April 15, 2021

Pages 865-872

by Russell E. Bidlack

(Note: A number of individuals have contributed data on which portions of this sketch are based. Among these contributors are: Mrs. J. N. Sparks of Lucerne Valley, California, Leona Sparks Cross, of St. Petersburg, Florida, S. H. Sparks of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Mrs. Albert G. Peters of Chicago, Carrie Grant Heppen, and William P. Johnson.) Isaac Sparks of Washington Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, was born in Deptford Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey, ca. 1760. His father was the 19.1.1 Hon. John Sparks who was born in 1716 or 1717, and his grandfather was 19.1 Simon Sparks who was born in Scotland or Ireland ca. 1688. There are two theories regarding the origin of this branch of the Sparks family. One is that Simon Sparks was born in Scotland, migrated to Ireland as a young man, and came to America late in the 1730's with his brother, Henry Sparks. The other theory is that Simon and Henry were sons of a Richard Sparks who is known to have been in Philadelphia as early as 1704; this Richard Sparks was a carpenter. He made his will in 1714 and the will was proved in 1716. Richard's wife, Joan, was named sole executrix and no children were named. Richard Sparks was a member of the Seventh Day Baptist Church and donated land in Philadelphia to this Church for a cemetery.

The earliest document found thus far pertaining to 19.1 Simon Sparks, grandfather of Isaac Sparks, was dated June 3, 1739; Simon was a witness to the will of John Bradway of Salem County, New Jersey. On October 15, 1739, Simon Sparks was appointed the administrator of the estate of William McClane of Salem County. There is some reason to believe that Simon's wife, Jane, was a daughter of William McClane. Simon Sparks died in Gloucester County, New Jersey, in 1749 (for an abstract of his will, see the Quarterly of September, 1957, p. 245, Whole No. 19.)

Simon Sparks's oldest son was 19.1.1 John Sparks, born in 1716 or 1717. John Sparks was a prominent citizen of Gloucester County, New Jersey, and held several important political offices. He was a leader of the Presbyterian Church and as early as 1768 was an Elder. His farm of 200 acres was located near the town of Woodbury and he founded the Presbyterian burial ground at Woodbury, where he was buried. During the American Revolution, John Sparks was a leader in the movement toward independence in New Jersey and was a member of the Provincial Congress of New Jersey which met at frenton and Burlington at various times in 1775 and 1776. He died on February 18, 1802. (For additional information on 19.1.1 John Sparks, see the Quarterly of September, 1957, Whole No. 19, and the March, 1958, Whole No. 21).

The Hon. John Sparks, son of Simon, was married three times. by his first wife, Mary MNU Sparks, who was his first cousin, a daughter of 19.2 Henry Sparks, John had several sons, one of whom was Isaac. Isaac Sparks grew up in Gloucester County and ca. 1785 he married Anna Lloyd, daughter of Ephraim Lloyd of Lower Penns Neck in Salem County, New Jersey. She was born on March 18, 1759, according to the inscription on her tombstone. (When Ephraim Lloyd made his will in 1795, he named Isaac Sparks his executor.)

Isaac Sparks became a resident of Lower Penns Neck in Salem County following his marriage. In 1796, he was still listed as a tax payer there, but by 1800 he had moved with his family to Washington Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, where he was listed on the 1800 census. He was a farmer, although according to a biographical sketch of his grandson, Randall Sparks, Isaac "also engaged in an early day in the manufacture of glass, in which enterpise, however, he did not meet with the financial success that he had anticipated." In 1799, Isaac Sparks's brother-in-law, Horatio Lloyd, died and left Isaac some 200 acres of land "in the Ohio Country." In later years, he purchased more land in Ohio, but whether he ever came west to inspect his property is not known, but two of his sons later migrated to Ohio.

An interesting document recorded in Fayette County that not only proves that Isaac Sparks was the son, of the Hon. John Sparks, but also provides a bit of interesting social history, is dated January 20, 1807. It is a sworn statement to the effect that on November 23, 1797, Isaac Sparks had obtained a bill of sale "from my Father John Sparks Esq. of Deptford Twp., Gloucester County, State of New Jersey... of a certain Negro Boy or Man named Mark, giving me the right, privilege and benefit of him, the said Mark, for and during the time of twelve years." Isaac Sparks went on to state that "for divers & good causes, he the said Mark, being a faithful servant, I thought proper to give him his freedom in or about the month of October in the year Eighteen Hundred & Five."

Isaac Sparks made his will on October 31, 1819; it was probated on July 26, 1820. We know, therefore, that he died between these two dates. This will was published in full in the Quarterly of September, 1962, Whole No. 39, and we shall not repeat it here. In it he named his wife and each of his eight children. To his widow, he left "the use and possession of the plantation & appertainances thereunto belonging whereon I now dwell in Washington Township, County of Fayette 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..." He also left her various household articles and farm equipment, including "my Bible." Upon the death or remarriage of Anna, the plantation was to be sold and the receipts equally divided between his daughters, Mary, Anna, Hannah and Clarressa. He also left a feather bed to each daughter, along with other household furniture. To his sons, John and Ephraim, he left three-quarters of a section of land in Ohio - - this appears to have been in that part of Ohio which later became Tuscarawas County. To his son Isaac, Jr., he left a quarter section of Ohio land and to his son Joseph he left a quarter section that he had purchased in 1816 from Zachariah Biggs. This latter property was in Jefferson County, Ohio. To Isaac he also left "one sadle and my watch" along with $300, and to Joseph he also left $300. Isaac Sparks named his wife, his son Isaac, Jr., and "my trusty neighbour James D. Cope" as his executors. The witnesses were Edward Chambers, Jonathan Hewitte, and Samuel Cope.

Anna Sparks, widow of Isaac, lived until December 27, 1847, when she died in Pleasant Valley, near what is now Mineral City, in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. She had left Fayette County, Pennsylvania, to join her sons Ephraim and John, who had settled in Ohio.

Isaac and Anna (Lloyd) Sparks were the parents of eight children, four sons and four daughters. We have no records pertaining to the daughters, Mary Sparks, Anna Sparks, Hannah Sparks, and Clarressa Sparks

other than their names in their father's will. We have at least limited information, however, on each of the four sons, John, Ephraim L., Isaac, Jr., and Joseph. John Sparks was born in June, 1788, in New Jersey before his parents moved to Fayette County, Pennsylvania. John Sparks died on March 3, 1867, near Mineral City, Thacarawas County, Ohio.

According to the inscription on his tombstone, John Sparks was 78 years and 9 months of age at the time of his death. He moved from Pennsylvania to Warren Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, with his brother, Ephraim, ca. 1817. John Sparks married Mary MNU, who was born in 1786 and died December 31, 1863, aged 77 years and 9 months. John and Mary Sparks were the parents of eight; children, but we can be certain of the names of only four, as follows: Henry Sparks was born ca. 1813; he married Sarah Ann McCreary, daughter of John McCreary, who was born ca. 1821; she appears to have died before 1860 since she was not listed with her husband and children on the 1860 census of Tuscarawas County, Ohio. From the 1850 and 1860 census records of Tuscarawas County, it appears that Henry and Sarah Ann (McCreary) Sparks were the parents of the following children: John Sparks, born ca. 1840. Mary J. Sparks, born ca. 1843. William M. Sparks, born ca. 1845. Isaac W. Sparks, born ca. 1847. Margaret A. Sparks, born ca. 1849. Catharine R. Sparks, born ca. 1851. Lorenzo D. Sparks, born ca. 1856; he is known to have married Mary C. MNU and by 1880 had a daughter named Bertha Sparks who was born ca. 1877. Madison H. C. Sparks, born ca. 1858. Isaac Sparks was born June 17, 1811, in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, shortly before his parents moved to Ohio. He married Catherine McCreary, daughter of John McCreary of Mineral City, Tuscarawas County, Ohio, in February, 1833. She was born December 9, 1811. In 1856 they moved to Hardin County, Ohio, and by 1870 were living in Boone County, Iowa, near the town of Boonesboro. Isaac Sparks died in 1890. They were the parents of the following childron: Miranda Sparks, married John Herron. Sarah Ann Sparks, married Charles Wesley McCaskey. Rose Ann Sparks, married J. D. Mathewson. Winfield Scott Sparks, born 1849; died March 9, 1935; married Martha Smith, who was born September 3, 1859, and died January 19, 1917. Alden Bennett Sparks, born July, 1850; married Jenny Weston, who was born July 25, 1855, and died in 1947. James W. Sparks. Mary Ann Sparks, married Isaac Robey. Zebulon Garfield Sparks was born July 24, 1829, and died January 2, 1900. He married Ruth Macamen, who was born October 29, 1838, and died February 17, 1907. When the 1870 census of Tuscarawas County, Ohio, was taken, they had a daughter named Udala Sparks, aged 7, and a Son Sparks, unnamed, who had been born in April, 1870. Reasin (or Rezin) Sparks, son of John and Mary Sparks, was born ca. 1831. He married Sarah Mowies, and by 1880, according to the census of Tuscarawas County, had the following children: Sarah B. Sparks, born ca. 1866. John Sparks, born ca. 1868. Thomas Grant Sparks, born August, 1870. William Sparks, born May, 1880. Ephraim Lloyd Sparks was born January 1, 1790, in Salem County, New Jersey. (On the 1860 census his birth place was given as Pennsylvania--this was an error.) He was married on August 10, 1813, to Sarah Cook, who was born July 17, 1794; she was a daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Cope) Cook, and descended from an old Quaker family. Ephraim Sparks moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio with his brother John Sparks, ca. 1817 and settled in Warren Township, Tuscarawas County, when that part of Ohio was considered the western frontier. Ephraim' s first wife, Sarah (Cook) Sparks, died on September 16, 1828, and he married (second) Mrs. Comfort Lappin. She died on January 11, 1868. Ephraim Sparks died in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, on March 24, 1871. He had seven children by his first wife and five by his second wife. The data on his children by his first wife given below is taken largely from the Cope Collection of genealogical materials in Philadelphia, copied for us a number of years ago by William Perry Johnson. Randall Sparks was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, on January 14, 1814. The following sketch of Randall's life is taken from the Commemorative Biographical Record of the Counties of Sandusky and Ottawa, Ohio, published in Chicago by the J. H. Beers Co., in 1896: "Randall Sparks was reared on the farm in Tuscarawas county, attending school for a few months each year when pressing farm work was done. He was an apt pupil, and before his marriage, at the age of twenty-one, he had taught three terms of school. On May 31, 1835, he married Ann Wingate, who was born in Tuscarawas county, Ohio, November 7, 1818, daughter of Henry and Mary (Bridall) Wingate, both natives of Delaware, who became early settlers of Carroll county, Ohio. Henry Wingate was of English ancestry; his wife was of French parentage. He died at the age of sixty-six years, she dying when Ann, the youngest child, was five weeks old. She was the mother of fifteen children, twelve of whom grew to manhood and womanhood.... After his marriage Randall Sparks settled in Tuscarawas county. He taught another term of school in the winter, and for nearly eight years he remained there, engaged in farming. In the fall of 1842 he came to York township, Sandusky county, and purchasing eighty acres of land on the ridge began to clear it up. In the following spring he removed with his family to the new home, and he has lived there ever since 'this was written in 1896." Randall and Ann (Wingate) Sparks were the parents of the following children: Lemuel Sparks, born December 8, 1836, enlisted November 9, 1861, in Company B, Seventy-second Ohio Volunteer Infantry, participated in the Battle of Shiloh and died of typhoid fever near Corinth, Miss., May 16, 1862. Catherine Sparks, born July 8, 1839, died January 5, 1858. Albert Sparks, born November 26, 1841, died May 31, 1861. Leslie E. Sparks, born March 21, 1844, joined Company M of the First Ohio Heavy Artillery and was drowned in the Tennessee River, near Loudon, Tenn., June 2, 1864. With others he had been ordered to guard a railroad bridge, and while they were crossing the river the canoe capsized and he was drowned. Melissa Sparks, born January 13, 1847, died November 6, 1869. Elinda Jane Sparks, born September 16, 1850, died April 25, 1872. Wilbur L. Sparks, born February 27, 1854, was married June 11, 1890, to Alice Jarvis by whom he had one child, born June 5, 1891. He died May 24 1893. Ella Belle Sparks, born June 15, 1859.

. Thomas Sparks was born in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, on December 25, 1815. He married on March 15, 1852, Esther Ann Dunn, daughter of James and Asenath Dunn of Redstone Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania. She was born November 9, 1828. They moved to Boone County, Iowa, soon after their marriage and were the parents of the following children: Leroy Sparks, born February 9, 1853. Fremont Sparks, born February 11, 1854. Eugene Victor Sparks, born May 23, 1855, Asenath Sparks, born December 26, 1856. James Dunn Sparks, born 4 February 1858. John C. Sparks, born ca. 1860. Anetta. Sparks, born ca. 1865. Robert Sparks, born ca. 1867. Edward Sparks, born in July, 1869. Isaac Sparks was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, on February 16, 1820. He was married in October, 1844, to Comfort Shuster, who was born March 29, 1825. They were the parents of the following children: Joseph Sparks, born April 9, 1846. Mary Sparks, born January 23, 1848. John Sparks, born July 4, 1850. Jane Elizabeth Sparks, born October 18, 1852, William Cook Sparks, born May 12, 1856. Isabella Sparks, born January 29, 1859. David Sparks was born in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, on February 22, 1818. He was married on May 26, 1846, to Nancy Redman, who was born September 19, 1822. He was a Lutheran minister and when the 1870 census was taken he was listed as a resident of Jefferson Township, Tuscarawas County. David and Nancy (Redman) Sparks were the parents of the following children: Emily Sparks, born January 31, 1848. Andora Sparks, born August 2, 1849. Muhlenberg Sparks, born October 5, 1850. Charles Schaeffer Sparks, born December 23, 1852. William Gerhard Sparks, born May 15, 1856. David Spener Sparks, born November 21, 1857. Emanuel G. Sparks, born ca. 1861. Alvin B. Sparks, born ca. 1863. Luther Sparks, born ca. 1866. Elizabeth Sparks was born May 23, 1821. She was married on January 24, 1839, to Samuel Tressel, son of George and Catharine Tressel of Warren Township, Tuscarawas County, Ohio. She was born Dec14, 1814. They were the parents of the following children: Sarah Tressel, born November 6, 1839. Mary Tressel, born December 25, 1840, Catherine Tressel, born January 7, 1843; married October 25, 1860, Charles Scott. Ephraim L. S. Tressel, born August 16, 1844. Samuel W. Tressel, born March 8, 1846; died August 30, 1858. Elizabeth Jane Tressel, born April 7, 1848. Emmanuel G. Tressel, born April 28, 1850. Luther M. Tressel, born August 24, 1852. George F. Tressel, born March 3, 1854. Alice A. Tressel, born July 11, 1856. Eliza M. Tressel, born February 24, 1858. John David Tressel, born March 17, 1860. Ann Sparks was born November 18, 1823, and died June 5, 1852. She married in March, 1843, James McCreery, who died in December, 1852. They had the following children: Elizabeth McCreery, born March 1, 1845. Ephraim McCreary, died young. Thomas Westford McCreery, born ca. 1847, Angeline McCreery, born 1849. Mary Lloyd Sparks was born February 11, 1827. She married on November 6, 1849, James Neel, son of William and Mary Neel of Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania. James Neel was born January 10, 1822. They had the following children: John Neel, born September 9, 1851. Adella Emma Neel, born April 21, 1854; died March 15, 1858. William Franklin Neel, born November 20, 1856; died April 10, 1858. Elisabeth Cook Neel, born March 1, 1859.

From page 1615: John Neel, born September 9, 1851. Adella Emma Neel, born April 21, 1854; died March 15, 1858. William Franklin Neel, born November 20, 1856; died April 10, 1858. Elizabeth Cook Neel, born March 1, 1859. Anna May Neel, born April 1, 1861, at Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania. George Edward Neel, born January 25, 1864, at Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania.

We have been able to learn very little regarding the children of Ephraim L. Sparks and his second wife, Comfort MNU. From census records, it appears that they had the following five children: Samuel Sparks was born ca. 1832. Clarissa Sparks was born ca. 1834. Joseph Sparks was born ca. 1836. Martha J. Sparks was born ca. 1839. Ephraim Sparks, Jr., born ca. 1841; he married Mary J. Ricketts and by 1870, according to the census of that year, they had the following children: Albert Sparks, born ca. 1865. Samuel Sparks, born ca. 1867. Clara Sparks, born January, 1870. Isaac Sparks, Jr, was born between 1790 and 1800. He lived in what is now Perry Township, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, near the town of Perryopolis. He married and had five children. We have no record of his death. There is a legend of an Isaac Sparks of Fayette County who deserted his family, 'went to Ohio, and married the daughter of an Indian chief. There is a definite possibility that he was this Isaac Sparks, Jr. Following are the five children of Isaac Sparks, Jr., who grew up in Fayette County. (These records are taken from Vol. 1 of Genealogical and Personal History of Fayette and Green Counties, Pennsylvania, Edited by John W. Jordan and James Hadden in 1912.) Children of Isaac Sparks, Jr., and his wife, whose name we have not been able to determine: Samuel Sparks born ca. 1820; he never married and died in Montana. Ellen (or Ellanor) Sparks born ca. 1820. She married James Arnold, a farmer of Fayette County, PA. Later they moved to Vermont, where both died. Their children, as listed on the 1850 census, were: David Arnold, born ca. 1840. Isaac Arnold, born ca. 1842. Sarah Elma Arnold, born ca. 1844. Milton J. Arnold, born ca. 1849. Mary Ann Sparks born ca. 1825. She married Joseph Bute and they lived near Perryopolis. Horatio Lloyd Sparks was born January 31, 1823, and died on March 5, 1901. He married Helena Hammond, who was born in 1826 in Westmoreland County, PA, and was a daughter of Samuel and Eliza (Douglass) Hammond. She died in 1890. Horatio L. and Helena (Hammond) Sparks were the parents of the following children: Samuel Hammond Sparks, born in 1850 and died December 7, 1904. He lived at Indian Head, PA. He was a tanner by trade, as was his father, and a farmer; he established a tannery of his own in Bullakin Township. He married Melinda, daughter of Peter Christner. Their children were: William Ketchum Sparks, Roy Sparks, born 1876; Charles Boyle Sparks; Hammond Sparks; Luella B. Sparks, Maud Kitchen Sparks, Francis Davis Sparks, and Samuel Hammond Sparks. James Hammond Sparks, born January 4, 1852; he married May 13, 1876, Sarah Iva Stewart, daughter of Thomas and May Anna (Cramer) Stewart. They had three children: L. Marie Sparks, born 1877; Wiley Stewart Sparks, born 1894; and Ray L. Sparks, born 1879. Israel Sparks, lived at Indian Head, PA. Ida May Sparks, married George W. Campbell. Elizabeth Sparks, married Cyrus B. Sipe. Mary Agnes Sparks. Kate Sparks, died July 31, 1893. Horatio L. Sparks, Jr., born 1866, died 1896. Jane Sparks was born ca. 1828; she was a cripple and never married. She died in the home of her brother, Horatio. Joseph Sparks, son of Isaac and Anna (Lloyd) Sparks, was born ca. 1800 in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and died there (in Perry Township) ca. 1830. He married Mary Hewitt, who was born April 15, 1796. She was a Quaker. Following his death ca. 1830, Mary (Hewitt) Sparks married as her second husband, Asa Chambers and by him had three children (Asa Chambers, Jr., Sarah Chambers, and Edward Chambers). Joseph and Mary (Hewitt) Sparks were the parents of three children: David Sparks was born ca. 1826. He was still living in 1842 when he signed a petition to the Fayette County Court asking that someone be appointed "to take care of his person and estate," noting that his father had left a farm of 130 acres in Perry Township. We have no further record of David Sparks. Isaac Newton Sparks was born December 28, 1828. He married Catherine Margaret Beeson on August 8, 1854, at Canal Dover in Tuscarawas County, Ohio. She was born March 23, 1833, and was a daughter of Harmon V. and Rachel C. (Rutt) Beeson. Isaac Newton Sparks did not remain in Ohio with his uncles but returned to Fayette County, PA, where his first two children were born. by 1860, however, he had moved with his family to Kansas. He died at Coffeyville, Kansas, on October 16, 1916. Isaac N. and Margaret (Beeson) Sparks were the parents of the following children: Joseph Beeson Sparks, born November 22, 1857, in Fayette County, PA. Frank Sparks, born November 11, 1859, in Fayette County. Marian Vedder Sparks, born November 1, 1861, in Rantoul, Kansas. John Schooley Sparks, born January 6, 1864, in Rantoul, Kansas. Isaac Newton Sparks, Jr., born August 8, 1871, in Rantoul, Kansas. Jonathan Hewitt Sparks was born April 4, 1830, in Fayette County, PA. He married Sara Dial in Fayette County on January 21, 1857. He died near Lane, Kansas. Jonathan H. and Sara (Dial) Sparks were the parents of the following children: May Sparks, born ca. 1858 in Fayette County, PA. Bessie Sparks, born in Franklin County, Kansas, on January 1, 1864. Eva Sparks, born in Franklin County, Kansas. Seena Sparks, born in Franklin County, Kansas. Vernie Sparks, born in Franklin County, Kansas. Fred Sparks, born in Franklin County, Kansas.