August 12, 2017

Pages 97-104
Whole Number 12

THE GENEALOGY OF 1.2.5.1.2 JOHN SPARKS
REVOLUTIONARY WAR PENSIONER
OF WILKES COUNTY, NORTH CAROLINA

by William Perry Johnson



As 1.2.5.1.2 John Sparks stated in his pension application, he was born February 25, 1753, near Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina, and removed with his father to what is now Wilkes (then Surry) County, North Carolina, about the year 1772. John Sparks did not identify his father in his application, but other records prove that his name was 1.2.5.1 Solomon Sparks. Surry County was formed from Rowan County in 1770, and the Surry tax lists for 1771 and 1772 have been preserved. On the 1771 tax list, Solomon Sparks is listed, with 3 polls, and William Sparks, with 1 poll. In 1772 only Solomon Sparks is listed, with 3 polls. The 1774 Surry tax List enumerated four Sparks families: William Sparks, with 1 poll; Will Sparks and son Matthew, 2 polls; James Sparks, 1 poll; and 1.2.5.1 Solomon Sparks, with sons 1.2.5.1.1 Joseph Sparks and 1.2.5.1.2 John Sparks, 3 polls. These four families were undoubtedly closely related, but this account will be limited to the family of John Sparks, son of Solomon. (The Matthew Sparks who is listed in the 1774 tax list with his father, Will Sparks, was the great great-grandfather of our Vice-President, Oral A. Sparks.)

1.2.5.1 Solomon Sparks lived in Maryland before settling in North Carolina and was very probably the son of 1.2.5 Joseph Sparks who died intestate in Frederick County, Maryland, in 1749. (Note that Solomon named his eldest son Joseph, probably for his father. Note also that the 1.2.5.2.5 Solomon Sparks whose pension application was reproduced in the March, 1955, issue of the Quarterly was born in Frederick County, Maryland, in 1758. Webmaster Correction: born 13 Jun 1760)

On the 20th of March 1750, Solomon Sparks patented 93 acres in Frederick County. Maryland, and gave his land the descriptive name of Cold Friday. This land was located on Beaver Dam Branch, a tributary of Linganore Creek. On the 20th of June 1753, Solomon Sparks and wife, Sarah, sold these 93 acres for 34 Pounds, to Mathew Howard. Solomon is designated in this deed as a "farmer". If Solomon Sparks and wife Sarah were living in Frederick County, Maryland, as late as June 20, 1753, as this deed would indicate, then their son 1.2.5.1.2 John Sparks, born February 25, 1753, was born in Frederick County, Maryland, rather than in Rowan County, North Carolina, and was carried to North Carolina as a babe in arms. Although we cannot be sure of the exact date, it is reasonably certain that Solomon Sparks removed with his family sometime in 1753 to near Salisbury, Rowan Co., N.C. (Rowan County was formed April 12, 1753, from Anson County.)

The following description of Salisbury is found in a letter written on November 28, 1755, by Governor Arthur Dobbs: "The Yadkin here (Trading Ford) is a large beautiful river where is a ferry. It is near 300 yards over, it was at this time fordable scarce coming to the horses bellies. At 6 miles distance I arrived at Salisbury, the County town of Rowan, the town is but just laid out, the Court House built and 7 or 8 log Houses erected,” (The Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. 5, page 355 ) The 1950 populatIon of Salisbury was 20,102.

The Sparkses settled in the Forks of the Yadkin, less than ten miles north of Salisbury, in what is now Davie Co., N.C. Solomon Sparks obtained a land grant in 1762. for 250 acres in Rowan County, on the west side of the Yadkin River, opposite the mouth of Muddy Creek. In 1762 he obtained a grant for 290 acres on the south side of the Yadkin River, which adjoined his other land. In 1763 Solomon sold 130 and 3/4 acres to Jonas Sparks, and 159 and l/4 acres to Valentine Vanhouser. According to the statement made by John Sparks in his pension application, Solomon Sparks and his family removed from Rowan County to "what is now Wilkes (then Curry), N.C., about the year 1772.” In 1727, as residents of Surry Co., N.C., Solomon and Sarah Sparks sold 160 acres in Rowan County to Zephemiah Harris, and in 1768 they sold 170 (?) acres in Rowan County to Jonas Sparks.

Solomon and Sarah Sparks disappear from North Carolina records after 1788. Solomon does not appear on the 1790 census, and there is no will, no intestate record, and no record of Solomon and Sarah Sparks buying or selling land in Surry or Wilkes Counties, although when the SurryWilkes County Line was surveyed in 1778 it mentioned the plantation of Solomon Sparks. A full copy of this interesting document is given below:

Wilkes Co., N.C., Court Minutes, 1778 - "A Return of the Proceedings of the Commissioners who were appointed to Run the Deviding line between the County of Surry and Wilkes - (To Wit) Beginning on Rowan County line about half a mile below Daniel Rashes at a White Oak Standing in the head of a Branch of Hunting Creek thence North Crossing the mulberry Field Road about half a Mile below Hamlin’s Old Store House thence through Solomon Sparke's Plantation leaving the said Sparks House in Surry County thence Crossing the Brushey mountains at the head of the north fork of Swan Creek thence Crossing the Yadkin River a little below Capt. Parkes and through the Lower end of Carrols Plantation on the north side of sd River, then crossing the Big Elkin at the long sholes thence Crossing the south fork of Mitchels River about half a mile above Riggs’s Road, thence Crossing Mitchels River a little below John Scott’s Crossing the Top of the Piney Knob to the main Ridge of the Mountains about Two miles west of Fisher Peak thence to the Virginia line. The above line being Run exactly Twenty Six miles west of Surry Courthouse agreeable to Act of Assembly.” 

Thus, Solomon Sparks lived just south of the village of Swan Creek in the western part of Surry (now Yadkin) County, North Carolina, with land in Wilkes as well as in Surry. Around 1800 the Sparkses and their connections owned land for several miles along the Surry (now Yadkin) -Wilkes County line, and there are still many descendants in that area today.

It is believed that Solomon and Sarah Sparks were both deceased by 1800, or possibly by 1790. Since neither of them left a will, and no family Bible or other record has been located, it has been difficult to ascertain the names of the children of this couple. However, a power of attorney recorded in Wilkes County, NC., Court Minutes, on Tuesday, August 4, 1801, gives what we feel certain is a listing of at least eight of the children of Solomon and Sarah Sparks.

This instrument reads as follows: "A Letter of Attorney from John Sparks, Reuben Sparks, Solomon Sparks, Mary Jacks, Hannah Denny, Susannah Johnson and Joseph Sparks to Abel Sparks (1.2.5.1.8), dated 31st July 1801, was proven by Thomas Benge” (Susannah (Sparks) Johnson and her husband, Charles Johnson, are the great-great-great-great- grandparents of William Perry Johnson, author of this sketch). We know that John Sparks was born in 1753 and that 1.2.5.1.8 Abel Sparks was born in 1767, so assuming that the eight persons named in the above power of attorney were listed in their order of birth, which is quite possible, we would have:

(Webmaster Note: From WN 142, we have changed the birth order to:

1.2.5.1.1 Joseph Sparks, born ca. 1750;
1.2.5.1.2 John Sparks, born February 25, 1753, married Sarah Shores;
1.2.5.1.3 Reuben Sparks, born ca. 1755;
1.2.5.1.4 Mary Sparks, born ca. 1759;
1.2.5.1.5 Susannah Sparks, born ca. 1763, married Charles Johnson in Wilkes Co., N.C., in 1784;
1.2.5.1.6 Hannah Sparks, born ca. 1761;
1.2.5.1.7 Solomon Sparks, Jr., born ca. 1757;
1.2.5.1.8 Abel Sparks, born January 8, 1767 (from WN 26).

There may have been other children of Solomon and Sarah Sparks who were living far removed from this area in 1801, or others may have been deceased. It is known that the eight named in the power of attorney were all living in Surry (now Yadkin) and Wilkes Counties. N.C., at that time Of course, since then, branches of the family have scattered from coast to coast.

1.2.5.1.2 John Sparks lived in Surry County, North Carolina, from the time he removed there with his father ca. 1771, until 1786. by 1782 John Sparks had purchased 200 acres of land in Surry, on Brushy Mountain, and was taxed with 200 acres and 1 poll, 2 horses (or mules) and 6 cattle, In 1784 he was taxed with 200 acres and 1 poll; same for 1785 and 1786, He does not appear on the Surry County tax lists for 1787, 1788 or 1789, and he is given on the 1790 census of Wilkes County, rather than Surry.

There is no record in Surry of John Sparks purchasing or selling his 200 acres. (In those unsettled times, many, many deeds failed to get taken to the county seat for recording.) On 17 May 1780, John Sparks entered 200 acres of land in Wilkes County, which was issued to him 22 September 1785. (Land Grant Office, Raleigh, N.C., Book 59, page 253.) The 1790 census of Wilkes Co. lists John Sparks with a total of eight persons in his family, apparently himself, his wife, four sons aged under 16, and 2 daughters. (The other John Sparks on the 1790 census of Wilkes Co. is thought to be the John Sparks who married in Wilkes in 1781 Mary Parmely; however, it is possible that John, son of Solomon, was listed twice, which happened occasionally. There was no John Sparks given on the 1790 census of Curry County.)

1.2.5.1.2 John Sparks had married in Surry County ca. 1777 Sarah Shores a daughter of Reuben and Susannah Shores of Surry (now Yadkin) County. Reuben Shores owned large tracts of land where Jonesville, N.C., now stands. Sarah is named as Sarah Sparks in the will of her mother, Susannah Shores, probated in 1806 in Surry County, N.C. (Susannah Shores willed her "household and kitchen furniture" to her youngest daughter, Nancy Rousau. The other children listed in her will, to whom she left "one shilling Sterling each,” were named as follows: "William Shores, John Shores, Elizabeth Westmoreland, Sarah Sparks, Reuben Shores, Simeon Shores, Rebecca Mosley, David Shores, Rhoda Philips, Abiram Shores and Levi Shores.”)

Soon after removing to Wilkes County, John Sparks became active in the civil affairs of Trap Hill, the community where he had settled, about twenty miles north-east of Wilkesboro. He became a justice of the peace and performed marriages, listed taxes, and so on. On the 1800 tax list of Wilkes County, he is listed as John Sparks, Esquire, with 260 acres and 1 poll. (The title of Esquire was bestowed only on those of some standing in the community.) John Sparks was an active member of the Old Roaring River Baptist Church in Wilkes County, having joined on January 12, 1789 "by experience and baptism.” According to the Church records, on April 10, 1790, "the church set apart Brother John Sparks to walk before the church until next meeting as deacon,” and on August 12, 1790, he "set forward to do work of deacon.” In 1790 and 1791, he was "delegate to association,” and on June 11, 1791, his wife, "Sister Sarah Sparks,” was baptised. Like most other church members of the time, John Sparks was occasionally called to account for failing to live up to the strict Baptist rules. For instance, in August, 1791, he was found guilty of "gameing” but was pardoned. In 1794 he was accused of drunkenness, a charge which John Sparks denied and later "gave church satisfaction.”

1.2.5.1.2 John Sparks was listed on the 1840 census of Wilkes County as a Revolutionary War pensioner, and at that time he was living in the home of his son, 1.2.5.1.2.10 Reuben Sparks. According to census records, John’s wife, Sarah (Shores) Sparks, died sometime between 1830 and 1840. The date of death for John Sparks is not given on the Agency Books in Washington, D.C., but the last payment of his pension was made 3rd Quarter (September ) 1840, so it is apparent that he died sometime between then and March 1841, when the next payment fell due. His age at the time of his death was either 87 or 88. After his death, his heirs did not claim his pension, which amounted to $29 per year. His pension application in the National Archives is the one and only application from a John Sparks who served in the Revolution from North Carolina.

1.2.5.1.2 John Sparks, son of 1.2.5.1 Solomon, is sometimes confused with another John Sparks who served in the Revolutionary War from South Carolina. This second John was born in 1755 (supposedly in North Carolina), and died in 1834 in Washington County, Georgia. There is no record in the National Archives of his ever having applied for a pension, yet a number of his descendants have joined the D.A.R. through the pension application of John Sparks of Wilkes County, N.C. (An article on the genealogy of this John Sparks of South Carolina and Georgia is planned for a future issue of the Quarterly. (Note: see the issue for September 1964, Whole No. 47, pp. 835-39.)

Like his father, John Sparks of Wilkes County left no will, and his family Bible cannot be located. All of his children and grandchildren are gone, and there are but two or three of his great-grandchildren living. His grave, near Trap Hill, North Carolina, is marked with a Revolutionary Soldier marker, but it does not give his date of death nor any other data that we do not already have. We have endeavored to compile a list of the children of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks, from living descendants, census, court, church, and other extant records. We are fairly certain of eight children, but there may have been a total of ten or twelve.

The following record has been worked out by our President, Paul E. Sparks, great-great-great-grandson of John Sparks:

1.2.5.1.2 John Sparks born February 25, 1753, in Rowan County, North Carolina died 1840-41, in Wilkes County, North Carolina married ca. 1777, in Surry County, North Carolina, to Sarah Shores, daughter of Reuben and Susannah (LNU) Shores born ca. 1757 place not known, died between 1830 and 1840 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. Children:

[Webmaster Note: Corrected list from Issue 113. From 113:

1.2.5.1.2.1 Levi Sparks, born October 2, 1778, died October 12, 1851; married (1st) FNU Walsh; married (2nd) Sarah Lyon; appeared on the following censuses: 1810 and 1820 of Wilkes County, North Carolina; 1830, 1840, and 1850 of Lawrence County, Kentucky.
1.2.5.1.2.2 Robert Sparks, born ca. 1780 died ca. 1815; married Margaret Pigg about 1804.
1.2.5.1.2.3 Mary Sparks, born ca. 1782, probably died about 1855; married Robert Bauguess, ca. 1801.
1.2.5.1.2.4 Joel Sparks, born ca. 1784; died December 1849; married Nancy Blackburn on July 27, 1814; appeared on the 1820, 1830, 1840, and 1850 censuses of Wilkes County, North Carolina.
1.2.5.1.2.5 John Sparks, Jr., born ca. 1785, probably died about 1865; married Mary Fields, ca. 1815; appeared on the 1820,1830, 1840, and 1860 censuses of Wilkes County, North Carolina.
1.2.5.1.2.6 An unidentified daughter was born ca. 1787.
1.2.5.1.2.7 Solomon Sparks, born ca. 1790; probably died about 1860; married (1st)----- ----- ca. 1811; married (2nd) Judah or Julia A. ----- probably about 1824. Appeared on the 1820 census of Wilkes County, North Carolina, and the 1850 census of Cherokee County, North Carolina.
1.2.5.1.2.8 Sarah Sparks, born ca. 1792; died after 1860; married William Alexander on March 18, 1820; appeared on the 1850 and 1860 censuses of Wilkes County,North Carolina.
1.2.5.1.2.9 George Sparks, born November 9, 1796, died May 11, 1879; married (1st) a Miss Mainer or Maynard, ca. 1815; married (2nd) Nancy Short on August 6, 1822; appeared on the 1830 and 1850 censuses of Lawrence County, Kentucky, and on the 1860 census of Carter County, Kentucky.
1.2.5.1.2.10 Reuben Sparks, born September 26, 1799, died March 9, 1878; married Phoebe Blackburn on October 10, 1828; appeared on the 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860,and 1870 censuses of Wilkes County, North Carolina.
1.2.5.1.2.11 Colby Sparks, born ca. 1801, died 1869; married Sarah Pruitt on December 28, 1822; appeared on the 1830, 184o, 1850, and 1860 censuses of Wilkes County, North Carolina.


1.2.5.1.2.1 Levi Sparks, son of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks, was born October 2, 1778, Surry Co., N.C.; died 21 October 1851, Lawrence Co., Ky. He was married twice, first, about 1801, to FNU Walsh, and second, about 1805, to Sarah Lyon, born ca. 1781 in N.C. He served as deputy sheriff in Wilkes Co., N.C.; removed to Kentucky about 1821 with Jesse Lyon, John Holbrook and four other Lyon brothers (including Redheaded Bill) and two of his own brothers, George and Colby Sparks. Colby and three Lyon brothers returned to North Carolina. Levi Sparks taught school in Kentucky. He appeared on the following censuses: 1810 and 1820 of Wilkes County, North Carolina; 1830, 1840, and 1850 of Lawrence County, Kentucky.

Children: (by first wife, Walsh)

1.2.5.1.2.1.1 Garrett Sparks, (spelled Jarett on his marriage bond) born 15 Sep1802; married, 1825, Elizabeth Boggs.
1.2.5.1.2.1.2 Sidney Sparks (daughter), born ca. 1804; died young, in North Carolina.

Children: (by second wife, Sarah Lyon)

1.2.5.1.2.1.3 Calvin Sparks, born 9 November 1806; married 1828, Sarah Lyon.
1.2.5.1.2.1.4 Wiley Sparks, born 3 March 1808; married 1832, Sintha Holbrook.
1.2.5.1.2.1.5 Sinay Sparks, born ca. 1812; married 1833, Ira Ison.
1.2.5.1.2.1.6 Sarah Sparks, born ca. 1814; married 1835, Tillman Craft.
1.2.5.1.2.1.7 Nelson Sparks, born ca. 1818; married 1843, Margaret Mauk.
1.2.5.1.2.1.8 John L. Sparks, born ca. 1820; married Mary Hays.

1.2.5.1.2.2. Robert Sparks, probable son of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks, was born ca. 1780 in Curry Co, N.C.; died ca. 1815; married Margaret Pigg. This couple did not remain in Wilkes Co., N.C., but it is not known where they settled. The children lived in Kentucky. Children: (not all of these have been proven to be children of Robert & Margaret)

1.2.5.1.2.2.1 Wesley Sparks, born ca. 1805; married 1835, Nancy Kozee.
1.2.5.1.2.2.2 Nancy Sparks, born ca. 1810; married 1829, Martin Ison.
1.2.5.1.2.2.3 William Sparks, born ca. 1812; married about 1834, Mary Lyon.
1.2.5.1.2.2.4 Joel Sparks married Mary Grow.
1.2.5.1.2.2.5 Isaac Sparks
1.2.5.1.2.2.6 Reuben Sparks
1.2.5.1.2.2.7 Solomon Sparks

1.2.5.1.2.3 Mary Sparks, daughter of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks, was born ca. 1782, Surry Co., N.C.; lived in Wilkes Co., N.C., near Trap Hill; married about 1800 Robert Bauguess, son of Richard, born 12 June 1776, in Va.; died about 1872 in Wilkes Co. Children: (all born in Wilkes Co., N.C.).

1.2.5.1.2.3.1 Nancy Bauguess, born March 23, 1802; married Thomas Bryan.
1.2.5.1.2.3.2 Robert Bauguess, Jr., married Nancy Sparks.
1.2.5.1.2.3.3 Solomon Bauguess.
1.2.5.1.2.3.4 Samuel Bauguess, married Yates.
1.2.5.1.2.3.5 Mary ("Polly") Bauguess, born February 25.
1.2.5.1.2.3.6 Jane ("Jennie") Bauguess, born November 14, 1810; married John Holbrook.
1.2.5.1.2.3.7 Lewis Bauguess; married Holloway.
1.2.5.1.2.3.8 Richard Bauguess; married Hurst.
1.2.5.1.2.3.9 Sarah ("Sally") Bauguess; married Rousseau.
1.2.5.1.2.3.10 Lydia Bauguess.
1.2.5.1.2.3.11 David Bauguess; married Hall.
1.2.5.1.2.3.12 John K. Bauguess; married ----- Forrester.
1.2.5.1.2.3.13 Fannie Bauguess

1.2.5.1.2.4 Joel Sparks, son of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks, was born ca. 1784, Surry Co., N.C.; died about 1850 in Wilkes Co.; married 27 July 1814 (date of Wilkes Co. marriage bond) to Nancy Blackburn, born ca. 1791, N.C. She survived her husband. He appeared on the 1820, 1830, 1840, and 1850 censuses of Wilkes County, North Carolina. Children:

1.2.5.1.2.4.1 Richmond Sparks, born ca. 1815; married about 1835 Sarah Priutt.
1.2.5.1.2.4.2 (daughter) married 1830-40 .
1.2.5.1.2.4.3 Melinda Sparks, born ca. 1818; married 1838, Meredith Lyon.
1.2.5.1.2.4.4 Nancy Sparks, born ca. 1820; married Meredith Lyon.
1.2.5.1.2.4.5 Robert Sparks, born ca. 1824; married Susan A.
1.2.5.1.2.4.6 Joel Sparks, born ca. 1826; married 1846, Charlotte Durham.
1.2.5.1.2.4.7 Mittie Sparks, born ca. 1828; married 1846, James Durham.
1.2.5.1.2.4.8 Hugh Sparks, born ca. 1833; unmarried in 1860.

1.2.5.1.2.5 John Sparks, Jr., son of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks, was born ca. 1785, in Wilkes Co., N.C.; he married about 1816 Mary Fields, daughter of Isaiah and Nancy (Burcham) Fields, born ca. 1795 in N.C. This couple resided in Wilkes Co., N.C. He appeared on the 1820,1830, 1840, and 1860 censuses of Wilkes County, North Carolina. Children:

1.2.5.1.2.5.1 Sarah Sparks, born October 8, 1817; married William Holbrook in 1844.
1.2.5.1.2.5.2 Tennessee Sparks, born November 6, 1818; married Joseph Spicer in 1849.
1.2.5.1.2.5.3 Nancy Sparks, born ca. 1820; unmarried in 1860.
1.2.5.1.2.5.4 Mary Sparks, born ca. 1822; unmarried in 1860.
1.2.5.1.2.5.5 Phoebe Sparks, born ca. 1825; married George W. Spicer in 1864.
1.2.5.1.2.5.6 James Sparks, born August 2, 1827; married Charlotte Dickinson in 1850.
1.2.5.1.2.5.7 Colby Sparks, born ca. 1830; married Mary ("Polly") Burchette.
1.2.5.1.2.5.8 Reubin Sparks, born ca. 1839; married Elizabeth J. Billings in 1862.

1.2.5.1.2.6 An unidentified daughter of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks was born ca. 1787.

1.2.5.1.2.7 Solomon Sparks, born ca. 1790 in Wilkes Co., N.C.; probably died about 1860; married (1st) Charity LNU ca. 1811; married (2nd) Judah or Julia A. LNU ca. 1824. Appeared on the 1820 census of Wilkes County, North Carolina, and the 1850 census of Cherokee County, North Carolina.

1.2.5.1.2.7 Solomon Sparks is thought to be the Solomon Sparks who married Isabella Swaim and removed to Wells Co., Indiana, and raised a large family of children. [Correction NOTE: It was later determined that the 1.2.5.1.7.2 Solomon who married Isabella Swaim was the son of Solomon, John Sparks's brother. See the Dec, 1970 issue, Whole No. 72, p. 1360. This Solomon, son of John and Sarah Shores Sparks, married Charity LNU. See the June 1959 issue, Whole No. 26, pp. 382-400.] Children:

1.2.5.1.2.7.1 Aaron Sparks.
1.2.5.1.2.7.2 unknown Sparks
1.2.5.1.2.7.3 unknown Sparks
1.2.5.1.2.7.4 unknown Sparks
1.2.5.1.2.7.5 unknown Sparks
1.2.5.1.2.7.6 unknown Sparks
1.2.5.1.2.7.7 unknown Sparks
1.2.5.1.2.7.8 unknown Sparks
1.2.5.1.2.7.9 Solomon Sparks (?).
1.2.5.1.2.7.10 Isaac B. Sparks; m. 1851, Cynthia A. Roberts.
1.2.5.1.2.7.11 John Sparks.
1.2.5.1.2.7.12 unknown Sparks
1.2.5.1.2.7.13 Jackson Sparks

1.2.5.1.2.8. Sarah Sparks, daughter of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks, was born ca. 1792 in Wilkes Co., N.C.; she married 18 March 1820 (date of Wilkes Co. marriage bond) William Alexander, born ca. 1798 in N.C. The 1850 census of Wilkes Co., N.C., shows Hulda Alexander, aged 9, and Nancy Alexander, aged 7. These were probably either children or grandchildren. It is believed that this couple raised several children and have many descendants in Wilkes County, North Carolina.

1.2.5.1.2.9 George Sparks, son of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks, was born November 9, 1796, in Wilkes Co., N.C.; died 11 May 1879 in Elliott Co., Ky.; married, first, about 1815, in Wilkes Co., N.C., Mainer; he married second, August 7, 1822 (date of Lawrence Co.Ky., marriage bond) Nancy Short, daughter of Aaron Short, born April 7, 1800, died January 11, 1879. This couple resided in Lawrence Co., Ky., and were great-great-grandparents of Paul E. Sparks, President of The Sparks Family Association. He appeared on the 1830 and 1850 censuses of Lawrence County, Kentucky, and on the 1860 census of Carter County, Kentucky.

Children: (by first wife)

1.2.5.1.2.9.1 Lucinda Sparks, born ca. 1816; married James Hanks in 1838.

Children: (by second wife)

1.2.5.1.2.9.2 John W. Sparks, born November 5, 1823; married Almeda Green.
1.2.5.1.2.9.3 Nancy Sparks, born ca. 1825; married John Hutchinson.
1.2.5.1.2.9.4 Cyntha Sparks, born July 16, 1827; died unmarried.
1.2.5.1.2.9.5 Hugh S. Sparks, born May 21, 1829; married Nancy Carnutte.
1.2.5.1.2.9.6 Levi H. Sparks, born May 31, 1834; married Nancy Lawson.
1.2.5.1.2.9.7 Emma Sparks, born June 16, 1839; married John Harper.
1.2.5.1.2.9.8 Colby Sparks, born ca. 1842; died young.
1.2.5.1.2.9.9 Mary ("Polly") Sparks, born ca. 1844; married John Lawson.

1.2.5.1.2.10 Reuben Sparks, son of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks, was born 26 Sept 1799 in Wilkes Co,, N.C.; he died 9 March 1878,in Wilkes Co., N.C.; he married 10 October 1828, in Wilkes Co., Phoebe Blackburn, born 14 October 1807, in Wilkes Co., died 26 November 1892, in Wilkes Co. Reuben and Phoebe Sparks lived at Trap Hill in Wilkes Co. and were honest, hard-working, God-fearing people. We are very much indebted to Mrs. Annie (Sparks) Wilson of Trap Hill, and her brother, Blame Sparks, for furnishing us with pictures of Reuben and Phoebe (their grandparents), and for being of invaluable assistance to us in the compiling of this record of the descendants of John Sparks, Revolutionary War soldier. He appeared on the 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, and 1870 censuses of Wilkes County, North Carolina. Children:

1.2.5.1.2.10.1 George Washington Sparks, born October 11, 1829; married 1855, Elizabeth E. Johnson.
1.2.5.1.2.10.2 Lewis Williams Sparks, born May 23, 1831; married Martha Spicer.
1.2.5.1.2.10.3 Sarah Sparks, born November 29, 1837; died 1862; unmarried.
1.2.5.1.2.10.4 John Sparks, born August 6, 1841; unmarried.
1.2.5.1.2.10.5 William C. Sparks, born May 25, 1843; married Phoebe McCann.

1.2.5.1.2.11 Colby Sparks, son of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks, was born ca. 1801, in Wilkes Co., N.C.; died about 1869 in Wilkes County; he went to Kentucky in the 1820's but returned to North Carolina; he was married in Wilkes County in 1822 (marriage bond dated December 28, 1822) to Sarah Pruitt, daughter of John Pruitt; she was born ca. 1814 in North Carolina. Colby Sparks was a Baptist preacher of local reputation. He appeared on the 1830, 184o, 1850, and 1860 censuses of Wilkes County, North Carolina. Children of Colby and Sarah (Pruitt) Sparks:

1.2.5.1.2.11.1 Mahala ("Hulda") Sparks, born ca. 1824; married Williford Privett, Jr., in 1848.
1.2.5.1.2.11.2 Irena R. ("Rena") Sparks, born ca. 1826; married James H. Billings in 1860.
1.2.5.1.2.11.3 Christena Sparks; born ca. 1828; unmarried in 1870.
1.2.5.1.2.11.4 Sarah ("Sallie") Sparks, born ca. 1830; married John Durhamborn in 1851.
1.2.5.1.2.11.5 Nancy Sparks, born ca. 1833; unmarried in 1870.
1.2.5.1.2.11.6 Leah Sparks, born ca. 1836; married ----- Crawford.
1.2.5.1.2.11.7 Ruth Sparks, born ca. 1839; unmarried in 1870.
1.2.5.1.2.11.8 Julia Sparks, born ca. 1842; unmarried in 1870.
1.2.5.1.2.11.9 Naomi Sparks, born ca. 1846; married ----- Stamper.
There was a son who died young.

George Washington Sparks and his brother, John Sparks (sons of Reuben and Phoebe Sparks), were killed in service in 1863 in the Army of the Confederate States of America. Their brother, William C. Sparks, fought with the Union Army, serving with Company H, 10th Regiment of Cavalry, Tennessee Volunteers. His honorable discharge, dated 1 August 1865, gives his description as follows:

--- Said William Sparks was born in Wilkes County in the State of North Carolina, is twenty years of age, Six feet -- inches high, fair complexion, blue eyes, Black hair, by occupation, when enrolled, a Farmer.” The following is taken from a newspaper clipping, dated 1863, from The National Tribune, printed in Washington, D.C. Some of the account is said to have been left out, but here is what remains and, although incomplete, it gives an interesting account of how William C. Sparks escaped and avoided capture during the War:

---William Sparks also belonged to the company of stampeders, but being sick, he was in the house when the excitement occurred in the yard, and he asked Mrs. Bell to conceal him, She immediately raised a plank from the kitchen floor, and he crept under the kitchen, where he remained until the rebels had finished their bloody work and returned to burn the house, which they first commenced by piling up clothes in the center of the floor, and setting them on fire, just over the cellar where the sick man had been concealed. The clothes not burning fast enough, they procured a straw-bed, and, placing it on the floor, they put a chunk of fire into it: the smoke began to ascend in clouds, when they were compelled to go out into the front yard to obtain fresh air, There were two doors to the kitchen, and the wind passing through closed the door next to the rebels, which gave Sparks an opportunity to make his escape from the house. He crept out of the cellar through the smoke, and went through the back yard about ten steps from the house and concealed himself under some dry weeds and vines in the garden where he remained until the buildings were consumed, suffering intensely from the terrible heat of the fire.

---The rebels now went up the valley among their murdered victims for the purpose of stripping them of their clothing. Miss Elizabeth Morrison, who lived in the neighborhood, and was at Bell's house during the whole time of the dreadful excitement, procured a lady's dress, took it to the garden where Sparks was concealed, and told him to put it on, and thereby most admirably disguised his sex. She then told him to walk along slowly across the fields and go to her father's house, telling him when he got to the house her father would conduct him to a place of safety. She said all of her family would at once know her bonnet, and that would furnish them sufficient evidence that he was not a traitor.

Sparks went on as the kind lady directed him, and was concealed and saved; but he had been so terribly frightened that he did not recover his proper faculties of mind for several days. The horrid scenes he witnessed on that dreadful day surely can never be erased from his memory until death shall have closed his earthly existence.

The above record of John Sparks, his ancestry and descendants, is very incomplete, but it is hoped that the publishing of this material will bring in additions and corrections from our readers.

Corrections to print copy of this article:

[Webmaster Note: NOT a child of John and Sarah. 1.2.5.1.2.6. ? Jonathan Sparks, probably a son of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks, was born ca. 1788 in Wilkes Co., N.C. He is probably the Jonathan Sparks on the 1820 census of Wilkes Co., N.C.; he left Wilkes Co. before 1830. ]

[Webmaster Note: 1.2.5.1.2.3 William Sparks, NOT a child of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks. May have been born ca. 1782, Surry Co., N.C. There is a tradition in the family that there was a son by this name, but if so, it has not been possible to identify him among the many persons of that name. He removed from Wilkes Co., N.C. ]

top