April 20, 2021

Pages 1578-1597
Whole Number 83

SPARKS FAMILIES OF THE ESTILL COUNTY AREA OF KENTUCKY

by Paul E. Sparks



Data relative to Sparkses of the Estill County area of Kentucky have been published earlier and should be referred to by our readers. These can be found as follows:

Subject No. Whole
Number
Date
CLARK COUNTY
1800 Census 63 9 March 1955
Marriages (1793 -1868) 722 41 March 1963
ESTILL COUNTY
1810 Census 65 9 March 1955
1820 Census 891 49 March 1965
1830 Census 1324 70 June 1970
1840 Census 1027 56 December 1966
1850 Census 219-220 18 June 1957
Marriages (1810 -1851) 746 42 June 1963
Births (1852 -1862) 330 23 September 1958
William Harrison Sparks      
(1834 -1906) 1393-1401 74 June 1971
FAYETTE COUNTY
1790 Census 4 1 March 1953
1790 Census 63 9 March 1955
1800 Census 63 9 March 1955
       
JACKSON COUNTY
Births (1852 -1852 331 23 September 1958
 
LEE COUNTY
Marriages (1875 -1885) 934 51 September 1965
       
MADISON COUNTY:
1800 Census 63 9 March 1955
1810 Census 65 9 March 1955
1820 Census 892 49 March 1955
1830 Census 421 27 September 1959
Marriages (1830-1900) 935 51 September 1959
 
OWSLEY COUNTY
1850 Census 1011-12 55 September 1966
Births (1852-1862) 348 24 December 1958

(Editor's Note: The area of Kentucky which we are considering in this article, and which we are designating as the "Estill County area" includes present-day Estill, Owsley, Jackson, and Lee Counties; however, these counties at one time were parts of either Fayette, Clark, or Madison Counties, thus records from seven counties will be under consideration.)

The first official record of a Sparks family in this section of Kentucky is found on the 1787 tax roll of Fayette County, Virginia (later Fayette County, Kentucky) when 44. Isaac Sparks paid taxes on himself, one male above 16 years of age, one horse, and six cattle. We believe this Isaac Sparks to be the progenitor of the Sparks clan in this section of Kentucky.

Fayette County, Virginia, was created in 1780 when the Kentucky District was divided into three counties: Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln. Isaac Sparks continued to pay taxes in Fayette County until 1792, at which time the part of the county in which he was living became a part of Clark County. (On June 1, 1792, Kentucky became the fifteenth state admitted into the Union.) Isaac Sparks paid taxes in Clark County, Kentucky, from 1793 to 1806 when the portion of Clark County in which he lived was taken away to become a part of Estill County. Then, for the next thirty-five years, the Sparks families in that area were identified with Estill County. Not until 1843 was Estill County's boundaries changed, at which time Owsley County was formed. Two more portions of Estill County were to be taken: Jackson County took part in 1858, and Lee County took a final bite in 1870. As each new county was formed, persons named Sparks went with it.

Isaac Sparks was probably in Kentucky earlier than 1787. In 1777, Isaac Sparks (believed to be the same man who paid taxes in Fayette County in 1787) had claimed a preempt of 1,000 acres of land in Kentucky. As reported on page 2147 of the Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Vol. 21, the following certificate was issued by the Commissioners of Kentucky District at a court held at Harrodsburg on February 25, 1780: "Isaac Sparks by George Smith this day claimed a preempt of 1000 acres of land at the state price in the District of Kentucky on account of marking and improving the same in the year 1777 lying on Brasheirs Creek on the west waters of the same adjoining the Harrodsburg Trace to include any improvements made by George Smith satisfactory proof being made to the Court they are of the opinion that the said Sparks had a right to preempt on 1000 acres of land to include the above location and that a Certificate issue accordingly." (Brashears Creek has its source in southern Shelby County, and flows southwestwardly until it empties into Salt River at Taylorsville, the county seat of Spencer County.) It has not been determined what happened to this claim. Disputes and litigation over land were quite common in early Kentucky, and it was probably much easier to give up a claim than to undergo the time and expense of a trial.

In 1789, Isaac Sparks signed a petition which was presented to the General Assembly of Virginia to create a new county from portions of Fayette and Bourbon Counties. The petition, as publisheçl on page 130, Filson Club Publication, No. 27, 1914, was as follows: "The petition of us the Subscribers of the Counties of Fayette and Bourbon ... that the upper parts of Fayette and Bourbon Counties be struck off, for the purpose of forming a new County... beginning at the mouth of Boone's Creek and up said creek to the mouth of Boggs Fork thence in a direct line to Blue Licks on the main Licking River then follow the Mason County line to Madison County. November 6, 1789." Among the signers were Isaac Sparks and Elijah Sparks. In many respects, the proposed county would have resembled the area which became Clark County in 1792, but apparently the petition was not effective at that time.

In 1791, Isaac Sparks purchased land in Fayette County from John and Elizabeth Niblack. Unfortunately, when the Fayette County courthouse burned ca. 1802, many records were damaged or completely destroyed. Among the damaged documents was the deed from the Niblacks to Isaac Sparks, dated July 12, 1791, which was so badly damaged that neither the location, the acreage, nor the price can be determined. (See Fayette County "Burnt" Records.)

A suit was filed in the Fayette County Circuit Court in 1803 against Isaac Sparks. The records show that on Jan 19, 1803, John Smith brought suit against Isaac Sparks and Peter Gosey. In dispute were 1,000 acres at the head of a branch running into the Kentucky River on the dividing ridge between the Red River and Upper Howards Creek which had been surveyed by William Suddith of Clark County on August 24, 1802. The outcome of this suit is not known. (Upper Howards Creek is in south-eastern Clark County, while the Red River empties into the Kentucky River where Clark, Estill, and Madison Counties join.)

The data which follow include other early records copied from official sources in the Estill County area of Kentucky and which pertain to persons named Sparks. No attempt will be made in this article to tie these families together; however, in a future article, we wifl try to arrange the relationships.

Persons named Sparks Who Paid Taxes in Fayette County, Virginia,
1787 -1792, and Fayette County, Kentucky, 1793-1816
Date Taxpayer Acres White
Males
Over 21
White
Males
Over 16
Horses Cattle Slaves
               
7 July 1787 Isaac Sparks   1 1 1 6  
19 November 1788 Isaac Sparks   2   2    
1789 & 1790 (No Sparkses)            
1791 Isaac Sparks   1 1 2    
  Elijah Sparks   1 1      
11 October 1792 Isaac Sparks 130 1     8  
26 Aug 1793 Isaac Sparks   1 1 2 7  
" " Elijah Sparks 70 1   1    
1794 (No Sparkses, Clark Cty formed in 1972)            
17 June 1795 William Sparks   1   1    
1796-99 (No Sparkses; No tax
book for 1798)
           
2 May 1800 William Sparks   1   1    
24 April 1801 William Sparks   1   1    
1802 -1807 William Sparks   1   1    
1808 - 1813 (No Sparkses)            
1814 James Sparks(Samuel
Ayers, agent)
          2
  William Sparks   1   2   2
1815 William Sparks   1   2   2
1816 James Sparks(Samuel
Ayers,agent)
          2
  William Sparks   1   2   2
Persons named Sparks Who Paid Taxes in Clark County, Kentucky, 1793 -1822
Date Taxpayer Acres Water
Shed
White Males
Over 21
White Males
Over 16
Horses Cattle
1793 Isaac Sparks 70   1   2 7
  Elijah Sparks     1     2
6 June 1794 Isaac Sparks 70   1   2 10
""" Elijah Sparks     1     2
24 June 1795 Isaac Sparks 100 Bull Run 1     3
""" Elijah Sparks     1      
7 December 1796 Isaac Sparks     1     7
""" Elijah     1     2
""" William Sparks     1   2  
11 June 1796 David Sparks     1   1  
24 June 1797 William Sparks     1      
17 June1797 Isaac Sparks     2   1  
1798 (No tax book)            
12 April 1799 William Sparks     1   1  
  Isaac Sparks 100 Red Riv 1   1  
  Elijah Sparks     1   2  
10 May 1800 George Sparks     1   1  
22 May 1800 Isaac Sparks 100 Red Riv. 1 1 1  
22 May 1800 William Sparks     1   1  
 
15 April 1801 William Sparks     1   2  
15 April 1801 Isaac Sparks 100 Red Riv. 1 1 2  
17 April 1801 Elijah Sparks     1      
 
28 June 1802 Isaac Sparks 100 Bull Run 1   1  
28 June 1802 Elijah Sparks     1   1  
28 June 1802 William Sparks     1   3  
28 June 1802 John Sparks     1   1  
28 June 1802 George Sparks     1      
 
16 March 1803 Elijah Sparks     1   1  
22 March 1803 John Sparks     1   1  
22 March 1803 William Sparks     1   4  
22 March 1803 Isaac Sparks 100 Bull Run 1   1  
 
23 August 1804 Isaac Sparks     1   1  
23 August 1804 Elijah Sparks     1   1  
20 March 1804 John Sparks     1   1  
20 March 1804 Isaac Sparks     1   1  
20 March 1804 William Sparks 100 KY. Riv. 1   1  
20 March 1804 George Sparks     1      
 
13 April 1805 William Sparks 100 Ken. Riv. 1   1  
13 April 1805 John Sparks     1      
17 June 1805 George Sparks     1   2  
17 June1805 Isaac Sparks     1      
 
30 March 1806 William Sparks 100 Ken. Riv. 1   3  
26 May 1806 John Sparks     1   1  
26 May 1806 George Sparks     1   1  
26 May 1806 Isaac Sparks     1   1  
 
1807 (No Sparkses)            
 
13 May 1808 Elijah Sparks     1      
 
1809-1813 (No Sparkses)            
 
1814 & 1815 Elijah Sparks     1   1  
 
1816 Rutha Sparks     0   1  
 
1817 (No Sparkses)            
 
1818 Isaac Sparks     1      
 
1819 -1822 (No Sparkses)            
Taxpayers named Sparks in Estill County, Kentucky, 1808-1851
Date Person named
Sparks
Acres Water
course
White
Males
Over 21
White
Males
Over 16
Horses Value
1808  
May 16 Isaac     1   1  
" " William 300 Whiteoak 1   3  
" " Isaac, Seigner 50 Whiteoak 1 2 1  
June 17 John     1   2  
 
1809  
April 10 Isaac 50 Whiteoak 1   1  
"" William 300          
Taxpayers named Sparks in Estill County, Kentucky, 1808 -1851
Date Person named
Sparks
Acres Water
course
White
Males
Over 21
  Horses Value
1843 Thomas 40 White Oak Cr. 1   1 $125
  John     1      
  Isaac 100 War Fork 1   1 170
  Burnet 50 War Fork 1   1 70
  William     1   1 30
  Samuel     1   1 25
  Isaac 200 Hell Creek 1   2 275
  Robert 50 War Fork 1   1 175
 
1844 Thomas 100 White Oak Cr. 1   1 190
  Isaac 50 Station Camp Cr. 1     250
  John     1     25
  Samuel     1   3 75
  Burnett 50 Station Camp Cr. 1   1 175
  Robert 50 Station Camp Cr. 1   1 175
             
1845 Thomas 100 White Oak Cr. 1   1 180
  William     1   1 40
  Samuel     1   3 30
  Thomas, Sen.     1      
  John     1   1 25
  Isaac 104 Station Camp Cr. 1   2 185
  Barnete 50 War Fork 1   1 75
  Robert 50 War Fork 1   1 125
             
1846 John 12 White Oak Cr. 1     12
  Barnett 50 War Fork 1   2 375
  " 50 War Fork 1      
  Isaac 100 Station Camp Cr. 1   2 250
  Thomas 40 White Oak Cr. 1   1 170
  Thomas, Sr.     1      
  William     1   1 35
  Samuel     1   4 65
             
1847 Frances 104 Station Camp Cr.   1 190
  Barnette 100 War Fork 1   2 240
  John     1      
  Thomas     1   2 33
  Thomas     1      
  Samuel     1   3 75
             
1848 John, Jr.     1   1  
  John, Sr.     1      
  Joseph     1   1 5
  Frances 104 Station Camp Cr.   1 175
  Barnete 150 Station Camp Cr. 1   2 340
  Samuel     1   2 50
  William     1   1 30
  Thomas     1   2 40
 
1849 Joseph     1   1 10
  Frances 104 Station Camp Cr.   1 175
  John     1   1 25
  Daniel     1   1 10
  John     1      
  Thomas     1   2 15
  Samuel     1   1 35
  William     1   1 35
  Barnett 150 Station Camp Cr. 1   2 465
 
1850 John     1   1 45
  Thomas 50 White Oak Cr. 1   1 120
  Samuel     1   1 35
  Joseph     1   1 20
  Frances 105 Station Camp Cr.   1 225
  John     1   1 25
  William     1   1 35
  Daniel     1   1 30
  Barnett 150 Station Camp Cr. 1   2 575
  " 100 Station Camp Cr. 1     325
  Thomas     1      
 
1851 Thomas 50 Station Camp Cr.      
  William          
  William 625 Station Camp Cr.      
  Barnett 350 Station Camp Cr.      
  Joseph          
  Daniel          
  Frances 104 Station Camp Cr.      
  John          
  John          
  Samuel          
  Thomas (exempt)        
Taxpayers named Sparks in Owsley County, Kentucky, 1844 -1852
1844 Ephraim     1   2 $100
  Ephraim, Jr.     1      
  William     1   1 40
  James     1   2 40
  Isaac     1   2 100
 
1845 James 200 North Fork 1   3 250
  Ephriam     1   3 75
  Ephriam, Jr.     1      
  Harvey     1      
  Isaac     1   2 60
 
1846 Robert 100 Sturgeons Cr. 1   2 $140
  Ephriam     1   2 45
  Ephriam, Jr.     1   1 25
  James     1   3 50
  Isaac     1   2 80
 
1847 William     1      
  Robert 100 North Fork 1   1 130
  Ephriam, Sr.     1   2 65
  Ephriam, Jr.     1   1 50
  James 300 North Fork 1   2 350
  Isaac     1   2 80
 
1848 Robert 90 Sturgeons Cr. 1   1 310
  " 10 ""      
  Harvey     1   1  
  James 200 Devils Creek 1   1 500
  Ephriam     1   2 25
  Ephriam     1   1 60
  William     1      
 
1849 Robert 95 Sturgeons Cr. 1   1 520
  " 50 ""      
  Silvester     1      
  Ephriam     1   1 20
  John     1      
  Sollomon     1   1 30
  Harvey     1      
  Ephriam     1   2 55
  Willaim     1   1 30
  Isaac     1   3 75
 
1850 E. J. (?)     1   1 50
  John     1      
  W. G. (?)     1      
  Isaac     1      
  Silvester     1      
 
1851 Ephriam     1      
  John     1      
  Robert 100 Sturgeons Cr. 1   1 335
 
1852 Robert 120 Sturgeons Cr. 1   1 530
  Harvey D.     1   1 25
  Tobias     1   1 25
  Wm. T.     1   1 25
  John     1   1 35
  Solomon     1   1 50
  Ephriam     1      
  Sylvester     1      
  Isaac     1   3 50
Taxpayers named Sparks in Jackson County, Kentucky, 1858 -1866
  (Estill County's part of taxable prop
1858 Barnett 200 Station Camp Cr 1   1 $700
  John 50   1   1 170
  Frances 50         100
  Daniel 190 (Estill County)        
  Levy 70 Indian Creek 1     300
             
  (Laurel County's part of taxable prop)
1859 Jeremiah 196 Laurel Fork 1   1 400
  John 75 South Fork 1   1 150
  Frances 144 South Fork     1 100
  Daniel C. 25 South Fork 1     25
  Barnett 216 Station Camp Cr 1   3 700
  Isaac 50 Sand Lick 1   1 200
 
1860 Daniel 25 South Fork 1      
  " 220 Ross Creek(Estill
County)
      200
  Frances 200 Station Camp Cr       30
  Solomon 50 War Fork        
  John G. 25 War Fork 1   1 150
  " 50 War Fork        
  Barnett 225 War Fork 1   2 300
  Robert 500 War Fork 1   1 550
  Jeremiah 300 Indian Creek 1     540
  Isaac 50 Buck Lick 1   1 150
(Editor's Note:On the tax lists of Jackson County for the years 1861 through 1864 provision was made for recording for each taxpayer the number of children between the ages of 6 and 18.These figures are inserted in this transcript in parentheses following the taxpayers name.)
Year Sparks Acres Water
course
White males
Above 21
Children
Aged 6-18
Horses Value
1861 Daniel 75     2    
  John 75     3    
  " 50          
  " 312          
  Isaac 50          
  Jeremiah 300          
  Ely            
  Barnett 216     5    
  Robert 27     5    
 
1862 Isaac 50          
  Sally 300          
  Robert 500     5    
  Barnett 100     4    
  Daniel 75     2    
  Jane 75          
 
1863 Rawmon ?            
  Barnett 216     6    
  Daniel C. 75     3    
  Jeremiah 300          
  Isaac 50          
  Polly 300     6    
  John G. 125     4    
1864 Jeremiah 300 Indian Creek 1 1 1 $465
  Mary 350 Station Camp Cr.   6 1 430
  Barnett 116 Station Camp Cr. 1 3 2 400
  George            
  Daniel C. 75 Station Camp Cr. 1 3 1 150
  John G. 125 Station Camp Cr. 1 4 1 150
 
1865 Barnett         1 525
  Jeremiah 300 Indian Creek     1 450
  Mary 500 Station Camp Cr.        
  Isaac 50          
  John G. 125 Station Camp Cr.        
  Daniel 75 Station Camp Cr.        
  Barney 116 Station Camp Cr.        
 
1866 Eli A. 90 Station Camp Cr.        
  Isaac 120 Indian Creek        
  Jeremiah 300 Indian Creek        
  Thomas            
  Barnett 215 Station Camp Cr.        
  George            
  John 125 Station Camp Cr.        
  Daniel 75 Station Camp Cr.        

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