April 7, 2018

Pages 5544-5551
Whole Number 194

SPARKS DEATHS FOUND ON CENSUS MORTALITY SCHEDULES
OF INDIANA



Besides the "population schedules" of the U.S . Census taken every ten years since 1790, additional data were gathered in various census years on separate forms (or schedules). These include records pertaining to agriculture, industry, manufacturing, slave ownership, etc. In the census years 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880, census takers were directed to inquire in each household visited whether a death had occurred during the previous year. A special form was provided census takers on which to record this information. The "previous year," or census year as it was called, was the 12-month period from the previous June 1st to May 31st, the "census day" being June 1st of the year in which the census was to be taken. (Regardless of the date on which the census taker visited a household, he was to record its living population as of June 1st, i.e., the "census day.")

Whereas copies of the population schedules are preserved today at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., with those before 1920 having been microfilmed and available for genealogical and historical research, the non-population census records are not all in one central depository, the Bureau of the Census having offered them to the individual states to preserve, if wanted, in 1918-19. The mortality schedules for Indiana are in the Indiana State Library.

Because the forms (schedules) on which deaths were recorded were/are separate from the population schedules, and because the data were based on deaths in the family during the previous year, there were many omissions. A census taker might simply have forgotten to ask whether anyone in the family had died during the 12 months prior to June 1st, or the person interviewed might have forgotten whether a family member had died before or after June 1st of the previous year. In fact, some genealogists believe that no more than 60 percent of the deaths in a given county were recorded. Nevertheless, this record of deaths, though incomplete, can be very helpful in tracing families.

In the Quarterly of December 1987, Whole No.180, we published the record of Sparks deaths contained in a number of states' mortality schedules, including Indiana. Here we present those for Indiana in the census years of 1860, 1870, and 1880. As will be seen, the information about deceased family members that was recorded varied in these census years.

Copies of these Indiana schedules on which the name Sparks appear have been copied for us by several of our members. We are most indebted to Kathryn M . Jennings for obtaining photocopies of the original pages for us .


Sparks Deaths Contained in the Indiana Mortality Schedules
for 1860 (June 1, 1859, to May 31, 1860)


Adolphus Sparks died in Lawrence County, Indiana, in the month of November 1859 from an "unknown" cause, following an illness of 3 days. He had been born in Indiana and was one month old when he died. [Editor's Note: See the Sparks families shown on the 1860 census of Flinn Township in Lawrence County in the Quarterly of June 1995, Whole No. 170, p.4490; the Wm. M. and Samira Sparks there were probably the parents of Adolphus.]

Alfred M. Sparks died in Johnson County, Indiana, in the month of February 1860 from "Inter-mitting fever" following an illness of 8 days. He had been born in Indiana and was one month old when he died. [Editor's Note: He was probably a son of Leander and Martha Sparks whose household was shown on the 1860 census of Blue Ridge Township of Lawrence County . See p.4489 of the Quarterly of June 1995, Whole No.170.]

George D. Sparks died in New Albany, Ward 6, Floyd County, Indiana, in the month of March 1860 from "Cold Lung Fever," following an illness of 21 days. He had been born in Indiana and was 6 months old when he died. [Editor's Note: He was probably a son of Richard and Ellen Sparks shown on the 1860 census of the 6th Ward of New Albany in Floyd County; see the Quarterly of March 1995, Whole No. 169, p.4448. Richard Sparks and Ellen Thompson had been married in Floyd County, Indiana, on December 13, 1854.]

George D. Sparks died in Posey Township, Harrison County, Indiana, during the month of April 1860 from "Lung Fever," following an illness of 3 weeks. He had been born in Indiana and was 6 months old when he died. [Editor's Note: It was a coincidence that these two infants had the same name. This George D. Sparks had also been born in Indiana and was 6 months old when he died. He was probably a son of John and Mary Sparks shown on the 1860 census in Posey Township, Harrison County; see the Quarterly of June 1995, Whole No.170, p.4484. The census taker reporting this George D. Sparks's death whose name was William A . McKae, wrote the following in the remarks section of his report on deaths in Harrison County: "The only disease which prevailed to any extent was Scarlet Fever, cause unknown; it proved fatal with about three fourths of the ones that took it. Posey Township is a gently rolling portion of the county . The principal timber is beech, poplar & oak, with hard lime stone water."]

Griffey V. Sparks died in Linton Township, Vigo County, Indiana, during the month of September 1859, from "Inflamation of the brain," following an illness of 2 months. He had been born in Indiana and was 7 months old when he died. [Editor's Note: Because of the number of Sparks families shown on the 1860 census of Linton Township, we cannot guess to which one Griffey belonged. See the QUARTERLY of September 1995, Whole No. 171, p.4336.]

James Sparks died in Rock Creek Township in Huntington County, Indiana, during the month of April 1860, from typhoid fever following an illness of 12 days. He had been born in Indiana and was 13 years old when he died. [Editor's Note: He was the James R. Sparks shown as 4 years old on the 1850 census of Huntington County, a son of William and Hester (Miller) Sparks. See the Quarterly of December 1959, Whole No.28, p.444 (misnumbered 345). William and Hester Sparks were shown on the 1860 census of Rock Creek Township in Hntington County; see the Quarterly of June 1995, Whole No.170, p.4487. See also the Quarterly of March 2000, Whole No.189, p.5292 for biographical data on William Sparks, who was a son of Solomon and Isabella (Swaim) Sparks.]

Robert Sparks died in the town of Lafayette in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, during the month of April 1860 from "Convulsions" following an illness on one day. He had been born in Indiana and was four months old when he died.

[Editor's Note: On the 1860 census of Lafayette, three Sparks couples are shown, each of whom could have been the parents of little Robert . See the Quarterly of September 1995, Whole No. 171, pp.4582-33.]

Smith Sparks died in Linton Township, Vigo County, Indiana, in May 1860 from "Scrofula" following an illness of 56 days. He had been born in Kentucky and was 45 years old when he died. He was married and was a farmer.

[Editor's Note: Smith Sparks was shown on the 1850 census of Linton Township in Vigo County with his wife and large family. See the Quarterly of June 1960. p.487. For biographical data, see the Quarterly of December 1987, Whole No. 140, pp.3138-9.]

William Sparks died in the town of Lafayette in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, in April 1860 from "Liver Complaint, following an illnless of 120 days. He had been born in Ohio and was 24 years old when he died. He was single and by occupation a brick mason. [Editor's Note: William Sparks was a son of William and Catherine (Huckley) Sparks; he was a grandson of James and Margaret (Ray) Sparks. See the Quarterly of March 1984, Whole No. 125, p.2596, for further information regarding this family.]


Sparks Deaths Contained in the Indiana Mortality Schedules
for the 1870 Census Year (June 1, 1869, to May 31, 1870)


[Editor's Note: The form provided to census takers for the 1870 census year differed little from that for the 1860 census year, except for noting whether one or both of the parents of the deceased was/were foreign born, and there was no question regarding the length of the illness preceding death.]

Charlie Sparks died in Sparta Township,Dearborn County, Indiana, during the month of September 1869, from "Scrofula. He had been born in Indiana and was 7 months old when he died. [Editor's Note: Charlie Sparks was probably a son of William and Ann Sparks who were listed as living in Sparta Township in Dearborn County on the 1870 population census. He was 27 and she was 21; both were natives of Indiana. A daughter named Pearl Sparks, age 2, was shown with them on this 1870 census. William's occupation was shown as "House and Sign Painter." We believe that he was the "Will Sparks" serving as the census taker for Sparta Township, who signed this mortality report. I

Emily Sparks died in Riley Township, Vigo County, Indiana, during the month of March 1870, from consumption. She was a widow. She had been born in Kentucky and was 60 years old when she died. [Editor's Note: We have not been able to identify this Emily Sparks.]

Franklin Sparks died in Highland Township, Vermimon County, Indiana, during the month of June 1869, from "Episoxis." He had been born in Indiana and was 6 years old when he died.

[Editor's Note: The census taker noted that Franklin had been a member of "Family 101" on the 1870 population census of Highland Township, which was the household of George and Susannah Sparks. George was shown as 27 and Susannah as 29 in 1870; both had been born in Indiana.]

Horace V Sparks died in Lima Township, Lagrange County, Indiana, during the month of June 1869 from "Inflamation of the Brain. He had been a farmer and born in New York; he was 23 years old when he died. [Editor's Note: See the present issue of the Quarterly (June 2001), p.5522 for further information regarding Horace V. Sparks and his family.]

Louisa Sparks died in Harrison Township, Grant County, Indiana, during the month of October 1869 from typhoid fever. She had been born in Indiana and was 22 (or 32?) years old when she died. [Editor's Note: We have not been able to identify the family of Louisa.]

Russell E Sparks died in Indian Creek Township Monroe County, Indiana, in the month of January 1870 from "Absess on lungs." He had been born in Indiana and was 6 months old when he died. [Editor's Note: The census taker noted that Russell E. Sparks had been a member of "Family 134" on the population census for Indian Creek Township of 1870. This was the family of Nancy (Hanks) Sparks, age 51, a native of Tennessee. Nancy was the widow of William Sparks who had died on August 17, 1866. A record of this family can be found in the Quarterly of March 1969, Whole No. 65, beginning on p.1204; William and Nancy appear on p.1206. The John T . Sparks shown there as a son of William and Mary was actually named Jehue, not John, according to descendants.]

Sally Sparks died in Lima Township, Lagrange County, Indiana, during the month of November 1869 from consumption (i.e., T.B.] . She was a widow, and she had been born in Connecticut; she was 76 years old when she died. [Editor's Note: Sally Sparks was the widow of Talbert Sparks . See the present issue of the Quarterly (June 2001), p.5531 for information regarding Talbert Sparks.]

Susan Sparks died "Stillborn" in Rock Creek Township, Wells County, Indiana, some time in May 1870. [Editor's Note: There were four Sparks families then living in Rock Creek Township to whom Susan may have belonged.]


Sparks Deaths Contained in the Indiana Mortality Schedules
for the 1880 Census Year (June 1, 1879, to May 31, 1880)


[Editor's Note: The 1880 form issued to census takers on which to record deaths be tween June 1, 1879, and May 31, 1880, differed from that of a decade earlier in a few ways. Whereas in 1870 the item regarding the parents of the deceased person asked whether they had been foreign born (i.e., yes or no), the 1880 question was the place of birth of each parent. There was also a question not only of where he/she had been born, but also how long the deceased person had lived in the county where he/she died. Again, as in 1870, the cause of death was to be recorded, but also, if from a disease, where that disease had been contracted if not in the county where he/she had died. The name of the attending physician was also to be recorded.]

FNU Spark, a white female, died in Perry Township, Boone County, Indiana, during the month of April 1880, age 9 months, from meningitis. Dr. S. H. Ball had been the attending physician. She had been born in Indiana, but the nativity of her parents was left blank. [Editor's Note: Only one Sparks household was recorded on the 1880 population census for Perry Township; this was the family of Aaron 0. and Sarah E. Sparks, ages 31 and 26 respectively, both natives of Indiana.]

FNU Sparks, a white female, died in Jonesboro, Grant County, Indiana, during the month of August 1879, age 2 years, from meningitis. Dr. Eli M. Whitson had been the attending physician. She had been born in Indiana, but the nativity of her parents was left blank.

Amanda Sparks, a Black female, died in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana, during the month of March [?] 1880, age 54 years. Dr. W. R. Wishard had been her attending physician. She was a widow; her disease had been "Anasarca," i.e., dropsy. [Editor's Note: The census taker making this report substituted the street address of each deceased person in place of his/her parents' place of birth. For Mrs. Sparks, he wrote "City Hospital." He did not report the number of years any of the deceased persons had lived in Marion County; (or Mrs. Sparks he gave "U.S." as her place of birth.]

Ann Sparks, a widow, died in Richland Township, Greene County, Indiana, during the month of May 1880, age 56, from "Inflamation of the stomach." Dr. John W. Gray had been her attending physician. She had been born in Kentucky, as had both of her parents; her occupation was that of "Housekeeping." She had been a resident of Greene County for 36 years. [Editor's Note: The census taker of Richland Township noted that Ann Sparks had been a member of the household headed by Mary Sparks shown on the population schedule for 1880. Mary Sparks, age 24, was a daughter of her widowed mother, Ann. The other five members of the household were Mary's siblings: Jane, 22; John, 21; George M., 18; William H., 16; and Amanda, 15. Ann Sparks was the widow of Charles Sparks, her maiden name having been Ann Russell. She and Charles Sparks had been married on May 8, 1849. Charles, born ca. 1830, was, according to a note made by the late Paul E. Sparks, a son of Eli Sparks.]

Aurey Sparks died in Lima Township, Lagrange County, Indiana, during the month of August 1879, age 63, from "Lung Fever.!" Dr. Hughes was his attending physician. He was married; he had been born in New York and was a farmer by occupation. His father had been born in Massachusetts; his mother's place of birth was shown as "unknown." He had been a resident of Lagrange County for 11 years. [Editor's Note: See the article devoted to Aurey Sparks and his family in the present issue of the Quarterly (June 2001). See also the death record of Aurey's wife, Nancy, also in Lagrange County, in 1879, p.5550 of the present issue of the Quarterly.]

Benjamin Sparks died in Carr Township, Clark County, Indiana, during the month of March 1880, age 9 years, from "Malformation." The word "hives" was crossed out. He had no attending physician. He had been born in Indiana; his father was a native of Kentucky and his mother of Indiana. He had been a resident of Indiana during his life. [Editor's Note: The census taker noted that Benjamin had been a member of the family of George Sparks, age 26, and Sarilda Sparks, 20, shown on the population schedule of Carr Township for 1880. They then had one surviving daughter named Orra Sparks. George Sparks and Sarilda Jackson had been married in Clark County on October 23, 1877.]

Elizabeth Sparks died in Liberty Township, Wabash County, Indiana, during the month of September 1879, age 76, from "typhoid pertussy." Her attending physician had been Dr . A . M . Thomas . She was a widow, "keeping house." She had been born in South Carolina as had both of her parents . She had lived in Wabash County for 27 years. [Editor's Note: Elizabeth Sparks was the widow of John Sparks, a Baptist preacher and farmer, who had been born December 6, 1806, in Laurens County, South Carolina, and had died at LaFontaine in Wabash County. He and Elizabeth Harlan had been married in Fayette County, Indiana, in 1826, the marriage bond being dated November 2, 1826. She had been born January 25, 1807, and had died at Lafontaine on September 19, 1879. She was a daughter of Samuel and Nancy (Brown) Sparks. See the Quarterly of September 1961, Whole No.35, pp.569-579, for a record of this family. John Sparks was a son of William and Mary (Palmer) Sparks. The John Jefferson Sparks whose Civil War pension papers were abstracted in the Quarterly of December 2000, Whole No.192, was a son of John and Elizabeth (Harlan) Sparks.]

George W. Sparks died in Lost Creek Township, Vigo County, Indiana, during the month of April 1880, age 58 years, from "Apoplexy." His attending physician was Dr. Chapman. He was married and by occupation a farmer. He had been born in Kentucky as had both of his parents . He had lived in Vigo County for 40 years . [Editor's Note: The full name of George was George William Griffey Sparks; he was a son of Ezra and Catherine (Griffey) Sparks and had been born in Jefferson County, Kentucky. He had accompanied his parents in their move to Vigo County ca. 1835 where he had been married to Sarah Hodges, daughter of John and Alley Hodges on April 17, 1842. See the Quarterly of December 1987, Whole No. 140, for an article about this branch of the Sparks family, specifically p.3149 for biographical data on George and his wife, Sarah Hodges.)

Harry Sparks died in Ripley Township, Montgomery County, Indiana, during the month of October 1879, age 4 months, from "Brain fever," the attending physician being Dr. Joel Brown. He had been born in Indiana as had both of his parents. [Editor's Note: It is probable that Harry Sparks was a son of Jonathan and Mary A. Sparks whose family appeared in the population schedule of Ripley Township in 1880. Jonathan was 45 years old, a native of Indiana, while Mary was 40, also a native of Indiana. Their children on that census were: Wallace, 21; Walter, 19; Hovey, is; Ella, 13; Bertie, 10; and Iva, 8.]

Ira Sparks died in Florida Township, Parke County, Indiana, during the month of September 1879, age 9 years, from "deptherra." The attending physician had been Dr. R. A. Baldridge. Ira had been born in Indiana; his father had been born in Indiana while his mother had been born in Kentucky. Ira Sparks had lived in Parke County for 4 years. [Editor's Note: We have not been able to identify the parents of Ira Sparks.]

Lucy Sparks died in Center Township of Hancock County, Indiana, during the month of February 1880, from "Old Age." She was 69 years old . Her attending physician had been Dr. S. A. Troy. Lucy was a widow. She had been born in Ohio and had lived in Hancock County for 25 years. For the place of birth of her parents, the census taker wrote "unknown" for each; under occupation he wrote: "Living with son." [Editor's Note: The son with whom Lucy Sparks had been living when she died was Francis M. Sparks, about whom a biographical sketch appeared in the Quarterly of December 1966, Whole No.55, p.1010, and on the cover of the Quarterly of December 1975, Whole No.92, we published a photograph of Francis with two of his daughters. Lucy's full name had been Lucy Jane (Head) Sparks; she had been born December 29, 1810, and was a daughter of Nathaniel Head. She had been married on February 2, 1832, to Thompson Sparks, a son of Isaac and Sally Sparks; he had been born December 1, 1808; he had died on November 14, 1833, in Rush County, Indiana. Their only child was Francis M. Sparks (1832-1910). Lucy had been a widow for 47 years when she died.)

M. C. Sparks (or N. C. Sparks) died in Harrison Township, Wigo County, Indiana, during the month of September 1879, age 70, from "Parlysis of brain. His attending physician had been Dr. Colwell. He was married and a farmer by occupation. He had been born in Kentucky, his father in Virginia, and his mother in New Jersey. He had lived in Vigo County for 43 years. [Editor's Note: We believe that he was the N. C. Sparks whose household was included in the 1860 census of Harrison County, Indiana. He was then 51 years old and a native of Kentucky. On the 1850 census, his name appeared as Nimrod Sparks . His wife's name was Penelope C . Sparks, a native of Kentucky.]

Mary Sparks died in Kokomo, the county seat of Howard County, Indiana, during the month of July 1879, age 21, from childbirth. Her attending physician had been Dr. Hunt. She had been married and had lived in Howard County for two years; she was a native of Indiana; both of her parents had been born in Ireland. [Editor's Note: We have not been able to identify Mary Sparks.]

Mary Sparks died in Liberty Township, Shelby County, Indiana, during the month of February 1880, at the age of 64 from "Palpitation of the heart"; her attending physician had been Dr. M. F. Undergraff. She was married, "keeping house," and a native of Virginia. Both of her parents had been born in Virginia, also. She had lived in Shelby County for 8 years . [Editor's Note: We have not been able to identify this Mary Sparks.]

Minnie Sparks died in Madison County, Indiana, during the month of July 1879, at the age of one year and 7 months, from "cholera Infantum". Her attending physician had been Dr. John Cullen. She had been born in Indiana. The census taker did not fill in the spaces for the places of birth for her parents. [Editor!s Note: We have not been able to identify the parents of Minnie Sparks.]

Molisa Sparks died in Ripley Township, Boone County, Indiana, during the month of September 1879, at the age of 11 months, from "Brain fever." Her attending physician had been Dr. L. W. Jordan. She had been born in Indiana as had also both of her parents. [Editor's Note: We have not been able to identify the parents of Molisa Sparks.]

Nancy Sparks died in Lima Township, Lagrange County, Indiana, during the month of December 1879 from "Lung Fever." She was 58 years old. Her attending physician had been Dr. Hughes. She had been born in New York; the census taker wrote "unknown" for the places of birth of her parents She was a widow who had "Kept house." She had been a resident of Lagrange County for 11 years. [Editor's Note: Nancy was the widow of Aurey Sparks who had died four months earlier, also in Lima Township (see p.5548). See the article devoted to Aurey Sparks and his family appearing in the present issue of the Quarterly (June 2001).

Rebecca Sparks died in Clinton Township, Greene County, Indiana, during the month of January 1880 from "Syp. Heart disease," age 67. Her attending physician had been Dr . N . C . Burge . Her place of birth had been Ohio; that of her parents was left blank by the census taker. She was married and had been "Keeping House". The space for the length of time she had lived in Greene County was left blank by the census taker. [Editor's Note: The census taker noted that she had been a member of family 61 on the 1880 population schedule of 1880, which was that of her husband, Calvin R. Sparks, age 70, a farmer; he had been born in Ohio while both of his parents had been born in Pennsylvania. Living with Calvin Sparks in 1880 was his son, Joseph T . Sparks. We published a query regarding the parentage of Calvin R. Sparks in the Quarterly of June 1985, Whole No.130, pp.2757-59, on behalf of a descendant, Patricia Wiiki, in which we noted that Calvin and Rebecca McDonald had been married in Brown County ca. 1813, a daughter of Joseph and Milly (Higgins) McDonald. In this query, we gave information about each of the seven children of Calvin R. and Rebecca Sparks.]

Robert Sparks died in Shelbyville, Shelby County, Indiana, during the month of April 1880 from measles, age 8 months. Dr. John Perry had been his attending physician. Little Robert had been born in Indiana as had both of his parents. He had lived in Indiana for 3 months before his death. [Editor's Note: We have been unable to identify his parents.]

Sarah Sparks died in Lexington Township, Scott County, Indiana, during the month of September 1879 from "Enteretes" [probably "Entericfever," i.e. typhoid]. Her age was 88. She was a widow, born in Virginia, as had both of her parents. Dr.
A. H. Lathrop had been her attending physician. She had lived in Scott County for 25 years. [Editor's Note: Sarah Sparks was the widow of Hector Sparks to whom she had been married on June 15, 1819, in Clark County, Indiana. Her maiden name had been Sarah McGuire; she was a daughter of Francis McGuire. Hector and Sarah lived in that portion of Clark County that had helped to form Scott County in 1820. Hector Sparks died on November 3, 1838; Sarah survived her husband for 40 years, dying on September 4, 1879. Hector was a son of Daniel and Sarah (Bogard) Sparks. See the Quarterly of September 1993, Whole No. 163, for a lengthy article on this branch of the Sparks family; specifically, for the family of Hector and Sarah, see p.4164.]

Sarah A Sparks died in Shelby Township, Ripley County, Indiana, during the month of May 1880, from "Apoplexy,"at the age of 63. Her attending physician had been Dr. Russell Olmstead. She was married and she had been born in Kentucky. Her father had been born in Kentucky, her mother in Maryland. She had lived in Ripley County for 18 years. Under occupation, she was called a "Farmer's wife. [Editor's Note: The maiden name of Sarah had been Sarah Ann Reiley; she was a daughter of Samuel J. Reiley who gave his consent for her to be married to Ephraim Sparks in Lewis County, Kentucky, on August 6, 1837, she then being under 21. Ephraim Sparks was a son of Caleb and Rebecca (Wilson) Sparks. Ephraim's pension papers for his service in the Civil War were abstracted for the Quarterly of December 1998, Whole No. 184, pp.5098-99.]

William Sparks died in New Albany in Floyd County, Indiana, during the month ofFebruary 1880 from Pneumonia, with Dr. Niet serving as his attending physician. He was 51 years old, single, and by occupation a brick mason. He had been born in Indiana and lived in Floyd County all of his life. His father had been born in Kentucky and his mother in Maryland. [Editor's Note: He was shown on the 1850 census of New Albany as a 21-year-old "brickman" living with his widowed mother, Rachel Ann Sparks, then 59 years old, and siblings named Richard Sparks, age 18, and Hannah Sparks, age 15. In this census, the place of birth for Rachel Ann Sparks was given as Pennsylvania rather than as Maryland. The Richard Sparks, age 18 in 1850, was, we believe, the same Richard Sparks who married Ellen Thompson in Floyd County, Indiana, on December 13, 1854, and whose son, George D. Sparks, died in Floyd County in March 1860. See page 5545 of the present issue of the Quarterly.]

[Editor's Note: If readers should have additional information regarding any of the persons whose deaths have been noted as appearing on these "Mortality Schedules" for Indiana, we would appreciate your sharing it with us.]

top