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


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

MARY (BROWN SPARKS (born about 1801)

WIFE OF JONAS SPARKS (born about 1794)


(View photograph)


THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, published by the Sparks Family Association.

Paul E. Sparks, President, 155 N. Hite Ave., Louisville, Kentucky (40206)
William P. Johnson, Historian-Genealogist, Box 531, Raleigh, NC (27602)W
Russell E. Bidlack, Secretrary-Treasurer & Editor, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan (48104)

The Sparks Family Association was founded in March, 1953, as a non-profit organization  devoted to the assembling and preserving of genealogical and historical materials  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 to persons interested in genealogical and historical research.  Membership falls into three classes:  Active, Contributing, and Sustaining.  Active membership dues are  three dollars per year;  Contributing membership dues are four dollars per year; and  Sustaining membership dues are any amount over four dollars which the member wishes to  contribute.  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 associations, and individuals may subscribe to the QUARTERLY without joining the Association at the rate of three dollars per year.  Back issues are kept in  print and are available for seventy-five cents per issue.  The first issue of the QUARTERLY was published in March, 1953.  An index covering the first five years (1953-1957) and another covering the second five  years (1958-1962) have been published and are available for one dollar each.  The editor of the QUARTERLY 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 Ave., Ann Arbor, Michigan.



Solomon Sparks was born in Maryland about 1725. It is probable that he was a son of Joseph Sparks who died intestate in Frederick County, Maryland, in 1749. (Solomon named one of his sons Joseph, probably for his father.) Sometime before 1750, Solomon Sparks married Sarah - - - - - .

On March 20, 1750, Solomon Sparks patented 93 acres of land in Frederick County, Maryland, and gave this tract the descriptive name of Cold Friday. This land was located on Beaver Dam Branch, a tributary of Linganore Creek. On June 20, 1753, Solomon Sparks and his wife, Sarah, sold this tract of 93 acres for 35 pounds to Mathew Howard. Solomon is designated in this deed as a "farmer.”

Sometime in 1753, probably soon after selling this tract of land, Solomon Sparks moved from Frederick County, Maryland, to near Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina. (Rowan County was formed on April 12, 1753 from Anson County.) Solomon and Sarah Sparks were among the first settlers in that area of North Carolina. Two years after their arrival, Governor Arthur Dobbs visited Salisibury and wrote the following description on November 24, 1755: “The Yadkin here (Trading Ford) is a large beautiful river where is a ferry. It is near 300 yards over, it was at this time fordable scarce coming to the horses bellies. At 6 miles distance I arrived at Salisbury the County town of Rowan, the town


is but just laid out, the Court House built and 7 or 8 log Houses erected.” (From The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. 5, page 355.)

Solomon Sparks settled in the Forks of the Yadkin, less than ten miles north of Salisbury, in what is now Davie County, North Carolina. In 1761, he obtained a land grant for 250 acres in Rowan County, on the west side of the Yadkin River, opposite the mouth of Muddy Creek.  In 1762, he obtained a grant for 290 acres on the south side of the Yadkin River, which adjoined his other grant.

By the early 1760’s, Solomon Sparks had been joined in North Carolina by several of his close relatives from Frederick County, Maryland: Matthew Sparks, William Sample Sparks, Jonas Sparks, and James Sparks. Perhaps they were all brothers. (An article on Jonas Sparks appeared in the QUARTERLY for March 1964, Vol. XII, No. 1, Whole No. 45, pp. 790-807; in the QUARTERLY for June 1961 there appeared an article on Matthew Sparks, Vol. IX, No. 2, Whole No. 34, pp. 556-566; an article on Solomon Sparks appeared in the QUARTERLY for December 1955, Vol. III, No. 4, Whole No. 12, pp. 97-98.)

[Scanner's note:  See SQ p. 3501 for the following:  "We know know that William Sample Sparks was an uncle of Solomon and Jonas; he was the father of Matthew and James."

In 1763, Solomon Sparks sold a portion of his land on the Yadkin to Jonas Sparks, who was probably his brother, and another portion to Valentine Vanhouser. According to a statement made by John Sparks, son of Solomon, when applying for a Revolutionary War pension in 1832, Solomon Sparks and his family moved from the Forks of the Yadkin to what is now Wilkes County (then Surry County) North Carolina, in 1772. When the dividing line between Wilkes and Surry Counties was surveyed in 1778, it was found that the line cut through Solomon’s plantation, but according to the Court Minutes, his house was on the Surry side. Thus, Solomon Sparks lived just south of the present village of Swan Creek in the western part of what is now Yadkin County, North Carolina.

By 1800, Solomon and Sarah Sparks had both died. Neither of them left a will, nor has a family Bible record been found listing the names of their children. However, a document recorded in the Wilkes County Court Records reveals the names of those still living in the Wilkes County area in 1801. It is a Letter of Attorney dated July 31, 1801, from John Sparks, Reuben Sparks, Solomon Sparks [Jr.], Mary Jacks, Hannah Denny, Susannah Johnson, and Joseph Sparks to Abel Sparks, all being children of Solomon Sparks. We know from his application for a pension that John Sparks, son of Solomon, was born in 1753; it seems probable that he was the oldest son. Assuming that the other children were listed in the Letter of Attorney in the order of their birth, we may speculate on their birth dates as follows:

          1. John Sparks, born February 25, 1753; married Sarah Shores.
          2. Reuben Sparks, born about 1755; married Cassie Buttery.
          3. Solomon Sparks, Jr., born about 1757.
          4. Mary Sparks, born about 1759; married - - - - - Jacks.
          5. Hannah Sparks, born about 1761; married James Denney in 1784.
          6. Susannah Sparks, born about 1763; married Charles Johnson in 1784.
          7. Joseph Sparks, born about 1765.
          8. Abel Sparks, born January 8, 1767; his second wife was Sarah - - - - - .


Reuben Sparks, believed to have been the second son of Solomon and Sarah Sparks, was born in Rowan County, North Carolina, about 1755. He was married about 1783, probably in Wilkes County, North Carolina, to Cassa (or Cassie) Buttery, who was born about 1765 and died in 1842. She was probably a daughter of, or closely related to, Timothy Buttery, whose estate was settled in 1802 in Wilkes County. (According to the Minutes of the Wilkes County Court dated February 1, 1802,


Reuben Sparks and Richard Allen were securities for the bonds of Mary Buttery and Jesse Allen who were named as administrators of Timothy Buttery’s estate. In a subsequent court record, Mary Buttery is identified as the widow of Timothy. In 1806, she marrIed as her second husband Joseph Thomson (Wilkes County Marriage Bond dated May 4, 1806)

Reuben Sparks is mentioned frequently in the land and court records of Wilkes County. He frequently served on  juries, heped to lay out roads, and he was an active member of the South Fork of Roaring River Baptist Church. In 1829, 1830, 1832 and 1834, he served as a delegate to the Baptist Association.  Like his father, he owned land in both Wilkes County and in Surry County.  In 1792, he purchased 340 acres in Surry County on Hunting Creek from Richard Goode for 50 pounds (Book E,  pp. 229-30).  In 1797, he sold 170 acres in Surry County “on the North Fork of Hunting Creek on the Brushy Mountains to James Denney for 100 pounds (Book G, pp. 365-66). In 1799 he purhased a tract of 300 acres in Wilkes County on the Big Elkin from Andrew Crow. (Book E, p. 306).  In 1800 he sold a tract of 170 acres in Surry County on Hunting Creek on the Brushy Mountain to William Jeffrey (Bock H, p. 318).  On March 5, 1835, Reuben Sparks sold a tract of 100 acres on Roaring River in Wilkes County to William R. Sparks, his son, for $300 (Book 1841-51, p. 44). This land was desoribed as where “the sd. Reuben Sparks now lives.” On the same day, he sold an adjoining tract of 70 acres to his son Jonas Sparks for $300 (Book 1841-51, p. 42).

According to the records of Od Roaring River Baptist Church in Wilkes County, Reuben Sparks died at 2:00 A.M. on July 13, 1840. His wife, Cassie Sparks, died about 1842. It is believed that Reuben and Cassie (Buttery) Sparks were the parents of the following children: (there may well have been other children)

          1. Benjamin Sparks (called "Bennie"), born about 1784.
          2. John Sparics, born about 1786.
          3. Solomon Sparks, born about 1792.
          4. Jonas Sparks, born about 1794.
          5.  William Russell Sparks, born January 3, 1797.
          6.  Lydia Sparks, born about 1800.
          7.  Matilda Sparks, born in March, 1805.
          8.  Reuben Sparks, Jr., born about 1808.

1. Benjamin Sparks, son of  Reuben and Cassie (Buttery) Sparks was born about 1784 in either Wilkes, or Surry County, North Carolina; he lived in that part of Surry County which was cut off to form Yadkin County in 1850 and died there in 1876, He married Sarah Jeffreys, daughter of William and Patsey Jeffrey (or Jeffreys) about 1802. She was born in 1785 and died in 1870.  His will, dated May 8, 1872, is on file in Yadkin County (Book 2, p. 81) . From hIs will and records supplied by descendants, we know that Benjamin and Sarah (Jeffreys) Sparks had the following children:

(1) Elizabeth Sparks, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Jeffreys)  Sparks, was  born about 1812 and died prior to 1872; she married - - - - - Redding and had children named Sarah, Mary, and Willam T. who were  mentioned as grandchildren in Benjamin Sparks’s will of 1872.
(2) William Russell Sparks, son of Benjamin and Sarah (Jeffreys) Sparks, was born about 1813 and died prior to 1860. He was generaly called “Russell” .  He married Nancy Martin, daughter of Alfred Martin, and from census records it appears they had children named Louisa, Sally C.,  John A., Martha D.,  Mary M., Solomon M., Lydia B., and William R. Sparks.

Children of Benjamin and Sarah (Jeffreys) Sparks, continued:

 (3) John Sparks, son of Benjamin and Sarah (Jeffreys) Sparks; according to descendants of his brother, John Sparks “went west ."
 (4) Joseph Sparks (called “Joe”), son of Benjamin and Sarah (Jeffreys) Sparks, was born on June 12, 1817, and died on May 8, 1902; he was married in October 1842 to Martha Elvira Dimmette. A grandson of Joseph (Dr. H. C. Salmons) stated in 1952 that Joseph and Martha Elvira (Dimmette) Sparks were the parents of the following children:
 (A) Benjamin Franklin Sparks, born Oct. 18, 1843;
 (B) William Russell Sparks, born Nov. 18, 1844;
 (C) John Q, Adams Sparks, born March 13, 184-;
 (D) Sarah Ann Sparks, born June 14, 1847;
 (E) James Lewis Sparks, born May 18, 1850;
 (F)  Nancy Rosaline Sparks, born May 28, 1856;
 (G) George Washington Sparks, born Nov. 18, 185-;
 (H) Elizabeth Sparks, born Octobert 26, 1860
 (5) Mary (Polly) Sparks, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Jeffreys) Sparks,  married Constantine Gray.
 (6) Hannah Sparks, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Jeffreys) Sparks, married John Felts and, according to relatives, “went west.”
 (7) Lydia Sparks, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Jeffreys) Sparks, married Peyton Dimmettee (or Dimmit).
 (8) Solomon Sparks, son of Benjamin and Sarah (Jeffreys) Sparks, was born about 1825 and died prior to 1872; he married Rachel
Martin, daughter of Alfred Martin, They had the following children: Nancy Sparks, born about 1855; Benjamin Sparks, born in1860; Sarah Sparks; and Augusta Sparks.
 (9) Martha C. Sparks, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Jeffreys) Sparks, was born about 1827; she never married.
 (10) Sarah (Sally) Sparks, daughter of Benjamin and Sarah (Jeffryes) Sparks, was born about 1832; she married Enoch D. Swaim
of Yadkin County, N.C. in 1851 (Yadkin County marriage bond dated Nov. 19, 1851).
 (11) Benjamin Franklin Sparks, son of Benjamin and Sarah (Jeffreys) Sparks, was born about 1833; he married .Amanda Jane Sale
on February 23, 1864. They had children named: Dinah, Carrie, Mary, Benjamin Franklin, James Leo, Lillie, Minnie, Everett, Worth, Carol, Paul, William, and Glen.
 2. John Sparks, son of Reuben and Cassie (Buttery) Sparks, was born about 1786; he married Elizabeth about 1806; she was born about 1786 and died about 1865. They moved to that part of Ashe County, North Carolina, which was cut off to form Alleghany County in 1859. Two children had been born to John and Elizabeth by the time the 1810 census of Wilkes County, N.C., was taken, and by 1820 there were six children according to that census. By 1830, they had moved to Ashe County where John Sparks purchased for $100 a tract of 200 acres from John Allen Woodruff on September 15, 1830; this land was located “on the waters of Brush Creek” in Ashe County (Deed Book 0, p. 78).  On March 20, 1841, John Sparks sold this tract for $1000 to his son, Reuben Sparks. John and Elizabeth Sparks were listed on the 1850


census of Ashe County; his age was given as 66 and Elizabeth’s as 62. In 1859, Alleghany County was cut off from Ache County; John and Elizabeth apparently lived in that part that became the new county. When the 1860 census was taken of Alleghany County,  John’s age was given as 77 and Elizabeth’s as 74. Living on an adjoining farm was their son, Reuben Sparks. Both John and Elizabeth appear to have died by 1870. It is believed that John and Elizabeth Sparks were the parents of four sons and two daughters, but  we can be certain of the names of only two sons:

(1) - - - - - Sparks (son), born about 1807.
(2) - - - - - Sparks (daughter), born about 1809.
(3) - - - - - Sparks (daughter), born about 1811.
(4) Emanuel Sparks, son of John and Elizabeth Sparks, was born about 1814. He married Mary - - - - - ; they were listed on the 1850, 1860, and 1870 censuses of Wilkes County, North Carolina, and from these records it would appear that they had the following children:
 (A) Jane Sparks, born about 1840;
 (B) Reuben Sparks, born about 1842;
 (C) Elizabeth Sparks, born about 1844;
 (D) Sarah Sparks, born about 1846;
 (E) Catherine Sparks, born about 1850;
 (F) Nancy Sparks, born about 1851;
 (G) John Sparks, born about 1852;
 (H) Mary Sparks, born about 1854;
 (I)   Emaline or Martha Sparks, born about 1857;
 (J) Frances or Fanny Sparks, born about 1858;
 (K) Carey Sparks, born about 1864; and
 (L) Sarah J. SparkIj born about 1866.
 (5) - - - - - Sparks (son of John and Elizabeth), born about 1817.
 (6) Reuben Sparks, son of John and Elizabeth, was born about 1819;  he married Nancy , who was born about 1816. They were living in Wilkes County, North Carolina, in 1850 with one child named Catherine, Calton, aged 6.  They both joined Old Roaring River Baptist Church in Wilkes County ‘by experience” on the 4th Saturday of April, 1843; in November 1849 they were dismissed by letter to go to a new church at Woodruff. In 1860 they were living in Alleghany County on a farm adjoining Reuben’s  parents, John and Elizabeth Sparks. Living with Reuben and Nancy in 1860 was a young man named Calton Sparks, aged 17, who seems not to have been a son. There was also a 9-year-old boy living with them named Isaiah Sparks, their only son. In Alleghany County there is a document on file (Will Book A, p. 111) which states that Nancy Sparks, wife of Reuben, died on May 26, 1890. Reuben, her husband, is described as “a non-resident.” Isaiah (or Isali) Sparks is identified as their only child,  but he had died prior to 1890 leaving a wife named Charity and two children, J. C. Sparks and J. E. Sparks.

[Scanner's note:  For the above corrections see SQ p. 3196, Whole No. 141.]

 3. Solomon Sparks, son of Reuben and Cassie (Buttery) Sparks, was born about 1792. We have not succeeded in tracing this Solomon Sparks. The name Solomon was such a common name among the Sparkses in North Carolina that it is extremely difficult to keep the various Solomons straight.

 4. Jonas Sparks, son of Reuben and Cassie (Buttery) Sparks, was born about 1794 in Wilkes or Surry County, North Carolina. In 1817 he was married to Mary Brown, a daughter of John Brown of Wilkes County. The marriage bond is dated September 27, 1817 and John Brown was the bondsman.


On the cover of this issue of the QUARTERLY appears a photograph of Mary (Brown) Sparks, wife of Jonas Sparks. It has been provided by Mary Etta Sayers Bostic, a great-great-granddaughter of Jonas and Mary (Brown) Sparks. Mary (Brown) Sparks, daughter of John Brown, was born about 1801.  It is believed that she was still living as late as 1875; this picture was probably taken sometime in the 1870’s.

Jonas and Mary (Brown) Sparks were listed as members of the South Fork of Roaring River Baptist Church in 1829. In 1835, Jonas purchased 70 acres of his father’s home place in Wilkes County, North Carolina, while his brother, William R. Sparks, purchased 100 acres. Earlier, on April 5, 1821, Jonas Sparks had purchased a traot of 30 acres adjoining his father’s land in Wilkes County from Noel Wadill (Wilkes Deed Book 1841-51, page 24); this tract was described as lying on “the East Side of Roaring River.” On May 13, 1835, Jonas Sparks purchased for $5.00 a tract of twenty-five acres from the State of North Carolina. This tract was described as follows: “Beginning on his own North west Corner at a bunch of kornbeans on the bank of Roaring River and runing West Crossing Roaring River with William R. Sparkes line fourteen poles to a Stake then North ninety five poles to a Chesnut and Maple in Browns line then East with sd. line Thirty two poles to a Chesnut then South With Browns line Crossing the river Sixty poles to a poplar at or near to Browns Corner then East with Browns line Thirty five poles to a pine in his own line then west with sd. line forty six poles to the Beginning.” (Wilkes County Deed Book 1841-51, p. 34). The reference to an adjoining tract belonging to a man named Brown suggests that Mary Brown may have lived on a farm adjoining the Sparks family.

In 1848, Jonas Sparks moved with his family to Tazewell County, Virginia, and settled in an area called Baptist Valley. Jonas Sparks is believed to have died there in 1875.

Jonas and Mary (Brown) Sparks are believed to have been the parents of ten children, In John Newton Harman’s Annals of Tazewell County, Virginia, published in Richmond in 1925, three of their sons are identified: Jonas J. Sparks, Joshua W. Sparks, and Joseph Sparks. From other records, we believe that we can identify most of the others, but we cannot be certain.

 (1) John Henry Sparks, without doubt the oldest son of Jonas and Mary (Brown) C. Sparks, was born about 1818. He was married three times. His first wife was Matilda Holloway  Sarah Matilda Hankins, who died on May 25 or 26, 1854, upon the birth of a son. John Henry Sparks was married to Rebecca Mitchell, his second wife, on April 23, 1855. His third wife was Sallie Pruett. By his first wife, John Henry Sparks is believed to have had the following children:
 (1) Jonas Sparks, born about 1842; he married Lucy Harrison in Tazewell County in 1865;
 (2) William Sparks, born about 1844;
 (3) Martha Sparks, born about 1848;
 (4) Joseph Sparks, born about 1851, and
 (5) John Henry Sparks, Jr., born February 25, 1854; he was reared by his grandparents and married Lucinda Asbury.

Scanner's note:  For the above correction and for a list of the 13 children of John Henry Sparks, Jr., see the QUARTERLY for December, 1979, Whole No. 108, p. 2175.

By his second wife (Rebecca Mitchell) John Henry Sparks had a daughter named Melissa, born about 1857. There were probably other children born after 1860.

 (2) Reuben R. Sparks, believed to have been a son of Jonas and Mary (Brown) Sparks, was born about 1820. He remained (or perhaps returned to) Wilkes County, North Carolina, and became a Baptist minister. His wife’s name was Ann; no record of any children.

(3) Sparks, a daughter of Jonas and Mary (Brown) Sparks, is believed to have been  born about 1822.


Children of Jonas and Mary (Brown) Sparks, continued:

 (4) Malinda Sparks, believed to have been the fourth child of Jonas and Mary (Brown) Sparks, was born about 1824. She was married in 1846 to Jacob Lyon (Wilkes County marriage bond dated June 6, 1846, with James Durham as bondsman.)
 (5) Timothy Sparks, son of Jonas and Mary (Brown) Sparks, was born about 1828; he died in Smyth County, Va. He married Jane Lyon
(or Lyons); they were the parents of the following children:
 (1) Joshua Sparks, married Sarah Marinda Jolly;
 (2) Austin Sparks;
 (3) Mary Jane Sparks;
 (4) Nancy Catherine Sparks;
 (5) Cynthia Sparks;
 (6) Susan Sparks;
 (7) Shadrick Sparks, born about 1869;
 (8) Sarah Sparks.
 (6) Shadrach Sparks, believed to have been the sixth child of Jonas and Mary  (Brown) Sparks, was born about 1828.
 (7) Joshua William Sparks, son of Jonas and Mary (Brown) Sparks, was born about 1830; he died August 4, 1903. He was married to Cynthia Hankins, daughter of Moses and Patty Hankins, in Tazewell County, Va., on April 23, 1850. She was born in Virginia about 1830 and died on May 9, 1918. They were the parents of at least two children:
 (1) Jonas J. Sparks who married Ellen Ball in 1873; and
 (2) Elizabeth Sparks, born February 17, 1851, died December 4, 1920; she married a distant cousin, John T. Sparks, son of Richmond Sparks.
 (8) Jonas J. Sparks, son of Jonas and Mary (Brown) Sparks, was born in Wilkes  County, N.C., on October 23, 1833, and died in Tazewell Co., Va., on November 8, 1911. He was married on August 19, 1851, to Polly Hankins, daughter of Joseph and Nancy (Mitchell) Hankins. She was born in Virginia on December 25, 1829, and died on February 14, 1904. Jonas J. Sparks served in the Confederate Army in the Civil War in Captain Elias Harman’s Company of Rangers. Jonas J. and Polly (Hankins) Sparks were the parents of the following children:
 (1) Joseph A. Sparks, married Hannah Mary Whitt;
 (2) Mary Sparks, married the Rev. John Ezra Linkous;
 (3) Jonas R. Sparks, married Patsy Hankins and moved to Oklahoma;
 (4) Robert M. Sparks, married Martha Maxwell;
 (5) Samuel B. Sparks, married Emma Griffith; and
 (6) George W. Sparks, born April 27, 1868, married Mary Elizabeth Virginia Faris.
 (9) Joseph Sparks, son of Jonas and Mary (Brown) Sparks, was born about 1838.  He joined the Confederate Army during the Civil War and died in service.
5. William Russell Sparks, son of Reuben and Cassie (Buttery) Sparks, was born in North Carolina about 1797. He was married twice. He
married, first, in Wilkes County, Sally Wilcoxson, in 1821 (marriage bond dated March 13, 1821, with Reuben Sparks as bondsman). From the 1840 census of Wilkes County, it would appear that they were the parents of a daughter born about 1823 and a son born about 1825. Sometime prior to 1839, Sally died and William Russell Sparks married, as his second wife, Permela Gentry (marriage bond dated April 12, 1839, with Samuel Sparks as bondsman). Permela’ s nickname was Milly and she was born about 1806 in Wilkes County, N.C. From the 1850 census of Wilkes County, it would appear that William R. and Permela (Gentry) Sparks were the parents of the following children:
 (1) Hugh Sparks, born about 1842.
 (2) Lotty Sparks, born about 1846.
 (3) Martha Sparks, born about 1847.
 (4) Whitfield Sparks, born about 1849.

(Notes on William Russell Sparks, son of Reuben and Cassie, continued:

When the 1860 census was taken in Wilkes County, Martha and Whitfield were still listed as living with William Russell and Milly Sparks,  but not Hugh or Lotty. However, Leander Sparks and Elijah Sparks, both aged 17 years, were living in the family.

6. Lydia Sparks, daughter of Reuben and Cassie (Buttery) Sparks, was born about 1804 (perhaps earlier). She married Henry Bauguess. They are known to have had a son named Bryant Bauguess who was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina,  on March 29, 1823. By 1850, Bryant Bauguess was living in Jefferson Township, Owen County, Indiana, and his mother Lydia was living with him along with Eli P. Bauguess, aged 22, and Fanny Bauguess, aged 20.
[Scanner's note:  See article entitled "Correction Regarding Lydia (Sparks) Bauguess, Born Ca. 1785" appearing in the QUARTERLY for March1977, Whole No. 97, p.1889, which corrects her probable birthdate to 1785, and which suggests alternative spellings of her first and surname.]

7. Matilda Sparks, Daughter of Reuben and Cassie (Buttery) Sparks, was born March, 1805. She died on August 18, 1878, in Surry County, North Carolina. She was married to Wiley Gentry in Wilkes County, North Carolina, in 1825 (Wilkes County marriage bond dated October 12, 1825, with William R. Sparks as bondsman). Wiley Gentry was a son of Jonathan and Sally (Fender) Gentry and was born in March, 1805, and died on May 27, 1878. Wiley and Matilda (Sparks) Gentry were the parents of the following children:

 (1) Tinison Gentry, born 1826, died 1848; never married.
 (2) Reuben Gentry, born 1828, died 1852; never married.
 (3) Jonathan Gentry, born March 1, 1830, died December 9, 1896; he married 1856 Emily Long, who was born in 1824 and died in 1904.
 (4) Cassy Gentry, bonn 1832, died 1856; she married in 1856 Levi D. Burcham.
 (5) Levi Gentry, born 1834, died 1852; never married.
 (6) Jonas Gentry, born l836, he married Maninda Hall in 1854.
 (7) William Gentry, born 1838, died 1866; never married.
 (8) Sally Gentry, bonn 1840, died 1870; never married.
 (9) John Gentry, born 1843, died 1862; never married.
 (10) Wiley Gentry, born 1845; never married.
 (11) Allen Gentry, born 1847; died 1912; he married Susan Edwards in 1881.
8. Reuben Sparks, believed to have been a son of Reuben and Cassie (Buttery) Sparks, was born about 1808. This may have been the Reuben Sparks who married Phoeby Blackburn in Wilkes County, North Carolina, in 1828 (marriage bond dated October 10, 1828, with Eli Blackburn as bondsman).

9.  - - - - -Sparks, female, It is believed that Reuben and Cassie (Buttery) Sparks had a daughter born about 1810.

(Editor’s Note: As is evident in the above article, there remain many uncertainties regarding the children and grandchildren of Reuben Sparks (ca. 1755-1840). We hope that descendants of this family who have additional data will send these records to the editor.)



By Paul E. Spanks

As most schoolboys know, the first English settlement in what is now the United States of America was made in 1607 on the shore of the James River in present-day Virginia. From that date until the colonies broke away from England in 1776, immigrants poured into Virginia each year, and by 1810 she had ninety counties and a population of over one million, the highest population in the nation. By 1820, however, she had been surpassed by New York. The fifty counties that now comprise West Virginia were, of course, part of Virginia until 1861.

Virginia was the first colony to take a census (1624-25), thus it is ironic as well as unfortunate that the schedules of its first federal census in 1790 were destroyed by fire. Equally unfortunate was the loss of Virginia’s second federal census of 1800. In the case of the former, a 1790 Virginia “census”, constructed from taxpayers lists, has been made and persons named Sparks listed therein were given on page 11 of the June 1953 issue of the Quarterly (Vol. I, No. 2, Whole No. 2).

The 1810 and the 1820 censuses of Virginia have been completely searched for persons named Sparks, Sparkes, and Spark. Our readers are reminded that in all federal census records prior to 1850, only the name of the head of each household was recorded by the census taker. The remaining members of the household were simply enumerated in age groups, first the males,. then the females. The head of the household, himself, was also included in this enumeration, and in most instances, one can assume that he was the oldest male, or, where a woman is named as head of the household, that she was the-oldest female. Where a man’s name appears as head, we can usually assume that the oldest female was his wife and that the others enumerated were their children.  There are many exceptions, however, because relatives, hired hands, and even guests living in the household at the time the census taker made his visit were included in the enumeratiøn.

In 1810, males and females were enumerated in five different age categories: those under 10 years; those 10 to 16; those 16 to 26; those 26 to 45; and those who were 45 and older, In 1820 the females were enumerated as they had been in 1810, but a new category was created for males. In order for the government to have some basis for determining the nation’s military strength, census takers in 1820 were directed to enumerate all males between 16 and 18 years of age who were eligible for military service. Census takers were directed to include these same males again in the 16 to 26 category.

We know that census takers often made mistakes in spelling and in counting, and they sometimes missed families altogether. Furthermore, the handwriting is often extremely difficult to read. For example, a William Shark was listed on the 1810 census of Fluvanna County, but at first glance this name could be taken for Spark.  A name appearing to be Nicholas Sparkes is given on the 1820 census of Washington County, but other records in the county prove that this name was intended for Nicholas Speaks. Nicholas Speaks married Sarah Faires in Washington County in 1804.

The 1810 census schedules for a number of Virginia counties no longer survive. These counties are: Arlington, Grayson, Greenbnier, Halifax, Hardy, Henry, James City, King William, Lee (incomplete), Louisa, Mecklenburg, Nansemond, Northampton, Orange, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Russell, and Tazewell. The 1820 census of Arlington County is also missing.



  Males Females
 ||| 0
Berkeley County p. 92 Thos. Spark 1  1   0  1  0  |||   2  2  0  1  0
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Brooke County    5 Solomon Spark  2  3  0  1  0  |||  1  1  1  1  1
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Caroline County   20 William Sparks  1  0  0  1  0  |||  2  0  0  1  0
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Kanawha County  206 James Sparks  2  0  0  1  0  |||  1  0  1  0  0
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Loudoun County   96 Thomas Sparks  2  0  0   1  0  |||  1  0  1  0  0
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Madison County  255 Henry Sparks 2  0  1  1  0  |||  1  0  3  0  0
. . Thomas Sparks  1  0  0  1  0  |||  0  0  0  1  0
. . Eliz. Sparks  0  0  0  2  0  |||  0  1  2  0  1
. . Pheba Sparks  0  0  0  1  0  |||  0  0  1  1  1
. . Jasper Sparks  0  0  1  0  0  |||  4  0  1  0  0
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Washington County     2 Reubin Sparks  2  0  0  1  0  |||  0  2  0  0  0
.   17 Ephraim Sparks  1  0  0  1  0  |||  4  0  0  1  0
.   31  David Sparks  3  0  0  1  0  |||  1  0  0  1  0



  Males Females
 ||| 0
Caroline Co. p. 368 William Sparks 1 0 1 0 1  ||| 1 3 1 0 1
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Franklin Co. p. 164 Samuel Sparks   4   1   0   0   0   1  |||   0   0   1   1   0
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Harrison Co. p. 109 Solomon Sparks   1   0   0   0   1   0  |||   1   0   0   1   0
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Henry County p. 37 Matthew Sparks   0   0   0   0   1   0  |||   1   0   1    0   0
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Lee County p. 133 Thomas Sparkes   4   1   1   1   0   1  |||   1   2   0   1   0
. Jesse Sparkes   1   0   0   1    0   1  |||   1   0   1    0   1
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Madison Co. p. 559 Henry Sparks   4   2   0   0   1   1  |||   1   1   1   1   0
                   p. 559  Jasper Sparks   1   0   0   0   1   0  |||   0   3   0   1   0
                   p. 560 Thomas Sparks   0   0   0   0   0   1  |||   0   0   0   1   0
                   p. 560 Humphrey Sparks   0   0   0   1   1   0  |||   0   0   1   1   1
                   p. 560 Joseph Sparks   1   0   0   0   0   1  |||   0   0   1   0   0
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Mathews Co.  p. 198 Albert G. Spark   0   0   0   2   0   0  |||   0   0   1   0   0


  Males Females
 ||| 0
Nicholas Co. p. 205 James Sparks  2 2 0 0 1 1  ||| 1 1 0 1 0
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Ohio County p. 25 Ephriam Sparks   3   0   0   0   1   0  |||   2   0   0   1   0
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Pittsylvania Co. p771 Math. B. Sparks   0   2   0   0   1   0  |||   2   1   1    1   0
                     p. 773 Edmond Sparks   4   2   0   1   1   0  |||   0   1   0   1   1
                     p. 773 Thomas Sparks   2   0   0   0   1   0  |||   0   0   0   1   0
                     p. 781 Thos Sparks, Sr   0   0   0   0    1   0  |||   0   0   0   0   3
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Scott County  p. 15 Ephriam Sparks   3   0   0   0   1   0  |||   2   2   1   1   0
. . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
Washington Co. p. 37 Wm. Sparks   2   0   0   0   1    0  |||   2   0   0   0   1
                        p. 38 Solomon Sparks   2   0   0   0   1   0  |||   2   0   0   1   0
                        p. 39 Wm. Sparks   1   1   0   0   1   0  |||   3   0   0   1   0
                        p. 41 H Reub. Sparks   2   1   0   0    1   0  |||   3   0   0   1   0





In past issues of The Sparks Quarterly we have published abstracts of pension and bounty land applications for persons named Sparks who served in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. We now propose to begin a new series devoted to pensioners of the Civil War who served on the Union side.

In the National Archives in Washington there are millions of records relating to persons who have served their country in one way or another, Some of these records contain a wealth of genealogical data, while others reveal little beyond the individual’s name. Since these records often are without name indexes, research among them is exceedingly time consuming. The staff of the National Archives cannot undertake extensive genealogical research, but they are willing to aid as much as possible when they know exactly where to look for the information.

Pension applications for soldiers serving in the Union Army have been indexed and there are several hundred listed under the name Sparks, Spark, and Sparkes. For one dollar, the National Archives will provide xerox copies of those documents contained in a given file which appear to have genealogical significance. As our Association funds permit, we plan to request these records and to publish abstracts in the Quarterly. Carrie Grant Heppen, our faithful Washington researcher, has filled out the necessary application forms for the first fifty Sparks files and we have ordered and received the xeroxed records from these fifty.

Abstracts of these records will be published In the Quarterly in alphabetical order over the next several years. Where possible, we shall add notes to further identify the individual.

It should be remembered that our data from these pension files are limited to those documents which the clerk in the National Archives thought were of genealogical value. It is quite possible that additional details can be gained from a thorough search of all the papers in a given pension file.

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AARON SPARKS, alias Aaron Wilson, born about 1838, died 1914; served in Company H, 135th U.S. Colored Infantry. File designation, WC-790,331.

On May 6, 1901, Aaron Wilson of Bennettsville, Marlboro County, South Carolina, applied for a pension (under an Act of Congress passed on June 27, 1890) based on his service in Company H of the 135th Regiment of the U.S. Colored Infantry. He stated that he had served under the name of AARON SPARKS because he had been a slave owned by SAMUEL SPARKS, However, his father’ s name was Wilson and he later took the name Aaron Wilson, In his application, in reply to the question, “Where had you lived before you enlisted,” Wilson stated: “With Capt. Sparks, Bennettsville, P.O.” He stated that he bad been born in Virginia, date unknown, but that he believed himself to be about 63 years old (born, therefore, about 1838). He had enlisted at Raleigh, North Carolina, on March 27, 1865, as a private in Company H, 135th U.S. Colored Infantry, and had been discharged at Louisville, Kentucky, on October 23, 1865, Aaron Wilson was married to Julia Irby at Louisville, Ky., in camp, in August, 1865, by a chaplin in the Army. He died at Bennettsville, South Carolina, on November 4, 1914.


AARON SPARKS, alias Aaron Wilson, Civil War pension, continued:

Additional data on Aaron Wilson and his family are contained in these records, but since his only connection with the Sparks family is the fact that, as a slave prior to the Civil War, he had been owned by Captain Sparks, there is no point of our including more in this abstract.

In one of the records, Aaron Wilson identified his former owner as Samuel Sparks of Bennettsville, Marlboro County, South Carolina. This was the Samuel Sparks mentioned on page 693 of the Quarterly for December 1962 (Vol. X, No. 4, Whole No. 40). Samuel Sparks, son of Daniel and Martha (Pearce) Sparks, was born March 21, 1787, died September 19, 1878. His son, Captain Alexander Dottridge Sparks (1829-1894) was a captain in the Confederate Army, and his army coat is preserved in the Confederate Museum at Columbia, South Carolina. He organized and equipped his own company of troops, which was Company I, South Carolina Volunteers (Cavalry).

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

ABEL B. SPARKS born in East Sharon, Potter County, Pennsylvania, died in Van  Buren  County, Arkansas; born May 8, 1842, died July 28, 1929; servèd in Company D of the 85th Regiment of New York Infantry Volunteers. File designation: XC-2629526.

Among the documents in this file is the certificate of discharge for Abel B. Sparks. He is identified as a private in Captain Wm. L. Starkweather’s Company D of the 85th Regiment of New York Infantry Volunteers; he was enlisted by Captain Kenney at Sharon, Pennsylvania, on September 7, 1862. His discharge for disability was dated October 25, 1863, and was issued at David’s Island, New York. It was stated that he had been ill for eight months. He was described as six feet tall, with a light complexion, blue eyes, and light hair, and his occupation was given as that of a lumberman.

Abel B. Sparks applied for a pension in 1915, at which time he was a resident of Geneva, Ohio. When he applied for an increase in his pension on February 11, 1926, he was living in Kingsville, Ashtabula County, Ohio. When he died on July 28, 1929, he was a resident of Shirley, Van Buren County, Arkansas. In his original application, Abel B. Sparks stated he had been born in East Sharon, Potter County, Pennsylvania, on May 8, 1842. His death certificate, based on information supplied by his son, Samuel C. Sparks, states that he was born in Bolivar, New York, but this was an error. Abel’s father’s name was given on his death certificate as William Sparks, born in New York, and his mother’s maiden name was given as Hines.

In his applicated dated February 11, 1926, Abel Sparks stated that he had been married first to Ellen McGreevy at David’s Island, New York, on August 15, 1863. His first wife died at Kingsville, Ohio, on April 28, 1903. Abel Sparks’s second wife was Elizabeth Warner, who had been married to Oliver Hazelltine on April 8, 1877, but had divorced Hazelltine on February 26, 1900. Abel B. Sparks and his second wife, Elizabeth Warner, were married on July 25, 1905 at Conneaut, Ashtabula County, Ohio. He stated: “My wife deserted me and locked me out of our home on the 18 day of Aug. 1914.”

In answer to the question regarding his children, Abel B. Sparks named them as follows: (note that all of these children were by his first wife, Ellen (McGreevy) Sparks)


ABEL B. SPARKS, Civil War Pensioner, continued:

Children of Abel B. and Ellen (McGreevy) Sparks:

          Charles A. Sparks, born September 21, 1865
          Elmer Franklin Sparks, born May 28, 1868
          Samuel C. Sparks, born January 1, 1871
          Cora V. Sparks, born February 22, 1873
          Warren H. Sparks, born May 9, 1876
          Edwin E. Sparks, born April 29, 1878

Included among the documents xeroxed by the National Archives from Abel B. Sparks’s file is a certified copy of the marriage certificate of his marriage to Mrs. Elizabeth Hazeltine on July 25, 1905, performed by the Rev. W. D. Starkey, on file in Jefferson County, Ohio. Also included is the marriage certificate of Abel B. Sparks to his third wife, Mrs. Callie Jennings, dated January 6, 1928. He was then 85 years old and Mrs. Jennings was 65. The marriage was performed by a Justice of the Peace named William Payne in Shirley, Arkansas.

On August 14, 1929, Calla B. Sparks, widow of Abel, applied for a pension. (She signed her name as “Calla” rather that “Callie”.) She stated that she had married Abel B. Sparks on January 6, 1928 and that she had been married twice before, first to C. Endacott who had died on July 24, 1916, and second to Sam Jennings who died March 11, 1922. She stated that Abel Sparks had been married three times previously, that his first two wives were dead and that he had divorced his third wife, T. A. Sparks, in Harrison County, Iowa, in January, 1925. This is the only reference to a wife named T. A. Sparks.  If Calla was correct, she would have been his fourth wife, not his third as stated above.

From other records gathered by the Editor, we know that Abel B. Sparks was a son of William B. Sparks, who was born on March 11, 1803, and died on September 26, 1865, William B. Sparks and Rachel Hines were married on July 31, 1828. When the 1850 census of Potter County, Pennsylvania, was taken, William B. and Rachel (Hines) Sparks were listed as parents of the following children:

          Benjamin Sparks, born about 1832
          Sarah Sparks, born about 1835
          Andrew Sparks, born about 1837
          Nancy Sparks, born about 1840
          Abel B. Sparks, born May 8, 1842
          Rachel Sparks, born about 1845
          William Sparks, born about 1849

There may have been other children born after 1850.

Andrew Sparks, brother of Abel, also served in the Civil War and was killed in action on April 2, 1865. Rachel Sparks, the mother, later received a pension because of her son’s support of her prior to his death.

The parents of William B. Sparks (and the grandparents of Abel) were John and Lovina (Brewster) Sparks. John Sparks, who was born in 1750 and died in 1825, served in the American Revolution from New Jersey. Later his widow received a pension for his services, These papers were abstracted in the December 1957 issue of the Quarterly, (Vol. V, No, 4, Whole No, 20, pp. 251-260).


ABEL TOMLIN SPARKS born about 1828 in Georgia, died January 20, 1896, in Clay County, Alabama; married Nancy Ann N. Newsom in Talledega County, Alabama, in 1850; served in the Confederate Army until taken prisoner in 1863; later served,  while a prisoner-of-war, on Union ships. File designation: W.  C. 15441.

On February 11, 1889, Abel T, Sparks, a resident of Lineville, in Clay County, Alabama, applied for a pension on the basis of his service to the United States while a prisoner- of-war duing the Civil War. He stated that he was 61 years old, thus making him born about 1828.

From the half-dozen records supplied by the National Archives from his file, it is evident that Abel T, Sparks served originally in the Confederate Army as a private in Company G, 28th Alabama Infantry. He had enlisted on December 28, 1862, at Talledega, Alabama, for three years or the duration of the war. A muster roll dated February 29, 1864, for Company G lists Abel T. Sparks as “missing since Nov. 25/63 supposed to be a prisoner of War.”

After being taken prisoner, Abel T. Sparks agreed to serve in the Union Navy and “enlisted” at Rock Island, Illinois, on May 24, 1864; he served on the worship New Hampshire until July 15, 1864, then on the Wabash from July 16, 1864, to January 27, 1865, then on the Hunchback from January 28 to June 12, 1865, then on the Vermont from June 13 to June 26, 1865, when he was discharged as a “paroled prisoner.” In his application for a pension, Abel T. Sparks stated that he had been discharged at the Brooklyn Navy Yards. He described himself as six feet tall, with a light complexion, dark hair, and blue eyes.

Abel T. Sparks stated that while on duty at Fort Fisher in North Carolina on or about December 24, 1864, he “was jared by the reports of the cannons to such an extent that his hearing became impaired in both ears,” and that he had suffered from deafness thereafter; he also stated that he had suffered ever since his service frem rheumatism. He claimed to be three-fourths disabled.

Abel T. Sparks stated in his application that he had lived in the counties of Randolph and Clay in the state of Alabama since his discharge, and that he was a farmer, He signed his application as Abel T. Sparks; Samuel M. McKay and John W. Burney signed as witnesses on February 11, 1889.

Included among the papers in this pension file is the marriage certificate of Abel T. Sparks. He was married to Nancy Ann M. Newsom in Talledaga County, Alabama, on December 12, 1850, by Charles Davis, a Justice of the Peace. This marriage was reported as being on file in Vol. A-2, p. 160, of the Marriage Records of Talladega County. The death certificate of Nancy Ann, which is also among the pension papers, reveals that she was born in 1827 in Coweta County, Georgia, and was the daughter of Silas and Lavina Newsom, both of whom were born in< Georgia; she died on May 21, 1912, in Clay County, Alabama.

On January 17, 1902, Nancy Ann Sparks, then a resident of Cherry in Clay County, Alabama, applied for a pension as a widow. She stated that her husband’s full name had been Abel Tomlin Sparks and that he had died on January 20, 1896, at Cherry,

The application which Nancy Ann Sparks submitted required only that she list any children who  were were then (1902) under 16 years of age. She listed none. She signed this application by mark; her witnesses were H. T. McKay and B. A. Stephens.


ABEL TOMLIN SPARKS, Civil War pensioner, continued:

We have little information on Abel T, Sparks other than that taken from his pension file. Apparently he was a son of David and Milly Sparks who were living in Talledaga County, Alabama, when the 1850 census was taken. Abel T. Sparks was listed as a member of their household, aged 22. (This census was taken on November 8, 1850, whereas Abel was married on December 12, 1850; thus he was still at home when the census taker called on David Sparks.) Abel’s birth place was given as Georgia.  David Sparks, believed to have been Abel’s father, was listed as 56 years old (thus born about 1794) and his birth place was given as North Carolina. Milly’s age was given as 59 (thus born about 1791) and her birth place was given as South Carolina. When the 1860 census was taken, Abel T. Sparks was listed as a resident of Randolph County, Alabama. Living with him and his wife was one child, a female, who was listed simply as L. Sparks, aged 8 years. She was doubtless a daughter.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

ABRAHAM J. SPARKS, born on December 3, 1830, in Bedford County, Pennsylvania; died January 1, 1881, at Del Norte, Colorado; he married Ellen R. Frankenberger in Bureau County, Illinois, on June 10, 1855; served as Captain of Company H of the 146th Illinois Infantry.  File designation: WC 346597.

On April 25, 1908, Ellen R. Sparks, a resident of Wyanet, Bureau County, Illinois, made application for a pension. She stated that she was the widow of Abram J. Sparks who had been commissioned a captain of Company H of the 146th Illinois Infantry at Wyonet, Illinois, on September 17, 1864, and was honorably discharged on July 8, 1865. She stated that Abraham Sparks had died on January 1, 1881, at Del Norte, Colorado. She signed her application as Ellen R. Sparks, and Parker H. Bimm and C. H. Hamrick signed as witnesses.

Ellen R. Sparks submitted with her application a copy of her marriage certificate which states that Abraham J. Sparks and Miss Elanor Frankenburger were married by the Rev. Joseph 0. Gilbert on June 10, 1855, in Bureau County, Illinois. Although her name was given as Elanor Frarikenburger on this certificate, she stated in her application that her maiden name had been Ellen R. Frankenberger.

With her application, Mrs. Sparks also submitted a sworn statement by a notary public named James P. Hall to the effect that he had made a true copy of the family record in the Bible owned by Ellen R. Sparks and that the births of the children of Abraham and Ellen R. Sparks were written in the Bible as follows:

Allice L. Sparks, born March 20, 1856
Jennie E. Sparks, born May 31, 1858
Cora B. Sparks, born October 14, 1860
Clarrissa I. Sparks, born October 26, 1865
Edgar S. Sparks, born April 17, 1870
James P. Hall added that “there does not appear of record in the said Bible the death of any of the above named children.” He stated that the “Bible bears date of being printed in the year AD, 1856 and judging from the appearance of the writing, I believe the entries copied to have been made about the dates given.” Mr. Hall dated his sworn statement February 18, 1892,

The only other record sent by the National Archives from this file is a notice dated July 15, 1913, that the postmaster at Wyanet, Illinois, had reported the death of Ellen R. Sparks and that her pension of $12.00 per month had been last paid to April 4, 1913.


ABRAHAM J. SPARKS, Civil War soldier, continued:

From records previously published in the Quarterly, we know that Abraham J. Sparks was born on December 3, 1830, and was a son of Joseph S. and Elizabeth (Naill) Sparks who moved to Bureau County, Illinois, from Bedford County, Pennsylvania, between 1851 and 1855. Joseph S. Sparks (1794-1868) was a son of Solomon and Rachel Sparks; Solomon Sparks (1760-1838) was a son of Joseph Sparks (who died in 1809). Joseph Sparks had moved with his family from Frederick County, Maryland, to Bedford County, Pennsylvania, about 1778.

For additional information on this family, see the Quarterly of March 1955 (Vol. III, No. 1, Whole No. 9, pp. 59-61); also the Quarterly of September 1961 (Vol. IX, No. 3, Whole No, 35, pp. 585-87); also the Quarterly of June 1965 (Vol. XIII, No. 2, Whole No. 50, pp. 912-13).

-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -

ADDISON SPARKS born about 1831 in Kentucky; died May 13, 1864, while in the Union Army; resided in Mercer County, Missouri; married Mary B. Widener on May 24, 1857; served as a private in Company B, 27th Regiment of Missouri Volunteer Infantry. File designation: WC 37630.

On September 20, 1864, the Adjutant General’s Office made a report on the service of Addison Sparks. He was enrolled on August 15, 1862, at Ravenna, Missouri, in Company B of the 27th Regiment of Missouri Volunteers to serve three years. He was mustered into service as a private on September 12, 1862, at Benton Barracks, Missouri. This report concludes: “On the Muster Rolls of Co. B of that Regiment, he is reported ‘Died in Small Pox Hospital, St. Louis, May 13th 1864.’ Cause of death not stated.

On June 28, 1864, Mary B. Sparks signed a sworn statement prepared by B. F. Cornwell, the County Clerk of Mercer County, Missouri. She stated that her post office address was Princeton and that she was a resident of Mercer County; she gave her age as 27 years (thus born about 1837) and stated that she was applying for a pension under an Act passed by Congress on July 14, 1862. She stated that she was the widow of Addison Sparks who had been a private in Company B of the 27th Regiment of Missouri Volunteer Infantry, commanded by Col. Curley, and that Addison Sparks had died of the small pox in St. Louis on May 13, 1864, “a disease contracted while in the service of the United States.” She further stated that she had been married to Addison Sparks on May 24, 1857, and that her name before her marriage had been Mary B. Widner. (In other papers in this file her name is spelled Widener.) She stated that she had “not in any manner been engaged in, or aided or abetted the rebellion in the United States.” She stated that she and Addison Sparks had had the following children: (1) William A. Sparks, born September 23, 1858; (2) Parthena E. Sparks, born December 5, 1859; and (3) Sarah J. Sparks, born December 25, 1861. The following acquaintances of Mary E. Sparks signed as her witnesses: Wm. H. McKinley and Joel L. Brownley.

Mrs. Sparks submitted a true copy of the record of marriage as recorded in the court house of Mercer County, Missouri, which reads: “This is to certify that I solemized the rites of matrimony on the 24th day of May 1857 between Addison Sparks and Mary B. Widner, both of whom are residents of the County and State aforesaid. Given under My hand this 6th day of June 1857. [signed] Joel L. Brownlee, Minister of the Gospel.”

Mary B. Sparks was pregnant at the time she made her application. Her fourth child was born on November 13, 1864, some six months after Addison’s death.


ADDISON SPARKS, Civil War soldier, continued:

When a new law was passed on July 25, 1866, giving a war widow a pension of $8.00 per month, plus $2.00 for each child under 16, Mary E. Sparks submitted the following list of her children:

Albert W, Sparks, born September 22, 1858,  in Mercer County, Mo.
Eviline F. Sparks, born December 3, 1860,
Sarah J. Sparks, born December 21, 1862, "
Arvillie Sparks, born November 13, 1864.
“She further declares that she has not remarried since the death of her husband, nor has she abandoned the support of any one of the children above named, nor permitted any one of the same to be adopted by any other person as his or her or their child.”

In this statement of July 25, 1866, Mrs. Sparks gave her residence as Trenton, Grundy County, Missouri. She signed her name by mark, whereas she (or possibly someone else) had signed her name in a clear hand in 1864. Samuel Tidener and B. F. Wyatt, both residents of Grundy County, signed as witnesses. (Since her maiden name had been Widener, this Samuel Widener must have been a relative.)

There was some confusion in the Pension Office regarding the difference in the names of her children as submitted in 1866, and on July 28, 1868, she was required to swear on oath that the names and birth dates were as follows:

William A. Sparks, born September 22, 1858
Parthena B. Sparks, born December 3, 1859
Sarah Jane Sparks, born December 25, 1861
Arvila A. Sparks, born November 13, 1864
It seems evident that the eldest son had the forenames William and Albert and that there had been confusion regarding which was his first and his middle name. Likewise, the eldest daughter seems to have had the forenames Parthena and Eviline and that there had been confusion regarding which was her first and her middle name. Hugh S. Carries and W. M. H. Roberts witnessed this statement of July 28, 1868.

The final document in this file sent by the National Archives is a statement that Mary E.. Sparks was paid her pension of $12.00 per month on November 4, 1904, for the last time, and that she had died shortly thereafter.

Addison Sparks and his family were listed on the 1860 census of Mercer County, Missouri, in Summerset Township. (See the Quarterly for June, 1966, Vol. XIV, No, 2, Whole No. 54, p. 992.) This census was taken in June, 1860. Addison’s age was given as 29, thus born about 1831. His birth place was given as Kentucky. Mary’s age was given as 23 and her birth place was given as Tennessee. Their eldest son was given as W. A. Sparks, aged 1 year, and their first daughter was given as P. E. Sparks, aged 6 months. It would thus appear that the dates of birth which< Mrs. Sparks gave for her children in 1868 were the correct dates.

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ALBERT C. SPARKS,  born in 1841 in Monterey, Massachusetts; he died in Lee, Massachusetts, on January 26, 1921; he married, first, Celina H. Clark; he married, second, Carrie B. Horton in 1908; he served in Company B and Company B of the 37th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers.

On January 25, 1865, Albert C. Sparks appeared before Orrin P. Hulet, Clerk of the Superior Court of Berkshire County, Massachusetts, to make application for a pension.


ALBERT C. SPARKS, Civil War pensioner, continued:

He stated in his application that he was 24 years old (thus born about 1841) and a resident of the town of Lee. He stated that he had enlisted on August 11, 1862, as a private in Company B of the 37th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers; that he had been honorably discharged on September 1, 1863, for the purpose of being promoted. He was commissioned a second lieutenant on September 1, 1863, in Company B, commanded by Captain J, A. Loomis, in the same regiment. He stated that he was discharged on September 20, 1864, by reason of disability caused by wounds received from “musket balls coming from the Enemy and striking him in the right breast rendering him wholly unfit for service or duty.” He signed his application as Albert C. Sparks; Orrin Hulet and Eleota M. Coombs signed as witnesses.

With his application, Albert C. Sparks submitted his discharge at the time of his promotion to second lieutenant. Dated October 8, 1863, this discharge states that he had been born in Lee, Massachusetts, although on his death certificate many years later his birth place was given as Monterey, Massachusetts. He was 21 years old when he was discharged to accept a commission and was described as being 5 feet and 5½ inches tall, with a dark complexion, grey eyes, black hair, and he was by occupation a merchant.

From War Department records it was proved that Albert C, Sparks had stated the facts of his service accurately. He had been wounded on May 12, 1864, during the battle at Spottsylvania Court House in Virginia. He was furloughed on June 3, 1864, and went home to Lee, Mass., to recover. Dr. E. Wright had certified on August 8, 1864, that Albert C. Sparks was “suffering from severe fever, chronic diarrhea and is much emaciated, very weak, has a wound in the right breast received the 12th of last May.” He was discharged from service on September 20, 1864, for physical disability.

On May 6, 1898, Albert C. Sparks was requested by the Bureau of Pensions to provide a list of his children and data pertaining to his wife. He responded by stating that his wife’s maiden name had been Celina H, Clark and that they had been married on June 1, 1863, in Lee, Massachusetts, by the Rev. Tho. B. Fero of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He stated that he had not been married previously. He listed their children as follows:

Susan C. Sparks, born September 18, 1866
Adelaide L. Sparks, born December 31, 1868
Albert Elmer Sparks, born December 5, 1872
Mary Sever Sparks, born December 10, 1876
Robert Romney Sparks, born November 25, 1881
Included in the pension file for Albert C. Sparks is the death certificate of his wife, Celina (Clark) Sparks. She died on December 13, 1903, in Lee, Mass,, at the age of 62 years and 10 months (thus born in 1841). She had been born in Stockbridge, Mass. Her father was Elmodorous Clark, born in Derby, Connecticut, and her mother was Laura P. Snow, born in Tyringham, Massachusetts.

On May 31, 1908, Albert C. Sparks was married to his second wife, a widow named Carrie E. Horton, whose first husband, David G. Horton, had died on January 27, 1900. The marriage certificate is included in Albert’s pension file and reveals that he was 67 years old; his father’s name is given as Austin Chapin Sparks and his mother’s name is given as Rebecca Branning. (On his death certificate, however, her name appears as Rebecca Upham.) Her age on the marriage certificate was given as 61 and her birth place as Pittsfield, Mass. Her father’s name< was William McMurry and her mother’s name was Caroline Doolittle. Albert and Carrie were married in Lee, Massachusetts.


ALBERT C. SPARKS, Civil War pensioner, continued:

Albert C. Sparks died on January 26, 1921, in Lee, Massachusetts, at the age of 79 years, 11 months, and 26 days (thus he must have been born on March 1, 1841). He was described on his death certificate as a retired merchant; his birth place is given as Monterey, Massachusetts. His father, Austin Chapin Sparks, had been born in New Marlboro, Massachusetts, His mother’s name was given as Rebecca Upham while on his marriage certificate her name appeared as Rebecca Branning. She was born, according to Albert’s death certificate, in New Marlboro, Massachusetts,

On February 7, 1924, Carrie E. Sparks, widow of Albert C. Sparks, made application for a pension. Her application was witnessed by Albert B. Clark and Catherine H. Hennessey. Carrie B. Sparks died on August 4, 1926, according to the last paper in this file.

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Mr. Hobart Darling of 8820 Junipero, Atascadero, California, descends from Locelia Sparks who was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on April 11, 1801, and died in Clinton County, Michigan, in December, 1872.  In 1819, Locelia Sparks was married to Ira Asariah Selden in Chautauqua County, New York. They moved to Ohio in 1833 and to lonia County, Michigan, in 1844. They later homesteaded land in Clinton County, Michigan.

It is known that Locelia Sparks had a sister named Sarah who married a man named Barrington; she also had brothers named George Sparks and Asa Sparks, and a half- brother named John Sparks.

Ira A. and Locelia (Sparks) Selden were the parents of the following children:

 1. Mary Clarissa Selden, born February 22, 1820, in Chautauqua County, New York; died February 8, 1884, in Orange Twp., lonia County, Michigan; married Theodore Rice Darling about 1840 in Ohio.
 2. John Selden, born in 1822 in Chautauqua County, New York,
 3. Julius Selden, born in 1824 in Chautauqua County, New York.
 4. Benjamin Selden, born in November, 1826, in Chautaqua County, New York; died in Eagle Twp., Clinton County, Michigan, in 189-;  he married Amanda Martin.
 5. Sarah Bethany Selden, born February 22, 1828, in Chautaqua County, New York; died in Danby Twp., lonia County, Michigan, on May 28, 1909; she married Zachariah Grinnels in December 1847 in Ionia County, Mich.
 6. Cynthia Selden, born October 9, 1830, in Chautaqua County, New York; died in Orange Twp., lonia County, Michigan, in 1914; she married (1st) Thomas Sheridan; (2d) David Joslin; and (3rd) Wyatt Thorpe.
 7. Esther Cordelia Selden, born July 31, 1832, in Chautaqua Co., New York; she died in Traverse City, Michigan, on Jan. 7, 1907; she married (1st) Stephen Wainwright; (2nd) George W. Johnson; and (3rd) Isaac Morrison.
 8. Zelotus Selden, born in December 1834 in Ohio; died in Clinton Co., Mich., in December 1868; he married Eliza Rockwell in May 1866,
 9. Lavansy R. Selden, born in 1837 in Ohio; married Jasper Martin about 1855.
 10. Lovina R. Selden, born April 18, 1839, in Ohio, died in Osceola Co., Mich., on Jan. 5, 1905; married William Mann in 1856 in Portland, Mich.
 11. Locelia Loretta Selden, born June 5, 1842, in Ohio; died April 7, 1920 in lonia Co., Mich.; she married Samuel S. Slaight Nov, 20, 1866.
 12. Lafayette Selden, born Oct. 14, 1845, in Clinton Co., Mich.; died in 1917 in lonia Co., Mich.; he married Percy Fifield about 1867.
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Scanned and Edited by James J. Sparks