March 23, 2016

Pages 1762
Whole Number 91


Major Gerald H. Sparks, Box 443, Runge, Texas (78151) is seeking the ancestry of E. Leonard and Zeriah Sparks who were listed with their family on the 1850 census of Union County, South Carolina (see the Quarterly of September 1956, Vol. IV, No. 3, Whole No. 15, pp. 164-66 for complete listing of Sparks families on the 1850 census of Union County, S.C.). Leonard Sparks's age was given as 28 in 1850, thus he was born ca. 1822; Zeriah was born ca. 1821; both were born in South Carolina according to the 1850 census. Family tradition indicates that Zeriah's maiden name was also SPARKS. The names Valentine Sparks, Truelove Sparks, and George Sparks are closely connected with this family. (This may suggest a connection with the Sparks family that came from Maryland to Pittsylvania County, Virginia, in 1778.) Leonard Sparks moved his family from Union County, S.C., to Georgia in the early 1850's; we have not located him on the 1860 census, but his family was living in Gwinnett County, Georgia, in 1870, moving to Calhoun County, Alabama, by 1880.

The second son of Leonard and Zeriah Sparks was E.2 George Washington Sparks who married Sarah Jane Turner and moved to Clarksville, near Russellville, Arkansas, immediately after the Civil War. His descendants still live there, although some have moved to California.

Major Gerald Sparks descends from the first son of Leonard and Zeriah; his name was E.1 Thomas Sparks. Many of the descendants of Thomas Sparks now live in Calhoun County, Alabama, Florida, and Texas.

Leonard and Zeriah Sparks also had a son named E.6 James Josiah Sparks (nicknamed "Burk") who married Mary T. Garrot; they lived in Calhoun County, Alabama. Another son of Leonard and Zeriah, E.5 John Sparks, married Mary Canada; they also lived in Calhoun County. Daughters of Leonard and Zeriah were named E.3 Amanda, E.7 Mary, Hester, and E.9 Florence. Amanda married Brock Massey in Gwinnett County, Georgia; their descendants moved to Lineville, Alabama, then to Gainsville, Florida. Mary married Hill Garrott, and Hester married Robert Garrott; both lived in Calhoun County, Ala. Florence, the youngest child of Leonard and Zeriah, married James Dutton and moved to Lehigh, Coal County, Oklahoma, where she was still living in the 1920's, with one son and two daughters.

Records obtained from the National Archives reveal that Leonard Sparks enlisted in the Confederate Army as a private in Company E, 66th Regiment Georgia Infantry on August 24, 1863, at Decatur, Georgia. On September 19, 1864, he was captured by General Sherman's Army near Warsaw, Georgia. He was sent first to Nashville, Tennessee, where he was listed on a role of prisoners of war on Oct 27, 1864. On Oct 29 he was sent to Louisville, Kentucky, and from there he was sent to the military prison at Camp Douglas, Illinois, arriving on Nov 1. He died at Camp Douglas on January 30, 1865, from "hepatitus" and was buried in grave number 627 in Block 2, Chicago City Cemetery.