January 18, 2020

Pages 441
Whole Number 999


Mrs. John B. Jones of 1141 E. 5th Ave., Mesa, Arizona, is seeking information on the ancestry of her great-great-grandfather, David Sparks, of Maine. According to family tradition, David Sparks was a sailor and was often away from home for long periods of time. When he would return at the close of a long voyage, he would spend many hours telling his children of his adventures. 50.x David Sparks was a native of the town of Bowdoinham (now called Bowdoin), Sagadahoc County, Maine. He met Mary (or Mercy) Thayer of Belchertown, Hampshire County, Massachusetts. She had been born on December 6, 1782, at Ware, Massachusetts, and was a daughter of Silas and Perley (Pond) Thayer. She and David were married on April 21, 1804, at Northampton in Hampshire County, Massachusetts. They were the parents of the following children:

50.x.1 David Sparks, Jr. was born January 22, 1804.
50.x.2 Jane Sparks was born April 28, 1805.
50.x.3 Jemima Sparks was born ca. 1807.
50.x.4 Mary Jane Sparks was born November 10 (or 16), 1809.
50.x.5 Louisa Sparks was born September 29, 1811.
50.x.6 Jonathan Sparks was born ca. 1815.
50.x.7 Dwight Sparks was born ca. 1818.
50.x.8 Quartus Strong Sparks was born October 27, 1820.

David Sparks is known to have been lost at sea - - nothing ever being heard from the last ship on which he sailed - - but the date of this disaster is not known.

50.x.4 Mary Jane Sparks, daughter of David Sparks, married, (first) James Sanderson who was born June 20, 1804, in Hampden County, Mass., son of Sylvanus and Charlotte (Cooley) Sanderson. They were the parents of three children:

50.x.4.1 Henry Weeks Sanderson, born in 1829;
50.x.4.2 Mary (Maria) Louisa Sanderson, born in 1833; and
50.x.4.3 Mary Jane Sanderson, born in 1841.

In 1834 the family moved to New Canaan, Conn., and from there to Nauvoo, IL. James Sanderson died in St. Louis, Missouri., on September 13, 1845. Mary Jane married (second) Moses Martin Sanders. She died in the Tonto Basin in Ariz. on November 20, 1898. Does anyone have additional information on this family?

For more information on this family, see Whole Number 171, Pages 4500-4512

Page 442


Can anyone identify Private J. Sparks of the 12th Mississippi Calvalry Regiment of the Confederate States of America?

In the 10-volume work entitled Jefferson Davis, Constitutionalist, His Letters, Papers and Speeches, (Jackson, Miss., Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1923), beginning on page 59 of volume 10, appears an interesting letter written by G. W. Tunstall to President Davis on March 29, 1888. In this letter are listed the group of Confederate soldiers whom Tunstall claimed stood by Jefferson Davis to the last moment. Among those listed was "J. Sparks, Private, 12th Miss. Cav. Regt." Tunstall's letter to Davis reads as follows:

                                                                                                           "Mobile, Mch. 29, '88.

     "To Hon. Jefferson Davis,
       Ex-President of the Southern Confederacy,

     "My Dear Sir, Allow me to present to your most revered self a copy from the original giving you the names of those who remained true to the "cause," and yourself to the very last and were honorably discharged by General John C. Breckinridge, at Washington, Georgia, on May the 5th 1865.

     "Before presenting the names however of this small band of patriots, it would be well to state briefly the reason why I have preserved their names as such:

     "After the surrender of General Lee at Appoviattox, and of General Joseph E. Johnston, (to whose command we belonged) General Breckinridge took command of a division of cavalry, consisting of Duke's Brigade of Kentuckians, Dibbrell and Vaughan's Brigade of Tennesseeans, and Ferguson's Brigade of Alabamians and Mississippians, as an escort to yourself in order to conduct you across the Mississippi river and form a junction with General Dick Taylor, as well as to see you to a place of safety from the vindictiveness of the Federals, which the men promised when in South Carolina; as General Ferguson stated to them very clearly the situation, and what was expected of them, consequently there could not have existed any misunderstanding on their part, as to what was expected of them.

     "However, when General Breckinridge crossed the Savannah river with this command, and gave out to each Brigade a portion of the assets of the Treasury of the Confederacy, consisting of Mexican dollars, then and there they refused to go on any farther as promised, with the exception of this small band, whose sense of right and duty prompted them to fulfill their sworn obligation to their country and their Chief, and when the last roll call was answered on the 5th of May 1865 at General Breckinridge's Head Quarters about six miles west of Washington, Georgia, I am proud to know that I was there to answer to my name, and was honorably discharged by the noble Breckinnidge, and told to go to my home; that this small band was not sufficient to fight through and would only be an encumbrance otherwise.

     "I offer you this simply to show who stood by you to the last moment thinking it would be gratifying to yourself, to know and feel that you were not entirely deserted by your followers, until this little squad was honorably discharged by the Secretary of War. I am first cousin to Mrs. Judge Clayton, of Montgomery, who was the widow of the Hon. C. C. Clay, and am Very sincerely yours, G. W. Tunstall."

Attached to this letter is the list of names of this "little squad," there being a total of eighty-seven. One was "J. Sparks" as given above.

Page 443


Mrs. Lawrence Taylor, 8003 Anletta, Houston, Texas, has submitted the following query. Can anyone help her?

"I am seeking information on Elizabeth Sparks who married James Taylor White. I have very little information on her except that she and her husband were the parents of John White who married Sarah Gambel. The earliest known date is the birth date of a grandson of James Taylor and Elizabeth (Sparks) White; this grandson was named William White and was born December 17, 1766, in Virginia. Using this date as a starting point, it would seem probable that Elizabeth Sparks was born ca. 1720. Some references give Virginia and some give Carolina as the name state of Elizabeth and her husband. John White, son of James Taylor and Elizabeth (Sparks) White, moved to St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, where he died January 8, 1807. I would be glad to exchange data on this family. John possibly had a brother, James White, who settled in Natchez, Mississippi."