Whole Number 165
by Paul E. Sparks
Two early Kentucky court records reveal a considerable amount of information about the life of 18.104.22.168.1.6 James Sparks (born ca. 1762, died ca. 1827), who lived in North Carolina, Virginia, and Kentucky. The first record was written in the Lawrence County, Kentucky, Court Book I, on January 16, 1826. Here is the document as it was recorded by the county clerk on pages 177-178.
James Sparks, an old Revolutionary soldier, preferred on oath a statement and declaratory relative to his services, praying to be placed on the pension list of the United States with an affidavit of his being in indigent circumstances accompanying the same, all of which are ordered to be recorded and certified to the Secretary of War, which is in the words and figures following, towit:
State of Kentucky, Lawrence County. On the 16th day of January 1826, personally appeared in open court, it being a court of records; it being made so by the laws of the state; it being solemnly adjudged so to be by the other tribunals of this state for the county aforesaid; James Sparks, a resident in said county, aged sixty-four years, who being first sworn in according to law, doth on his oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the provisions made by the Act of Congress of the 18th of March 1818, and the first of May 1820:
That he, the said James Sparks, enlisted for the term of eighteen months on the day of June 1780 in the state of North Carolina in a company commanded by Captain Gordon, in the regiment commanded by Col. Lewis, in the line of the state of North Carolina on the Continental establishment; that he continued to serve in said corps until December 1781 when he was discharged from the service in Surry County in the state of North Carolina; that he hereby relinquishes every claim whatsoever to a pension except the present; that his name is not on the roll of any state except Kentucky; and the following are the reasons for not making an earlier application for a pension, viz.:
I have always lived in a new part of the country which was thereby uninhabited and a considerable distance from any county seat and never before this time for ten years past have been at any court where I could get my business done and never knew what way to proceed to get myself enrolled on the pension list, and was always too poor to employ counsel to act for me.
In pursuance of the Act of Congress of the 1st of May 1820, I do solemnly swear that I was a resident of the United States on the 18th day of March 1818, and that I have not since that time, by gift, sale or in any other manner disposed of my property or any part thereof, with the intent thereby to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of the Act of Congress entitled, "An Act to Provide Certain Persons Engaged in the Land and Naval Service of the United States During the Revolutionary War," passed on the 18th of March 1818,
And that I have not, nor any persons in trust for me, any property or securities, contracts or debts due to me, nor have I any income other than what is contained in the schedule hereto annexed and by me subscribed, towit:
Two cows, worth not more than seven dollars each
$14.00 One yearling, worth not more than three dollars 3.00 Three calves, worth nor more than two dollars, each 6.00 Nine hogs and 11 pigs worth in all 20.00 Total $43.00 Signed James Sparks
That since the 18th day of March 1818, the following changes have been made in my property: At that time I had three cows which are the same over above mentioned and calves and yearlings above mentioned are the increase of those cows; that one of the cows not long since died on the range; that I have sold none since that time; that the hogs I have now are the increases of above three sows and pigs that I had at that time. They have had some pigs occasionally since which I have raised and killed for meat for my family, the number not now recollected; that I have sold none; that I have lived on a small piece of rented land and made use of all the profits except the rents for the support of my family; that my occupation is [sic] but from age and infirmity, I am unable to pursue; that my family consists of myself and wife, aged sixty-four years, named Mary; that I have no children living with me.
Signed James Sparks
Sworn to and declared on in open court on this 16th day of January 1826, before us the Justices of the Peace for Lawrence County, who, by virtue of our said offices, do hold and constitute this court, and that this court do certify that it is the opinion of this court that the value of the property continued in the foregoing schedule does not exceed $43.00, and that this court is satisfied from the evidence before us that the applicant has rendered the services to his country in his dedication set forth and that it is the opinion of this court that from the indigent circumstances of the said James Sparks that he does stand in need of the assistance of his country for support: All of which is ordered to be received and certified to the Secretary of War.
Signed: Thomas Thomson - Lewis Wellman - Joel Stratton
[Editor's Note: As stated by the Lawrence County clerk, James Sparks applied for a pension under two Acts of Congress, that of March 18, 1818, and that of May 1, 1820. The Act of 1818 had provided pensions for Revolutionary War veterans who had served in a Continental military organization (as opposed to local militia units), for at least nine months or until the war's end. Veterans who could prove their service could apply even though they had suffered no disabilities, but considered themselves to be in need of financial assistance. Many more veterans applied for, and were granted, pensions under this 1818 Act than Congress had anticipated, and it came to be widely believed that a large number of these pensioners were not actually in need of financial aid from the federal government. The Act of 1820 was passed by Congress, therefore, in an effort to eliminate non-deserving veterans from the pension rolls as well as to prevent others from applying. The 1820 Act required everyone who had been approved for a pension under the 1818 law now to justify his pension by submitting to the Secretary of War a certified list of his possessions as well as a statement regarding his annual income to prove his poverty. A large number of veterans who had begun receiving pensions under the 1818 law were removed from the pension rolls as a result of the 1820 law. New applicants, such as James Sparks, were required, of course, to submit this information. This explains why James Sparks described his financial situation in such detail.]
It appears that the application of James Sparks for a pension based on his military service in the Revolutionary War was never acted upon, or perhaps it was never actually sent to the Secretary of War, whose office was then in charge of military pensions. The National Archives can find no evidence of the service of James Sparks. It may have been discovered that the military unit with which he had served consisted only of militiamen and thus not "of the Continental establishment," or he may may have died shortly after completing his application. When the 1830 census was taken of Lawrence County, James Sparks was not shown as heading a household there, nor was he enumerated as a member of the household of his son, Jesse Sparks, who was then living in Lawrence County. James Sparks did not appear on the tax roll of Lawrence County after 1825.
The second court record which pertains indirectly to James Sparks was written twenty years later, on June 8, 1846, by the clerk of the Carter County (Kentucky) Court, for the purpose of obtaining bounty land for the heirs of James Sparks, Jr. of Lee County, Virginia. James Sparks, Jr., son of James Sparks (ca.1762-ca.1827), had served in the United States Army from 1812 until his death on July 17, 1816. James Sparks, Jr. apparently had no children (he probably never married), and his heirs, who became entitled to bounty land based on his service in the War of 1812, were his siblings. Named as heirs of James Sparks, Jr. in this court record of 1846 were his brothers, Ephraim Sparks, William Sparks, Solomon Sparks, and Jesse Sparks; his sisters, Leia Sparks and Nancy Sparks; and his half-sister, Rebecca Sparks. Pertinent portions of the bounty land file identifying these siblings of James Sparks, Jr. as his heirs were abstracted and published in the March 1961 issue of The Sparks Quarterly, Whole No. 33, pp. 542-43.
There can be little doubt that James Sparks (ca.1762-ca.1827), subject of this article, was a son of William and Ann Sparks who went to North Carolina ca. 1764 from Frederick County, Maryland. They settled in Rown County where William Sparks bought a 200-acre tract of land in the Forks of the Yadkin (now Davie County, North Carolina) from his brother, Matthew Sparks, on April 12, 1765. (Matthew and other members of the Sparks family had gone from Frederick County, Maryland, to the Forks of the Yadkin a decade earlier.) William Sparks lived there until January 1773 when he moved with several of his children to Surry County, North Carolina. There he settled on Hunting Creek, and it was there that he lived for the remainder of his life. He died during the winter of 1801-1802. Ann, his wife, survived him, but we have no information regarding the date of her death. Among their ten children was James Sparks, born ca. 1762. (For further details regarding the family of William and Ann Sparks, see the December 1989 and the June 1991 issues of the Quarterly, Whole Nos. 148 and 154, respectively.)
James Sparks (ca.1762-ca.1827) was born in Frederick County, Maryland, and carried as an infant to Rowan County, North Carolina, by his parents, William and Ann Sparks. He was about eleven years old when he moved with his parents from the Forks of the Yadkin, then still part of Rowan County, to Surry County, in 1773. When the Revolutionary War broke out, he was one of many young men who took an oath of allegiance to North Carolina, marking its separ- ation from the British Empire. On a list that has been preserved of those taking this oath, there is the following entry: "James Sparks, son of William Sparks." (See North Carolina Archives File No. 92.701.11) It was also at about this time that 22.214.171.124.1.6 James Sparks married Mary LNU. She may have been a widow with a young daughter.
James Sparks (ca.1762-ca.1827) apparently lived near the boundary line between Wilkes and Surry Counties, and he paid taxes at times in both counties. He paid taxes in Wilkes County from 1782 to 1786 and in Surry County from 1792 to 1800; however, he was not listed on the 1790 or the 1800 census as heading a household in either county. On July 23, 1787, the Wilkes County Court ordered him, along with fourteen of his neighbors, to "view" [i.e., work on] the road "from where Oar Road crosses the Surry County line near Hunting Creek to the Salisbury Road below the Old Store and along said road to the county line; likewise the road where new runs at Hunting Creek above Peter Goods to said road between said Goods and the Old Store." When the Wilkes County Court met on April 19, 1788, James Sparks was one of sixteen men ordered to "view road through land [of] Thomas Dickson on New River instead of present road."
When the Surry County Court met on May 12, 1791, James Sparks was one of eighteen men "to view, mark and lay off a road the nearest and best way from the end of the Fox Knob to Wm T. Lewis' Mill on Spence's Creek from thence into whats called Mine Hole Road and from said mill to the Iron Works and make report thereof to next court." Also serving on this detail was James's father, "Wm Sparks Senr.," and two of his brothers, William Sparks, Jr. and Thomas Sparks. They made their report to the court on August 10, 1791.
by 1804, James Sparks had moved his family to Grayson County, Virginia, where he paid a personal property tax. He also paid taxes there the following year, but by 1806, he was in the Upper District in Washington County, Vir- ginia. He paid taxes there from 1806 to 1809.
On August 1, 1808, James Sparks bought 30 acres of land on the North Fork of New River in Ashe County, North Carolina, from James Hurley. Hurley was described in the deed as "of Sullivan County, Tennessee," while Sparks was described as "of Washington County, Virginia." The consideration was $30.00. Sparks apparently moved to the newly-acquired land, for he was listed on the 1810 census of Ashe County. He was shown in the "over 45" age category; his wife was enumerated as between 26 and 45. Living in the household were two males, both aged between 16 and 26, and one male and one female aged 10 to 16. Living nearby was W. Sparks, aged 16 to 26, with his household.
James Sparks (ca.1762-ca.1827), the subject of this article, should not be confused with two of his contemporaries, also named James Sparks, who lived in this same section of North Carolina. One of them was his uncle, James Sparks, who had probably been born ca. 1735 in Maryland who had moved to the Forks on the Yadkin ca. 1754. He served on the May 1756 court in Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina. He was a chain bearer on a survey of a tract of land granted to his brother, Matthew Sparks, on December 16, 1760, in Rowan County. He paid taxes in Rowan County in 1768 and 1772, and in Surry County in 1774 and 1776. This James Sparks also served in the Revolutionary War according to testimony given by his nephew, William Sparks, in 1846. (See the June 1954 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 2, pp. 36-38.) He probably died shortly after his military service.
The other James Sparks with whom our present subject should not be confused was the James born ca. 1767 who died ca. 1835 and who was a son of Matthew and Sarah (Thompson) Sparks; thus he was a first cousin of James Sparks (ca.1762-ca.1827), subject of this article. We have found few records pertaining to James Sparks, son of Matthew and Sarah Sparks. He was born ca. 1767, probably in Rowan County, North Carolina. He was married ca. 1791, but we have not learned the name of his wife. He paid taxes on 100 acres of land in Surry County, North Carolina, in 1792, 1793, and 1794, and he was listed on the 1800 census of Surry County. He appeared on the 1810 census of Wilkes County, but in 1820 and 1830 he was in Burke County, North Carolina. According- to these censuses, he appears to have had eight children, five daughters and three sons. There is some evidence that his sons were named Hardy, Alien, and Absolom. He probably died ca. 1835 in Burke County.
by 1811, James Sparks (ca.1762-ca.1827), the subject of the present article, now designated as Senior, had returned to Virginia and was in Lee County where he paid a personal property tax. There were other persons named Sparks who also paid taxes there that year. They were James Sparks, Jr., William Sparks, and Absalom Sparks. It was in the following year, 1812, that James Sparks, Jr. enlisted in the United States Army to serve five years. As noted earlier, he died in service on July 17, 1816.
We have found few records of 126.96.36.199.1.6 James Sparks (ca.1762-ca.1827), or of his family, in Lee County, Virginia. He paid personal property taxes there from 1811 to 1814. His son, Ephraim, paid personal property taxes there in 1813 and 1814, and his son, William, paid taxes there in 1811 and 1812. We have found no records of marriages, wills, or administrations of persons named Sparks in early Lee County, and there are only two land transactions recorded there involving persons named Sparks. The deeds involve William Sparks, son of James, who bought 100 acres of land in 1816 and sold the tract three years later.
The last record we have found in Virginia of James Sparks (ca.1762-ca.1827) is the 1820 census of Lee County. by the time this census was taken, his son, Jesse Sparks, had been married and had brought his bride into his parents's home. He was listed as the head of the household. In the meantime, a brother of James Sparks, Thomas Sparks (born ca.1766), had moved to Lee County, and Thomas' family was enumerated on the 1820 census. It was also about this time that the brothers made plans to move to the Big Sandy River region of eastern Kentucky, a move which they made the following year. They settled in the newly-formed Lawrence County. (For biographical material on Thomas Sparks, see the Quarterly of December 1991, Whole No. 156, beginning on page 3853.)
When James Sparks left Lee County, Virginia, and moved with his son, Jesse Sparks, to Lawrence County, Kentucky, he was probably accompanied by his daughter, Nancy, and her husband, Joshua Pennington. His son, James Sparks, Jr., had died in the U.S. Army in 1816, as noted above. Rebecca Sparks, named as a half-sister of James Sparks, Jr., left no records so far as we have been able to determine; she may have been a step-daughter rather than a daughter, of James. Ephraim Sparks, eldest son of James, remained in Virginia until ca. 1832 when he moved to Perry County, Kentucky. William Sparks, son of James, continued to live in Virginia until ca. 1825 when he moved to White County, Tennessee. Solomon Sparks, son of James, apparently remained in Washington County, Virginia, for the rest of his life. No records have been found of Leia Sparks, daughter of James Sparks (ca.1762-ca.1827).
188.8.131.52.1.6.1 Ephraim Sparks, son of James Sparks, was born ca. 1781 in North Carolina. The earliest record we have found of him is the 1807 personal property tax list of Washington County, Virginia. He continued to pay taxes there until 1812, and he was also listed on the 1820 census of that county. Apparently, he was married ca. 1803. His wife's given name was Charlotte MNU Sparks, but we have not learned her maiden name. She was born ca. 1788 in North Carolina.
In 1813, Ephraim Sparks paid personal property taxes in Lee County, Vir- ginia, but when the 1820 census was taken, he was listed in Scott County, Virginia. (Scott County was formed in 1814 from portions of Washington and Lee Counties.) by 1827, he was back in Lee County where he paid taxes until 1831 and also was listed on the 1830 census of that county.
Ephraim Sparks apparently left Lee County ca. 1832 and moved to Kentucky where he settled in a portion of Perry County which became part of Breathitt County in 1839. It was in Perry County that two of his sons were married, but when the 1840 census was taken, Ephraim's household was enumerated in Breathitt County. Then, in 1843, when Owsley County was formed, Ephraim Sparks was in that portion of Breathitt County which became a part of Owsley. He paid taxes in Owsley County in 1844 and was listed on the 1850 census there. His age in 1850 was given as 69 years, while his wife. Charlotte, was 62 years of age. They lived in House No. 213, according to the census taker's numbering. Their daughter, Phoebe, lived in House No. 212; their son, Ephraim, Jr., lived in House No. 214; and another daughter, Mary Ann, lived in House 220.
Ephraim and Charlotte Sparks apparently died between 1850 and 1860. They were the parents of eight children, three sons and five daughters, according to the census records and information given by descendants. We have been able to identify all of them except three daughters.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Mary Ann Sparks was born ca. 1803 in Lee County, Virginia. She had seven children:
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 Harvey LNU
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2 Solomon LNU
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.3 John D. LNU
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.4 Tobias LNU
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.5 Margaret LNU
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.6 Phoebe LNU, and
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.7 Lucy LNU.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Daughter Sparks whom we have been unable to identify was born ca. 1805. She may have been the Nancy Sparks, born 1800-10, listed on the 1830 census of Lee County, Virginia.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Phoebe Sparks was born ca. 1807 in Virginia. She married John D. Spencer, and they had seven children:
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 Nancy Spencer,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2 Josiah Spencer,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.3 Charlotte Spencer,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.4 John Spencer,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.5 David Spencer,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.6 Issac Spencer, and
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.7 George Spencer.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Daughter Sparks whom we have been unable to identify was born ca. 1809.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 James Sparks was born ca. 1810 in Virginia. He married a widow named Temperance (Lusher) Spencer, and they had eight children:
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 John Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2 Phoebe Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.3 Charlotte Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.4 Nancy Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.5 Ephraim Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.6 Cordelia Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.7 Temperance Sparks, and
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.8 Eveline Sparks.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 William T. Sparks was born ca. 1813 in Virginia. He married Minerva Jane Johnson, and they had nine children:
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 Benjamin Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2 Abby Jane Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.3 Margaret Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.4 Charlotte Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.5 Mary Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.6 Ephraim Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.7 William Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.8 Sylvester Sparks, and
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.9 John Sparks.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Daughter Sparks whom we have been unable to identify was born ca. 1816.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Ephraim Sparks, Jr. was born ca. 1818 in Virginia. His wife was named Sarah LNU, and they had at least four children:
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1 Martha Ann Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2 Nancy Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.3 Jeptha Sparks, and
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.4 Armilda Sparks.
18.104.22.168.1.6.2 William Sparks was born ca. 1783, probably in North Carolina. (On the 1860 census, his birthplace was given as Virginia.) He paid taxes on his personal property in Washington County in 1806, and it was about this time that he married Rhoda Pennington. She had been born ca. 1789 in North Carolina. The young couple apparently followed William's father, James Sparks, to Ashe County, North Carolina, for they appeared there on the 1810 census.
William Sparks did not remain long in Ashe County, but returned to Washington County where he paid taxes from 1811 to 1824. He also appeared on the 1820 census of that county. by that time, six children had been born to the marriage, three sons and three daughters.
(There were two William Sparkses listed on the 1820 census of Washington County, Virginia. William Sparks, son of James Sparks, was the one shown with a son born prior to 1810.)
On March 28, 1816, William Sparks, now "of Lee County," bought 100 acres of land, located on the West Fork of Blackwater Creek side of Powells Mountain, from John and Prudence Williams, also "of Lee County." The land was about seven miles southwest of the Lee County courthouse and was probably near the present-day village of Blackwater. The consideration was $300. (Blackwater Creek should not be confused with Blackwater River which is located in Eastern Virginia.)
William Sparks may have moved to this propety, but, if so, he did not remain there very long. On November 11, 1819, he sold the tract to William Chumley, of Green County, Tennessee, for $230. Records indicate that Chumley did not finish paying for the land until 1841, and that Sparks retained title to the land and also paid the taxes, although during most of the time he was a resident of Tennessee.
As stated above, William Sparks was in Washington County, Virginia, when the 1820 census was taken, but ca. 1825 he moved his family to White County, Tennessee, where he paid taxes that year. It was also there that he was listed on the 1830, 1840, and 1850 censuses, and it is where he bought land in 1843. According to census enumerations, he and Rhoda ap- pear to have had twelve children.
Putnam County, Tennessee, was formed in 1852 from parts of White, Smith, and DeKalb Counties, and the part of White County in which William Sparks lived became a part of the new county. When the 1860 census was taken of Putnam County, he was listed as 77 years of age, and Rhoda's age was given as 71 years.
It is obvious that Rhoda and William Sparks were the persons whose names were stitched on the "Tree-of-Life quilt" that was pictured and described in the December 1956 issue of The Sparks Quarterly, Whole No. 16, and in the September 1982 issue. Whole No. 119. According to the data preserved on the quilt, William died on March 2, 1869. Rhoda survived him by two years, dying on October 26, 1871. A brief record of their children follows; for a more detailed record, see the Quarterly of September 1982, Whole No. 119, pp. 2456-57.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Ephraim Sparks was born ca. 1809 in Washington County, Virginia. He was married ca. 1835 in White County, Tennessee, to Elizabeth LNU. They had four children:
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.1 James Sparks,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.2 Solomon Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.3 Joseph Sparks, and
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.4 Sarah Sparks.
After Elizabeth's death ca. 1846, Ephraim married (second) a widow, Lydia White, and they had one child:
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.5 Henry Clay Sparks.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 James Sparks was born ca. 1810 in Virginia. He married Luvania (or Larena) LNU ca. 1832. They had ten children:
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.1 Martha Sparks,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.2 Mary Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.3 Andrew Sparks,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.4 Jane Sparks,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.5 Charles Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.6 Celia Sparks,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.7 Catherine Sparks,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.8 Rhoda Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.9 Lucinda Sparks, and
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.10 James Sparks, Jr.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Jacob Sparks was born ca. 1811 in Virginia. He was married on December 31, 1841, to Minerva Jay in White County, Tennessee. They were the parents of five children:
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1 William Sparks,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.2 Catherine Sparks,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.3 Amanda Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.4 Adeline Sparks, and
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.5 Caroline Sparks.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Margaret ["Peggy"] Sparks was born May 19, 1814, in Virginia. She married Isaac Bumbalough ca. 1834, and they had eight children:
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1 Susan Bumbalough,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.2 Leah Ann Bumbalough,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.3 William Bumbalough,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.4 Levi Bumbalough,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.5 Jesse Bumbalough,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.6 Elijah Bumbalough,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.7 Sylvester Bumbalough, and
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.8 James Bumbalough.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Rebecca ["Becky"] Sparks was born October 24, 1815, in Virginia. She married Lania (probably Lanier) Randolph ca. 1845, and they had at least six children, according to census records:
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1 James Randolph,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.2 Joseph Randolph,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.3 C. R. Randolph,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.4 Jesse Randolph,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.5 Nancy Randolph, and
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.6 Phoebe Randolph.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Mary ["Polly"] Sparks was born ca. 1818. She married Alfred Southart on October 2, 1838, in White County, Tennessee. According to census records, they had at least six children:
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.1 William Southart,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.2 John Southart,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.3 James Southart,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.4 Mary Jane Southart,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.5 Rhoda Southart, and
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.6 Alfred Southart.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Phoebe Sparks was born on March 31, 1821. She married James Scarbrough in White County, Tennessee, on October 14, 1839, and when the 1860 census was taken, they were shown with five children:
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.1 Susan Scarbrough,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.2 John Scarbrough,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.3 William Scarbrough,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.4 James Scarbrough, and
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.5 Margaret Scarbrough.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Levi Sparks was born ca. 1826 in Tennessee. On February 19, 1850, he married Mary Hennessee, a widow with four children. They had one child:
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.1 John Sparks.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Joseph Sparks was born ca. 1826 in Tennessee. He married Mary Watson ca.1856. They had at least one child
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.1 William D. Sparks.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 William Sparks, Jr. was born on April 3, 1828, in Tennessee. On March 30, 1851, he married Rachel Delina Lee in White County, Tennessee. They had ten children:
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1 Nancy Sparks,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.2 Mary Jane Sparks,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.3 Thadeus Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.4 Thessaly Sparks,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.5 John Sparks,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.6 Margaret Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.7 Rhoda Sparks,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.8 Henry Sparks,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.9 Joseph Sparks, and
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.10 Martha Sparks.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Solomon Sparks was born in September 1830 in Tennessee. He was married three times. His first marriage was to Sarah Sloane, by whom he had four children:
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.1 Vica Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.2 Elizabeth Sparks,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.3 William Sparks, and
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.4 James L. Sparks
His second wife was Malissa Jackson, and they had two children:
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.1 John Thomas Sparks and
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.2 Mary Sparks.
Malissa died ca. 1871, and Solomon married (third) Permelia ["Milly"] Jackson, a sister of his second wife, and to this union were born eleven children:
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.1 James T. Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.2 Josiah Sparks,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.3 Lewis Sparks,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.4 Sarah Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.5 Jennie Sparks,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.6 Morgan Sparks,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.7 Joseph Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.8 Levi Sparks,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.9 Enoch Sparks,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.10 Robert Sparks, and
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.11 Cora B. Sparks
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Sarah Sparks was born ca. 1833 in Tennessee. Apparently, she never married.
220.127.116.11.1.6.3 Leia Sparks was born ca. 1785. We have learned nothing further about her.
18.104.22.168.1.6.4 Solomon Sparks was born ca. 1788 in North Carolina. He married Susan LNU ca. 1814, and when the 1820 census was taken of Washington County, Virginia, they appear to have had two sons and two daughters, all born between 1810 and 1820. Solomon paid personal property taxes in Washington County from 1815 to 1830; however he did not appear on the 1830 census as heading a household there, nor have we found him on the 1830 census of any other county. He did appear on the 1840 census of Smyth County, Virginia, however, but by 1850, he was back in Washington County, Virginia. On that census, six of his children, born between 1825 and 1839, were shown as born in North Carolina, according to information given to the census taker; however, we have found no record of him in that state during that period of time.
Although it seems highly probable that Solomon Sparks lived in and around Washington County, Virginia, most of his life, we have found only one record of him among that county's files. On January 14, 1836, he gave a deed of trust to John Ramage, also of Washington County, in order to secure an obligation which he (Sparks) apparently owed to Alexander McCall in the amount of $172.86. Sparks pledged his crops, his farm implements, and his household goods to secure the loan which he promised to pay on or before January 15, 1837. Sparks made his mark on this deed, while Ramage signed his name. Two of Solomon's sons, Solomon Sparks, Jr. and Jacob Sparks, and a nephew, Ephraim Sparks, witnessed the transaction.
Susan Sparks, wife of Solomon, apparently died prior to 1850, for she was not listed on the 1850 census of Washington County. Solomon was listed as head of his family, and six of his eleven children were living with him. He died sometime after 1860, probably in Knox County, Tennessee, where he was living with his son, James Sparks, and family. We have been unable to identify two of the children of Solomon and Susan Sparks.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Jacob Sparks was born ca. 1815. He married Elizabeth Thomas, and apparently they had two children:
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.1 Solomon Sparks and
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.2 Joseph Sparks.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Daughter Sparks born ca. 1816.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Solomon Sparks, Jr. was born ca. 1816 in Virginia. He married Margaret ["Peggy"] Brimm, and they had eleven children:
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.1 Matilda Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.2 Francis M. Sparks,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.3 Mary Sparks,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.4 Minerva Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.5 William Sparks,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.6 Edwin Sparks,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.7 Justine Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.8 Martha Sparks,
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.9 Robert Sparks,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.10 John Sparks, and
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.11 David Sparks.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Daughter Sparks born ca. 1819.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Joseph Sparks was born ca. 1825 in Virginia. We have no further information about him.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 James Sparks was born ca. 1827 in North Carolina. He married Julia Ann LNU ca. 1850 and they had at least four children:
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.1 Sarah Sparks,
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.2 Margaret Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.3 Harriet Sparks, and
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.4 Minerva Sparks.
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 Nicholas Sparks was born ca. 1830 in North Carolina. In 1860, he was living next door to his brother, James Sparks, in Knox County, Tennessee. We have no further knowledge of him.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Henry Sparks was born ca. 1833 in North Carolina. We have no further information about him.
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206 Ephraim Sparks was born ca. 1835 in North Carolina. He married Milly McNew, and they had at least three children:
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.1 Susan Sparks,
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.2 Rachel Sparks, and
188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.3 Mary V. Sparks
220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168 William Sparks was born ca. 1837 in North Carolina. We have no further information about him.
22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199 Susan Sparks was born ca. 1839 in North Carolina. We have no further information about her.
188.8.131.52.1.6.5 Nancy Sparks was born ca. 1794, probably in North Carolina, although her birthplace was given as Virginia on the 1860 census of Johnson County, Kentucky. She married Joshua Pennington in 1815 in Lee County, Virginia. He had been born ca. 1790 in Virginia. It seems quite probable that Joshua and Nancy followed her father to eastern Kentucky where they settled in that part of Floyd County which became a part of Johnson County in 1843. It was there that Nancy died on March 15, 1878. According to her death record, she was 87 years old.
In all probability, Joshua and Nancy (Sparks) Pennington had eight children, or perhaps more. We have been able to make positive identification of only four of them, but have included three others in the following list whom we believe were probably theirs.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 William Pennington was born ca. 1816. He married Martha Blanton, and they had at least six children:
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 Joshua Pennington,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2 George Pennington,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.3 Levi Pennington,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.4 Mary Pennington,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.5 Jesse Pennington, and
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.6 David Pennington.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 David Pennington, probable son of Joshua and Nancy (Sparks) Pennington, was born ca. 1821 in Virginia. He married Malinda LNU and they had seven children:
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1 Ava Pennington,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2 Milton Pennington,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.3 Armacinda Pennington,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.4 Daniel Pennington,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.5 Jenetta Pennington,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.6 Perlina Pennington, and
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.7 William Pennington.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Rachel Pennington, probable daughter of Joshua and Nancy (Sparks) Pennington, was born ca. 1826, probably in Kentucky. She married FNU Jenkins. We have no further information about her.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 James Pennington, probable son of Joshua and Nancy (Sparks) Pennington, was born ca. 1828 in Kentucky. He married Nancy Fairchild, and they had at least four children:
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1 Catherine Pennington,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2 Abner Pennington,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.3 William Pennington, and
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.4 Nathan Pennington.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Levi Pennington was born on December 26, 1832, in Kentucky. He married Micha Francis Lemaster, and they had nine children:
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 John Pennington,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2 Nancy Pennington,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.3 William Pennington,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.4 Mary Pennington,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.5 James Pennington,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.6 Rebecca Pennington,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.7 Moses Pennington,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.8 Albert Pennington, and
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.9 Sarah Pennington.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Jesse Pennington was born ca. 1835 in Kentucky. When the 1860 census was taken of Johnson County, Kentucky, his parents were living in his household. He married Polly LNU, and they had at least four children:
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1 David Pennington,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2 Nancy Pennington,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.3 William Pennington, and
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.4 Claborn Pennington.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Margaret Pennington was born ca. 1837. She married Fleming Russell. She died in Johnson County, Kentucky, on February 4, 1878, at the age of forty. She had no children.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Claiborn Pennington was born ca. 1838/39. He married Sarah Lemaster on October 30, 1858, and they had eight children:
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1 Sarah Pennington,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2 Rebecca Pennington,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.3 William Pennington,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.4 John Pennington,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.5 Elizabeth Pennington,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.6 James Pennington,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.7 George Pennington, and
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.8 David Pennington.
18.104.22.168.1.6.6 James Sparks was born ca. 1790. He paid personal property taxes in Lee County, Virginia, in 1811 and in 1812. On July 28, 1812, he enlisted at Jonesville, Virginia, in Captain Archer's Company of Artillery, United States Army, to serve for a period of five years. He served until his death on July 17, 1816. Thirty years later, his heirs (brothers and sisters) were granted 160 acres of bounty land for his service during the War of 1812. (See the March 1961 issue of THE SPARKS Quarterly, Whole No. 33, for an abstract of his bounty land file.)
22.214.171.124.1.6.7 Jesse Sparks was born ca. 1797, probably in North Carolina, although his birthplace was given as Virginia on the 1860 census of Carter County, Kentucky. The earliest record we have found of him is his entry on the 1820 census of Lee County, Virginia, on which he was listed as the head of his household. Also living in his household was an elderly couple whom we believe to have been his parents.
Jesse was apparently married ca. 1817, probably in Lee County. His wife's name was Nancy, but we have not learned her maiden name. She had been born ca. 1800 in North Carolina. Shortly after the 1820 census was taken, Jesse and Nancy moved to Lawrence County, Kentucky, where he was one of the first taxpayers in the newly-formed county. (Other taxpayers name SPARKS were: James, Thomas, Sr., Thomas, Jr., Alien, Levi, George, and Jonathan.)
Jesse Sparks settled on Big Blaine Creek where he bought fifty acres of land in 1825. He bought an additional fifty acres in 1830 and still another fifty acres in 1832, but in 1833 he sold all of his land and moved across the ridge of hills which divides the watersheds of the Big Sandy River from the Little Sandy River. There, on May 21, 1834, he was issued a warrant for 300 acres for land on the Powder Mill branch of Little Caney Creek. When Carter County was formed in 1838, that portion of Lawrence County in which he lived became a part of Carter County. He appeared on the 1840, 1850, and 1860 censuses of Carter County.
On May 15, 1840, Jesse obtained an additional 100 acres of land on the north fork of Little Caney Creek. Five years later, he and Nancy sold their 300-acre tract to Richard Whitt. Then, in 1869, they disposed of the rest of their land. We have found no further records of this couple; apparently, they died shortly after this last sale of their land in 1869, for they did not appear on any 1870 census.
Neither Jesse nor Nancy left a will, nor have we found any administrative records of the settlement of their estate. From census records and information furnished by their descendants, we have what we believe to be a complete list of their children. There were thirteen of them.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Mary ["Polly"] Sparks was born ca. 1819 in Virginia. She married Morgan Fultz, and they had thirteen children:
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1 Daniel Fultz,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2 Barbara Fultz,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.3 Jesse Fultz,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.4 Nancy Fultz,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.5 Priscilla Fultz,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.6 John Fultz,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.7 J. L. (male) Fultz,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.8 Charles Fultz,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.9 Colonel Fultz,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.10 Mary Ann Fultz,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.11 Roseanna Fultz,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.12 Eli Fultz, and
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.13 Amanda Fultz.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Solomon Sparks was born ca. 1820 in Virginia. He was married twice. He and his first wife, Nancy Skaggs, had five children:
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1 Peter Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2 Annanias Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.3 Nancy Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.4 Jesse Sparks, and
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.5 Mary Sparks.
His second wife was Helen Birchfield, and they had children named
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.6 Lewis Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.7 Sarah Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.8 Rebecca Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.9 Amanda Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.10 Lindsay Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.11 John Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.12 Solomon Sparks, Jr.,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.13 Roseman (or Margaret) Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.14 Ulysses Grant ["Lester"] Sparks, and
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.15 William Sparks.
(See pp. 4278-80 for an abstract of pension papers pertaining to Solomon's service in the Civil War.)
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 James Sparks was born ca. 1822 in Kentucky. He died in 1855, apparently without having had children. He was probably the James Sparks who married Susan Whitt.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 John Sparks was born ca. 1824 in Kentucky. He married Lucinda Waggoner, and they had ten children:
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 Thomas Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2 Jesse Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.3 Elizabeth Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.4 Mary Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.5 Colonel Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.6 Jane Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.7 Samuel Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.8 Frederick Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.9 Hannah Sparks, and
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.10 Nancy Sparks.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Thomas Sparks was born March 11, 1827, in Lawrence County, Kentucky. He married Dianna Sparks, and they had nine children:
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1 Sarah Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2 Jesse Alien Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.3 Richard Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.4 Thomas Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.5 William Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.6 Nelson Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.7 Clarinda Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.8 Nancy Sparks, and
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.9 Perlina Sparks.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Daniel Sparks was born ca. 1828. We have no further information about him.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Isaac Sparks was born ca. 1830. He married a widow named Nancy Jones, and they had four children:
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1 James Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2 Eli Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.3 Moses Sparks, and
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.4 Amanda Sparks.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Rebecca Sparks was born ca. 1831. She married John Birchfield, and they had five children:
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 Martha Birchfield,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2 John Birchfield,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.3 James Birchfield,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.4 Mary Birchfield, and
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.5 George Birchfield.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Elizabeth Sparks was born ca. 1833. She married Daniel Sparks, and they had ten children:
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 Alien Jesse Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2 Nancy Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.3 Bruce Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.4 Rachel Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.5 Eli Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.6 Sarah Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.7 Louisa Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.8 James Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.9 John Sparks, and
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.10 Henry Sparks.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Jesse Sparks, Jr. was born ca. 1835. He apparently never married.
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11 Eda G. Sparks was born March 24, 1838. She had four children:
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.1 Sabra LNU,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.2 Sarah LNU,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.3 Eliza LNU, and
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.4 Andrew LNU.
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Eli Alexander Sparks, a twin of Eda G. Sparks, was born March 24, 1838. He married Rebecca Rice, and they had seven children:
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.1 Isabella Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.2 Amanda Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.3 Boone Sparks,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.4 Mary Ellen Sparks,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.5 John Sparks,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.6 Sarah Sparks, and
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.7 Fleming Sparks.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 Sarah Jane Sparks was born September 16, 1839. She married Frederick M. Mauk, and they had ten children:
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.1 Margaret Mauk,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.2 Andrew Mauk,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.3 Mary Mauk,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.4 Antha Mauk,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.5 John Mauk,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.6 Peter Mauk,
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.7 Rebecca Mauk,
184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.8 Melvina Mauk,
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.9 Sarah Mauk, and
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.10 Frederick Mauk, Jr.