May 1, 2016
Whole Number 146
TOMBSTONE FOUND FOR RELAH (ERIA) SPARKS
A member of the Association, Julia M. Kasch of Littleton, Colorado, has sent us a Sparks record that a researcher (Jean Nathan of Cincinnati) found for her which we are pleased to record in the Quarterly. It is the inscription found on a tombstone in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Mt. Healthy, Ohio, which is in Hamilton County. The inscription reads:
In Memory of Relah [?] Sparks
John and Eliza Sparks
who died November 2, 1836
in the 6th year of his age
We feel certain that this was the "Eria Sparks" referred to in the will of Isaac Sparks (1768-1834) which was dated July 15, 1834. We published the text of this will on page 657 of the June 1962 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 38. Isaac Sparks, who referred to himself in his will as "Isaac Sparks, Snr of Hamilton County, state of Ohio," was the father of ten children, including a son named John Sparks, born on October 8, 1802. Since Isaac Sparks, Sr. made no reference in his will to this son named John, we believe that he had died prior to July 15, 1834, when Isaac wrote his will.
In the Quarterly of December 1973 (Whole No. 84), we reviewed the items pertaining to Isaac Sparks, Sr. which had been published in earlier issues and provided a sketch of each of his ten children. We noted (page 1610) that our knowledge of the son John was very limited, but we speculated that it was probably to John's children that Isaac referred in his will when he wrote: "The lot I have in Mount Pleasant I will to Eria Sparks, my grandson; if he does not survive, then to Martha Sparks, his sister."
The above mentioned tombstone must, we believe, mark the grave of Eria Sparks, the grandson to whom Isaac Sparks, Sr. referred in his will. (Ms. Nathan could not be sure of the spelling of his name when she copied the inscription.) This also reveals that the name of the wife of John Sparks was Eliza.
John Sparks, son of Isaac Sparks, Sr., was probably the John W. Sparks shown on the 1830 census of the town of Mount Pleasant in Hamilton County, Ohio (see the Quarterly OF September 1966, Whole No. 55, p. 1014). His age category was given as between 20 and 30. The female enumerated in the same age category was doubtless his wife, while the female enumerated as under 5 must have been their daughter, Martha. The son, Eria Sparks, must have been born in 1831, a year after the 1830 census was taken.