July 08, 2007

Pages 1175-1177
Whole Number 63

SPARKS FAMILIES ENUMERATED ON THE 1840 CENSUS OF ILLINOIS Copied

by Carrie Grant Heppen



Editorís Introduction: Mrs. Heppen, our faithful researcher in Washington, recently had occasion to read the entire 1840 census of Illinois, which is preserved in the National Archives, for one of her clients. As is her custom, Mrs. Heppen watched for the name Sparks and copied the following records for us. She insists that, since she was not searching specifically for the name Sparks, she may have overlooked some, but knowing Mrs. Heppenís usual accuracy in her research, we are doubtful that she missed any Sparks families, but even though this is possible, the following compilation will be exceedingly useful.

In using the following records, it should be kept in mind that in all federal census records prior to 1850, only the name of the head of each household was actually recorded by the census taker. Following his or her name, all members of the household, including the head, were enumerated in columns by sex and age group. The members of the household so enumerated not only included the parents and their children, but also anyone else living with the family at the time, such as relatives, servants, roomers, etc.

We can be sure that there were persons named Sparks who were living in households headed by persons that were not named Sparks in 1840, but perhaps their number would about offset the number of persons enumerated in Sparks households who were not really Sparkses. It should be kept in mind that census takers often made mistakes, not only in spelling and in counting, but on occasion a family was missed altogether.

The census taker ordinarily recorded whatever data he was told by the person at home the day he stopped. Ages were often guessed at while some members of the household were overlooked. Sometimes parents included sons or daughters who were no longer living at home and who were counted in some other household also. Just because one fails to find his ancestor listed in a given county is by no means positive proof that he was not there.

Where two Sparks households were listed one after the other in the census record, the chances are great that they actually lived side-by-side and were probably closely related. Such families are identified in the following record by the abbreviation "adj."

The French were the first white settlers in the area that is now Illinois, and by 1750 there were six French communities there. by the Treaty of Paris in 1763, however, all of Illinois was ceded to the British and at least half of the French settlers moved to St. Louis and New Orleans. The British attempted to organize land companies to settle in the Illinois country but they had little success. It was in 1778 that George Rogers Clark made his "conquest" of the Illinois country on behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia then organized the County of Illinois as one of her political subdivisions, but ceded her claim to the area in 1784 to the United States government. Illinois became part of the Northwest Territory in 1787, then in 1800 became part of Indiana Territory. In 1809, Congress created Illinois Territory, which included Wisconsin. In 1818, Wisconsin was separated, and Illinois was admitted as a state.

Most of the early settlers in Illinois came from the Southern States, especially Virginia, Kentucky, and North and South Carolina. With the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825, however, immigrants began coming in large numbers from the East.

In 1820, the population of Illinois totaled 55,211. by 1830, this figure had grown to 157,445, and when the 1840 census was taken, a total of 476,183 people lived in the state. Of this latter number, 127 lived in Sparks households.

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Brown County                                                      

T. M. Sparks (p.176)

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

Clark County

                                                     

Martin Sparks (p.100)

0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0   1 1 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
                                                       

Clay County

                                                     

Leonard Sparks (p121)

0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0   1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
                                                       

Edgar County

                                                     

Eli Sparks (p. 66)

0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0   2 0 2 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
                                                       

Jo Davis County,

                                                     

Vinegar Hill Precinct

                                                     

John Sparks (p.371)

0 2 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0   0 1 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
                                                       

Logan County

                                                     

Samuel Sparks (p238)

1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   1 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
                                                       

Macoupin County

                                                     

Baxter Sparks (p. 33)

0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   2 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Wesley H. " (p. 35)

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

Morgan County

                       

.

.                          

Matthew Sparks (p453)

0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   2 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
                                                       

Sangamon County

                                                     

Truelove Sparks (p.33)

2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
                                                       

Schuyler County

                                                     

Mathew Sparks (p111)

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0   0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0

Samuel Sparks (p113)

0 1 1 2 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0   1 2 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
                                                       

Scott County

                                                     

Elihu Sparks (p.133)

0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

James Sparks (p.151)

0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
St. Clair County                           .              

         

Alfred Sparks (p. 290)

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

David Sparks (p. 296)

0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Noah Sparks (p. 297)

0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
                                                       

Williamson County

                                                     

John G. Sparks (p387)

1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0   2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

(Note: One free black male (age not given) was enumerated as living with the family of Alfred Sparks in St. Clair County.)

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