July 31, 2017

Pages 3-6/10
Whole Number 1

WHERE WAS YOUR SPARKS ANCESTOR IN 1790?



The family of Sparks was well established in the United States by 1790, according to the first federal census taken in that year. In 1790, more than a century and a half ago, the three largest cities in America were: New York, with a population of 33,131; Philadelphia, with 28,522; and Boston, with 18,320. The majority of the thirteen original American colonies were settled over three hundred years ago--more than 150 years before the 1790 census was taken. These thirteen original colonies, which had become states and had been admitted to the Union by 1790, were: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Virginia. In addition to these, there was also a census taken for Tennessee, which was not admitted to the Union until 1796 and had been a part of North Carolina prior to that time. And, since the taking of the census lingered on into 1791, it also included Vermont, which was admitted to the Union that year. The state of Maine is also included, although it was not admitted to the Union until 1820.

Unfortunately, of the foregoing sixteen census schedules taken in 1790, those for Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Virginia were either destroyed when the British burned the Capitol during the War of 1812, or were lost in later years. Since that time, however, a "1790 Census" has been reconstructed for both Virginia and Kentucky (the latter was a part of Virginia in 1790) from Tax Lists of that period, and the same is now being compiled for Delaware. Data, therefore, are not available for Georgia, New Jersey, and Tennessee, but it is known that there were several of the Sparks name in Georgia before the Revolution, as well as in New Jersey, and in Tennessee soon after.

The twelve census schedules that have been preserved for 1790 show the following distribution of Sparks families, according to A Century of Population Growth (Washington: Government Printing Office,1909) p.262:

Connecticut 8
Maine 2
Maryland 24
Massachusetts 2
New Hampshire 0
New York 6
North Carolina 15
Pennsylvania 13
Rhode Island 1
South Carolina 11
Vermont 2
Virginia 13

The Century of Population Growth also informs us that on the 1790 census schedules the name Sparks was also spelled Sparkes and Spearks; that the average size of the Sparks family was 5.8; that there were 97 heads of families; and that there were 470 other members.

The reconstructed 1790 Census of Kentucky adds six more names to the 97 mentioned above, and fourteen more are to be found in Fothergill and Naugle's Virginia Tax Payers, a supplement to the Government's 1790 Census of Virginia. Thus, there were nearly 600 men, women and children in the United States in 1790 with the surname Sparks, not counting those in Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, Tennessee, and parts of Virginia, which would undoubtedly bring the total nearer to 700.

Following is a list of the Sparks families in America in 1790, as compiled from the above-mentioned census schedules. Do you know where your Sparks ancestor was living in 1790? If so, is he listed below? NOTE: The following data for the states of Kentucky and Virginia are self-explanatory. The 1790 Census Key for the other states is as follows:

The first number following a name is the number of white males over 16 years of age, including the head of the family. The second number following a name is the number of white males under 16 years of age. The third number is the number of white females in the family. The fourth number was designated as either slaves or other persons, as the case might be. Thus, Reuben Sparks, of Glastenbury, Hartford Co., Connecticut, had in his family, besides himself, 2 males under 16 (presumably sons), and 5 females (presumably a wife and 4 daughters, or 5 daughters). Only about 15 per Cent of the Sparks families held slaves.

CONNECTICUT:

County Town Name Males> 16 Males < 16 Females Slaves
Hartford Co. Glastenbury Town Reuben Sparks 1 2 5  
Hartford Co. Glastenbury Town Thomas Sparks 1 4 1  
Tolland Co. Bolton Town Jno. Sparks 4 0 1  
Tolland Co. Willington Town Jos. Sparks 1 0 1  
Windham Co. Asford Town Isaiah Sparks 1 4 4  
Windham Co. Hampton Town Lemuel Sparks 2 2 3  
Windham Co. Killingley Town John Spearks 1 3 4  
Windham Co. Killingley Town Sam'l Spearks 2 3 3  

RHODE ISLAND:

Bristol Co. Warren Town Joseph Sparks 1 2 1  

MAINE:

Cumberland Co Brunswick Town David Spark 1 0 2  
Lincoln Co. Bowdoin Town James Sparkes 1 1 3  
Lincoln Co. Bowdoin Town Nicholas Sparkes 2 0 2  

MARYLAND:

(Not included are Alleghany, Calvert and Somerset Cos., whose census schedules are lost, and also a portion for Dorchester Co.)
Baltimore Co.   Francis Sparks 1 3 4  
Baltimore Co   Josias Sparks 1 3 5 1 other
Caroline Co.   Richard Sparks 2 0 4  
Caroline Co.   Daniel Sparks 1 2 3  
Frederick Co.   Joseph Sparks 1 1 3  
Harford Co.   Abraham Sparks 1 0 0  
Queen Annes Co.   Absalom Sparks 1 1 4 5 slaves
Queen Annes Co.   Thomas Sparks 2 3 2 1 slave
Queen Annes Co.   Daniel Sparks 1 0 0  
Queen Annes Co.   Elizabeth Sparks 0 2 3  
Queen Annes Co.   George Sparks 0 0 0 5 others
Queen Annes Co.   James Sparks 1 2 3  
Queen Annes Co.   John Sparks 2 4 0  
Queen Annes Co.   John Butts Sparks 1 2 5 1 slave
Queen Annes Co.   Levi Sparks 1 2 4 10 slaves
Queen Annes Co.   Millington Sparks 1 0 3  
Queen Annes Co.   Mordecai Sparks 1 5 4 3 slaves
Queen Annes Co.   Nathan Sparks 2 3 3  
Queen Annes Co.   Noah Sparks 1 1 1  
Queen Annes Co.   Rachel Sparks 2 6 3  
Queen Annes Co.   Solomon Sparks 3 3 2 7 slaves
Queen Annes Co.   Solomon Sparks 2 1 4  
Queen Annes Co.   William Sparks 2 0 0 12 slaves
Queen Annes Co.   Abner Sparks 1 5 5 4 slaves
Talbot Co.   Moses Sparks 1 2 2  

MASSACHUSETTS:

Barnstable Co. Province Town Sarah Sparks 2 1 2  
Berkshire Co. Mt. Washington Tn Asa Sparks 3 5 4  

NEW YORK:

Montgomery Co Canajoharie Tn Pearl Sparks 2 1 1 slave number illegible

NORTH CAROLINA:

Anson Co.   Charles Sparks 3 1 1 3 slaves
Northampton Co.   William Sparks 1 1 1  
Rockingham Co.   Thomas Sparks 1 0 2  
Rowan Co.   David Sparks 1 2 1  
Rowan Co.   Jonas Sparks 2 3 3  
Rowan Co.   William Sparks 1 2 3  
Wilkes Co.   John Sparks 1 4 3  
Wilkes Co.   John Sparks 1 4 3  
Wilkes Co.   Reuben Sparks (1.2.5.1.2?) 1 1 3  
Surry Co.   George Sparks 1 1 1  
Surry Co.   Joseph Sparks 1 4 4  
Surry Co.   Matthew Sparks 1 3 4  
Surry Co.   William Sparks 1 1 2  
Surry Co.   Wm. Sparks, Jr. 2 1 5  
Surry Co.   Thomas Sparks 1 1 2  

PENNSYLVANIA:

Alleghany Co. Elizabeth Twp Richard Sparks 2 0 5 N/A
Bedford Co. N/A Solomon Sparks 1 0 4 N/A
Fayette Co. N/A Isaac Sparks 1 0 1 N/A
Fayette Co. N/A (widow) Sparks 1 2 5 N/A
Philadelphia Co. Philadelphia David Sparks 2 3 4 N/A
Philadelphia Co. Philadelphia Henry Sparks N/A Tallow Shop
Philadelphia Co. Philadelphia Henry Sparks 4 1 2 1 other
Philadelphia Co. Philadelphia Richard Sparks N/A Block Mak. Shop
Philadelphia Co. Philadelphia Richard Sparks 1 0 2 N/A
Washington Co. N/A Geo. Sparks 2 0 2 N/A
Washington Co. N/A Geo. Sparks 1 2 1 N/A
Washington Co. N/A Selethial Sparks 1 2 2 N/A
Washington Co. N/A William Sparks 1 2 1 N/A
York Co. Shrewsbury Twp. Jas. Sparks 1 2 1 N/A

KENTUCKY:

Bourbon Co. William Sparks March 1791 Tax List
Bourbon Co. William Sparks 1791 Tax List
Fayette Co. Isaac Sparks January 1, 1790 Tax List
Jefferson Co. Daniel Sparks 8 June 1789 Tax List
Jefferson Co. James Sparks 1 September 1789 Tax List
Lincoln Co. Thomas Sparkes 11 May 1790 Tax List

Pages 10-11
Whole Number 2

County Town Name Males> 16 Males < 16 Females Slaves

SOUTH CAROLINA:

Charleston District St. Phillips & St. Michaels Parish McComick, Sparks & Co. 3 0 0 2 slaves
Cheraw District N/A Daniel Sparks 1 4 5 1 slave
Cheraw District N/A Samuel Sparks 2 1 1 6 slaves
Ninety-Six District Laurens Co William Sparkes 1 1 2 N/A
Ninety-Six District Newberry Co. George Sparkes 1 1 1 N/A
Ninety-Six District Newberry Co. John Sparkes 3 2 6 N/A
Ninety-Six District Newberry Co. Stephen Sparks 1 4 3 N/A
Ninety-Six District Spartenburgh Co. Josiah Sparks 2 0 2 N/A
Ninety-Six District Spartenburgh Co Matt Sparks 3 6 3 N/A
Ninety-Six District Spartenburgh Co Samuel Sparks 1 3 3 N/A
Ninety-Six District Spartenburgh Co. 20.2.5.4 Truelove Sparks 1 1 1 N/A
Ninety-Six District Union Co. John Sparks 2 1 4 N/A
Ninety-Six District Union Co. Saml Sparks 1 4 0 N/A
Ninety-Six District Union Co. Zachariah Sparks (27?) 1 2 2 N/A

VERMONT:

Addison County Leicester Town Stephen Sparks 1 3 3  
Windham County Wardsborough Town Ebenr. Sparks 1 4 4  

VIRGINIA:

(all of these entries except those for Fluvanna, Pittsylvania, and Shenandoah Counties, are to be found in Fothergill and Naugle's Virginia Tax Payers.)
Culpeper Co. Elizabeth Sparkes 0 white 0 black 1783 Tax List
Culpeper Co. Henry Sparkes 1 white 0 black 1783 Tax List
Culpeper Co. Humphrey Sparkes 1 white 1 black 1783 Tax List
Culpeper Co. John Sparkes 1 white 1 black 1783 Tax List
Culpeper Co. Thomas Sparkes 2 white 1 black 1783 Tax List
Culpeper Co. Thomas Sparkes, Jr. 1 white 0 black 1783 Tax List
Fayette Co. (this was in Kentucky) Isaac Sparks 2 white 0 black 1783 Tax List
Fluvanna Co Edward Sparks 5 white 0 black 1782 Tax List
Lincoln Co. (this was in Kentucky) Thomas Sparks 1 white 0 black 1787 Tax List
Pittsylvania Co Leand. Sparks 4 white 0 dwelling
1 other building
1785 Tax List

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