May 1, 2016

Pages 1090-1093
Whole Number 59

SPARKS FAMILIES APPEARING ON THE 1810 & 1820 CENSUSES OF VIRGINIA

by Paul E. Sparks



As most schoolboys know, the first English settlement in what is now the United States of America was made in 1607 on the shore of the James River in present-day Virginia. From that date until the colonies broke away from England in 1776, immigrants poured into Virginia each year, and by 1810 she had ninety counties and a population of over one million, the highest population in the nation. by 1820, however, she had been surpassed by New York. The fifty counties that now comprise West Virginia were, of course, part of Virginia until 1861.

Virginia was the first colony to take a census (1624-25), thus it is ironic as well as unfortunate that the schedules of its first federal census in 1790 were destroyed by fire. Equally unfortunate was the loss of Virginia’s second federal census of 1800. In the case of the former, a 1790 Virginia “census”, constructed from taxpayers lists, has been made and persons named Sparks listed therein were given on page 11 of the June 1953 issue of the Quarterly (Vol. I, No. 2, Whole No. 2).

The 1810 and the 1820 censuses of Virginia have been completely searched for persons named Sparks, Sparkes, and Spark. Our readers are reminded that in all federal census records prior to 1850, only the name of the head of each household was recorded by the census taker. The remaining members of the household were simply enumerated in age groups, first the males,. then the females. The head of the household, himself, was also included in this enumeration, and in most instances, one can assume that he was the oldest male, or, where a woman is named as head of the household, that she was the-oldest female. Where a man’s name appears as head, we can usually assume that the oldest female was his wife and that the others enumerated were their children. There are many exceptions, however, because relatives, hired hands, and even guests living in the household at the time the census taker made his visit were included in the enumeratiøn.

In 1810, males and females were enumerated in five different age categories: those under 10 years; those 10 to 16; those 16 to 26; those 26 to 45; and those who were 45 and older, In 1820 the females were enumerated as they had been in 1810, but a new category was created for males. In order for the government to have some basis for determining the nation’s military strength, census takers in 1820 were directed to enumerate all males between 16 and 18 years of age who were eligible for military service. Census takers were directed to include these same males again in the 16 to 26 category.

We know that census takers often made mistakes in spelling and in counting, and they sometimes missed families altogether. Furthermore, the handwriting is often extremely difficult to read. For example, a William Shark was listed on the 1810 census of Fluvanna County, but at first glance this name could be taken for Spark. A name appearing to be Nicholas Sparkes is given on the 1820 census of Washington County, but other records in the county prove that this name was intended for Nicholas Speaks. Nicholas Speaks married Sarah Faires in Washington County in 1804.

The 1810 census schedules for a number of Virginia counties no longer survive. These counties are: Arlington, Grayson, Greenbnier, Halifax, Hardy, Henry, James City, King William, Lee (incomplete), Louisa, Mecklenburg, Nansemond, Northampton, Orange, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Russell, and Tazewell. The 1820 census of Arlington County is also missing.

SPARKS FAMILIES LISTED ON THE 1810 CENSUS OF VIRGINIA

.

Males

Females


County


Page


Name

0
10

10
16

16
26

26
45

45
up

|||||

0
10

10
16

16
26

26
45

45
up

Berkeley County

92

Thos. Spark

1

1 0 1 0

|||||

2 2 0 1 0

Brooke County

5

Solomon Spark

2 3 0 1 0 ||||| 1 1 1 1 1

Caroline County

20

William Sparks

1 0 0 1 0 ||||| 2 0 0 1 0

Kanawha County

206

James Sparks

2 0 0 1 0 ||||| 1 0 1 0 0

Loudoun County

96

Thomas Sparks

2 0 0 1 0 ||||| 1 0 1 0 0

Madison County

255

Henry Sparks

2 0 1 1 0 ||||| 1 0 3 0 0
   

Thomas Sparks

1 0 0 1 0 ||||| 0 0 0 1 0
   

Eliz. Sparks

0 0 0 2 0 ||||| 0 1 2 0 1
   

Pheba Sparks

0 0 0 1 0 ||||| 0 0 1 1 1
   

Jasper Sparks

0 0 1 0 0 |||||

4

0 1 0 0

Washington County

2

Reubin Sparks

2 0 0 1 0 ||||| 0 2 0 0 0
 

17

Ephraim Sparks

1 0 0 1 0 |||||

4

0 0 1 0
 

31

David Sparks

3 0 0 1 0 ||||| 1 0 0 1 0

SPARKS FAMILIES LISTED ON THE 1820 CENSUS OF VIRGINIA

.

Males

Females

. .

0
10

10
16

16
18

18
26

26
45

45
up

|||||

0
10

10
16

16
26

26
45

45
up

Caroline Co. p. 368

William Sparks

1

0

1

1

0

1

|||||

1

3

1

0

1

Franklin Co. p. 164

Samuel Sparks

4

1 0 0 0 1 ||||| 0 0 1 1 0

Harrison Co. p. 109

Solomon Sparks

1 0 0 0 1 0 ||||| 1 0 0 1 0

Henry County p. 37

Matthew Sparks

0 0 0 0 1 0 ||||| 1 0 1 0 0

Lee County p. 133

Thomas Sparkes

4

1 1 1 0 1 ||||| 1 2 0 1 0
 

Jesse Sparkes

1 0 0 1 0 1 ||||| 1 0 1 0 1

Madison Co. p. 559

Henry Sparks

4

2 0 0 1 1 ||||| 1 1 1 1 0

p. 559

Jasper Sparks

1 0 0 0 1 0 ||||| 0 3 0 1 0

p. 560

Thomas Sparks

0 0 0 0 0 1 ||||| 0 0 0 1 0

p. 560

Humphrey Sparks

0 0 0 1 1 0 ||||| 0 0 1 1 1

p. 560

Joseph Sparks

1 0 0 0 0 1 ||||| 0 0 1 0 0

Mathews Co. p. 198

Albert G. Spark

0 0 0 2 0 0 ||||| 0 0 1 0 0

Nicholas Co. p. 205

James Sparks 2 2 0 0 1 1 ||||| 1 1 0 1 0

Ohio County p. 25

Ephriam Sparks

3 0 0 0 1 0 ||||| 2 0 0 1 0

Pittsylvania Co. p771

Matthew B. Sparks

0 2 0 0 1 0 ||||| 2 1 1 1 0

p. 773

Edmond Sparks

4

2 0 1 1 0 ||||| 0 1 0 1 1

p. 773

Thomas Sparks

2 0 0 0 1 0 ||||| 0 0 0 1 0

p. 781

Thos. Sparks, Sr

0 0 0 0 1 0 ||||| 0 0 0 0 3

Scott County p. 15

Ephriam Sparks

3 0 0 0 1 0 ||||| 2 2 1 1 0

Washington Co. p. 37

Wm. Sparks

2 0 0 0 1 0 ||||| 2 0 0 0 1

p. 38

Solomon Sparks

2 0 0 0 1 0 ||||| 2 0 0 1 0

p. 39

Wm. Sparks

1 1 0 0 1 0 ||||| 3 0 0 1 0

p. 41

H. Reuben Sparks

2 1 0 0 1 0 ||||| 3 0 0 1 0

Page 1709

Whole Number 88

ADDITIONAL SPARKS FAMILIES IN VIRGINIA IN 1810

When a record of the Sparks families listed on the 1810 census of Virginia was published in the Quarterly of Sep 1967 (Vol. XV, No. 3, Whole No. 59, pp. 1090 -1091), it was explained that the 1810 census schedules for nearly twenty counties had been lost. Among the surviving census schedules for 1810, Sparks families were listed in seven Virginia counties: Berkeley, Brooke, Caroline, Kanawha, Loudoun, Madison, and Washington. These Sparks records were published as noted above. Since that time, however, the tax lists for these missing,counties have been searched and a Supplement to the 1810 Census of Virginia has been edited by Netti Schreiner Yantis (1971). Sparks families paid taxes in five of the Virginia counties in 1810 that are among those for which the 1810 census records have been lost. These were as follows:

  White Slaves    
  Tithables (above    
  (above 16) 12) Horses Date
Grayson County        
  William Sparks 1 0 1 April 11, 1810
Hardy County (Jonathan Bransons         
                         List - East District)        
  George Sparks 1 0 1 (1810)
  William Sparks 1 0 0 (1810)
Mecklenberg County        
  Matthew Sparks 1 0 0 April 14, 1810
  William M. Sparks 1 0 1 March 17, 1810
Orange County        
  Joseph Sparks 1 0 1 June 13, 1810
Pittsylvania County 1 0 1 April 13, 1810
  John Sparks and Son 1 0 3 May 11, 1810
  Matthew B. Sparks 1 0 1 April 13, 1810
  Matthew Sparks & David Gun 2 0 3 April 12, 1810
  Revd. Thomas Sparks & 3 Sons 3 2 4 April 12, 1810

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