February 14, 2021

Pages 674-676
Whole Number 39


(Editor's Note: The following is a copy of the original will of Isaac Sparks who died in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, in 1819 or 1820. This transcription has been made from a photostat of the original which is preserved in the court house of Fayette County. Capitalization and punctuation have been standardized, but content and spelling have been unchanged.)

This the thirty-first day of October in the year of our Lord eight hundred & nineteen; I, Isaac Sparks of Fayette County, Township of Washington & Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, being indisposed in body, but of sound mind & memory;

Therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing that [it] is appointed for all men to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament.

First of all I order that my body be buried in a Christian like & decent manor at the discretion of my executors, and as touching sutch worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased providence to bless me with in this life, I give, devise and dispose of in the following maner and in form

Impremise, it is my will and I do order that in the first place all my just debts and funeral charges be paid and sattesfied.

Item, I here mention that I did some time before this date convey by deed unto my Sons John and Ephraim three quarters of a section of land in the state of Ohio, which three quarters is part of Section number one of Township nine in Range one, of the unapropriated land in the military district.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Isaac one quarter section of land in the state of Ohio known & described by the south west quarter of Section no. twenty-two of Township fifteen in Range seven entered in the Land Office at Stubenville which as also I here will unto him three hundred dollars to be paid unto him out of the money ariseing out of the sale of my personal estate if there is a sufficiency remaining after settling my other debts, if not the ballance wanting of said sum to be paid out of the money ariseing out of the land here described to be sold.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my son Joseph one quarter section or there abouts as per article of agreement with Zacha Biggs bearing date the 6th of December 1816 with the several courses and distances therein specified said to contain one hundred & fifty-nine acres & 31 p. described as follows: on the northwest corner of Section thirty-four Township 15 and Range seven, as will be seen on the records in Jefferson County, Ohio, as per agreement between myself & Zacha Biggs making the creek the line, my said land or parcell of land I will & bequeath unto my said son Joseph, heirs and assigns forever, and be it known that I have some time back given directions that a deed should be made for said land in my said son Joseph's name, which if complyed with before this date it is not yet come to hand, therefore to be considered to be the same land here willed as I also will unto my said son Joseph one sadle and my watch, and three hundred dollars to be paid to him out of the money ariseing out of the sale of my moveable estate if there should be sufficient, if not the remainder to said amount out of the sale of my land hereafter described to be sold.

Item, I give & bequeath unto my beloved wife Anna the use and possession of the plantation & appertainances thereunto belonging whereon I now dwell in Washington Township, County of Fayette & Commonwealth of Pennsylvania adjoining lands of John Lloyd & others as long as she remains my widow, with two horse cretures, two cows, six sheep, and six swine with all the geese and poltry to me belonging, the cretures here willed to her of every description is left to her choice of all I am possessed of at my death, as also I direct that my said widow shall detain as mutch grain & hay as shall be sufficient for her and family and the cretures here willed to her for one year, as also two feather beds, beadsteads and beding, her choice of all the beds to me belonging, one desk and book case, the cupboard and furniture, the tea kettle, one brass kettle, one dinner pot, one eighteen gallon kettle, and earthen ware, one dineing table, one looking glass, half a dozen winser chairs, my wagon, one plough and irons, one harrow, geers for two horses, and my Bible and logchain, as it is my will that all my children remain with my said widow that is now single as long as they shall chusese to do and remain in a single life, that my said widow & them be one family and pertake of the incomes of said plantation with my said widow at her discretion, yet it is my will and I do order that if my said widow should marry that she immediately clear the plantation having no further demands on the same takeing with her the property here to her willed, as it is my will and I do order that immediately after my said widow's death or marriage the said plantation, the prevelidge of which is here willed to my said widow, be put to sale either publick or private as shall be to the most advantage to my children to whom it is hereafter described to affect--that the same be sold by my executors to be received on payments or other ways, the money ariseing therefrom to be euqually devided amongst my four daughters, viz. Mary, Anna, Hannah & Clarressa, except a part should be other ways. disposed of by this will.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary one feather bed and beding, one side sadle & bureau which I have delivered to her before this date, as also I will unto my said daughter the one fourth part of the money ariseing from the sale of my plantation here directed to be sold except a part should be used as directed to Isaac & Joseph as if any should be made use of for them out of the sale of my land no division is to be made unto my daughters untili theirs is paid agreeable to the terms of this will.

Item, I give & bequeath unto my daughter Anna one feather bed & boding, one bureau, which I have delivered to her before this date, as I also will unto her one side saddle with the one fourth of the amount of the money ariseing from the sale of my plantation with the same reserves made in my daughter Mary's.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Hannah one feather bed & beding, one side saddle, and one bureau, with the one fourth part or share of the money ariseing from the sale of my plantation as in case of the other daughters above cited.

Item, I also will unto my daughter Clarressa one feather bed and beding, one side saddle and one bureau, as I also will unto her the one fourth part or share of the money ariseing from the sale of my plantation here directed to be sold except as before described in case of my sons Isaac & Joseph as of there is enough of the money ariseing from my personal estate to pay my debts and the sums to my said two sons willed my said four daughters shall have the whole of the price of said plantation.

Item, it is my will & I do order that if any of my said children here named should die without issue that the property here willed to them or either of them shall be sold & equally divided amongst all my surviving children altho if any of my children that have issue be deceased at such time their children shall come in for a child's share as their parents could have done if living.

It is also my will that emediately after my death all my moveable estate not here before willed be put to publick sale by my executors & placed to the payments of my debts & the remainder to Isaac & Joseph to the amot specefied to them & if there should be any remainder of said money I direct that it be eaqually divided amongst all my children, sons & daughters, yet as to my wearing apparel I order that the same be eaqually divided amongst my four sons, John, Ephraim, Isaac & Joseph.

Item, I likewise constitute, make and ordain my only & sole executors of this my last will and testament my mutch beloved wife Anna and my son Isaac and my trusty neighbour James D. Cope, and I do hereby utterly disanul and revoke all and every other former wills & testaments ratifying this & no other to be my last will and testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day & year first here cited.

[signed] Isaac Sparks (seal)

Signed, sealed and delivered
by the said Isaac Sparks
in the presence of us
           [signed] Edward Chambers
                        Jonathan Hewitte
                        Samuel Cope

Fayette County Ss.

   The twenty-sixth day of July Anno Domino 1820 before me the subscriber registered in the Probate of Wills and granting Letters of Administration in and for said County personally came Janathan Hewitte & Samuel Coope the two latter signing witnesses to the aforegoing last will & testament & on their solemn affirmations did respectively declare that they saw the testator when of disposing mind sign and seal the foregoing writing as and for his last will & testament, that they know of no later will made by him and that they together with the other witness signed the same as witnesses thereto in the presence of the testator & in the presence of each other--Given under my hand & seal of said office the same day.

[signed] Alexander M. --?--

(Editor's Note: Isaac Sparks, author of the above will, was a son of the 19.1.1 Hon. John Sparks of Gloucester County, New Jersey. Data on the Hon. John Sparks and his ancestry were published in the Quarterly of September, 1957 (pp. 242-44) and in that of the March 1958 (pp. 286-87). The Hon. John Sparks was born in Ireland in 1716 or 1717 and was a son of 19.1 Simon Sparks. He married, as his first wife, 19.2.1 Mary Sparks, who was his first cousin, a daughter of 19.2 Henry Sparks. The Hon. John Sparks died in Gloucester County in 1802. Isaac Sparks, son of the Hon. John and Mary (Sparks) Sparks, was born in New Jersey ca. 1760. He married Anna Lloyd, daughter of Ephraim Lloyd of Lower Penns Neck, New Jersey; she was born March 18, 1759, if her age on her tombstone was given correctly. Isaac Sparks lived in New Jersey; he was a resident of Lower Penns Neck as late as 1796. by 1800, however, he had moved to Washington Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. One of the records recorded in Fayette County which proves he was a son of the Hon. John Sparks is a document dated January 20, 1807, by which he set free a Negro slave named Mark whom he states he had purchased from "my Father John Sparks, Esq., of Deptford Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey" on November 3, 1797". Isaac made his will on October 31, 1819. The will was probated on July 26, 1820, which proves that he died between these two dates. His wife, Anna, lived until December 27, 1847; she died in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and on her tombstone in Pleasant Valley near the town of Mineral City her age is given as 87 years, 9 months, and 9 days.

Isaac and Anna (Lloyd) Sparks were the parents of eight children born between ca. 1780 and 1800. Their names were: Mary Sparks, John Sparks, Ephraim Sparks, born January 1, 1790, Isaac Sparks, Joseph Sparks, Anna Sparks, Hannah Sparks, and Clarressa Sparks.

We know that two of these sons, John Sparks and Ephraim Sparks, had moved to Ohio prior to their father's death; they lived in Tuscarawas County. We would be much interested to hear from descendants of this family.