February 16, 2020

Pages 970-973
Whole Number 53


(Editor's Note: The following copy of the will of 37.2 Thomas Sparks, who apparently died in 1866, has been made from a photostat of the original which is on file among the probate records of Clark County, Ohio.)

In the name of the benevolent Father of all, I Thomas Sparks of Clark County, Ohio, being of feeble health, but of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make and publish the following as my last will and testament.

Item 1st. It is my will that all my property personal and real, that remains after the payment of my lawful debts, funeral expenses, costs of administration &c. shall be equally divided share and share alike between my following children to wit: Richard Sparks, Charlotte Clark, Ephraini Sparks, Ann Davidson, Rebecca Houston, and David Sparks; and that they may all receive equal shares of my estate, including what they have heretofore received and what remains to be distributed by my executor; it is niy will that the share of David Sparks be appropriated by my executor, first, to pay the claims or notes held by Ephraim Sparks and Rebecca Houston against David Sparks, he having received more of my estate heretofore than any of my other children.

Item 2d. Should there be at the time of my decease any claims or charges which I have requested to be made and kept against any of my children above named, or should I hold any notes or obligations against any of my said children the amount which may be due from either of them on the accounts notes or obligations are to be deducted from the share of my estate given in this will, and the balance or balances only paid to them.

Item 3d. That my farm in Green Township, Clark County, Ohio being the South East quarter of Section 34 Town 5 and Range 8 containing one hundred and sixty acres more or less, be sold by my executor within two years after my decease and that the proceeds be divided as above specified between my above named children.

Item 3d. [sic] I constitute and appoint James F. Stewart Executor of this my last will and testament hereby revoking and annuling all other wills by me heretofore made. Witness my hand and seal this 18th day of January 1864.

Executed and acknowledged [signed] Thomas Sparks (seal)
by the above named testator
in the presence of us who sign
this instrument as witnesses
in the presence of the testator
and at his request.
[signed] John E. Stewart
David Stewart

Thomas Sparks, Deceased, Last Will and Testament, filed January 2d 1867.
[signed] John H. Little.

(Further notes by the Editor: Thomas Sparks was born in Salem County, New Jersey, ca. 1779 (his age was given as 71 on the 1850 census of Clark County, Ohio). As yet we have not succeeded in identifying his parents, although a thorough search of Salem County records should provide this information. On June 4, 1801, he was married in Salem County to Abigail Shaw, who was born ca. 1781 (her age was given as 69 on the 1850 census). Between 1805 and 1809, Thomas Sparks moved to Greene County, Ohio; he was living in Sugar Creek Township when the 1820 census was taken.

The date when Thomas Sparks moved from Greene County to nearby Clark County is not known; he was living in Clark County in 1850. From the above will and various census records, we know that Thomas and Abigail (Shaw) Sparks had the following children and grandchildren:

37.2.1 Sarah Sparks, born March 22, 1802, died March 27, 1802, age 5 days.
37.2.2 Mary Sparks, born September 6, 1803, died September 20, 1804, age 1 year, 14 days.
37.2.3 Richard Sparks, son of Thomas and Abigail (Shaw) Sparks, was born in New Jersey ca. 1805; he married Lucy DeVore (Devore) , who was born in Ohio ca. 1807. Prior to the Civil War, Richard and his family moved to Illinois and were living in Tazewell County when the 1870 census was taken. They were still living when the 1880 census was taken, at which time Richard was listed as 74 years old and Lucy was listed as 72. They lived in the village of Mackinaw; Richard was listed as a retired farmer. From census records, it appears they had the following children: Mary Jane Sparks, born in Ohio ca. 1830; she married Felix Lindsey, a farmer, probably in Tazewell County late in the 1850's. He was born in Illinois ca. 1835. Sometime after 1870, this family moved to Kensington, Kansas. by 1870, they had the following children: Adda Lindsey, born ca. 1859; Elnora Lindsey, born ca. 1862; Charles Lindsey, born ca. 1864; Lena Lindsey, born ca. 1866. Robert Sparks, born in Ohio ca. 1832. He accompanied his parents to Tazewell County, Illinois, and by 1870 had married Sarah E., who was born in Illinois ca. 1849. In 1870 he was listed as a farmer but in 1880 he was called a grain dealer and was living in the village of Mackinaw. From census records, it appears that they had the following children: Maggie Sparks, born in 1869, but apparently died prior to 1880; Bertha J. Sparks, born ca. 1873; Robert L. Sparks, born ca. 1876; Lelia W. Sparks, born ca. 1879. Francis M. Sparks, born in Ohio ca. 1837, he was called Frank on the 1870 census of Tazewell County, Illinois, and his occupation was given as plasterer. In 1880, however, he was called Francis M. Sparks and was listed as a farmer in Mackinaw Township. In 1870 his wife was listed as Jane Sparks, but in 1880 her name was given as Rebecca J. Sparks. According to the 1870 and 1880 census records, Francis M. Sparks had the following children: Charles O. Sparks, born ca. 1865; Richard Sparks, born ca. 1866; Laura K., or Lauradett, Sparks, born ca. 1868; Francis M. Sparks, Jr., born ca. 1871; Amos Sparks, born ca. 1873; Lewis Sparks, born ca. 1875. Lucy Jane Sparks, born ca. 1840 in Ohio. Thomas W. Sparks, born in Ohio ca. 1842. He was listed on the 1870 census of Tazewell County, Illinois, as a farmer, but by 1880 he was living in the village of Mackinaw and his occupation was given as "R.R. Bridge C." by 1870 he had married--her name was given in 1870 as Mary Adelaid Parmele, but in 1880 as Mary A., born in Wisconsin ca. 1848. by 1880 they had the following children: Ada A. Sparks, born ca. 1871; Mabel E. Sparks, born ca. 1873; Horace W. Sparks, born ca. 1876; Oral S. Sparks, born ca. 1878. Abigail Sparks, born ca. 1845 in Ohio. Richard Sparks, Jr., born ca. 1847 in Ohio. He was living with his parents in Tazewell County, Illinois, when the 1870 census was taken. Also living with the family in 1870 was Laura Sparks, born in Ohio ca. 1850. This may have been Richard's wife, or it may have been his sister whose name was given as Catherine in 1850. Richard Sparks, Jr., was still living with his parents in 1680 and was listed as a widower. Three sons of Richard Jr. were also listed: Claude G. Sparks, born ca. 1875; Sanford Sparks, born ca. 1877; Glen R. Sparks, born ca. 1879.

The son named Sanford was also listed as a grandson in the family of Robert S. and Lucy A. Finks, It seems probable, therefore, that Richard Sparks, Jr., had married a daughter of Robert S. Finks and that she had died by 1880. Catherine Sparks, daughter of Richard and Lucy Sparks, was born in 1850 in Ohio. A Laura Sparks was listed in the home of Richard and Lucy Sparks in 1870, aged 20. This may have been intended for Catherine, but it seems more probable that Laura was the wife of Richard Sparks, Jr.

37.2.4 Charlotte Sparks, daughter of Thomas and Abigail (Shaw) Sparks, was born ca. 1807. Our only knowledge of this daughter is the mention that Thomas Sparks madeof her in his will. She married FNU Clark.

37.2.5 Ephraim S. Sparks was born near Bellbrook, Greene County, Ohio, in 1809. According to the Centennial History of Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio, he engaged in wagon-making and backsmithing as a member of the firm of Coon, Fryant & Sparks. Later he lived near Clifton and then moved to Springfield, where he died on March 12, 1880. He was married in Clark County, Ohio, to Mary Elwell on January 27, 1831, by Adam Selley, an ordained deacon in the Methodist Church (Marriage Record Volume 1-B, p. 277). Mary Elwell was born in New Jersey in 1809; she died May 19, 1884. They had the following children: Simon Sparks, born in 1832, later lived in Dayton. Abigail (or Abbie) Sparks, born ca. 1834; married in Clark County, Ohio, Jefferson Aughe on October 6, 1856. Hannah Sparks, born ca. 1836; married FNU Littlejohn. Sarah A. Sparks, born ca. 1839; married Hiram W. Bachinan. Ella Sparks, born ca. 1840; married FNU Gifford. John Sparks, born ca. 1841. Mary Ellen Sparks, born ca. 1844. Lydia J Sparks, born in 1849; married Alfred Slack in 1875. Derostus F. L. Sparks, born in 1851. William Edward Sparks, born near Springfield, Clark County, Ohio, on August 25, 1853; he married on May 6, 1890, Minnie A. Kimes, daughter of Frank and Mellissa Kimes of Dayton.

37.2.6 Ann Sparks was born ca. 1811. She was married in Clark County, Ohio, on August 14, 1834, to Joseph Davidson.

37.2.7 Rebecca Sparks was born ca. 1814. She was married in Clark County, Ohio, on October 23, 1834, to Matthew Houston. Her husband probably died prior to 1850 for according to the census of that year she was living with her parents with the following children: Mary E. Houston, born ca. 1846. Margaret Houston. born ca. 1850 Thomas Houston, born ca. 1850. Eli Houston, born ca. 1843. Louisa Houston, born ca. 1844. Charlotte Houston, born ca. 1849.

37.2.8 Robert Walker Sparks, born July 17, 1814.

37.2.9 David Sparks was born December 24, 1817 (his age was given as 30 on the 1850 census). He appears to have married three times in Clark County, Ohio; first, to Mary Marks on May 21, 1836; second, to Catharine Berry on April 2, 1839; and third to Sarah Ralphsnyder on December 14, 1847. The latter was listed as aged 23 on the 1850 census--her birth place was given as Georgia. From the 1850 census, it would appear that David Sparks had two children by his second wife and one by his third. Perhaps there were others born after 1850. David Sparks was not listed on the 1860 census of Clark County, Ohio. Following are his children as listed on the 1850 census: Michael Sparks, born ca. 1840. George W. Sparks, born ca. 1842. Edward Sparks, born ca. 1848.