April 20, 2018

Pages 5196-5197
Whole Number 187

(Picture)
JOHN K. CARMICHAEL. JR.
PRESIDENT OF THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION



As promised in the June 1999 issue of the Quarterly, an introduction to our new President is here provided. Again, your editor is most grateful to the Association's members who endorsed the recommendation that Mr. Carmichael assume this office following the death of Paul E. Sparks.

A member of the Sparks Family Association since 1966, "Jack" was born in Muncie, Indiana, where he attended public schools. After graduation from high school, he served a four-year enlistment in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Subsequently, he attended Indiana University, where he majored in government and minored in history, following which he received his degree in Political Science.

After teaching high school social studies a few years. Jack was asked by his Congressman to join his staff as Administrative Assistant. Following six years of work in Washington, he returned to Muncie as a candidate for the office of Clerk of Courts in Delaware County, of which Muncie is the county seat. He was successful in his candidacy and, after completion of his four-year term, he was recruited by Ball Corporation of Muncie to join that company as Government Affairs Manager. During his work there, he established a corporate-wide, governmental relations network.

For the past 15 years. Jack has been the bookkeeper at his church in Muncie, Hazelwood Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He also serves as congregational historian in that church, which was established in 1868, making it one of the older ones in that denomination that originated in Kentucky in the early 1800s.

Jack has been working on genealogy for more than 50 years, having begun his research while in high school, in order to trace his paternal Irish heritage. He is descended, on his paternal side, from families that settled in Delaware County in the mid-1820s and early 1830s, including Carmichael, Gibson, Mansfield, and Harrold.

On his maternal side, he is descended from families that settled in Jackson and Lawrence Counties, Indiana, while the state was still a territory. His known Sparks forebears begin with 32. Richard (the Elder) of Middlesex County, New Jersey, thence through the son, 32.1 James; James's son, Stephen; Stephen's daughter, Amanda Catherine, who married Villorous Wray; their son, James Anderson Wray; and his daughter, Gertie Irene, who married John K. Carmichael, Sr. Jack's other forebears who settled in Southern Indiana around the time of the War of 1812 included Harrell, Dixon, Fo(r)ster, and Laraway.

The life and family of Richard Sparks (ca.1720/25-1792), from whom Jack descends, was featured in the Quarterly of June 1999, Whole No. 186, beginning on page 5149. James Sparks, son of Richard, and his children and grandchildren, were the subject on a lengthy article in the Sep and December 1994 issues of the Quarterly, Whole Nos. 167 and 168. A sketch and photographs of Amanda Catherine Sparks and her husband, Villorous Wray, with a record of their family, appeared in the Sep 1994 issue, pp. 4348-51.

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