January 29, 2020

Pages 3957-3959
Whole Number 158

Born 1829. Died After 1909

by James A. Newman

[Editor's Note: We are pleased to publish the following article by James A. Newman, Washington, Illinois, 61571, a great-great-grandson of Nancy Ann (Sparks) Newman. Nancy was a daughter of 26.2.1 Noah and Susanna (Woodward) Sparks who were married on May 6, 1826. Noah Sparks was the eldest son of 26.2 Amos Sparks (born June 7,1785, died January 11, 1867) and Nancy (Borough) Sparks (born December 1, 1789) who were married on June 2, 1805. Amos Sparks, a natie of Maryland, was an itinerant Methodist minister in Illinois and Indiana between 1825 and 1835, after which he was a "local minister" in Shelby County, Indiana. His occupation was given as "Shoemaker" on the 1850 census of Shelbyville, Indiana.

[An article devoted to 'Amos Sparks and his family appeared in the March 1962 issue of the QUARTERL Y (Whole No.37, pp. 618-621).There can be little doubt that a brother of 26.2 Amos Sparks was 26.1 Jesse R. Sparks (ca.1780-1865); both Amos and Jesse R. settled in Belmont, Ohio, and both lived later in Indiana. An article devoted to Jesse R. Sparks and his descendants appeared in the Quarterly of September 1969 (Whole No.67, pp. 1248-1255). 26.2.1 Noah Sparks, son of Amos Sparks and father of Nancy Ann, was living in Addison Township, Shelby County, Indiana, when the 1850 census was taken.] Nancy Ann Sparks, second daughter of Noah Sparks, was born December 12 or 17, 1829. in Warren County. Ohio. The family moved to Indiana between 1837 and 1841. according to the children's ages and where they were born as shown on the 1860 census of Shelby County. Indiana. page 811.

Nancy Ann married Robert Daniel Newman on August 7, 1848, just nine days after Robert was mustered out of the service at Madison. Indiana. He had served in the Mexican War from September 20, 1847, to July 28, 1848. They were married in the city of Franklin. Johnson County, Indiana, by Amos Sparks, minister of the Gospel, according to the marriage record. Amos Sparks was, of course, Nancy Ann's grandfather.

In 1850, Nancy Ann, age 21, and Robert Daniel Newman, age 20, were living in the Corporation of Shelbyville, Addison Township, according to the census of that year (page 349). He was a "tailor." Nancy's place of birth was Ohio.

Three children were born to Robert and Nancy Ann: Emma Jane Newman, born ca.1851. Robert Leroy Newman, born January 8. 1853. Minnie Amanda Newman, born ca. June 18, 1857.

by 1860, Nancy Ann and Robert D. had separated, and according to the 1860 census. Robert D. Newman was living with, and working as a laborer for Artemisia (Atemisia) Curry in Pleasant Township in Johnson County, Indiana. Robert Leroy Newman, age 6, was living with a Thomas Henderson in Franklin Township, Johnson County, Indiana. Nancy Ann, age 29, and her daughter, Amanda, age 3, were living with her father, Noah Sparks, age 53, (Noah was shown on this census as a cooper, i.e., a barrel and tub maker, and Nancy Ann was shown as a tailoress.) where Nancy Ann's daughter, Emma Jane, age 9, was in 1860 is not known at this time. No other female was shown in the household of Noah Sparks on the 1860 census, so it is assumed that his wife, Susan, was deceased. Other children living with Noah Sparks in 1860 were: Lafayette Sparks, age 23, cooper, born in Ohio. Theodore Sparks, age 19, cooper, born in Indiana. Meary [?] Sparks, age 16, born in Indiana. Herchele Sparks, age 14, born in Indiana. Laura B. Sparks, age 11, born in Indiana. James Sparks, age 8, born in Indiana.

There are discrepancies in spelling when the above names are compared with those listed in the family Bible, as shown on page 620 of the Quarterly.

Records of the Bethany Church, Indianapolis Presbytery, Indiana, show that in 1863 Nancy Newman was expiated, and in 1866 she was suspended from membership.

On June 10, 1867, Robert Daniel Newman obtained a divorce from Nancy Ann in Marion County, Indiana. (See Common Court of Pleas of Marion County, Book; 22, page 161, Case 3019.) Nancy Ann was not made aware of this. Two days later, Robert D. Newman married a Lezana New by, on June 12, 1867, by a justice of the peace. (See Marion County Marriage Book 9, page 659.) Emma Jane Newman, daughter of Nancy Ann, was baptized in 1869 at the Hurricane Baptist Church of Clark Township, Johnson County, Indiana. (This church had been constituted in February 1844 from an "Arm" of the First Baptist Church of Franklin, Indiana. ) Emma Jane was later dropped from membership in this church.

According to the census of 1870, Emma Jane Newman, age 19, was then living with a Charles Freeman family. Robert Leroy Newman, age 17, was living with an Isaac S. Henderson, and Amanda Newman, age 13, was living with a Samuel C. Crowell. The census of the 7th Ward of Marion County, Indiana, page 394, shows Nancy Newman, age 37, "Seamstress," born in Ohio, living with the A. Carol [ ? ] family.

The marriages of the three children of Nancy Ann were recorded in Johnson County, Indiana. On January 6, 1876, Robert Leroy Newman, age 23, married Martha Vanarsdall. On December 26, 1877, Minnie Amanda Newman, age 20, married James A. Berry. On August 16, 1882, Emma Jane Newman married Edghill B. Langston, merchant, age 42. He was of Union County, Indiana.

On February 7, 1887, Nancy Ann ["Anna"] (Sparks) Newman made a "Claim of Widows" for a Mexican War Service Pension. On November 3, 1887, her application was approved for $8.00 per month, commencing on January 29, 1887. She was then living in Franklin, Indiana. On March 1, 1887, Nancy Ann also filed a "Widow's Claim" for bounty land, but on April 6, 1887, her claim was rejected because Robert Daniel Newman had previously received a bounty land grant, on May 3, 1848, for 160 acres (Warrant 14,389).

Nancy Ann's whereabouts from November 1887 until 1900 are unknown. In 1900, now aged 68, she was shown on the census of that year as living with her daughter, Amanda, and husband, James A. Berry, at 812 Prospect Street in Indianapolis. Also living in the Berry household was their son, Homer H. Berry, born in January 1879; a daughter, Bertha E. Petty, born in November 1880; and a son-in-law, James W. Petty, who had been born in December 1875. The census taker recorded Nancy Ann's place of birth as Ohio, but indicated she had been born in December 1832 and that both of her parents had been born in Maryland. Errors of this nature frequently appear on census records, often because of confusion on the part of the person providing the information. She was shown correctly as the mother of three living children.

In 1901 and 1903, Nancy Ann was shown in an Indianapolis city directory as living at 623 S. Missouri Street. In 1904, she was shown, with "Wid. Robert" after her name, at 815 E. Wyoming Street, Indianapolis.

On May 10, 1905, while living in Room 23 at 1051 Virginia St., in Indianapolis, Nancy Ann was notified by the U. S. Pension Bureau that her $8.00 per month pension was being terminated because it had been found that she was not the legal widow of Robert Daniel Newman. She was given 30 days to rebut the charge. She sent a "letter of plea" to the commissioner of pensions on May 19, 1905, but to no avail.

City directories of Indianapolis show "Nancy Ann Newman (Wid. of Robert)" living at various addresses in 1906, 1907, and 1908. She last appears in a directory for 1909 as a boarder at 325 S. Noble in Indianapolis.

[Editor's Note: Mr. Newman has been unable to trace his great-great-grand- mother, Nancy Ann (Sparks) Newman, after 1909. He hopes to discover eventually her date of death and "her final resting place. " Can anyone help ? ]