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


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THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, published by The Sparks Family Association.

Paul E. Sparks, President, 155 North Hite Avenue, Louisville, Kentucky (40206)
William P. Johnson, Historian-Genealogist, Box 1770, Raleigh, North Carolina (27602)
Russell E. Bidlack, Secretary-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 for the support of the Association. 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. Three indexes have been published, the first covering the first five years of the QUARTERLY (1953-1957); the second covering the years from 1958 to 1962; and the third covering the years from 1963 through 1967. Each of these is available for $1.00. A complete file of all issues of the QUARTERLY (1953-1968) with the three indexes may be purchased for $35.00.
The editor of the QUARTERLY from March 1953 to September 1954 was Dr. Paul E.Sparks;  since September 1954 the editor has been Dr. Russell E. Bidlack.  Back issues should be ordered from Dr. Bidlack (1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor,Michigan, 48104). The QUARTERLY is printed at the Edwards Letter Shop, 711North University Ave., Ann Arbor, Michigan.

JESSE R. SPARKS (born ca. 1780, died 1865)


In the QUARTERLY of March 1962 (Vol. X, No. 1, Whole No. 37, pp. 618-621) appeared a sketch of the Rev. Amos Sparks, born in Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, on June 7, 1785, died on January 11, 1867, in Indiana. In that article, reference was made to Jesse R. Sparks, believed to have been closely related, probably a brother, to the Rev. Amos Sparks.

Jesse R. Sparks was born between 1780 and 1785. (On the 1850 census his age was given as 66, while on the 1860 census it was given as 78.) According to a biographical sketch of his son (Dr. Nathan B. Sparks), Jesse R. Sparks was a native of Maryland. (See the History of Knox County, Indiana, Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1886, p. 513.) Since the Rev. Amos Sparks was born in Queen Anne’s County, the probability is great that Jesse R. Sparks was born there also.


JESSE R. SPARKS (b. ca. 1780, d. 1865) & HIS DESCENDANTS, continued:

According to the above sketch, Jesse R. Sparks was married to Margaret Burns in Maryland and soon thereafter moved to Belmont County, Ohio, where he earned his living as a shoemaker and autioneer. He was also sheriff of the county for a number of years. According to the sketch cited above, Jesse and Margaret (Burns) Sparks were the parents of nine children, but thus far we have been able to identify positively only two sons.

About 1820, Jesse R. Sparks moved with his family to Indiana. He seems to have settled first in Franklin County, probably very near the adjoining county of Dearborn, where he was later a resident.  On November 18, 1829, Jesse R. Sparks and his wife Margaret conveyed land in Franklin County to Jeremiah B. Sparks, son of Amos Sparks.  [Scanner's Note:  This is an error.  This Jeremiah was the son of Jesse R. Sparks who was the brother of Amos Sparks.  See the QUARTERLY for December, 1972, Whole No. 80, pp 1517-30.] (Book G, p. 473)  In this deed, Jesse was identified as “Jesse Sparks, Sr.” When the 1830 census was taken, Jesse R. Sparks was listed as a resident of Franklin County, Indiana. At that time, only the head of the household was listed by name and all members of his family were represented by numbers in are categories. Jesse’s age was given as between 50 and 60, as was also that of his wife. He probably was not quite this old in 1830. Living with him were two males (probably sons), one aged between 16 and 26, and the other between 10 and 16. There was also a female aged between 16 and 26 and another between 10 and 16, probably daughters. Living nearby, according to the 1830 census, was his son, Jesse Sparks, Jr., who had been married three years earlier. Also living so near that they were listed on the same page of the 1830 census, were four other Sparks families - - that of Leonard Sparks (aged between 40 and 50); Matthew Sparks (aged between 60 and 70); William Sparks, 1st (aged between 30 and 40); and William Sparks, 2d (aged between 20 and 30). Some of these Sparkses, if not all, were surely related to Jesse R. Sparks.

In the QUARTERLY of December 1959 (Vol. VII, No. 4, Whole No. 28), pp. 431-433,(incorrectly numbered 331-333) appears a list of Sparks marriages on file in Franklin County, Indiana. Some of these may well be sons or daughters of Jesse R. Sparks.

According to the biographical sketch of Dr. Nathan B. Sparks, cited earlier, Margaret (Burns) Sparks, wife of Jesse R. Sparks, died in 1850.

When the 1850 census was taken, Jesse H. Sparks was still living in Franklin County, Indiana (Brookville Township). He was living at that time with Jeremiah Sparks, son of the Rev. Amos Sparks. (Jeremiah was described on the census as a minister of the Gospel.) Jesse’s age was given in 1850 as sixty-six and his birth place as Delaware - - this must have been in error, although Queen Anne’s County, Maryland, adjoins Kent County, Delaware, and it is possible that Jesse R. Sparks was born so near the border of Maryland and Delaware there was some confusion regarding his native state. Perhaps he was not at home on the day the census taker came by in 1850 and someone else guessed regarding the state of his birth. Listed in addition to Jesse Sparks in 1850 as living with Jeremiah Sparks was Jane Sparks, aged 28 (thus born about 1822). It is believed that this Jane Sparks was a daughter of Jesse H. Sparks and that she later married Elias Kerr.

When the 1860 census was taken, Jesse R. Sparks was living in Dearborn County, Indiana (Hogan Township), with the family of Elias and Jane A. Kerr. It is believed that this Jane A. Kerr was the daughter of Jesse H. Sparks - - the same daughter who was living with him in 1850, unmarried at that time. According to this 1860 census, Jesse R. Sparks was 78 years old - - his birth place was given as Maryland.


JESSE R. SPARKS (b. ca. 1780, d. 1865) & HIS DESCENDANTS, continued:

The family of Elias Kerr, with whom Jesse R. Sparks was living in 1860, was listed as follows on the 1860 census of Dearborn County, Indiana:

Kerr, Elias Male  33 Farmer  $300 Indiana
    “    Jane A.  Female  39       "
    “    Jeremiah S. Male    6       "
    “    Daniel T.     "    5       "
    “    Elias S.      "    3       "
    “    Clanisa S. Female    2       "
Sparks, Jesse  Male 78 Maryland

Jesse R. Sparks died in Dearborn County, Indiana, in 1865.

On the basis of research done thus far, we can be positive of the identification of only two of the children of Jesse R. and Margaret (Burns) Sparks, Nathan B. Sparks and Jesse Sparks, Jr.

NATHAN B. SPARKS, son of Jesse R. and Margaret (Burns) Sparks, was born on April 2, 1815, in Belmont County, Ohio. He came to Indiana as a small boy with his parents. He attended the Eclectic Medical School in Cincinnati, Ohio, and began the practice of medicine in 1848 in Brooksville, Indiana. He then moved to Westport Indiana, then to Elizabethtown. In 1861 he was physician and surgeon of the 6th Regiment, Indiana Volunteers, in the Civil War. He returned home in 1863. In 1867 he moved to Knox County, Indiana, and a year later he settled at Monroe City in that county. He was married on June 3, 1838, in Dearborn County, Indiana, to Harriet E. Skaats, daughter of Jacob and Hannah Skaats. She was born November 29, 1822. They were the parents of the following children:

1. Amos H. Sparks, born about 1841.
2. Methadese Sparks, born about 1845.
3. Laura V. Sparks, born about 1847.
4. James W. Sparks, born about 1849.
5. Rosella Sparks, born after 1850; she married A. C. Falls.
JESSE SPARKS, JR., son of Jesse R. and Margaret (Burns) Sparks, was born in Belmont County, Ohio, on January 11, 1807, and died on January 5, 1896. His portrait appears on the cover of this issue of the QUARTERLY. The family moved to Indiana when Jesse Sparks, Jr., was a young man and on September 2, 1827, he was married in Dearborn County to Jemima Thorn, daughter of Stephen and Esther Thorn. According to census records, she was born about 1807 in the state of New York. She died on October 9, 1872.

Jesse Sparks, Jr., from the time that he was a small boy, aspired to be a ministen of the Gospel. He realized his ambition and became a preacher of more than ordinary power in the Methodist Church. A partial list of his charges in Indiana includes Decatur, DeKalb, Angola, Lima, Columbia City, Marion, Wabash, Ft. Wayne, Fulton, and Kewanna.  While at Decatur he conducted a memorable revival meeting during which all of the county officials joined the Methodist Church, although when the revival began in the courthouse, there was only one member of his church.

Mrs. Mildred Sparks Tomlinson, a great-granddaughter of the Rev. Jesse Sparks, Jr., has reported the following regarding her research into his history:

“After searching through old plat books and deeds recorded over the past 130 years, it was revealed that Jesse Sparks, Jr., homesteaded a great


JESSE R. SPARKS (b. ca. 1780, d. 1865) & HIS DESCENDANTS, continued:

deal of land in Fulton County, Indiana. He filed with the Secretary of State the certificate of the Auditor of State, according to the provisions of an act of the General Assembly of the state of Indiana, which was approved May 29, 1852, to provide for the draining and reclaiming of land and was able to claim title to much land that was useless and made it tillable.

“Since a minister’s salary was insufficient and uncertain, the Rev. Jesse Sparks, Jr., bought cheap land, drained it, and sold it at a fair profit in order to better support his family and encourage others to come to Indiana. Under a federal law of 1799, settlers of the then Northwest Territory were permitted to buy land at a price of $2.00 per acre. Later the price was set at $1.25 per acre. The earliest land offices which served Fulton County were located at Crawfordsville, LaPorte, and Winamac.

“Indians had been removed from the county, the Michigan Road had been opened and improved, and additional townships had been created by the time the Rev. Jesse Sparks came from Ohio. Most roads were only a trace through the woods and swamps. By their hard work and thrift, the early settlers became Fulton County’s most substantial citizens.”

On October 9, 1872, Jemima (Thorn) Sparks, wife of the Rev. Jesse Sparks, died. On August 14, 1873, he married Mrs. Lydia Poling, widow of Henry Poling. They lived together for twenty years. She gradually became blind and he cherished and cared for her all that time, until his death on January 6, 1896. He lacked only five days of being ninety years old at the time of his death.

The Rev. Jesse Sparks, Jr., and his first wife, Jemima (Thorn) Sparks, were the parents of eight children. Their dates of birth are recorded in the Bible owned by Jesse Sparks, Jr., which is now in the possession of Mrs. Mildred Sparks Tomlinson.

1. Elizabeth Sparks, daughter of the Rev. Jesse and Jemima (Thorn) Sparks, was born on July 7, 1828, and died on February 24, 1890. She married John Evans.
2. Theodore Sparks, son of the Rev. Jesse and Jemima (Thorn) Sparks, was born January 26, 1830, and died in 1864. He married Christina - - - - -   who was born about 1834. On both the 1860 and the 1870 census of Fulton County, Indiana, he was listed as living on a farm adjoining that of his father. According to these census records, Theodore and Christina Sparks were the parents of the following children:
(a) Jesse C. Sparks, born about 1851.
(b) Philora J. Sparks, born about 1853.
(c) William H. Sparks, born about 1857.
(d) Francis M. Sparks, born about 1860.
(e) Elmer G. Sparks, born about 1864.
(f) Nora Sparks, born about 1866.
3. Philora Jemima Sparks, daughter of the Rev. Jesse and Jemima (Thorn) Sparks, was born on October 27, 1831. She married a Mr. Baker and moved with her husband to Nebraska.


JESSE R. SPARKS (b. ca. 1780, d. 1865) & HIS DESCENDANTS, continued:

4. Jeremiah Benjamin Sparks, son of the Rev. Jesse and Jemima (Thorn) Sparks, was born on June 21, 1833, and died on January 20, 1896. He was married to Margaret Jane Fonner (originally spelled “Phonner”) on April 19, 1857. She was born on the same day as her husband, June 21, 1833, at Troy, Ohio. She came to Indiana with her family when she was eight years old. She died on September 18, 1906. Jeremiah and his wife homesteaded a section of land in Fulton County, Indiana. Mrs. Tomlinson has written the following regarding her grandfather, Jeremiah B. Sparks: “Jerry Sparks, as my Grandfather was called, became an assistant to a physician, later practicing on his own, besides investing in land and farming. He homesteaded and improved land, eventually giving much of it to his children.” Both Jeremiah and his wife died at their home near Kewanna, Indiana. A photograph of Margaret Jane (Former) Sparks is reproduced below.
[NOTE: At the bottom of page 1252 appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]

Margaret Jane (Fonner) Sparks


Wife of Jeremiah Benjamin Sparks

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JESSE R. SPARKS (b. ca. 1780, d. 1865) & HIS DESCENDANTS, continued:

Jeremiah B.  and Margaret Jane (Fonner) Sparks were the parents of the following children:
(a) Ezra Sparks, born Feb. 10, 1860, died at the age of five months, on July 21, 1860.
(b) Ralph Sparks, born 1862, died at the age of eight years.
(c) Mary Jessie Sparks, born May 8, 1863. She married Israel Brown Calvin and they lived on the farm given her by her father.
(d) Charles Justin Sparks, son of Jeremiah and Margaret Jane (Fonner) Sparks, was born June 1, 1866, and died on June 30, 1926. He was the only son to grow to manhood. He too lived on the farm his parents gave to him. He married Clara Dell Zellers, and they were the parents of the following children:
(1) Hugh Sparks, born Jan. 23, 1889 (deceased)
(2) Ersa Sparks, born April 12, 1891.
(3) Mildred Sparks, born Oct. 4, 1892.
(4) Justin Charles Sparks, born March 2, 1895.
5. Charles T. Sparks, son of the Rev. Jesse and Jemima (Thorn) Sparks, was born May 31, 1835; died 1836.

6. Stephen Sparks, son of Jesse and Jemima (Thorn) Sparks, was born on March 28, 1837. He enlisted from Fulton County, Indiana, for three years as a private in Company A, 26th Regiment of Indiana Infantry, on August 30, 1861. He died from disease at New Orleans on January 12, 1864. His photograph taken while he was a soldier is reproduced below.

[NOTE:  At the bottom of page 1253 appears a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]

Stephen Sparks

Born 1837, Died 1864

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JESSE R. SPARKS (b. ca. 1780, d. 1865) & HIS DESCENDANTS, continued:

7. Margaret Sparks, daughter of the Rev. Jesse and Jemima (Thorn) Sparks, was born July 12, 1839, and died on Jan. 22, 1870. She was married on Oct. 12, 1857, to Walter Rufus Scott, who was born June 18, 1829, and died July 13, 1907. He was a son of Rufus Richard and Eliza (Nash) Scott. Margaret Sparks and Walter Rufus Scott were the parents of four children:
(a) Eliza Scott, daughter of Walter Rufus and Margaret (Sparks) Scott, was born March 14, 1859, at Kewanna, Ind., and died Nov. 15, 1822; she was buried in the Athens Cemetery at Jewell, Kansas. She married Oct. 13, 1878, Frederick Beeler
at Beloit, Kansas; he was born Jan. 15, 1844, and died Jan. 10, 1925, a son of Frederick and Nancy (Dollarhide) Beeler. They were the parents of the following children:
(1) Fred Beeler, Jr., born Oct. 4, 1879, died March 29, 1958. He married Mildred Nixon.
(2) Lester Beeler, born Jan. 21, 1889, died Jan. 8, 1957. He married Wilma Richards.
(3) John B. Beeler, born Feb. 20, 1891, died Jan. 26, 1951; he married Mabel Wheeler.
(4) Joe H. Beeler, born July 28, 1899, died June 17, 1969. He married Verneda Dusenbery.
(b) Effie Scott, daughter of Walter Rufus and Margaret (Sparks) Scott, was born June 10, 1863. Deceased. She married George Walter Beeler who was a son of Frederick and Nancy (Dollarhide) Beeler of Iowa. They were the parents of the following children:
(1) Effie Earle Beeler, born Feb. 27, 1882, died July 20, 1961. She married Ira Monroe Alcorn.
(2) George Walter Beeler, born Nov. 2, 1883. Deceased. He married Elva Aim Wood.
(3) Norman Scott Beeler, born Aug. 2, 1886. He married Rhetha - - - - -.
(4) Beulah Eola Beeler, horn March 12, 1888. She married Charles C. Lamb.
(5) Newton Kenneth Beeler, born Jan. 21, 1895. He married Marie - - - - -.
(6) Helen Eliza Beeler, born Oct. 25, 1896; She married Ralph Edward Tetherow.
(7) Betty Beeler, born Jan., 1901. She married Mark Miller.
(c) Winfield Scott, son of Walter Rufus and Margaret (Sparks) Scott, was born October 12, 1864, and died April 13, 1865.

(d) Newton Sparks Scott, son of Walter Rufus and Margaret (Sparks) Scott, was born December 2, 1869, and died January 22, 1967. He married Margaret May Jordan, daughter of Louis R. and Mary (Jenkins) Jordan. They were the parents of the following children:

(1) Marjory Scott, born July 4, 1900; she married Glenn Woods Gilchrist.
(2) Frank Jordan Scott, born Jan. 22, 1902; he married Helen Cook.
(3) Walter Newton Scott, born June 24, 1903; he married Agnes Skadsen.


JESSE R. SPARKS (b. ca. 1780, d. 1865) & HIS DESCENDANTS, continued:

Children of Newton Sparks Scott and his wife, Margaret May Jordan, continued:

(4) Corwin RexIord Scott, born Nov. 11, 1905 (twin). He married Edna Spickerman.
(5) Irwin Maxwell Scott, born Nov. 11, 1905 (twin). He married Elizabeth Rupin.
(6) Frances Ernestine Scott, born July 10, 1908; She married Oscar Craig Flannigan.
(7) Louis Frederick Scott, born Sept. 4, 1909, died May 18, 1928.
8. Mary Jane Sparks, daughter of the Rev. Jesse and Jemima (Thorn) Sparks, was born May 28, 1842, and died on January 6, 1912. She married Thomas Mogle. She was instrumental in assisting the Underground Railroad in Indiana and helped to get slaves through Indiana to Michigan. The end of the line was in Calvin, Michigan, where many Negroes still live and have become substantial citizens.

(Editor’s Note: Much of the information for the above sketch was supplied by Mrs. Mildred E. Tomlinson, 318 W. Fourth St., Rochester, Indiana. The record of descendants of Margaret Sparks, daughter of the Rev. Jesse and Jemima (Thorn) Sparks, was provided by Mrs. Max Beeler Alcorn, 641 S. Hudson Ave., Pasadena, Calif.)

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The Sparks Family Association lost another charter member on July 6, 1969, with the death of Mrs. Ella Sparks Norris, of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Mrs. Norris was a daughter of the late John Willis and Anna Margaret (Meier) Sparks. She was a granddaughter of George Graham and Elizabeth (Painter) Sparks, and a great-granddaughter of Hugh S. and Nancy (Carnutte) Sparks. (See page 102 of the QUARTERLY.)

Mrs. Norris was born in Whitley County, Kentucky, on March 25, 1910. She was graduated from Berea College Hospital School of Nursing in 1931 and worked as a registered nurse all of her professional life. At her death, she was a supervisor at Charity Hospital at Lake Charles.

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Mrs. Roberta Sparks Seibel, who descends from a branch of the Sparks family that has lived in Estill County, Kentucky, for several generations, informs us that on page 330 of the QUARTERLY (Vol. VI, No. 3, September 1958, Whole No. 23) under Sparks births in Estill County, the “Miss Flim” given as the mother of William Sparks (born June 10, 1858) was actually Syntha Ann Flynn, daughter of Levi and Jane (Fowler) Flynn. She was Mrs. Seibel’s great-grandmother and was born on February 15, 1831, and died on March 3, 1913. She was married to Levi Sparks, son of William and Hannah (Skinner) Sparks; he was born on November 9, 1832, and died on November 21, 1919. The baby named William Sparks who was listed as having been born to Levi and Syntha Ann (Flynn) Sparks on June 10, 1858, is remembered in the family as “Little Willie”- - he died as a small child.

 [Scanner's note:  Correction made.]



Recently we learned that a family Bible that had once been the property of Elijah Sparks (born 1778) had been owned at a later time by a man named Samuel Clark of Linwood, New Jersey. A letter addressed to Samuel Clark happily fell into the hands of Miss Emma Clark of 318 Poplar Avenue, Linwood, New Jersey. Miss Clark is a granddaughter of Samuel Clark, to whom we had written. Samuel Clark, we learned, has been dead for many years.

Upon receiving our letter, Miss Clark called her aunt, Mae Babcock of Pleasantville, New Jersey, to inquire whether she had ever heard of a Sparks family Bible. Mrs. Babcock had not only heard of such a Bible, but reported that she now owned it. Miss Clark very kindly examined this old Bible and in the process determined that Elijah Sparks, who had once owned it, was her great-great-grandfather.

From the entries in the Bible, copied for us by Miss Clark, it is apparent that Elijah Sparks, who was born in 1778, married twice. His first wife was named Nancy and died between 1811 and 1815. His second wife was named Rebecca. The oldest daughter of Elijah Sparks, whose named was Mahala, married William Clark. The births of the children of William and Mahala (Sparks) Clark are also recorded in this Bible.

At this time, our knowledge of Elijah Sparks is limited to the information contained in the Bible which he once owned. We assume that he lived in New Jersey. Following is the record as copied for us by Miss Clark:

This Bible belongs to Elijah Sparks, born 28th July 1778.

Mahala Sparks, daughter of Elijah and Nancy Sparks - born March 17, 1797.

Mary Ann Sparks, daughter of Elijah and Nancy Sparks - born 1811.

Sally Ann Sparks, daughter of Elijah and Rebecca Sparks - born May 30, 1815.

John Merret Sparks, son of Elijah and Rebecca Sparks - born Feb. 23, 1818.

John Clark, son of William and Mahala Clark, born Sept. 22, 1823.

George Clark, son of William and Mahala Clark, born April 7, 1827.

William Clark, son of William and Mahala Clark, born August 1832.

Susanna Clark, daughter of William and Mahala Clark, born March 26, 1835.

Samuel Clark, son of William and Mahala Clark, born June 19, 1829.

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A number of years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Seymour T. Rose began publishing the Rose Family Bulletin. Mr. and Mrs. Rose are attempting to do for the Rose family what we are trying to. do for the Sparks family.

Mr. and Mrs. Rose have asked us to announce that they will be pleased to check their master index for anyone named Rose in the United States. They will be glad to do so without charge. Write to Mr. & Mrs. Seymour T. Rose, 1474 Montelegre Dr., San Jose, California (95120).




In the September 1960 issue of the QUARTERLY (Vol. VIII, No. 3, Whole No. 31, page 501) we published an abstract of the application of David Sparks for bounty land based on his service in the War of 1812. Thanks to a descendant of David Sparks, Mrs. Ellene McKay Mars, 716 Southwood Drive, Uniontown, Ohio, we are now able to give more precise information regarding David Sparks and his family based upon family records in the possession of Mrs. Mars.

David Sparks was born on May 19, 1794, and died on November 10, 1862. We cannot be sure where he was born. When the1850 census was taken, he gave his birth place as North Carolina, but the 1860 census gives his birth place as South Carolina. He died in what is now Clay County, Alabama, although at the time of his death in 1862 this area was still part of Talladega County.

From his bounty land application made in 1850, we know that David Sparks served as a private in the War of 1812 in a volunteer rifle company from Morgan County, Georgia, commanded by Captain Henry Lane. He volunteered in Morgan County on November 1, 1814, and served until May 1, 1815, when he was discharged at Fort Hawkins, Georgia. He was listed on the 1820 census of Morgan County and from the enumeration of his household it appears that he had two sons and one daughter under 10 years of age in 1820. Apparently he lived in that part of Morgan County which was cut off to form Newton County in 1821. By 1830, David Sparks had left Morgan County, Georgia. He was probably the David Sparks who was living in Campbell County, Georgia, when the 1830 census was taken. He was living in Carroll County, Georgia, in 1840.

It is quite probable that David Sparks was closely related, probably a brother, to Uriah Sparks who volunteered for service in the War of 1812 in Morgan County, Georgia, on the same day (November 1, 1814) and in the same company as David Sparks. (See the QUARTERLY of September 1964, Vol. XII, No, 3, Whole No. 47,
pp. 842-43, for data on Uriah Sparks.)

David Sparks was married to Permelia Medlock on December 15, 1811, in Morgan County, Georgia. Her nickname was Milly. She was born on February 15, 1791, in South Carolina, and died on December 3, 1876, in Delta, Clay County, Alabama.

As yet we have succeeded in identifying positively only two of the children of David and Permelia (Medlock) Sparks. We know there was a daughter named Malinda who married Jesse Jackson Dempsey and a son named Abel Tomlin Sparks. From early census records, it is apparent that there were other children. Furthermore, a grandson of David Sparks once recalled that David Sparks had a son named Uriah and another son named Dave (nickname for David). There is a considerable amount of circumstantial evidence that Harris Sparks, who was born on July 3, 1818, and died on March 9, 1910, may also have been a son. There was also a Joseph Sparks who married Elizabeth Williams, daughter of Shepherd Williams of Carroll County, Georgia, who may have been another son of David Sparks.

Following are additional data on the two children of David and Permelia (Medlock) Sparks for whom we have definite proof of descent.

I.  Malinda Sparks, daughter of David and Permelia (Medlock) Sparks, was born sometime between 1812 and 1820; she married Jesse Jackson Dempsey, who was born about 1812. They were the parents of seven children:



Children of Jesse Jackson and Malinda (Sparks) Dempsey:
A. Francis Marion Dempsey, born Oct. 21, 1842, in Cave Springs, Floyd County, Georgia, and died on April 19, 1932, in Clay County, Alabama. He married Julia Clark.
B. Elizabeth Manilla Dempsey, born Sept. 18, 1844; died July 23, 1895; she married Jesse Franklin Clark.
C. Sara Jane Dempsey, married John Butterworth.
D. Wiley Dempsey, married Maggie Rowe.
E. Annetter Dempsey, married David Crockett Smith.
F. Evelyn Dempsey, married Elijah Roberts.
G. Monroe Dempsey, died as a young man in Dallas County, Alabama.
II. Abel Tomlin Sparks, son of David and Permelia (Medlock) Sparks, was born on November 10, 1827, in Georgia, and died on January 20, 1896, in Clay County, Alabama. He was married in Talladega County, Alabama, on December 12, 1850, to Nancy Ann M. Newsom, who was born in 1827 (February 12) in Coweta County, Georgia, and died on May 21, 1912, in Clay County, Alabama; she was a daughter of Silas and Nancy Lavina (Peoples) Newsom, both of whom were natives of Georgia.

Soon after his marriage in 1850, Abel Tomlin Sparks built a log cabin for his bride in Clay County, Alabama. A photograph of this early Sparks home has been provided by Mrs. Mars and appears below:

[NOTE:  A photograph appears at the bottom of page 1258, beneath which is the following caption:]


(View photograph)



Mrs. Mars recalls that her father used to repeat a family story of how Abel Sparks “hauled the sandstones to make the chimneys and fireplace by ox-cart from the rock quarry near the mountain. It was a two-day journey and there was no alternative but to leave his new bride, Nancy (Newsom) Sparks alone. There were many Indians in the area. Luckily, they were not hostile, but they were hungry ‘all the time’ and they would come begging for food and liquor. Since she cooked on the fireplace, she kept a kettle of boiling water and a hot poker in the ashes at her disposal at all times so she could ‘run them out of there’.”

In the QUARTERLY for September 1967 (Vol. XV, No. 3, Whole No. 59, pp. 1097-1098) we published abstracts of the papers on file in the National Archives in support of a pension application which Abel Tomlin Sparks filed in 1889 to secure a pension for his service in the Civil War. In presenting those papers in the QUARTERLY, we were puzzled because it was apparent that he had served first in the Confederate Army, then, following his capture, on the Union side. Mrs. Mars has explained the situation by recalling the following family account: “At the beginning of the Civil War, Abel Sparks owned slaves. He freed them. As the war progressed, the Confederate Government began conscripting men for military service. Since Abel Sparks did not believe in the Southern cause, he had no desire to serve in the Confederate Army, a fact known to the officials who would come searching for him regularly at the farm and his home. He would hide in a cave near the house, and Lavina Sparks, his daughter who was then about eight years old, would bring him food which she had hidden in the pockets of her pantaloons under her skirts. She would play around, then suddenly disappear and take the food to her father in the cave. This worked for awhile, but eventually ‘they caught up with him’ and he was forced to ‘volunteer’ as a private in Company G, 28th Alabama Infantry, on December 28, 1862.’ A muster roll dated February 29, 1864, for Company G lists Abel T. Sparks as “missing since November 23/63 supposed to be a prisoner of War.” He had been captured by the North at Missionary Ridge during the Battle of Chattanooga.

Abel T. Sparks was taken as a prisoner of war to Rock Island, Illinois, where he convinced his captors that his sympathies really lay with the Northern side, and on May 24, 1864, he enlisted to serve in the Northern Navy. He served on the warship 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 twenty-four years later, Abel T. Sparks stated that he had been discharged at the Brooklyn Navy Yards. He described himself at the time of his service as being six feet tall, with a light complexion, dark hair, and blue eyes. He 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.”

Jesse McKay, a grandson of Abel T. Sparks, recalled hearing a family story of how Abel, following his discharge from the Union Navy, walked back to his home in Alabama. “He came by his sister’s home in Rome, Georgia, and spent a night. She had one small piece of bread for them all; he walked home from there without anything to eat, but what apples he could get on the way. The dogs would run him away and he would hide out in the daytime so as to hide the uniform. He was almost starved when he reached home, and was allowed to eat only a little for awhile until he got used to it.”

Abel Tomlin and Nancy Ann M. (Newsom) Sparks were the parents of only one child, a daughter, named Lavina Elizabeth Sparks, who was born May 24, 1852, at Lineville, Clay County, Alabama. She died on December 8, 1934, at Ashland, Clay County, Ala.



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


with members of their family

taken in Clay County, Alabama, about 1905

Left to right:

The Rev. Henry Taylor McKay; his wife, Lavina E. (Sparks) McKay; Fredonia McKay, a daughter; John Thomas McKay, a son; Jesse C. McKay, their youngest son; Myrtle McKay, their youngest daughter; Anderson C. Driggers, husband of their daughter Julia; and Cylus S. P. McKay, a son.

(View photograph)

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Lavina Elizabeth Sparks, daughter of Abel Tomlin and Nancy Ann N. (Newsom) Sparks, was married to the Rev. Henry Taylor McKay on November 5, 1868. He was born on November 10, 1849, in Pyreton, Clay County, Alabama. He was a son of the Rev. Samuel Martin and Lucinda Emmalee (Walden) McKay. It is an interesting fact that the paternal grandmother of Lucinda & Emmalee (Walden) McKay was Sarah Sparks, born about 1750, daughter of James Sparks, Jr., of Spotsylvania County, Virginia. (See the QUARTERLY for December 1962, Vol. 1, No. 4, Whole No. 40, pp. 680-704, for further information on this branch of the Sparks family.)



 A daughter of Lavina Elizabeth (Sparks) McKay, Mrs. Myrtle M. (McKay) Jenkins,  wrote the following tribute following her mother’s death:

“Lavina Elizabeth Pamela (Sparks) McKay was born May 24, 1852, near Union Church in the northern part of Clay County, Alabama. She was the only child of Abel Tomlin Sparks and Nancy Ann (Newsom) Sparks. Lavina attended school at Red Hill and Union Church Community. Her father was called to duty in the Civil War when she was nine years of age She and her mother lived alone and helped with the farm work during the two years of his absence. Lavina was eleven when her father was discharged and little is known of her life until she was married to Henry Taylor McKay at the age of sixteen.

“He became a Minister of the Gospel shortly after their marriage. This religious setting brought forth results from the start. This couple was known near and far throughout their communities for their aid to any and all in. time of need, spiritual or physical. The hour was never too late nor the weather too bad to help the unfortunate. They were fondly called Aunt Vina and Uncle Taylor in later years. Lavina was a Christian mother and devoted wife. She lived a full life of love and understanding in the most Christian-like manner.

“She and Taylor and the twelve children lived until the youngest was passed forty before the family circle was broken. Lavina spent the last few years in bed and wheel chair because of a broker hip. She was laid to rest at the age of 82 on December 8, 1931, at Oak Grove Church within a mile of where she lived. The minister in charge at her funeral remarked that all the gray hair in Aunt Vina ‘a head could be counted in a very few minutes. Her memories linger with us to eternity.”

Following is a list of the twelve children of the Rev. Henry Taylor and Lavina Elizabeth (Sparks) McKay:

(1) Nancy Ann Josephine McKay, born Dec. 6, 1869, in Lineville, Ala.; she died Jan. 4, 1958, in Lineville, Ala. She was married on Dec. 24, 1894, to Ose 0. Forbus, who was born in Clay Co., Ala., and died on April 17, 1939, in Lineville. They were the parents of the following children: (all born in Lineville, Ala.)
(a) Nancy Mae Forbus, born May 1896; married Arthur Cook.
(b) A. T. Forbus, born 1898; married Lydia Farr.
(c) John Forbus.
(d) Winmon Forbus (son); married Flossie Meadows.
(e) Eunice Forbus; married Amos Sims.
(f) Odessa Forbus; married Mr. Carr.
(g) Vernie Forbus (daughter), born Feb. 22, 1907; married Loren Reeves.
(h) Wennie Forbus (daughter), twin of Vernie, born Feb. 22, 1907; died July 1907.
(i) Howard Forbus, born 1910; died in infancy.
(2) Henry Sparks McKay, born June .5, 1871, in Lineville, Ala; he died on Feb. 26, l93!j; he was married in 1893 to Abbarila Waits, who died on Nov. 27, 1919, in Roanoke, Ala. They were the parents of the following children, the first seven of whom were born in Roanoke, Ala., and the last four in Lineville, Ala.
(a) Moddie McKay; married Nathaniel Pitts; lives in Lanett, Ala.

(b) Lurene McKay; married Walt Pitman; lives in Lenett, Ala.



Children of Henry Sparks McKay and his wife Abbarila Waits McKay, continued:

(c) Marie McKay; married T. W. Majar, lives in Lanett, Ala.
(d) Abe McKay; married Sallie Brown, lives in Lanett, Ala.
(e) Waites McKay; married Bertha Brown, lives in Lanett, Ala.
(f) Charles McKay, lives in Atlanta, Ga.
(g) Sarah McKay.
(h) Willie McKay, born 1896; died 1900 (killed by a horse).
(i) Lola McKay, born 1898; married R. H. Wallace, lives in Wedowee, Ala.
(j) Lavina Jane McKay; married R. E. Hame; lives in Lanett, Ala.
(k) Hattie McKay, born 1900; married Willie Smallwood, lives in Lanett, Ala.
(3) John Thomas McKay (Rev.), born Oct. 2, 1873, in Lineville, Ala.; died Jan. 12, 1958, in Roanoke, Ala. He married Susie Short on Aug. 28, 1892, in Lineville, Ala. She died March 8, 1914. Children:
(a) Margie McKay, born Oct. 1893; married Mr. Shaddix.
(b) Ottis McKay, born 1895; married Hiss Pate.
(c) Dee McKay (son), born 1897.
(d) Mae McKay, born 1899; married George Henry.
(e) Willie McKay (son).
(f) Hubert McKay.
(g) Forest McKay; married Miss Parker.
(h) Edward McKay.
(i)  Esther McKay, born 1906.
(j)  Infant, died at birth.
(k) Infant, died at birth.
(l)  Twins, born 1914, died at birth; the mother died also.
(4) Charles George McKay (Rev.), born April 26, 1876, in Lineville, Ala.; died June 9, 1964, at Jamaica, Queens, New York. He married Mary Ellen Wright, who was born Feb. 27, 1873, at Hatchet Creek, Clay Co., Ala., and died Nov. 1)4, 1962, at Uniontown, Ohio. They were married on Jan. 12, 1896. He was graduated from the Atlanta Theological Seminary in 1907. (They were the grandparents of Mrs. Mars, who has provided this genealogical record of the descendants of David Sparks.) They were the parents of the following children:
(a) Almon Taylor McKay, born June 27, 1899, in Lineville, Ala.; he died on May 26, 1969, in Akron, Ohio. He married Margaret E. Werstler. They were the parents of Mrs. Mars.
(b) Dwight Huntington McKay, born May 29, 1901, in Lineville, Ala.; he died June 27, 1957, at Kingsport, Tenn. He married (first) Dorothy Fulmer, and (second) Kathleen Kneale.
(c) Mayine McKay, born Sept. 25, 1903, in Tallassee, Ala. She married George Colvin Ewing and now lives in Elmhurst, New York.
(d) Dawson Sparks McKay, born Dec. 9, 1907, in Ashland, Ala.; he died on March 12, 1964, at Crockett, Va. He married Josephine Wampler.
(e) Vida Myrtle McKay, born June 10, 1909, in Ashland, Ala. She married Bernard Thomas Haines, now deceased. She lives in Ashland, Ohio.



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


with his wife, Mary Ellen (Wright) McKay

taken in 1948

(View photograph)

Children of the Rev. Charles George McKay and his wife, Mary Ellen (Wright) McKay, continued:
(f) Vera Mae McKay, born March 10, 1912, at Crossvifle, Tenn •; died April 28, 1940, at Clinchport, Va. She was married on Sept. 30, 1930, to George Graham Hudson, now deceased.
(5) Armenda Jane McKay, born May 17, 1878, at Lineville, Ala.; died Dec. 7, 1963, at Plant City, Fla. She was married in 1898 to George Moon, who died Dec. 1)4, 1963. They had the following children:
 (a) Alta Moon; she married a Mr. Poe.
 (b) Vida Moon.
 (c) Allen Moon; he married a Miss Hendrix.
 (d) Kara Moon (a son).
 (e) Myrtle Moon; she married a Mr. Hendrix.
 (f)  Gladys Moon; she married a Mr. Hendrix.
 (g) Grady Moon.
 (h) J. C. Moon (a son).
 (i)  Evelyn Moon.
 (j)  Ora Moon (a daughter).
 (k) O. Z. Moon; he married a girl from Australia.
 (l)   Lela Moon; she married a Mr. Waldon.
All of the above children of Armenda Jane and George Moon were born in Lineville, Alabama.

(6) Richard Abel McKay (Rev.), born May 2, 1880, in Lineville, Ala., and died Oct. 6, 1958; he married on Dec. 25, 1901, Anna Marvin Wright, who was born Aug. 8, 1879, and died Aug. 29, 1955. They had the following children:

(a) Lowell Earl McKay, married Bufie Nays; now in Hamilton, Ala.
(b) Alton Cecil McKay, married Opal Johnson; now in Wetumpka, Ala.
(c) Lyman Turner McKay, died at the age of three.
(d) James Taylor McKay, married Betty Rigdon; now inCovington, Ga.
(e) Anna Myrle McKay, married Edd Ballard; now in Alex City, Ala.
(f) Sherrill Elmer McKay, married Floyd Street; now in East Gadsden,Ala.
(g) Mildred Voncile McKay, married Howard Harris; now in Birmingham.
(h) Richard Abel McKay, Jr.; married Frances Burns; now in Roswell, Ga.
(i) Uriel Wright McKay; married Mary Hethcox; now in Monroe, Mich.
(7) Julia Ernmalee McKay, born Feb. 21, 1882, in Lineville, Ala.; now living at Thomasville, N.C. She was married in 1905 to Anderson C. Driggers; he died in 1956 at High Point, N.C. They were the parents of the following children:
(a) Arval Driggers, born 1906 in Lineville, Ala.; now at Thomasville, N.C.
(b) Harold Driggers, born 1907 in Lineville, Ala.
(c) Ruth Driggers, born 1909 in Lineville, Ala.; she married Price Burleson. Now at High Point, N.C.
(d) Ethridge Driggers, born 1911 in Lineville, Ala.
(e) Lynwood Driggers (a son), born in Griffin, Ga.
(f)  Evelyn Driggers, born in Griffin, Ga.
(g) Laverne Driggers, born in High Point, N.C.
(h) Donald Driggers, born in High Point, N.C.
(i)  Bessie Driggers, born in Griffin, Ga.; she married Peter White.
(8) David Alexander McKay, born December 19, 1882, in Lineville, Ala., and died on Dec. 16, 1960, at Anniston, Ala. He married Alma Burchfield in 1924. No children.
(9) Cylus Samuel Peolyan McKay, born July 24, 1886, in Lineville, Ala.; now living in Atlanta, Ga. He was married in 1908 to Aneliza Ballard. She was born in 1891. They had the following children:
(a) Yvonne McKay, born Aug. 1909 in Lineville, Ala.; she married a Mr. McGlown; now in Atlanta, Ga.
(b) Ben McKay, born 1911 in Lineville, Ala.
(c) Lucille McKay, born 1913 in Lineville, Ala.
(d) Martha McKay, born 1915 in Lineville, Ala.; lives in Atlanta.
(e) Edward McKay.
(f) Samuel McKay, born 1923.
(10) Fredoni Beatrice McKay, born Sept. 17, 1888, in Lineville, Ala., and died Jan. 25, 1966, in Anniston, Ala. She was married in 1907 to Clinton Boak, who died in March 1948 at Albertville, Ga. Children:
(a) Nina Boak, born Oct. 9, 1908, in Lineville, Ala; she married Lee Mountain.
(b) Lillian Boak, born in Lineville, Ala.; she married a Mr. Spears.
(c) Inez Beak, born in Lineville, Ala.; she married Woodrow Shults.
(d) Winnie Boak, born in Lineville, Ala.; she married Lyle Mountain.
(e) C. W. Boak (a son), born in Lineville, Ala.
(f)  Eugenia Boak, born in Pisgah, Ala.; married Robert Camp.
(g) Verma Boak, born in Pisgah, Ala.; married James Reeves.
(11) Myrtle Maude McKay, born Feb. 22, 1892, in Lineville, Ala. She was married on Oct. 4, 1908, to Albert R. Jenkins, who was born June 12, 1888, in Delta, Ala. They live in. Albany, Ga. Children:
(a) Vernice N, Jenkins, born June 24, 1910, in Delta, Ala.; she married Roy C. Harrell; now at Albany, Ga.
(b) Bremen C. Jenkins, born Apr. 21, 1912, in Delta, Ala.; he married Marjorie Franklin; now in Plant City, Fla.
(c) Levis J. Jenkins (a daughter), born July 3, 1914, in Delta, Ala.; she married Clarrnand W. Haynes and they live in Henderson, Nev.
(d) Glennie N. Jenkins (a daughter), born Mar. 26, 1916, in Delta, Ala.; married Mr. Carol Conoway; they live in Alaska.


Children of Albert R. and Myrtle Maude (McKay) Jenkins, continued:
(e) Wilburn R. Jenkins, born Sept. 10, 1918, in .Anniston, Ala. He married Jennie Mae Parker.
(f) Flora B. Jenkins, born March 15, 1920, in Alexander, Ala. She married (first) La±iie B. Carrier, deceased; she married (second) Fred Yamagata. Lives now in Mineral Wells, Texas.
(g) Elna Jenkins (a daughter), born March 21, 1922, in Rainsville, Ala. She married Elburn H. Dorris; lives now in Blakely, Ga.
(h) Bynum L. Jenkins, born Sept. 22, 1924, in Birmingham, Ala.  He married Peggy Franklin. He is a minister.
(12) Jesse Cecil McKay, born June 26, 1894, in Lineville, Ala. He married Lola Cook on Feb. 6, 1916. They live in Lineville, Ala. Children:
(a) J. P. McKay, born Jan, 3, 1920.
(b) Mary Sue McKay; she married Otis Marris; they live in ( Lineville, Ala.
(c) Maureen McKay; she married Sheral Walker; they live in Sylacauga, Ala.
(Note of interest: Although Abel Tomlin Sparks had only one child, he had twelve grandchildren, and ninety-three great-grandchildren.)

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In the QUARTERLY for June 1968 and that of June 1969, we published queries regarding a Phoebe Sparks, who married Christopher Ault in 1815 in Highland County, Ohio. It now appears that Phoebe Sparks’s name was actually Park and that she was in no way connected with the Sparks family.

Mrs. Fred J. Spiser of 9103 S. Milliken, Whittier, Calif. (90605) reports that she recently obtained some records from the National Archives regarding the service of Christopher Ault in the War of 1812. In. these records, Phoebe’s name appears as PARK. An affidavit dated January 21, 1851, made by Enos Park of Tippicanoe County, Indiana, states that he was a brother of Phoebe. Another affidavit was signed by William Park, no relationship shown.

The marriage record in Highland County, Ohio, also gives Phoebe ‘s name as Park, but we had assumed until recently that an error had been made in copying and that the name Sparks or Spark had been intended. It now appears that the spelling was, indeed, Park.

Mrs. Spiser reports that the Bible record reads thus, all spelling exactly as written: “Christley Ault 1849 this Bible wose bought. Chrisley Ault wous bourne in the of our Lord Febury the 2 day 1793. Mother was bourn Febe Ault Jan the 31 in the year of Lord 1797 a dough of Ghon Sprke ~ “Ghon” was obviously intended for John, and perhaps the “S” was intended as his middle initial.



Mr. Tommy M. Guise, Star Route, Geraldine, Alabama, a new member of the Association, descends from a Nancy Sparks on whom he is anxious to obtain more information. Since her first child was born in 1837, it is probable that Nancy was born between 1810 and 1820. It is also believed that she was born in South Carolina. It is known that her first two children were born there. About 1835 Nancy Sparks was married to Mathis Cook, probably in South Carolina. He was born on January 1, 1803, and died on January 14, 1892.

The family moved from South Carolina, through Georgia, and into Alabama where they settled in DeKalb County. Evidently Nancy died in South Carolina or in Georgia. Mathis Cook’s second wife was named Sarah.

Mathis Cook and Nancy (Sparks) Cook were the parents of the following children:

1. Nancy Cook, born August 21, 1837, died September 28, 1919.
2. Joshua W. Cook, born July lh, 1839, died April 26, 1906.
3. Martha Jane Cook, born January 1849, died March 4, 1930.
4. “Liza” Cook. (birth and death date not known)
5. Mary Elizabeth Cook, born February 19, 1858, died June 1930. (This latter
child may have been a daughter of the second wife of Mathis Cook.)
Can anyone assist in identifying Nancy Sparks?

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Miss Ivadell Ross of 1724 North Sixth Street, Estherville, Iowa, has asked us to publish the following query: “My mother’s name was Bass and I am working on her family genealogy. I found that David Sparks, born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, in 1829, moved to Owen County, Indiana, about 1835; lived there until October 25, 1851. He married August 19, 1849, Elizabeth Bass, who died December 16, 1871. They had nine children, seven of whom were living in 1880: William J., Mary C., Sarah J., John, Surilda, Olive N., Alpha P. He married (second) on September 7, 1872, Mrs. Nancy Williams.

“Do you have any records of Elizabeth Bass Sparks’s parents and ancestors? Perhaps some of their descendants are active in the Sparks Family Association and they might have this information. Any leads you might give me will be appreciated. My grandfather ‘s father and grandfather were both named Edward Bass; one place I found the name Thomas Edward Bass. I am trying to get proof so members of the Bass family may join the D.A.R. and other patriotic organizations.”

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On July 1, 1969, your Editor accepted the appointment of Dean of the School of Library Science at the University of Michigan. The many responsibilities of this position will make it even more difficult for him to find time to devote to the Sparks Family Association than in the past. He will make every effort to continue to edit and publish the QUARTERLY, but it will be impossible for him to continue to correspond with any degree of regularity with members of the Association regarding their Sparks ancestors. Please be patient when an issue of the QUARTERLY is late or a letter goes unanswered.

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