February 16, 2020

Pages 5472-5474
Whole Number 193


Matthew Addison Sparks (called Addison), Born August 2, 1850
Mary Elizabeth Sparks, Born September 28, 1851
(see pp.5472-73)


In the Quarterly of September 1977, Whole No.99, pp.1936-37, we published an abstract of the Civil War pension papers of Thomas Sparks, who was born ca. 1827 and died on September 18, 1864. He was a son of Matthew Brooks and Nancy (Sutton) Sparks. Thomas had been born in Bedford County, Tennessee. He had been married on July 2, 1848, to Sarah Ann Harp (sometimes spelled Harpe), in Morgan County, Illinois. On May 25, 1861, he had volunteered to serve in Company C, 14th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry commanded by Capt. A. H. Cornman. He gave his age then as 34.

Thomas Sparks made application for a Civil War pension on July 8, 1864, stating that in the fall of 1861 and the spring of 1862, while on duty in Missouri and Tennessee, he had contracted diabetes for which he had received a disablilty discharge.

Thomas Sparks was living in Girard, Illinois, when he made his application for a pension, and it was there that he died on September 19, 1864, before his application was acted upon. His widow, Sarah Ann (Harp) Sparks, then applied for a widow's pension on August 15, 1865, giving her age as 33.

The widowed mother of children under the age of 16 was entitled to an additional payment of $2.00 per child per month. Six of Sarah's children so qualified in 1865, but the eldest, a daughter named Harriet L. Sparks, was then over the age of 16. Except for Harriet, Sarah provided dates of birth for her children, as follow: Harriet L. Sparks, born ca. 1849. Matthew Addison Sparks, born August 2, 1850. (He was called Addison.) Mary Elizabeth Sparks, born September 28, 1851. William E. T. Sparks, born January 4, 1854. John S. Sparks, born March 25, 1856. Nancy E. Sparks, born July 27, 1860. George H. Sparks, born June 13, 1862.

Sarah Sparks's application was approved, and she drew a widow's pension until April .4:87:3 when she was married, second, to John A. Jackson. Her children had ceased receiving their allowance as they reached age 16, so only the two youngest, Nancy E. and George H., continued to qualify after their mother's second marriage, at which time her pension was cancelled.

On page 1937 of the September 1977 Quarterly, we gave information about George Sparks' ancestry. We will not repeat that here. Following her marriage to John A. Jackson in 1873, Sarah bore another child named Al Jackson. A photo of Sarah and this son appears below.

A great-granddaughter of Thomas and Sarah (Harp) Sparks, Thelma F. Christiansen, was a member of our Association from 1977 until her death at Hales Corners, Wisconsin, on December 2, 1999. Her mother was Mary E. Sparks. Recently Mrs. Christensen's daughter, Mrs. Elin Rogahn, sent us photographs found among the papers of her mother. We are pleased to reproduce them here. Those of Matthew Addison and Mary Elizabeth Sparks appear on the cover.


Sarah Ann (Harp) Sparks Jackson and her son, Al Jackson,
by her second husband, John A. Jackson

Page 5474


William E. T. Sparks, born 1854, Son of Thomas and Sarah Ann Sparks
John S. Sparks, born 1856, Son of Thomas and Sarah Ann Sparks
George H. Sparks, Son of Thomas and Sarah Ann Sparks