March 23, 2021

Pages 76-77
Whole Number 10


One of the most important sources of genealogical material is the records which many of our forefathers carefully entered in their Family Bibles, When families were large, birthdays and anniversaries were difficult to remember and, since in most pioneer communities there was no official attempt to keep vital statistics, it was incumbent upon each family to maintain its own records. Paper was usually scarce and, if available, loose sheets were easily lost, Gradually the custom arose of noting births, marriages and deaths on blank leaves in the Family Bible, which was frequently the only book owned by pioneer families. In the nineteenth century, Bible publishers took cognizance of this custom and began inserting special pages in their large Family Bibles on which to enter the family record. These pages were usually bound between the Old and New Testaments. Members of the Association who own or know the whereabouts of Sparks Family Bibles are urged to copy these records so that we may publish them in the Quarterly. Many times these fragile and faded leaves contain our only record not only of birth, marriage and death, but family relationships as well. [NOTE: Please email to]

Among those who have already sent Bible records to us is Mrs. Hazel A. Spraker of Buffalo, New York, great-great-granddaughter of David Sparks whose record appears below. David Sparks's Bible was in the possession of Mrs. Ada McFarland Lienesch of O'Fallon, Illinois, in 1936 when Mrs. Spraker obtained a copy of the family record which it contains. It is now owned by Mrs. Lienesch's heirs.

It is believed that 16.1 David Sparks was born in Rowan County, North Carolina. According to family tradition, his father, 16. Joseph Sparks, was killed at the Battle of King's Mountain about thirty miles from Charlotte, North Carolina, on October 7, 1780. David Sparks moved to Kentucky in the early 1800s and ca. 1815 moved to St. Clair County, Illinois. He died in St. Clair County on April 25, 1845. He did not leave a will, but in the papers settling his estate there appears a list of his children, giving their names as follows:

16.1.1 Susannah Sparks Whitesides
16.1.2 Elizabeth Sparks Crane
16.1.5 Ruth Sparks McFarland
16.1.4 Noah Sparks
16.1.8 David Sparks
16.1.9 Aarie Sparks Bowler.

The children who do not appear on this list had probably died before 1845. Mrs. Spraker descends from David Sparks's fifth child, Ruth, who was born in 1808, probably in Kentucky, and died February 14, 1877, in St. Clair County, Illinois. She married in St. Clair County, May 1, 1823, David McFarland who was born September 30, 1794, in Salem, New York, and died near O'Fallon, Illinois, on February 20, 1872. Following is David Sparks's Bible record of his family:

16.1 David Sparks son to Joseph Sparks and Mary Sparks, was born August 11, 1770.

Minta Sparks wife to David Sparks and daughter to Edward Cox and Susie Cox his wife was born December 18, 1774. [Her real name was Araminta]. David Sparks and Minta Cox his wife were married January 2, 1798. Children:

16.1.1 Susannah Sparks was born August 19, 1799.
16.1.2 Elizabeth Sparks was born August 15, 1801.
16.1.3 Joseph Sparks was born December 18, 1803.
16.1.4 Noah Sparks was born March 19, 1806.
16.1.5 Ruth Sparks was born August 19, 1808.
16.1.6 Isabella Sparks was born March 14, 1811.
16.1.7 Jarrard Cox Sparks was born June 24, 1813.
16.1.8 David Sparks was born May 18, 1816.
16.1.9 Araminta Sparks, a daughter, was born June 14, 1818.

If anyone has records pertaining to members of this family or is able to connect. his family tree to the above, please write to the editor so that we may learn more about the family of David Sparks.