Whole Number 73
In the December 1970 issue of the Quarterly, we published a short article listing a number of early immigrants to Maryland whose name was Sparks (or Sparkes, or Spark). There can be little doubt that the Sparkses of early Maryland were ancestors of a large proportion of persons named Sparks living across America today. From this area, Sparks descendants moved southwestward down the Great Valley to Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia; thence over the mountains to Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama; and then on across the Mississippi to Texas, Missouri and the far west. Other descendants moved northwestward to Pennsylvania; thence down the Ohio to the Northwest Territory, settling in the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illnois before joining their southern cousins west of the Mississippi.
Because of the key position that Maryland holds in the genealogy of the Sparks family, we have decided to publish the following data even though the story is not complete. Many persons have contributed to the collection including our professional genealogist, William Perry Johnson, our president, Paul S. Sparks, and several professional genealogists. While many gaps remain to be filled in, the account which follows is based entirely on documentary evidence.
The history of the Colony of Maryland begins with the first Lord Baltimore (George Calvert), convert to the Roman Catholic faith, who prevailed upon King James I to grant him a colony along the Atlantic coast which would serve as an asylum for Englishmen seeking religious freedom. Although the first Lord Baltimore died before his dream could be realized, the King granted the promised charter to his son, Cecilius Calvert, the 2nd Lord Baltimore, on June 20, 1632. Leonard Calvert, brother to Cecilius, became the Colony's first governor. Although the 2nd Lord Baltimore never visited his colony, he supervised its development until his death in 1675 and has often been referred to as the First Lord Proprietor.
Before Lord Baltimore could arrange to send the first colonists to his colony, a Virginian named William Claiborne had established a trading post on Kent Island. For many decades thereafter there was conflict between the Virginia traders and settlers on Kent Island (which is now part of Queen Anne's County) and the settlers brought from England to the Colony by Lord Baltimore. There were also disagreements with William Penn regarding the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania and with the Duke of York regarding the boundary between Maryland and Delaware. There were also Indian uprisings and civil strife, but religious freedom prevailed through all of these troubles.
In the article appearing in the December 1970 Quarterly, page 1362, Dr. Paul Sparks described the system by which large numbers of settlers were brought to Maryland from England in the 1600's. Many of the settlers came as "indentured servants," individuals and families who had traded a term of service, (from two to six years for adults and longer for children), for the cost of passage to America. The individual who wished to emigrate but could not afford the passage would get in touch with a ship master or his agent and a contract would be drawn up in which the passenger agreed to serve the ship master or his agent for a stated term of years. when the passenger, now an "indentured servant", reached his destination, his master was free to sell the passenger's services to any purchaser in order to recoup the expense of passage. The "servant" then went to live with and to work for the new master for the number of years specified in the contract. (The number of years of service varied from one "indentured servant" to another because their skills varied--the skilled artisan brought a higher price than an ordinary laborer; thus the agent would have to demand longer service of the laborer in order to sell his indenture and recover the cost of the voyage.) Many of the early immigrants to Maryland settled on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay in the area that is now Queen Anne's County. It was here that the branch of the Sparks family settled which is traced in this article.
Kent County, comprising what is now the counties of Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne's, Talbot, and a portion of Caroline, was created officially in 1642. In 1661, Talbot County was cut off from Kent, although Kent Island remained as part of Kent County until 1695. In 1706, Talbot County was divided to form Queen Anne's County. (Queen Anne's accession to the English throne had occurred four years earlier and the new county was named for her.) The Sparks family in whom we are currently interested lived in what became Queen Anne's County in 1706. Edward Sparks lived on Kent Island (that portion of Queen Anne's County which extends into the Bay.) 1.2 William and 1.1 John Sparks, believed to have been brothers, both owned property in "West Chester Towne", believed to have been the western part of what is now the town of Chester; their land holdings were on Chester River (which forms the northern boundary of Queen Anne's and the southern boundary of Kent County) near the present towns of Centreville and Church Hill. Island Creek and Southeast Creek are mentioned in the deeds describing the land of William Sparks. There was also a Thomas Sparks who was a servant of Richard Tilghman in 1671 who lived on Chester River.
It is important to keep in mind that records of this branch of the Sparks family are found in Kent County up until 1661 when Talbot County was set apart from Kent County. From 1661 until 1706, the records of this family were recorded in both Kent and Talbot because their land lay in both counties and the boundary line was often uncertain. Furthermore, Kent Island remained part of Kent County until 1695. After 1706, records of the family are found chiefly in Queen Anne's County, which was carved out of Talbot County. In 1706, Kent Island also became a part of Queen Anne's County.
On October 20, 1661, Edward Sparks was a witness to the will of Capt. Thomas Bradnox of Kent Island. (See Jane Baldwin Cotton's "Maryland Calendar of Wilis, Vol.1, 1635-1665, p. 20".) Thomas Bradnox had been a resident of Kent Island as early as 1638; he owned a large tract of land and was High Sheriff of Kent County in 1653. This is our earliest reference to Edward Sparks, although on October 4, 1656, a man named "Edd Sparks" witnessed an assignment or mortgage of Henry Tailer (or Taylor) to Henry Morgan, both of Kent Island; the other witness was John Coursey. (See Archives of Maryland, Vol. LIV, "Kent County Court Proceedings," p. 142.) on October 19, 1658, the same "Edd Sparks" and John Coursey witnessed a similar mortgage by Gregory Murell to Henry Morgan, both of Kent Island. (Same volume, p. 143) There seems little doubt that "Edd Sparks" and Edward Sparks were the same person. It is of interest that he signed as a witness along with John Coursey. The Coursey family, who later called themselves De Coursy, had come to Maryland from lower Virginia in 1649 or 1650. They are known to have had affiliations in Dublin, Ireland, but were Protestants. John Coursey was clerk of the Kent 'County Court in 1658-60, sheriff in 1660, and a justice of the peace in 1660-61. On September 2, 1668 Edward Sparks witnessed the will of William Elliot (spelled Elleyeot in the will), a prominent resident of Kent Island. (See Cotton's Maryland Calendar of Wills, Vol 1, p. 47.)
On June 16, 1668, Edward Sparks appeared with Simon Carpenter before the Court of Talbot County. The record of this case provides a clue regarding his coming to Maryland. (See Archives of Maryland, Vol. LIV, pp. 142-3.) The purpose of their appearance was for the Court to determine how many years Edward Sparks should be required to serve (.e. work for) Mr. Simon Carpenter for having paid his transportation to Maryland. The Court adjudged that he should serve six years. It is difficult to know how to interpret this court action. Six years was the normal maximum for a man to work for another man in exchange for his passage--in many instances the debt was paid in as few as two years. We cannot tell from this entry whether the six years ended in 1668--perhaps Carpenter had demanded that he work longer than six years and Edward Sparks was now (in 1668) protesting. Since Edward Sparks himself acquired a tract of land on June 20, 1666, as a result of transporting a man named Edward John to the Province, it would seem that he must have completed his own indenture before this, especially inasmuch as he was identified as a "Planter" in this deed. Simon Carpenter had been commissioned a justice of the Talbot County Court on March 22, 1664. The following year he patented land on the south side or the Chester River in what is now Queen Anne's County, where he seems to have made his home. He was still on the Talbot County Court in 1670, the year in which he died.
It was the custom in Maryland for the first owner of a tract of land to give it a name, often perpetuating his own family name along with some physical characteristic of the land in question. Edward Sparks gave the name "Sparks Point" to the fifty-acre tract which he received for transporting Edward John to Maryland. (See Liber 12, pp. 35-36, Kent County Deeds.) His name is spelled "Sparkes" in this deed. The land is described as follows: "a parcell of land called Sparkes point lying in the county of Kent aforesaid in a bay called the Wadeing place beginning at a marked white oak standing upon a point at the mouth of a creek and runing down the said bay west fifty perches to a marked pine by a cove side bounded on the west by a line drawn north from the said pine for length one hundred and sixty perches on the north by a line drawn east from the end of the north line fifty perches unto the said creek and by the said creek to the first named white oak containing and now laid out for fifty acres more or less." This tract had been surveyed for Edward Sparks on September 24, 1667. It is interesting to note that the "Wadeing place" referred to in this deed was a ford used by persons in passing from Kent Island to the mainland.
On March 26, 1667, Edward Sparks purchased from a man named Pascoe Dunn a tract of 150 acres in Kent County called "Pascoe's Adventure." (See Kent County Deed Book A, pp.202-03.) In this deed, Edward Sparks is identified as "Edward Sparkes of the Island of Kent." The tract is not described in this deed. The witnesses were Richard Fitz Alleyne and Toby Wedes. (Pascoe Dunn was a member of the Dunn family which had been among a group of Puritans who came to Maryland from Virginia in 1649.)
Sometime prior to February 1679, Edward Sparks died. He left no children and on February 9, 1679, "at the council held at St. Peters" a man named Anthony Workman (spelled Warteman in this record) presented a petition in which he referred to the tract of 150 acres called "Pascoe's Adventure" which Pascoe Dunn "late of the island of Kent" had acquired as a grant in 1664 and had sold to Edward Sparks. Anthony Workman referred to Edward Sparks as "deceased" and because he had died "without issue," Workman noted that his land would be "escheated", that is, it would revert to the Lord Proprietor of the Province. Workman requested that "your lordship will grant a mandamus to enquire by the oaths of twelve honest and lawful men, for that purpose to be empannelled and sworne, what lands and tenements Edward Sparkes dyed seized of, that your lordship may by record be entitled thereunto." Workman's purpose in making his request is obvious by the last sentence of his petition:
"And then your petitioner most humbly prays the premises being considered that your lordship will graciously please to admit your petitioner to purchase upon reasonable tearmes from your lordship the one hundred fifty acres as is before mentioned." (This document is quoted in John Kilty's The Landholders Assistant & Land-Office Guide, 1808, published by the Filson Club, Louisville, KY, p. 108.) Anthony Workman kept an inn or a tavern on Kent Island. In 1683 he and several other residents of the Island were appointed commissioners to establish a town and it is believed the town they established was at Broad Creek where Workman had his tavern. In later years, Workman operated an inn at Annapolis.
Walter Kerby and Henry Carter were appointed commissioners by the Chancery Court of the Province on February 10, 1679, to make the survey of Edward Sparks's property. We have not succeeded in finding any subsequent document, but in all probability, Anthony Workman succeeded in acquiring Edward Sparks's plantation.
Whether Edward Sparks was in any way related to Thomas, John, or William Sparks in the following accounts, we have not been able to determine. It is obvious from the above record, however, that he left no descendants in Maryland. Since he was associated with a number of families who had come to Maryland from Virginia, it is possible that Edward Sparks was also a Virginian.
As was noted in the article on "Immigrants Named Sparks Who Came to Maryland Before 1675" that appeared in the December 1970 issue of the Quarterly, a Thomas Sparks was brought to Maryland (had his passage paid) by Richard Tilghman in 1669. Richard Tilghman himself had come from England to Maryland on the ship Elizabeth and Mary in 1657 and had settled on the Chester River in what would become Queen Anne's County. According to Paul Wilstach, in his Tidewater Maryland (1931), Dr. Tilghman "was the family doctor to all the first families on the Chester, making his way from one plantation landing to another in a 'batteau', under a 'leg 0' mutton' sail if there was a favoring wind, or, if the sick called him in a calm, roved by his strong anrad slaves."
On August 15, 1671, Thomas Sparks appeared as a witness before the Justices of the Peace in Talbot County, Maryland, (Talbot County would later be divided to form Queen Anne's County) to testify regarding some goods which had been stolen from his master, Dr. Tilghman. (See Maryland Archives, Vol. LIV, "Talbot County Court Proceedings", 1662-1674, pp.508-510. The case was complicated and the record of the testimony of Thomas Sparks and other witnesses does not provide a very clear picture, but it seems that Thomas Sparks had been sent by Dr. Tilghman to work for a neighbor named Patrick Shulivant (also spelled Soulavant, but later standardized as Sullavant). While working for Shulivant, Sparks observed that a tailor came to Shulivant's house to make him a coat "0f black frise which I suspected to be made of a Coate Which Charles Eggerton lost." Sparks also observed that the tailor lined Shulivant's new coat "with Canvis which I did Suspecte wass part of my masters Canvis which wass Stolne." Sparks also noticed a pair of drawers and some towels and napkins which had been stolen from Dr. Tilghman, and he saw Mrs. Tilghman's name on some sheets that Mrs. Shulivant was using. According to his account, Sparks confided his discovery to a man named Rice Cookeman and also a miller named Geoffrey Mattecey. Patrick Shulivant learned of Sparks's discovery and threatened him, but Sparks appealed to Mrs. Tilghman who "told me Patrick should doe me noe hurt." She also arranged for Dr. Tilghman to go to speak to both Sparks and Patrick Shulivant. At that point, Shulivant accused Sparks of having stolen these goods from Dr. Tilghman.
It is not clear from this record how this case was eventually settled, although Shulivant was arrested. Sometime after this, Richard Tilghman consigned a number of his servants, including Thomas Sparks, to Richard Carter, another wealthy planter of Talbot County. It should be remembered that "servants" of this type in Maryland were actually immigtants from England whose passage had been paid by someone for whom the "servanthad agreed to work for a specified number of years in return for the expense of his passage. The law provided that a "master" could consign a "servant" to another person to work out his time.
This is our last record of Thomas Sparks found thus far. whether he married and left descendants is not known.
Our earliest record of 1.1 John Sparks is a deed in Talbot County, Maryland (Book 7, p.100) dated May 11, 1695, by which he acquired a tract of land located on the north side of Chester River in what is now Kent County, although either because of confusion or subsequent changes in boundary lines, it was thought in 1695 to be in Talbot County (now Queen Anne's County). This tract, consisting of 100 acres, was called "Buck Hill" (sometimes written "Buckshill") and John Sparks acquired it in 1695 from John Salter in exchange for "all those Lotts of land and all the houses upon the Same whereon the said John Sparks now dwelleth Scituate, lyeing in West Chester Towne in Chester river in Talbott Co." John Sparks signed this deed by mark as "Sf" (obviously intended as "SJ", the reverse of his initials, "JS". His wife, Elinor Sparks, also signed this deed by mark as (X). Elias Robinson and James Nicholson signed as witnesses.
It is interesting to note that 1.2 William Sparks, who died in 1709, also sold to John Salter a lot which he owned in West Chester in 1691 (Talbot Deed Book 7, p.53) According to other records, there seems to be little doubt that John Sparks and William Sparks were brothers. One wonders whether they may have inherited the lots in West Chester.
We have found no other reference to "West Chester Town", although it seems probable that it was the western portion of the present Chestertown on the west side of the Chester River in what is now Kent County. Chestertown was created officially in 1706 "in Chester River on a plantation of Mr'. Joce 'a, between Mr. Wilmore's and Edward Walvin's plantation," but it is probable that it existed unofficially a few years earlier. (See Frederic Emory's Queen Anne's County, Maryland, Baltimore, 1950, pp. 319-320.) John Salter was a leading citizen of the area. In 1707, he was appointed a vestryman of St. Paul's Parish, which included all of Queen Anne's County and a portion of Talbot. He was one of Queen Anne's County's first representatives to the Assembly and in 1715, with John Hawkins, recommended that a fine of 12 pounds be imposed upon anyone who should liberate a slave because such action caused other slaves to become dissatisified. He was a justice of the court in 1707 and was a commissioner from Queen Anne's County to purchase and lay out towns in 1706.
Our next record of 1.1 John Sparks is his will dated September 2, 1699. Although this document was published in the Quarterly of June 1960 (Vol. VIII, No. 2, whole No. 30, p. 490) it is given again here:
In the name of God amen I John Sparks being Sick and Weak in Body but of perfect Sence of mind and memory for the avoiding suits at Law or controversies that may happen after nor Death do make and ordain and declare this to be my Last will and Testament herby Revoaking all wills formerly made as Vizt
1st - I bequeath my Soul into the hands of Almighty God my Saviour hopeing by his precious Blood to obtain Remission and forgiveness of all my Sins - and my Body to be Desently Buried at the Discretion of nor Executrix hereafter named.
2ndIy - I give to my Beloved wife Ellinor Sparks after my Just Debts paid my whole & small Estate to her heirs or assignes.
3rdly - I give to my Sons 1.1.1 John and 1.1.2 George Sparks one hundred acres of Land Called Bucks hill provided Either of them Comes to Enjoy it.
4thly - I do Constitute and appoint my wife Ellinor Sparks my whole and Sole Executrix of this my Last will & Testmt In wittness hereunto I have Sett my hand and affixed my Seale the 2 day of September 1699.
Jno Sf Sparks
Signd Seald and Delivrd & Declared
to be my Last Wil & Testament in the presence of us
Thos [ T ] Prestige
The will of John Sparks was copied for us by William Perry Johnson a number of years ago from the recorded copy among the Queen Anne's County records. It is apparent that this was recorded some years after the death of John Sparks, because the following statement follows the will itself:
On the back of the aforegoing Will was thus Written as Follows Vizt
Janry the 3d 1701
Then Came the within named John Salter, Thomas Prestidge, & Eliza Robinson Wittnesses to the Wth-in Will and made oath upon the holy Evangelist that they Did See the within John Sparks Signs & Seale the Within Will and Declare the Same to be his Last Will & Testamt.
There also appears the statement that John Salter and James Smith were appointed to make an inventory of the estate of John Sparks.
It is interesting to note that John Salter, with whom John Sparks had traded property in 1695, signed as a witness to his will and was also one of those appointed to take the inventory. Perhaps the "Elizab Robinson" who signed as witness was the wife of Shag Robinson who had witnessed the 1695 deed. Since the witnesses appeared in court to testify in the probation of the will on January 3, 1701, we may assume that John Sparks died late in the year 1700. Several days or even weeks usually passed between a person's death and the probating of his will.
It should be noted that John Sparks named only two children in his will, sons named John and George, neither of whom was living in Maryland. To these sons he left his farm called "Buck Hill" provided "Either of them Comes to Enjoy it." A subsequent document reveals that both of these sons were in England.
Following the death of John Sparks, his farm called "Buck Hill" or "Buckshill" passed into the possession of a nephew of John Sparks named William Sparks, Jr. There can be little doubt that this 1.2.1 William Sparks was actually the eldest son of 1.2 William Sparks Sr. who died in 1709. (See the following sketch of that family.) William Sparks, Jr., was born ca. 1674 and was living in Queen Anne's County as late as 1730. On March 6, 1710, William Sparks, Jr., and his wife Margaret sold "Buck Hill" to William Comegys of Kent County (See Kent County Land Records JS #N, pp. 248-49). That this tract was indeed the same land mentioned by John Sparks in his will is proved by the statement in this deed of 1710 that he, William Sparks, Jr., promised that he would "for Ever defend the before granted premises to the said William Comegys his heirs & assigns for Ever against the heirs & successors of John Sparks Deceased, Onckle [i.e uncle]to the afore named William Sparks as alsoe any other person or persons Claiming Right by heire Ship from the Said John Sparkes deceased..."
William Comegys, whose father Cornelius Comegys had brought his family to Kent County from the Swedish colony on the Delaware in 1670, had good reason to require William Sparks, Jr., to agree to defend his title to "Buck Hill," for he surely knew the provisions which John Sparks had made in his will by which his sons could inherit the property. These sons, John and George Sparks back in England, did indeed still claim their right to their father's land, as is proved by a document dated October 23, 1716, written in England and recorded in Kent County. (See Kent Co. Land Records BC #1, pp.181-83.) It reads as follows:
TO ALL XPIAN PEOPLE to whome these presents shall come John Sparks of the Burrough of Christchurch Twyneham in the County of Southson in the Kingdom of England Butcher Eldest Son and heire and devisee of John Sparks late or Chester River in Kent County in Maryland in Virginia decs'd and George Sparks of the Burrough of Christchurch Tyyneham aforesaid Glover one other of the Sons and devisees of the said John Sparks deceased Send Greeting whereas the said John Sparks party to these presents and George Sparks are or one of them is lawfully constituted in and to one hundred acres of Land called Buckhill Lying in Chester River in Kent County afd to the use of them or one of them their or one of their heires and whereas by reason of the remoteness of the Said Land they the said John Sparks party to these presents and George Sparks are minded and intended to dispose of the Same Now know Yee that the said John Sparks party hereunto and George Sparks have and either of them hath made constituted and appointed and in their and either of their Steads and places put and depute and by these presents do and either of them doth make constitute appoint and in their and either of their Steads and places put and depute their true and trusty friend Hugh Arbuthnot of Weymouth in the County of Dorst in ye Kingdom of England Mariner their and either of their true and Lawfull attorney irrevocably for them and either of them and in their and either of their names act for them and their benefit to sell and Dispose of to any person and persons whatsoever and for Such consideration and considerations as to him Shall Seem meet all and every the Said Lands called Buckhill with the rights members and appurtenances thereof and upon Such Sale and Sales any conveyance and conveyances in their and either of their name or names or in the name of him the Said Hugh Arbuthnott to Sign Seale and as their or either of them or his own act and deed to deliver and also for them and either of them and in their and either of their name and names or in his own name to appear in all every and any proper Court and Courts in Virginia afd and also to do all and every Lawfull Act and Acts as is afsd in Such cases in Virginia afd for the Strengthning corroborating and confirming as well of these presents as the Title of the Said Land to Such Purchasor and purchasors they and their Heires Executors Administrators and Assigns as fully in every respect as they the Said John Sparks party to these presents and George Sparks and either of them may might or will do if personally present and they the Said John Sparks party hereunto and George Sparks have and either of them hath given and granted and by these presents do and either of them Doth give and grant unto the Said Hugh Arbuthnott their and either of their full whole and absolute Power in the premises and do and either of them Doth hereby ratify and confirm make good and valid all and whatsoever the Said Hugh Arbuthnott Shall Lawfully do or cause to be done in about touching or concerning the Same by Virtue of these presents Greetings whereof the Said John Sparks party to these presents and George Sparks have Sett their hands and Seales this three and Twentieth day of October in the year of our Lord Christ according to the Computation afsd in England One Thousand Seven hundred and Sixteen.
Sealed and delivered in presence of John Lester Eaq Mayor of the Town and County of Pool in the Kingdom of England who in testimony there of hath in the Margin of these presents affixed the Common Seele of the Said Town and County
John Lester Mayor
and in the presence off John Favell [and] Robert Robertson On the back of the preceeding instrument of Power of Attorney was endorsed as follows:
Viz: Kent County in Maryland:
Bee it Remembered that at a Court held in Kent County at the Courthouse on Chester River in the Town of Chester in Said County on the nineteenth day of March Anno Domini one Thousand Seven hundred and Sixteen personally appeared in open Court Robert Robertson one of the Evidences to within written power of attorney before Col.Nathaniel Hynson and his appointed Justices of our Lord Proprietor for Said County and then and there being sworn on the holy Evangelist of Almighty God Saith that he did See John Sparks and George Sparks Signe Seal and as their Act and deed delivered the power of attorney on the other side written to the uses and intents as thereon contained and saith that he did See John Favell an other Evidence to The Same Power of Attorney Signe at the Same Time Proved in open court and to which I have Sett my hand and affixed the Seale of the County Afsd
Jams Smith Clk,
Recorded March Twentyfirst day in the year of our Lord Christ one thousand seven hundred and seventeen.
Jams Smith Cik. Kt Cty Ct
Thus it was that 1.1.1 John and 1.1.2 George Sparks, residents of what is now called the County of Hampshire, England, the sons of 1.1 John Sparks who died in 1700, attempted in 1716 to gain ownership of their father's estate, called "Buck Hill." They authorized their "true and trusty friend, Hugh Arbuthnot" a sailor, to attempt to sell the land for them. It is also interesting to note that one of the witnesses to their drawing up this power of attorney in England was a man named Robert Robertson, who five months later appeared before the court in Kent County, Maryland, to swear that "he did See John Sparks and George Sparks Signe [and] Seal" the document. (It should be kept in mind that under the Julian Calendar, used in England and Colonial America until 1752, the new year began on March 25; thus when Robert Robertson appeared before the Kent County Court on March 19 it was still 1716 according to the Julian Calendar. However, other European countries had long before adopted the Gregorian Calendar, with the new year falling on January 1, and many Englishmen and Americans considered January 1 as New Year's Day long before 1752. Note that the clark who recorded the above document on March 21 gave the year as 1717 while twodays before when Robertson appeared in court his statement was dated March 19, 1716.)
It is interesting to speculate regarding the connection of Robert Robertson with the Sparks family. He was in England when John and George Sparks signed their power of attorney and he obviously carried the document from England to Maryland. It is known that a Robert Robertson was a warden of St. Paul's Parish, Kent County, in 1704.
Although we have no further record of the attempt of John and George Sparks to gain possession of and sell their father's farm, it can be assumed that their "lawful attorney", Hugh Arbuthnot, failed in his mission because their father, John Sparks, had made it a condition in his will that one of his sons would actually have to come to Maryland in order to inherit "Buck Hill."
The above document should prove to be an important link between this branch of the Sparks family in Maryland and their origin in England. A professional genealogist, Mr. C. R. Humphrey-Smith, has done some preliminary research for us. He reports that the Burrough of Christchurch Twyneham, which John and George Sparks gave as their residence in 1716, is in fact Christchurch near Bournemouth in Hampshire. ("Southson" is an abbreviation of Southamptonshire, now known as Hampshire.) The matirer named Hugh Arbuthnott, whose residence was given as "Weymouth in the County of Dorst," was a resident of the county of Dorset, where indeed the port of Weymouth is located. One wonders how Arbuthnott became a "trusty friend" of John and George Sparks and one is tempted to speculate that members of the Sparks family may have been sailors, although in 1716 John was a butcher and George was a glove maker.
Mr. Humphrey-Smith reports that there exist four volumes of parish registers for Christchurch in Hampshire, but the volume covering the years 1643 to 1681 is no longer extant. This is most unfortunate because this was the period during which William Sparks (who died in 1709) and John Sparks (who died in 1700) were probably born. Mr. Hurriphrey-Smith has noted that an entry in the register dated March 16, 1686/87 records the death of William Sparkes, son of John Sparkes, by drowning.
Further research among the records of the county of Hampshire may well reveal the origins of this branch of the Sparks family.
Our earliest reference to a William Sparks in Maryland is dated 1663 when Thomas Skillingham sold to George Richardson the land which he had been granted by the Lord Proprietor for having transported six settlers to the Province, one of whom was William Sparks. The other five were himself and his wife Mary, Ann Powell, Mary Webb, and John Green. A little later the same year George Richardson, in making claim for the land sold to him by Thomas Skillingliam, Richardson gave William Sparks's name as William Sparke and the date of his coming to Maryland as 1662. (See the article on "lmmigrants Named Sparks Who Came to Maryland Before 1675" in the Quarterly of December 1970.) Neither the name of Thomas Skillingham nor George Richardson has been found among the records of Kent, Talbot, and Queen Anne's County; perhaps this William Sparks was not the William Sparks who died in Queen Anne's County in 1709. Further research will probably determine this.
Our first definite record of the 1.2 William Sparks who died in 1709 living in the area that is now Queen Anne's County, Maryland, is a deed by which he and a man named Thomas Heather purchased jointly a tract of 100 acres from Richard Pernes on July 17, 1672, for 5600 pounds of tobacco. This deed was recorded in Talbot County (Deed Book I, p. 213). The land was described as "Lying and being on the North Side of St. Michaels River beginning at a marked Oake Standing at the head of a Small branch Running North West & Running for breadth down the branch East South east 50 poles to a marked gumme tree then North East up the River for Length 320 poles being formerly laid out for Francis Martin." The witnesses were James and Mary Murphy.
Apparently 1.2 William Sparks and Thomas Heather were business associates, perhaps even partners, because five years later, on October 16, 1677, Heather publicly ackknowledged that he owed Sparks 20,000 pounds of tobacco. In this document, Heather's wife was identified as Anna; the document was witnessed by Ralph Elston, Jr., and Richard Duddley. (Talbot County Deed Book 3,' p. 93) (Tobacco was the chief medium of currency at that time in Maryland and Virginia and remained as currency until sometime after the Revolutionary War.)
There is no evidence that William Sparks ever lived on the land on St. Michael's River, located in what is now the southern portion of Queen Anne's County. On July 21, 1696, 1.2 William Sparks (callad William' Sparks, Senr.) and his wife Mary sold this tract to Alexander Ray for 10,000 pounds of tobacco. Apparently he had acquired Thomas Heather's portion of this land earlier. (See Talbot County Deed Book 7, p. 22lj.)
During the years from the early 1670's until his death in 1709, William Sparks's name was frequently recorded in the official records of Kent, Talbot and Queen Anne's Counties. We cannot, however, make many statements of fact regarding his personal life. He was born ca. 1640 in England. His wife's name was Mary and they had at least five children, four sons and one daughter. William Sparks gradually acquired a considerable amount of land. At one time he owned nearly 1,000 acres on Island Creek, a tributary of Southeast Creek, which in turn, is a tributary of Chester River. He was a member of the Anglican faith.
On August 16, 1681, William Sparks purchased a tract of 100 acres from Michael Hackett and his wife Mary of Talbot County for 5,000 pounds of tobacco. This tract had originally been granted on October 16, 1670, to John Mitchell at which time it had been given the name "Adventure." Mitchell had later sold it to Hackett, who sold it to William Sparks. This deed of 1681 (Book 't, p. 68) and the rent rolls describe the tract as lying on the south side of Chester River and on the south east side of Island Creek, and adjoining land owned by John Hawkins. The deed by which William Sparks purchased this tract was witnessed by Henry Willcockes and John Parsons. On June 1, 1691, William Sparks sold this tract along with 100 additional acres to Samuel Withers (Book 5, p.336). (John Hawkins, who owned land adjoining William Sparks's "Adventure", also owned land on Coursey's Creek; in 1706 the Assembly passed an act to establish the county-seat of Queen Anne's County on a tract of 100 acres "upon the plantation of Major John Hawkins, in Coursey's Creek" to be called QueensTowns. After the Revolution, however, the county-seat was moved to Centreville. John Hawkins was a vestryman of the parish church at Chester; when he died in 1718 he was succeeded by Augustine Thompson, another close friend and neighbor of the Sparks family.)
At about the same time that 1.2 William Sparks purchased "Adventure" from Michail Hackett, he also acquired a tract of 250 acres which had been originally surveyed as part of a 160-acre tract for Michael Hackett on July 18, 1681. This 250-acre tract was known as "Sparks Choice" and was located on the "east side of Chester River near the head of a small branch of Island Creek." Although we have not found the actual patent by which he acquired this important tract, we know from the Rent Rolls and subsequent deeds that this was the land on which William Sparks and his family actually lived. Anthony Ivy owned the remaining 200 acres in the original tract of 160 acres that had been granted to Michael Hackett.
On September 10, 1684, 1.2 William Sparks obtained a patent from the Province of Maryland for another tract of land adjoining his home plantation comprising 100 acres. It had been surveyed for him on June 21, 1683 (Rent Rolls, Queen Anne's County, p. 242). To this new tract, he gave the name "Sparks Own", or "Sparks Oune", as it was first recorded in Talbot County Deed Book A, p.507, although it had been previously owned by Anthony Ivy and his wife Anne. William Sparks purchased this tract from William Coursey, Jr., assignee for Col. Venceant Lowe who had obtained it as part of a tract of 3,000 acres granted to him on March 20, 1683. The description of William Sparks's tract reads as follows in the patent dated September 10, 1683: "... all that tract or parcell of land called Sparks Oune lying in the county of Talbott on the east side of Chester River beginning at a marked oake standing neere the head of a' branch on the north side of island Creeke and running north north-west parallel with a line of a tract of land held by Michaell Hackett to Capt. Hide one hundred perches untill it intersects an east and by south line of a parcell of land formerly laid out for John Michell and then running with the said line two hundred perches untill it come to a parcell of land called Sparks Choice and running thence stuth south-east one hundred perches untill it comes to a parcell of land called Mount Hope lately taken up by Henry Wilcocks and from the end of that said line west and by north to the first tree two hundred perches containing ... one hundred acres ..." For this grant, William Sparks agreed to pay the Lord Proprietor "Rent of four Shillings Sterling in Silver or Gold." (Talbot County Land Records, Book SD #A, p.507.)
Island Creek, mentioned in the patent for "Sparks Own" has its source about four miles northeast of Centreville, the county seat of Queen Anne's County. It meanders nearly due north as a gentle stream through fairly level land until it reaches Southeast Creek, nearly nine miles away. There, Southeast Creek empties into the Chester River about three miles west of the community of Church Hill. The surrounding area is low and inclined to be marshy. It was, and is, an agricultural area. One of the roads serving the area today is Sparks Mill Road.
On October 22, 1687, a tract of 114 acres known as "Sparks Outlet" was surveyed for 1.2 William Sparks. The patent for this tract was issued on June 12, 1688 (Talbot County Deed Book 2, p. 625). According to this patent, this tract was assigned to Sparks by Thomas Smithson who was an assignee of Daniel Walker, all being of Talbot County. Walker had acquired this tract as part of a grant of 1200 acres on June 13, 1687. In the patent it is described as "that tract or parcel of land called Sparkes Outlett lyeing in Talbott County neare Chester River betwixt the Land of the said William Sparkes and the Land of John Hawkins, beginning at a marked Red oake standing in or near the line of John Hawkins Land and ---?--- runs thence south southwest most eighty perches to another marked Red oake thence south south-east forty perches to a marked blacke oake att the Corner of a little pocoson, thence east and by south one hundred and sixty perches, and from the end thereof Runing north and by east towards the Land of John Hawkins one hundred and fourteen perches and from the end of the north and by east line runing west and by north to the first Red Oake Containing within the sd lines and now laid out for one hundred and fourteen Acres be it more or less according to the Certificate of survey thereof taken and Returned into the Land office att the City of St. Maries being date the twenty second day of October one thousand six hundred eighty seaven. .." For this tract, William Sparks promised 'to pay the Lord Proprietor "Rent of foure shillings and seven pence sterling in silver or Gold..."
A near neighbor of William Sparks was John Hamer. On May 12, 1689, William Sparks was named by Hannah Hamer, wife of John Hamer, as her "true and lawful attorney" in connection with the sale of some land (Talbot County Deed Book 5, p. 232).
On June 1, 1691, William Sparks sold lot No.6 in the Town of West Chester to John Salter, Joyner, "for a valuable Consideration by mee in hand" already received." (Talbot County Deed Book 7, p.53) As on other occasions, William Sparks signed this deed by mark. The witnesses were John Hamer and William Godings. John Salter appears to have been a close friend of William Sparks. He was a prominent man in the area that became Queen Anne's County in 1707 and was a member of the House of Delegates from 1708 to 1711. He was also a member of the Probate Court and a vestryman of St. Paul's Parish. John Salter was a witness along with John Hamer, Jr., to William Sparks's will when it was probated in 1709. As noted earlier in the sketch on John Sparks who died in 1700, this same John Salter purchased a lot in WestChester from John Sparks in 1696. There is little doubt that 1.1 John Sparks (died 1700) and 1.2 William Sparks (died 1709) were brothers. (See page 1377 for a comment regarding the location of West Chester.)
On October 20, 1691, William Sparks purchased from Robert and Ann Smith a tract of 200 acres for 8500 pounds of tobacco. This tract was part of a larger tract called "Wrights Choyse" and was located on the south side of Chester River "and on the North Side of the South East branch of a creek in the Said River called Island Creek." In the description of this tract, there is a reference to an adjoining tract "formerly Layde out for Robert Smith." It must have been located very near William Spark's other holdings. The witnesses to this deed were Thomas Beckles and Sollomon Wright. (Talbot County Deed Book 5, p.328) (Robert Smith died ca. 1703 and Anthony Ivy and Renatus Smith were the executors of his estate. They sold his land on Island Creek (150 acres) to John Fowler and it was noted in the deed that it adjoined land owned by John Hawkins, John Singleton, and Thomas Norris. (See Emory's history of Queen Anne's County, p. 39) Solomon Wright, whose wife's name was Anna, was a member of a large and prominent family in Queen Anne's County; he was a church warden in 1695. We believe that there were family connections between the Wright and Sparks families.)
The day following his purchase of this 30-acre tract, William Sparks and his wife Mary sold 200 acres of their other land to Samuel Withers for 8,000 pounds of tobacco. In all probability, William Sparks increased the value of his other holdings through this purchase and sale. As part of the 200 acres which he sold to Withers was "Sparks Own" which he had acquired in 1684. The other 100 acres was a portion of his 50-acre tract called "Sparks Choice" which he had acquired in 1681. The witnesses to this deed were Solomon Wright, John Salter, and John Chafe. (Talbot County Deed Book 5, p.336) (Emory, in his history of Queen Anne's County, p. 49, notes that Samuel Withers "erected a brick house sometime prior to 1724 on Island Creek")
The first official record of a son of William Sparks was recorded in October 1695 when he and his son, 1.2.1 William Sparks, Jr., were witnesses to the will of John Ellet in Talbot County. (Maryland Calendar of Wills, Vol.2, p.109) From this we may infer that William Sparks, Jr. was the oldest son of William Sparks, and probably was born twenty one or more years earlier, or at least by 1674. If this inference is correct, we may speculate that William and Mary had been married ca. 1670-73.
In 1696, William Sparks was elected a warden of St. Paul's Parish. The territory of this parish comprised the lower part of what is now Queen Anne's County and the upper part of Talbot County. This parish had existed many years prior to 1692 when the act establishing the Anglican Church in the province was passed by the General Assembly, but thereafter records seem to have been kept for the first time. Edward Tomlins was the other warden in 1696. William Sparks was succeeded in 1698 by Solomon Wright.
On December 2, 1696, both William Sparks and his son, 1.2.1 William Sparks, Jr., signed an interesting document addressed to the King of England, William III. In the previous February there had been an assassination plot to restore King James II to the throne. The plot was betrayed, most of the conspirators were arrested, and eight of them were put to death. Stating that news had "here Arriv'd of the horrible intended Conspiracy against his Royal person," the justices of the province, along with the civil officers and military officers of each county, signed an "address" of congratulations to their "Dread Soveraign." The signers professed their loyalty to King William and promised to "Stand by & Assist Each other to the Utmost of our power in the Support and Defence of yor mats Governmt against the late King James and all his Adherents..." William Sparks's name appears among the 29 "Civill Officers & Magistrates" of Kent County who signed this address, and the names of both William Sparks and his son, William Sparks, Jr., were included among the 62 "Military Officers of Kent County."
(A number of other individuals were listed among both the civil and military officers, including John Hunter and John Hamer, thus we can be quite sure that the William Sparks in both lists was the same person.)
Why William Sparks and his son were listed among the officials of Kent County rather than Talbot County, we cannot be sure. Talbot County had been cut off from Kent County in 1662, although Kent Island remained part of Kent County until 1695. Histories of the province have frequently pointed out, however, that the boundaries between the counties were often indefinite during the 1600's and early 1700's. This is proven by a deed dated January 27, 1701, by which William Sparks and his wife Mary sold to John Hamer for4,000 pounds of tobacco the tract of land which William Sparks had purchased in 1691 front Robert and Ann Smith called "Wright's Choice" located on Ellis Branch of Island Creek. (Kent County Land Records JD #1, p. 79-81) The 1691 deed was recorded in Talbot County, but in 1701 the deed was recorded in Kent County and William and Mary Sparks were identified therein as "of Kent County." (The tract was described as it had been in 1691, except that the "South-East Branch of Island Creek" was now called "Ellis Branch." The tract was identified as "being lately in the tenure or occupation of the sd. William Sparks.") It is possible, of course, that the family had moved over the line from Talbot County into Kent County, but it seems more probable that their land holdings were located so nearly on the dividing line between Kent and Talbot Counties that there was some confusion regarding their exact whereabouts. Even after Queen Anne's County was cut off from Talbot in 1706, the boundary between Kent and the new county seems not to have been clearly determined.
In this 1701 deed, William Sparks was identified as "William Sparks, senr."; as was his custom, he signed by mark as "X",(circled) while his wife Mary signed as "M". The witnesses were Edward Goding and Thomas Hawkins.
The last time that William Sparks purchased land was on February 2, 1707, when John and Elizabeth Hamer of Kent County sold him two tracts in what had just become Queen Anne's County (formerly Talbot County). (Book A, Lieber Er, p. 16) In this deed, William Sparks was identified as being a resident of Queen Anne's County. One tract comprised 249 acres and the other 199 acres; both were located on the south side of Chester River on Island Creek. Solomon Wright and John Salter signed as witnesses on February 13, 1707. At The same time, in a separate transaction, William and Mary Sparks (her name appeared in the deed as "Marah", but her signature was clearly "Mary") sold 480 acres in Queen Anne's County to John Hamer, Sr., for the same amount, 22,000 pounds of tobacco. (Book A, Lieber SF, p.12) Frederick Emory, who wrote a history of Queen Anne's County in 1950, noted (p. 39) that this deed contains the earliest reference to Royston's Creek, this being a tract laid out by Richard Royston.) The witnesses were again Solomon Wright and John Salter, and since they signed both deeds on February 13, even though one was dated February 2 and the other October 3, it is apparent that John Hamer and William Sparks were actually trading tracts of land.
Two years later, when William Sparks made his will, he left the tract that he had purchased from Hamer to his son John Sparks. However, he stated that if Hamer should be dispossessed from the land which William Sparks had sold to him, then Hamer would have the right to take back the other tract. It would appear that William Sparks was uncertain of his title to the tract that he had sold to Hamer, perhaps because of his wife's dower rights. On March15, 1716, William and John Sparks, identified as "Planters of Queen Anne's county ... fulfilling the last will and Testament of thefr father William Sparks" gave a new deed to John Hamer Sr., for those two tracts called "Harden" and "Higate". Then on April 22, 1722, John Hamer, Sr., gave William Sparks, Jr., a new deed for the 480-acre tract of Royston's Creek which he had sold to William Sparks, Sr., in 1707; however, William Sparks, Jr., had to give Hamer 700 pounds of tobacco for the new deed.
On March 25, 1707, William Sparks gave a tract of land to his son, George Sparks. Perhaps this was a wedding present. In this deed whIch is recorded in Kent County (Book C, p. 187), William Sparks was identified as "of said County, Planter." He stated that "I, William Sparkes as well for and in Respect of the Love I bear unto my Son George Sparkes of said County as also for other divers good Causes and Considerations me at this time Especiall moving have given ... unto the said George Sparkes one hundred and fifty acres of Land part of a tract of Land called Sparks Choice." This tract of 150 acres was the remaining portion of the 250-acre tract called "Sparks Choice" which William Sparks had acquired in 1681. He had sold the other 100 acres to Samuel Withers in 1691.
Our last record of William Sparks disposing of property is a deed recorded in Kent County dated April 16, 1707 (Book C, p. 227-235). In this deed, William Sparks and his wife Mary, along with John Hamer and his wife Elizabeth, sold a tract of 250 acres to James Wyat for 7,500 pounds of tobacco. All parties in this deed were identified as "of Kent County. We have found no record of Sparks and Hamer having acquired this land, although it is probable that it relates to the exchange of tracts between them two months earier. This tract Is described in this deed of April 16, 1707, as "situate and being in Kent County on the South side of Chester River and on the upper side of Royston Creek, Beginning at a bounded pine Tree standing on the River side a little below a small Marsh being the Second bounded tree of the said Land called Royston and running thence South and by East three hundred perches to Royston's branch then by and with the said branch down to the River and then by and with the said River' up to the afsd pine containing by Estimation two hundred and fifty acres more or less." William Sparks signed this deed with his usual mark "X" (circled)and Mary Sparks signed as "M" as was her custom. John and Elizabeth Hamer both signed their names, as did the three witnesses, C. Wright, Nathaniel Wright, and Flower Wattes.
On June 21, 1709, William Sparks made his will, signing by his usual mark "X" (circled). Four months later his will was probated, on October 24, 1709. This proves that he died between June 21 and October 24,1709. From his will, given below, certain inferences can be made. He was obviously quite ill at the time he made his will, apparently quite certain that he would die. His son William Sparks, Jr. whom he named to serve as executor with his wife, was obviously his oldest son. He probably named his other children in the other of their birth.
1.2.2 George Sparks must have been the second son---he had obviously married and had children by 1709 Apparently the next oldest child was a 1.2.3 daughter who had married FNU Hynson and had a son named 188.8.131.52 Charles Hynson by 1709 to whom William Sparks willed a heifer. He also gave a heifer to the daughter of his son 1.2.1 William Sparks Jr.. 1.2.4 John Sparks, his third son, was apparently at least 21 years old in 1709 and to him William Sparks left the land which he had purchased from John Hamer in 1707, although he realized that there was apparently some doubt about the title to that land and he provided an alternative inheritance for John if that proved to be the case. To his eldest son, 1.2.1 WiIliam Sparks, Jr. and to his youngest son, 1.2.5 Joseph Sparks, who was not yet of age in 1709, William Sparks left the plantation "that I now live on called hills adventure and Sparkes outlet. It thus appears that William Sparks's home was either on the 100-acre tract called "Adventure"(or "Hill's Adventure") which he had purchased from Michael Hackett in 1681, or on the 114-acre adjoining tract called "Sparks Outlet" which he had purchased in 1687 from Thomas Smithson. He made the customary provision for his wife, providing carefully for her so long as she did not remarry and assuring that her sons should not take any advantage of her.
Following is the full text of the will of William Sparks
Maryland. In the Name of God Amen I William Sparks of Queen Anns County being Sick in body but of Sound and perfect memory but knowing the uncertainty of Life and being Desirous to ---?--- my Estate do make Constitute and order this to be my last will and Testament hereby makeing Void all and every will or wills hereto fore by me made first I bequeath my Soul into the hands of God beleiving by the merritts of Jesus Christ to receive pardon of all my Sins and my body to the Earth to be Decently buried in such Decent manner as my Exrs hereafter named Shall think of it and as to the worldly good it has pleased God to bestow upon me my will is they be Disposed of in Manner and forme following -
Item: I will that all my Just Debts and funerall Necessary Charges be first paid
I give to my Son George Sparks one fether bed and bolster two blankets and one Rugg being the same he use to lye on the same to be Delivered to him presently after my Decease & that my Son George and his wife and Children Shall have Liberty to live three years with his mother on my now Dwelling plantation in my now Dwelling house to make a crop of Corne and Tobo he laying in five barrells of Indian corne every year dureing the said time and to take due care of his mothers Stock and for so doing to have his and his wife and Children's accomodations and to pay no rent dureing the sd Time
Item: I give to my grandson Charles Hynson one two year old heffer with all her female Increase and the male Increase to them who Shall take Care and Look after the Same the Said heffer to be marked for him Imediatly after my Death
I give to my Daughter that is to say my grand Daughter being the Daughter of my Son Wm Sparks one year heffer with all her female Increase to be marked and Delivered for her use presently after my Death the males to go to him her or them that shall or does take care of the same
My will is that my Loveing wife Mary Sparks Shall have possess and Injoy my now Dwelling planta with all it's appurts and the Land belonging to the Same dureing her widow hood but not to protest her Son William Sparks but then he Shall have the Same Liberty As he has now what is ordered before for George Sparks Excepting that neither the said Wm nor George do molest or disturb their mother dureing her widowhood but if my said wife Mary Sparkes does marry again then to have no more than her thirds of my Said Land and plantation dureing her life and the thirds of my personall Estate but During her widowhood She Shall have the Disposall of all my personall Estate Except as before Excepted and if she does happen to die before She marrys then to Dispose of it as She will but if She marrys my personall Estate Except her thirds to be Equally Divided among all my Children
Item: I give and bequeath to my Son John Sparks that planta and tract of Land with all its appurts thereunto belonging formerly John Hamers to him and to his heires forever
Item: I give to my Sons Wm Sparks and Joseph Sparks all my planta and Land there unto belonging that I now live on Called hills adventure and Sparkes outlet and my will is that if the planta late John Hamers above given to my Son John Should be Returned again to the sd John Hamer as my said Son is obliged to do if John Hamer Shall be Legally Disposest of the Land he now lives on part of 10'S [sic] he had of me in Exchange for the said planta then my will is that my Son John Shall Come in with his two brothers Wm and Joseph and Shall have Equall Share and proportion of the Said Land and Shall be Equally Divided among them & Shall have hold & Fnjoy the Same to them and their heires forever
I will that if my Son Joseph Shall happen to die before he comes to age then his part of Land to fall to my Son William and his heires forever he paying to my Son Geo: Sparks his heires and assignes the Sume of two thousand pounds of tobo
I give to my Son Joseph Sparks one Yearling heffer
I do hereby appoint my wife Mary Sparks and my Son William to be the Exr's of this my Last will and Testamt
In Wittness hereunto I have Set my hand and affixed my Seale the Twenty first Day of June 1709.
Signed Sealed pronounced and Wm. (his mark) Sparks
Declared to be my Last win & his
Testament in the presents of Wm. I$A Boulton
(signed) John Salter
Jno Hamer Junr
Thomas O Trickee
Octr 24th 1709
Then came John Salter John Hamer Junr and Thos Trickey three of the Evidences to the above will made oath upon the holy Ewangelist tht they saw the Teste Wm Sparks Signe Seale pronounce and Declare the above writeing to be his Last will and Testamt and tht he was at the time of a Sound & Disposeing mind and memory before me
Evan Thomas Dty County.
The above will has been copied from the copy that was made in the Will Book of Queen Anne's County, Liber 13, folio 4.
As noted earlier in this article, William Sparks and his family were members of St. Paul's Parish. Unfortunately, the records of births, marriages, and deaths of this parish do not survive. In 1729, however, St. Paul's -Parish was divided and the descendants of William Sparks became members of the new parish known as St. Luke's. The church for this parish was (and is) located at Church Hill; it was long known as "Up-River Chapel." Its records have been preserved beginning in 1728 (although some pages have been lost). A careful search of the births, marriages, and death records of St. Luke 'S has been made for us by John Frederick Dorman, and the Sparks entries from this record appear hereafter.
We have found no record of the death of Mary Sparks, widow of William.
From his will and other records, we know that 1.2 William and Mary Sparks were the parents of four sons and one daughter. In subsequent issues of the Quarterly, we plan to publish additional material on these sons and their descendants. The names of these children were:
Children of William and Mary Sparks:
1.2.1 William Sparks, Jr., born ca. 1674. He married (first) Margaret Hamilton, daughter of Josiah Hamilton; she died prior to 1729 and he married (second) Ann MNU, who died January 15, 1730/31 (Webmaster note: Is this the "Anne the wife of William Sparkes deced December 16 1730" mentioned on page 1391 of The Quarterly No. 73?). We have found no record of the death of William Sparks, Jr., nor have we been able to identify any of his children, except a daughter 1.2.1.x Sarah Sparks.
1.2.2 George Sparks, born ca. 1678. He married Mary MNU prior to 1709 and had children, but we have not been able to identify his children.
1.2.3 Daughter Sparks, name not discovered, married FNU Hynson. She had apparently died prior to 1709, for her father mentioned only his grandson,184.108.40.206 Charles Hynson, in his will.
1.2.4 John Sparks, born ca. 1680. Prior to 1704 he married Cornelia Curtis (from WN 155). He died April 19, 1737, and Cornelia died December 22, 1737. They were the parents of ten children:
220.127.116.11 William Sparks, Born ca. 1705, died on January 15, 1730/1;
18.104.22.168 George Sparks, Born ca. 1705.
22.214.171.124 John Sparks, Jr., Born ca. 1705.
126.96.36.199 Millington Sparks, Born ca. 1715.
188.8.131.52 Sarah Sparks. Born ca. 1715.
184.108.40.206 Mary Sparks. Born ca. 1715
220.127.116.11 Rachel Sparks. Born ca. 1715.
18.104.22.168 Caleb Sparks, Born ca. 1720.
22.214.171.124 Cornelia Sparks. Born ca. 1720.
126.96.36.199 Absalom Sparks, born ca. 1725.
1.2.5 Joseph Sparks, born ca. 1689 and died in 1749. He married Mary MNU.
(Webmaster Note: pulled names from WN 142.)
188.8.131.52 Solomon Sparks. Born ca. 1727.
184.108.40.206 Joseph Sparks. Born ca. 1730.
220.127.116.11 Merum Sparks. (daughter) Born ca. 1730.
18.104.22.168 Charles Sparks. Born ca. 1731.
22.214.171.124 George Sparks. Born ca. 1733.
126.96.36.199 Jonas Sparks. Born ca. 1734.
188.8.131.52 Ann Sparks. Born ca. 1735.
184.108.40.206 Jonathan Sparks. Born ca. 1735.
220.127.116.11 Rebecca Sparks. Born ca. 1735.
18.104.22.168 William Sparks. Born April 27, 1738, married Martha Moore.
22.214.171.124 Mary Sparks. Born ca. 1740.
126.96.36.199 Sarah Sparks. Born ca. 1747