Pages 162 -164
Whole Number 15
by William Perry Johnson
A branch of the Sparks family settled during the American Revolution (or earlier) in that section of Guilford County, North Carolina, that became Rockingham County in 1785. The earliest documentary record is to be found in Guilford County, dated 1780, when Thomas Sparks obtained a land grant for 452 acres from the State of North Carolina. Guilford County Deed Books also show that in 1785 (a few months before Rockingham County was formed on 28 December 1785) 92.1 Thomas Sparks, along with his wife Margaret, deeded to 92.1.1 Jeremiah Sparks 402 acres of the original 452-acre grant.
Rockingham County Deed Books show that in 1786, 92.1 Thomas and Margaret Sparks sold the remaining 50 acres to Joseph McClain. The couple evidently removed from North Carolina at this time, perhaps going to Georgia as did other members of the Rockingham County Sparks family.
In Rockingham County in 1787 92.1.1 Jeremiah Sparks and wife Mary deeded to William Bethell of Rockingham County 200 of the 402 acres that Thomas and Margaret Sparks had deeded to Jeremiah two years earlier. In 1788 Jeremiah Sparks and wife Mary, then residents of Franklin County, Georgia, deeded to William Bethell the remaining 202 acres of their 402-acre tract.
Rockingham County records show that in 1797 92.1.2 Thomas Sparks, Junior, purchased 108 acres of land from William Bethell. In 1798 92.1.2 Thomas Sparks and wife Elizabeth sold this 108-acre tract. This couple probably removed to Franklin County, Georgia, also, as there is a couple by that name on early records in that county.
From 1798 to 1846 there are no further Sparks deeds on record in Rockingham County, N.C. A Matthew Sparks from Virginia (probably from Pittsylvania County, Va., which adjoined Rockingham County, N.C.) settled ca. 1846 in Rockingham County, and from that year until after 1900 he and his descendants are on record.
The only Sparks given on the 1790 census of Rockingharn County, N.C., was a Thomas Sparks. He is probably the Thomas Sparks, Junior, who purchased land in 1797 and sold out in 1798, as all the others appear to have moved to Georgia before 1790.
No Sparks wills or administrations have been found in Rockingham County. The few marriage bonds on record in the county are listed below and are, no doubt, for members of the Pittsylvania County, Va., family:
13 August 1812 - Nehemiah x Sparks - Catharine Norton - Bondsman: John Norton.
30 December 1843 - Thomas French - Ann Sparks - Bondsman: William x Mobley.
19 December 1848 - Henry x Greenwood - Elizabeth Sparks - Bondsman: Mathew T. x Sparks.
10 October 1848 - John C. xWall - Matilda Sparks - Bondsman: Henry x Greenwood.
Following are abstracts of the seven Sparks deeds mentioned previously, two from Guilford County, five from Rockingham County, N.C.
1. Guilford Co., N.C. — Deed Book 2, page 162:
Grant to Thomas Sparks. A Tract of Land containing Four hundred and fifty two acres lying and being in our County of Guilford on the waters of the lick fork of Hogans Creek Beginning at a white Oak on John Thrashers line Running South Two hundred and Sixty poles to a black oak thence West one hundred and forty six poles to a white Oak thence South Eighty poles to a beach thence West Eighty poles to Persimmon Tree thence North sixty two poles to a post Oak thence West Twenty poles to a Red Oak on Mullins old line thence North on said line three hundred poles to a Burch on the bank of lick fork Creek being Thrashers Dividing line thence East on said agreed line by the meanders of the Creek to Thrashers Deeded Land thence along the line of said Deeded Land to the Beginning. Recorded &c., William Sheppard, D. Sec.
2. Guilford Co., N.C. - Deed Book C-3, page 207:
13 May 1785. 92.1 Thomas Sparks and wife Margrett of Guilford Co., N.C,, to Jeremiah Sparks. Consideration, 50 Pounds. 'A certain tract Pice or Parcel of Land situate laying and being in the aforesaid County of Guilford on the waters of Lick fork of Hogans Creek it being the survey or Tract of Land he now live on as will appear by a Deed bearing Date March 1st 1780 containing by estimation foure hundred and two acres to wit Beginning at a white oak on John Thrashers line Running South one hundred & fifty poles to a black Jack thence west one hundred & fifty poles to a white oak thence North two hundred and sixty poles to a post oak on Mullens line to a Beach on the bank the creek thence East one hundred & fifty poles to the Beginning.' /s/ Thos. his X mark Sparkes, Margret her X mark Sparkes. Witnesses: William Bethell, Isham his H mark Hancock.
3. Rockingham Co., N.C. - Deed Book A, page 154:
1786. Thomas Sparks to Joseph McClain, both of Rockingham County. Consideration, 50 Pounds. 50 acres, 'Parte of a Tract of Land Granted by the State to Said Sparks Containing 452 acres Bearing date March 1st 1780 lying and Being in Said County on Both Sides of the Road Called Dixes ferry Road on the Waters of Lick fork of Hogains Creek. Beginning at a Black Oak South East Corner of the original Survey Running West on Said line 90 poles to a hicory thence North Crossing Two Branches 90 poles to a Black Oak thence East 90 poles to a hiccory thence South on William Bethells line 90 poles to the first Station.' /s/ Thomas his X mark Sparkes, Margret her X mark Sparkes. Witnesses: Nathaniel Linder, John ODell, William his X mark Bethell, Thomas Chance, Thomas his X mark McClain, Sarah her X mark Washband.
4. Rockingham Co., N.C. - Deed Book B, page 184:
10 November 1787. 92.1.1 Jeremiah Sparks and wife Mary of (place not given - WPJ) to Willaim Bethell of Rockingham County. Consideration, 120 Pounds. 200 acres 'on waters of Cabben branch of Hogans Creek It being part of a Survey Granted by said State to Thomas Sparks Containing 452 and the South end of said Tract Bounded by Joseph McClams line, James Horsfords, Thos. Mullins, Samuel Bethels, William Bethells and my own. Beginning at Possimmon the South west Corner of Original Survey thence East -- poles thence North -- Polls thence East -- Poles thence North -- Poles thence West -- Poles thence South -- Poles thence East -- Poles thence South -- Poles to the first Station.' (Poles not given - WPJ) /s/ Jeremiah Sparkes, Mary her X mark Sparkes. Witnesses: Richd. Stubblefield, Moses Vincent, Samuel Bethell.
5. Rockingham Co., N,C. - Deed Book B, page 185:
12 December 1788. 92.1.1 Jeremiah Sparks and wife Mary, of Franklin County, Georgia, to William Bethell of Rockingham Co., N.C. Consideration, 100 Pounds. 202 acres 'on waters of Hogans Creek it being part of a Survey of Land Granted by Thomas Sparks to Said Jeremiah Sparks, & the lower end of Said Survey, Butted & bounded as followeth Beginning at a White Oak said Bethells old corner on Thrashers line Runing west on Thrashers line 200 poles to Thrashers Corner a post oak saplin thence North 40 Poles to a Small White oak on the bank of Lick fork of Hogans Creek, thence with said fork as the water Meanders to a Burch, thence South on Flower Swifts line 150 Polls to a Red Oak Millins line, thence East to a Post Oak 260 on said Bethels line, Thence North with said Bethels line 130 Poles to the first Station.' /s/ Jeremiah Sparks, Mary her H mark Sparks. Witnesses: Isham Hancock, Milley Sparkes.
6. Rockingham Co., N.C.- Deed Book E, page 83:
22 February 1797. William Bethell to 92.1.2 Thomas Sparks Junr., both of Rockingham County. Consideration, 50 Pounds. 108 acres on Waters of Hogans Creek. 'Beginning at a White Oak the corner of an Eighty Acre Tract thence East 17 poles to a black oak William MoCallums corner, thence with his line North 32 poles crossing a branch to a hickory grub thence East 140 poles to a Spanish Oak thence South 32 poles the same course to first Station.' Including the 80 acres tract. /s/ William Bethell.
Witnesses: John Hunter, Richd. Bethell.
7. Rockingham Co., N.C. — Deed Book E, page 279:
25 August 1798. 92.1.2 Thomas Sparks and wife Elizabeth of Rockingham County, to Jeremiah Odell of same. Consideration, 100 Pounds. 108 acres 'on Waters of Lickfork of Hogans Creek Butted & bounded as follows. Beginning at a white oak the corner of an 80 acre tract formerly the property of Will. Bethell runing East 17 poles to a black oak Wm McCallurns Corner Thence with his line North 32 poles crossing on branch to a hiccory Grub thence East 140 poles to a Spanish Oak thence South 32 poles, thence to the first Station So as to Include the 80 acre Tract.' It being a Survey or tract of land granted by William Bethell to Thomas Sparks as will more fully appear by a Deed of conveyance bearing the date 22 day of Feby. 1797. Registered in Book E page 83. /s/ Thomas Sparks, Elizabeth Sparks. (No witnesses. Acknowledged in presence of W. Bethell as to Thomas Sparks.)