Whole Number 27
by Paul E. Sparks
As has been pointed out in previous issues of the Quarterly, a large number of persons named Sparks, scattered all over the United States, trace their ancestry to Kentucky. Admitted to the Union in 1792, Kentucky was settled largely by immigrants from Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia. Largely of German, English, Irish, and Scottish descent, these pioneers poured into the area during the first few decades following the Revolution. Whereas in 1790, the state had a population of 73,677, by 1830 this figure had grown to 687,917. Then as new territories and states were carved out of America's western expanse during the 19th century, thousands of descendants of the original Kentuckians left the homes of their fathers to follow the frontier.
Many of our members know that a Sparks ancestor once lived in Kentucky, but until it can be determined in which county in Kentucky he lived, little progress can be made toward tracing the ancestry further. Census records aid greatly in this research. In the March, 1955, issue of the Quarterly (page 65), the Sparkses from the 1810 census of Kentucky were listed, and in the issues published in 1957, beginning on page 205, those in the 1850 census were given. The 1830 census, falling as it does midway between these two previously published records, should help to locate a number of lost ancestors of Kentucky.
In all federal census records prior to 1850, only the name of the head of each household was given. Opposite each name, the members of the household, including the head, were enumerated by sex and age group. In the 1830 census, males and females were divided into 13 age categories. Usually the head of the household was the oldest male and usually the oldest female was his wife, but one cannot always be sure. Likewise, those members of the household younger than the head were usually his children, but it is always possible that an apprentice, an orphaned neighbor child, or a relative may have been a member of the household.
Today there are 120 counties in Kentucky. In 1830 there were 83. In other words, 37 new counties have been created since 1830. In 1830, Sparkses were living in 26 of the 83 counties then in existence. Some of these 26 counties in which Sparkes were living in 1830 have since been divided to form parts of some of the 37 counties formed since 1830, which means that some Sparkses may have been living in an area which today is a part of a different county than in 1830.
|William Sparks, Jr.||1||1||1|
|Thomas Sparks, Jr||1||1||1||1||1|
|Thomas Sparks, Sr||2||2||1||1||1||1|
|Sam'l K. Sparks||1||1||1|