’s maiden name may well have been Hampton.  Their daughter, Sarah, married Rowland Hampton. Following is a list of the children of William Sparks; we cannot be certain of the order of their birth:

(1) Hampton Sparks, son of William Sparks, was born about 1790 in Rowan County, North Carolina, and died about 1865 in Oldham County, Kentucky. He married Sarah Blake in Stokes County, North Carolina, in 1809 (marriage bond dated January 14, 1809). She was a daughter of John and Mary Blake; she was born about 1785 and died July 19, 1858, in Oldham County. When the estate of Hampton Sparks was settled in 1865, his property was divided  among his brothers and sisters, or their heirs, indicating that he had no children.
(2) Ephraim Sparks, son of William Sparks, was born about 1793 in Rowan County, North Carolina; he was still living in 1860, aged 67 according to the census of Fayette County, Tennessee. Just prior to his family’s removal from Rowan County, he was married to Sarah Douthit in 1811. The marriage bond was dated August 10, 1811. On March 1, 1816, William and Mourning Sparks sold part of their tract of land on Floyd’s Creek in Jefferson County (now Oldham County) to Ephraim. (See Jefferson County Deed Book K, p. 147) On October 20, 1821, Ephraim sold this land to Ellis Haney for $600  (Book T, p. 451) and moved to Alabama, where his daughter, Frances, was born about 1822. By 1830 he had moved to Hardeman County, Tennessee; by 1850 he was living in Tippah County, Mississippi, which adjoined Hardeman County, Tennessee, on the south. His occupation was given as  “carpenter” on the 1850 census; his age was given as 57--that of his wife, Sarah, as 63. By 1860, he had moved to Fayette County, Tennessee, where he was listed in the census as an “overseer,” without property. Living with him was James Holland, a “laborer” aged 17, born in Alabama; also Rebecca Overby, aged 13, born in Mississippi - - she was credited with $3,000 worth of personal property.


From census records, it would appear that Ephrairn and Sarah (Douthit) Sparks were the parents of the following children:
(A) Thomas J. Sparks, son of Ephraim and Sarah (Douthit) Sparks, was born about 1817 in Kentucky. He was a farmer and was living next to his father  in Tippah County, Mississippi, when the 1850 census was taken. His wife’s name was Penelope, born about 1820. Their children as listed in 1850 were:
(a) Eliza Sparks, born about 1834 in Tennessee.
(b) Martha Sparks, born about 1836 in Tennessee.
(c) Benjamin F. Sparks, born about 1838 in Tennessee.
(d) Sarah J. Sparks, born about 1841 in Mississippi.
(e) Joseph Sparks, born about 1843 in Mississippi.
(f)  Joan Sparks, born about 1846 in Mississippi.
(g) James Sparks, born in 1850 in Mississippi; his age was given as 6 months on November 6, 1850.
(B) William J. Sparks, son of Ephraim and Sarah (Douthit) Sparks, was born about 1820 in Kentucky. He was listed as a carpenter on the 1850 census of Tippah County, Mississippi, and he was living beside his parents (he on one side, his brother Thomas on the other). His wife’s name was given as Sarah M. Sparks, born about 1826. Like the rest of the family, he had moved away from this section of Mississippi by 1860 - - where, we do not know.  His children, as listed on the 1850 census, were:
(a)  James E. Sparks, born about 1843 in Mississippi.
(b) Christopher W. Sparks, born about 1846 in Mississippi.
(c) Clementine C. Sparks, born about 1847 in Mississippi.
(d) Thomas V. Sparks, born in 1850 in Mississippi; his age was given as 9 months on Nov. 6, 1850.
(C)  Hampton Sparks, son of Ephrairn and Sarah (Douthit) Sparks, was born about 1826 in Tennessee. He was living with his parents                      in Tippah County, Mississippi, in 1850; his occupation was given as “grocer.” He had left Tippah County by 1860.
(D) Frances Sparks, daughter of Ephraim and Sarah (Douthit) Sparks,  was born about 1822 in Alabama. She was living with her parents in Tippah County, Mississippi, in 1850.
(E)  Elizabeth Sparks, daughter of Ephraim and Sarah (Douthit) Sparks, was born about 1829 in Tennessee. She was living with her parents in Tippah County, Mississippi, in 1850.

(F)  Agnes Sparks, daughter of Ephraim and Sarah (Douthit) Sparks, was born about 1833 in Tennessee. She was living with her parents when the 1850 census was taken.

(G), (H), and (I). From earlier census, it appears that Ephraim and Sarah Sparks had three older daughters who had either died or married by the time  the 1850 census was taken.
(3) David Sparks, son of William Sparks, was born about 1807 in Rowan County, North Carolina. He married Mary B. (or perhaps her maiden name began with “B”) prior to 1830. When the 1830 census was taken, he was living in Oldham County, Kentucky, formerly a part of Jefferson County, and had one son under five years of age. There are a number of deeds on record in Oldham County recording his purchase and sale of land. He was still living in 1865 when his brother, Hampton’s, estate was settled. From census records, we know that David and Mary B. Sparks had the following children, all born in Kentucky - - perhaps others:
(A) W. G. Sparks, born about 1827; probably the George Washington Sparks  who married Edinonia Blakemore in Oldham County on Nov. 3, 1864.
(B) Lucy Sparks, born about 1834.
(C) Frederick Sparks, born about 1836; he married Mary - - - -  and by 1860 had children named Sarah, Ida, and Eugene.
(D) Elizabeth Sparks, born about 1838.
(E) John F. (or Frank) Sparks, born about 1843.
(F) A. M. (or Mitchell) Sparks, born about 1846; he married Maggie Ragsdale in Oldham County, Kentucky, December 24, 1868.
(4) Elizabeth (Betsey) Sparks, daughter of William. She married John Boulwar or Boulvare in Rowan County, North Carolina, in 1801. She had apparently died prior to 1865 when her brother Hampton’s estate was settled, for reference was made simply to B. Boulvare’s heirs.
(5) Esther Sparks, daughter of William. She married Christian Stipe in Rowan County, North Carolina, in 1806 (marriage bond dated December 9, 1806), before the family moved to Kentucky. She had apparently died before 1865 for in the settlement of the estate of her brother, Hampton Sparks, mention  was made of her heirs.
(6) Alice Sparks, daughter of William Sparks. Her name was given as Alice Brown when her brother Hampton’s estate was settled in 1865. She had died  by then for reference was made to her heirs.
(7) Sarah Sparks, daughter of William Sparks. She married Rowland Hampton in Jefferson County, Kentucky, on June 16, 1816. She and her husband were still living in 1865 when the estate of her brother, Hampton, was settled.
(8) Nancy Sparks, daughter of William Sparks. She married William Griggs or Greggs, in Jefferson County, Kentucky, on August 1, 1822. In the settlement of the estate of her brother Hampton in 1865, reference was made to Nancy Grigg’s heirs. This was probably the Wiley and Nancy Griggs who were living in Hardeman County, Tennessee, in 1850. (His age was given as 53, hers as 45, and the birth place of each was given as North Carolina.) Living with them was B. H. Sparks, aged 24, born in Tennessee, and by profession a “clerk.” He was probably a nephew of Mary.
(9) Fanny Sparks, daughter of William Sparks. She married Isham Wilhoite in Jefferson County, Kentucky, on October 2, 1823. By 1840 she and her husband were living in Bureau County, Illinois. She had died by 1865 for in the settlement of the estate of her brother Ephraim, mention was made of her heirs.
6. David Sparks, son of Jonas Sparks, was born about 1768 in Rowan County, North Carolina. He was still living in 1850, but is believed to have died soon after that date. According to family tradition, David Sparks, when a young man about eighteen years old, objected trongly to his father’s second marriage, largely because the woman was of German extraction. Later, however, David Sparks married his step-mother’s pretty daughter, Mary Little. A grandson of David and Mary (Little) Sparks remembered that Mary herself always spoke with a German accent.   Our earliest record of David Sparks’s purchasing land in Rowan County, North Carolina, is a deed dated September 15, 1798 (Rowan County Deed Book 16,  p. 422), by which he purchased from Jacob Crouse for 240 pounds a tract of 241 acres “on the east side of Dutchman Creek and both sides of Buffelow  Creek.”  This land adjoined land owned by Jacob Little, Abraham Weltey, and Henry Call. Jacob Little was probably a relative, perhaps an uncle, of his wife.

On May 7, 1800, David Sparks sold this same land back to Jacob Crouse for the same amount of money that he had paid for it (Deed Book 17, p. 265).  According to the Rowan County tax list of 1802, David Sparks owned 304 acres of land; from whom he had acquired this land is not known - - perhaps his wife had inherited it. On September 18, 1806, David Sparks purchased from Jacob Little a tract of 122 acres for 200 pounds “on the waters of Dutchman’s Creek.” (See Rowan County Deed Book 21, p. 60) From later sales, it appears that he must have acquired other land of which we have no record. On January 14, 1815,

David Sparks sold to Benjamin Dulin for $980 a tract of 275 acres on the east side of Dutchman’s Creek. (See Howan County Deed Book 24, p. 709) On  February 10, 1815, he sold to Robinson Mumford, Sr., for $50, a tract of 40 acres Iton the east side of Dutchman’s Creek”--according to the deed, this land adjoined land owned by William Dulin (Rowan County Deed Book 23, p. 380). On the same date, David Sparks sold to Jacob Crouse for $376.53 a tract of158 acres also located on the east side of Dutchman’s Creek. This land adjoined that previously sold to Robinson Mumford and Benjamin Dulin.

The reason David Sparks sold his land early in 1815 was that he was preparing to leave Rowan County. He moved west into Tennessee and by 1820 was living in Lincoln County in that state. Most, perhaps all, of David and Mary’s children had been born prior to their removal from Rowan County. Whether all the twelve children accompanied them to Tennessee is not known.

By 1830, David Sparks was living in Madison County, Tennessee. Two sons and two daughters were still at home. His son Daniel was also listed on the 1830 census of Madison County. By 1840, David Sparks had moved to Hardeman County in the same state and was still living there in 1850. Earlier he may have  lived for awhile in McNairy County. (Note that Hardeman County, Tennessee, adjoins Tippah County, Mississippi, on the north, where David’s nephew,  Ephraim Sparks, and his own son, Jonas Sparks, were living in 1850.)

David Sparks’s wife, Mary, died sometime between 1840 and 1850. David was listed as 82 years of age on the 1850 census of Hardernan County. Living with him at that time was his son, Minus Sparks (sometimes written as Miner, also Minnie), aged 39. Living next to David and his son was a 36-year-old widow named Julia Birkhead. In all probability, Julia was David’s youngest daughter.
Apparently David Sparks did not leave a will, and no record of the settlement of his estate has been found. According to records preserved by descendants of  David’s eldest son, Cornelius Sparks, David and Mary (Little) Sparks were the parents of the following children:
[NOTE:  See also the Sparks Quarterly for September, 1986, Whole No. 135, pp. 2944-2947, for additional information on this family.]


(Descendants of David and Mary (Little) Sparks)

(1) Cornelius Sparks, eldest son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born in Rowan County, North Carolina, June 11, 1789; he died in Berrien County,  Michigan, in August, 1862. He was married in December, 1812, to Susannah Stepriens, in North Carolina, probably in Rowan County. She was born October 28, 1794, and died in 1861. Apparently Cornelius Sparks did not accompany his parents to Tennessee; it appears that even before their departure from Rowan County that he and his wife and infant son had moved to Wayne County, Indiana, in the autumn of 1814.

Thus it was that Cornelius Sparks joined the great  migration to the Northwest Territory from whence had come glowing reports of vast, rich farm lands waiting for the plow.  There is a family traditon that Cornelius Sparks came north at least in part because of his opposition to slavery. One version of the story was recorded by a  descendant, Mrs. Mary Park Wille, in 1938: “His father was angered at a young slave boy who had grown up with him and been his constant companion. He had the boy tied up by his thumbs and whipped to death.” Since even the most cruel slave owner, and there were not many of this type, would scarcely kill a young    slave valued at several hundred dollars, a much more plausible version was written in 1903 when a Buchanan, Michigan, newspaper published an article on the family:

 “Members of this family relate that it was the brutal acts of slave-holders that was chiefly responsible for the removal of the pioneers from Rowan County,  North Carolina, forty-six years prior to the secession of the state from the union. Cornelius Sparks was an accidental witness to the act of a member of his uncle’s family. A colored woman had reared a family of white children, after their own mother had died. She was cruelly knocked down with the butt of a whip because she was unable to suppress her grief at the sale of her own son. That was the spark that set the abolition spirit of Cornelius Sparks aflame. He had known of the service of the negro woman to the unfortunate white children, and he resolved to leave the country that harbored such an institution.”
According to this account written in 1903, which was copied for us by Helen Sparks of Los Angeles, a descendant of Cornelius, he and his family made the  journey to Indiana by ox team, camping in a tent at night and driving their stock with them. Joseph Sparks, Cornelius’ oldest son, was a nine-month-old baby  at the time (he was born January 24, 1814). Accoding to this 1903 record: “On the way they stopped under the roof that sheltered five generations of the babe’s  mother’s family. Along the wayside in Kentucky was the home of the Adams, relatives of the mother’s side of the family. Beside the babe, there was his father and mother, his grandfather arid grandmother, the father of little Joseph’s great-grandmother. The mother of his great-grand-mother had been there, but she was absent that night, although she was living in another part of the state. This strange meeting was occasioned. by come members of the family waiting on the others to come up, as they were known to be moving to the new country across the Ohio.”
Cornelius Sparks remained in Wayne County, Indiana, until 1828, when he moved with his family to Berrien County, Michigan. There he and his wife lived the rest of their lives. They were the parents of the following children. (We plan to publish a more detailed record of the descendants of Cornelius Sparks in a future issue of the QUARTERLY.)   [NOTE:  For this record see the March, 1978, issue of the QUARTERLY, Whole No. 101, pp. 1965-1984.]
Children of Cornelius and Susannah (Stephens) Sparks:
(A) Joseph Sparks, born January 24, 1814, in Rowan County, North Carolina.
(B) Spencer Sparks, born December 9, 1815, in Wayne County, Indiana.
(C) David Sparks, born August 14, 1817, in Wayne County, Indiana.
(D) Mary Sparks, born July 7, 1819, in Wayne County, Indiana.
(E) Elizabeth Sparks, born July 26, 1821, in Wayne County, Indiana.
(F) Levi Sparks, born October 3, 1823, in Wayne County, Indiana.
(G) Anna Sparks, born September 30, 1825, in Wayne County, Indiana.
(H) Ira Sparks, born October 31, 1827, in Wayne County, Indiana.
(I) Wilson Sparks, born April 19, 1830, in Berrien County, Michigan.
(J) Susan Sparks, born August 1, 1832, in Berrien County, Michigan.
(K) Cynthia Sparks, born August 27, 1834, in Berrien County, Michigan.
(2) Joseph Sparks, son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born in the 1790’s in Rowan County, North Carolina. This was probably the Joseph Sparks  who married Febey Hinkle in Rowan County in 1811 (marriage bond dated January 28, 1811). No further information.

(3) John Sparks, son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born in the 1790’s in Rowan County, North Carolina. He apparently accompanied his father to Tennessee and was probably the John Sparks listed on the tax roll of Madison County, Tennessee, in 1828. He was probably the John Sparks who married Kitty Harwood, daughter of Henry Harwood, of Rowan County, North Carolina, prior to 1819 when he and other heirs of Henry Harwood gave a power of attorney to Richard Smith (another son-in-law of Henry Harwood) to sell land in Rowan County that had formerly belonged to Henry Harwood in Rowan County (Rowan County Deed B ook 26, p. 7). No further record.

(4) Jonas Sparks, son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born about 1800 in Rowan County, North Carolina. His name appears on the tax lists of Madison County, Tennessee, of 1827, 1828, and 1829. In 1840 he was living in Shelby County, Tennessee, but by 1850 he had moved to Tippah County,  Mississippi, just over the line from Hardeman County, Tennessee, and near his cousin, Ephr aim Sparks. His age in 1850 was given as 49, that of his wife, Rebecca, as 44. Both were born in North Carolina. Their children, as listed on the 1850 census were: (there were probably others born after this date but the family had moved from the area of Tippah County by 1860)
(A) Amanda Sparks, born about 1830 in Tennessee.
(B) Daniel Sparks, born about 1832 in Tennessee.
(C) Rebecca C. Sparks, born about 1837 in Tennessee.
(D) Jonas Sparks, born about 1841 in Tennessee.
(E) Laura A. Sparks, born about 1846 in Mississippi.
(F) Joseph Sparks, born about 1848 in Mississippi.
(5) Daniel Sparks, son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born about 1802 in 7~9 Rowan County, North Carolina. He accompanied his parents toTennessee and his name appears on the tax lists of Madison County, Tennessee, for 1824, 1825, and 1826. He was married in Madison County, Tennessee, on September 17, 1827, to Mary (or Polly) Pull, the same day on which his brother, David Sparks, Jr., was married. He was listed on the1830 census of Madison County and had one daughter prior to 1830. By 1850 he was living in Henderson County, Tennessee, where his occupation   was given as “miller”; his wife’s age was given as 43 in 1850 (born about 1807) and her birthplace was Tennessee. By 1860, he was living in Hardeman County, Tennessee. From these two census records, it appears that Daniel and Mary (Pull) Sparks were the parents of the following children:
Children of Daniel and Mary (Pull) Sparks:
(A) Matilda Sparks, born about 1831 in Tennessee.
(B) Susan Sparks, born about 1834 in Tennessee.
(C) John Sparks, born about 1838 in Tennessee.
(D) George Sparks, born about 1838 in Tennessee.
(E) Elizabeth Sparks, born about 1842 or 1843 in Tennessee.
(F) Juliarxria (or Julina) Sparks, born about 1844 or 1845 in Tennessee.
(G) Isabella (or Martha) Sparks, born about 1847 in Tennessee. On the 1850 census her name appeared as Isabella, but on the 1860 census as Martha.
(H) James Sparks, born about 1850 in Tennessee.
(6) William Sparks, son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born about 1808 in Rowan County, North Carolina. He moved to Tennessee with his parents and in 1850 was living in McNairy County. He moved to Prairie County, Arkansas, shortly before his death, which occurred in 1860. He married, first, Emiline Moore, who was born about 1820 in Alabama and died about 1851 in Tennessee. His second wife was a widow named Mrs. Lucinda Davis. It is believed that William and Emiline (Moore) Sparks were the parents of eight children, but we have the names of only six:
(A) Rufus Sparks, born November 2, 1838, in Tennessee.
(B) Daniel Sparks, born about 1841 in Tennessee.
(C) Albert or John Sparks, born about 1842 in Tennessee
(D) Martha Sparks, born about 1844 in Tennessee.
(F) William Sparks, Jr., born July 9, 1846, in Tennessee.
(G) Mary Ann Sparks, born about 1849, in Tennessee.
It is not believed that William Sparks had children by his second wife, Lucinda.  For a more complete record of this family, see THE SPARKS QUARTERLY of March, 1959 (Vol. VII, No. 1, Whole No. 25, pp. 373-4).
(7) David Sparks, Jr., son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born about 1808 in Rowan County, North Carolina. He accompanied his parents to Tennessee and was married in Madison County, Tennessee, on September 17, 1827, to Comfort Moffett, daughter of John Moffett of Hardeman County, Tennessee.  He was married on the same day as his brother Daniel. Comfort Mcffett was born about 1810 in North Carolina. David Sparks, Jr., moved to Prairie County, Arkansas, with his brother William prior to 1860. From the census records, it appears that David Sparks, Jr., and his wife, Comfort (Moffett) Sparks, were the  parents of the following children:
(A) Julia A. Sparks, born about 1829, in Tennessee.
(B) Fonety Sparks, born about 1831, in Tennessee.
(C) Sarah Sparks, born about 1833, in Tennessee.
(D) Spencer Sparks, born about 1836, in Tennessee.
(E) Comfort Sparks, born about 1838, in Tennessee.
(F) John Sparks, born about 1842, in Tennessee.
(G) William Sparks, born January 22, 1844, in Hardeman County, Tennessee.
(H) Almeda Sparks, born about 1849, in Tennessee.
(I) Ainanda Sparks, born about 1852, in Tennessee.
(J) James D. Sparks, born about 1854, in Tennessee.
(8) Minus Lafayette Sparks (also called Miner arid Minnie), son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born in Rowan County, North Carolina, about 1811. He  remained at home with his parents and did not marry until after 1850. He died on April 23, 1889, at Crainesville (now Hornsby), Hardeman County, Tennessee. He married about 1850 or 1851 January 27, 1851,   Sarah (Sally) Cherry, Shinn   who was part Indian; she was born about 1826. They were the parents of the following children:

[Scanner's note:  Corrections made according to QUARTERLY Whole No. 114, p. 2307.]


[Here appears photographic reproduction, beneath which is the following caption:]


Born in Rowan County, North Carolina, February 11, 1797
Died in McNairy County, Tennessee, November 30, 1877

Daughter of David and Mary (Little) Sparks

Wife of James D. Hunter

(View photographic reproduction)


Children of Minus Lafayette and Sarah (Cherry) Sparks:
(A) John W. Sparks, born about 1851; he was married to Mary Smith on December 22, 1881.
(B) Elizabeth Sparks, born about 1854; she married James Sanders.
(C) Cornelia Sparks (or possibly this was Cornelius Sparks) born about1856; she (or he) married a Thornton.
(D) Thomas Overton Sparks, born about 1858; he was married to Almeda Robinson on September 4, 1883.
(E) Mary Ann Sparks, born about 1860; she married Nathan Henderson.
(F) Sarah Jane Sparks, born about 1863; she married William Robinson.
(G) Idell Faidy Sparks (spelling uncertain), born about 1866; she married William McCann.
(9) Elizabeth (or Betsey) Sparks, daughter of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born probably in Rowan County, North Carolina. All that is known of her is that she married a man named Jarvis.
(10) Mary Sparks (called Polly), daughter of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born February 11, 1797, in Rowan County, North Carolina, and died on November 30, 1877, in McNairy County, Tennessee. She was married in Lincoln County, Tennessee, to James D. Hunter, who was born in North Carolina on  December 7, 1796, and died in McNairy County, Tennessee, on December 26, 1865. Both were buried in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in MoNairy County. They were the parents of the following children:
(A) Sarah (or Sally) Hunter, born February 27, 1822, in Lincoln County, Tennessee, and died December 6, 1903; she married William Walter Stovall.
(B) Hance Alexander Hunter, born July 13, 1824, in Lincoln County, Tennessee, and died March 15, 1916; he married, first, Laura Amelia Moore.
(C) Ann Jenette Hunter, born September 4, 1826, and died September 4, (D) Mary Thinter, born November 19, 1829, and died August 18, 1859;  she married Drury D. Sanders.
(E) Louisa Hunter; she died as a child from the bite of a rattlesnake.
(F) Sophronia Hunter, born about 1833.
(G) Leutitia Hunter, born about 1834.
(H) Nancy Miranda ainter, born June 23, 1835, and died April 30, 1913;  she was married on September 9, 1858, to Jesse Cannon Jackson.
(I) (?) Emma Jane Hunter, born about 1836, married W. B. Shelton; there  is some doubt regarding the identity of this daughter.
(J) James David Sparks Hunter, born February 18, 1838, arid died May 26, 1923; he married Mrs. Mary E. (Knight) Gooch.
We plan to publish a more detailed record of the descendants of Mary (Sparks) Hunter in a future issue. The portrait of Mary that appears on page 806 has been reproduced from the original owned by descendants of Margaret Caroline Hunter.
(11) Sarah (or Sally) Sparks, daughter of David and Mary (Little) Sparks.
(12) Juliana (or Julia) Sparks, daughter of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was probably born about 1814. She was probably the Julia Birkhead, aged 36, a  widow, who was living next to David Sparks in 1850. According to this census record of Hardeman County, Tennessee, she had the following children:
(A) William Birkhead, born about 1835 in North Carolina.
(B) Eleaser Birkhead, born about 1836 in Tennessee.
(C) David Birkhead, born about 1838 in Tennessee.
(D) Mary Birkhead, born about 1840 in Tennessee.

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


   (one of our oldest members)


(View photograph)

John Sparks, above, son of Richard and Susan Ann (Abshere) Sparks, was born on September 28, 1878. Cherel Lenn Pruitt, his great-granddaughter, was born on February 21, 1963. Mr. Sparks celebrated his 85th birthday last September.

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We regret to report the death of Mrs. Amanda Carolyn (Sparks) Lange in Wichita Falls, Texas, on March 1, 1964. Mrs. Lange, who was born on April 6, 1898, was a daughter of Robert Thomas and Ruth Isabel (Collins) Sparks. Her Sparks ancestry was mentioned in the QUARTERLY of March, 1963, Whole No. 41, Vol. XI, No. 1, page 718. Mrs. Lange, a native of Denton, Texas, was a daughter of Robert Thomas Sparks.  Among survivors are sisters and brothers, Mrs. Jim George of Denton, Frank Sparks of Aubrey, Ray Sparks of Pilot Point, and Mrs. John Gibbons of Argyle, all in Texas.  [Scanners Note:  This article has been amended and corrected as per the QUARTERLY for June, 1964, Whole No. 46, p. 824.]

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It is a pleasure to report the names of ten new members of THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION. These are our new members since December, 1963.

Cavitt, S. D., 3000 Austin Ave., Waco, Texas.
Copeland, Mrs. E. D., Box 351, Raceland, Louisiana.
Dean, Mrs. Howard Kelsey, Jr., 1790 North 15th St., Abilene, Texas (79603).
Hunter, Mrs. Vivian Sparks, 305 North 3rd West, Mountain Home, Idaho (83647).
Little, Mary Elliott (Mrs. J. W.), 1292 Noe St., San Francisco 14, California.
Sparks, Clyde E., 445 North Cherry St., Mesa, Arizona.
Sparks, Harold G., 2061 Walnut St., Jacksonville 6, Florida.
Sparks, Mrs. Mellsia Eveline, 801 Morris St., Mt. Grove, Missouri.
Sparks, Mrs. Opal Lee Coomer, 406 North Cottage St., Porterville, California (93257).
Sparks, Thomas Mason, 11 Hedgewood Lane, Manchester, Missouri (63062).


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Scanned and Edited by James J. Sparks