Whole Number 197
The photograph of Jessie May Sparks, appearing on the cover of this issue of the Quarterly, was loaned to us in 1992 by Jane R. Verna of East Wareham, Massachusetts. She stated that Jessie May had been a sister of her grandmother, Carrie Isabella (Sparks) Brower (1866-1920). Carrie Isabella and Jessie May were daughters of Nathan B. Sparks (1831-1900) and Cornelia Fenn (1834-1908), who had been married on September 27, 1859. Mrs. Verna also shared with us the photograph of her grandmother (above) and photocopies of the family record pages from the Bible that had belonged to her great-grandfather, Nathan B. Sparks (1831-1900).
Mrs. Verna was preparing an article on her Sparks ancestry when she died in 1995. We have not been in touch with any of her relatives. We know, however, that Nathan B. Sparks was a son of Edward and Esther (Burr) Sparks of Connecticut. Edward Sparks, born October 7, 1798, in Glastonbury, Connecticut, was a son of Nathan Sparks (1774-1832) and Lucinda Hale (1778-1868). Lucinda had been born in Portland, Connecticut, and it had been there that she and Edward Sparks were married on November 27, 1823. Information regarding Edward's ancestry may be found in the Quarterly of June 1990, Whole No.150. He was a descendant of John Sparks (died April 8, 1710) of Windsor, Connecticut.
We know little about Nathan B. Sparks. From the places of birth of his children as he recorded them in his Bible, we know that after his and Cornelia's marriage in Connecticut they "went west." A daughter was born in Jefferson, Illinois, in 1862, two others were born in Bluff ton, Michigan, and a son was born in Chicago in 1871. However, as shown, Jesse May's photo was taken in New Haven, Connecticut. The births of the five children were recorded in the family Bible as follows :
Lillian Burr Sparks, born January 19, 1860, died September 4, 1861.
Harriet Elizabeth Sparks, born March 15, in 1862, in Jefferson, Illinois, died July 28, 1863.
Carrie Isabella Sparks, born January 4, 1866, in Bluff ton, Michigan. She married Frederick Brower on February 10. 1892. She died on July 17, 1920.
Jessie May Sparks, born September 4, 1868, at Bluff ton, Michigan; she married John Norton on October 23, 1890.
Edward Bray Sparks, born September 15,1871, in Chicago, Illinois. He married Miriam Isaacs on December 6, 1891.