May 8, 2021

Pages 382-399
Whole Number 26


by Russell E. Bidlack

(Note of acknowledgment: The records upon which this article has been based have been provided by a number of persons. Our Historian-Genealogist, William Perry Johnson, has copied and evaluated all of the North Carolina records referred to. Paul E. Sparks, our President, spent an entire day recently in the courthouses of Wells and Huntington Counties, Indiana, gathering data; in order to begin his research as soon as the Huntington County courthouse opened, Paul had to leave his home in Louisville at 3:00 A.M.! Mrs. Elizabeth Sparks Erickson, of Colorado, has supplied much of the data on the family of George W. Sparks, grandson of Solomon and Charity Sparks, including the photograph used on the cover. Mrs. Una Sparks Pierce, of 2851 Ewald Circle, Detroit, Michigan, is responsible for getting us started on this article when she loaned the author copies of two letters written by William Henderson Sparks, son of George W., in 1867; these letters will be published in the September issue of the Quarterly. Mrs. Bertha J. Davis, of 2036 Harrison Blvd., Boise, Idaho, has supplied the data on Delila Sparks Conklin as well as her photograph. To all of these generous contributors, a hearty THANK YOU! R.E.B.)

In an article by William Perry Johnson entitled 'The Genealogy of John Sparks, Revolutionary War Pensioner of Wilkes County, North Carolina,' which appeared in the Quarterly of December, 1955 (pp. 97-104), the data were summarized which have been gleaned thus far on the life of Solomon Sparks, early settler in Wilkes County, North Carolina. In his article, Mr. Johnson pointed out that Solomon Sparks probably was born in Frederick County, Maryland, and that he was probably a son of Joseph Sparks who died in Frederick County in 1749. Solomon Sparks, with his wife, Sarah, and family moved from Frederick County, Maryland, to near Salisbury, Rowan County (now Davie County), North Carolina, sometime during the year 1753. They settled in the forks of the Yadkin River where Solomon obtained a land grant of 250 acres in 1761 near the mouth of Muddy Creek. About 1772 they moved from Rowan County to what is now Wilkes (then a part of Surry) County, North Carolina. The last record we have of Solomon and Sarah Sparks is dated 1788 when they sold land which they still owned in Rowan County to Jonas Sparks. (Jonas Sparks was probably a brother of Solomon and accompanied Daniel Boone to Kentucky in 1773; he did not remain in Kentucky, however, and soon returned to North Carolina--see the Quarterly of September, 1953, pp. 13-16.) Solomon and Sarah Sparks had probably both died by 1800, perhaps as early as 1790. As Mr. Johnson explained in his article (p. 98), a complete list of the children of Solomon and Sarah Sparks has not been discovered, but on August 4, 1801, a power of attorney was given to Abel Sparks in connection with the settlement of Solomon's estate which appears to list the surviving children of Solomon and Sarah Sparks. (The family Bible of Abel Sparks survives and gives Abel's date of birth as January 8, 1767--see the Quarterly of December, 1958 (No. 4, p. 337).) Eight children were listed in this power of attorney, one being Solomon Sparks, Jr.

Little is known of Solomon Sparks, Jr., son of Solomon and Sarah Sparks, except that he lived his life in Wilkes County, near the boundary line between Wilkes and Surry County, and was a farmer by occupation. The earliest record of his purchasing land is a deed recorded in Wilkes County (Book Fl, p. 153) dated January 12, 1791, by which 'Solomon Sparks, Jr. of Wilkes County, North Carolina' purchased a tract from William P. Lewis of Surry County. Solomon Sparks, Jr., paid six pounds, eight shillings for this piece of land which was located in Wilkes County, 'on the head of the north fork of Hunting Creek.' It was described in the deed as follows: 'Beginning on a white oak in the County Line on the North side of a branch and Running North with Sd. Line thirty Chain to a poplar on the brushy Mountain in Joseph Sparks' line thence west with sd line fifty [chains] to a Maple in Clemmons's Line thence South with Sd. Line thirty Chain to a Chestnut thence East fifty Chain crossing the branch to the beginning.' The deed was witnessed by Robt. Lewis and Joseph Sparks. Another deed on file in Wilkes County (Book Fl, p. 161), dated February 1, 1805, records the sale by George Denney to Solomon Sparks, Jr., for twenty pounds, a tract of 61 1/2 acres adjoining Solomon's other land. This tract was located also on the north fork of Hunting Creek, 'Beginning on a white oak in the County line, Said Sparkes South east Corner, Runing thence west along sd. line one hundred twenty pole to a post oak in sd line thence South eighty two pole to a hicory in sd Denneys line thence East one hundred and twenty poles to a black oak in sd County line thence North Eighty two poles to the begining at the branch in the County line.' This deed was witnessed by Daniel Wilcockson and John Felts. In 1808, Solomon Sparks, Jr., purchased 150 acres in Surry County. From 1813 until Solomon's death in 1817, his son William appears to have lived on this tract and to have paid the taxes. On the 1817 tax list he was described as 'William Sparks of Solomon.'

Solomon Sparks, Jr.'s name appears occasionally in the court records of Wilkes County, as when he served on 'road jury' in 1809 and in November, 1817. In the latter record he was one of eleven men to 'view and lay off a new road from John Sales the nearest and best way to Hamptonville.' He was taxed, according to extant Wilkes County tax records, on real estate amounting to 128 acres in 1797 to 111 1/2 acres in 1805. On the 1810 census, his age was given as between 26 and 45. Solomon Sparks, Jr., married Charity MNU ca. 1785. They were the parents of six sons: George Sparks, Solomon Sparks, III, who married Isabelle Swaim, William Sparks, Samuel Sparks, Jonathan Sparks born ca. 1800, and Joseph Sparks, born ca. 1802.

The latter two, Jonathan Sparks and Joseph Sparks, were apparently minors when their father died on December 18, 1817; from the 1820 census it would appear that Jonathan was born ca. 1800 while Joseph was born between 1802 and 1804. The four oldest sons, George Sparks, Solomon Sparks, William Sparks, and Samuel Sparks, had each been given some livestock and a 'Feather Bed and furniture' by their father before his death, which would imply that they had married and left home by 1817. Solomon Sparks, Jr., died on the night of December 18, 1817, probably from a sudden injury or illness. He was unable to prepare a written will, but on his deathbed dictated how he wished his property to be divided. A few days later, his son, Solomon Sparks, and Elizabeth Chappel, who was probably a relative or near neighbor, put into writing Solomon Jr.'s last wishes. (An oral, or unwritten will, is called a 'nuncupative will.') Recorded in Wilkes County Will Book 3, page 171, the will reads as follows:

Nuncupative Will of Solomon Sparks, Deceased.
State of North Carolina/
Wilkes County / The Will of Solomon Sparks of the County aforesaid Deceased who died on the Night of the 18th of Decr. 1817. On the day before he died we do Certify that he the said Solomon Sparks Requested that his property should be disposed of in the following manner to wit. --
First as much of his personal Estate to be sold as shall be Sufficient to pay all his Just debts.
2d. His two Youngest Sons Jonathan and Joseph to have as much out of his Estate as he had previously given to his older children which was the following property. One Horse, Bridle and Saddle, One Cow and Calf, One Sow and pigs, and One Feather Bed and furniture.
3d. All the Ballance of his Estate he desired that his wife Charity Sparks should hold and enjoy both Personal and Real during her life.
4th. Then all the aforesaid property to be Sold to the best Advantage and the money Arising from the sale to be Equally divided amongst his six Sons, George, Solomon, William, Samuel, Jonathan and Joseph. In Witness whereof we the under Signed do certify the above to be true and believe the said Solomon Sparks was in his proper mind and Sences, Decenzber 23d 1817.
/S/ Elisabeth X Chappel Jut.
/S/ Solomon Sparks, North Carolina/
Wilkes County / Feby. Term 1818. The foregoing Nuncupative Will was duly
proven in open court by the Oath of Elisabeth Chappel.
/S/ Test. R. Martin. Clk.

On February 2, 1818, Charity Sparks, widow of Solomon Sparks, Jr., submitted to the court an inventory of her late husband's estate, which is recorded on page 168 of Will Book 3, as follows:

An Inventory of the Estate of Solomon Sparks, Deceased.

One tract of Land Four Jugs
Three Negroes Three Bedsteads
One Waggon and Geers One Loom and Gears
One Still Three flat irons
Ten Hogsheads Five pales and piggins
One Horse Four tubs
One Mare One Cutting knife
Three Cows and Yearlings One Ax
Nine Head of Sheep One grindstone
Three Beds and furniture A parcel of pewter
Two Chests Some Earthen Ware
Three Pots One Mattock
Two Ovens Corn, Bacon and fowls
Two Skillets One drawing knife
Some cotten and flax One Hand saw
Eight Cheirs Some knives and forks, and other affairs too tedious to mention.
One set of fire dogs  
One Shovel and tongs  
One Shovel Plow  
Three hoes
A Quantity of Hogs
Two tables
One Reel
Four Wheels
One Hackle

2d Feby. 1818

her /S/ Charity X Sparks mark

North Carolina/
Wilkes county/ Feby. Term 1818.
The above Inventory was Return'd on Oath by
Charity Sparks.
/s/ Test. R. Martin. Clk.

In accordance with Solomon's will, his widow, Charity, continued in possession of his estate until her death. Tax records of Surry County, North Carolina, for instance, reveal that she was taxed regularly on 25 acres which lay in Surry County from the time of Solomon's death until 1828, the year in which she apparently died. This tract of land lay on the Hunting Creek and through the years was described on the tax records as adjoining land of the following persons: William Jeffrey, Lewis Samuel, Hyram Sales, Levi Chappel, and John Jackson. Following the death of Charity Sparks, her son Samuel Sparks became administrator. On February 3, 1829, Samuel Sparks gave bond 'in the sum of $4700'; his bondsmen were his brothers, Joseph and Jonathan. The court then ordered that 'Sam'l Sparks, Adm., sell the Estate of Solomon Sparks, dec'd., and make due Return thereof to our next County Court.' (Quoted from Wilkes County Court Minutes, February 3, 1829.) On May 6, 1829, Samuel Sparks reported that his father's estate had been sold, that the total amount received was $2185.91, and that $186.25 had been paid out in legacies. (Wilkes County Will Book 4, p. 131.) Presumably, the 'legacies' pertained to the provision which Solomon had made for his two youngest sons, Jonathan and Joseph.

An attempt has been made to trace each of the five children of Solomon and Charity Sparks. George Sparks. From the order in which the children of Solomon and Charity Sparks were listed in Solomon's nuncupative will, it would appear that George was the oldest. He was born ca. 1788. He is known to have married Delila MNU in Wilkes County, North Carolina, and to have migrated to Randolph County, Indiana, in 1830. He died in Wells County, Indiana, in 1843. Additional information on George Sparks and his descendants appears below. Solomon Sparks. The second son of Solomon and Charity Sparks was named Solomon. The name 'Solomon' was used so frequently in the Wilkes County branch of the Sparks family that it is difficult to distinguish between the several men with that name living there in the late 1700's and early 1800's. It seems virtually certain, however, that the Solomon Sparks who came to Randolph County, later to Wells County, Indiana, and was closely associated in Indiana with George Sparks, was the Solomon Sparks who was the second son of Solomon and Charity Sparks. He died in Wells County, Indiana on April 28, 1854, at the age of 62 years (thus he was born ca. 1792). He married Isabella Swaim. Additional information on Solomon Sparks and his descendants appears on pages 395-400. William Sparks. William Sparks, the third son of Solomon and Charity Sparks, was listed in the tax records of Surry County, North Carolina, between 1813 and 1818 as living on 150 acres of land which his father had purchased in 1808. His name did not appear in the tax lists after 1818, however, and he was not listed on the 1820 census of either Surry or Wilkes County. Samuel Sparks. Samuel Sparks, fourth son of Solomon and Charity Sparks, was born early in the 1790's (he gave his age as 58 on the 1850 census) in Wilkes County, North Carolina. It was he who administered the final settlement of his father's estate in 1829. Samuel Sparks married Mary Alvey, daughter of William Alvey, in 1814 (the Wilkes County marriage bond is dated October 22, 1814; Wiseman Alvey, bondsman). Mary (Alvey) Sparks was born ca. 1793 in Wilkes County and died ca. 1851. Samuel Sparks married, as his second wife, Sarah Ellis in 1852 (the Wilkes County marriage bond is dated October 26, 1852; William Redding, bondsman). Samuel Sparks died in 1858--he made his will on January 29, 1858, and it was probated in May of the same year. In his will he mentioned his wife, Sarah, and the following children: Solomon Sparks; Reuben Sparks; Joseph Sparks; Elias Sparks; Ransom Sparks; Noah Sparks; George Sparks; Matilda Sparks Gray; Mary Sparks Goforth; Malinda Sparks Chambin; Jane Sparks Adams and Samuel Sparks, born ca. 1837, who apparently died before 1858. Jonathan Sparks. Jonathan Sparks, fifth son of Solomon and Charity Sparks, appears to have been living at home and single when his father died in 1817, judging from the wording of the nuncupative will.

by 1860, Jonathan Sparks had moved from Franklin County, Tennessee, to Dallas County, Arkansas, and on the census of that year gave his age as 68 (thus born ca. 1792). Joseph Sparks, sixth son of Solomon and Charity Sparks, was born ca. 1803. In all likelihood, he was the Joseph Sparks who married Sabry (or Sabra) Deinmit in Wilkes County in 1822 (the marriage bond is dated February 4, 1822; Joseph Brown, bondsman). He and his wife were in Wells County in 1838 for on February 19, 1838, "Joseph Sparks, and wife, Sabary, of Wells County, Indiana" sold 40 acres of land to Albert Draper; Solomon Sparks witnessed the deed. In October, 1838, Joseph and "Sabra" Sparks sold 80 acres of land in Wells County to Thomas T. Smith. by 1850 Joseph Sparks was living in Adams County, Indiana. His wife's name was given as 'Sarah' on the 1850 census, but on the 1860 census it was given as 'Sabra.' The age of Joseph Sparks was given as 47 on the 1850 census of Adams County, which means that he was born ca. 1803. His birthplace was given as North Carolina; he was a farmer by occupation, and owned real estate valued at $600. Sabra's age was given as 49 in 1850, her birthplace as North Carolina. Living with Joseph Sparks in 1850 were: Ransom Sparks, 26 years old, born in North Carolina; Hampton Sparks, 24 years old, also born in North Carolina; and Mary Sparks, 14 years old, born in Indiana.

Also living with the family in 1850 was an 18-year-old laborer named Benjamin Blue, born in Ohio. Joseph Sparks apparently died between 1850 and 1860, because on the 1860 census of Adams County, Sabra Sparks was listed as the head of the household. Ransom Sparks, aged 36 in 1860, was still living with his mother, his occupation being given as 'farmer.' Mary Sparks was also still at home. A Ransom Sparks, probably the above son of Joseph and Sabra, died in Wells County, Indiana, on December 18, 1876. He did not leave a will; Warren McBride was appointed as his administrator. He died insolvent; no heirs were named in the settlement. A search of Adams County records would doubtless produce further data on Joseph Sparks and his descendants. GEORGE SPARKS,
SON OF SOLOMON AND CHARITY SPARKS George Sparks, eldest son of Solomon and Charity Sparks, was born ca. 1788. He married, in Wilkes County, North Carolina, Delila MNU ca. 1806. Since no marriage bond has been preserved, it is probable that George and Delila were married following the publication of their banns. (See Mr. Johnson's article entitled 'Sparks Marriage Bonds from North Carolina,' in the Quarterly of December, 1954, No. 4, pp. 54-55.) On the 1810 census of Wilkes County, George Sparks was listed with his wife and one male (son) and one female (daughter), both aged under ten years. He was a farmer by occupation. At least one deed pertaining to his purchase of land is on record--on November 24, 1810, he bought for $200 a tract of 100 acres in Wilkes County 'on the waters of Hunting Creek.' He purchased this land from Abednego Sanders; the witnesses to the deed were Henry Martin, Leonard Sale, and Daniel Wilcoxen. George Sparks appears as a grantor in only one deed preserved in Wilkes County. This was dated August 14, 1828, and was a deed of trust. He owed Richard J. Cook, formerly of Wilkes County 'but now of Rowan County, North Carolina, $236.22, and he deeded the 100 acre tract which he had purchased in 1810 to John Martin in trust against his debt. Apparently he gave up the land rather than pay the debt. George Sparks owned other land besides this 100 acre tract, however, because in 1829 he was taxed on 330 acres in Wilkes County valued at $800.

All but one of the eleven children of George and Delila Sparks were born in North Carolina. Their daughter Delila Sparks, who was the next to the youngest child, is known to have been born January 26,1830, and on the later census records her birthplace was given as North Carolina. by the fall of 1830, however, George Sparks had migrated to Randolph County, Indiana, and was listed as a resident of that county when the 1830 census was taken, probably late in the year. Although we have not been able to search Randolph County records, it would appear from the marriage records of two of the daughters of George Sparks, dated 1832 and 1833, that he settlėd in West River Township. A descendant of Solomon Sparks, supposed brother of George Sparks, states that Solomon settled in Nettle Creek Township which today adjoins West River Township on the east. About 1836 George Sparks moved to Wells County, Indiana, and, according to Biographical Memoirs of Wells County, Indiana, by B. F. Bowen, 1903, page 28, he was one of the first settlers of Liberty Township. George Sparks lived in Wells County until his death in 1843.

George Sparks did not leave a will, but among the documents which have been preserved in connection with the settlement of his estate are several interesting items. The earliest is a note which George Sparks had signed on March 9, 1830, but which he had never paid off and which was collected from his estate. It reads as follows: 'March 9, 1830. Three months after date I promise to pay or Caus to bee paid unto William West or order the Just and full sum of Three Dollars being for Value receved of him as witness my hand and seal attest.' Another similar note, dated November 13, 1838, reads: 'Twelve months after date I promise to pay to Bowen Hale or order sixty dollars with interest from the 13th day of March next value received 13 November 1838. The above note may be discharged in corn at market price.'

A record on file which reveals the approximate date on which George Sparks died is the bill submitted by his doctor, N. C. Burson. Dr. Burson charged $2.50 per visit on each of the following dates: October 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31; November 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 19, 20, and 23, 1843. In all probability, George Sparks died either on November 23, 1843, or a few days later.

On January 18, 1844, Delila Sparks, widow of George Sparks, signed the following document: 'State of Indiana, County of Wells. I, Delila Sparks, of County of Wells, State of Indiana, widow of George Sparks, late of said county, deceased, have renounced and do by these presents renounce, release, and forever quit claim all my rights and title to the administration of the estate of said decedent and I Desire that the same be committed to my son, Aaron Sparks or to such person or persons as the Honorable Probate Court may think proper to appoint. Witness my hand this 18th day of January A.D. 1844.

/S/ Delila Sparks (her mark)

[Witness] James Johnston.'

The witness to the above document, James Johnson, sometimes spelled Johnston, was Delila's son-in-law, the husband of her daughter Sally.

On February 3, 1844, Aaron Sparks signed the administrator's bond, with James Johnson as his bondsman, in the amount of $400.00.

Since George Sparks did not leave a will directing the manner in which his estate should be divided, and since he left a number of debts, it was necessary that his belongings be sold at auction soon after his death. A sale was held on March 8, 1844, and the report listing all items sold gives an excellent picture of life on an Indiana farm in 1843. The names of those who purchased goods also reveal the identity of his neighbors.

Account of the Sale of Personal Property of George Sparks, late of the County of Wells and state of Indiana, deceased, at a public auction held at the late dwelling house of the deceased on the 8th day of March A.D. 1844.

John Mar 1 frow .51
John Madox 1 hoe .33
Aaron Sparks 1 hoe .38
John Bar 2 hoes .27
John Dougless 3 axes .70
Jacob Simmerle 1 ax .30
Aaron Sparks 1 ax .37 1/2
Thomas F. Smith 1 brier hook 1.51
John Bar 1 shovel plow 1.41
Jacob Miller 1 shovel and hammer .77
John Bar 1 mattoc .57
James Johnson 1 handsaw .75
William McGowery 1 squair .25
Aaron Sparks 1 augur and squar 1.05
Ambros Redding 2 augurs .44
Aaron Sparks 2 chairs 1.51
Jacob Miller 1 pr steelyards .37 1/2
James Johnson 1 set Hors geers 1.50
John Bar 1 ooller and bridle 1.01
James Johnson 1 clevis and hames .50
Aaron Sparks 1 brodax 3.26
Jacob Zimmerle 1 scythe 1.56
Ades Fannon 1 oven .57
Aaron Sparks 1 pot 1.12 1/2
N. W. Rogers 1 tea kittle .57
Ambros Redding 1 shovel .67
Madison Fannon 1 pot 1.52
Jesse Wilcoxson 1 flat iron .37 1/2
John Wallen 1 rifle gun 13.00
Thomas Brown 1 rifle gun 7.75
Jacob Zimmerle 1 coffee mill .95
Lorenza Hart 1 set shewing tools .97
John Douglass 1 meat saw and ball .35
Jacob Zimmerle 1 mantle brass olock 13.75
Ades Fanon 1 table pale .42
James Johnson 2 pans strainer and tin .79
James Johnson 1 coffee pot and frame .18 3/4
Jesse Wilcoxson 1 table .25
Henry Rigsby 1 cubbourd and wood 2.12 1/2
Ambros Redding 1 set knives and forks 1.70
John Dougless 1 churn 1.12 1/2
Jacob Miller 1 crook and lard, .76
John Dougless 1 jug .39
Solomon Sparks, Jr. 1 bullet ladle .26
John P. Grant 4 crocks .43
John Dougless 1 spinning wheel 2.12 1/2
Delila Sparks 1 spinning wheel .34
John J. Grant 1 bbl of salt 2.00
John Bar 13 pieces of bacon 3.63
W. C. Burson 2nd lot of bacon 48 pounds 2.64
Ades Farmon 3rd lot of bacon 2.25 1/4
James Johnson 4th lot of bacon 1.23 1/2
James Johnson 5th lot of bacon 1.32 1/2
Thomas Brown 6th lot of bacon .93
John Bar 7th lot of bacon 2.50
Jesse Wilcoxson 1 skillet and lid .70
Ades Fannon 1 skillet and oven .15
James Johnson 1 lot meat .27
Ambros Redding 3 barrels and soap 1.01
Aaron Fering 1 firkin .26
Simon Miller 1 lot 10 bushels 73 7.30
Isaac Morgan 2nd lot 10 bushels 73 7.30
Jacob Zimmerle 3rd lot more of logs 65 9.75
William McGowery 1 lot of flax 3.20
H. C. Burson 1 lot of flax 3.56
William Miller 1 waggon 9.12
Francis Fields 1 lot of rock 1.00
John Douglas 1 lot of flax 4.50
H. C. Burson 1 cow 5.37 1/2
N. W. Rogers 1 cow 6.25
W. Madison Fannon 1 heifer 5.31
Jacob Wilcoxson 2 calves 2.56
Jacob Miller 1 lot of hogs firs choice 5.00
Aaron Sparks 2nd lot of hogs 2.56
Francis Fields 3rd lot of hogs 2.18 3/4
Crawfort Marquis 3 pigs .10 3/4
Lorinzy Hart 3 acres wheat 8.68
George Fryback 5 acres wheat 16.18 3/4
John P. Grant 1 meal sack .96
Delila Sparks 1 bed .62 1/2
Delila Sparks 1 bed 3.75
Delila Sparks 1st chairs 4.l2 1/2
Madison Turner 1 geography and atlas .75
Total   130.57 3/4

Test: Thomas T. Smith, Clerk of Sale.

1 due bill against John J. Grant for sum of 2.00
1 due bill against James Johnston for sum of 17.00
11 November 1844. /s/ Aaron Sparks,
A further inventory of the property of the estate of George Sparks, deceased, the said administrator reports to the Court that the following accounts have come to his knowledge since filing his first inventory, towit:

Numerous claims against the estate of George Sparks were presented, some not until several years following his death. For example, on November 11, 1850, John Studebaker presented a bill for '6 yards shrouding' in the amount of $1.50, plus 52 cents 'interest for 6 years and 11 months.' Note that the period for which interest was charged, if exact, would indicate that George Sparks died on December 11, 1843, but this probably does not represent an exact calculation.

On February 11, 1845, Aaron Sparks, as administrator of the estate of George Sparks, submitted to the Probate Judge a petition which identifies the heirs of George Sparks. As was the custom at the time, married daughters' husbands were designated as heirs along with the daughters themselves. This document reads as follows:

To the Honorable William H. Parmilu, Judge of Wells County Probate Court, sitting, Your Petitioner, Aaron Sparks, administrator of the estate of George Sparks, late of said county, deceased, humbly sheweth to your Honor that the personal assets of the said estate amounts only to the sum of $219.75; that $35.00 of said assets was applied in payment of a bill to Dr. Burson incurred in the last illness of the intestate; $2.50 paid to John Dougless and $1.50 paid to Enoch Robinson in satisfaction to claims against the estate, making $39.00 and leaving $180.75 of the personal assets of said estate in the hands of your petitioner. Your petitioner further sheweth to your Honor that the debts outstanding against the estate is $422.41 leaving $241.66 of a deficit and exhausting the personal assets of the said estate. Your petitioner further sheweth to your Honor that the said George Sparks died seized in fee simple of the West half of the Southwest quarter of Section 2, Township 27, North of Range 11 East consisting of 80 acres; also the Southwest quarter of the Northwest quarter of Section 2, Township 27, North of Range 11 East, consisting of 40 acres, supposed to be worth $3.00 per acre and amounting in value to the sum of $360. Your petitioner further sheweth to your Honor that it will be necessary to make sale of the above described land and that the proceeds thereof be made assets in the hands of your petitioner to complete payment of the debts of said estate. Your petitioner therefore prays your Honor to make an order for the sale of said lands for that purpose and that Richard Vernon and Dicey Vernon, Aaron Sparks, Mordecai Samuels and Elizabeth Samuels, James Johnson and Sarah Johnson, Thomas Brown and Lydia Brown, George Sparks, Jackson Grant and Matilda Grant, heirs at law of the said intestate; also Abel Sparks, Delila Sparks, and Mary Sparks, minor heirs of the said intestate; also Delila Brown and William Brown, infant heirs of Faribee Brown, deceased, to be made parties to this petition, and that your Honor do appoint a guardian ad litem to appear to this petition for the minor heirs of said intestate and such other relief and take such other steps touching the matters set forth in this petition as may Seem Just and right all of which is Respectfully Submitted to your Honorable.

/s/ Aaron Sparks, administrator of the estate.
of George Sparks, deceased; by I. P.
Greer, His Solicit.

On August 19, 1845, the adult heirs of George Sparks consented to the sale of his real estate as Aaron Sparks had requested. Note that husbands signed opposite their wives, except that for some reason Richard Vernon, husband of Dicey, did not sign.

19 August 1845. This is to show that we have consented to the sale of a lot of land belonging to George Sparks, deceased, towit: West one-half of the Southwest one-quarter and the Southwest one-half of Northwest one-quarter in Township 27, North of Range 11 East, lying in Wells County

Mordecai Samuels Elizabeth Samuels
George Sparks Susanna Sparks
John J. Grant Matilda Grant
Dicey Vernon  
James Johnson Sarah Johnson
Aaron Sparks Huldah Sparks
Thomas Brown Lydia Brown
Delila Sparks, widow of George Sparks,deceased  

On May 11, 1846, Aaron Sparks reported to the Probate Court that on May 9 he had tried to sell the land at auction, but that 'the same could not be sold for want of bidders.' In February, 1848, he was ordered by the court to sell the property and in May, 1849, be reported as follows: 'Aaron Sparks, administrator of the estate of George Sparks, deceased, respectfully reports that in pursuance of the order of his Honorable Court made at the last May term thereof he agreeable to the direction of said court did on the 12th day of April 1849 sell the West half of the Southwest quarter and the South quarter of the Northwest quarter of Section 2, Township 27, North of Range 11, East in Wells County, containing 120 acres to Harrison Griffin for the sum of $580.00 which sale he prays may be confirmed.
/S/ Aaron Sparks.

Meanwhile, on September 18, 1848, Delila Sparks, widow of George Sparks, received '$150.00 in full of her demands upon the estate of George Sparks.' On October 11, 1853, the final settlement sheet was filed in open court. There are numerous scraps of paper in the file proving claims against the estate of George Sparks. The names of his creditors were:

Aaron Sparks,
Lewis D. Smith,
Thomas Smith,
William M. Fannon,
Henry Courtney,
Hannah Lawellin,
Lewis Lynn,
Isaac Morgan,
Samuel Decker,
William Burton,
George Fryback,
Frances Morgan,
Jacob Zimmerle,
Patrick Williams,
Studebaker & Townsend,
Aaron Fleming,
John Laughian,
Jacob Miller,
John Lewis, and
Albert Draper.

The date on which Delila Sparks, widow of George, died is unknown. In 1850 she was living with her son, Abel Sparks, in Huntington County. She was then 62 years old, according to the census, and her daughter Mary, 16 years old, was living with her.

From the records cited above, it has been possible to compile a list of the children of George and Delila Sparks. Although some may have died in infancy of whom we have no record, those who were living in 1844, or who had died and left issue, as was true of the daughter Faribee, are known. The order of the birth of these children is unknown, except the last three. Perhaps they were listed in the order of their birth in the petition by Aaron Sparks quoted above. They are listed in this order below, with the daughter Faribee, deceased in 1844, inserted following Sarah, since Faribee was married one year after Sarah. Lodicea (Dicey?) Sparks, daughter of George and Delila Sparks, was born September 28, 1807 and married Richard Vernon. Aaron Sparks, oldest son of George and Delila Sparks, was born April 14, 1809 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He married Huldah MNU, who was also born in North Carolina, ca. 1814. Aaron Sparks was a farmer in Rock Creek Township, Wells County, Indiana, and was the administrator of his father's estate. He died in Wells County in 1854. He did not leave a will; his wife Huldah was administratrix. She was probably the same Huldah Sparks who married Jacob Roush in Huntington County, Indiana, on October 18, 1862. From the 1850 census of Wells County, it would appear that Aaron and Huldah Sparks were the parents of the following children: Lydia Sparks, born in Indiana ca. 1835. She was probably the Lydia Almeda Sparks who married Noah Redding in Wells County on November 22, 1853. William R. Sparks, born in Indiana ca. 1837. Sarah Sparks, born in Indiana ca. 1843. She was probably the Sarah Ann Sparks who married William Haflich in Wells County on March 1, 1859. Elizabeth Sparks was born January 10, 1811 and married Mordecai Samuels. Sarah (Sally) Sparks was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, on November 10, 1812. She married James Johnson in Randolph County, Indiana, on March 8, 1832. The ceremony was performed by Elijah Arnold, a justice of the peace of West River Township. Phereby Sparks was born May 11, 1815 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. She married Wiseman Brown on September 13, 1833, in Randolph County, Indiana, the ceremony being performed by Elijah Arnold, a justice of the peace of West River Township. On the marriage record in Randolph County her name is spelled 'Phereby,' but in the settlement of her father's estate it was spelled 'Faribee.' She died before 1844, leaving two children: William Brown. Delila Brown. Lydia Sparks was born May 11, 1816 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. She married Thomas Brown in Randolph County, Indiana, on March 30, 1834, the ceremony being performed by Jonathan Shaw, a Methodist minister. Matilda Sparks was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, July 20, 1818. She married John Jackson Grant in Wells County, Indiana, on May 29, 1839. George Sparks, jr. He was born January 31, 1820, in Wilkes County, North Carollina. He accompanied his parents in their move from North Carolina to Indiana ca. 1830, and it was probably in Indiana that he married Mary SusannaMNU ca. 1841. They lived near Markle, a village located in Huntington County, but quite near the Huntington-Wells Counties boundary line. After the death of his father in Wells County in the fall of 1843, George Sparks and his wife, Susanna, agreed (along with the other heirs) to sell two tracts of land that had belonged to his father in order to satisfy claims against the estate. He and Susanna signed the petition on August 19, 1845, and it was filed in Wells County

When the 1850 census was taken of Huntington County, George and Susanna Sparks were living in Rock Creek Township. He was then 29 years of age and Susanna was 26, according to the census taker. With them were two daughters, Elizabeth Sparks, aged 8, and Mary Jane Sparks, aged 6.

George and Susanna were involved in at least six land transactions in Huntington County. The first of these was recorded on May 8, 1849, when George bought 57 acres of land from David and Mary Wayne. He sold that tract on May 17, 1852, to Lemuel Andrews. The last transaction was made on April 18, 1857, when George and Susanna sold land to William Austin. George signed his name on one of these documents, but on the others he and Susanna made their marks, according to the clerk who copied them into the deed books.

George Sparks was still living near Markle, Indiana, when the 1860 census was taken. He was then 39 years of age, a farmer, with land valued at $1000. His wife's name was given as Mary - - --it seems apparent that her full name was Mary Susanna. With them in 1860 were children named Mary, aged 16; Amos, aged 9; Catherine, aged 8; and Amanda, aged 6. (George's oldest daughter, Elizabeth, was not with them in 1860; she may have been the Elizabeth Sparks who married Lafayette Messler on June 4, 1859, in Huntington County.

Neither George nor Susanna Sparks appeared on the 1870 census of Huntington County, Indiana, nor have we found further information about them. Can any reader tell us what became of this family? Solomon Sparks was born October 5, 1822 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. Jane Sparks was born July 7, 1824 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. Abel Sparks was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, May 1827. He married Elizabeth Douglass in Wells County, Indiana, on May 4, 1850. Delilah Sparks was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, on January 26,1830. She married David C. Conklin in Wells County, Indiana, on February 23, 1847. He was born in Ohio ca. 1826. Delila (Sparks) Conklin died in Falls City, Nebraska, on February 12, 1921, at the age of 91 years. They were the parents of the following children: Louisa Conklin, born ca. 1847 Elizabeth Conklin, born ca. 1850 Mary Conklin, born ca. 1852; married FNU MacFees John Fletcher Conklin, born ca. 1854 Matilda Conklin, born ca. 1856; married FNU Fields Lydia Conklin, born ca. 1858; married FNU Scholm. Winfield Scatt Conklin. Luella Conklin, married FNU Hotelling. Katherine Conklin, married FNU Stagkemper. Lucinda Conklin. Melinda Conklin. Adaline Conklin, born 3 February 1864; she married, first, George William Davis; second, A. E. Golsby. Amanda Conklin. Mary Ellen (Molly) Sparks, youngest child of George and Delila Sparks, was born in Indiana January 30, 1832. She married Elias Wilcoxson in Wells County, Indiana, on December 6. 1851 SOLOMON SPARKS,
SON of SOLOMON AND CHARITY SPARKS Solomon Sparks, III, believed to have been the second son of Solomon and Charity Sparks, was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, ca. 1792. He died in Wells County, Indiana, on April 28, 1854; his tombstone gives his age as 62 years at the time of his death. Little is known of his life in North Carolina. He married Isabella Swaim, presumably in Wilkes County, ca. 1808. The parentage of Isabella has not been determined, but the Swaim family was prominent in the Wilkes County area in the early 1800's. They were a New Jersey Dutch family in which there is a strong tradition of Indian blood. Isabella (Swaim) Sparks was born ca. December, 1792; she died in Wells County, Indiana, on May 25, 1852. Her age at death, as given on her tombstone, was 59 years, 6 months. Solomon Sparks was listed on the 1810 census of Wilkes County (called 'Solomon Sparks, Jr.' since his father, Solomon, was also listed), with his wife and one child, a son under ten years. He also appeared on the 1820 census of Wilkes County.

According to a biographical sketch of one of Solomon's sons, Isaac B. Sparks, which appears in the History of Huntington County, Indiana (Chicago, Brant & Fuller, l887), page 786, Solomon 'emigrted to Ohio in an early day, and later to Indiana, renting on what is known as Nettle Creek, where he lived until his removal to Wells County in 1834.' Nettle Creek is in Randolph County where Solomon Sparks was listed on the 1830 census. According to Biographical Memoirs of Wells County, Indiana, by B. F. Bowen (1903), page 29, 'The first settlers of Rock Creek Township [Wells County] were Solomon Johnson, Benjamin Brown, Solomon Sparks, and Isaac Dewitt, who located here in 1835.' The following is a further quotation from the sketch of Isaac B. Sparks: 'He [Solomon Sparks] settled near the present site of Markle on the south side of the Wabash, and was one of the earliest settlers in that locality. He entered a valuable tract of land near Rock Creek, and spent quite a number of years in true pioneer style, meeting with many interesting adventures with the Indians and wild beasts during his early experience in the backwoods. He lived to see ten of his children grown and settled, was a man of influence in the community where he resided, and died sometime prior to 1860.'

As stated earlier, Isabella (Swaim) Sparks died, according to her tombstone inscription, on May 25, 1852. Apparently, prior to his own death on April 28, 1854, Solomon Sparks married a second time. In his will, dated April 14, 1854, he left property to his 'beloved wife' but did not give her name. In the settlement of the estate, however, there is a list of the articles 'taken by widow' and on April 15, 1855, she signed the following: 'Received of Albert Praper, executor of the last will of my late husband, Solomon Sparks, deceased, the articles charged to me in the foregoing inventory, amounting to $23.65. [signed] Susannah Sparks.' From this lone document, it would appear that Solomon's second wife's name was Susannah. We have found no record of the marriage, however, nor any record of Susannah's death. On the 1860 census of Wells County, Indiana, Susannah Sparks, aged 55, born in Ohio, was listed as living next door to Andrew J. Sparks, youngest son of Solomon and Isabella Sparks. Living with Susannah Sparks in 1860 were Hannah Bain, aged 21, born in Ohio, and Sylvester Huff, aged 15, a 'laborer' born in Indiana. Susannah Sparks owned real estate valued at $1000 in 1860, and personal property valued at $500.

Solomon Sparks left an interesting will which was drawn up two weeks before he died (with a codicil dated April 18). He signed by mark, apparently because of illness, for on earlier records he had signed his name. Unfortunately, from a genealogical point of view, Solomon Sparks did not name all of his children in his will. It reads as follows:

Last Will of Solomon Sparks

Copied from the Original in File 78, Wells County, Indiana.

I, Solomon Sparks of Rock Creek Township, Wells County in the state of Indiana do make and publish this my last will and testament. First that my body be decently intered and that my funeral be conducted in a manner corresponding with my estate and situation in life--and as to such worldly estate as it has pleased God to entrust me with, I dispose of the same in the following [manner] to wit. I direct first that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid as soon after my decease as possible out of the first monies that shall come to the hands of my executors from any portion of my Estate real or personal. I give and bequeath two (2) acres of land [to] the public for a burying ground said ground has been lately surveyed and staked off I direct that the same be deeded to my executor to the county commissioners for the purposes above specified. I give and bequeath to my son Andrew Jackson Sparks one hundred (100) acres of land the same to be taken from the west side of my farm including my farm buildings in case he will keep and maintain my beloved wife in good comfortable and respectable way during her natural life. I also direct that the remainder of my farm be sold and my four horse waggon and my small horse called Balley and Eighteen (18) head of Hogs and my share of the grain that is growing on that part of the farm that I have directed to be sold. I also direct that the net proceeds of my property both real and personal hereinbefore ordered by me to be disposed of be equally divided as soon as it can be done share and share alike among my seven children. I also give and bequeath to my son Andrew J. Sparks a certain forty (40) acre lot of land in Huntington County being the same that Nathan W. Rogers was in possession of at the time of his first wifes death. I further direct that in consideration of the above bequest the said Andrew J. Sparks will pay to the heirs of my daughter Jane Rogers deceased the sum of $300.00 the said amount to be paid to Albert Draper and by him kept for the use and benefit of the said heirs namely James Culver Rogers Philo Rogers and Laroy Rogers the above amount to be equally divided between them when they arrive at the age of twentyone (21) years. I also direct that the whole of my household furniture shall be and remain the absolute property of my beloved wife if she shall be living at the time of my decease and all of my personal property of every kind whatever except such articles as is specially bequeathed to my other heirs. And I hereby make and ordaine Albert Draper executor of this my last will and testament. In witness whereof I, Solomon Sparks, Senr., the testator have hereunto set my hand and seal this fourteenth day of April in the year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred and fifty four.


/S/ Solomon X Sparks (Seal)


Signed sealed published and declared by the above named Solomon Sparks Sr. as his last will and testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses thereto in the presence of the said testator and in the presence of each other. /S/ Joseph Scott

Daniel Cup

Whereas I, Solomon Sparks of Rock Creek township Wells County Indiana having made and duly executed my last will and testament in writing bearing the date the the [sic] fourteenth day of April in the year of our Lord Eighteen Hundred and Fifty Four. Now I do hereby declare this present writing to be a codicil to the said will and direct the same to be annexed thereto and taken as part thereof and I do hereby give and bequeath to the heirs of my son Moses Sparks namely Albert Sparks and Mary Jane Sparks the sum of twenty dollars to be equally divided between them. In witness whereof I Solomon Sparks have to this codicil set my hand and seal this eighteenth day of April in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and fifty four.


/S/ Solomon X Sparks (Seal


Among the documents preserved in connection with the settlement of Solomon Sparks's estate are bills from two doctors. These read as follows:

Bill from Joseph Scott, Doctor, 1854.

To Solomon Sparks, Senior, Deceased. Visits.

April 10 day 1.00
April 11 night 2.00
April 12 stayed all night 4.00
April 13 night 2.00
April 14 day 1.00
April 15 day 1.00
April 16 day 1.00
April 17 night 2.00
April 18 night 2.00
April 19 day 1.00
April 20 night 2.00
April 21 night 2.00
April 23 day 1.00
April 25 day 1.00
April 26 day 1.00
April 27 day 1.00
Total bill     $25.00

Bill from W. B. Lyons, Doctor. 1854
April 13, Consultation visit $6.00
April 17, Visit and medicine and attention 5.00
April 19, Visit and medicine and attention 4.00
Total $15.00

Another interesting bill, dated May 1, 1854, is from John Pitzer for 'Shrouding and gloves, $3.00.'

As directed in Solomon's will, Albert Draper, his son-in-law, became the administrator of the estate, with Jacob Shively and Solomon Sparks (son of Solomon and Isabella), acting as his bondsmen. The inventory of the personal property of Solomon Sparks was taken by Daniel Cup and John Houtz on July 8, 1854, and amounted to $788.25. This is a lengthy document and only the items labeled as 'taken by widow' are given below:

4 hogs 10 shotes 3 cows 2 heifers
2 horses 2 grain cradles 1 grindstone 1 thrashing machine
1 windmill 43 sheep 1 cider mill 1 crosscut saw
2 saddles 1 bureau desk 1 clock 2 beds
1 feather bed chairs 1 cupboard 1 table
1 stove wool tubs  

Several 'Notes for money loaned' were listed in the inventory, as follows:

Henry Miller 4.42
C. Higginbotham 3.00
Edward Rhett 3.74
John Earhart .55
Samuel Fried .50
James Williamson .75
William Sparks 4.00
H. Swaim 20.00
John Dalrymple 3.30
John Nave .50
Daniel Cup 16.50
William Sparks 2.54

There are various other documents in the file on Solomon's estate. One of these is a claim made by Nathan Rogers, one of Solomon's sons-in-law, which reads as follows:

'Rock Creek, Indiana. April 1, 1830. Nathan Rogers makes an affidavit that at that time Solomon Sparks employed him in cleaning, fencing, deadening, building house, stable, and hog-pen, for which he promised to pay him $126.00.' This must refer to the time at which Solomon Sparks settled in Randolph County, Indiana.

Of particular interest from a genealogical point of view are the receipts showing the division among the heirs of rent collected from land owned by Solomon Sparks before it was finally sold. From these receipts, for the years 1856 through 1861, it has been possible to identify the children of Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks. William Sparks was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, on December 10, 1809. He married Hester (Hettie) Miller in Wells County, Indiana, on December 27, 1838. She was born August 6, 1821. He was a farmer by occupation and when the 1850 census was taken was living in Huntington County, Indiana. He died May 18, 1872, and his wife, Hester, died April 14, 1901. Both were buried in the Sparks Cemetery, set aside in Solomon Sparks's will, in Rock Creek Township, Wells County. William and Hester (Miller) Sparks are known to have had the following children, there may have been others: Moses Sparks, born ca. 1839; married Hannah A. Bane. He died October 9, 1874, in Wells County. James R. Sparks, born ca. 1846. Henry Sparks, born ca. 1848 K. P. Sparks. John Sparks. Rachel Sparks. Moses Sparks was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, ca. 1812. He had died by 1854 when his father made his will. In the History of Huntington County, Indiana (Chicago, Brant & Fuller, 1887), page 748, appears the following: 'In 1834 Moses Sparks, a native of North Carolina, moved to the township [Rock Creek] and settled a short distance southwest of Markle, where he located and improved a small farm.' From the will of Solomon Sparks, it would appear that Moses left two children: (See More information on Moses Sparks below) Albert Sparks, born ca. 1839. On the1850 census of Wells County he was listed as being 11 years old and living with the family of Robert and Abigail Roberts. (Abigail was probably his mother, the widow of Moses Sparks; on April 21, 1841, Abigail Sparks married Robert Roberts in Wells county.) Albert Sparks married Mary Ann Roberts in Huntington County, Indiana, on February 10, 1860. She died September 30, 1860, aged 18 years and 5 months, according to the inscription on her tombstone. Albert Sparks married, second, Martha Roberts in Huntington County, Indiana, on June 25, 1861. She died March 7, 1915, aged 70 years, 9 months, and 9 days. Albert Sparks died June 17, 1923, aged 84 years, 6 months, and 23 days. Albert Sparks and both his wives were buried in the Sparks Cemetery in Wells County. Mary Jane Sparks, born ca. 1841. She was listed on the 1850 census of Wells County as being 9 years old, also living with Abigail and Robert Roberts. She was probably the 'May Jane Sparks' who married Thomas C. Kelsey in Huntington County, Indiana, on August 13, 1866. Jacob E. Sparks. Nothing has been learned regarding this son. He signed for his share of the rent from 'that part of my father's farm willed to me and others,' but his name does not appear on the 1850 census of either Wells or Huntington County. A Jacob J. Sparks married Ellen Jane McCarty in Huntington County on January 24, 1852.

(Correction Note: The information for George W. Sparks is inserted here from The Quarterly, Whole No. 152.) George W. Sparks was born February 16, 1817, in Wilkes County, North Carolina. He accompanied his parents when they moved to Indiana ca. 1830. He was married in Wells County, Indiana, on August 7, 1838, to Sarah Mossburg. She was born May 14, 1817, in Ohio and died in Wells County, Indiana, on May 26, 1864. (In the settlement of the estate of George Sparks, father of George W., Sarah's name was given as 'Susanna,' and in several deeds recording the sale of land by George W. Sparks her name was given as Susanna; on the1850 census it was given as 'Sally,' and on the marriage record and on at least one deed as Sarah.) George W. Sparks married, second, on July 18, 1865, in Wells County, a widow named Phoebe Jane (Pouless) Light, who was born February 11, 1832, in Highland County, Ohio, and died in Wells County, Indiana, on January 18, 1921. George W. Sparks is said to have been sympathetic with the Southern cause during the Civil War, although his sons favored the Union side. He died in Wells County on September 14, 1892. In his will, dated May 2, 1890, he left his entire estate to his second wife, Phoebe. by his first wife, George W. Sparks had the following children: William Henderson Sparks, born May 18, 1839. He married in Wells County., Indiana, on November 15, 1860, Mary Jane Sale, daughter of Hiram and Margaret (Mitchell) Sale. He died on January 24, 1904, at Lowry City, Missouri. Henry Sparks, born November 25, 1841. He married Elizabeth and died in April, 1882. Melinda Ann Sparks, born June 16, 1847. She married William Henry Earhart and died in 1923. Emerson Barber Sparks, born March 25, 1850. He married in Shelbyville, Indiana, on July 27, 1873, Lovicy Gunn, daughter of William and Jane (Morford) Gunn. He died at Kalamazoo, Michigan, on December 6, 1919.

by his second wife, Phoebe Jane, George W. Sparks had one child: Ellison George Sparks, born in Wells County on December 19, 1866. He married Rosella Redding, daughter of John and Sarah (Nicholson) Redding, on November 17, 1888. He died on November 27, 1946. Charity Sparks was born ca. 1817. She married Daniel Snider in Wells County, Indiana, on February 16, 1839. She had died before the settlement of her father's estate. In the division of the rental money among the heirs, Charity's brother Solomon signed for 'the heirs of Charity Snider.' In 1857 he signed 'for the heirs of Daniel Snyder.' These receipts reveal that Daniel and Charity (Sparks) Snider had children, but their names have not been discovered. Jane Sparks was born ca. 1819. She married Nathan W. Rogers in Wells County, Indiana, on April 20, 1839. She died July 3, 1850, and was buried on her father's farm in the spot; which became the Sparks Cemetery as set aside in Solomon's will. As named in the will of Solomon Sparks, Nathan W. and Jane (Sparks) Rogers had three children: Culver Rogers. Philo Rogers. Leroy Rogers, born September 14, 1845. Isaac B. Sparks was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, on April 2, 1822. The following is quoted from a sketch of the life of Isaac Sparks which appears on pages 786-787 of the History of Huntington County, Indiana (1887): Isaac B. Sparks was born April 2, 1822, and was only twelve years of age when his parents moved to Wells County. He was early taught those lessons of industry and frugality by which his subsequent life has been characterized, and grew to manhood amid the rugged duties of farm life. He attended school for only a limited period, consequently did not acquire much of an education so far as books are concerned, but by intelligent observation has since obtained a valuable practical knowledge, which has enabled him to transact business in a safe and satisfactory manner. He early became quite expert in the use of the rifle, and at one time killed nine deer and crippled the tenth in one day. He made his home with his parents until his twenty-eighth year, and in 1845 purchased his first land, an eighty-acre tract, for which he paid the sum of $240, and upon which he made a number of substantial improvements, including a double log barn that is still [1887] doing good service. He moved to the farm in 1853 and has since made it one of the best places in the township. Mr. Sparks was formerly a Democrat, but espoused the principles of the Greenback party when Greeley ran for the Presidency, and has ever since been an earnest advocate of said principles. He was for some years prominently identified with the Grange movement, having been one of its ablest workers in Rock Creek Township. Mr. Sparks was married December 18, 1851, to Miss Cynthia A. Roberts, of Kentucky, and daughter of William and Martha (Hultz) Roberts. Mrs. Sparks was born December 27, 1832, and is ... a member of the Christian Church, and Mr. Sparks, although a man of strong religious convictions, is not identified with any church organization.' Isaac Sparks died on January 15, 1904, and his wife died December 17, 1897. Both were buried in the Sparks Cemetery in Wells County. Their children were: William Sparks. Albert D. Sparks, born in February, 1855; died October 6, 1877 Robert R. Sparks, born in 1857; died in 1945; he married Mary Jane McClurg, born 1862, died 1934. Rachel E. Sparks, married Frank Hart. Frederick F. Sparks, born 1861; died 1948. He married Nora Roos who was born in 1868 and died in 1953. Sarah A. Sparks, married Alvidor Roos. Maria Sparks, born in 1865; died in 1922. She married John Dalrymple. Rebecca Jane Sparks, born November, 1868; died July 19, 1869. Susan E. Sparks, married Silas Threlkeld. Isaac H. Sparks Cynthia E. Sparks, born June 21, 1874; died June 25, 1874. Mary E. Sparks, born August 21, 1875; died September 12, 1875. Rachel Sparks was born ca. 1823 in Wilkes County, North Carolina. She married Albert Draper, date unknown. A son named William Draper was born July 7, 1843, and died December 25, 1848, and was buried in the Sparks Cemetery in Wells County, Ind. There were doubtless other children. John Sparks was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina, in 1825 and died in Wells County, Indiana, in 1917. He married Rebecca Roberts in Wells County on July 25, 1853. She was born in Ohio in 1837 and died in 1926. Both were buried in the Sparks Cemetery in Wells County. John and Rebecca Sparks were listed on the 1870 census of Huntington County, Ind., with the following four children: Mary Sparks, born in Indiana ca. 1856. Lillian Sparks, born in Indiana ca. 1865. Robert Sparks, born in Indiana ca. 1867. Janetta Sparks, born in Indiana in October, 1869. Solomon Sparks, Jr. IV, was born ca. 1827. On the 1850 census his age was given as 23 and his place of birth as Indiana, but this must have been an error for he was probably either born before his parents left North Carolina or during their short stay in Ohio. He married Susannah Johnson in Wells County, Ind., on November 16, 1846. He farmed in Wells County and died there ca. 1877. He left no will, but from the records pertaining to the settlement of his estate and from census records, his children can be identified as follows: Henry C. Sparks, born ca. 1848; married Margaret E. Reilly in Wells County, MD, on October 1, 1868. Isaac B. Sparks, born July 24, 1849; died May 25, 1855. Andrew J. Sparks, born ca. 1852; apparently died in youth. Sarah Sparks, born ca. 1853. Elvina (or Levina) Sparks, born ca. 1857; married David Siebold in Wells County, md., on July 10, 1875. Charles W. Sparks, born ca. 1858; married Maggie Baker in Wells County, IN, on May 12, 1881. He died ca. 1889 in Wells County. Laura Sparks, born ca. 1865; married John W. McCance in Wells County, IN, on September 2,.1883.

Page 1421
Whole Number 75 MOSES SPARKS,
born 1815, died 1840

In the Quarterly of June 1959, Whole No. 26, we published an article (page 395 and following) on Solomon Sparks, who was born in Wilkes Co., North Carolina, ca. 1792 and died in Wells Co., Indiana, on April 28, 1854. He married Isabella Swaim. He married Charity MNU. One of the sons of Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks Charity Sparks was Moses Sparks, born in 1815 (see p. 398). At the time we published this article, we did not know when he died nor his age at the time of his death. Recently one of our correspondents, Marjorie Crosbie, discovered his tombstone in a cemetery in Huntington Co., Indiana, near the town of Markle, (The cemetery is located on the bank of Rock Creek, 3 miles east and 4 miles south of Markle.) According to his tombstone, Moses Sparks died November 11, 1840, aged 25 years & 16 days. This would mean that he was born October 25, 1815. On this same stone are recorded the deaths of two daughters of Moses Sparks, Both died in 1845; Catherine Sparks died September 15, 1845, aged 11 years and 6 months, and Elizabeth Sparks died September 2, 1845, aged 12 years and 6 months. The widow of Moses Sparks, whose name was Abigail MNU, married Robert Roberts in Wells County, Indiana, on April 21, 1841.

Page 1831-1832
Whole Number 94


In the Quarterly of June 1959 (Whole No. 26, pp. 382-394) we published a record of the descendants of Solomon Sparks, Jr., and his wife Charity of Wilkes County, North Carolina. Solomon Sparks, Jr., who died in 1817, was a son of Solomon and Sarah Sparks who moved from Frederick County, Maryland, to North Carolina, settling near Salisbury in Rowan County, in 1753. Solomon Sparks, Jr., lived his entire life in Wilkes County, N.C., near the boundary between Wilkes and Surry Counties; he was a farmer by occupation. by his wife, Charity, he had six sons: George Sparks, Solomon Sparks, William Sparks, Samuel Sparks, Jonathan Sparks, and Joseph Sparks. George Sparks, believed to have been the oldest son, was born ca. 1788. He married Delila MNU ca. 1806. Prior to 1830, George and Delila, with their ten children, migrated from Wilkes County, N.C., to Randolph County, Indiana. An eleventh child (Correction: 13th), Mary Ellen Sparks, was born in Indiana. Later the family moved to Wells County, Indiana, where George Sparks died in 1843. The children of George and Delila Sparks were: Dicey Sparks, Aaron Sparks, Elizabeth Sparks, Sarah Sparks, Faribee (Phereby) Sparks, Lydia Sparks, Matilda Sparks, George Sparks, Solomon Sparks, Jane Sparks Abel Sparks, Delila Sparks, and Mary Ellen Sparks.

At the time the above mentioned article was published, we had very little information regarding Mary Ellen Sparks, youngest daughter of George and Delila. Recently a granddaughter of Mary Ellen joined the Association and has supplied us with information about her. We are grateful to Florence Norris DeSelms (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.), for this information and for loaning us the original of the photograph appearing on page 1832. Mary Ellen Sparks (whose nickname was Molly), daughter of George and Delila Sparks, was born January 30, 1832, in Indiana. She married Elias Wilcoxson in Wells County, Indiana, on December 6, 1851 (Marriage Book 2, p. 90). Elias Wilcoxson served in the Civil War (Company K, 75th Indiana Infantry) and later received a pension. According to his application, Elias Wilcoxson was born May 6, 1830, in Surry County, N.C., although a family Bible record gives the year as 1829. Like the Sparks family, his parents, Jesse and Sarah Elizabeth (Denny) Wilcoxson, moved from North Carolina to Randolph County, Ind., then to Wells County. He died on February 4, 1913, at Pentwater, Michigan, in the home of his brother, James C. Wilcoxson. There is some confusion regarding the date of death of Mary Ellen (Sparks) Wilcoxson. According to family records, she died on February 12, 1913, in Wells County, Ind., but according to the pension application of Elias Wilcoxson, he married (as his second wife) Margaret Dewitt on March 1, 1889, in Wells County. A claim for reimbursement for care and medical service during Elias Wilcoxson's last illness states that both of his wives were dead.

The family Bible that belonged to Charles A. Wilcoxson (son of Elias and Mary Ellen (Sparks) Wilcoxson, is now owned by Mrs. Hazel Crabill, daughter of Charles A. Wilcoxson of Warsaw, Ind. In it is a list of the children of Elias and Marry Ellen (Sparks) Wilcoxson, as follows: Solomon Wilcoxson, born December 31, 1852. William Wilcoxson, born September 22, 1854, died December 17, 1940. Henry Wilcoxson, born 3 February 1857, died June 14, 1938. Daniel Wilcoxson, born August 23, 1859, died July 14, 1933. Johnnie Wilcoxson, born May 10, 1862, died in infancy. Sarah Wilcoxson, born January 23, ----, died early. Amos ["Jack"] Wilcoxson, born September 16, 1867. Alexander ["Alec"] Wilcoxson, born January 30, 1869, died June 13, 1908. Charles A. Wilcoxson, born 4 February 1871, died December 23, 1939. Mary Ellen Wilcoxson, born April 2, 1872, died September 27, 1906. Mary Ellen Wilcoxson married Marion Warden Norris on May 22, 1893. They were the parents of Florence N. DeSelms who has furnished us with this information.

The original of the above photograph is owned by Florence DeSelms. On the back is printed "Markle, Ind. M.C. Walker, (photographer)." Mrs. DeSelms has identified the lady standing (in the center) as Mary Ellen (Sparks) Wilcoxson, daughter of George and Delila Sparks, who was born in 1832. Judging from her probable age, it would seem that this photograph was taken sometime in the 1870's. We have not been able to identify the two older ladies sitting and holding their Bibles, but it seems quite possible that they were two of Mary Ellen's older sisters. We hope that someone will be able to identify them.


[Webmaster Note: I have no idea why this data is stuck in the middle of a different branch of the family! So I moved it to the end of this article. Perhaps the original author got these Jonathans and Solomons confused??]

Speculation on the parentage of Jonathan Sparks who married Rachel Swaim.

A Jonathan Sparks married Rachel Swaim in November, 1817, in Surry County, North Carolina (marriage bond dated November 26, 1817; William Sparks, bondsman) and was living in Surry County when the 1820 census was taken, aged 26 to 45, with his wife who was between 16 and 26, with two sons and one daughter under 10. [Webmaster:]

Possibilities: Jonathan Sparks, born in 1800. Jonathan Sparks, married in 1819. Jonathan Sparks, born in 1792.

[Webmaster: Jonathan Sparks, born in 1800, son of Solomon and Charity Sparks. Likely this would not be him, as he probably was not married when his father died December 18, 1817. Jonathan Sparks, son of 1.2.5 Joseph and Mary Sparks, was listed on the 1820 census of Wilkes County, North Carolina, aged 18 to 26, with his wife, aged 16 to 18, and one son under 10. This Jonathan Sparks must have married ca. 1818. He could have married at the end of 1817. Marriage to Rachel Swaim is more likely than the one above. Jonathan Sparks, son of Joseph Sparks (d.1820) was born in 1792. This is most likely the Jonathan who married Rachel Swaim. This marriage is reported in Whole No. 72.

These two Jonathan Sparkses were probably first cousins. Which one was the son of Solomon and Charity is difficult to determine, although probably it was the one in Wilkes County. What became of him is not known--he was not listed on the subsequent Wilkes County records.

The Jonathan Sparks who married Rachel Swaim was probably a son of John and Sarah Shores Sparks. [NOTE: False].

by 1840 this Jonathan Sparks had moved to Franklin County, Tennessee and was still there in 1850.

On the 1850 census of Franklin County, a Solomon Sparks, aged 60, with his wife Susan, aged 48, and family, is listed as living near Jonathan and Sarah Sparks. This Solomon Sparks was probably also a son of John and Sarah (Shores) Sparks; his children, as listed on the 1850 census were:

Mary E. Sparks,
George Sparks,
John Sparks,
Hannah Sparks,
Carroll Sparks,
Peter Sparks,
Jane Sparks,
Alfred Sparks, and
Lucinda Sparks. Nancy C. Sparks, aged 20, born ca. 1830 George Sparks aged 19, born ca. 1831 John Sparks aged 17, born ca. 1833 Hannah Sparks aged 16, born ca. 1834 Carroll Sparks aged 14, born ca. 1836 Peter Sparks aged 10, born ca. 1840 Jane Sparks aged 8, born ca. 1842 Alfred Sparks aged 7, born ca. 1843 Lucinda Sparks aged 4, born ca. 1846

From the census records of 1850 and 1860, it would appear that Jonathan and Rachel (Swaim) Sparks had the following children born between 1828 and 1843: Jacob Sparks, Cynthia Sparks, Isabella Sparks, Jane Sparks, John C. Sparks, Edward Sparks, and Sarah F Sparks.

There were doubtless older children who had left home by 1850, born between 1817 and 1828.