March 23, 2021
Whole Number 12
JAMES SPARKS, SEA-CAPTAIN OF PHILADELPHIA
(Editor's note: The data used in the following record have been taken from an article entitled "The Record of Some Residents in the Vicinity of Middle Ferry, Philadelphia;" which appeared in Vol. 9. pp. 67-68, of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania Publications.)
James Sparks, a sea-captain. came from England and settled in Philadelphia prior to 1751. He sailed chiefly to ports in Great Britain and as no doubt the "Sparks" mentioned as master of the ship James and Mary in a letter of William Strahan dated London, February 21, 1763, In 1767 he was captain of the Mary and Elizabeth, a ship of large dimensions for that time-one hundred and eighty tons. He was in Philadelphia at the time Lord Howe captured that city and was selected by him to by one of the commissioners to make selection "of a watch of one hundred and twenty men to keep order in the city." He was selected a member of the committee to collect subscriptions for the support of the Almshouse and also one of the managers of a lottery for the benefit of the poor. Captain Sparks made several purchases of land in Philadelphia. the first being under date of 28 August 1765, which property he conveyed in May, 1782, his then wife Ann joining in the deed, in which he is styled "gentleman." Some years later he returnen to England, and in a deed of March 11, 1790, recorded at Philadelphia, he is described as "James Sparks of Philadelphia, now dwelling in Kinsay in Worcestershire, England." by this deed, he conveyed land in Philadelphia in trust for his daughter Margaret. wife of James Newport, and, in a note to tho record of the same, is the statement of James Reynolds that, "Captain James Sparks since his return to reside in England has assumed and constantly writes his name Spark.:
Captain Sparks's religious associations were with Christ Church, of which he was a vestryman in 1774 and 1778. There several of his children were baptized) and there his three marriages are recorded. He married (first) June 14, 1751, Mary Harry; (second) January 8, 1766, Sarah Ozier, and (third) November 19, 1772, Ann Pearson. He had children by each wife.
Children with Mary Harry:
John Sparks, died November 20, 1754.
Dorothy Sparks, born circa 1756; married, June 7, 1775, Ebenezer Large, of Bristol, PA, and later a merchant of Philadelphia.
Their daughter Sarah Sparks married Thomas Mifflin, a nephew of Major General Thomas Mifflin, and the father of the late William Mifflin who, at his decease, was the head of the MiffIin family of Philadelphia.
Margaret Sparks born May 3, 1757; married James Newport.
Children with Sarah Ozier:
Rachel Ozier Sparks, born July 3, 1768.
Children with Ann Pearson:
Mary Sparks, born August 29, 1773.
James Sparks, born January 4, 1775.
Jenn Sparks, born June 23, 1777.