August 18, 2017

Pages 79-85
Whole Number 11

THE SPARKS FAMILY OF PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, VIRGINIA

by William Perry Johnson



It was during the American Revolution, in 1778 to be exact, that the Sparkses settled in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Prior to that time, the family had made its home in Maryland, in the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Prince George's. In Prince George's County, the family appears to have resided near the town of Upper Marlboro, which lies about fifteen miles southeast of Washington, D.C., and about the same distance southwest of Annapolis, Maryland.

Probate records for Anne Arundel County, Maryland, on file in the Maryland Hall of Records, in Annapolis, show that a 17. Thomas Sparks died intestate in that county in or near the year 1727. The inventory of estate for Thomas Sparks is dated 20 April 1727, and the papers show that he had "No Relations." (For some reason, a wife and children apparently did not count as "relations" in these cases.) The account, dated 1732, was made by Leonard Hollyday of Prince George's County, Maryland, as administrator of Thomas Sparks late of Anne Arundel County, deceased. This Thomas Sparks may or may not be the father of the Thomas Sparks who appears on the records of Anne Arundel County a generation later.

Deed books for Anne Arundel County, Maryland, show seven deeds under the name Sparks, all for one Thomas Sparks. He first appears on record in 1748, when he purchased 162 acres, and in 1752 he obtained 430 more acres of land. by 1756, he had sold all of his land in Anne Arundel County and was living in Baltimore County, Maryland, having removed there late in 1755 or early in 1756. The names of no other persons named Sparks appear in Anne Arundel records except Elizabeth, wife of 17.1 Thomas Sparks, and the 18. Josiah Sparks mentioned below.

The records of St. Anne's Parish, Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, contain two Sparks items, as follows: 18. Josiah Sparks married July 15, 1749 to Penelope Brown, by the Revd. Mr. Andrew Lendrum. 17.1.4 Samuel Sparks, son of 17.1 Thomas Sparks and Elizabeth his wife, was born July 29, 1749. Both Thomas Sparks and Josiah Sparks, with their families, removed to Baltimore County, Maryland, and were members of St. John's & St. George's P. E. Church, Harford (then Baltimore) County, Maryland. Josiah Sparks was born 1729 and died, intestate, in 1765, Baltimore County, Maryland, with Penelopy Sparks as administratrix.

Records of St. John's & St. George's P. E. Church, afore-mentioned, show that on the 10th of April, 1770, Aquilla Wyle married "Pine" Sparks, widow of 18. Josiah Sparks, and by 1781 they were living in Shrewsbury Twp., York County, Pennsylvania. 18. Josiah and Penelope Sparks had five sons: 18.2 Josiah Sparks, 18.5 Matthew Sparks, 18.1 Francis Sparks, 18.3 Elijah Sparks and 18.4 Thomas Sparks. (A record of Josiah Sparks, Sr., and his descendants, will appear in a forthcoming issue of The Sparks Quarterly.) The estate papers for Josiah, 1765, show that he had "No Relation in this province but Thos. Sparks." No other records for Thomas Sparks have been found in Baltimore County, except that in 1760 he was granted 38 acres in Baltimore County, called the Hawk's Nest. Thomas Sparks was born ca.1711, and was either the father (by an earlier wife than Elizabeth) of Josiah (born ca.1729), or his elder brother--probably the former.

[Webmaster Note: If Josiah was, indeed, the son of of 17.1 Thomas Sparks, then his number would change from "18" to "17.1.x".]

The only other Sparks item on the records of St. John's & St. George's P. E. Church is the marriage, on the 3rd of September 1762, of Phill Lock Ellcott and Sarah Sparks. Sarah was probably a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Sparks.

There are eleven Sparks deeds or other instruments on record in Prince George’s County, Maryland, as follows:

1. Book T, page 682 - 7 February 1738 - John Courts of Charles County, Maryland, Gentleman, to Thomas Sparks, Senior, of the county aforesaid, planter - 21 year lease - 250 acres part of a tract of land lying in Prince George's County near Rock Creek and known by the name of Clean Drinking. /S/ John Courts, Thomas his T mark Sparks. Witnesses: Robt. Yates, Jno. Biscoe. Proven 24 October 1738.

2. Book Y, page 197 - 25 June 1740 - Charles Carroll, of City of Annapolis, Maryland, Esquire, to Thomas Sparke of Prince George's County, Maryland, planter 21 year lease - 100 acres - part of a tract of land called Cloven Couse. /S/ Charles Carroll. Witnesses: Danil Carroll, Saml Beall, Senr. Proven 25 June 1740.

3. Book EE, page 631 - 13 December 1748 - William Fields of Prince George's County, Maryland, planter, to Mathew Sparks of same, planter - 3000 lbs. of tobacco - 68 acres, called Bedfordshire Carrier. /S/ William his X mark Fields. Witnesses: B. Young, L. Young. Proven 13 December 1748.

4. Book RR, page 67 - 27 August 1760 - Benjamin Beall, planter, and wife Sarah, of Prince George's County, Maryland, to Matthew Sparks of same, planter - 5 Shillings 109 acres, called Smith’s Neglect. /S/ Benjamin Beall, Sarah Beall. Witnesses: Morda, Jacobs, Robert Tyler. Proven 27 August 1760.

5. Book TT, page 113 At the request of Matthew Sparks the following Certificate of a Stray was recorded November 25th, 1763. "Novr. 19th, 1763 - Mathew Sparkes brought Before me the subscriber a Small Black Stallion Colt about Ten hand high has a Small Stare in his forehead he Complains that he Trespasses upon his Inclosure.” /S/ Chrisr. Lowndes.

6. Book BB2. page 228 - 11 November 1767 - John Banks, Sr., of Frederick County, Maryland, planter, to Thomas Sparks, planter, of Prince George ‘s County, Maryland 55 Pounds 100 acres, called Quee Beck. /S/ John Banks (& wife Mary).

7. Book CC2. page 136 - 2 February 1775 - James Beck, and wife Rebecca, of Prince George's County, Maryland, planter, to 17.2 "Matthew Spark of Thomas” of same 50 Pounds 100 acres, called Pleasant Spring Enlarged. /S/ James Beck, Rebecca Beck. Witnesses~ Chris, Lowndes, Mary Henderson. Proven 2 February 1775.

8. Book CC2, page 177 - At the request of 17.1.4 Samuel Sparks the following Certificate of a Stray was recorded August 21st 1775. "Prince George's County, Ss. I do hereby Certify that Samuel Sparks brought before me this day a Horse with the following Marks which he took up at Mrs. Berrys Plantation about 14 miles from Upper Marlborough a Bright Bay 13 hands high Branded on the near Shoulder IW natural Pacer and Short Scraped Tail taken up four Weeks ago.”

9. Book CC2, page 337 - 15 March 1777 - 17.2 Matthew Sparks, Sr., of Prince George's County, Maryland, planter, & wife Eleanor, to Richard Beall, son of Ninian, Sr., of same - 100 Pounds - 109 acres, called Smith’s Neglect. /S/ Matthew his X mark Sparks, Eleanor her X mark Sparks. Witnesses: Josa. Beall, Chrisr. Lowndes. Proven 15 March 1777.

10. Book CC2, page 380 - 30 August 1777 - 17.1 Thomas Sparks of Prince George's County, Maryland, planter, to Solomon Groves of same, planter - 150 Pounds - 100 acres, called Quebeck. /S/ Thos. Sparks, & (wife) Elizabeth Sparks. Witnesses: Chrisr. Lowndes, James Beck.

11. Book CC2, page 396 - 5 April 1777 - 17.1.2 Matthew Sparks of Thomas, of Prince George's County, Maryland, to John Hamilton, Sr., of same - 80 Pounds - 100 acres - part of a tract called Pleasant Spring Enlarged. /S/ Matthew Sparks, & (wife) Margery Sparks. Witnesses: Jos. Beall, Chris. Lowndes. Proven 5 April 1777.

In view of the fact that the counties of Prince George's and Anne Arundel adjoin, it is supposed that the Thomas Sparks who leased land in Prince George's County in 1738 and 1740 is identical with the Thomas Sparks who bought land in Anne Arundel County in 1748 and 1752, sold out by 1756, removed 1755/6 to Baltimore County, and by 1767 to Prince George’s County. This is further supported by the fact that the wife's name in each instance was Elizabeth.

The 1750 Rent Rolls for Prince George's County, Maryland, list but one Sparks: Mr. Matthew Sparks, Bedfordshire Carrier, 68 acres. (Among the land owned by Mr. Caleb Dorsey was Sparks Chance and Sparks Round.)

The Register of St. John's or Piscataway Parish, Prince George's County, Maryland, contains the following Sparks data:

Children of 17.2 Matthew Sparks and Elenor Sparks:

17.2.2 Matthew Sparks, Jr. born ca. 1750-60. He married Kezia Stone. Died prior to July 12, 1811.
17.2.3 Sarah Sparks born May 23, 1753
17.2.7 Josiah Sparks born August 26, 1761
17.2.8 True Love Sparks born July 21, 1764

Children of 17.1.2 Matthew and Margery Sparks:

17.2.x Elizabeth Sparks, bapt. 2 November 1766
17.2.y Jane Sparks, bapt. 6 November 1768

In the above Register, True Love Sparks is designated as a female, but is believed to have been a male and identical with the True Love Sparks who married 1788 in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, to Jane Sparks, and was living in 1790 in Spartanburgh County, South Carolina.

In Volume I of Brnmbaug's Maryland Records, is a copy of the 1776 Census of Maryland. Among the inhabitants of St. John's and Prince George's Parishes, Prince George's County, Maryland, listed on 31 August 1776, are two Sparks families:

17.1 Thomas Sparks, age 65: 2 males, ages 18 & 14; Elizabeth, age 58; & 2 females aged 16 & 14.

17.2 Mathew Sparks, age 61: 5 males, ages 27, 15, 11, and 7; Elinor Sparks, age 45; 2 females, ages 23 & 3.

Thus, there were three Sparks families in Prince George's County, Maryland.

17.1 Thomas Sparks (born ca.1711) and wife Elizabeth LNU (born ca.1718); bought 100 acres in 1767 and sold out in 1777.

17.2 Matthew Sparks (born ca.1715) and wife Eleanor (born ca.1731); bought 68 acres in 1748 and 109 acres in 1760; sold the 209 acres in 1777(undoubtedly sold the 68 acres also, but grantee failed to have the deed recorded).

17.1.2 Matthew Sparks (son of 17.1 Thomas Sparks) married (ca.1765) to Margery LNU; bought 100 acres in 1775; sold out in 1777.

These Sparks families, having sold out in 1777, removed from Prince George's County, Maryland to Pittsylvania County, Virginia, where they obtained land in 1778.

Pittsylvania County, Virginia. Deed Book 5, page 211 - 25 February 1778 - Sylvester Adams & wife Nansey, of Pittsylvania County, Virginta, to Thomas Sparks of same 110 Shillings (acreage not given) on both sides of Sandy River, /S/ Sylvester Adams Witnesses: George Adams. Edward Cook, Jonathan Montgomery Church. Proven 17 Aug 1779 (This is the first and earliest record of the Sparks family in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

Land Grant Book E, page 441 Richmond, Virginia, shows that on September 1, 1780, Matthew Sparks, for 35 Shillings was granted 305 acres in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, on branches of Sandy River by survey dated 13 March 1778. Same book, page 451, shows that on same date Thomas Sparks, for 15 Shillings, was granted 137 acres in same county, on branch of Strawberry Creek, by survey dated 28 May 1780.

The third land grant to a Sparks in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, is to be found in Land Grant Book H, page 250. On 3rd of July 1783 Matthew Sparks, for 2 Pounds & 10 Shillings, was granted 496 acres in Pittsylvania County, on both sides of Mortons Spring, branch of Sandy River, by survey dated 30 April 1780.

The fourth and last land grant is on record in Land Grant Book 51, page 388. Warrant No. 14,050, issued 30 August 1782, and on 6 July 1803 granted to Thomas Sparks, 52 acres in Pittsylovania County, Virginia, on Bean's Creek Mountain, Surveyed 1 April 1902.

Pittsylvania County, Virginia, tax lists, both land and personal property, begin in 1782 and extend to middle 1800's. Below is a listing of the Sparkses given on the land tax lists from 1782 to 1820:

1782 - Matthew Sparks - 796 acres
...........Thomas Sparks - 350 acres

1783 - (Alterations - Matthew Sparks - 496 acres

1784 - (Alterations - none for Sparkses)

1785 - (Alterations - Thomas Sparks - 162 acres from Thomas Robertson
.................................Mathew Sparks, 496 acres Ditto in Ditto (i.e."Rong charged")

1786 - Thomas Sparks - 162 acres
............Samuel Sparks - 100 acres
............Thomas Sparks - 350 acres
............Matthew Sparks - 796 acres
...........(Alterations & Mistakes for 1786 - Samuel Sparks, 100 acres from Thomas Robertson)

1787 - Matthew Sparks - 300 acres
..........Thomas Sparks - 350 acres
..........Samuel Sparks - 100 acres
..........Thomas Sparks - 162 acres

1788 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres
...........Samuel Sparks - 100 acres
...........Matthew Sparks - 300 acres
...........Thos. Sparks (T. Robinson) - 163 acres

1789 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres.......................(Note that the two tracts owned by Shelton and Leonard
.......... Matthew Sparks - 300 acres......................Sparks in 1789 totaled 163 acres, the tract owned by Thomas
..........(Davd. Shelton (Tho. Sparks) - 80 acres ....Sparks; this Thomas Sparks apparently died ca.1789 and his
..........(Leon. Sparks (Tho. Sparks) - 83 acres .....land was divided between Shelton & Leonard Sparks.)

1790 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres
...........Matthew Sparks - 300 acres
..........(Davd. Shelton (T.S.) - 80 acres
..........(Lenard Sparkes (same) - 83 acres

1791 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres

1792 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres

1793 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres

1794 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres
...........Mathew Sparks (S) - 100 acres

1795 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres
...........Mathew Sparks (S) - 100 acres

1796 - Missing

1797 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres
...........Mathew Sparks - 100 acres

1798 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres
...........Mathew Sparks 100 - acres

1799 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres
...........Mathew Sparks - 100 acres

1800 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres
...........Mathew Sparks -100 acres

1801 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres
...........Mathew Sparks - 100 acres

1802 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres
...........Mathew Sparks - 100 acres

1803 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres
...........Matthew Sparks - 100 acres

1804 - Thomas Sparks - 350 acres
...........Matthew Sparks - 100 acres

1805 - Mathew Sparks - 100 acres
...........Thos. Sparks-do. (L.P.) - 52 acres
...........Mathew Sparks - 100 acres

1806 - Matthew Sparks - 100 acres
..........Thomas Sparks - Bal.: - 298 acres
..........Thomas Sparks - do. (L. Pat.) - 52 acres
..........Matthew Sparks - 100 acres

1807 - Mathew Sparks - 100 acres
...........Thomas Sparks - 298 acres
...........Thomas Sparks - 52 acres
...........Mathew Sparks - 100 acres

1808 - Missing

1809 - Mathew Sparks - 100 acres
...........Thomas Sparks - 298 acres
...........Thomas Sparks - 52 acres
...........Mathew Sparks - 100 acres
...........John Sparks - 500 acres

1810 - Thomas Sparks - Balance: 198 acres
...........Same - 52 acres
...........George Sutherland, Ext. John Sparkes to pay - 100 acres
...........Mathew Sparks, deceased - 200 acres

1811 - Thomas Sparks - 222 acres
...........Matthew Sparks, deceased - 200 acres

1812 - Matthew Sparks, deceased - 200 acres - South side of Sandy River
...........Thomas Sparks - 222 acres - Cattail fork Beens Creek

1813 - Thomas Sparks - 222 acres - Cattail fork Beens Creek
...........Matthew Sparks, deceased - 200 acres - S. side Sandy River

1814 - Thomas Sparks - 222 acres - Cattail fork Beens Do. [Creek] - 23 miles southwest of courthouse.
............Matthew Sparks, deceased - 200 acres - S. side Sandy River - 20 miles south of courthouse.

1815 - Matthew Sparks, deceased - 200 acres - S. side (Sandy) River - 20 miles south of courthouse.
...........Thomas Sparks - 222 acres - Cattail fork of Beens Creek - 23 miles southwest of courthouse.

1816 - Thomas Sparks - 222 acres - Cat tail fork of Beens Creek - 23 miles southwest of courthouse.
...........Mathew Sparks, deceased - 200 acres - S. side Sandy River - 20 miles south of courthouse.

1817 - Mathew Sparks, deceased - 200 acres - S. side of Sandy River - 20 miles southwest of courthouse.
...........Thomas Sparks - 27 acres - Sandy River - 18 miles southwest of courthouse

1818 - Thomas Sparks - 27 acres - Sandy River - 18 miles southwest of courthouse
............Mathew Sparks, deceased - 200 acres - s. side Sandy River - 20 miles southwest of courthouse.

1819 - Mathew Sparks, deceased - 200 acres - S. side Sandy River 20 miles southwest of courthouse
...........Thomas Sparks - 27 acres - Sandy River - 18 miles southwest of courthouse

1820 - Mathew Sparks, deceased - 200 acres - S. side Sandy River 20 miles southwest of courthouse
...........Thomas Sparks 27 acres Sandy River - 18 miles southwest of courthouse

[Editor's note: Mr. Johnson will continue his article on the Sparks Family of Pittsylvania in either the Dec, 1955, or March, 1956, issue of the Quarterly. Members who descend from this family are urged to send any data which they may have on the family to Mr. Johnson so that he may incorporate it in his sketch.)


Pages 109-121
Whole Number 13

The previous installment of this article included a listing of all Sparkses given on the land tax lists of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, from 1782 to 1820. Compare that listing with the following, which is a listing of all Sparkses given on the personal property tax lists of Pittsylvania County, Virginia, from 1782 to 1820:

Property Tax Lists

1782 Matthew Sparks 1 white tithe over 21 1 horse; 6 cattle
  Thomas Sparks 1 same 4 horses; 7 cattle
  Matthew Sparks 1 same 3 horses; 7 cattle
  Thomas Sparks 1 same 3 horses; 6 cattle
  Ellender Sparks 0 same 1 horse; 7 cattle
1783 Matthew Sparks 1 white tithe over 21 1 horse ; 5 cattle
  Thomas Sparks 1 same 2 horses; 8 cattle
  Ellenor Sparks 0 same 2 horses; 6 cattle
  Matthew Sparks 1 same 2 horses; 5 cattle
  Thomas Sparks 0 same 2 horses; 5 cattle
  Leanard Sparks 0 same 1 horse;4 cattle
1784 Matthew Sparks 1 white tithe over 21 1horse; 4 cattle
  Leonard Sparks 1 same 2 horses; 4 cattle
  Thomas Sparks 1 same 1 horse; 6 cattle
  Matthew Sparks 1 same 1 horse; 4 cattle
  Matthew Sparks 1 same 0 horses;3 cattle
  Thomas Sparks 1 same 3 horses; 10 cattle
  Thomas Sparks 1 same 0 horses; 0 cattle
1785 Thomas Sparks 1 white tithe over 21 3 horses; 8 cattle
  Thomas Sparks, Sr . 1 same 2 horses; 5 cattle
  Thomas Sparks, Jr. 0 same 1 horse; 0 cattle
  Matthew Sparks 1 same 2 horses; 5 cattle
1786 Mathew Sparks 1 white tithe over 21; 2 horses; 6 cattle
  Thomas Sparks 1 same; 2 horses; 3 cattle
  Samuel Sparks 1 same ; 2 horses; 4 cattle
  Leonard Sparks 1 same ; 2 horses; 3 cattle
  Josiah Sparks 1 same ; 2 horses; 4 cattle
  Mathew Sparks 1 same ; 1 horse; 4 cattle
  Thomas Sparks 0 same ; 2 horses; 8 cattle
1787 Mathew Sparks -- (Names of white tithes over 21; Mathew Sparks) 1 white above 16 and under 21 3 horses; 9 cattle
  Leonard Sparks -- (Names of white tithes over 21; Leonard Sparks) 1 white above 16 and under 21 2 horses; 1 cattle
  Thomas Sparks -- (Names of white tithes over 21; Thomas Sparks) 1 white above 16 and under 21 3 horses; 3 cattle
  Mathew Sparks -- (Names of white tithes over 21; Mathew Sparks) 1 white above 16 and under 21; 1 horses; 6 cattle  
  Thomas Sparks -- (Names of white tithes over 21; Thomas Sparks) 1 white above 16 and under 21; 3 horses; 6 cattle  
  Elenor Sparks -- (Names of white tithes over 21; None) 1 white above 16 and under 21; 1 horse; 5 cattle  
  Josiah Sparks -- (Names of white tithes over 21; Josiah Sparks) 1 white above 16 and under 21; 1 horses; 0 cattle  
1788 - Lenard Sparkes 1 white male above 16; 3 horses
  John Sparkes 1 same ; 1 horse
  Thomas Sparkes, Sr. 1 same ; 3 horses
  Matthew Sparkes 1 same ; 4 horses
  Thomas Sparkes, Jr. 1 same ; 1 same ;
  Josiah Sparkes 1 same ; 1 horse
  Ellener Sparkes 0 same ; 1 horse
  Matthew Sparkes, Jr. 1 same; 2 horses
  Samuel Sparkes 1 same; 1 horse
       
1789 - Lenard Sparkes 1 white male above 16; 1 horse
  Matthew Sparkes 1 same ; 3 horses
  Thomas Sparkes 1 same; 2 horses
  Josiah Sparkes 1 same ; 1 horse
  Ellenare Sparkes 0 same ; 1 horse
  Samuel Sparkes 1 same ; 1 horse
1790 - Matthew Sparks 1 white male above 16; 4 horses
  Thomas Sparks same; 2 horses
  Josiah Sparks same; 1 horse
  Ellenor Sparks same; 2 horses
  Lenard Sparks same; 2 horses
1791 - Lenard Sparks 1 white male above 16; 1 horse
  Josiah and Elenor Sparks same; 4 horses
  Thomas Sparks same; 3 horses
  Matthew Sparks same; 3 horses
       
1792 - Matthew Sparkes 1 white male above 16; 3 horses
  Josiah Sparks same; 1 horse
  Thomas Sparkes same; 3 horses
  John Sparkes same; 1 horse
       
1793 - Matt. Sparks 1 white male above 16; 4 horses
  Thomas Sparks same; 2 horses
  Josiah Sparks same; 3 horses
       
1794 - Thomas Sparkes 1 white male above 16; 2 horses
  Mathew Sparkes same; 4 horses
  Josiah Sparkes same; 1 horse
  Ellenor Sparkes same; 1 horse
       
1795 - Matthew Sparks 1 white male above 16; 5 horses
  Josiah Sparks same; 1 horse
  Ellanor Sparks same; 1 horse
  Thomas Sparks same; 3 horses
1796 - Matt. Sparks, "d ferd" 2 white males over 16; 3 horses
  Revd. Thomas Sparks 1 same; 2 horses
  Josiah Sparks same: 2 horses
1797 - Matthew Sparkes 1 white male over 16; 4 horses
  Revd. Thos. Sparks same; 2 horses
  Josiah Sparks same; 1 horse
  Ellonor Sparks 0 same; 1 horse
1798 - Revd. Thomas Sparks 1 white male over 16; 2 horses
  Ellinor Sparks 0 same; 1 horse
  Mathew Sparks 2 same; 3 horses
1799 - Mathew Sparks 2 white males over 16; 4 horses
  Revd. Thomas Sparks 1 same; 2 horses
  Elliner Sparks 0 same; 1 horse
1800 - Ellinor Sparks 0 white males over 16; 1 horse
  Revd. Thomas Sparks 1 same; 2 horses
  Matthew Sparks 2 same; 4 horses
       
1801 - Matthew Sparks 1 white male over 16; 4 horses
  Rev. Thomas Sparks 2 same; 2 horses
1802 - Mathew Sparks 1 white male over 16; 3 horses
  Brooks Sparks 1 same 1 horse
  [Note: "Brooks Sparks" and "Matthew B. Sparks" are the same person.]    
  Revt. Thomas Sparks 2 same; 2 horses
1803 - Revt. Thomas Sparks 1 white male over 16; 2 horses
  Matthew Sparks 2 same 4 horses
       
1804 - Matthew Sparks 2 white males over 16; 4 horses
  Matthew B. Sparks 1 same; 1 horse
  Matthew Sparks, Jr. 1 same; 1 horse
  Revd. Thomas Sparks 0 same; 3 horses
       
1805 - Revd. Thomas Sparks 0 white males over 16; 2 horses
  Matthew Sparks, Sr. 2 same; 2 horses
  Matthew B. Sparks 1 same; 0 horses
       
1806 - Matthew B. Sparks 1 white male over 16; 1 horse
  Revd. Thomas Sparks 0 same; 3 horses
  Matthew Sparks & son 2 same; 2 horses
       
1807 - Mathew Sparks 1 white male over 16; 1 horse
  Mathew Sparks, Jr. 1 same; 1 horse
  Rev. T. Sparks & sons 2 same; 1 horse
       
1808 - Tax List Missing    
1809 - Brooks Sparks 1 white male over 16; 1 horse
  Revd. Thomas Sparks 2 same; 3 horses
  Matthew Sparks 1 same; 1 horse
  John Sparks 1 same; 0 horses
       
1810 - Rev. T Sparks & Sons 3 white males over 16; 4 horses
  Mathew B. Sparks 1 same; 1 horse
  John Sparks 1 same; 1 horse
  Keziah Sparks & Son 1 same; 3 horses
       
1811 - Rev. T Sparks & Son 1 white male over 16; 4 horses
  Matthew Sparks 1 same; 1 horse
  John Sparks 1 same; 1 horse
  Matthew B. Sparks 1 same; 1 horse
       
1812 - John Sparks 1 white male over 16; 1 horse
  Matthew B. Sparks 1 same; 1 horse
  Matthew Sparks 1 same; 0 horses
  Tilleston Sparkes 1 same; 1 horse
1813 - John Sparks 1 white male over 16; 0 horses
  Thomas Sparks 1 same; 2 horses
  Matthew B. Sparks 1 same; 1 horse
       
1814 - Thomas Sparks, Jr. 1 white male over 16; 1 horse
  Rev T Sparks & 2 Sons 2 same; 4 horses
  Matthew B. Sparks 1 same; 1 horse
  Edmund Sparks 1 same; 0 horses
1815 - [This tax list includes furniture, etc.; I have copied only "whites over 16". WPJ    
  John Sparks 1 white male over 16  
  Thomas Sparks 1 same  
  Mathew B. Sparks 1 same  
  Edmond Sparks 2 same  
  Mathew Sparks 1 same  
    .  
1816 - Thomas Sparks (Revd) 1 white male over 16  
  Matthew B. Sparks 1 same  
  Edmund Sparks 2 same  
  John Sparks 1 same  
       
1817 - Mathew B. Sparks 1 white male over 16  
  Edmond Sparks 1 same  
  Revd. Thomas Sparks 0 same  
  Adison Sparks 1 same  
  Thomas Sparks, Jr. 1 same  
1818 - Thomas Sparks 1 white male over 16  
  Adderson Sparks 1 same  
  Revd. Thomas Sparks 0 same  
  Matthew B. Sparks 1 same  
  Edmond Sparks 1 same  
1819 - Edmd. Sparks 1 white male over 16  
  John Sparks 1 same  
  Mathew B. Sparks 1 same  
  Revd. Thomas Sparks 0 same  
  Addison Sparks 1 same  
  Thos. Sparks 1 same  
1820 - Mathew B. Sparks 1 white male over 16  
  Edmond Sparks 1 same  
  Revd. Thomas Sparks 0 same  

Matthew Sparks, Jr., was taxed on a slave in 1788, and Rev. Thomas Sparks was taxed on a slave in 1810, but for the most part the Sparkses of Pittsylvania County, Va., were not slave owners.

Census Records

The 1790, 1800, and 1810 Federal census schedules for Pittsylvania Co., Va., have been lost. Below are the Sparkses found on the 1820, 1830, 1840 and1850 Federal census schedules for Pittsylvania County.

1820 Census: (p.773) Matthew B. Sparks 2 males 10 to 16 years old
    1 male 26 to 45 years old
    2 females under 10 years old
    1 female 10 to 16 years old
    1 female 16 to 26 years old
    1 female 26 to 45 years old
     
(p.773) Edmond Sparks 4 males under 10 years old
    2 males 10 to 16 years old
    1 male 18 to 26 years old
  . 1 male 26 to 45 years old
  . 1 female 10 to 16 years old
    1 female 26 to 45 years old
    1 female over 45 years old
     
  Thomas Sparks 2 males under 10 years old
    1 male 26 to 45 years old
    1 female 26 to 45 years old
     
(p. 781) Thomas Sparks, Sr. 1 male 26 to 45 years old
    3 females over 45 years old
     
1830 Census: (p. 27) Matthew Sparks 1 male under 5 years old
    3 males 5 to 10 years old
    1 male 40 to 50 years old
    1 female under 5 years old
    1 female 5 to 10 years old
    1 female 10 to 15 years old
    1 female 30 to 40 years old
     
(p.123) Thomas Sparks (SC) 1 male under 5 years old
    2 males 10 to 15 years old
    1 male 30 to 40 years old
    2 females under 5 years old
    1 female 5 to 10 years old
    1 female 40 to 50 years old
    1 female 80 to 90 years old
     
1840 Census: (p.115) Mathew Sparks 1 male 5 to 10 years old
    2 males 10 to 15 years old
    2 males 15 to 20 years old
    1 male 50 to 60 years old
    1 female 10 to 15 years old
    2 females 15 to 20 years old
    1 female 40 to 50 years old
     
(p.123) Thomas Sparks 1 male 5 to 10 years old
    1 male 10 to 15 years old
    1 male 15 to 20 years old
    1 male 40 to 50 years old
    1 female under 5 years old
    1 female 10 to 15 years old
    2 females 15 to 20 years old
    1 female 20 to 30 years old
    1 female 40 to 50 years old

1850 Census

Page Name Age Occupation Birth Place Net Worth
(p.85) 266-266 Pinckney A. Sparks 30 Laborer Virginia  
  Mary Sparks 25   "  
  Armstead Sparks 2      
(p.86) Sandy Sparks 25 Laborer Virginia  
  (living with family of Robert W. Williams)        
(p.87) Thomas Sparks 50 Laborer Virginia  
  Nancy Sparks 51   "  
  Susan W. Sparks 25   "  
  Sandy I. Sparks 22 (male) "  
  Jane Sparks 19   "  
  Matthew Sparks 16 Farmer "  
  Mary Sparks 13   "  
(p.106) Jesse Cook 80 Farmer Maryland $350
  Milton sparks 25   Virginia  
  Martha Sparks 35   "  
  Nancy Wilson 17   "  
  William Sparks 2   "  

Wills

There is a record of only one Sparks devisor in Pittsylvania County - Will of Mary A. Sparks, 1872 (Will Book W, page 388) naming Martha V. and Armistead W. Sparks.

Keziah, Jean (Jane), and Eleanor Sparks are named as devisees, as follows:

(Will Book D & W 11, page 256) Will of John Stone, written 1798, probated 1803, names, among others, wife Jean (Jane), daughter Keziah Sparks and granddaughters Jean Sparks and Eleanor Sparks.

(Will Book W 2, page 12) Will of Daniel Price, written 1845, probated 1846, names, among others, Keziah Sparks '93who now resides in my family,t1 and bequeaths)

(Will Book W 2, page 20) Will of John P. Price, written and probated 1846, names, among others, Keziah Sparks.

Court Records

( Pittsylvania County Court Order Books show the following Sparks intestate records:

(Book 4, page 305, dated April 1780) Theophilus Sparks, dectd., John Justice, administrator.

(Book 14, page 433, dated Dcc. 1810) Adams Sutherland is appointed curator of estate of Hezekiah Sparks, dectd.; Matthew B. Sparks, administrator.

Other Sparks data in the early Court Order Books are as follows:

(Book 3, page 99, dated May 1788) Lawsuit, Ellenor Sparks agst. John Norton. (Suit dismissed).

(Book 4, page 391, dated February 1782) "Thomas Sparks and John Gossett producing a reoommendation from the Elders of the Methodist Church as Ministers of that Society are hereby authorized and empowered to joyn together in holy Matrimony any persons within this County agreeable to an Act of Assembly in that case made and provided. (In Book 5, page 398, dated December 1785, the foregoing authorization is renewed.)

(Book 5, page 401, dated January 1787) Ordered that the overseers of the parish of Cambden in this County do bind out Samuel Sparks [and 7 others] in such manner as the Law directs.

(Book 6, page 52, dated March 1788) Sparks vs. Norton, defendant pay costs.

(Book 6, page 302, dated August 1789) John Jones agst. Samuel Sparks (defendant's note for 2 Pounds and 11 Pence).

(Book 7, page 343, dated May 1794) Whitfield Smith agst. Leonard Sparks.

(Book 9, page 123, dated June 1799) On the Motion of Thomas Sparkes for Leave to build a Water Grist Mill on Beans Creek in this county, It is Ordered that the Clerk issue a Writ of Adquode Dann--(?) commanding the sheriffs to Summon a Jury to meet upon the Lands whereon the said Thomas Sparks purposes building his said Mill and Dam, on the 10th day of next month to execute the Same as the Law directs.

In 1800 in Pittsylvania County, one David Gunn obtained a license to marry Eleanor Sparks, with Mathow Sparks as bondsman. The following items may aid in establishing the parentage of this couple. The Gunns were not landowners in Pittsylvania County, probably because they had occupations that did not require land. Elisha Gunn is evidently the father of David, for he appeared in Pittsylvania County Order Books as early as 1774 and past 1800. David and Elisha Gunn appeared together in 1803. Also in 1803 the following lawsuit was recorded: George Adams, surviving partner of George Adams & Co., for benefit of David Rice, agst. David Gunn, Matthew Sparks, Jr., and Sarah Sparks. Debt - 5 Pounds, 13 Shillings and 3 Pence, plus interest. A Valentine Gunn appeared on record in 1794.

Deeds

Many Sparks deeds were recorded in Pittsylvania Deed Books. The very earliest deed was given in the first instalment of this article (page 82). Abstracts of the others, arranged chronologically, are given below:

(Deed Book 5, page 245) 15 August 1781 - Edward Sparks of Pittsylvania Co., Pa., to Robert Payne - 160 pounds - 559 acres (where Edward Sparks now lives) on waters of Ratledges Creek, including the land sd Sparks purchased of Gilbert bynum and adj. the same. Signed by mark. Wit. Robert Burton, Robt. Harrison, Jno. McLance. Proven 19 February 1732.

(Deed Book 7, page 555) 3 June 1786 - Thomas Robison of Pittsylvania Co., Pa., to Samuel Sparks of same - 5 pounds - 100 acres beginning on Thomas Roberson's line. Signed by Thomas Robison and (wife) Catherine Robison. (No witnesses) Proven January 16, 1786.

(Deed Book 8, page 403) 22 September 1788 - Thomas Sparks of Pittsylvania Co., Pa., to David Shelton - 40 pounds - 80 acres on both sides of Stuards Creek, beginning at a white oak on the creek. Signed by Thos. Sparks and (wife) Elizabeth her X mark Sparks. Witnesses: James Garner, William Vincent, Leonard Sparks. Proven 18 May 1789.

(Deed Book 8, page 401) 30 October 1783 - Samuel Sparks of Pittsylvania Co., Va., to Thomas Norton of same - 30 pounds - 100 acres on Reeds Spring branch, beginning at a Spanish oak. Sigued by Samuel his X mark Sparks, and (wife) Rachel Sparks. Witnesses: Samuel Harvey, Leonard Sparks, Mathew Sparks, John Baggerly. Proven 18 May 1789.

(Deed Book 8, page 379) 1 November 1788 - Thomas Sparks, Sr., to Simon Adams - 150 pounds - 300 acres on north side of Sandy River (where Mathew Sparks now lives), beginning at a white oak on the river. Signed by name. Witnesses: Danl. Tompkins, Thos. Smith, John Baggerly, Leonard Murray. Proven 16 February 1789.

(Deed Book B, page 400) 22 November 1788 - Thomas Sparks, Sr., of Pittsylvania Co., Pa., to John Beggarly of same - 100 pounds - 94 acres on south side of Sandy River, beginning at a red oak on the river. Signed by name. Witnesses: Samuel Harvey, Thomas his X mark Horton, Leonard Sparks. Proven 18 May 1789.

(Deed Book 8, page 405) 22 November 1788 - Thomas Sparks of Pittsylvania Co., Pa., to Leonard Sparks of same - 100 pounds - (acreage not given) - beginning at a forked Chestnut (adj. David Satton). Signed by name. Witnesses: Samuel Harvey, Thomas his X mark Norton, John Baggerly. Proven 18 May 1789.

(Deed Book 10, page 97) 9 April 1794 - John Stone, Sr., of Pittsylvanla Co., Pa., to Mathew Sparks of same - 25 pounds - 100 acres where Bazel Scott formerly lived. Signed by mark. Witnesses: Richard Bennatt, Joshua Homer, Thomas his X mark Sparks. Proven 15 December 1794.

(Deed Book 10, page 436) Bond to Gov. Robert Brooke, Esqr. - Littlebery and John Gwin and Mathew Sparks to build a bridge across Sandy Creek. Proven 19 September 1796.

(Deed Book 14, page 141) January 24, 1804 - Thomas Sparks of Pittsylvania Co., Pa., to Peter Wilson of same - $52 - 52 acres on Beans Creek Mountain (a grant to sd. Thomas Sparks) - adj. McGuff(ord's?), Drury Pulliam, Davis, Price, Trahern. Signed by name. Witnesses: Ro. Harrison, Samuel Trahern, Will Harrison, Mathew Sparks. Proven 17 September 1804.

(Deed Book 16, page 299) 15 April 1809 - Thomas Sparks & Eliz. Sparks of Pittsylvania Co., Pa., to Henry W. Norton of same - 50 pounds - 101 acres on branches of Beens Creek - adj. Watson's Meeting House, sd. Thomas Sparks, sd. Norton, John Norton, incl. the Mtg. House. Both Thomas and Elizabeth Sparks signed by name. Witnesses: Mathew Sparks, Wm. Norton, Jacob his X mark Norton, Asbuary his X mark Norton. Proven 17 April 1809.

(Deed Book 17, page 245) 24 October 1810 - Thomas Sparks of Pittsylvania Co., Pa., to David Beggarly of same - $100 - 58 acres - ad,j. John Gwin, Thomas Sparks's old plat. Signed by name. Witnesses: David his X mark Gunn, Mathew Sparks, Henry Beggerly, Tilliston Sparks. Proven 18 February 1811.

(Deed Book 17, page 483) 12 July 1811 - The children of 17.2.2 Matthew Sparks, dec'd. (who married Kezia Stone, dec'd.), namely: 17.2.2.1 Mathew B. Sparks and wife Pansy (Note: WN 66 says Nancy); 17.2.2.2 Edmund Sparks and wife Patsey; 17.2.2.3 John Sparks and wife Judy; 17.2.2.4 Jane Sparks, wife of William Dunken; 17.2.2.5 Nelly Sparks; 17.2.2.6 Nancy Sparks, wife of John Ware; and 17.2.2.7 Thomas Sparks; all of Pittsylvania Co., Pa., to Adam Sutherlin - $350 - their shares in deceased parents' lands.

(Deed Book 18, page 342) 13 November 1813 - Thomas Sparks of 1st part, Robert Payne of 2nd, & John Wilson of 3rd part - Thomas Sparks is indebted to sd. John Wilson 73 Pounds, 5 Shillings and l 1/2 Pence - to be paid on or before 25 December 1814 - per bond dated 20 June 1812 - $1.00 - 162 acres - adj. Wm. Gammons, George Adams - also 1 desk, 1 book case, 1 cart and 1 pair of steers. Signed:Thomas Sparks, Re. Payne, Jno. Wilson. Witnesses: Robert Wilson, Peter Tiffin, Geo. Wilson. Proven 15 November 1813. (Deed of Trust)

(Deed Book 20, page 32) 10 June 1816 - 17.2.2.7 Thos. Sparks of Pittsylvania Co., Pa., to Peyton Lumpkin of same - $70 - 23 acres, being the tract of land owned by my father and mother, 17.2.2 Mathew & Kesiah Sparks, it being my part of the sd. land - on Sandy River, adj. John Wilson, John Adams & Peyton Lumpkin. Signed by mark. Witnesses: Nath. Wilson, John Noble, John Ross, John Hanson, Selby Benson, Littleberry Gwin. Proven 17 June 1816.

(Deed Book 20, page 173) January 2, 1816 - Thomas Sparks and Elizabeth his wife, of Pittsylvania Co., Pa., to Clement McDonald of same - 133 Pounds, 4 Shillings - 122 acres on waters of Banes Creek. Signed by name. Witnesses: Absolum Harrison, Richard Harrison, Peter Cahall. Proven 16 September 1816, acknowledged by Thomas Sparks "with certificate and relinquishment of Dower of Elizabeth Sparks."

(Deed Book 21, page 120) 21 February 1817 - George Dodson and wife Betsey, of Pittsylvania Co., Pa., to Thomas Sparks of same - $81 - 27 acres on waters of Sandy River adj. Peter Tiffin, Wilson. George Dodson signed by name, his wife signed by mark. (No witnesses.) Proven 18 August 1817.

(Deed Book 23, page 262) 5 November 1819 - Thomas Sparks and wife, Elizabeth, of Pittsylvania Co., Pa., to Clemont McDonolld of same - $229 - 27 acces, adj. Wilson. Thomas Sparks signed by name, his wife signed by mark. (No witnesses.) Proven 20 June 1820.

(Deed Book 23, page 292) 20 December 1819 - George Ward and wife Elizabeth, of Pittsylvania Co., Pa., to Thomas Sparks of same - $100 - 50 acres on south side of the long branch - adj. D. Scarce. Both George Ward and his wife signed by mark. Witnesses: Semuel Norton, Joel Hestill, Anderson Sparks. Proven January 18, 1820.

(Deed Book 23, page 502) 20 Dcc. 1819 - George Ward and wife Elizabeth, of Pittsylvania Co., Va., to Anderson Sparks of same - $100 - 50 acres on south side of Long Branch - adj. Watkins, Gray, David Carces. Both George Ward and his wife signed by mark, Witnesses: Lemuil Norton, Joel H[e]still, Anna her X mark Ward. Proven 18 January 1820.

(Deed Book 25, page 471) 19 August 1823 - Edmond Sparks of Pittsylvania Co., Va., to George Wilson and Robert Wilson, trustee - "Witnesseth that in consideration of the sum of $139.67 by bond of this date which the said Sparks is justly indebted to the said Wilson, and honestly desires to secure payment therof to him, his heirs, etc. and further consideration of one dollar to him paid by Ro. Wilson, ... the said Sparks hath bargained and sold to the said Robert Wilson, 1 bay mare, 1 bay horse, 2 bay colts, 7 head of cattle, 15 head of hogs, 4 beds and furniture, kitchen furniture and wagon and gear, and plantation tools, to have and to hold aforesaid property unto the said Robert Wilson, his heirs, etc. ... Nevertheless, the said Robert Wilson shall, on 25 December next, or as soon thereafter as the said Sparks or Wilson shall request, sell the said property to the highest bidder for cash. Out of money arising from such sale, shall pay the said George Wilson his debt with interest." Signed: Edmond his X mark Sparks, George Wilson. (No witnesses)

(Deed Book 26, page 87) 10 May 1823 - Robert Walters, sheriff of Pittsylvania Co., Va., to Lemuel Norton of same - Court decree of January Term 1822 - Benj. Watkins agnst. Adderson Sparks - 50 acres of sd. Anderson Sparks's land to be sold to satisfy a debt due Robert Walters - Lemuel Norton paid $106.79. Signed: Robert Walters, Shff. (No witnesses.) Proven January 23, 1824.

(Deed Book 27, page 359) 13 September 1825 - Thos. Sparks of Pittsylvania Co., Va., for love and affection, to Lemuel Norton of same - and $1.00 - 50 acres on the long branch of Sandy River, whereon the sd. Thomas Sparks now lives, also 1 mare, 2 cows and calves, 9 head hogs, 2 beds and furniture, 5 split bottom chairs, and all the rest of sd. Sparks's household and kitchen furniture, and all present crop of every description. Signed by name. Proven 16 September 1825. (Deed of Gift.)

(Deed Book 27, page 411) 11 November 1825 - Edmond Sparks of Pittsylvania Co., Va., to Wm. Holt of same - whereas sd. Sparks is indebted to Rebert Wilson, $59.95 as per bond, 1 of this month - also $20.36 to George Wilson, as per bond due 25 December next & $1.00 - 1 Bay mare, horse, 1 cow, 3 feather beds and furniture, 40 barrels of corn, 4 stacks of Blades, 2 stacks of oats, 38 head of hogs, 1 waggon & geer, 5 poll axes, 3 plow hoes, 3 dutch ovens, 4 pots, 1 loom, 2 spinning wheels, 1 flax wheel, 1 pine cupboard & eathern ware, 1 pine chest, 10 split bottomed eharis, 1 sett cups & saucers, 1 dozen plates, 1case hnives & forks, 1 mattock. Sd. Sparks to remain in possession until 1 November 1826. Signed: Edmond his X mark Sparks, Wm. Holt. Witness: R. Z.(?) Shelton. Proven 11 November 1825.

(Deed Book 35, page 99) 7 May 1833 - Thomas Sparks of 1st part, John Ross &o. of 2nd, and Wm. Linn of 3rd part - all of Pittsylvania Co., Va. - sd. Thomas Sparks is indebted to sd. John Ross - $103.24 - per bond dated 30 October 1831 - & $1.00 - one sorrel horse, 2 cows & calves, 2 beds, bedsteds & furniture, 20 head hogs, 1 walnut table, 6 split bottom chairs, and all other property, household & kitchen furniture. Signed: Thomas his X mark Sparks, Jno, Ross, Wn. Linn. (No witnesses.) Proven 10 May 1833.

(Deed Book 57, page 357) 1857 - Milton Sparks and wife Martha, daughter of Jesse Cook - etc.

(Deed Book 87, page 28) 11 March 1885 - A. J. and Martha V. Young, who was Martha V. Sparks, to Parham Booker - $483 - land on Stuart's Creek, land left by John Booker to Martha V. Young, whose mother was a dau. of sd. John Booker, dec'd. - 106 1/2 acres.

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The names Thomas and Matthew were very popular among the Pittsylvania County Sparkses. It seems rather apparent that each Thomas Sparks named sons Thomas and Matthew, and that each Matthew Sparks likewise named sons Thomas and Matthew! Thus, with two and three of each name always on the records, it is almost impossible to distinguish between grandfather and grandson, uncle and nephew, father and son.

The eldest Thomas Sparks was born ca. 1711, married around 1740 to Elizabeth, who was born ca. 1718, and had perhaps a dozen children, as follows:

17.1.1 ...............born ca.1742
17.1.2 Matthew born ca.1744; married, ca 1765 Margery-----
17.1.3 ...............born ca.1746
17.1.4 Samuel..born 29 July 1749
17.1.5 ...............born ca. 1750
17.1.6 ...............born ca.1752
17.1.7 ...............born 1754
17.1.8 ...............born 1756
17.1.9 ..(son).....born 1758
17.1.10 ..(dau).....born 1760
17.1.11 ..(son).....born 1762
17.1.12 ..(dau).....born 1762 (twins?)

The eldest 17.2 Matthew Sparks, no doubt a brother to the above 17.1 Thomas, was born ca. 1715, married around 1748 to Eleanor -----, who was born ca. 1731, and had perhaps ten or twelve children as follows:

17.2.1 ...(son).........born ca.1749 (Matthew)
17.2.2 ....................born ca. 1751 (John)
17.2.3 ...Sarah........born 23 May 1753
17.2.4 ....................born ca.1755 (Samuel)
17.2.5 ....................born ca.1757
17.2.6 ...(son).........born ca.1759 (William)
17.2.7 ...Josiah........born 26 August 1761
17.2.8 ...True Love born 21 July 1764
17.2.9 ...(son).........born ca.1769
17.2.10 ...(dau).........born ca.1773

John, Josiah, Leonard, Matthew (Jr.), Samuel, and Thomas Sparks (Jr.), who appear on record in Pittsylvania County in the 1780's and 1790's are sons and grandsons of Matthew (Sr.) and Thomas (Sr.). by the early 1800's most of the family had removed elsewhere. Some moved down into Rockingham Co., N.C.; some went to South Carolina and Georgia; and a few settled in Tennessee. It is hoped that further research will enable us to untangle some of these threads of relationship. Members having data on branches of this family are urged to write to either the author of this sketch (William P. Johnson, Box 531, Raleigh, N.C.), or to the editor.

NOTE: An item in the first paragraph on page 82 of the September, 1955, issue of The Sparks Quarterly, Whole No. 11 stated that Matthew and Eleanor Sparks purchased 68 acres, called Bedfordshire Carrier, in 1748 in Prince George's Co., Md., and that they undoubtedly sold the 68 acres prior to removing to Pittsylvania Co., Va., in 1777/8, but that the grantee failed to have the deed recorded. Further research has his disclosed the fact that Matthew and Eleanor sold the 63 acres in 1760, while residing in Frederick County, Md.

Frederick Co., Md., Deed Book F, page 1180 - 4 November 1760 - Matthew Sparks of Frederick Co, Md., planter, to Evan Jones of same, planter - 2500 lbs. of merchantable tobacco - 68 acres - all that part of a tract of land called Bedfordshire Carrier, beginning at a bounded black oak. Signed: Mathew his X mark Sparks. Witnesses: Chas. Jones, David Lynn. Eleanor Sparks, wife of Mathew, relinquished her dower right. Proven 4 November 1760.

Frederick County, Md., was formed in 1748 from Prince George' s County, but since Matthew Sparks was listed on the 1750 Rent Roll of Prince George's County with Bedfordshire Carrier - 68 acres - it is rather unusual for the deed to have been recorded in Frederiok rather than in Prince George's County. Probably Matthew and Eleanor resided in Federick County most of the 1750's, but removed back to Prince George's County in 1760, having purchased 109 acres in Prince George's Co. in August of that year. Incidentally, Matthew was the one and only Sparks given on the 1750 Rent Roll of Prince George's County, Maryland.

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