April 5, 2018

Pages 1828
Whole Number 94


In the Quarterly of March 1972 (Vol. XX, No. 1, Whole No. 77) pages 1466-74, we published a record of the family of Baxter and Elizabeth (Gwin) Sparks. This rather extensive record of this branch of the Sparks family had been discovered in a collection of old letters purchased by a 16-year-old boy in Oklahoma. From these records, and other documents already in our files, we learned that Baxter Sparks had been born in Virginia on May 8, 1777; he married Elizabeth Gwin (or Gwinn) who had been born on May 1, 1786.

They became the parents of ten children:

Mary L., Thomas P., John G., Mathew N., Wesley H., George T., Edmond B., David R., Harvey A., and William A. J..

Baxter Sparks and his family moved from Virginia to Harrison County, Indiana; by 1837 they had moved to Macoupin County; Illinois, where Baxter Sparks died on September 7, 1840. His wife, Elizabeth (Gwin) Sparks, died there on March 24, 1844. Harrison County, Indiana, is in the southern most tier of Indiana counties and is separated from Jefferson, Hardin, and Meade Counties, KY, by the Ohio River. When the 1810 census of Harrison County was taken, Baxter Sparks was shown as living in Harrison Township. Shown as living next to Baxter Sparks on the 1810 census was John Gwinn, a man a generation older than Baxter, and living very near also was John Gwinn, Jr., who was about the same age as Baxter Sparks. It seems rather likely that the elder John Gwinn was Baxter's father-inlaw.

At the time these records were published in 1972, we knew of no descendant of Baxter Sparks, but a new member in 1973, Frances S. Jones of Walnut Creek, California, discovered that this was her family. She has since made a determined effort to discover the parentage of Baxter Sparks.

Another descendant of Baxter Sparks, George S. Milnor of 310 South Michigan Ave., Chicago, Illinois, who was living in 1941, was also much interested in this branch of the Sparks family, as revealed in a letter that he wrote to Mrs. Jones's uncle. It is unlikely that Mr. Milnor is still living, but we hope that through this query we may get in touch with a member of his family. Mr. Milnor was a great-grandson of Baxter Sparks; his grandfather (Baxter's son) was David R. Sparks, born 1823, died 1907, who married Ann Davenport Chapman. Their daughter, Mary Ann Sparks, married Frank R. Milnor in 1874 and was the mother of George S. Milnor.

In his letter to Mrs. Jones's uncle (Charles A. Sparks), Mr. Milnor referred to a recent visit he had paid to Charles A. Sparks, adding: "In reporting the matter to my uncle, Hosea B. Sparks, Palm Beach, Florida, he was very much interested as he remembered very well having visited your grandfather (John G. Sparks) many years ago." Mr. Milnor went on to report that Hosea B. Sparks, who was a son of David R. Sparks and a grandson of Baxter Sparks, had sent him photographs of John G. Sparks and wife, and he referred to the record of the family that he was maintaining.

Mr. Milnor referred to the father of Baxter Sparks as THOMAS SPARKS of Richmond, Virginia; he also stated that the maiden name of the wife of Thomas Sparks was Sanders, but he did not mention her first name. We had speculated that the family of Baxter Sparks had belonged to the Pittsylvania County, Virginia, branch of the family because a Gwin (or Gwinn) family was closely associated with that branch of the Sparks family. If Mr. Milnor was right regarding Baxter Sparks's father having lived near Richmond, then we are wrong in thinking he may have belonged to the Pittsylvania County branch, because Richmond is a long distance from Pittsylvania County.

Mr. Milnor mentioned having a son living at Fort Lewis, Washington, in 1941. Would a member of the Association living in that area be willing to try to determine whether a person named Milnor might still be living there? If anyone has information on this Sparks line, please write either to your editor or to Frances S. Jones, 2756 Tice Creek Dr., Manor #8, Walnut Creek, California (94595).

Page 1829

Whole Number 94


A Sparks descendant named Harry Roderick is seeking information regarding the parentage of Adeline Sparks who was born in Pennsylvania on October 20, 1809. She was married on January 1, 1826, to Isaac Newman who was born in Fayette County, PA, on October 20, 1800. The names of his parents are not known - - they died when he was quite young and he was reared by Ephraim Walters. Isaac Newman and Adeline Sparks lived in German Township, Fayette County, PA, following their marriage, but in 1849 they moved with their children to Jefferson Township, Green County, Wisconsin. Adeline (Sparks) Newman died on September 21, 1868; her husband, Isaac Newman, lived to be 94; he died July 21, 1894. They are buried north of Juda, Wisconsin, in the Mt. Vernon Cemetery. They both belonged to the Baptist Chruch.

Isaac and Adeline (Sparks) Newman were the parents of 18 children, 11 of whom lived beyond childhood. Their names were: Hulda, Naomi L., Mary J., Hannah, Pamelia, Elizabeth, Adeline, Martha M., Hattie, Lena Emma, and V. S. B. (a son). Mr. Roderick descends from the daughter Pamelia (or Pamela) who married Washington Mitchell in 1850 in Green County, Wisconsin.

Adeline was 16 years old when she married Isaac Newman. A Henry Sparks, whom we have not succeeded in identifying, obtained a warrant to a tract of land in Wayne Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania, on April 14, 1794. (Greene County adjoins Fayette County.) When this land was patented in 1796, however, John and William Newbold became the owners. We have not been able to identify this Henry Sparks. It is possible that he was the father of Adeline.

If anyone has information on this family, please write to the editor.


Mr. Raymond D. Crank, 404 Mormon St., Folsom, California (95630) is seeking information regrading the three wives and children of James R. Crank. James R. Crank was married three times. He married (first) Mary Jane Fowler on December 16, 1872, in Jackson County, Kentucky. On October 7, 1885, he married (as his second wife) Hannah J. Sparks in Estill County, Kentucky. On July 25, 1898, he married (third) Lizzie Barrett in Clay County, Kentucky. Mr. Crank seeks information on the children of these marriages, births, deaths, cemetery records, old pictures, etc.