November 6, 2018

Pages 3835-3847
Whole Number 155

1.2.4.4 MILLINGTON SPARKS (ca.1715-ca.1780)
SON OF JOHN AND CORNELIA (CURTIS) SPARKS
OF QUEEN ANNES COUNTY, MARYLAND

by Paul E. Sparks



1.2.4.4 Millington Sparks was born ca. 1715 in Queen Annes County, Maryland. Because his given name was so unusual, there is a possibility that it may have been a family name. For example, there were two persons with the surname of Millington in this area in the early years of Maryland's history. John Millington witnessed a will in Talbot County in 1679, and Oliver Millington witnessed wills there in 1682 and 1711. So far, however, no evidence has been found to relate these men with the Sparks family. (Queen Annes County was formed in 1706 from Talbot County.)

(There is a village named Millington at the head of the Chester River in Kent County, Maryland, on its boundary with Queen Annes County. This village was originally called "Head of Chester," but the name was changed to Millington ca. 1819 when an English woolen mill was built there.)

1.2.4.4 Millington Sparks was a son of 1.2.4 John and Cornelia (Curtis) Sparks and a grandson of 1.2 William and Mary Sparks. William Sparks had come from Hampshire County, England, to Maryland ca. 1663 and had settled in that portion of Talbot County which became Queen Annes County. He died in Queen Annes County in 1709. His brother, named 1.1 John Sparks, died there in 1700. Whether these brothers had come to Maryland together is not known. It seems probable that William named this son, who became the father of Millington, for his brother. Details of the lives of William Sparks (died 1709) and John Sparks (died 1700) were given in the March 1971 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 73. Information regarding their probable place of birth in England appeared in the issue of December 1989, Whole No. 148, pp. 3485-86, and June 1991, Whole No. 154, pp. 3753-54.

The first record that we have found of 1.2.4.4 Millington Sparks is contained in the will of his father which was made on January 28, 1731. John Sparks, a planter in Queen Annes County, acknowledged that he was quite sick and weak, and realizing that his hold on life was uncertain, he wanted to dispose of his two plantations, called "SPARKS INCLOSURE" AND "SPARKS CHOICE," along with a 100-acre tract "lying in His Lordships Manor." ("His Lordships Manor" refers to one of the large tracts of land, each called a manor, which the Second Lord Baltimore and first Proprietor of Maryland had set aside for himself and his descendants; land in these "manors" was leased to farmers rather than being sold.) His entire acreage, including the 100 acres of leased land, consisted of 395, and 1.2.4 John Sparks directed that it be equally divided among his five living sons:

1.2.4.2 George Sparks,
1.2.4.3 John Sparks, Jr.,
1.2.4.4 Millington Sparks,
1.2.4.10 Absalom Sparks, and
1.2.4.8 Caleb Sparks.

The bulk of his personal estate, however, was to be divided equally among his nine children. (His son, 1.2.4.1 William Sparks, had died in 1731.) Named as his nine living children were:

1.2.4.2 George Sparks,
1.2.4.3 John Sparks, Jr.,
1.2.4.4 Millington Sparks,
1.2.4.5 Sarah Sparks,
1.2.4.6 Mary Sparks,
1.2.4.7 Rachel Sparks,
1.2.4.8 Caleb Sparks,
1.2.4.9 Cornelia Sparks.
1.2.4.10 Absalom Sparks

For the complete text of the will of John Sparks, see pages 1700-1701 of the December 1974 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 88.

by the terms of his will, John Sparks's wife, Cornelia Sparks, was to become the executrix of his estate, and, following his death on April 19, 1737, she was deemed qualified for that task by the Queen Annes County Court, on May 28, 1737. A few days later, she presented to the Court an inventory of her late husband's personal property. As recorded in Inventory Book 22, pages 353-55, here is the inventory as presented by Cornelia Sparks. We believe that it provides an interesting insight into the way of life at this time.

Queen Annes County. A Just True & perfect inventory of all & singular the goods & Chattles Rights Debts & Credits of John Sparks of sd Co decd appraised in Curnt [current] money by us whose hands & seals are hereunto annexed the 3rd Day of June Anno Domi 1737.

  Pounds Shillings Pence
To his wearing apparel 2 10 0
Tocash 4 8 6
To 1 Negro Man 30 0 0
To 1best bed & bedstead & 1 Rugg 2 blankets1 sheet 2 pillows 5 0 0
To 1 bed & bedstead & two blanketts & 1 rugg 4 0 0
To 1bed & bolster & Trunnel bedstead 2 blankts& a rugg 3 15 0
To 1 old bed & old bed stead 2 0 0
To 1 bed & bedstead & 2 old blankts & 1 rugg 3 15 0
To 1 pair of andiron Doggs 0 12 0
To 1fire shovel & 1 pair of tongs 0 5 0
To 1 oval Table & To 3 old chairs 0 17 0
To 1 pair of small stillards 6s and 1 small case with 10 bottles 0 16 0
To 1 old chest with lock & key 6s & to 1 old chest 3s 0 9 0
To 1 pewter Tankard 2s6 to 1 old D0 1s6 0 4 0
To 1 small Trunk 2s6 To 1 smaller Do is 0 3 6
To 44 ½ lbs of Pewter at s8 1 9 8
To 1 small looking glass 2s6 To 4 Doz of Candlesat s6 0 4 6
To 1per Tinn candle Box s6 & 1 old brassmortar & pestle 2s 0 2 6
To 2 Earthern Muggs & 2 Earthern Dishes & 1 plate 0 3 9
To 2 Earthern Dishes & 1 Barbers basan &1 small earthern cup 0 3 2
To 1 small stone pott & 1 stone jugg 0 1 3
To 9 earthern milk pans s6 to 1 drinking glass s3 0 0 9
To 1 pepper box to 9 wooden trenchers 0 2 9
To 1 brass skimmer s6 to 1 old pair sheep shears s6 0 1 0
To 1 small Cow bell is To 7 bush of wheat at 4s 1 9 0
To 2 meal sifters 3 To 8 books at 10 0 13 0
To 1 stone jugg 2s6 To 2 small water jugs 1s 0 3 6
To 1 old box iron & 2 heaters & 3 small earthern potts 1 3 6
To 1 old gun @ 10 To 1 cut saw @ 12s 1 2 0
To a new falling ax and 3 old D0 0 12 0
To a parcel of Carpenters tools 0 6 0
To 1pair of scissors @ 3 To 7 yards of Country flannel at 1s6 0 10 9
To 1 old razor @ 6 To 1 pair tow cards @ s4 0 0 10
To 3 pecks of Salt 1s6 To 1 old curry comb @ 4s 0 1 10
To 1 old Woolen Wheel 6s To 1 Linnen Wheel l0s 0 16 0
To 1 old linnen wheel Ss to pair wool cards @ s9 0 5 9
To 2iron wedges 2s To 2 bridles 4s to 3 old bridles @ s9 0 6 9
To 117 lb of pott iron @2 ½ 1 4 4 ½
To 3 pair of pot hooks @ 1s per 0 3 0
To 1 flesh fork 6 to 1 iron pot rack 0 5 6
To 1 old Frying Pan @ 1s To 1 old mill stone @ 5s To 1 grindstone 0 9 0
To1 mans saddle old 10s to 7 old dry tubs 7s 0 17 0
To5 old Cyder Casks @ 12s To 1 old cutting knife s9 0 12 9
To900 10py nails @ 5s To 1 iron candlestick s6 0 5 6
To 307 lb of Bacon @ 4s1 5 2 4
To10 lb of Beef @ 2s To 3 old weeding hoes @ s1 0 4 8
To 2 old hilling hoes & 1 grubbing hoe 0 2 0
To2 mares of seven years old 9 0 0
To 3 breeding sows @6 To 12 hoggs of one year & half old @ 5s per 3 18 0
To11 shoats @ 2s per 1 2 0
To 4 cows & 4 yearlings @ £2.5 9 0 0
To 4 cows & calves @ £2 per 8 0 0
To 1 old cow & 1 calf 1 15 0
To 3 steers of 2 years old @ 15s per 2 5 0
To1 heifer of 2 years old @ 18s To 1 large Bull £1.10 2 8 0
To19 sheep @ 6 per To 8 lambs @ 3 per 6 18 0
To 17 Barrels of Indian Corn @ 8s11 7 1 8
To 21 geese @ 1s per To 63 lbs of Wool unwashed 3 8 3
To 1 plow & plow tackling 16s To 9 lbs of Flax 1s 1 5 0
To 4 ½ Raw hides 0 18 0
To 1 Silver Cup 0 3 8 ½
Toa small parcel of unbroke Flax 0 2 0
To 2869 lbs of Tobacco @ s2 23 18 2
Toa parcel of old lumber 0 6 0
Total 158 19 8
          his )    
John I Sparks )    
        mark ) nearest  

his

) of John Earl
   Millington M Sparks ) kinn Edward Brown

        mark

)    
  )    
Augst Thompson  )    

&

) Creditors  
Solomon Clayton )    

August 24 1737. Then came Cornelia Sparks Exr of the within mentioned John Sparks deceased and made oath on the Holy Evangelists that the within Inventory is a just & perfect one of all & singular the Goods & Chattles which were of said decd that came to her hands at the time of making thereof that what hath since or shall hereafter come to her hands or possession she will return in an additional Inventory. That she knows of no concealment of any part or parcel of said decd personal Estate by any person whatever and yt [that] if she shall discover any concealment or suspect any to be she will aqquaint the Commy General for the time being or his Deputy with such discovery or Cause of suspicion that it may be enquired into and that she will well & truly give an acct of all & every part of sd deceaseds personal estate that shall hereafter come to her hands possession or knowledge.

Sworn to before me     James Earle Dty Commry
        Queen Anns County

[Editor's Note: Under the law in Colonial Maryland, an inventory of the personal property of a deceased person had to be signed not only by the men (usually two) who conducted the inventory (in this instance, John Earl and Edward Brown), but also by two individuals who could be described as "kin"or "nearest of kin," and, also, by the two individuals who were considered to be the principal "creditors" of the deceased. Who might qualify as "kin" (the spelling was usually "kinn) seems to have varied from place to place and time to time. Relatives who were not, themselves, heirs of the deceased were sometimes preferred, whereas on other occasions, adult children who had actually been willed property signed the inventory as "nearest of kin." In this instance, it will be noted, two sons of John Sparks signed the inventory, John [Jr.] and Millington. Both signed by mark, and the Deputy Commissary, James Earle, who was doubtless the one who wrote their names, spelled Millington as "Millenton."

Readers are reminded that, until quite recently when Great Britain introduced the metric system into its currency, a pound consisted of twenty shillings anda shilling comprised 12 pence. Where separate amounts were designated for multiple items in a single entry in the inventory of John Sparks, the word shilling was abbreviated to s; where the value the "small looking glass," for example, appears as "2s6," this meant two shillings and six pence.]

Cornelia Sparks presented the inventory of the estate of her late husband to the Queen Annes County Court on August 24, 1737. As executrix, Cornelia had been required to call to the attention of the men taking the inventory (John Earle and Edward Brown) all of her late husband's property. The signatures (by mark) of two of John's sons indicated their satisfaction of the correctness of the list and the value assigned each item. Augustine Thompson and Solomon Clayton, as creditors, also indicated their satisfaction by signing their names.

Sometime between August 1737 and February 1738, Cornelia Sparks, widow of John Sparks, died without having completed her job as executrix of her late husband's estate. Her son, George Sparks, was appointed as administrator ofher estate (she did not leave a will), and he was now required to present aninventory of his mother's personal belongings. This inventory was taken by James Brown and John Collin[s] on February 14, 1738. Again John Sparks [Jr.] and 1.2.4.4 Millington Sparks witnessed the document as nearest of kin. Augustine Thompson, acting as the factor for John Buck, Esquire, and also for himself, attested as principal creditor[s] to the correctness of the inventory, whichwas presented to the court on April 10, 1738. This document reads as follows:

Queen Annes County. A true & perfect Inventory of the Goods & Chattels which were of Cornelia Sparks late of said County deceased taken & Appraised the 14th day of February Anno Domini 1738 by us whose hands are hereunto affixt--[Inventory Book 23, page 284]

To wearing apparrell Pounds Shillings Pence

To 1 Gown & Petticoat & Dungars

1 15 0

To 1 Quilted Coat & 1 old check apron

0 10 0

To 1 Crape Gown & 1 Dowlass Shift

0 16 0

To 1pr of old bootes & 3 old capps & 1 black Hood

0 7 0
To paper Money 2 4 0
To 1 plush sidesadle & bridle & saddle cloths 3 0 0
To 1 country cloth blankett 0 9 0
To 3 pds of Tallow 0 2 0
To 1 pr of Wool cards 0 3 0
To 3 small Slater hides 0 4 0
To1 large Earthern Jug 0 1 6
To16 Barrells of Indian Corn 9 8 0
To5 ½ Bushells of Wheat Sowed & Plowingof it in 2 12 0
To10 Shotes several [sic] Months old 2 10 0
To 7 piggs 2 months old 0 7 0
To 3 old case knives & 5 forks 0 1 6
To 15 Geese 0 15 0
To19 pounds of Dried Beef 0 5 0
To1 Lamb 0 2 0
To 3 yards of Country Cloth 0 7 6
To1 small Deer Skinn 0 4 0
To½ Bushell of Salt 0 1 6
To2 Poplar Bowles 0 1 0
Total 26 6 2
          Jas Brown )
        his ) John Collin ) appraisers
Jno  I  Sparkes )    
      mark ) nearest  

his

) of John Earl
   Millington M Sparks ) kinn Edward Brown

        mark

)    
  )    
August Thompson ) a creditor  

factor for John Buck Esq

) Creditors  
for himself ) creditor  

April 10th 1738. Then came George Sparks before me the Subscriber Deputy Commissary of Queen Anns County and made oath on the Holy Evangells that the within is a just & perfect Inventory of all & Singular the Goods & Chattles of the Deceased that came to his hands at the time of Making thereof & that what hath since or shall hereafter come to his or possession he will return in an Additional Inventory that he knows of no concealment of any part or parcel thereof by any person whatsoever & that if he shall discover any concealment or suspect any to be he will acquaint the Commisary Generall for the time being or his Deputy with such discovery or Cause of Suspicion that it may be enquired into & he shall well & truly give an account of all & every part of the Deceaseds personall Estate that shall come to his hands possession or knowledge.

Sworn to before me Jam Earle

The death of Cornelia Sparks left the estate of John Sparks without an executoror administrator, and on April 13, 1738, the Queen Annes County Court appointed George Sparks to be the administrator of that part of his father's estate "Unadministered by Cornelia Sparks, widow." George gave the court his bond in the amount of 200 Pounds with John Earle and Richard Collins as his securities. The bond was recorded as follows:

George Sparkes, John Earle and Richard Collins all of Queen Annes County bound to the Lord Proprietary in the sum of 200 Pounds on 13th April 1738 for George Sparkes to be the administrator of John Sparks decd unadministered by Cornelia Sparks Widow and Eexcutrix and to make an exhibit into the Prerogative Court at Annapolis on or before 13th July next of John Sparkes unadministred estate to pay all unpaid debts.

Witnesses Jams Earle George Sparks
  Michl Earle Jno Earle
    Richard Collins

An additional inventory was taken of the Sparks, Senior, on July 1, 1738, by Edward Brown and John Hawkins, Jr. As recorded in Inventory Book 23, pages 298-99, here is this additional inventory.

AnInventory of all & Singular ye [the] goods Chattels rights and Credits of John Sparks laite of Queen Anns County desed unadministered by Cornelia Spark widow & Exctrx of said John decesd which said Cornelia is likewise Since Dead so far forth as was Shewen and produced to us the Subscribers Appraisers legally Qualified (by George Sparks Junr Administrator De bonis non of Said John Sparks unadministered as a fore sed by the a fore sed Cornelia Sparks) Witness our hands & seals this 1st day of July Anno Domny 1738

  Pounds Shillings Pence
To two gold rings at 2 10 0
To Sixteen & a half bushels of Wheat 3 6 0
To 4 reap hooks old 0 2 0
To 1 old cow bell 0 1 0
Total 5 19 0
           
        his )  
Jno  I  Sparkes )  
      mark ) nearest

his

) of
   Millington M Sparks ) kinn

        mark

)  
  )  
Augst Thompson as Atty in fact )  

for Jno. Buck Esq

) Creditors
& )  
Dowdall Thompson )  
proved 10th July 1738 by Geo. Sparks    

July 10th 1738. Then came before me James Earle Dty Comiser of Queen Anns County George Sparks Adm Debon is non of John Sparks unadministered by Cornelia Sparks the widow of said John wch Same Cornelia is also dead and the said George Administ as afd made oath on the Holy Evangells that the within is a just and perfect Inventory of all the Goods and Chattels of said John unadministered by the afd Cornelia that came to his hands or possession at the time of the making thereof that what hathsince or shall hereafter come to his hands and possession he will return in an addl inventory that he knows of no concealment or suspicion of any part or parcells of sd Jno personal estate by any person whatever unadministred as afd that if here after he discovers any concealment or suspects any he willacquaint the Commr Genl for the time being or his Deputy therewith that it may be inquired into and lastly that he will well and truly give an account of all and every part of said John deceased personal Estate unadministered as afd Shall come hereafter to his hands possession and knowledge--

Sworn to before me Jams Earle

During the period from July 1738 and January 1739, a few items were found which belonged to the estate of Cornelia Sparks, and these items were described for the Queen Annes County Court on January 9, 1739. (See Inventory Book 24, page 21.) These items were: -2973 Lbs Tobacco at 20 shillings per hundred" valued at 29 pounds, 14 shillings, and 7 pence, "cash" in the amountof 10 shillings; "3 yards of hair cloth at 2s6 per yard" valued at 7 shillings and 6 pence; and a "pair of old shoes" worth 2 shillings and 6 pence. In all, these items were valued at 30 pounds, 14 shillings, and 7 pence. James Brown and John Collins signed their names on this document as having taken this additional inventory. On this occasion, 1.2.4.4 Millington Sparks and Caleb Sparks signed as -nearest of kin," Millington signing by mark, while Caleb wrote his name. Augustine Thompson signed as a creditor on behalf of John Buck; Dowell Thompson signed as the other creditor. The estates of 1.2.4 John Sparks and of his wife, Cornelia Sparks, were both settled on the same day by their son, 1.2.4.x1 George Sparks. He was joined in the settlement by his brothers,

1.2.4.x2 John Sparks,
1.2.4.4 Millington Sparks,
1.2.4.x3 Absalom Sparks, and
1.2.4.x4 Caleb Sparks, and

by his sisters,
1.2.4.x5 Sarah Sparks Herbert,
1.2.4.x6 Mary Sparks Ruth, and
1.2.4.x7 Cornelia Sparks Alley.

(Note that the married names of these three sisters are thus revealed.) His sister, 1.2.4.x8 Rachel, who had been married to Robert Hawkins, did not sign the account, so we may probably assume that she had died sometime between 1731and 1739. (These accounts were recorded on pages 383-86 of Account Book 17on December 14, 1739.)

Queen Anns County. The account of George Sparks administrator of Cornella Sparks who was executrix of John Sparks late of the afsd county Planter Deceased–

    Pounds Shillings Pence
This Accountant chargeth himself with an Inventory of the deceaseds Estate exhibited into the Prerogative office at Annapolis by the aforesaid Cornelia Sparks amounting to   158 19 8
And he humbly prays allowance of the following payments and Disbursements which appear to have been made by her on account of the said deceased–

       
Of funeral Expenses in burying the deceased–   2 10 0
Of Tobo due from the said deceased to James Buchanan and Company on a note proved by their Factor James Gould and paid by the afsd Cornelia Sparks to Richd Gould their receiver as by his receipt 548 lb.      
Of ditto due from ditto to John Buck Esq on acct proved by his Factor William Walker and paid by her to his receiver Augustine Thompson as by his rect appears 1405 lb.      
Of ditto due from ditto and paid by her to his Factor Mr Augustine Thompson as by account proved by him & receipt appears 2775      
Of ditto due from ditto to William Walker and paid to him by her as by account proved receipt 70      
Of ditto and current money due from ditto to Dowdal Thomson & paid to him by her as by account proved and receipt appears 74 0 2 0
Of current money due from ditto to Solomon Clayton and paid by her as by account and receipt appears   4 0 11
Of ditto due from ditto to William Richardson and paid by her as by account proved and rect appears   0 4 0
Of ditto due from ditto to Samuel McCook and paid by her as by account proved and receipt appears   0 18 0
Total 4872 lb. 7 14 11
2869 at 16s8   23 18 2
W   20 0 7
Total   51 13 8
Of Commission on Payment of £51.13.8 at 10 pct.   5 3 4
Total   56 17 0
Balance due the Estate   102 2 8
Whole Estate   158 19 8

John Merredith)
George Elliot ) Sureties on Cornelia Sparks

Administrator

Queen Anns County. December the 14th 1739. The foregoing account after due examination by virtue of a commission from the prerogative office is passed by me--

Wm Tilghman Depy Comisary of

Queen Anns County

Following is a transcription of the account of George Sparks as administrator of the portion of his father's estate that had not been completed prior to the death Cornelia Sparks.

The Account of George Sparkes Administrator de bonis non of John Sparkes late of the afsd county planter deceased--

This Accountant chargeth himself with the Ballance of the foregoing account & likewise with an Inventory of part of the deceaseds Estate by him Exhibited into the prerogative office at Annapolis–   Pounds Shillings Pence
Balc of the foregoing account
  102 2 8
Inventory
  5 19 0
Total   108 1 8
And he humbly prays allowance of the following payments by him made on account of the decd and his Estate--

       
Of Tobacco due from the said deceased to Augustine Thomson and paid to him by this accountant as by account proved and  receipt appears 320 lb.      
Of ditto and from ditto to John Ricketts and paid to him by ditto as by account proved and receipt appears 302      
Of ditto due from ditto to Bartholemew  Doyle and paid to him by ditto as by acct proved and rect appears 300      
Of Tobacco due from the afsd deceased to Nicholas Shorlock and paid to him by the afsd Accountant as by account proved and rect appears 457      
Of current money due from ditto to Daniel Wilcocks and paid by ditto as by account proved and rect appears   0 3 0
Of ditto due from ditto to Hugh ONeil and paid to him by ditto as by account proved and rec aprs   0 6 1
Of ditto due from ditto to Francis  Rochester and paid to him by ditto as by  account proved and receipt appears   1 11 0
Of ditto due from Cornelia Sparkes Exr of  the deceased to Edward Brown one of the  appraisers and paid to him by this  accountant as by account proved and  receipt appears   0 4 0
Of ditto due from the deceased to John  Dempster and paid to him by do. as by  acct proved and rect appers   2 11 4
Of ditto due from Cornelia Sparkes Exr of  the deceased to John Earlcone one of the  Appraisers and paid to him by ditto as by  account proved and receipt appears   0 4 0
Of Tobo. due from the deceased to Doctor  James Cruikshank and by account proved  by Mr. James Anderson and paid by this  accountant to Mr. James Brown as by his  receipt appears 550 lb.      
Of ditto due from ditto to Matthew Deckoy  and paid to him by ditto as by account  proved and rect appears 54      
Of current money due from this accountant to John Hawkins & Edward Browne for one days appraising of the deceaseds Estate and paid to him by them as by their accounts and receipts appears   0 5 0
Of Tobo due from Cornelia Sparkes the afsd Exr to Daniel Dulaney Commisary general on account of her administration and paid by the above account as by accounts the sherifs receipt appears 610 ½      
Of current money due from the deceased to Wm. Carman & paid by the afsd accountant to his executors William & John Carman as by acct proved & receipt   1 12 1
Of Tobo due from this accountant to Daniel Dulaney Esq Commissary general on his administration and pd by him as by account and the Sherrifs Rec appears 279 ½      
Of ditto due from ditto to Mr. James Earle late Deputy Commissary for granting the administration and pd by him as by account and Sherifs receipt apprs 150      
Of ditto due from ditto to William Tilghman Deputy Commissary of this County for drawing and stateing this and the foregoing account & secured to him by Do. 130      
Of ditto due from ditto to ditto from passing this and the foregoing account & Secured by Do. 100      
Total 3253 lb. 6 16 6

3023 at 20 5 per C

  30 4 7

230 at 16 5 per C

  1 18 4
Total   38 19 5

Of Commission on £38.19.5

  3 17 !! ½
Total   42 17 4 ½

Ballance due the Estate

  65 4 3 ½
    £108 1 8

John Earle )
Richd Collins ) Sureties

Queen Anns County December 14th 1739. George Sparks the foregoing Accountant made oath on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God that the foregoing account is Just and true as it Stands Stated which thereupon after due examination is by virtue of a commission from the prerogative Office at Annapolis passed by--

Wm Tilghman D. Com of Queen Anns County

George Sparks      )
John Sparks          )
Millington Sparks )
Absalom Sparks) Representatives
Caleb Sparks         )
Sarah Herbert        )
Mary Ruth               )
Cornelia Alley        )

1.2.4.4 Millington Sparks, son of John and Cornelia (Curtis) Sparks, married Mabel Ruth on February 9, 1740, in St. Lukes Church in Church Hill, Maryland. We have learned very little about her. In all likelihood, she was a member of the Ruth family that settled near Ruthsburg in Queen Annes County. (Note that Millington's sister, Mary Sparks, also married a Ruth.) The birth of the first child of Millington and Mabel (Ruth) Sparks (a daughter named Rachel) was recorded on page 45 of the Register of St. Lukes Parish. Their marriage was recorded on page 48. (The account of the establishment of St. Lukes Parish in 1728 was told on pages 1389-391 of the March 1971 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 73.)

On March 3, 1744, after the death of his brother, George Sparks, Millington had in his possession 1800 pounds of tobacco which belonged in the inventoryof his brother's estate. He acknowledged the obligation. When the final accounting was made of the estate of George Sparks on December 10, 1847, Millington was given a cow and a calf, owed to him by his brother and apparently from their father's estate. (Our readers are reminded that tobacco was used as a form of currency in Maryland during its colonial period. The tobacco itself was usually in a commercial warehouse and its transfer from one party to another was only on paper. Note the conversion of the value of tobacco to English currency on the previous page in the inventory of the estate of John Sparks.)

On November 13, 1744, 1.2.4.4 Millington Sparks (designated as a "Planter"), and his wife, Mabel, sold his share of Sparks Enclosure and all of Sparks Choice to his brother, Absalom Sparks, for 5,000 pounds of tobacco (probably equivalent to about 50 pounds in English currency). He apparently retained some financial hold on Sparks Choice, however, for on July 4, 1752, he joined his brothers, Absalom Sparks, John Sparks, and Caleb Sparks, in disposing of that tract of land. The buyer was Edward Tilghman who paid 107 pounds for the property.

Because owners of land in Colonial Maryland were required to pay the Lord Proprietary an annual quit-rent (a form of tax) the extant "Debt Books" in which these quit-rents were recorded constitute an important source for genealogical research. Unfortunately, only a few survive for the middle 1700s, but those that do survive reveal that in 1747, 1754, 1756, and 1757 1.2.4.4 Millington Sparks paid quit-rent on three tracts of land. One was a 25-acre portion of Adventure. The other two tracts, each 25 acres in size, were parts of Sparks Own and Sparks Choice. Millington also made a payment as late as the fall of 1767 as a tenant of Queen Annes Manor. As has been noted, land that had been set aside by Lord Baltimore in his "manors" could only be leased, but the lease could be passed on to one's heirs. With the American Revolution, of course, the property rights of Lord Baltimore were swept away along with all other English land holdings in the United States.

In the early days of the Maryland Colony, each county was responsible for maintaining a regular organization of militia whose function was to defend the county against hostile Indians and foreign enemies. In 1748, 1.2.4.4 Millington Sparks was shown as a member of Captain William Hooper's Company. Other members included his brothers, Absalom, Caleb, and John.

1.2.4.x Absalom Sparks, brother of 1.2.4.4 Millington Sparks, died in 1769, and an inventory was taken of his estate on January 21, 1772. Millington Sparks was one of the witnesses to the appraisal of the estate. Other witnesses were John Sparks, Caleb Sparks, and Levi Sparks. (For further details of the settlement of the estate of Absalom Sparks, see the December 1974 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 88.) There were nineteen Sparks families in Queen Annes County, Maryland, in 1776 when a special census was taken of the colony. Among these families was that of Millington Sparks. In addition to himself (he was described as a male overage 21), he had in his household the following: 1 male over 21; 1 male aged16 to 21; 2 females over 21; and 1 female aged 12 to 16. He owned no slaves.The last record that we have found pertaining to Millington Sparks (whom we must now designate as "Senior" because he had a son also named Millington) is on another special census taken of Maryland in 1778. There were now twenty-seven persons named Sparks who were shown as heads of households in Queen Annes County. Unfortunately, no other information was obtained of these persons other than the name of the "Hundred" in which they were listed. (A "hundred" was a geographical subdivision of a county, used today only in the state of Delaware.) Millington Sparks was now designated officially as Senior since there was another Millington Sparks living nearby in the Town Hundred. Also listed on this census was John Sparks "of Millington," obviously a son of Millington Sparks, Senior.

An index of property owners in Queen Annes County in 1783 gives one fina lpiece of information about Millington Sparks, Senior. Among the twenty-eigh tpersons named Sparks on this assessment schedule, three were directly relatedto him. One of these was Millington Sparks whom we believe to have been his son. The other two were obviously sons, also, since they were designated as such. One was John Sparks "of Millington"; the other was William Sparks "of Millington." All three were in the Upper District of Queen Annes County. (Census takers and tax collectors frequently identified young men having common forenames like John and William in this manner in order to distinguish them from others with the same names.)

As shown above, Millington Sparks, Senior, did not appear on the 1783 tax assessment list of Queen Annes County, and in all probability, he had died before that list was made. If he had been born ca. 1715 (as we have judged), he was about 65 years old when he died thus he was an elderly man accordingto the longevity standards of that time. We have found no clues to try to determine the time of death of his wife, Mabel (Ruth) Sparks.

(The records that we have found pertaining to men named Millington Sparks indicate that there were three persons bearing that name in Queen Annes County, Maryland, during the period 1730-1800. As indicated above, the oldest man was a son of John and Cornelia (Curtis) Sparks. He married Mabel Ruth in1740. The second Millington Sparks (and the one we know the least about) was born ca. 1745; we believe that he was a son of Millington and Mabel (Ruth) Sparks. He was listed on the 1790 census of Queen Annes County. The third man named Millington Sparks was born ca. 1775, and we believe that he was as on of the Millington Sparks born ca. 1745. We shall give information about him and his descendants in a future issue of the Quarterly.)

1.2.4.4 Millington and Mabel (Ruth) Sparks apparently had six children.

1.2.4.4.1 Rachel D. Sparks was born January 12, 1741, according to the information recorded in the Register of St. Lukes Church at Church Hill in Queen Annes County. We have found no further information about her.

1.2.4.4.2 Millington Sparks, Jr., son of Millington and Mabel (Ruth) Sparks, was born ca. 1745 in Queen Annes County. No records have been found pertaining to him, however, until 1778. For some reason, he was not listed as the head of a household on the special census taken of Maryland in 1776. He was listed on the special census taken in 1778. His father (as we believe him to be) was listed on that census as "Millington Sparks, Sr. "Millington Sparks was listed as a property owner on the 1783 tax schedule of Maryland. Listed also were his brothers, John Sparks "of Millington" and William Sparks "of Millington." All of them lived in the Upper District of Queen Annes County. There were 24 other men named Sparks on the schedule.

The last record we have found pertaining to Millington Sparks, Jr. is contained on the federal census of 1790 for Queen Annes County. On that first U.S. census, free white males were enumerated only as under 16 and over 16; free white females were enumerated in only one category. Millington Sparks was the only male in his household (he was over 16); there were three females in his household, probably his wife and two daughters.(See the Quarterly of March 1953, Whole No.1, page 5, for a complete listing of Sparkses appearing on the 1790 census of Maryland.)

Although we have found no record of the marriage of Millington Sparks, Jr.,nor the name of his wife, we believe that he was the father of at least one son,1.2.4.4.2.1 Millington Sparks, III, born ca. 1775. We must assume that this son was living in a household other than his father's when the 1790 census was taken.This Millington Sparks married Rebecca Brooks on May 23, 1797, in Kent County, Maryland, and subsequently moved to Georgia. An article about him and his descendants is planned for a future issue of the Quarterly.

1.2.4.4.3 John Sparks was born ca. 1750. The only record we have found of him is the tax assessment list of 1783 for Queen Annes County on which he was identified as "of Millington."

1.2.4.4.4 William Sparks was born ca. 1750. The only record we have found of him is the tax assessment list of 1783 for Queen Annes County on which he was identified as "of Millington."

1.2.4.4.5 Dau1 Sparks born ca. 1750.

1.2.4.4.6 Dau2 Sparks born ca. 1760. We have no further information about either of them.

top