March 7, 2021

Pages 5267-5270
Whole Number 188


In the Quarterly of March 1979, Whole No. 105, appeared an article entitled "Descendants of 47. Nicholas Sparks (ca.1700-ca.1780) of Truro, Massachusetts." Elizabeth Marie Daggett descended from this Nicholas Sparks and his wife, Mary Ridley, in the following manner.

47.2 Nicholas Sparks, Jr., son of Nicholas and Mary (Ridley), was married at Truro, Massachusetts, on August 3, 1756, to Bethiah Rich, a daughter of Samuel and Bethiah (Arey) Rich. Nicholas, Jr. and Bethiah (Rich) Sparks lived in Truro until ca. 1780, by which time they had nine children. Nicholas, Jr. and his family then moved to Lincoln County, Maine (later Sagadahoc) where he settled at the town of Bowdoinham. Nicholas and his wife were shown on the 1800 census of Lincoln County, but not on the 1810 census, by which time they had probably died.

A son of Nicholas, Jr. and Bethiah (Rich) Sparks was 47.2.8 Samuel Sparks, born on July 16, 1775. (See p.2080 of the above cited Quarterly.) He had been a small boy when he accompanied his parents to Bowdoinham, and it was there ca. 1795 that he married Sarah Brown, daughter of Jonathan Brown. About 1819, Samuel moved with his family to St. Louis, Missouri, where he died soon thereafter.

Among the children of Samuel and Sarah (Brown) Sparks was a daughter named Sarah Sparks who was born at Bowdoinham on November 9, 1804. She was apparently a teenager when she accompanied her parents to St. Louis, and it was there that she was married on February 4, 1821, to John Dickinson Daggett. He had been born on October 4, 1793, at Attleboro, Massachusetts, a son of Benjamin and Polly (Guild) Daggett. Miniature paintings of this couple made about the time of their marriage were reproduced on page 2089 of the Quarterly. John D. Daggett became a wealthy and prominent citizen of St. Louis, serving as mayor in 1841; he was president of the gas company in St, Louis, and he helped to establish the city's river docks. He died on May 10, 1874; Sarah died on November 16, 1886. They were the parents of twelve children, the eldest of whom was Elizabeth Marie Daggett, born June 18, 1822. A photograph of John Dickinson Daggett appears on the following page.

In the Quarterly of March 1979, cited above, we noted that Elizabeth Marie Daggett, daughter of John D. and Sarah (Sparks) Daggett, whom we called "Eliza" had been born at St. Louis on June 18, 1822, and that she had been married there to William H. Ayres. A great-granddaughter of this couple, Mary Virginia Stokely McKillop (El Segundo, CA 90245) has sent us the following additional information, along with the photographs appearing on page 5269.

Elizabeth Marie Daggett and William Henry Ayres were married in 1843 in St. Louis. He was a son of Isaac and Emily, or Lucy, (Woodruff) Ayres. William H. Ayres purchased a farm from a Mrs. Nancy Taylor, sister of James C. Sutton, nine miles out from the city on Big Bend Road, St. Louis County. Elizabeth M. (Daggett) Ayres died in this home on September 19, 1859; William Henry Ayres died on April 2, 1872, from injuries suffered in a fall from his horse the year before. They were the parents of eight children: Benjamin Warren Ayres, He married Martha Samuels. He was shot accidentally by Sargent W. H. Blodgett near Pine and Garrison Ave. in St. Louis on January 10, 1877. Blodgett had dropped his pistol and it was discharged by the fall. Benjamin died twenty-four hours later. They were the parents of two daughters, Mable Daggett Ayres and Bennie Ayres.

Martha married (second) Dr. Watson Rannels. Robert Wallace Ayers Sarah Sparks Ayres. Josephine Meca Ayres. She died at the age of thirteen from scarlet fever. Harriett Helen Ayres. William Henry Ayres, Jr. Elizabeth Marie Ayres. She was born in 1859 and when but a few months old, her mother died. She was raised by her two aunts, Mary (Daggett) Shapleigh and Adele (Daggett) Renick. John Daggett Ayres. He was born August 8, 1846, and died on February 9, 1912. He married Kathryn Elizabeth Forse on June 4, 1874; she was a daughter of Albert Thomas and Catherine (Woodruff) Forse. John D. Ayres was superintendent of river boats up and down the Mississippi River. Their home was in Old Orchard, now Webster Groves, outside of St. Louis. They were the great-grandparents of Mary Virginia Stokely McKillop, who has also provided us with their photographs appearing on the following page. They were the parents of the following seven children: Albert Woodruff Ayres was born March 30, 1875. He married Olive I. Ringler on December 19, 1897; Benjamin Warren Ayres was born December 30, 1877. Edgar Wallace Ayres was born November 8, 1880, Mary Daggett Ayres was born August 6, 1883. She married Frank Pingree, and they moved to Montreal, Canada. Valentine Earl Ayres was born February 14, 1887, and died at birth. Bernice Mae Ayres was born August 8, 1894, and died in April 1992. As a young woman she went to San Diego, California, and there married Gregory P. Peck. They had one son, Eldred Gregory Peck, born on April 5, 1916. Be was reared in La Jolla, California. Married to Veronique Passani, he is Gregory Peck, the famous actor. He is the father of three children by his first wife, Greta Rice: Jonathan Gregory Peck (deceased); Stephen Joseph Peck; and Carey Paul Peck.

He and Veronique have two children, Anthony Ayres Peck and Cecilia Peck. Myrtle Adele Ayres was born November 26, 1889. Known as "Mert" to her family and as "Gomie" to her grandchildren, she is the grandmother of Mary Virginia Stokely McKillop, who has provided the information for this article. Myrtle married (first) a FNU Creveling by whom she had a son named Benjamin Warren Creveling.

After her divorce from her first husband, Myrtle was married (second) in 1913 to Charles G. Rannells by whom she had three daughters: Virginia Kathryn Rannells. She married George David Stokely; Mary Virginia Stokely. She married FNU McKillop Bernice Mae Rannells; and Myrtle Adell Rannells Hull.