February 1, 2021
Whole Number 103
THE NATIONAL SOCIETY,
SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
by Jack K. Carmichael
(Editor's Note: An especially loyal and generous member of the Sparks Family, Association for many years, Jack K. Carmichael, is a national leader in The National Society, Sons of the American Revolution, commonly called the S.A.R. At your Editor's request, Mr. Carmichael has written the following article for the membership describing the work of this organization.
Mr. Carmichael descends from 32.1 James Sparks (son of 32. Richard Sparks), a soldier of the American Revolution who moved from his home in Pennsylvania to the frontier of Kentucky and later to Indiana shortly after the war ended. The pension application which James Sparks submitted as a very old man was published in the Quarterly of September, 1954, Whole No. 7, pp. 40-45.
Mr. Carmichael is executive secretary of the Indiana Regional Council of Gallery of Homes, Inc., in Muncie, Indiana. He is a Past Registrar General of the S.A.R. and a few months ago he was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the S.A.R. Council of State Presidents as well as National Trustee for the Society in France. He has also been named to membership on the Executive Committee of the National Society.)
"Our inspiration is from the past; our duty is in the present; our hope is in the future." Thus reads the motto of The National Society, Sons of the American Revolution. This organization was founded on 30 April 1889, and it was incorporated by Act of Congress on 9 June 1906. There are affiliate societies in all fifty states and in the District of Columbia, as well as in France and Switzerland.
Any male above the age of 18 years, who is lineally descended on either the paternal or maternal line from an ancestor who rendered active service in the cause of American Independence, and who is of good moral character and reputation, is eligible to apply for membership. The S.A.R. is dedicated to preserve the memory and traditions of its members' Revolutionary ancestors by submitting a genealogical record for a permanent file. The National Society carries on programs to preserve our American heritage of personal, economic, political, and religious freedoms. It also cooperates with its related organizations, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Children of the American Revolution, in efforts in insure that our nation is militarily prepared and alert to any threats to our security.
The S.A.R., at the National, State, and Chapter levels, promotes and assists in the proper celebration and observance of patriotic holidays and anniversaries. It has been in the forefront in encouraging ROTC programs at the college and high school levels, by recognizing top students at many schools throughout the nation. In furthering an interest in the younger generation, there is an annual historical oration contest for high school students, culminating in a competition of state winners at the Annual Congress of the National Society each year.
Other continuing programs of the National Society, as well as state societies and most chapters, include appropriately marking and recording the graves of Revolutionary veterans; recognition of outstanding law enforcement officials; and observance of USA APPRECIATION SUNDAY, the third Sunday of October, to salute all Americans in uniform, both military and non-military.
Headquarters of the National Society maintains a cross-indexed file of all members, past and present. In the file of Revolutionary ancestors, whose service qualified one or more descendants to become members of S.A.R., there are ten file cards for those named Sparks:
9.1.1 Daniel Sparks; Captain, South Carolina Militia; married FNU Stephens; died in South Carolina.
9.1.1 Daniel Sparks; Captain, South Carolina Militia; born 1740, Virginia; married FNU Stephens; died 1810, South Carolina; daughter, 9.1.1.x Elizabeth Sparks, married Silas Pearce.
George Sparks; Private, Pennsylvania Continental Line; born 1750, Pennsylvania; married Rachel Norris; died 1801, Pennsylvania; son, Solomon Sparks, married Rachel Nixon.
James Sparks; Private, Pennsylvania Militia; born 1744, New Jersey; married Catherine/Caty MNU ; died 1834, Indiana; son, Stephen Sparks, married Catherine/Catha Padget; descendant, Jack K. Carmichael, NSSAR 89584.
220.127.116.11.2 John Sparks; Private, North Carolina Militia; born 1753, North Carolina; married Sarah Shores; died 1840/41, North Carolina; son, 18.104.22.168.2.x Levi Sparks, married Sarah Lyon.
John Sparks; Private, Connecticut Militia; born 1750, England; married Bertha Burrows; died 1814, Connecticut; son, John Sparks, Jr., married Lois Day.
Richard Sparks; Soldier, Pennsylvania Regiment; born 1757; married Frances Nash; died 1815, New Jersey; daughter, Mary Sparks, married Garret Wall; descendant David Wall Crawley, NSSAR 105316.
Richard Sparks; Private and Sergeant, Capt. Bowen's Company, 9th Pennsylvania Regiment; born in Maryland; married Frances Nash; died 1815, Mississippi; descendant, Joseph Stiles Wall, NSSAR 14660.
Richard Sparks; Private, Pennsylvania Militia; born 1757, New Jersey; married Frances Nash; died 1815, Pennsylvania; daughter, Charity Sparks, married John Cooper; descendant, William Burns Harlon, NSSAR 35277.
Richard Sparks; Sergeant, Pennsylvania Line; born 1757, New Jersey; married Frances Nash; died 1815, Mississippi; daughter, Mary Sparks, married Garret Wall; descendant, Frederick Wall Moore, NSSAR 77837.
It is obvious that numbers 1 and 2 are the same Daniel Sparks, but the two file cards represent membership applications from two individuals. It is also obvious that numbers 7, 8, 9, and 10 are the same Richard Sparks, although not all of the vital data are in agreement. All four applicants used the same year of both birth and death, but two said he was born in New Jersey, one in Maryland, and the other did not know. Even stranger is the fact that the four applicants could not agree on his place of death; two said it was in Mississippi, and there was one each who thought he died in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. All of the material, even some in error, was included for each listing in order to point out the necessity for genealogists, both professional and amateur, to make every effort to prove vital statistics in reliable sources whenever possible.
The S.A.R., with a current membership of about 23,000, encourages all state societies and chapters to put greater emphasis on obtaining new members. Those who are eligible and wish more information about becoming members may address inquiries to Lt. Gen. Herman Nickerson, Jr., Executive Secretary, the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution, 2560 Huntington Ave., Alexandria, Virginia (22303). Any prospective members are also welcome to write to me, a member of The Sparks Family Association, and I will refer names and addresses to the respective state society secretary for follow-up contact with those interested. Write to:
Jack K. Carmichael
Council of State Presidents
2013 South Walnut Street
Muncie, Indiana (47302)
(Editor's Note: Information about each of the Sparks veterans of the American Revolution mentioned above except one has been published in past issues of the Quarterly. Following are further notes on each of these men:
9.1.1 Daniel Sparks, Captain, South Carolina Militia. See the Quarterly of December, 1962, Whole No. 40, pp. 689-96, for a record of his life and descendants. Daniel Sparks was born in 1740 and died in 1810. He was a son of 9.1 James and Sarah Sparks; his father died in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, in 1758 and his mother was married (second) to Anthony Foster. Daniel Sparks was apprenticed by his father on September 1, 1752, to Charles Sebastion to learn to become "a Joyner and house Carpenter," during the next 6 years and 7 months. After reaching his majority, Daniel Sparks settled in Welch Neck in what is now Marlboro County, South Carolina, where he prospered and by the time of the American Revolution he was an extensive property owner. As a militia captain, he served under General Francis Marion, who was known as the Swamp Fox. A brother of Daniel Sparks, Harry Sparks, was killed by the Tories during the war. Daniel Sparks was married twice, first to a Miss FNU Stephens by whom he had children named
22.214.171.124 Elizabeth Sparks and
126.96.36.199 Charles Augustus Sparks.
He married (second) Martha Pearce by whom he had children:
188.8.131.52 Alexander Sparks,
184.108.40.206 Samuel Sparks,
220.127.116.11 Daniel Pierce Sparks,
18.104.22.168 Martha Sparks,
22.214.171.124 Mary Ann (or Polly) Sparks,
126.96.36.199 Lucy Sparks, and
188.8.131.52 Sarah Sparks.
184.108.40.206 GEORGE SPARKS, Private, Pennsylvania Continental Line. Material on this George Sparks and his family was published in the Quarterly of June 1963, Whole No. 42, pp. 725-34. He was a son of 1.2.5 George Sparks, Sr., and Mary Sparks. The elder George Sparks was originally of Maryland and moved to what became Washington County, Pennsylvania, in 1773. The younger George Sparks was born in the 1750's; he married Rachel Norris in 1785 and moved to what is now Taylor County, West Virginia, where he died near Proutytown in 1802. As noted, he served in the American Revolution as a private in the Pennsylvania Continental Line; he was taken prisoner by the British; it is known that he was held as a prisoner in New York in 1782. George and Rachel (Norris) Sparks were the parents of the following children:
220.127.116.11.1 Solomon Sparks (born 1787, married Rachel Nixon),
18.104.22.168.2 Polly Sparks,
22.214.171.124.3 William Sparks,
126.96.36.199.4 Betty Sparks,
188.8.131.52.5 George Sparks, and
184.108.40.206.6 Anna Sparks was born in 1800, married Adam Snyder.
Rachel, widow of George Sparks, married as her second husband Thomas Little in Harrison County, West Virginia, July 18, 1808.
JAMES SPARKS, Private, Pennsylvania Militia. The application of James Sparks for a Revolutionary War pension was published in the Quarterly of September 1954, pp. 40-45. Although there is some evidence that he was born in 1744, other evidence suggests that he was not born until the 1750's. We know, however, that he was born near Cranbury, Middlesex County, New Jersey; he died in Carr Township, Jackson County, Indiana, on May 25, 1834. He accompanied his father, Richard Sparks, to what became Forward Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, shortly before the American Revolution. James Sparks gives a rather detailed description of his service in the war in his pension application. Unfortunately, he did not provide a list of his children, nor have we found the maiden name of his wife, although from deeds which she signed we know her name was Catherine and that her nickname was "Caty." We have been able to identify two of James Sparks's sons, Stephen Sparks who was born in 1775 and married Catherine Padgett, and Moses Sparks who was born ca. 1789 and married Elizabeth MNU. We have also found proof that a daughter of James Sparks was Alice Sparks, born in 1777, who married Benjamin Newkirk in 1801. (Mr.Carmichael, author of this sketch on the S.A.R., descends from James Sparks's son, Stephen Sparks, for whom Sparksville, Indiana, was named.)
220.127.116.11.2 JOHN SPARKS, Private, North Carolina Militia. The Revolutionary War pension application of this John Sparks was published in the Quarterly of December 1955, Whole No. 12, pp. 94-95 and was followed by a record of his family. John Sparks was born February 25, 1753. He was a son of 18.104.22.168 Solomon and Sarah Sparks who had moved from Frederick County, Maryland, to Rowan County, North Carolina, probably in 1753. John Sparks stated that he was born in North Carolina although it is possible that he was brought as a babe in arms from Maryland. He was married ca. 1777 to Sarah Shores. It is believed that they had twelve children. Information on each of these is contained in the article in the Quarterly of December 1955 noted above. (Paul Sparks, president of our Association, descends from this John Sparks of the American Revolution.)
22.214.171.124 JOHN SPARKS, Private, Connecticut Militia.
Nothing has been published See the Quarterly, March 1987, Whole No. 137 for information on this soldier of the American Revolution. Our information regarding him is very limited. According to the S.A.R. index, he was born in England and died in Connecticut in 1811. He married Bertha Bethia Burrows and they had a son named 126.96.36.199.1 John Sparks, Jr., who married Lois Day. Descendants of this John Sparks have also joined the Daughters of the American Revolution on the basis of his service in the War of Independence. According to D.A.R. records, John Sparks was born in England in 1750 and died at Killingly, Connecticut, in 1814 (rather than 1811).
It is also noted in the D.A.R. record that he "turned out from Killingly at the Lexington alarm in 1814 at age of 64 years."
RICHARD SPARKS. Each of these file cards in the S.A.R. records of Sparkses in the American Revolution pertains to Richard Sparks about whom we published a detailed article in the Quarterly of September 19714 (Whole No. 87, pp. 1671-88). A son of Richard Sparks, Sr., who moved from Cranbury, Middlesex County, New Jersey, to what became Forward Township, Allegheny County, Pennsy1vania, shortly before the Revolution began, Richard Sparks, Jr., was a brother of James Sparks whose service in the Revolution is mentioned in item No. 14, above. The younger Richard Sparks was born ca. 1757 and died in 1815 He was taken captive while a small child by the Shawnee Indians ca. 1760-1762; he was not released until 1775. In 1778, he joined Captain B. Bowen's Company of the 9th
Pennsylvania Regiment, a ranger company concerned with the protection of the frontier against the Indians. He served primarily as a scout against the Indians. He remained in the U.S. Army and advanced to the rank of colonel. He was retired from service on June 15, 1815, and died 16 days later at a home he had built at Bayou Eierr in Claiborne County, Mississippi. He was married twice, first to Frances Nash who died ca. 1794. He married (second) Ruth Sevier in 1797. He had children only by his first wife: Mary, Catherine, Charity, Elizabeth, Eleanor, and Jesse. Information about each is given in the Quarterly of September 1974, cited earlier. A portrait of Richard Sparks appears on the cover of that issue of the Quarterly.
Whole Number 108
ADDITIONAL SOLDIERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION NAMED SPARKS
WHOSE DESCENDANTS ARE ELIGIBLE TO JOIN THE S.A.R.
In the September 1978 issue of The Sparks Quarterly appeared an article by Jack K. Carmichael on the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution. Mr. Carmichael there identified six Revolutionary Soldiers named Sparks whose descendants have been declared eligible to join the Society based on their ancestors' service.
It has been brought to our attention that two more soldiers of the American Revolution have been added to the S.A.R. roster. They are:
32.4 WALTER SPARKS signed an Oath of Allegiance and Fidelity to the new American government on May 25 1778, in Yohogania County, Pennsylvania (now "West Virginia). He was a member of Joseph Becket's Company of Westmoreland County, Pa., Militia according to a surviving roster dated August 8, 1778. born ca. 1760, he was a son of 32. Richard Sparks, about whom an article appeared in the Quarterly of December 1971, Whole No. 76, pp. 1440-46, and he was a brother of the 32.3 Col. Richard Sparks about whom an article appeared in the September 1974 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 87 pp. 1673-88. Walter Sparks married Phoebe MNU and, with his family, moved to Jefferson County, Kentucky, from Pennsylvania ca. 1790. Later he moved to Shelby County, KY, but was back in Jefferson County by 1810. We believe that he died between 1827 and 1830. We do not have a complete list of Walter Sparks's children, but have identified the following:
32.4.1 William Sparks,
32.4.2 Daniel Sparks,
32.4.3 Hannah Sparks,
32.4.4 James Sparks,
32.4.5 Joanna Sparks,
32.4.6 Ezra Sparks,
32.4.7 Elizabeth Sparks, and
32.4.8 Walter Sparks, Jr.
A descendant who has joined the S.A.R. on the basis of the service of Walter Sparks is Dr. Sherman P. Sparks, Rockwall, Texas (75087).
7. WILLIAM SPARKS was Captain of the First Company of the Fourth Battalion of the Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania Militia at the time of the Revolution. Information regarding William Sparks appeared in the Quarterly of March 1968, Whole No. 61, pp. 1135-42 (incorrectly numbered 1117-1124). William Sparks died in 1788; his will was published as part of the above article. His wife's name was Rachel MNU. Their children were:
7.1 Isaac Sparks, born November 24, 1768,
7.2 William Sparks,
7.3 James Sparks,
7.4 John Sparks,
7.5 Rachel Sparks,
7.6 Margaret Sparks,
7.7 Elizabeth Sparks,
7.8 Sarah Sparks, and
7.9 Ann Sparks.
A descendant who has joined the S.A.R. on the basis of the service of William Sparks is S.F.A. member Harry E. Roderick, Evansville, Wise. (53536).