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


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[Note:  On the cover is a photograph, beneath which is the following caption:]

BATEMAN R. SPARKS, 1841-1918


(View photograph)


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 nonprofit organi- zation devoted to the assembling and preserving of genealogical and historical materials pertaining to the Sparks family in America.  Membership in the Asso- ciation is open to all persons connected with the Sparks family, whether by blood, marriage, or adoption, and to persons interested in genealogical 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 receive THE SPARKS QUARTERLY as it is published in March, June, September, and December.  Back issues are kept in print and are available for 75 cents per issue. The first issue of the QUARTERLY was published in March, 1953. Four indexes have been published for the years 1953 -1957, 1958 -1962, 1963 -1967 and 1968 -72.  Each is available for $1.00. A complete file of all issues of the QUARTERLY (1953 -1975) with the four indexes may be purchased for $55.00. (These 23 years of the QUARTERLY comprise nearly 1792 pages of Sparks Family history.)

The editor of the QUARTERLY since September 1954 has been Russell E. Bidlack, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan (48104). Back issues and applications for membership are available from Dr. Bidlack. The QUARTERLY is printed by off- set at the Edwards Letter Shop, 713 W. Ellsworth Road., Ann Arbor, Michigan. (48104)


(Editor's Note: The complete pension file for Bateman R. Sparks has been obtained from the National Archives. Following is an abstract of these papers. The file number for these papers in the National Archives is Certificate 418,573.)

On January 15, 1883, Bateman R. Sparks signed a form that had been printed with appropriate blanks to be filled in, entitled "Declaration for Original Invalid Pension." He appeared before the clerk of the County Court of Cumberland County, Illinois, and stated that he was a resident of the town of Sumpter in Cumberland County and that he was the same Bateman R. Sparks who had enrolled on June 1, 1862, in Company A of the 54th Regiment of Illinois Volunteer Infantry commanded by Russell W. Williams and that he had been discharged at Little Rock, or Duvals Bluff, Arkansas, on May 30, 1865. He stated that he was then (1883) 41 years old, that he was 5 feet 7½ inches tall, of light complexion, brown hair and blue eyes. He stated that while in line of duty on a march from Clarion, Tennessee, "on or about the middle of August 1862, he was prostrated with sun stroke which caused him to become insane."  He stated that he had been a resident of the town of Sumpter and that he had been a farmer since leaving the service and that he "is now partially disabled." He appointed C. B. Castels of Toledo, Illinois, to be his attorney to prosecute his claim. He signed this document as "B. R. Sparks," and his witnesses signed as Wm. C. Prather and Western R. Humphrey.

The next document in this file, which is dated June 2, 1883, is in obvious response to the office of the Commissioner of Pensions' request to the Adjutant General's office for information regarding Sparks's service and illness while in service. Besides



giving his enlistment date, this report states that Sparks had been "sent home insane to Mattoon, Illinois," on August 8, 1862, but that he was back on duty on February 15, 1864. The report concluded: "No hospital records of organization, company morning reports prior to 1865 or medical certificate for furlough 1862 on file."

On September 8, 1883, Bateman R. Sparks signed a disability affidavit in which he gave additional information about himself. He stated that for ten years prior to his enlistment he had resided in the Toledo, Illinois, area and that since 1865 he had continued to live there "excepting 42 years I resided in Indiana" - - that he had returned to Illinois "nearly seven years ago." He claimed disability because of a sunstroke that he had suffered in August 1862 "on the march between Union City, Tenn., and Dyersburg" and that since then he had suffered from "Bilious Cholick and an attack of Lung Fever" for which he had been treated by Dr. J. W. Eskridge of Chicago, Illinois. As a result of the sunstroke, he stated: "I was generally able to perform manual labor in cool weather, but was unable to labor in very warm weather and in the Summer season." He signed this document as Bateman R. Sparks; it was witnessed by Western W. Humphrey and John W. Goodwin.

In another statement made on October 31, 1883, Bateman R. Sparks added: "I was first treated for the disease of Sun Stroke for which I claim Pension at Union City, Tenn. as I now remember sometime in the month of August A.D. 1862, then sent to my home in Cumberland County, Illinois, and treated at home in Illinois about seven months, then returned to the Regt. and was treated in Post Hospital in Duvalls Bluff for Typhoid fever about the Summer months of 1864."

There are no further documents in the file until 1887, at which time a number of sworn statements were made by men who had known Bateman Sparks while he had been in service. Because the Army records proving his illness were lacking, these statements were prepared to prove that illness. The first is dated February 3, 1887, and was signed by Jesse W. Dunlap, a resident of Effingham, Illinois. Dunlap stated that he was 43 years old and had served in the same company as Bateman Sparks. He continued: "... on or about the 15th of August A.D. 1862 on the march from a place called Union City, Tennessee, to a place called Dias or Diasburg, the day was an extremely hot one and the water we had to drink was warm and bad. About noon of said day we noticed that Comrad Bateman R. Sparks was failing by being overcome with heat and about 3 o'clock P.M. of said day he entirely failed and seemed to loose his mind and we had to take his arms from him and put a guard over him and I was one of the guard and we put him in an open room to watch him and as I now remember it was an empty corn crib." He added that this took place about half-way between Union City and Diasburg and he was taken back to Union City where, after several days, it was determined he was insane and that he should be sent home by Sergeant William A. Gambill. Dunlap stated that he did not see Sparks again until January 1864 when he came home on furlough to Mattoon, Coles County, Illinois, "and when we returned to the Regiment at or near Little Rock, Comrad Sparks went back to his company and served his time out and was discharged about the first of June A.D. 1865." He stated that he saw Sparks regularly after his return but that he had not recovered from his sunstroke - - "he was pale and much reduced in flesh and always had a peculiar look." He added that Sparks was still "at least more than half disabled physically." Henry W. Tippett, clerk of the County Court, witnessed Dunlap's signature.

On February 16, 1887, William A. Gammill signed a statement in support of Sparks's application. A resident of Coles County, Gammill stated that he was 44 years old and had been a sergeant in the same company with Sparks. He remembered that when Sparks joined the company, he had been a "stout, healthy man always ready for duty."  He added: "... he was a new Recruit just sent from Illinois where it was comparatively cool to the State of Tennessee to the front where it was many degrees hotter than Illinois and the day that the company was ordered to march was a very hot one, the water poor for a Northern Man to drink, the dust was deep, and the sun shown down



clear making the march almost unbearable." It was Gammill who brought Sparks back to Illinois. While not living in the immediate neighborhood with Sparks after the war, he stated that he had understood that Sparks had never fully recovered from the sunstroke.

On April 29, 1887, Andrew A. Kilbough, age 43, of Coles County, Illinois, attested that he had been a private in Sparks's company and had been one of those who guarded him after his sunstroke. His statement gave the same basic information as did the others.

On January 2, 1888, Bateman R. Sparks signed another lengthy statement regarding his service and his sunstroke. He stated that ever since then, "in the summer or warm season of the ,year, the sun seems to affect my head and whole nervous sistem (sic) so that I am wholly disabled from performing manual labor." He added that with "each returning Spring I am more disabled as I grow older.

On December 5, 1888, Bateman R. Sparks met in Robinson, Illinois, with a special examiner from the Bureau of Pensions, G. J. Townsend, to determine the accuracy of his claim. In his report, Townsend stated that Sparks "is of good standing in the community, he is considered a man of good strong common sense, and for one of his limited education, he has been rather successful financially." He stated that, while there was no doubt that he had been sent home insane from the Army in 1862, "there is nothing I can learn from claimant or from anyone else to indicate that he has been insane since his discharge." In fact, Townsend added, "he is considered by many citizens who know him well as a shrewd and sharp trader in matters relating to money."

Townsend interviewed a number of Sparks's neighbors during the next several days and obtained sworn statements from them. These individuals were:

Beverly L. Rush, 66 years old, a farmer whose post office address was Toledo, Illinois. Charles S. Oakley, 27 years old, a farmer also from Toledo, Ill.
Philip R. Hodge, 29 years old, a farmer whose address was also Toledo, Ill.
Charles W. Tolson, 26 years old, a farmer also from Toledo.
William A. Smith, 36 years old, a farmer also from Toledo.
William W. Balinger, 57 years old, a farmer also from Toledo.
Harvey Zike, 37 years old, a farmer also from Toledo.
Robert E. Sampson, 34 years old, a laborer on a farm near Toledo.
William A. Gammill, 47 years old, a farmer from Lerna, Coles County, Ill.
Andrew A. Kellough, 45 years old, a farmer also from Lerna, Coles County.
Martin Jones, 46 years old, a farmer from Mattoon, Illinois.
Benjamin F. Starkweather, 46 years old, a carpenter and builder from Mattoon.
Jesse W. Dunlap, 44 years old, a lamplighter from Effingham, Illinois.
Dr. William E. Miles, 37 years old, a physician from Quincy, Hickory County, Missouri.
In his report, Mr. Townsend stated that these witnesses all had good reputations for credibility with two exceptions, these being Starkweather and Jones. "Upon inquiring, regarding these men, I found that Starkweather is not considered very reliable by men who know him and while Jones was not so well known, one person told me he was about on a par with Starkweather." The statements of these witnesses add little to the information already given about Sparks's sunstroke and later health.
Dr. Miles stated that he had been the family's physician until four years earlier when he had moved to Missouri. He stated he had practiced medicine since 1873 and was a graduate of the Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati, Ohio. He testified regarding how Sparks could not stand the heat and was disabled daring the summer. He also stated that: "I am a nephew of the claimant but have no interest in his claim."



Another person interviewed by Townsend was Bateman Sparks's brother, Isaac Sparks. Isaac Sparks stated that he was 44 years old (in 1888) and a farmer; that his post office address was Toledo, Illinois. His information about Bateman's condition was essentially the same as that already quoted from others. He did note: "In the last two or three years I have observed him carrying an umbrella with him in the field while at work to protect him from the sun." Isaac Sparks also stated: "The only member of our family who had been insane so far as I know besides claimant was another brother, but that was caused by his being thrown out of a wagon and run over by the wagon, which injured his back."

Bateman Sparks signed another lengthy statement on December 5, 1888, repeating his account of his illness in which he answered a number of questions posed by Townsend. He noted that during the time he lived in Indiana (1873 -1877), he had lived "about five or six miles south-east of Terre Haute; one year of the above time I lived and worked at the Reservoir about fourteen miles south east of Terre Haute - - I worked for Abner Daly, a Christian preacher at the latter place..." He also stated that he could remember nothing after the sunstroke in Tennessee until "when I came to myself again I found myself at my father's house and was informed that I had been there for about six months."

Special Examiner Townsend, after interviewing the people mentioned above, recommended that Bateman Sparks receive a pension. This recommendation was approved and Sparks received a pension of $4.00 per month, effective as of January 19, 1883. His lawyer, A. B. Webb, of Washington, D.C., charged him a fee of $10.00.

On August 4, 1890, April 4, 1891, and May 26, 1892, Sparks applied for an increase in his pension, but was refused. On July 5, 1898, Bateman Sparks responded to a questionnaire sent to all pensioners regarding their families. Bateman stated that his wife's maiden name was Mary J. Shup and that they had been married on February 22, 1876, in Cumberland County, Illinois, by Rev. Coffman. He stated that his first wife had been Catherine E. Habermeir and that she had obtained A divorce in Terre Haute, Indiana, in January 1874. He listed his living children as:

John E. Sparks, born May 19, 1867
G. A. Sparks, born March 17, 1870
Earnest Sparks, born September 3, 1872
Henry D. Sparks, born August 4, 1879
Mary C. Sparks, born December 14, 1882
Many years later, however, on April 17, 1915, in answer to a similar questionnaire, Bateman Sparks stated that his first wife, Catharine E. Habermeir, whom he had married on July 1, 1866, had been granted a divorce on "Wed., Nov. 22, 1876." He stated that he had married his second wife, Mary Jane Sparks (nee Shup) on February 22, 1877, at Toledo, Illinois, the marriage being performed by the Rev. Josephus Coffman. he listed his children as:
John E. Sparks, born May 19, 1867
Isaac W. Sparks & George A. Sparks, born March 17, 1870 (Isaac died July 26, 1870)
Ernest M. Sparks, born September 3, 1872
Henry D. Sparks, born August 4, 1878
Mary C. Sparks, born December 14, 1881
On July 14, 1900, Bateman R. Sparks, now 59 years old, again submitted an application for an increase in his pension, but now on a different medical basis. His new claim reads in part: "... on or about 20th of June A.D. 1862, He and five or six of his comrads were detailed to carry a Hogshead of Meat from the Car on the Railroad track



to an army Wagon at or near Union City, Tenn. and when thus engaged one of his comrads fel (sic) to the ground throwing the heavy Burthen on the Remaining Men and they were compelled to Hold or carry the Heavy Meat or endanger the life of the follen comrad and the great Burthen with Heavy weight Sprained this affiants Back or Spine so that he was sent to the Regiment Hospital ..." Sparks stated that he remained in the hospital for about six weeks, by which time his regiment was ordered to Dias (?) Tennessee. "... although not fully recovered, affiant did not want to be left behind and although the Regimental Surgeon protested and said I was not stout enough to stand the trip on March as the Sequal will Show." Sparks then repeated the story of the sunstroke, adding, however, that because of not remembering what had really happened, he had forgotten about his early spinal injury - - he thought his headaches and and back ache had been caused by the sunstroke, and had applied for a pension on that basis. However, subsequently, "He attended a Soldiers Reunion and met with a Dr. Johnson who was his old Regimental Surgeon at the time He was Hurt Carrying the Meat and he then advised this affiant and Said it was the Injury he Received to his Spine that affected his Brain as soon as he became Heated by Marching and that was the cause of his Insanity. W. T. Deppen and Wilson D. Mumford witnessed his signature on this document. This new application, however, was rejected.

On April 28, 1904, Bateman Sparks, now 63 years old and suffering not only from his old problems, but "Kidney and Bladder Trouble and general disability for which he has to take Medicines all the time, have Piles and severe attacks of Rheumatism" again applied for an increase in his pension. He was successful, and the amount was increased to $6.00 per month.

On February 23, 1907, Bateman R. Sparks again applied for an increase in his pension. He was now 65 years old; he stated that he had been born on April 10, 1841. His pension was now increased to $12.00 per month. When he became 70 in 1911, his pension was increased to $15.00 per month. A new law increased his pension to $25.00 per month in 1912.

On May 22, 1916, Henry D. Sparks, son of Bateman, wrote to the Commissioner of Pensions to advise that his father had now reached the age of 75, which, he believed, would entitle him to a pension of $30.00 per month. Henry D. Sparks wrote on stationary with the letterhead "Sparks Business College, Shelbyville, Illinois." He was identified as President of the College while Lillian B. Sparks was listed as Vice President. The increase was granted.

A document dated February 22, 1917, indicates that Henry D. Sparks was appointed "conservator" of his father's estate by the Cumberland County Court. Bateman R. Sparks was characterized as insane in this document. On May 4, 1918, Henry D. Sparks wrote to the Commissioner of Pensions to advise that his father, Bateman R. Sparks, had died on April 29, 1918, at the Kankakee State Hospital.

(Editor's Note: Bateman R. Sparks was a son of Ezra and Catherine (Griffy) Sparks. Ezra Sparks was born about 1795-97; he was married to Catherine Griffy, daughter of Samuel and Hannah Griffy, in Jefferson County, Kentucky, on April 18, 1819. Other children of Ezra and Catherine besides Bateman were: Emily Sparks, George William G. Sparks, Hannah G. Sparks, William Sparks, Samuel Sparks, Ephraim Sparks, and Isaac Sparks. About 1835, Ezra Sparks moved his family to Vigo County, Indiana. It was in Vigo County that Bateman was born in 1841. Ezra Sparks (father of Bateman) was a son of Walter and Phoebe Sparks. Walter was a son of Richard Sparks (born about 1725, lived in New Jersey and Pennsylvania) on whom we published an article in the December, 1971 QUARTERLY, Vol. XIX, No. 4, Whole No. 76, pp. 1440-46. The photograph of Bateman Sparks appearing on the cover has been provided by a grandson, Dr. Sherman P. Sparks of Rockwall, Texas. Dr. Sparks's father was Ernest Melvin Sparks, born in 1872.)





(Editor's Note: The author of this article, Gerald H. Sparks, is a retired major in the United States Air Force; he now lives in Runge, Texas (P.O. box 443). Major Sparks has been a generous supporter of the Association for many years and has gathered a great deal of information for us on a variety of Sparks families. He has corresponded with many descendants of his great-great-grandfather, Leonard Sparks, and has compiled a remarkably complete record of the family. Because of space limitations, we are not able to publish his entire manuscript, but, with few exceptions, have carried the line no further than the great-grandchildren of Leonard Sparks. Major Sparks will welcome correspondence with other descendants of this branch of the family.)

LEONARD SPARKS, the subject of this sketch, was born in South Carolina about 1822. His parentage has not been established, but there can be little doubt that he descended from that branch of the Sparks family that moved from Maryland to Pittsylvania County, Virginia, in 1778. Several members of this family subsequently moved from Pittsylvania County to the Spartanburg and Union Counties area of South Carolina. (See the QUARTERLY of September, 1955, Vol. III, No. 3, Whole No. 11, pp. 79-85; and March 1956, Vol. IV, No. 1, Whole No. 13, pp. 109 -21; these articles give all the information that we have found thus far on the family in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.)

The 1790 census of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, listed four Sparks families (Spartanburg County was then part of what was called the 96 District). (It will be recalled that the 1790 census gave only the name of the head of each household; the members of the household, including the head, were enumerated by sex, with the white males divided between those over 16 and those under 16.) These Sparks families were: Josiah Sparks (2 males over 16, no males under 16, and 2 females; Matthew Sparks 3 males over 16, 6 males under 16, and 3 females); Samuel Sparks (one male over 16, 3 males under 16, and 3 females); and Truelove Sparks (one male over 16, one male under 16, and 1 female). It is believed that these four men were closely related to one another and that they had moved to Spartanburg County from Pittslyvania County, Virginia, shortly before the 1790 census was taken. From land records, it is apparent that these Sparks families lived very near the boundary line separating Spartanburg County from Union County and York County (now Cherokee County) on the east.

Shortly after the 1790 census was taken, another Sparks moved from Pittsylvania County, Virginia, to Spartanburg County, South Carolina - - this was Leonard Sparks who had first appeared in the tax records of Pittsylvania County in 1783. He owned one horse and four cattle in 1783, but was not taxed himself as a "white male over 21," which must mean that he had not yet come of age. The next year, 1784, he was so taxed. This should mean that he was born in 1763. This Leonard Sparks first purchased land in Pittsylvania County on November 22, 1788, from Thomas Sparks for 100 pounds (Book 8, p. X05). Although we have found no record of Leonard Sparks selling this land, he was last taxed for it in 1790. We are sure that he was the same Leonard Sparks who later owned land in both Spartanburg and Union Counties, South Carolina.

Perhaps proof will be found eventually that the Leonard Sparks who is the subject of this sketch descends from this Leonard Sparks of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and Spartanburg and Union Counties, South Carolina. There is also probably a family connection with the Leonard Sparks who married Patsey Beard on July 25, 1806 in Jefferson County, Tennessee. (See the QUARTERLY of December 1961, Vol. IX, No. 4, Whole No. 36, Pp. 596-98.)


LEONARD SPARKS (ca.1822-1865) OF UNION CO., S.C. & GWINNETT CO., GA., continued:

The given names of Leonard, Truelove, and Valentine seem to have been largely restricted to this branch of the Sparks family and were repeated for several generations. The grandchildren of Leonard Sparks (ca.1822-1865), subject of this sketch, recalled the names Valentine Sparks and Truelove Sparks, but did not know their relationship. For example, Valentine C. Sparks, who married Mary Kennett in Gwinnett County, Ga., on November 7, 1848, was somehow related to this family. It was also common knowledge among the grandchildren of Leonard Sparks (ca.1822-1865) living in Calhoun County, Alabama, that they were blood kin to the Sparkses who lived in Cherokee County, Alabama, just to the north of Calhoun County. The Sparkses of Cherokee County are known to have descended from the Leonard Sparks who married Patsey Beard in 1806.

According to family tradition, Leonard Sparks (ca.1822-1865) came from a large family, being one of 12 sons. Sometime between 1835 and 1839, Leonard Sparks married Zeriah Sparks, supposedly a distant cousin who was born about 1821 in South Carolina. She also, according to family tradition, came from a large family.

The earliest official record that has been found thus far pertaining to Leonard Sparks is the listing of his family on the 1850 census of Union County, South Carolina. He was shown as an "Overseer," age 28, born in South Carolina. His wife, Zeriah, was shown as 29 years old, born in South Carolina. Their first four children were listed as born in South Carolina. Also listed in the same household was an Elizabeth Sparks, age 17, who was probably a sister of either Leonard or Zeriah. A number of other Sparks families were listed on the 1850 census of Union County, South Carolina, who must have been closely related to Leonard and Zeriah; see the QUARTERLY of September, 1956 (Vol. IV, No. 3, Whole No. 15, pp. 164-66) for this complete listing.

Between 1850 and 1854, Leonard Sparks and his family moved to Georgia. It is known that he purchased land in Gwinnett County, Georgia, in 1859, then sold it in 1861. The family has not, however, been located on the 1860 census.

With the start of the Civil War, Leonard Sparks's two oldest sons enlisted in the same company in Gwinnett County in 1861. Leonard Sparks, himself, according to his Civil War records at the National Archives in Washington, enlisted in Captain M. L. Brown's company on August 24, 1863, at Decator, Georgia. This company subsequently became Company E, 66th Regiment Georgia Infantry, Confederate' States Army. After the Battle of Atlanta, Leonard Sparks was granted leave to see his family, then living within the field of action. In returning to his unit, he was captured by Union forces on September 19, 1864, at Warsaw, Georgia. Warsaw is located in north-east Fulton County at the cross-roads where Georgia State Highway 120 crosses Georgia State Highway 141, about six miles east of Alpharetta, Georgia, and approximately 10 miles from his home. He was taken to Nashville, Tennessee, then to Louisville, Kentucky, and finally to Camp Douglas, Illinois, where he arrived on November 1, 1864.
Leonard Sparks died of hepatitus at Camp Douglas, Illinois, on January 30, 1865. He was buried in Grave 627, Block 2, of the Chicago City Cemetery. His name is shown as "Sharp" rather that "Sparks" on at least one military record.  In 1870, Zeriah Sparks, widow of Leonard, and her unmarried children lived in Gwinnett County, Georgia, Lawrenceville Post Office area. By 1880, Zeriah had moved to Calhoun County, Alabama. She died sometime after 1884 and supposedly was buried in the family plot in the front yard of her daughter's home, called "the old Garrett Place."

Leonard and Zeriah Sparks were the parents of the following children:

1. Thomas Sparks, born October 6, 1836/39, died May 2, 1904.
2. George Washington Sparks, born March 6, 1844, died July 5, 1905.
3. Ammanda Sparks, born about 1845.
4. Catherine Sparks, born about 1847.

LEONARD SPARKS (ca.1822-1865) OF UNION CO., S.C. , & GWINNETT CO., GA., continued:

Children of Leonard and Zeriah Sparks, continued:

 5. John Sparks, born about 1849.
 6. James Josiah Sparks, born July 26, 1855, died March 11, 1907.
 7. Mary Sparks, born about 1856.
 8. Hester Sparks, born about 1860.
 9. Florence Hannah Sparks, born about 1863.
1. Thomas Sparks, son of Leonard and Zeriah Sparks, was born October 6, 1836 (tombstone) or 1839, in South Carolina. He died on May 2, 1904, and was buried in the Golden Springs Cemetery, Calhoun County, Alabama. Upon his return from the Civil War, Thomas married Judith Winn Brown, daughter of Robert Brown (born ca. 1806, died 1874, South Carolina) and Nancy ----- (born ca. 1806, died 1890, South Carolina). She was born in Gwinnett County, Georgia, on October 4, 1844. She died on November 13, 1914, and was buried beside her husband.

Thomas Sparks was 5 feet 7 inches tall, according to the military records made when he was released from a prisoner of war camp, and had a fair complexion, dark hair, and gray eyes. He enlisted in Company F, 24th Regiment Georgia Infantry at Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia, on August 24, 1861. He was captured by Union forces on the first of June, 1864, at Cold Harbor, Virginia, and was sent to the prisoner of war camp at Elmira, New York. He was released on July 11, 1865, and walked home to Georgia. Between 1871 and 1873, Thomas Sparks started to Texas with his wife and children, but on the way he stopped in Calhoun County, Alabama, to visit his mother, sisters, and brothers. There his wife became ill, delaying their departure. He and his family never reached Texas, but settled at Golden Springs in Calhoun County, Alabama.

Thomas Sparks became a preacher after moving to Alabama. He built a church where the old Bunkum School later stood; the church burned and he rebuilt it. The old Union Grove Cemetery is adjacent to this site. Thomas Sparks contributed the land and built the first church to occupy the site of the present Golden Springs Church. The present church is at least the third to occupy the site. Thomas Sparks, his wife Judith Winn (Brown) Sparks, and all but one of their children and many of their other descendants are buried in the cemetery next to the church. To this day, many of Thomas Sparks's descendants are stalwart members of the church that he established so many years ago.
Thomas Sparks had the secret of stopping blood as well as premonitions. There are thoughts that at least one of each generation of this family inherits this capability.

Thomas and Judith Winn (Brown) Sparks were the parents of the following children:

(1)Anna Cornella Sparks, daughter and eldest child of Thomas and Judith Winn (Brown) Sparks, was born on August 13, 1867, in Gwinnett County, Georgia. She died on March 14, 1941, and was buried in the Golden Springs Cemetery, Calhoun County, Alabama. For many years she lived in the original log cabin that her father built when they first came to Alabama. She never married.

(2) James Monroe Sparks, son of Thomas and Judith Winn (Brown) Sparks, was born on October 13, 1869, in Georgia. He died on June 6, 1923, and was buried in the Golden Springs Cemetery, Calhoun County, Alabama.  He was married (first) to LouAnn Coley, in 1890, daughter of Thomas H. and Lou (Limbaugh) Coley. LouAnn (Coley) Sparks was born August 3, 1876, we think in Eastaboca, Talladega County, Alabama, and died on April 29, 1902, in Shades Valley, Jefferson County, Alabama; she was buried in the Stand Pipe Mountain Cemetery near Cahaba Heights, south of Birmingham. He married (second) a first cousin of his first wife, Susan Jane Hulsey, daughter of James Hulsey; she was born November 7, 1880, and died January 13, 1939. She was buried beside her husband.


LEONARD SPARKS (ca. 1822-1865) OF UNION CO.,S. C., & GWINNETT CO., GA., continued:

James M. Sparks went to Jefferson County, Alabama, two times between 1890 and 1902, each time to earn enough money to buy land in Calhoun County. The first time he worked as a fireman on a small railroad that was used to bring coal to the steam-driven pumps at the Cahaba River pumping station. The second time he worked in the pump station itself, operating the pumps that moved water from the Cahaba River to the city of Birmingham. It seems as if the operation of the pump station was nearly a family business, in that James M. Sparks's father-in-law, his sons, and other kin all worked at the station. It has only been in the last few years that there was not a member of the Coley family working at the water works.

After his first wife died, James M. Sparks was left with three small boys to rear. LouAnn (Coley) Sparks's first cousin, Susan Jane Hulsey's parents had just died of food poisoning, leaving her at 22 with several younger brothers and sisters to care for. She and James M. Sparks were married in 1903, moved to Calhoun County, Alabama, and there reared seven children of their own. Her three step-sons loved Suzy as if she were their own mother. Grandma Suzy is loved and remembered to this day by all who knew her, even though she has been dead for some thirty-six years.

James Monroe Sparks was the father of 12 children. He and his first wife, LouAnn (Coley) Sparks were the parents of:

(a) Arcus Lee Valentine Sparks, born March 11, 1891, died May 23, 1970. He married Ola Arwood. His brothers say that his full name was Arcus Lee Valentine Sparks, the "Valentine" after some unidentified grandfather or uncle; he never used the name if indeed it was his.

(b) Thomas Elihugh Sparks, born Oct. 16, 1893, died Aug. 12, 1965. Called "Hugh", he married Ila Elaine Waters who was born Nov. 27, 1903; they were married on Dec. 22, 1919, in Anniston, Ala. They had six children, their second son being Gerald Hugh Sparks, born April 16, 1923, who is the author of this article. Called "Gerry", his birth record shows his name as Waters Sparks. He was married on Oct. 1, 1949, to Kittie Ethel Hook; they have two daughters.

(c) Delilah Sparks, born Jan. 11, 1895, died Sept. 9, 1898. She was buried beside her mother in Stand Pipe Mountain Cemetery.

(d) Norman E. Sparks, born Feb. 25, 1897, died Oct. 8, 1897. He is also buried beside his mother in Stand Pipe Mountain Cemetery.

(e) Emerson Troy Sparks, born in Jefferson County, Ala., on July 28, 1898. He was married in a double marriage with his his brother, Thomas Elihugh Sparks, on Dec. 22, 1919, in Anniston, Ala., to Gladys Glazier Chitwood who'was born on Jan. 3, 1902, in Birmingham, Jefferson Co., Ala. She was
a daughter of John Bradford and Brizzee Ostine (Coins) Chitwood. They live in St. Petersburg, Fla. They are the parents of one son and three daughters.

By his second wife, Susan Jane (Hulsey) Sparks, James Monroe Sparks had the following children:
(f) Shada Winn Sparks, born Oct. 3, 1903, in Ala., and died in 1940. She is buried in Golden Springs Cemetery, Calhoun Co., Ala. She married Fred Jobson. They had five children.

LEONARD SPARKS (ca. 1822-1865) OF UNION CO., S.C., & GWINNETT CO., GA., continued:

Children of James Monroe Sparks, continued:
(g) John William Sparks, son of James Monroe and Susan Jane (Hulsey) Sparks, was born March 7, 1905, at Golden Springs, Ala., and died June 26, 1966. He was buried in the Golden Springs Cemetery. He was married (first) to Ruby Rollins and (second) to Ruth ------ He had no children. Uncle Johnnie owned the "old Garrett Place" near Oxford, Ala., which was once owned by his Great Aunt Mary Sparks who married Hill Garrett. Supposedly the unmarked graves in the front yard are those of Hill and Mary (Sparks) Garrett and Mary's mother, Zeriah (Sparks) Sparks, wife of Leonard Sparks (ca. 1822-1865).

(h) Horace Theodore Sparks, son of James Monroe and Susan Jane (Hussey) Sparks was born Feb. 21, 1906, at Golden Springs and presently lives in Oxford, Ala. He married Ruby Inez Robert son. They had one son, Richard Wayne Sparks.

(i) Ruby Bell Sparks, daughter of James Monroe and Susan Jane (Hulsey) Sparks, was born on March 7, 1907, at Golden Springs. She married Noah Earl Garrett, Sr., son of John and ---- (Jobson) Garrett. They lived in Burlington, Iowa, for many years, and now live in Leeds, Ala. They have four children.

(j) James Josiah Sparks, son of James Monroe and Susan Jane (Hulsey) Sparks, was born at Golden Springs in 1909. He married and had several children. They now live in Orlando, Florida.

(k) Evie Lois Sparks, daughter of James Monroe and Susan Jane (Hulsey) Sparks, was born in 1911 at Golden Springs and died in 1965. She was buried in Golden Springs Cemetery. She married Bernard C. Garrett, who died in 1975, son of John and ----(Jobson) Garrett. He is a brother of Noah Earl Garrett, Sr., and nephew of Fred Jobson, each of whom married one of his wife's sisters. They lived at Golden Springs. They were the parents of three children.

(l) Harold Edward Sparks, son of James Monroe and Susan Jane (Hulsey) Sparks, was born Nov. 7, 1913, at Golden Springs. He married Margaret Geraldine Harmon, born Jan. 9, 1919, They live in Oxford. Ala., and are the parents of one son, Harold Jackson.

 (3) William Anderson Sparks, son of Thomas and Judith Winn (Brown) Sparks, was born April 8, 1871, in Georgia. He died on August 19, 1936, in Lincoln, Calhoun County, Alabama, and was buried in Refuge Cemetery. He married Ella Odell, daughter of William Humphries and Nancy Odell, who was born July 18, 1882, and died September 9, 1925. She is buried next to her husband. William Anderson Sparks, who was known as "Dock" all of his life, and his wife were the parents of:
(a) Judith Ila Sparks, born Feb. 26, 1900, in Alabama, died July 15, 1968, in Odenville, Ala. She married George Washington Crowe who died in Sept. 1972. Both are buried in the Refuge Cemetery. They were the parents of four children.

(b) Isaac A. Sparks, born Aug. 31, 1901, died in infancy.

(c) William Fred Sparks, born Dec. 8, 1902, in Ala., died Dec. 25, 1961; buried in Refuge Cemetery near Lincoln, Ala. He married Amzie Thomaston who died in 1975 in Birmingham, Ala. They had a daughter, Athryne.


LEONARD SPARKS (ca. 1822-1865) OF UNION CO., S.C., & GWINNETT CO., GA., continued:

Children of William Anderson and Ella (Odell) Sparks, continued:
(d) Eddie Jackson Sparks, born Apr. 8, 1905, in Ala. He married Lillie Parish. In 1972 they lived in Birmingham, Ala. They had three children.

(e) Katie Belle Sparks, born May 3, 1906; died in infancy.

(f) Omary Tallant Sparks, born July 17, 1908, in Ala.; died June 13, 1956, and was buried in Refuge Cemetery near Lincoln, Ala. He married Lucy Ledbetter, a sister of his brother Hoyt's wife. They had four children.

(g)  Howard Thomas Sparks, born May 30, 1911, in Ala. He married Maudie Oglesby and they had four children. They lived in Oxford, Ala., in 1971.

(h) Felix Foster Sparks, born March 3,.1913, in Ala.; his middle name derived from that of a former mayor of Anniston, Ala. for whom his father worked. He married (first) Elizabeth House and (second) Frances Sims. He is retired from the Southern Pacific Railroad and lives in Birmingham. He had one son, Travis Sparks.

 (i)  George Alton Sparks, born Aug. 28, 1916; he was killed in action during World War II, in 1944.

(j) Jewell Christine Sparks, born April 15, 1918; she lives in Eulaton, Ala.

(k) Hoyt A. Sparks, born July 24, 1920. He married Mary Ledbetter, sister of his brother Omary's wife. They had two children; in 1970 they lived in Odenville, Sinclair Co., Ala.

(4) Robert Arthur Sparks, son of Thomas and Judith Winn (Brown) Sparks, was born at Golden Springs, Calhoun County, Alabama, on June 14, 1873, and died in Anniston, Alabama, on October 11, 1953. He was buried in the Golden Springs Cemetery. In 1899, Robert A. Sparks married Allie (Lassie) Golden, daughter of the Rev. James H. and Nancy Mariah (Harrison) Golden. She was born January 26, 1882, and died January 11, 1950. She was buried beside her husband and parents. Robert Arthur and Allie (Golden) Sparks were the parents of the following seven children:
(a) Arthur Sparks, born 1900, died about 1923; killed by a train in Tennessee. He was called "Hoss".

(b) Alma Sparks, born 1903, died 1964; she married Melvin F. Davis of California.

(c) Agee Sparks, died 1953 in California. He married Ann -----.

(d) Amyel Fred Sparks, born 1906; he moved to Chicago and married Dorothy Kay in 1941. He was vice-president of Walgreen Drugs.

(e) Allee Pearl Sparks, born 1915; she married Wallace 0. Griffin and lives in Anniston, Ala.

(f) Helen Ophelia Sparks, born 1919; she married Dr. William Jack Vaughn; lived in Anniston, Ala., in 1971.

(g) Ruth Sparks, born 1923; she married Henry Hughes Mason and lives in Anniston, Ala.


LEONARD SPARKS (ca. 1822-1865) OF UNION CO., S.C., & GWINNETT CO.,GA., continued:

(5) George Thomas Sparks, son of Thomas and Judith Winn (Brown) Sparks, was born at Golden Springs, Calhoun County, Alabama, January 29, 1876. He died January 26, 1953, and was buried in the Golden Springs Cemetery. He married Emma Carden who was born August 15, 1880, and died March 15, 1964; she was buried beside her husband. They had three children:
(a) Shafton Sparks. He had one son, Levon S. Sparks, who lives in Anniston, Ala.

(b) Leroy Sparks. He married ----- Haynes and lived near Lincoln,

(c) Lucille Sparks. She married Macon Johnson; they both died in 1975. They lived near Lincoln, Ala., and had one daughter.

(6) Ada B. Zeriah Sparks, daughter of Thomas and Judith Winn (Brown) Sparks, was born at Golden Springs, Calhoun County, Alabama, on March 13, 1878. She died on August 8, 1915, and was buried in the Golden Springs Cemetery. She married Bill Odell, the brother of her brother William's wife. Following the death of Ada, Bill Odell married (second) Ida ----- and (third) ------ and lived at Lincoln, Alabama; he is buried in the Refuge Cemetery. The children of Bill and Ada B. Zeriah (Sparks) Odell were:
(a) Grady Odell. She married Roxie ----- and lived in Lincoln, Ala.

(b) Oliver Odell. He lived in Prattville, Ala, owned the Odell Construction Company 10 miles NW of Montgomery. He had at least one son, Bill Odell II.

(c) Clarence Odell.

(d) Bellma Odell. She lived in Birmingham, Ala., in 1973.

(e) Bertie Lee Odell. She married Clarence Whitter and lived in Lincoln, Ala., in 1973.

(f) Winnie Odell. She married ----- Mayfield and died in Lincoln,
Ala., in 1975.

(g) Royce Odell, born after 1918.

(7) Leonard Valentine Sparks, son of Thomas and Judith Winn (Brown) Sparks, was born at Golden Springs, Alabama, on March 3, 1880. He died on Cheaha Mountain while hunting in November 1947. He was buried in Golden Springs Cemetery. He was married three times. He was married (first) to Carrie Poland of Cherokee County, Alabama; they were divorced. He married (second) Emma Alexander; she died. He married (third) Mary Giddings, a cousin of his second wife. Mary was born in 1888 in Anniston, Alabama, and died in 1963 in Anniston. She is buried next to her husband. Leonard was the father of twelve children. By his first wife he had:
(a) Lula Ella Sparks, born 1900 in Ala. She married (first) Ray Robinson and (second) Tom Banks. By her first husband she had one child, Tommie Catherine Robertson.

(b) Tommie J. Sparks, born September 10, 1902, at Golden Spings;
he died in 1973 and was buried at Golden Springs. He was married (first) to Ruby Woodard who died in 1932, buried at Golden Springs. He married (second) Devada Grizzard, daughter of Clifford and Bertah (Walker) Grizzard. They lived on the Thomas Sparks old home place at Golden Springs. He had eight children.


LEONARD SPARKS (ca. 1822-1865) OF UNION CO., S.C., & GWINNETT CO., GA., continued:

By his second wife, Emma (Alexander) Sparks, Leonard Valentine Sparks had two children:
(c) Rolf Sparks. He was killed in Girard, Ohio, at the age of 15.

(d) Dennis Eliah Sparks. He married (first) Margery Payne, (second) Unice Paris, and (third) Sue ------ He is known to have had a son.

By his third wife, Mary (Giddings) Sparks, Leonard Valentine Sparks had the following children:
(e) John Leonard Sparks, born Feb. 6, 1915, in Anniston, Ala. He married (first) Evelyn Siska (no children); he married (second) Marlene Bush, born Oct. 21, 1926, in Autaugaville,Autauga Co., Ala. They live in Mobile, Ala., and are the parents of three children.

(f) Judah Ann Sparks. She married Jesse Haines; they live in Orange Park, Florida.

(g) Geraldine Sparks. She married Gene Timmer and had three daughters. She died in 1972 in Orange Park, Florida.

(h) Baby Harry Sparks, born and died in Girard, Ohio; he was buried at Eulaton, Ala.

(i) William Zacharia Sparks, born Dec. 21, 1923, in Girard, Ohio. He married Lois Iona Dean on Nov. 5, 1945, in Anniston, Ala. She was born Apr. 17, 1921, in Newberry, S.C., the daughter of Reese James and Lillia Mae (Fallon) Dean. (She married (first) Ivory Lee Earnest.) "Jack" or "Zack", as he is called, lives in Houston, Texas. They have six children.

(j) Mittie Belle Sparks. She married three times, first to ---- Knight by whom she had two children; (second) Thomas Denny, by whom she had two children; and (third) Ed Jacobs. She lives in Charleston, S.C.

(k) Jimy Ralph Sparks. He married Irene Phillips and lives in Oxford, Ala.

(1) Homer Giddings Sparks. He married Jean ----- and lives in Lebanon, Tenn.

(8) Nancy Elizabeth Sparks ("Lizzy"), daughter and youngest child of Thomas and Judith Winn (Brown) Sparks, was born April 4, 1884, in Golden Springs, Calhoun County, Alabama. She died in 1960 in Anniston, Alabama, and was buried in Golden Springs Cemetery. She married W. Eugene Wade as his second wife. He was born November 17, 1874, and died on March 16, 1957.  He was buried beside his wife. (By his first wife, W. Eugene Wade was the father of Joel M. Wade, Nellie Wade who married Amon Grogan, and Minnie Wade who married Clifford Heitt.) W. Eugene and Nancy Elizabeth (Sparks) Wade were the parents of the following children:
(a) Eugene T. Wade. He married Jo ----- and lives in Anniston, Ala.

(b) Augrey Wade, never married. Lived in Anniston, Ala.

(c) Leonard D. Wade. He married ----- Welch.

(d) Judah Wade; married Jacob Krieser and lived in Middletown, Pa.

(e) Gloria Wade. Married Joseph Ferrara, lives in Rochester, N.Y.


LEONARD SPARKS (ca. 1822-1865) of UNION CO., S.C., & GWINNETT CO. GA, continued:

2. George Washington Sparks, son of Leonard and Zeriah (Sparks) Sparks, was born in South Carolina on March 6, 1844, and died on July 5, 1905, in Clarksville, Arkansas. He was married about 1868, near Atlanta, Georgia, to Sarah Jane Turner who was born July 31, 1849, in Georgia and died on December 7, 1912, at Clarksville, Arkansas. She was buried beside her husband. Sarah Jane was the daughter of Stanton and Nancy (Christy) Turner. George Washington Sparks
enlisted on August 24, 1861, at Lawrenceville, Georgia. He was assigned to Company F, 24th Regiment Georgia Infantry, Confederate States Army. He and his brother Thomas served in the same unit during the Civil War.

It was shortly after his return home from the Civil War that George Washington Sparks married Sarah Jane Turner. When the Turners chose to move west in an attempt to re-establish themselves, George W. and Sarah J. decided to accompany them. Their itinerary is not known, but we know that the Sparks's first child was born during the journey and that he was about one year old when they reached Russellville, Arkansas. Apparently they stopped occasionally, found work, replenished their larder, then moved on westward.

There is a persistent story on this side of the family that, upon George W. Sparks's return from the Civil War; he found that his father had not returned from the war and that his mother, Zeriah Sparks, had remarried and that he decided he and his wife would accompany his in-laws westward because he could not get along with his step-father, name unknown. If this is true, then it was a short-lived second marriage, because Zeriah Sparks was listed as a widow "Sparks" with her younger children on the Gwinnett County, Georgia, census of 1870.

The name McIntire or McIntosh keeps cropping up in this family, but thus far no connection has been established. George W. and Jane (Turner) Sparks were the parents of six sons. It is interesting to compare the names of George's children with those of his elder brother, Thomas Sparks.

(1) James Matthias Sparks, born Oct. 14, 1869, on the road from Georgia to Arkansas. He died on March 19, 1947, and was buried in the Baptist Cemetery, Center Valley, near Russellville, Arkansas. He married Elizabeth Rebecca Simpson on March 20, 1892, in Russellville, Pope County, Arkansas. She was born Jan. 23, 1874, in Florence, Lauderdale County, Ala., the daughter of Henry and Martha (Clark) Simpson. She died Feb. 22, 1932, and is buried next to her husband. They had thirteen children, all born in the Russellville, Ark., area:
(a) Elmer Lee Sparks, born Dec. 24, 1892, died July 24, 1965; buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Russellville. He married Hattie Ann Gilbreath and had one son and two daughters.

(b) Laudra Mae Sparks, born Sept. 14, 1894, died June 5, 1967; buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Russellville. She married Joseph Daniel McAnulty. No children.

(c) Mattie Beula Sparks, born June 3, 1898. She lives with her brother, Herman Argie Sparks. She never married.

(d) Roma Belle Sparks, born Oct. 11, 1900. She married John Joseph Jackson. They had one son, James Alvde Jackson.

(e) Elbert Haney Sparks, born Oct. 23, 1902. He was married Dec. 29, 1940, to Hattie Samantha Boen who died March l, 1964. He married (second) Esther Karnos. He had one son, Michael Lee Sparks.

(f) Archy Ellis Sparks, born March 20, 1905. He married Cora Singleton. They have no children; live in St. Charles, Mo.

(g) Leonard Leslie Sparks, born Oct. 8, 1908. He married Anna Kendrick. They had one child who died at birth.


LEONARD SPARKS (ca. 1822-1865) OF UNION CO., S.C., & GWINNETT CO., GA., continued:

Children of James Matthias and Elizabeth R. (Simpson) Sparks, continued:
(h) Emmett Dalton Sparks, born Sept. 18, 1910. He married Angelina Spataford in Bristol, Penna., on Jan. 6, 1946. They live in Bristol and have two sons, Anthony E. and James L.

(i) Viola Jewel Sparks, born July 19, 1913, died June 7, 1972, in Russellville and is buried in the Center Valley Cemetery. She married Clotus W. Craig and had two daughters.

(j) Ira Oran Sparks, born Feb. 2, 1915. He married on Feb. 22, 1941, in Russellville, Dixie Jewel Ross, daughter of George Lee and Ellie (Dickey) Ross. They live in Russellville and have two sons, James Ira Sparks, born Sept. 16, 1942, and Billie Earl Sparks, born Sept. 9, 1945. Ira and his wife, Dixie, furnished the information on the George Washington Sparks branch of this family. They opened their hearts and home to this wandering distant cousin when he passed through gathering family information.

(k) Vernon Paul Sparks, born and died April 10, 1916.

(l) Herman Argie Sparks, born April 18, 1918. He married Pearl Harris. They have three children.

(2) William Columbus Sparks, son of George Washington and Sarah Jane (Turner) Sparks, was born March 13, 1872. He died as an infant and was buried in the Baptist Cemetery, Center Valley near Russellville, Pope Co., Ark.

(3) John Leonard Sparks, son of George Washington and Sarah Jane (Turner) Sparks, was born Sept. 10, 1873, died April 19, 1956, in Clarksville, Ark.; he was buried in Hayes Chapel Cemetery at Clarksville, Ark. He married Eliza Granvel Hayes, born Aug. 12, 1877, died Aug. 15, 1930. She is buried beside her husband. They were the parents of the following children:

(a) Delbert Sparks, married Ersa -----; they lived near Clarksville, Ark., in 1972.

(b) Dyess Sparks, lived at Clarksville, Ark.

(c) Lillie Sparks, married ----- Gray. They lived in Garden City, Kansas, in 1972.

(d) Adopted daughter, Leroy Gash Sparks, married ----- Turner and lived in Dallas, Texas, in 1972.

(4) Thomas Levi Sparks, son of George Washington and Sarah Jane (Turner) Sparks, was born Jan. 14, 1877, and died after 1956 in California. He married Nannie ------ They were divorced prior to 1941 (she lived in California). They had three sons.

(5) George Turner Sparks, son of George Washington and Sarah Jane (Turner) Sparks, was born Jan. 17, 1879, and died about 1880 as a child. He was buried in the Baptist Cemetery at Center Valley, Ark.

(6) Benjamin Claiborne Sparks, born Jan. 16, 1882, died Oct. 23, 1956, in Clarksville, Ark. He was buried in the Shady Grove Cemetery, Clarksville, Ark. He married Evva McCarley, born Apr. 4, 1878, died Dec. 17, 1967. She is buried beside her husband. They had two children.

3. Ammanda Sparks, daughter of Leonard and Zeriah (Sparks) Sparks, was born about 1845 in South Carolina. Little is known of her and her family. She married Brack Massey who lived until the 1920's, probably in Gwinnett County, Georgia, between 1870 and 1880. She did not move to Alabama with the rest of her family. An old man whom I met on a country road in Gwinnett County, Georgia in 1972 knew the Masseys and gave me a list of the names shown here. The first two,


LEONARD SPARKS (ca.1822-1865 OF UNION CO., S.C., & GWINNETT CO., GA., continued:

Bell and Sylvester, are known to be children of Amanda. The others have not been proven to be her children. Ammanda and her husband are supposedly buried in the City Cemetery at Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia. "Brack"no doubt was a nickname, it is believed that his true name was Affanacios Massey, Jr., the son of Affanacios Massey born in 1810 in North Carolina. He enlisted in Company F, Ath Georgia Infantry ("The Independent Blues") and was captured at Farmville, Va., April 6, 1865. Also in this company were Thomas Sparks and George W. Sparks, as well as his brother, Sylvester Massey, who died of wounds at Richmond, Va., on June 26, 1864. Brack and Amanda (Sparks) Massey are believed to have had the following children:

(1) Bell Nancy Massey. She married ----- Turner. They had children and lived near Lineville, Rt. 3, Heflin, Alabama. She died about 1970.

(2) Sylvester Massey, known as "Ves" was a preacher in Gwinnett County, Georgia. His children live in the Haines City, Florida, area.

(3) (?) Gus Massey. No information.

(4) (?) Whit Massey. No information.

(5) (?) Eirel Massey. No information.

(6) (?) Ida Massey. She married ----- Haywood.

(7) (?) Cora Massey. No information.

4. Catherine Sparks, fourth child and second daughter of Leonard and Zeriah (Sparks) Sparks, was born about 1847 in South Carolina. She was listed on the census of 1850 for Union County, South Carolina, with the rest of the family. This is the only mention of her in the family. In 1954, a grandchild of Leonard and Zeriah, listed all of her grandparents' children as she remembered their names, but she did not list Catherine. She may have died as a child. The family has not been located on the 1860 census so it is not known if she was still at home at that time.

5. John Sparks, son of Leonard and Zeriah (Sparks) Sparks, was born about 1849 or 1850 in Union County, South Carolina. He died in Anniston, Alabama, and was buried in the New Bethel Cemetery. He married Mary Canada about 1872 in Calhoun County, Alabama, about 1872. She was born about 1850. John Sparks was a farmer and he and his wife were the parents of six children:

(1)  Irene Sparks, born 1873 in Ala. She married ----- Bice and they lived near Bynam, Ala., and had at least three children. It has been said that Irene and her husband died between 1913 and 1917. Their known children were:
(a) Marvin, or Marrin, Bice.
(b) John Bice.
(c) Grover Bice, born about 1900, died in 1919 in Oklahoma during World War II.
(2) Oscar Rolin Sparks, born in 1877 in Ala.; he married Cora Huston who died in 1958 and was buried in Edgemont Cemetery at Anniston, Ala. Their children were:
(a) John Hosey Sparks. He died March 7, 1972, and was buried at Eulaton, Ala.
(b) Edgar Sparks. No information.
(c) Garssee Sparks. No information.
(d) Willie R. Sparks. No information.
(e) Lilly Sparks. She married Tommy Dunaway.
(f) Dessie Sparks. She married Shalt McCurry.

LEONARD SPARKS (ca.1822-1865) OF UNION CO., S.C., & GWINNETT CO., GA., continued:

Children of John and Mary (Canada) Sparks, continued:

(3) Edward Sparks born 1879 in Alabama. No information.

(4) Coley Sparks, believed to have been born in the 1880's; he married Emma ----- and died about 1952 in Rome, Georgia. No further information.

(5) Alice Sparks, believed to have been born in the 1880's; she married ----- Doss, and lived in Anniston, Ala., in 1970. No further information.

(6) (?) John Sparks. No positive proof regarding him.

6. James Josiah Sparks, known all of his life as "Burk," son of Leonard and Zeriah (Sparks) Sparks, was born July 26, 1855, in Georgia, probably in Gwinnett County, and died at Golden Springs, Calhoun County, Alabama, on March 11, 1907. He married Mary T. Garrett, "Aunt T" as she was called, who was born April 16, 1860, and died October 28, 1910. She and her husband were buried in Union Grove Cemetery at Bunkum, Calhoun County, Alabama. Apparently Uncle Burk had a premonition of approaching death. The story is told that he got up one morning, put on his best clothes, saddled his best horse, and spent the day visiting all of his kin in the Bunkum, Golden Springs, Oxford area, went home that afternoon, put up the horse, walked around the house, sat down on the front porch, and died.

James Josiah Sparks ("Burk") was a farmer and rural mail carrier. He and his wife had no living children. Mary T. Garrett, his wife, was a sister of Hill Garrett and Robert Garrett, who married sisters of her husband. It is thought that they adopted Martha (Mattie) Thomas Garrett, who married Lee Helton and lived in Anniston, Alabama.

7. Mary Sparks, third daughter and sixth child of Leonard and Zeriah (Sparks) Sparks, was born about 1856 in Georgia, probably in Gwinnett County. She was married after 1880 to Hill Garrett. She and her husband lived between Oxford and Golden Springs on the "Old Garrett Place." It is thought that Mary (Sparks) Garrett and her husband, Hill Garrett, as well as her mother, Zeriah (Sparks) Sparks, are buried in the front yard cemetery of the old home place. Nothing is known of the children of Hill and Mary (Sparks) Garrett.

 8. Hester Sparks, daughter of Leonard and Zeriah (Sparks) Sparks, was born about 1858 or 1860. Little has been learned about her and her family, but she married Robert Garrett, brother of Hill and Mary T. Garrett, sometime after 1880 in  Calhoun County, Alabama. It is known that they had at least two boys, but their names and families have not been established.

9. Florence Sparks, shown as "Hannah" on the 1870 census of Gwinnett County, Georgia. She was the youngest child of Leonard and Zeriah (Sparks) Sparks and was born about 1863 in Georgia, probably Gwinnett County. After 1888 she was married to James A. Dutton, Sr., in Alabama. They moved to Lehigh, Coal County, Oklahoma. It is known that they lived there until at least 1920. It is thought that they moved then to Oklahoma City. It is known that they were the parents of at least two girls and one son. Only the names of the oldest children have been discovered thus far. They were:

(1) Ellie Dutton. She married Noah Jordan.

(2) James A. Dutton, Jr., born 1890, married Myrtle Yeats on Dec. 24, 1912, in Lehigh, Coal County, Oklahoma.

(3) Daughter--name not known.



The following Sparks marriage records appear among the marriage bonds in Shenandoah County, Virginia, according to a volume entitled Shenandoah County, Virginia, Marriage Bonds, 1772-1850, compiled by Bernice Ashby and published in 1967. In the days when bonds as an alternative to marriage banns) were common in many southern states, it can usually be assumed that the marriage took place within a few days following the date of the bond.

ARTHUR SPARKS & Bety Kesterson, June 22, 1787. Bondsman: Calin Brahour.

SALLY SPARKS & Adam Bowman, December 15, 1792. Bondsman: John Crookshanks.

ELIZABETH SPARKS, widow, & Thomas Caldwell, December 10, 1804.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *


Compiled by Paul E. Sparks

Households headed by persons named Sparks appearing on the 1790 census of Pennsylvania were given in the first issue of the QUARTERLY (March 1953, page 6). Of the 21 Pennsylvania counties existing in 1790, Sparks families were found in six: Allegheny, Bedford, Fayette, Philadelphia, Washington, and York. Ten years later, when the second Federal Census was taken in 1800, the number of Pennsylvania counties had increased to 25 and households headed by persons named Sparks were found in seven: Allegheny, Bedford, Fayette, Luzerne, Northumberland, Philadelphia, and Washington. These entries have been copied for us by Dr. Paul E. Sparks and appear on page 1854.

As was true in each of the Federal censuses from 1790 through 1840, only the name of the head of each household was recorded. The members of the household, including the head, were then enumerated by sex and age groups. In 1800, there were five age groupings for males and for females: Those under 10 years; those from 10 to 16; those from 16 to 26; those from 26 to 45; and those aged 45 years and older. The number of "other free persons" living in each household was also given (these were usually Blacks who had gained their freedom) and the number of slaves. There were no slaves in any Sparks household in Pennsylvania according to the 1800 census.

Ordinarily, the head of the household appears in the enumeration as the oldest male or female. One may assume, for example, that the Sarah Sparks given as head of a household in Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County, was the female enumerated as over 45. There are exceptions, however, when aged parents or others lived with a family. Because of extensive research that we have done on the Sparks family of Allegheny County, we know that Sarah Sparks was, indeed, the female in her household who was over 45 - - she was the widow of Richard Sparks (his second wife) who had moved to Pennsylvania from Middlesex County, New Jersey, prior to the American Revolution. The Benjamin Sparks listed on the same page of the 1800 census of Allegheny County was Sarah's step-son, and he was the male over 45 in his household.

In many instances, we can speculate regarding the relationship of the household members one to another on the basis of their ages. It must be kept in mind, however, that a household often included individuals other than father and/or mother with sons and daughters. Other family members, such as grandparents, children of relatives, apprentices, hired men and women, and roomers who were living in the household on the day that the census taker called were probably enumerated. In copying the Sparks entries from the 1800 census of Pennsylvania, Dr. Sparks has given in parentheses following each name the page number of the census on which this household appears. Since the census taker usually progressed from house to house, two families appearing on the same page can be assumed to have lived near each other.



  Males Females Others
County and Township
  Name of Head of Household


Allegheny County . . . . . . . . .       0
 Elizabeth Township . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
   Sarah Sparks (p.78)   0  0   0  0  0   |||  0   1  1  0   1        0
   Benjamin Sparks (p.78)  1  1  0  0  1  |||  3  0  0  1   0       0
. . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
Bedford County . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
 Providence Township . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
   Solomon Sparks (p.52)  3   0  0  1  0  |||  2  2  1  1  0       0
   James Sparks (p.52)  1  0  0  1  0  |||  1  0  0  1  0       0
   Joseph Sparks (p.52)  1  2  1  0  1  |||  1  1  2  0  1       0
   Joseph Sparks, Sr. (p.55)  0  0  0  0  1  |||  0  0  0  1  0       0
   Joshua Sparks (p.67)  4  0  1  0  0  |||  0  0  0  1  0       0
County and Township
  Name of Head of Household

Fayette County  . . . . .  . . . . . . .
 Washington Township . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
   Isaac Sparks  (p268)  3  1  0  1  0  |||  3  1  0  1  0       1
 . . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
Luzerne County . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
 Ulster Township . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
    John Sparks (p215)  0  0  2  0  0  |||  1  0  2  0  0       0
. . . . . . .  ||| . . . . .
 Northumberland County . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
  Point Township . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
   John Sparks  (p173)  0  0  0  1  0  |||  3  0  0  1  0       0
. . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
City of Philadelphia . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
 New Market Ward . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
   Richard Sparke (p.98)  2  0  1  1  0  |||  1  1  0  1  1       0
   Henry Sparkes (p.99)   0  1  0  0  1  |||  0  0  0  0  1       1
County and Township
  Name of Head of Household

City of Philadelphia (cont.) . . . .  . . . . . . .
  Dock Ward . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
   Henry Sparkes (p106)  2  0  0  1  0  |||  2  1  1  1  0       2
   David Sparkes (p108)  1  1   1  0  2  |||  4  1  0  2  1       0
. . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
  Cedar Ward . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
   Simon Sparkes (p109)  0  0  0  4  2  |||  0  1  0  0  2       0
. . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
Washington County . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
  Hopewell Township . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
   George Sparks (p.65)  0  1  0  0  1  |||  1  0  0  0  1       0
   William Sparks (p.65)  2  0  0  1  0  |||  1  0  0  1  0       0
   Solomon Sparks (p.65)  3  0  2  1  0  |||  1  0  1  0  0       0
. . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
 Nottingham Township . . . . . .  ||| . . . . . .
   James Sparks (p.77)  0  0  0  1  0  |||  1  0  1  0  0       0
   William Sparks (p.77)  0  0  0  0  1  |||  0  0  1  0  0       0

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