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

VOL.  II, NO. 4  DECEMBER, 1954

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THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, published by The Sparks Family Association
     Paul E, Sparks, President, 155 N. Hite Ave., Louisville 6, Kentucky
     Oral A. Sparks, Vice-President, R.F.D., Clio, Iowa
     Melva (Sparks) Bidlack, Sec’y.-Treas., 1131 Granger Ave., Ann Arbor, Mich.
     William Perry Johnson, Historian-Genealogist, Box 531, Raleigh, N.C.
     Russell E. Bidlack, Editor, 1131 Granger Ave., Ann Arbor, Mich.

[Editor’s Note: The following letter was written by Oral A. Sparks, upon the request of the Editor, in order that the members of The Sparks Family Association may become better acquainted with their Vice-President.]


Dear Folks:

I like to use this salutation for this message to you because, after all, we are all just plain “folks” of, to use an old expression, “one big happy family.” When I learned a few weeks ago that I had been selected to hold the office of Vice-President of The Sparks Family Association I considered it a great honor. I assure you that I appreciate this honor and shall endeavor to fulfill the duties of the office to the best of my ability. I also assure you that I am very happy and extremely gratified to be a member of this wonderful organization.

First, you may wish to learn what my connection is with the Sparks Family. My father was John Garland Sparks, born 1851 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He lived in Johnson County, Missouri, during the years just preceding and during the War Between the States. He came to Wayne County, Iowa, about 1875 where he and my mother, Martha Hughes, were married in 1880. My grandfather was Joel Sparks Jr. He was born in Surry County, North Carolina, in 1824 and was married to Almira Lane in Wilkes County, North Carolina, in 1844. They moved to Johnson County, Missouri, with their family about 1855. He enlisted in the Union Army about August 1, 1862, and was mortally wounded in the Battle of Lone Jack in Jackson County, Missouri, on August 16th of that year. He died August 21, 1862.

My great-grandfather was Joel Sparks Sr., who was born about 1774 in Surry County, North Carolina. He was a veteran of the War of 1812, having served as a private in 1814 in a regiment commanded by Colonel Atkinson of the North Carolina Militia. Joel Sparks Sr. was married twice. My grandfather, Joel Jr., was one of nine children born of his first wife, whose name we have been unable to discover. His second wife was Mary Shatley whom he married in Wilkes County in 1846. Joel Sparks Sr. was living in Bates County, Missouri, in 1860. He died about 1861.

My great-great-grandfather (the father of Joel Sparks Sr.) was Matthew Sparks who was an extensive land-owner in Surry County, North Carolina. He died there in 1819, leaving a very interesting will, the original of which is still preserved at the courthouse in Surry County, in which he names his children and his wife, “Nicy.” Matthew’s father was William Sparks (my great-great-great-grandfather) who migrated from Frederick County, Maryland, to North Carolina in the 1760’s. William Sparks died in Surry County in 1801, and the original of his will is likewise preserved.

Much of this valuable information concerning my early ancestral line has been furnished by our able Historian-Genealogist, Mr. William Perry Johnson, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for his untiring efforts and able assistance to our Association. He descends from Solomon Sparks who migrated, as did William Sparks, from Frederick County, Maryland, to North Carolina about 1753.


And now just a word concerning myself and my family. I am 66 years of age and a Christian, a Baptist by faith, but having a Methodist wife and three Methodist children, one of whom is a Methodist minister--you can well see my predicament.  But we get along fine and thank our Creator that He has made us what we are and blessed us wonderfully. I am a semi-retired farmer. My wife, who was Alice Mace of Allerton, Iowa, and I live on our farm in the house in which I was born. My father and mother were married in this house. I was their only child--and probably all they could manage.

Our daughter, Melva, the eldest of our three, is the wife of Dr. Russell E. Bidlack, our Editor, who is an instructor of Library Science at the University of Michigan. They have two children, Stanley and Martha. Gerald, the older of our sons, and his wife, who was Harriet Hankins of Des Moines, Iowa, live in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is employed by Douglas Air Craft in that City. They have five children: Joyce, Ruth, James, Donna, and Phyllis. Our younger son, Harold, and his wife, who was Beth Cramer of Des Moines, Iowa, are located at Lime Springs, Iowa, where he is pastor of the Methodist Church there. They have two children, David and Steven.

We take great pride in our family, of course, and, like all grand-parents, a special pride in our grand-children. I have been a farmer much of my life, but have also done considerable sales work. My hobbies are antiques and other unusual collections, such as license plates and mastheads from newspapers. Perhaps at some future time I may find opportunity to tell you more of my collections, but I feel that I have written enough-perhaps too much-for this issue, so I shall bid you adieu and hope that I may hear from each of you--that we may become still better acquainted. So good-bye and may God’s blessing rest upon you all.

                                                                                                           Oral A. Sparks,
                                                                                                           Clio, Iowa.

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by Paul E. Sparks

[Editor’s Note: The origin of place-names has occupied the attention of European scholars for many years, but it is only within comparatively recent times that this subject has become of interest to American antiquarians; consequently, knowledge concerning the origin of many American place-names has become forever lost. This article was written by our President, Paul E. Sparks, with the hope that at least part of the record of place-names relating to the SPARKS family in America may be preserved. We are indebted to several persons, organizations, and publications for the data which Mr. Sparks has brought together in this article. It is by no means exhaustive, and our readers are urged to send in names of other towns, as well as mountains, valleys, streams, etc., named for the Sparks family.]

Place-names are stories--stories of the lives of bygone spirits. As our ancestors meandered across the vast wilderness of America, they gave names to the streams, mountains, paths, and settlements. Unfortunately, as far as history is concerned, these names did not begin as well-painted signboards or name-plates, nor did they originate under the direction of the trained geographer; rather, they began as a word or a story which was colloquial and which was passed on by word-of-mouth. As these stories were re-told, they were touched up to fit the occasion, or the storyteller’s mood, until the true origin of the name has often been obliterated by the passing of time. Some stories were sad, some were happy, some were amusing, and some were amazing.


Were we to call a roll of these place-names, it would sound like calling a Roll of Honor of our pioneer forefathers, for truly the men for whom many of these places were named were in the vanguard of our westward expansion. And yet, without some way to point out who these people were, such a roll-call would be nothing but meaningless sounds.

Listed below are the names of sixteen hamlets, villages, and towns--also one lake--commemorating the name Sparks:

SPARKS, Colorado, population 15, is located in the northwest corner of the state on the Green River in Moffat County. Postoffice: Rock Springs. Nothing has been learned of its origin.

SPARKS, Georgia, population 887, is located in Cook County, about thirty—five miles north of the Georgia—Florida state line. It was incorporated in 1888, the same year that the Georgia, Southern, and Florida Railroad (now the Southern Railway) was built between Macon, Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida. At that time the president of the railroad was W. B. SPARKS, of Macon, Georgia, and this village was named for him.

SPARKS HILL, Illinois, population 21, is located in Hardin County in the southern tip of the state. Nothing has been learned of its origin.

SPARKSVILLE, Indiana, population 130, is located on the northern bluff overlooking the East Fork of White River, in Jackson County in the south—central part of the state. Here, about 1808, came STEPHEN SPARKS, then about thirty-three years of age, son of JAMES SPARKS (see Vol. II, No, 3, Whole Pc. 7, Sept. 1954 of The Sparks Quarterly.) On April 7, 1816, the Washington County, Indiana, Probate Court granted a license to Stephen Sparks to operate a ferry across the White River. The license read as follows: “Ordered that Stephen Sparks be Licensed to Keep a Ferry over White River at Northwest Corner of Fraction [sic] No. 203, In Township 24, Perth of Range No. 3, East, and that he be Authorized to Receive For Each Waggon and Four Horses, Fifty Cents; for each Waggon and Two Horses, Thirty—Seven and One Half Cents; For Two—Wheel Carriages, Twenty Five Cents; For Man and Horse, Twelve and One—Half Cents; For Single Pan and Horse, Six and One—Quarter Cents; for Grown Cattle or Four Hogs, Four Cents; For Sheep, Two Cents.” Thus this location became known as “SPARKS’ FERRY,” and undoubtedly it was a key to the settlement of other Indiana counties further north. Stephen Sparks died August 9, 1851. In 1857, Charles J. Rosenbaum platted the present village of SPARKSVILLE.

SPARKS, Kansas, population 177, is located in the northeast corner of the state in Doniphan County. It was named for a Sparks family while settled there (date unknown).

SPARKS QUARRY, Kentucky, population 200, is booted in Rockcastle County, in the edge of the eastern Kentucky Mountains. Here, about 1895, a quarry was established by WILLIAM JAMES SPARKS, son of ABSALOM SPARKS, and grandson of JAMES SPARKS. The latter was born in Virginia about 1803.

SPARKSVILLE, Kentucky, population 100, is located in Adair County in the southcentral part of the state. Sparkses were here before 1800 (probably from Pittsylvania County, Virginia) and here WILLIAM WALTER SPARKS was born about 1820. He had a son, CHARLES WEEDON SPARKS (commonly known as TIRED) born about 1844. Weed Sparks served in the Union Army and after the war moved to Texas. He returned to Adair County and settled at a place which he named SPARKSVILLE. Again he went to Texas, but returned to Adair County for the second time to settle in a. different part of the county, at a place which he named for himself-REED, Kentucky.

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SPARKS, Louisiana, population 15, is located in Iberville Parish which is near the state capitol, Baton Rouge. It is on the Texas and Pacific Railroad. Quite possibly it was named for a descendant of WILLIAM HENRY SPARKS, who came to this section from Macon, Georgia. William Henry Sparks had a son, Col. Thomas Garten Sparks, who owned “Belmont Plantation” near here.

SPARKS, Maryland, population 300, is located in Baltimore County, about fifteen miles north of the city of Baltimore. Unfortunately, data concerning the naming of this place has not been uncovered, although it is known that persons named SPARKS were living in this county as early as 1760.

SPARKS, Nebraska, population 11, is located in Cherry County in the north-central part of the state near the Nebraska-South Dakota state line. It was named for a SPARKS family that migrated to that section from Berrien County, Michigan, when that part of Nebraska was open to settlement about 1880.

SPARKS, Nevada, population 8,203, is located in Washoe County about three miles east of Reno. It was established in 1905 by the Southern Pacific Railroad, which moved houses from another locality where it had been carrying on construction. It was named for JOHN SPARKS, then Governor of Nevada. Governor Sparks was born in Mississippi on August 30, 1843. When he was fourteen years of age, his family moved to Lampasas, Texas. From Texas, Sparks went to Wyoming where he became a prominent cattleman. Of him it is said, “His cattle ranged from Nebraska to Nevada. He rose with the flood tide of the cattle industry and later attained the governorship of Nevada.” He was a Confederate soldier. He was elected governor of Nevada in 1903, forty-five years after he went to that state. He died in Reno on May 22, 1908.

SPARKS, North Carolina, population 5, is located in Mitchell County in the northwestern part of the state. It is on the Clinchfield Railroad. Postoffice: Minpro. Nothing has been learned of its origin.

SPARKS, Oklahoma, population 233, is located in Lincoln County in the central part of the state. It was established in 1903 when the Santa Fe Railroad and the Pt. Smith and Western Railroad were joined at that point. Officials of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad believe the town was named for GEORGE T. SPARKS, of Ft. Smith, Arkansas, who was prominently interested in right-of-way matters of the Ft. Smith and Western Railroad, and who was a director of that company.

SPARKS, Oregon, population unknown, is a railroad station on the Union Pacific Railroad in Umatilla County in the north-eastern part of the state, eight miles south of the town of Pendleton. It was named for JOHN and CARRIE SPARKS, a pioneer family in that section, who owned a farm on Birch Creek as early as 1877.

SPARKS, Texas, population 60, is located in Bell County in the central part of the state, near the town of Temple. It is on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas (“Katy”) Railroad. Nothing has been learned of its origin.

SPARKS, West Virginia, population 11, is located near Rattle Run of the Gauley River in Nicholas County, was known originally as the Copenhaver Settlement, but its present name came from JOSEPH SPARKS who kept a store where the first postoffice was housed.

There is a lake in Deschutes County, Oregon, called SPARKS LAKE. It is a long kidney-shaped lake, in the central part of the state, just east of the Cascade Range, and was named for ELIJAH (“LIGE”) SPARKS, a pioneer stockman of central Oregon.



by William Perry Johnson

[Editor’s Note: In future issues of The Sparks Quarterly, there will appear periodically the marriage bonds for persons named Sparks which have been preserved for various North Carolina Counties, Our Historian-Genealogist, William Perry Johnson, has prepared the following informative article as an introduction to this series.]

An important source of genealogical data in North Carolina is the marriage bonds. These bonds were originally to be found in the county courthouses, but in recent years most of them have been deposited for safekeeping in the North Carolina State Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Marriage bonds were first required in North Carolina by the Act of April 4th, 1741. This act provided that “every clergyman of the Church of England, or for want of such, any lawful Magistrate, within this Government, shall . . . join together in the holy estate of matrimony, such persons who may lawfully enter into such a relation, and have complied with the directions herein after contained . . . No Minister or Justice of the Peace . . . shall celebrate the rites of matrimony . . . without license . . . or thrice publication of the banns as prescribed by the rubric in the book of common prayer.” License must be issued by the Clerk of the County Court of the county where the feme shall have her usual residence. The prospective groom, in order to obtain this license, must make a bond with sufficient security in the sum of fifty pounds proclamation money ($250), with condition that there is no lawful cause to obstruct the marriage. This bond guaranteed that both bride and groom were free to marry, i.e., were white and of legal age, or had consent of parent or guardian in case of minority; that neither party was already legally married to a spouse, and so on.

In 1766 the Presbyterian, or dissenting, clergy were permitted to perform the ceremony, as they had been doing, apparently illegally, for quite some time. (The Quakers in North Carolina had been performing their own marriages since before 1680, by first declaring their intentions of marriage in two successive monthly meetings, then becoming man and wife in a ceremony distinctively Quaker.) In 1778 it was enacted that all regular ministers of the gospel of every denomination, “having the cure of souls,” and all justices of the peace, are “authorized to solemnize the rites of matrimony according to the rites of their respective churches and agreeable to the rules in this act prescribed.” Provision was again made for marriage either by license or by banns published three times by any minister of the gospel. The amount of the bond required for license was raised to five hundred pounds lawful money of the State ($2500). In 1836-7 the amount of the bond was changed to $1000. In 1867 the law was changed so that no bond was required, and, from then on, just the marriage license was issued, for a small fee paid to the Clerk of Court. No prevision was ever made for the recording of the marriage bonds or marriage licenses until around 1850, when it was required by law that the Clerk of the Court keep a record of the marriage licenses.

Thus, the prospective groom and his bondsman (usually a close relative or friend of the bride or groom) would therefore travel--sometimes fifty miles or more in days when counties were large and courthouses few and far between--to the courthouse in the county where the prospective bride resided. The groom then applied to the Clerk of Court for a marriage license, which was issued after he had signed a marriage bond, with his bondsman as security. The Clerk of Court often signed the marriage bond as a witness, unless other friends and relatives had accompanied the prospective groom and his bondsman; in which case one of them usually signed as a witness.


(Illiterate persons signed their name by mark; in the marriage bonds this is indicated by a small x.) The Clerk of Court kept the marriage bond, to be filed in his office, and gave the groom—to—be a marriage certificate, or license. Sometimes the very same day, but usually a day or even a week or so later, the prospective bride and groom would take their marriage license to the nearest minister, or if none was available—-as was often the case-—to the nearest magistrate, who performed the marriage ceremony. Near the middle of the last century, about the time when marriage bonds were no longer required, it was required by law that the minister or magistrate (Justice of the Peace, etc.) who performed the marriage ceremony should place on the marriage license his name and the date of the marriage, and return the paper to the Clerk of Court where it was recorded and filed. This is why many of the marriage records in the 1850’s and 1660’s have both the date of the marriage license and the date of the marriage. Needless to say, many ministers and magistrates failed to comply with this law, which accounts for further losses of North Carolina marriage records.

Thus, about the only source of marriage records in North Carolina before 1650 is the marriage bonds, which cover the period from 1741 to 1667. Very few marriage bonds, however, have been preserved in North Carolina for the years prior to the American Revolution, and they are often sparse for many decades after that. There are several reasons for this lack of marriage bonds in North Carolina. Perhaps the primary reason is a financial one--few families were wealthy enough to post the bond required. One cynic has remarked that only the proud or the rich flaunted their marriage bonds. Another reason is that not only were many of the county officials in colonial days extremely lax in enforcing the marriage laws, but when their small offices became crowded, they often had a “house cleaning,” simply taking out and burning all old, out-dated, and, to them, useless and worthless court records. Many marriage bonds perished in this way. Others were lost in courthouse fires; some of them were destroyed during the War between the States. It is estimated that less than one third of all marriages in North Carolina were performed by license, the bulk being performed by banns, which required no license and hence no bond. And perhaps less than half of the bonds are extant today. Therefore, the lack of a marriage bond is no proof that an ancestor did not marry in North Carolina.

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Copied from the Originals by William Perry Johnson

[Editor’s Note: Surry County, North Carolina, from which the following bonds were taken, was formed in 1770 from Rowan County. In 1777 the County of Wilkes was cut off from Surry, and in 1789 the County of Stokes was likewise cut off from Surry. In 1850 Surry was again divided, with Yadkin County being set apart. Parts of Surry County were annexed to Alleghany County in 1870 and in 1875. Dobson is the county seat of Surry County today. Since Mr. Johnson copied these bonds they have been placed in the Archives in Raleigh.]

Following is a full copy of the marriage bond, dated 1812, for Reuben Johnson (son of Charles and Susannah (Sparks) Johnson) of Surry County, North Carolina. It is inserted here as a typical example of a North Carolina marriage bond of that period.

“State of North Carolina,
                 Surry County.
“Know all men by these presents, That we Reuben Johnson and Elisha Chappel are held and firmly bound unto William Hawkins, Governor, or his Successors in office,


in the full sum of Five Hundred Pounds current Money, to be paid to the said Governor, his successors or Assigns, for the which payment well and truly to be made and done, we bind ourselves, our Heirs, Executors and Administrators jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals, and dated this 23d day of May A.D. 1812.

“The Condition of the above Obligation is such, that whereas the above bounden Reuben Johnson hath made application for a License for a Marriage to be celebrated between him and Mary Harvil of the County aforesaid:——Now, in case it shall not appear hereafter, that there is any lawful cause or impediment to obstruct the said Marriage, then the above Obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue.

Signed, Sealed and Delivered in the Presence of                                                                 [s], Reuben Johnson
                                                                                                                                         [s] Elisha Chappel”

Alexander x Smith — Nancy Sparks - 22 July 1796. Bondsman: Joseph Smith.
Benjamin x Sparks — Eliza. Hicks — 18 January 1797. Bondsman: John Allen.
William West - Margarett Sparks - 4 January 1799. Bondsman: Joseph Smith.
Henry Bray - Sarah Sparks - 14 May 1803. Bondsman: Stephen Mankins.
Mathew x Sparks - Sarah Elmore - 20 February 1808. Bondsman: Wm. West.
Wiley x Craft - Aagatha Sparks - 28 January 1812. Bondsman: Allen x Sisk.
William x Sparks - Elizabeth Gentry - 4 January 1813. Bondsman: Wiley Craft.
Joseph Sparks - Martha Edwards - 28 January 1815. Bondsman: Richard Gentry.
William Sparks - Lethey Speer - 1 August 1816. Bondsman: Thomas x Arnold.
Jonathan x Sparks — Rachel Swaim — 26 November 1817. Bondsman: Wm. Sparks.
John Russell - Nancy Sparks - 11 September 1824. Bondsman: Joel H. Burch.
George Sparks, Jr. — Fany Lindsey — 1 December 1829. Bondsman: Charles x Johnson, Jr.
Allen Redding - Sarah Sparks - 11 November 1833. Bondsman~ Wm. Redding.
Thomas Holcomb - Susan Sparks — 9 October 1835. Bondsman: Leroy Holcomb.
James x Morrison - Sally Sparks - 13 November 1836. Bondsman: Henry x Waldridge.
Athanasious Sparks — Sally Brinegar — 12 April 1837. Bondsman: Moses Austill. [he signs as Athe Sparks. WPJ]
Thomas x Sparks - Catherine Swaim - 28 February c?3 1837. Bondsman: William Z. x Sparks.
Francis Wood — Nancy Sparks - 4 January 1838. Bondsman: Minchin Goss.
Wm Sparks - Mary Benge - 5 September 1844. Bondsman: George Sparks.
Joel Pardew — Janetty Sparks - 30 October 1845. Bondsman: Wm. Holcomb.
James Sparks - Lethee Ann Bryan - 29 October 1846. Bondsman: Francis Wood.
Daniel Richardson - Jane Sparks - 3 August 1862. Bondsman: Isaac Lundy.

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Copied by William Perry Johnson

[Editors Note: Wilkes County was formed in 1777 from Surry and the District of Washington. A large number of changes in the boundaries of Wilkes County have been made through the years, many of which it is unnecessary to mention here. It is of interest that this section was considered a part of Tennessee prior to the Revolutionary War, and actually called “Tennessee.” The major changes in the boundaries of Wilkes County include the formation of Ashe County from Wilkes in 1799 and the formation of Caldwell County from part of Wilkes in 1841. For a complete record of these changes see The Formation of the North Carolina Counties, 1663—1943, by David Leroy Corbitt, Raleigh, State Department of Archives and History, 1950. The county seat of Wilkes County today is Wilkesboro.]


John Sparks - Mary Parmely — 14 August 1781. Bondsman: James Bunyard.
John Johnson - Peggey Sparks - 17 January 1782. Bondsman: Adoniram Allen.
Vim x Gibson - Margaret Sparks — 29 April 1782. Bondsman: William Wilcockson.
Jacob Davis - Lizzey Sparks - 21 May 1782. Bondsman: Benjamin Allen.
Charles x Johnson - Susana Sparks - 2 March 1784. Bondsman: John x Bolin.
James x Denney - Hannah Sparks - 23 November 1784. Bondsman: George x Denney.
Matthew Durham - Mary Sparkes - 28 December 1801. Bondsman: Cahles csic. Sparkes.
Francis Kirby, Jr. - Mary Sparks - 30 August 1813.
Joel Sparks - Nancy Blackborn - 27 July 1314. Bondsman: Claborn Waddill.
Samuel x Sparks - Mary Alvey — 22 October 1814. Bondsman: Wiseman x Alvey.
George Sparks - Elizabeth Armstrong - 24 October 1814. Bondsman: Westley x Armstrong.
Hardy Sparks - Susannah Brown - 5 January 1815. Bondsman: James Sparks.
Emaniel x Baugess - Amelia Sparkes - 26 September 1817. Bondsman: Joseph x Spicer.
Jonas Sparks - Mary Brown — 27 September 1817. Bondsman: John x Brown.
William x Allexander - Sary Sparkes - 18 March 1820. Bondsman: James Johnson.
William R. Sparks - Salley Wilcockson - 13 March 1321. Bondsman: Reuben Sparks.
Joseph x Sparks - Sabry Demnit - 4 February 1822. Bondsman: Joseph x Brown.
Colbea Sparks — Sarah, dau. of John Pruitt - 28 December 1822. Bondsman: Claborn x Wadle.
Wiley Gentry - Matilda Sparks — 12 October 1825. Bondsman: William R. Sparks.
Benjamin Hall - Sarah Sparks - 16 January 1828. Bondsman: Daniel Brown.
William x Sparks - Salley Jinnings - 13 September 1828. Bondsman: William R. Sparks.
Reubin Sparks - Phoeby Blackburn - 10 October 1828. Bondsman: Eli Blackburn.
William Frasier - Temperance Sparks - 4 February 1832. Bondsman: P(eter) Dowell.
George Chambers - Bilenda Sparks - 6 June 1033. Bondsman: Henry Chambers.
Hampton x Hollaway - Mary Sparkes - 1 February 1834. Bondsman: Wm M. Forester.
Solomon Sparks, Jr. - Malindann Caudill - 1 April 1835. Bondsman: Hampton x Holdaway.
James Hankes - Lewsinda Sparkes - 13 January 1838. Bondsman: Meredith Lyon.
Solomon Sparkes -Marey Day - 30 January 1838. Bondsman: C(h)apman Lewis.
Silas x Perdue - Malinday Sparkes - 23 February 1838. Bondsman: James Sale.
Merideth Lion - Melindia Sparks - 23 August 1838. Bondsman: Jacob Lyon.
Vim R(usal) Sparkes 12 April 1839. Bondsman: Sam’l x Sparkes.
Joseph Sparkes - Marey Gray - 20 September 1842. Bondsman: George Chambers.
Daniel Sparkes - Mary L. Walker - 16 February 1843. Bondsman: W(illia)m Vannoy.
James E. Crysel — Elizabeth Sparkes - 5 June 1843. Bondsman: John Land.
Joel Sparks - Miry Lane - 5 September 1844. Bondsman: S(aml) K. Hartin.
Robert Sparks 1845. Bondsman: Joel x Sparks.
Roubin Sparkes — Belinda Gray — 5 January 1846. Bondsman: Joseph x Sparkes.
Jacob Lyon - Malindy Sparkes - 6 June 1846. Bondsman: James Durham.
Joel Sparkes - Charloty Durham - 21 June 1846. Bondsman: James Durham.
James Durham - Mity Sparks - 15 August 1846. Bondsman: Merideth Lyon.
Jesse P. Adams - Jincey Sparkes - 29 October 1846. Bondsman: Reuben Spearkes.
Joel Sparks - Mary Shatley - 23 November 1846. Bondsman: John x Shatley.
Williford Privett, Jr. - Huldah Sparkes - 22 November 1848. Bondsman: Thomas L. Kelly.
Alexander x Sparkes - Mary M. Bryan - 12 June 1849. Bondsman: Francis Wood.
James Sparkes - Carlotte Dickerson - 14 January 1850. Bondsman: Isiah Field.
John Durham - Sally Sparks - 20 November 1851. Bondsman: James Durham. Married 21 December 1851 by James McAnn, J.P.
Noah Sparkes - Rachiel M. McBride - 4 December 1851. Married - - - - - 1851 by D. Swaim.
Joseph N. Goforth - Mary Sparks - 21 October 1852. Bondsman: Samuel S. Goforth.
Samiel x Sparkes - Salley Ellis - 26 October 1852. Bondsman: William x Redding.
George W. Sparks - Elizabeth E. Johnson - 17 October 1855. Bondsman: Lcander Johnson.
B. C. Hutchinson - Jane Sparks - 10 April 1858. Bondsman: E. M. Hutchinson.
Amos x Ladd - Sary Sparkes - 8 September 1859. Bondsman: Aaron Ladd. Married 9 September 1859 by John Brown, J.P.


James H. Billings - Arrena R. Sparks - 5 August 1350. Married 5 August 1850 by John Gentry.
Ruben x Sparks - Elizabeth J. Billings - 12 April 1862. Bondsman: Daniel Billings.

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This is the last issue of The Sparks Quarterly to be published in 1954, and it completes Volume II. Accompanying this issue is a report by the Secretary-Treasurer, Melva Sparks Bidlack, showing receipts and expenditures for 1954. The officers of the Association are pleased to announce that the membership has grown to 255, and they sincerely hope that each of these Sparks descendants will renew his or her membership for 1955. The Quarterly cannot be sent to those who do not renew.

Because, in the past, some members have contributed more than the annual membership dues cf $1.00, it has seemed advisable to set up three types of membership for the future:

Active Membership, Annually   $1.00

Contributing Membership, Annually   $2.00

Sustaining Membership, Annually - - Any amount over $2.00

The Sparks Quarterly will be sent to all members of the Association on the same basis, regardless of type of membership, but the 1955 membership cards will indicate the type of membership to which each is entitled.

The fact that many of you have contributed more than the active membership dues ($1.00) in the past, plus the fact that we now have 92 more members than we did a year ago, gives the officers reason to believe that we can again increase the size of  The Sparks Quarterly. In 1953 each issue contained six pages; in 1954 the pagination was increased to eight; in 1955 we plan to have ten pages in each issue. (it will be noted that the present issue contains ten pages.)

Several members have complied with the Editor’s request in the last issue and have sent the names and addresses of persons named Sparks found in their local telephone directories. Form letters have been mailed to most of these people and the favorable response leads the Editor to request that other members send him similar lists.

A limited number of copies of all back issues of the Quarterly are still available to members who may not have a complete file of the eight numbers published so far. These are available at the rate of twenty-five cents each.

Another death among the membership has been called to the Editor’s attention. On October 11, 1954, “Uncle Harve” Sparks died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Robert Johnson, in Pearl, Kentucky--a small mountain community on the Kentucky Tennessee border about twenty miles from Middlesboro, Kentucky. “Uncle Harve” claimed to be the oldest man in Kentucky, having celebrated his 111th birthday last April 17th; he gave his birth date as April 17, 1843. The son of Ransom and Martha (Rainey) Sparks, “Uncle Harve” Sparks outlived three wives. His first wife was Liz Mulhollin--no ohildren. He married, second, Tilda Murray, by whom he had children named William, George, Elizabeth, Martha and Sarah. His third wife was Omega Pennington, by whom he had Henry.  In the last years of his life, “Uncle Harve” had a good appetite, could hear well, and could see well enough to read his family Bible. He walked with the assistance of a cane and the aid of members of his family. Middlesboro, Kentucky, population 14,482, was the largest city he ever saw.


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Scanned and Edited by James J. Sparks