Whole Number 51
by Mrs. Norma Lee Cole
Who was the father of Amon Sparks (also spelled Amond Sparkes) who was born ca. 1795 in Union County, South Carolina? It is believed that the grandparents of Amon were 17.2 Matthew and Elinor Sparks; Matthew was born ca. 1715 in Prince George's County, Maryland, while Elinor was born ca. 1731; they were married around 1748. When a special census was taken in Prince George's County in 1776, Matthew Sparks was listed as 61 years of age and his wife, Elinor, was listed as 45; living with them were five males (probably sons) aged 27, 17, 15, 11, and 7, as well as two females (probably daughters) aged 23 and 3. The births of only three of these children were recorded in the Register of St. John's or Pisoataway Parish in Prince George's County; they were:
17.2.3 Sarah Sparks, born May 23, 1753;
17.2.7 Josiah Sparks, born August 26, 1761; and
17.2.9 Truelove Sparks, born July 21, 1764.
From other records, it appears that Matthew Sparks, born ca. 1749 (married Kezia Stone), and Samuel Sparks, born ca. 1759, were also sons of Matthew and Elinor. There were probably several other children.
Matthew Sparks, with several of his sons, along with still other branches of the Sparks family, moved from Maryland to Pittsylvania County, Virginia, in 1777 or 1778. (See William Perry Johnson's article, “The Sparks Family of Pittsylvania County, Virginia” in the Quarterly of September, 1955, Vol. III, No. 3, Whole No. 11, and March, 1956, Vol. IV, No. 1, Whole No.13.) by 1790, members of this family had moved from Pittsylvania County, Virginia, to the Pacolet River in South Carolina, settling in Union and Spartanburg Counties.
Amon Sparks was born in South Carolina, and it was there that he married Mary Ann Gibson, daughter of Robert and Mary (Evans) Gibson. Shortly after their marriage, they moved to Blount County, Alabama, where their son George Washington Sparks was born April 27, 1819. Two or three years after the birth of this son, the family moved to Monroe County, Mississippi. When the 1830 census of Monroe County was taken, Amon Sparks was listed as “Amand Sparks” aged between 30 and 40 years. His family consisted of his wife, also aged 30 to 40, along with one male between 10 and 15, who would have been his son George Washington Sparks, plus one other male under 5 years, and two females between 5 and 10 years of age.
Amon Sparks died in Monroe County, Mississippi, ca. 1835. His oldest son, George Washington Sparks, then about 18 years old, took over the family's support. He married Louanna Roberds on August 26, 1842,
As was noted earlier, Amon Sparks married Mary Ann Gibson, daughter of Robert and Mary (Evans) Gibson. On March 15, 1822, George Washington Gibson, born June 17, 1800, a son of Robert and Mary (Evans) Gibson, married 18.104.22.168 Mary Ann Sparks, daughter of 17.2.7 Josiah and Lydia (Tollison) Sparks. (This was the Josiah Sparks, son of 17.2 Matthew and Elinor Sparks, who as born August 26, 1761; he married Lydia Tollison and when he made his will in Union County, S.C., in 1851, he named his children as:
22.214.171.124 John Sparks,
126.96.36.199 Thomas Sparks,
188.8.131.52 James Sparks,
184.108.40.206 Muse Sparks,
220.127.116.11 Nancy Sparks,
18.104.22.168 Elizabeth Sparks,
22.214.171.124 Abigail Sparks,
126.96.36.199 Francis Sparks, and
188.8.131.52 Mary Ann Sparks.
About 1838, George Washington Gibson, with his family, moved to Monroe County, Miss. This was soon after the death of Amon Sparks so perhaps he went to look after his sister's interests. In 1846, the two families left Mississippi by ox-teams and wagons to settle in the Far West. They wintered at old Fort Pueblo and the following spring set out for Salt Lake, arriving in the valley in July 1847. The Gibsons remained in Utah while the Sparkses left in 1850 for California and the Mother Lode country, where they opened a boarding house and named the place Diamond Springs after digging the well.
I shall appreciate any help anyone can give me in proving the ancestry of Amon Sparks and will be very pleased to share the information I have on his descendants. Please write to Mrs. Norma Lee Cole, San Bernardino, California. (92410)