May 10, 2014

Pages 1514
Whole Number 79

SPARKS FAMILIES IN DELAWARE -- 1800 CENSUS

by William Perry Johnson



The 1790 census of Delaware has been lost. A “Reconstructed 1790 Census of Delaware” has been prepared by Leon De Valinger, Jr., State Archivist of Delaware, from 1790 tax lists, or if a tax list for 1790 was not extant the list for the year closest to that date was selected. While this reconstructed census falls short of the original 1790 census, it is an invaluable aid and guide to Delaware families. No persons named Sparks are given in this “Reconstructed 1790 Census of Delaware.“

The 1800 census of Delaware, covering the three Delaware counties of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex lists six individuals under the name Sparks. A Widow Sparks was living in the City of Wilmington in New Castle County. Also living in the City of Wilmington was a free black woman named Susan Sparks, her family consisting of four free black persons, including herself. Living in another part of New Castle County was Elama Sparks. Two men named Stephen Sparks were living in Kent County, one in Duck Creek Hundred and the other in Little Creek Hundred. (The households of these two men named Stephen Sparks were so similar, as enumerated, that it is possible that they are the same man who moved from one part of the county to another while the census was being taken.) Also listed in Little Creek Hundred of Kent County was a free black man identified as “Stephen Sparks man, Negro”. Perhaps it was intended that his name appear as “Stephen Sparkaman”, but more probab].y he had once been a slave owned by Stephen Sparks.

As in all federal censuses from 1790 until 1850, only the head of each household was actually named on the 1800 census. Following his (or her) name is an enumeration of members of the household, divided by sex, with five age categories for each.

  Males   Females
Name Page County 0
10
10
16
16
26
26
45
45
up
  0
10
10
16
16
26
26
45
45
up
    New Castle           |||          
 Christiana Hundred               |||          
City of Wilmington               |||          
    Widow Sparks  (p. 168)   1         |||     1    
    Susan Sparks (p. 176) (other free people: 4)           |||          
                |||          
Appoquinimink Hundred               |||          
    Elama Sparks (p. 261)         1   ||| 2 1   1  
                |||          
    Kent County           |||          
Duck Creek Hundred               |||          
     Stephen Sparks (p. 19)       1     |||     1    
                |||          
Little Creek Hundred               |||          
Stephen Sparks, man,      Negro (p. 32) (other free people: 5)           |||          
  Stephen Sparks  (p. 44)   1     1   |||     1    

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