September 17, 2017

Pages 2932-2942
Whole Number 135

PERSONS NAMED SPARKS
APPEARING ON THE FEDERAL CENSUSES OF VIRGINIA
in 1840 and 1850
Introductory Note



It is most unfortunate for the genealogist that the records of both the first U.S. Census (1790) and the second (1800) for the state of Virginia have been destroyed. Those after 1800, however, have been preserved. A record of the persons named Sparks (including Sparkes and Spark) who headed households according to the 1810 and 1820 censuses of Virginia was published in the September 1967 issue of the Quarterly (Whole No. 59), pages 1091-93. Thirteen such households were enumerated in 1810; by 1820 the number had grown to 23.

Sparks households appearing on the 1830 census of Virginia were published in the Quarterly of September 1977 (Whole No. 99) on pages 1928-29. Interestingly, the households headed by persons named Sparks (Sparkes, Spark) in 1830 numbered only 18, a decrease from 1820. While it is well known that families were sometimes missed by census takers, it is probable that this decrease in Sparks households can be explained by the considerable migration from Virginia to the westward that took place in the 1820's.

We here present the results of a search made for us by a professional genealogist for households headed by persons named Sparks (Sparkes, Spark) that are recorded in the 1840 census of Virginia. by 1840, the number of such households had grown to 23, the same number as had been recorded twenty years earlier in 1820.

As we have reminded our readers before, federal census records before that for 1850 contain only the names of the heads of households. The members of each household were then enumerated following the name of the head according to age groupings, with males separated from females. We know that mistakes were sometimes made in calculating ages, and it should also be kept in mind that the enumeration of household members included more than family in some instances. Anyone besides family members living in a household, whether a hired man, a roomer, or a neighbor child serving as an apprentice, for example, was enumerated as a member of that household. Slaves were also counted, but they were not enumerated by age, only by sex. As will be noted, slaves were owned by only 6 of the 23 heads of households in 1840 whose names were Sparks (Sparkes, Spark).

The 1850 census was the first to include the name, with age, place of birth, occupation (if any), and value of real estate owned (if any) of each person (except slaves) found by the census taker in his district. (The separate slave schedule for 1850 has not been searched for slave owners named Sparks.)

A number was assigned by the census taker to each dwelling house that he visited and another to each family living in that house, though, as will be seen, the Virginia census takers appear not to have separated the two in many instances. These are useful in suggesting how close to each other two families may have lived, since the numbers were assigned as the census taker progressed. In copying the entries for Sparkses from the 1850 census of Virginia, beginning on page 2933, we have included the names of all members of each household where a Sparks appears. This information often provides a clue for identifying family relationships even though such relationships were not given on the 1850 census.

In using Virginia census records, it should be kept in mind that those through 1860 included the counties that became West Virginia in 1863. The counties that became West Virginia in which persons named Sparks (Sparkes, Spark) were living in 1850 were: Marion, Monongalia, Nicholas, Taylor, and Wood.

SPARKS HOUSEHOLDS LISTED ON THE 1840 CENSUS OF VIRGINIA

Males Females Slaves
 . 0
5
5
10
10
15
15
20
20
30
30
40
40
50
50
60
60
70
70
80
80
90
90
100
+
100
 || 0
5
5
10
10
15
15
20
20
30
30
40
40
50
50
60
60
70
70
80
80
90
90
100
+
100
M F
Caroline County                            ||                                
Catherine Sparks (p. 108) 1 1                        || 2       1                      
Walker Sparks (p. 111)           1                ||           1     1              
                             ||                                
Fluvanna County                            ||                                
Elijah Sparks (p. 276)             1              ||             1                  
                             ||                                
Harrison County                            ||                                
Mary Sparks (p. 4)     1                      ||     1     1                    
                             ||                                
Lee County                            ||                                
Hiram Sparks (p. 322) 2         1                || 1       1                      
Madison County                            ||                                
Henry Sparks (p.322) 2     2 1       1          ||   1 1 1 2   1                3  3
Humphrey sparks (p. 322)                 2          ||         1       1            5 2
Jasper Sparks (p. 322)         1       1          ||         2 1   1             2 1
Thomas Sparks (p. 322)     1           1          ||     1           1     1      4  9
Joseph Sparks (p. 322)                 1          ||           1   1             1 1
William Sparks (p. 323) 1       1                  ||         1     1                
Charles S. Sparks (p. 323) 1   1     1                ||   1     1                      
                             ||                                
Monongalia County                            ||                                
Eastern District                            ||                                
William Sparks (p. 57)               1            || 2 1       1                    
Nicholas County                            ||                                
James E. Sparks, Sr. (p. 2)       1       1            ||         1     1                
John Sparks (p. 12) 2       1                  ||         1                      
James Sparks (p. 12)  3       1         ..        ||         1                      
                             ||                                
Pittsylvania County                            ||                                
Southern District                            ||                                
Matthew Sparks (p. 115)   1 2 2     1              ||     1 1     1                  
Tthomas Sparks (p. 123)   1 1 1   1                || 1   1 2 1   1                  
                             ||                                
Preston County                            ||                                
Samuel Sparks (p. 404) 2   1   1 1                ||   1       1                    
Smyth County                            ||                                
Solomon Sparks (p. 404) 1 1  3  1  2   1              || 1     2     1                  
                             ||                                
Southhampton Co.                            ||                                
St. Lukes Parish                            ||                                
William A. Sparks (p. 100)           1                ||                             13  5
                             ||                                
Washington County                            ||                                
Ephriam Sparks (p. 214) 1   1     1                || 1       1                      
                             ||                                
Westmorland County                            ||                                
George Sparks (p. 300) 1           1              || 2       1                      

PERSONS NAMED SPARKS
LISTED ON THE 1850 CENSUS OF VIRGINIA

Campbell County, Virginia - 1850 Census

Town of Lynchburg.
Page 93. Census taken on September 10, 1850.

307-307 Eubank, Joseph  (M) 51 (W) Virginia Laborer  
  " Charlotte (F) 50 (W) "    
  Sparks, Jane (F) 40 (W) "    

Culpeper County, Virginia - 1850 Census

(No township listed.)
Page 215. Census taken on July 24, 1850.

13-13 Brown, Joel  (M) 72 (W) Virginia Farmer $1500 
  " Mildred (F) 50 (W) "    
  Sparks, Robert W. (M) 10 (W) "    

Page 215. Census taken on September 3, 1850.

276-275 Sparks, William T.  (M) 29 (W) Virginia Farmer $6,000 
  " M. Elizabeth (F) 22 (W) "    
  " Anna B. (F) 3 (W) "    
  " Marion (M) 2 (W) "    
  Estes, Isaac (M) 24 (W) "    
  Sparks, Henry T. (M) 32 (W) " Slave  Dealer

Fluvanna County, Virginia - 1850 Census

(No township listed.)
Page 38. Census taken on September 13, 1850.

591-591 White, Pleasant Jr. (M) 26 (W) Virginia Blacksmith  
  " Mary H.  (F) 22 (W) "    
  " Ann (F) 1 (W) "    
  Sparks, Elijah (M) 60 (W) "    
  " Kesiah (F) 60 (W) "    

Franklin County, Virginia - 1850 Census

(No township listd.)
Page 90. Census taken on September 12, 1850.

444-444 Jones, Henry  (M) 43 (W) Virginia Blacksmith  
  " Sophia (F) 42 (W) "    
  " Stephen (M) 18 (W) "    
  " Creed (M) 16 (W) "    
  " Mary  (F) 14 (W) "    
  " Susan  (F) 12 (W) "    
  " Lydia  (F) 10 (W) "    
  " Julia (F) 8 (W) "    
  " Judeth (F) 3 (W) "    
  Sparks, Richard (M) 40 (W) "    

(No township listed.)
Page 108. Census taken on October 3, 1850.

709-709 Sparks, William  (M) 28 (W) Virginia Farmer  
  " Julia A. (F) 28 (W) "    
  " Sarah J. (F) 9 (W) "    
  " Susannah (F) 8 (W) "    
  " Amanda (F) 6 (W) "    
  " Lucy M. (F) 4 (W) "    
  " Juliana (F) 2 (W) "    
  " Samuel W. B. (M) 3/12 (W) "    

Henrico County, Virginia - 1850 Census

City of Richmond.
Page 388. Census taken on December 16, 1850.

866-866 Sparks, Walter (M) 26 (W) Maryland Tinner  

(Living with other boarders in a boarding house.)

James City County, Virgnia - 1850 Census

Town of Williamsburg.
Page 287.

387 --- Sparks, Susan  (F) 33 (W) Virginia  

(Inmate in a lunatic asylum)

King George County, Virginia - 1850 Census.

(No township listed)
Page 469.

520-524 Sparks, James  (M) 35 (W) Birthplaces    
  " Susan (F) 35 (W) Unknown    

Madison County, Virginia - 1850 Census.

(No township listed)
Page 61. Census taken on August 28, 1850.

80-80 Sparks, Joseph  (M) 77 (W) Virginia Farmer $700 
  " Catherine (F) 54 (W) "    

Page 65. Census taken on September 17, 1850.

140-140 Sparks, William J.  (M) 33 (W) Virginia Farmer  
  " Sarah W. (F) 31 (W) "    
  " John W. (M) 11 (W) "    
  " Sarah L.  (F) 7 (W) "    
  " Martha F. (F) 7 (W) "    
  " Joseph S. (M) 5 (W) "    
  " James W. (M) 2 (W) "    

Page 71. Census taken on September 25, 1850.

237-237 Sparks, Joseph S. (M) 41 (W) Virginia Farmer $2000 
  " Harriet M. (F) 44 (W) "    
  " Abraham (M) 6 (W) "    
  " Harriet (F) 4 (W) "    
  " Mary E. (F) 2 (W) "    

Page 89. Census taken on November 21, 1850.

573-573 Sparks, James M.  (M)  27 (W) Virginia Farmer  $3000 
  " Mary R. (F) 20 (W) "    
  " Mary W (F) 2 (W) "    

Page 93. Census taken on November 27, 1850.

  Sparks, Jasper  (M) 70 (W) Virginia Wheelwright $1000 
  " Mary M. (F) 69 (W) "    
  " Elizabeth H. (F) 40 (W) "    
  " Mary S. (F) 39 (W) "    
  " Thomas A. (M) 38 (W) "    

Page 94. Census taken on November 27, 1850.

575-575 Sparks, Sarah T.  (F) 70 (W) Virginia   $300 
  Jackson, Mary (F) 48 (W) "    
  " Joseph H. (M) 45 (W) " Laborer  
  " Tabithy (F) 42 (W) "    

Page 96. Census taken on December 6, 1850.

604-604 Sparks, Benjamin H.  (M) 33 (W) Virginia Overseer  
  " Martha (F) 25 (W) "    
  " Hanna M. (F) 7 (W) "    
  " Sarah C. (F) 6 (W) "    
  " James W. (M) 3 (W) "    
  " Martha E. (F) 9/12 (W) "    

Page 107. Census taken on December 19, 1850.

779-779 Sparks, Thomas  (M) 75 (W) Virginia Farmer $6,750 
  Collins, Kitty F. (F) 25 (W) "    
  " John W. (M) 23 (W) " Laborer  
  Sparks, Hannah J.  (F) 29 (W) "    

Page 108. Census taken on December 19, 1850.

789-789 Sparks, Henry (M)  77 (W) Virginia  Farmer $2,000 
  " Hannah (F) 66 (W) "    
  " Susan (F) 24 (W) "    
  Lesis, Mary H.  (F) 14 (W) "    

791-791 Aylor, Mary (?)  (F) 65 (W) Virginia Farmer $22,500 
  Sparks, Susan (F) 60 (W) "    
  Dunbar, Oliver H. (M) 44 (W) "    

Marion County, Virginia - 1850 Census

Eastern District
Page 153. Census taken on September 5, 1850.

591-591 Kerns, Jacob  (M) 30 (W)  Virginia Farmer  
  " Mary Ann  (F) 32 (W) "    
  " Elisa  (F) 7 (W) "    
  " Sophia  (F) 4 (W) "    
  " Sarah  (F) 2 (W) "    
  Sparks, Josana (F) 26 (W) "    

Page 157. Census taken on September 7, 1850.

647-647 Sparks, Mary  (F) 55 (W) Virginia   $35;

Monongalia County, Virginia - 1850 Census

District No. 36.
Page 507. Census taken August 21, 1850.

457-458 Sparks, William  (M) 60 (W) Pennsylvania Laborer  
  " Sarah (F) 43 (W) Virginia    
  " Margaret (F) 15 (W) "    
  " Mary (F) 13 (W) "    

Nicholas County, Virginia - 1850 Census

Western District
Page 348. Census taken on July 26, 1850, by D. O. Kelly.

113-113 Sparks, Uriah C.  (M) 29 (W) Virginia Farmer $400 
  " Ann Mary (F) 26 (W) "    
  " James E., Sr. (M) 68 (W) " Farmer  
  " Polly (F) 64 (W) "    

Page 349. Census taken on July 27, 1850, by D. O. Kelly.

119 -119 Sparks, James  (M) 36 (W) Virginia Farmer $100 
  " Elizabethy (F) 32 (W) "    
  " Uriah (M) 13 (W) "    
  " William (M) 11 (W) "    
  " James (M) 9 (W) "    
  " Isaac (M) 7 (W) "    
  " Mary (F) 5 (W) "    
  " John (M) 3 (W) "    
  " Cyntha (F) 2 (W) "    
  " David (M) 8/12 (W) "    

District No. 43.
Page 352. Census Taken on August 2, 1850, by D. O. Kelly

160-160 Sparks, Charles  (M) 42 (W) Virginia Farmer  
  " Margaret (F) 39 (W) "    
  " Wellington (M) 18 (W) " Laborer  
  " Lydia (F) 17 (W) "    
  " Ann (F) 13 (W) "    
  " Ellen (F) 19 (W) Ohio    
  " Edward (M) 9 (W) "    
  " Jordon (M) 5 (W) "    
  " Lecty (M) 10/12 (W) "    
  McCoy, Andrew B. (M) 48 (W) Virginia   Farmer
  " William (M) 21 (W) "   Farmer

Page 382. Census taken on September 11, 1850, by D. O. Kelly.

547-547 Sparks, John  (M) 43 (W) Virginia Farmer $1,000 
  " Agness (F) 30 (W) "    
  " James (M) 13 (W) "    
  " Alice (F) 9 (W) "    
  " Nathan (M) 6 (W) "    
  " Joseph (M) 4 (W) "    
  " Uriah (M) 1 (W) "    

Pittsylvania County, Virginia - 1850 Census

Southern District
Page 85.

266-266 Sparks, Pinckney (M) 30 (W) Virginia   Laborer
  " Mary (F) 25 (W) "    
  " Armstead (M) 2 (W) "    

Page 86 Sparks, Sandy (M) 25 (W) Virginia Laborer  

(Living in the household of Robert W. Williams.)

Page 87.

294-294 Sparks, Thomas (M) 50 (W) Virginia   Laborer
  " Nancy (F) 51 (W) "    
  " Susan W. (F) 25 (W) "    
  " Sandy I. (M) 22 (W) "    
  " Jane (F) 19 (W) "    
  " Matthew (M) 16 (W) "   Farmer
  " Mary (F) 13 (W) "    

Page 106.

546-546 Cook, Jesse (M) 80 (W) Maryland    
  Sparks, Milton (M) 25 (W) Virginia    
  " Martha (F) 35 (W) "    
  Wilson, Nancy (F) 17 (W) "    
  Sparks, William (M) 2 (W) "    

Page 115. Census taken on November 1, 1850.

698-698 Paxton, John W.  (M) 64 (W) Virginia Silversmith $5,500 
  " Sarah C. (F) 57 (W) "    
  " James (M) 29 (W) "    
  " Sarah C. (Jr.,) (F) 20 (W) "    
  " John S. (M) 16 (W) "    
  Sparks, Keziah (F) 75 (W) "    

Taylor County, Virginia - 1850 Census

District No. 63.
Page 298. Census taken on July 3, 1850, by Jno. L. Burdett.

20-20 Sparks, Solomon  (M) 65 (W) Pennsylvania Farmer $400 
  " Rachael (F) 60 (W) "    
  " Sarah (F) 30 (W) Virginia    
  " George (M) 30 (W) " Laborer  
  " Charlotte (F) 28 (W) "    
  " Mary (F) 26 (W) "    
  " Solomon (M) 25 (W) " Laborer  
  " John (M) 21 (W) " Laborer  
  " Sarah (F) 20 (W) "    
  " Sarah (F) 19 (W) "    

Page 318. Census taken on July 20, 1850, by Jno. L. Burdett.

140-141 Sparks, John W.  (M) 21 (W) Virginia Farmer $1,100 
  " Margaret (F) 36 (W) "    
  " Luvinia (F) 18 (W) "    
  " Mary Jane (F) 14 (W) "    
  " John (M) 12 (W) "    
  " Syntha (F) 10 (W) "    
  Whitaker, Erny (F) 21 (W) "    

Tazewell County, Virginia - 1850 Census

Western District.
Page 295

--- - --- Sparks, Jonas  (M) 58 (W) North Carolina  
  " Mary (F) 46 (W) " "    
  " Jonas (M) 16 (W) " "    
  " Joseph (M) 12 (W) " "    
  Brown, LIda (F) 16 (W) " "    

Page 296

--- - --- Sparks, William  (M) 20 (W) North Carolina  
  " Cynthia (F) 20 (W) " "    

Washington County, Virginia - 1850 Census

District No. 67.
Page 83. Census taken on August 3, 1850, by J. S. Cummings

238-238 Sparks, Solomon  (M) 62 (W) North Carolina  
  " Joseph (M) 25 (W) " "    
  " Nicholas (M) 20 (W) " "    
  " Henry (M) 17 (W) " "    
  " Ephriam (M) 14 (W) " "    
  " William (M) 12 (W) " "    
  " Susan (F) 11 (W) " "    
  " Solomon (M) 8 (W) " "    
  " Joseph (M) 7 (W) " "    
240-240 Sparks, James  (M) 23 (W) North Carolina Cooper  
  " Julia (F) 22 (W) Virginia    

Page 84.

241-241 Sparks, Solomon  (M) 33 (W) Virginia Cooper  
  " Peggy A. (F) 26 (W) "    
  " Matilda (F) 12 (W) "    
  " Francis (M) 10 (W) "    
  " Mary (F) 8 (W) "    
  " Minerva (F) 5 (W) "    

[Scanner's note: It is felt that the hundreds of hours spent on this scanning project entitles this scanner to point out that the above family is headed by his great-grandparents and the head of household of the family listed from Washington County on the prior page is his great-great-grandfather, Solomon Sparks.]

242-242 Sparks, Jacob (M) 26 (W) Virginia Cooper  
  " Minerva (F) 24 (W) "    
  " William (M) 9 (W) "    
  " Catherine (F) 7 (W) "    
  " Amanda (F) 5 (W) "    
  " Solomon (M) 15 (W) " Laborer  

243-243 Sparks, Ephriam  (M) 43 (W) Virginia Laborer  
  " Lydia (F) 35 (W) "    
  " Andw.  (M) 19 (W) " Laborer  
  " William (M) 14 (W) "    
  " James (M) 14 (W) "    
  " Susan (F) 5 (W) "    
  " Wade (M) 7 (W) "    

Page 90. Census taken on August 7, 1850, by J. S. Cummings

324-324 Sparks, Ephriam  (M) 40 (W) Virginia Laborer  
  " Lydia (F) 38 (W) "    
  " James (M) 12 (W) "    
  " William (M) 12 (W) "    
  " Wade (M) 9 (W) "    
  " Solomon (M) 9 (W) "    
  " Joseph (M) 7 (W) "    
  " Sarah (F) 4 (W) "    
  " Henry (M) 4/12 (W) "    
  " Andw. (M) 17 (W) " Laborer   

(Editor's Note: Obviously, Family 324, above and Family 243, on page 84 of the above census are one and the same household. From other sources we know that Ephriam Sparks, a widower, married Lydia White, a widow; each had a family of children. The children that she brought to the marriage were: William White, Wade White, and Andrew White. Ephriam Sparks brought to the marriage the following children: James Sparks, Solomon Sparks, Joseph Sparks, and Sarah Sparks. The four-months-old child, Henry Sparks, was a son of Ephriam and Lydia Sparks. apparently the census-taker, J. S. Cummings, visited the Sparks household twice; from the differences in listing the members of this household, both in terms of names and ages, it seems that he interviewed different people on these two occasions. A comparison of these two listings serves to illustrate the kinds of errors that the census-taker often made in recording the census data.)

Westmoreland County, Virginia - 1850 Census

Cople Parish
Page 305. Census taken on September 17, 1850.

502-502 Sparks, George  (M) 39 (W) Virginia Pauper  
  " Mary (F) 45 (W) "    
  " Ann (F) 11 (W) "    
  " William (M) 14  (W) "    
  " Bethsada (F) 8 (W) "    

Wood County, Virginia - 1850 Census

District No. 65.
Page 123. Census taken on July 25, 1850.

 434-434 Sparks, Wm.  (M) 35 (W) Virginia Farmer  

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