Whole Number 116
(Editor's Note: Mrs. Katherine J. Zyla is seeking information about the family of her great-great-great-grandparents, James E. and Mary "Pollly" (Boggs) Sparks. This couple lived in Nicholas County, Virginia (now West Virginia). James was listed as the head of a household on the 1820, 1830, 1840, and 1850 censuses of Nicholas County. Mrs. Zyla would be pleased to correspond with anyone who has information about James and Polly or about their descendants. Her address is: 337 Bates Street, Jackson, Michigan (49202).
67. James E. Sparks was born ca. 1782 in Virginia according to information given on the 1850 census of Nicholas County. He married Mary "Polly" Boggs in Kanawha County, Virginia, on March 19, 1804. She was born ca. 1786 in Virginia. James and Polly Sparks probably died between 1850 and 1860. They were listed on the 1810 census of Kanawha County with three children, one daughter and two sons, born between 1800 and 1810.
When Nicholas County was formed from Kanawha and Greenbrier Counties in 1818, James and Polly went with the new county (i.e., they had been living in that park of Kanawha County that helped to form Nicholas County), and when the 1820 census was taken, they had one daughter and two sons, born between 1804 and 1810, and two sons and one daughter born between 1810 and 1820. The 1830 and 1840 censuses indicate that they also had a son born between 1820 and 1825, thus they were the parents of seven children.
The early tax records of Nicholas County show James Sparks as the only taxpayer named SPARKS from 1820 to 1829. In 1820, he paid taxes as a tithable male with two horses. (A tithable male was a white male over 16 years of age.) In 1822, he paid taxes on two tithable males and three horses. In 1826, he paid taxes on three tithable males and six horses. In 1829, he paid taxes on two tithable males and his sons, John Sparks and Charles Sparks, paid their own taxes. Then in 1833, his son, Joel Sparks, also became a taxpayer.
James and Polly Sparks lived in the vicinity of present-day Persinger, West Virgenia. In 1822, he was given a land grant of 131 acres on Glade Creek in Nicholas County and the following year he received another land grant of 150 acres on Glade Creek. He also was granted 150 acres of land on Phillips Run in 1823.
When the 1850 census was taken of Nicholas County, James and Polly were living in the household of their son, Uriah C. Sparks, aged 29, and his wife, Ann Mary, aged 26. James Sparks was aged 68 and Polly was aged 64. There were no children in the household. Living nearby was another son of James and Polly: James E. Sparks, Jr., aged 36, with his family. Not too far away were two other sons, John Sparks, aged 43, and Charles Sparks, aged 42, with their families.
The five sons of James and Polly (Boggs) Sparks have been identified; however, we have been unable to learn the names of their two daughters. Here is what we have been able to learn about each of their children. [Webmaster Note: See Article 169-A for more information].
67.1 A daughter whom we have been unable to identify by name was born to James and Polly (Boggs) Sparks, ca. 1805.
67.2 John Sparks was born ca. 1807 in Virginia. He married Agnes -----, ca. 1836. She was born ca. 1820 in Virginia. When the 1850 census was taken of Nicholas County, John and Agnes had five children:
67.2.1 James Sparks, 13, born ca. 1837;
67.2.2 Alice Sparks, 9, born ca. 1841;
67.2.3 Nathan Sparks, 6, born ca. 1844;
67.2.4 Joseph Sparks, 4, born ca. 1846; and
67.2.5 Uriah Sparks, 1, born ca. 1849.
67.3 Charles C. Sparks was born January 6, 1809, in Kanawha County, Virginia, according to the Encyclopedia of West Virginia Heritage, published in 1974. He married Margaret McCoy, ca. 1830. She was born September 25, 1811, in Greenbrier County, Virginia. She died March 3, 1882. Charles and Margaret were listed on the 1830 census of Nicholas County, but about 1838 they moved to Gallia County, Ohio, where they appeared on the 1840 census.
Their son, Edward W. Sparks, is known to have been born there on May 8, 1841. by 1850, Charles C. Sparks and his family were back in Nicholas County where they appeared on the census of that year. With them in 1850 were their seven children:
67.3.1 Wellington Sparks, 18, born ca. 1832;
67.3.2 Lydia Sparks, 17, born ca. 1833;
67.3.3 Ann Sparks, 13, born ca. 1837;
67.3.4 Ellen Sparks, 10, born ca. 1840;
67.3.5 Edward Sparks, 9, born May 8, 1841;
67.3.6 Jordan Sparks, 5, born ca. 1845;
67.3.7 Lecty Sparks, 4 months, born ca. 1850.
Also living in their household in 1850 were Andrew H. McCoy, 48, and William McCoy, 21, probably relatives of Margaret.
67.4 Joel H. Sparks was born ca. 1812. He paid taxes in Nicholas County in 1833 and 1834, but no further record has been found of him.
67.5 James E. Sparks, Jr. was born ca. 1814 in Virginia. He married Elizabeth LNU, ca. 1835. She was born ca. 1818 in Virginia. The 1840 and 1850 censuses of Nicholas County show this couple with eight children; there may have been others born to this couple. Those who appeared on the 1850 census were:
67.5.1 Uriah Sparks, 13, born ca. 1837;
67.5.2 William Sparks, 11, born ca. 1839;
67.5.3 James Sparks, 9, born ca. 1841;
67.5.4 Isaac Sparks, 7, born ca. 1843;
67.5.5 Mary Sparks, 5, born ca. 1845;
67.5.6 John Sparks, 3, born ca. 1847;
67.5.7 Cynthia Sparks, 2, born ca. 1848; and
67.5.8 David Sparks, 8 months, born ca. 1849.
67.6 A daughter whom we have been unable to identify was born to James and Polly (Boggs) Sparks, ca. 1817.
67.7 Uriah C. Sparks was born ca. 1821 in Nicholas County. He married Ann Mary -----, ca. 1849. She was born ca. 1824 in Virginia. When the 1850 census was taken of Nicholas County, the parents of Uriah Sparks were living in his household.