Whole Number 4
This issue of The Sparks Quarterly completes Volume I of our publication devoted to the history of the SPARKS family in America. We now have 163 members in some thirty states, and have every reason to look forward to continued growth. We feel certain, however, that there are hundreds of other Sparks relatives in the United States, who would be interested in the ASSOCIATION and the Quarterly if they only knew of their existence. 0ur difficulty is that of learning their whereabouts. We hope that members will continue to send us the names and addresses of relatives and friends who might be interested in joining, so that we may send them a sample copy of the Quarterly. The great majority of our new members have been contacted in this manner.
When the ASSOCIATION was founded nearly a year ago, we could not foretell whether or not enough Sparks relatives would be interested in joining to make it financially possible to continue publishing the Quarterly. We are happy to announce that not only will be able to continue publishing Sparks history, but that the plan to add an extra page to each 1954 issue. Whether we continue financially solvent, however, depends upon whether our 163 members renew their membership for 1954. The active membership dues will still be only one dollar per year, although we hope that a number of you will feel able to continue or to become sustaining members, and send more than the minimum $1.00.
As officers of THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION, we feel that the membership should be aware of the present financial status of the organization. Following are those figures as of December 6, 1953:
Receipts from 1 April 1953, to December 6, 1953:
Dues from 131 active members $131.00
Dues from 32 sustaining members $105.00
Total Receipts $237.00
Disbursements from 1 April 1953, to December 6, 1953:
Cost of publishing Quarterly $119.40
Membership cards $3.50
Total Expenditures $153.30
Balance on Hand December 6, 1953 $83.70
We feel that the ASSOCIATION is very fortunate to be able to enter the new year with a balance of $83.70, but sincerely hope that all members will renew their membership immediately so we can continue to publish and expand the Quarterly. A stamped envelope addressed to the editor is provided for your convenience. Please remember to enclose the names of any prospective members you may know.
Sincerely yours, PAUL E. SPARKS,
President, THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION.
Whole Number 12
Your Editor, with the assistance of William Perry Johnson, is gathering material for an article on the Sparks Family of Culpeper County, Virginia. We hope to include as many descendants as possible of Thomas Sparks (son of John and Mary Sparks) and his wife, Mary Towles (daughter of Stokely and Ann Towles). Thomas Sparks lived and died in that part of Culpeper County which became Madison County in 1792-3, about two and one-half miles from Slate Mills, Virginia. He was born ca. 1720 and married Mary Towles about 1740.
Thomas and Mary (Towles) Sparks had the following children:
21.1.1 John Sparks, married Phoebe Smith and lived in Madison County, Va.;
21.1.2 Ann Sparks, married Jacob Aylor;
21.1.3 Humphrey Sparks, married Milly Nalle (or Noel) ca. 1780 and was living in Scott Co., Kentucky, between 1800 and 1820;
21.1.4 Lucy Sparks, married James Kilby;
21.1.5 Henry Sparks, born June 16, 1753, married Lucy Clark in Madison Co., Va., in 1776, served in the Revolution and was later pensioned, moved in 1795 to Franklin Co., Kentucky, and in 1800 to Owen Co., Kentucky, where he died August 14, 1836;
21.1.6 Thomas Sparks, Jr.;
21.1.7 Mary Sparks, married first, Russell Vawter, and second, James Smith;
21.1.8 Frankey Sparks.
21.1.9 Mildred Sparks, born ca. 1761.
Thomas Sparks mentioned all of these children, as well as his wife, in his will dated 10 December 1784, probated 19 February 1787. Anyone having data on descendants of this family is requested to write to Russell E. Bidlack, 1709 Cherokee Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104.
With this issue we complete the third volume of The Sparks Quarterly. Furthermore, THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION is now three years old. Had the founders of the ASSOCIATION realized how many Sparks descendants would be interested in supporting a family organization, they would probably have begun organizing several years earlier. Nearly four hundred descendants have joined the Association and, although several have passed away during the past three years and a number have failed to renew their membership, we feel confident that no other family organization can boast of a more rapidly growing and enthusiastic group. We have been very pleased with the financial support given the ASSOCIATION during 1955. The fact that many members contributed more than the active membership dues of one dollar, along with the gift of one hundred dollars by Dr. Proctor Sparks of Ashland, Kentucky, has made it possible to increase the size of the Quarterly. Whether we can continue to issue sixteen pages each quarter during 1956 will depend, of course, upon our receipts for next year. Our Secretary-Treasurer will mail out a financial statement late in December along with a form for members to fill out when sending their 1956 dues. We hope that you will all renew your membership promptly and that as many of you who can will become contributing members (two dollars) or sustaining members (any amount over two dollars) for 1956. We have many hundreds of pages of Sparks history waiting for publication and the rapidity with which these data can be printed and distributed is entirely dependent upon receipts.
Whole Number 17
Members of the Association who trace their ancestry to Randolph County, North Carolina, will be interested to know that William Perry Johnson has published the 1815 Tax List of that county. Over five hundred families are represented in this tax list which bridges the gap between the 1810 census and the 1830 census, since the 1820 census of Randolph County is lost. Copies of this 1815 Tax List are available for $3.00 from William Perry Johnson, Box 531, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Whole Number 17
[NOTE: Page 204 of Whole Number 17 consists of a map of the State of Kentucky.
Above the map are the words "THE FILSON CLUB INCORPORATED LOUISVILLE KENTUCKY" and beneath the map are the words "From Historical Sketches of Kentucky *** by Lewis Collins, Maysville, Kentucky 1847"]
Whole Number 18
Word has been received from Arminda Fisher (Mrs. Carl J.) of 324 New York Ave., Muncie, Indiana, that the reunion of the John Sparks descendants will be held on August 24, 1957, at the Shelter House, Matter Park, Marion, Indiana. Basker Dinner. All friends and interested persons will be most welcome. The President of the reunion is Peter T. Spencer, R.R. 4, Marion, Indiana; the Secretary is Kenneth Sparks, of LaFontaine, Indiana.
John Sparks, whose descendants will meet for this reunion, was born December 6, 1806, in Laurens District, South Carolina, the son of William and Mary (Palmer) Sparks. His parents emitgrated to Indiana in 1812, settling first in Union County, later in Connersville Township, Fayette County. (A detailed record of the family of William Sparks (1772-1862) will be published in a later issue of the Quarterly.) John Sparks became a distinguished Baptist minister. He married Elizabeth Harlan on November 2, 1826, in Fayette County, Indiana. She was born January 25, 1807, in South Carolina. and died September 18, 1879, in Liberty Township, Wabash County, Indiana, near the town of LaFontaine. He died in Liberty Township on March 8, 1863. Both are buried at the Cemetery in LaFontaine, Indiana. They were the parents of eleven children: Nancy, Mary, Charlotte, Amanda, Martha Ann. Jane, Wilson Thompson, Elizabeth, John Jefferson, William Thomas, and Sarah Emeline.
Whole Number 18
Members of The Sparks Family Association who have Virginia ancestry will be interested in a new genealogical magazine devoted to Virginia genealogy and history. Called The Virginia Genealogist, it is edited and published by Fred Dorman, Box 4883, Washngton 8, D.C. Mr. Dorman is one of the leading professional genealogists of Washington and has conducted valuable research for The Sparks Family Association. He is noted for his accuracy and thoroughness, as well as for his knowledge of genealogical sources.
The Virginia Genealogist began publication this year, two issues having appeared this far. It is a quarterly. Each issue contains forty-eight pages devoted to the transcription of tax lists, abstracts of wills and court records, pension records, vital statistics from early Virginia newspapers, etc. There is also a query section. Subscriptions are $5.00 per year and may be ordered from Mr. Dorman. Write to: Fred Dorman, Editor, Box 4883, Washington 8, D.C.
Whole Number 19
The officers of The Sparks Family Association regret to report that the amount received from membership dues thus far in 1957 is inadequate to cover the expenses of editing and publishing the Quarterly. This is partly due to the fact that fewer new members have joined in 1957 than in 1956, with very few back issues of the Quarterly being sold. Also, a distressingly large number of our old members have failed to send their 1957 dues. We are confident that the situation will improve in 1958 with the increase of active membership dues from $1.00 to $2.00, but it is feared that a rather large deficit will have to be carried over from 1957 unless some of our loyal and enthusiastic members come to our aid. Mr. Harry F. Sparks, whose query is printed below, recently sent us a check for $10.00 'for the good of the organization.' Are there others who could afford to make similar donations so that we will not be forced to reduce the size of the Quarterly?
Whole Number 21
The February, 1958, issue of THE BULLETIN OF THE SEATTLE GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY carried an announcement on it's first page regarding our Association's having completed its fifth year of existence. The Sparks Quarterly was described as 'one of the most valuable as well as most interesting of the family association publications.' We thank the editor of the Bulletin, Arthur D. Fiske, for his kind words. We also take pleasure in calling the Bulletin to the attention of our members. Many valuable genealogical records from all over the United States are being published each month, including individual genealogies and family Bible records. There is also a query section. A feature begun in the March issue is a complete index to the 1830 census of Vermont. Yearly subscriptions are $3.00. Write to the Society's Treasurer, E. B. Bliss, 1618 9th Ave., West, Seattle 99, Washington.
Whole Number 21
Please permit me to thank and express my appreciation to those who responded to my 'token' bulletin, together with my cordial evaluation of the interest of those who 'took time out' during the busy holiday season to write such very welcome letters. I also wish to express to you my appreciation for your many contributions to the welfare of THE SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION. It is magnificent evidence of your loyalty to your Sparks blood, of which there is none better.
March 19, 1958. Charles H. Smith
Whole Number 23
Decendants of Matthew Sparks, who died near Athens, Georgia, in Nov, 1793, (see The Sparks Quarterly, Dec, 1956, page 177), will be interested to know that one of our members has joined the National Society, Daughters of the American Colonists on the basis of her descent from Matthew Sparks. Mrs. Mary Neal (Horner) , who lives at 7-A Vanderbilt Campus, Nashville 5, Tennessee, is a great-great-grand-daughter of Matthew and Sarah Sparks. Following is her line of descent:
Matthew Sparks (ca.1730-1793) married Sarah Thompson (ca.1732-ca.1830)
Jesse Sparks (1773-1858) married Elizabeth Jones (ca.1775-ca.1817)
Sarah Sparks (1797-1856) married John Horner, Jr. (1793-1878)
John Valentine Horner (1824-1913) married Elizabeth Dilworth Patterson (1827-1892)
Cornelius Alonzo Horner (1868-1930) married Mary Elizabeth Green (1869-1941)
Mary Neal Horner (born 1903) married Edward Everett Bryan (born 1901)
Any American woman of good moral character, who has attained her eighteenth year, is able to membership in this Society, provided she is acceptable to the Society, and is the lineal descendant of a man or woman who rendered civil or military service in any of the colonies prior to July 4, 1776. An applicant must furnish proof of her descent from such an ancestor. Mrs. Bryan was eligible on the basis of Matthew Sparks having been an original land owner in Rowan County, North Carolina, his having performed jury service at various times between 1761 and 1766, and his having been an overseer of roads in Rowan County in 1773.
Whole Number 23
Since a large proportion of the members of The Sparks Family Association descend from Southern branches of the family, it is thought that a relatively new genealogical publication should be called to their attention. It is THE SOUTHERN GENEALOGIST'S EXCHANGE, now in its second year, edited and published by Mrs. Aurora C. Shaw, an able genealogist of the South. It is issued four times a year, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, is nicely mimeographed, with pages measuring 8-1/2 x 11', and with 30 to 36 pages per issue. A wide range of subjects are covered. Samples of articles which have appeared are the following: Indexes to the 1840 censuses of several counties in Florida and Arkansas, 'Formation of Florida Counties,' 'List of Georgia Court Houses Destroyed by Fire, Theft,' 'Upper Black Creek Primitive Baptist Church,' 'Sketches of Early Baptist Ministers & Georgia Baptists,' 'Family Reunions,' 'Cemeteries,' 'New Books & Publications,' 'What's My Line [Query Section]', 'Family Bible Records,' many family records, genealogies, biographical sketches, etc. Those interested may subscribe to THE SOUTHERN GENEALOGIST'S EXCHANGE for $3.50 per year. Single issues and back issues are available for $1.00 each. Address: Mrs. Aurora C. Shaw, 2525 Oak Street, Jacksonville 4, Florida.
Whole Number 33
Since the publication of the last issue of the Quarterly, our President, Dr. Paul E. Sparks, has received an important advancement in his professional career. On December 15, 1960, he was promoted to Assistant Superintendent for General Instruction in the Louisville, Kentucky, public school system.
Paul began his teaching career in his home town, Yatesville, Kentucky. He went to Louisville in 1935 as a teacher at Western Junior High School and by 1939 had advanced to the position of Principal of Emmet Field School in the same city. During World War II, he served as a captain in the Army Air Force. He returned to the Louisville school system following the war and in 1959 became Director of Pupil Personnel. Paul holds a bachelor's degree from Morehead College, a master's from Northwestern University, and a doctor of education degree from Indiana University.
Whole Number 34
Charles Hughes Hamlin, who located and abstracted the early Virginia land records given above, is a professional genealogist who specializes in Virginia families. He has had many years of experience in this area and, since he lives in Richmond, he has easy access to extensive collections of Virginia documents and records of value to the genealogist. We heartily recommend Mr. Hamlin to anyone who wishes to engage a researcher in Virginia. His fees are reasonable, and his reports are carefully and accurately typed. Address him as follows: Mr. Charles Hughes Hamlin, 7202 Washington Highway, Box 24, Richmond 27, Virginia.
Whole Number 37
(Editor's Note: For nearly a decade, your editor has been carrying on a stimulating correspondence with the gentleman whom he thinks of as the "Grand Old Man" of the Sparks Family Association, Major Charles H. Smith of Pittsburgh. Major Smith has been one of the most loyal of our charter members; he has secured more new members than anyone else, often paying the first year's dues himself in order to interest a Sparks descendant in the work of the Association. He has also been most generous in his financial support of the Association, and, on a number of occasions, he has contributed valuable material to the Quarterly itself. Major Smith is a gentleman of the "old school," devoted to the traditions and values of the past, proud of his American heritage, and anxious that the legacy of former generations be not forgotten. On June 15, 1962, Major Smith will celebrate his 90th birthday. The editor herewith extends his hearty congratulations to Major Smith and he is certain that the membership joins him in wishing our oldest charter member happiness and good health for many years to come. The following paragraphs, taken from a recent letter from Major Smith, will be of interest to all of our members who have loved a pet dog. The photograph of Major Smith bidding his beloved puppy farewell was taken shortly after "Lady" died.)
Those who have cultivated the affection and loyalty of pets have realized values beyond their dreams. The child who has never had a dog has yet to live.
Almost nine years ago, my daughter surprised me with a little cocker spaniel puppy whom she had named "Lady." Throughout the year's, Lady has been my shadow and loyal companion--the "Royalty of Loyalty"--she became a part of me. On the last day of the year 1961, at about 4:45 P.M., she died, while prone on a blanket in front of our living room gas grate. Would that I could pay merited homage to "Lady."
Lady was a much beloved puppy. She would sleep at my feet under this desk, or by my side, or under my bed, or on the cool tile hearth. . I have found her sleeping between my slippers when I entered my room. She would occupy a large wicker chair near me when I was busy in the basement. When I returned from an errand, she would not leave the door until I came in, regardless of the number who preceded me. When I wiped out her blinded eyes and put drops in them, she was always ready and receptive. (Her misfortune was that she was too highly bred.) She would gently touch me on my leg when she wanted to be recognized or petted and stand to find out when I was in bed. These constitute but a few of her evidences of intelligence. When told that I was "going to church," she seemed to understand that she could not go. She would sit up, lie down, roll over, shake hands, say her prayers, and tell my wife good-night before going to her own berth.
We placed our beloved puppy in an aluminum-bound "casket" (converted from a traveling case) and buried her in a corner back of the garage. My next tribute will be to mark her grave and sow grass seed in her memory. Since the "legacy of loyalty and devotion" left by this little blind and tumor-plagued puppy commands our profound admiration, is it not a reflection on human posterity that their ancestry is so generally ignored? (Including too many of the Sparks family?)
Whole Number 38
In the editor's note following the abstract of the bounty land application of Moses Sparks on page 643 of this issue of the Quarterly, acknowledgement is made of the assistance received from Ray M. Sparks, a great-grandson of Moses Sparks. We learned recently that on January 21, 1962, Ray M. Sparks celebrated his 50th anniversary in the ministry. For the occasion, he returned to the First Baptist Church of Talpa, Texas, where he was both licensed and ordained. As guest preacher for the occasion, the Rev. Mr. Sparks spoke on the topic "Principles Upon Which My Ministry Has Been Based."
The Rev. Ray M. Sparks is a resident of 2206 Junius St., San Angelo, Texas, having retired from the ministry at the First Baptist Church of Silver, Texas, in 1960. Licensed in Talpa on January 20, 1912, the year he finished high school, the Rev. Mr. Sparks entered Howard Payne College that autumn to study for the ministry. He was ordained in the Talpa church on May 27, 1914, and until his retirement served in maziy capacities as minister and teacher. He was graduated from Howard Payne College in 1927. Mr. Sparks was pastor of Hillcrest Baptist Church in San Angelo from December 1, 1945, to February 1, 1950. He was pastor of Ecla Baptist Church for more than two years before coming to San Angelo in 1945. He has also served as part-time pastor.of rural churches in Brow:, Coleman and Runnels Counties, Texas, and he taught school for fifteen years in those counties.
Ray M. Sparks was born seven miles west of Coleman, Texas, on October 21, 1893. He was a son of John Ramey and Mary Berta (Keeling) Sparks and a grandson of Richard and Emma (Bell) Sparks. Ray moved with his family to Talpa in 1904. He was married in February, 1915, to the former Miss Lillian Matthews, a native of Hamilton County, Texas. The Rev. and Mrs. Sparks have four children, all of whom live in San Angelo. They are: Mrs. A. M. Fuller, Mrs. Carroll Puckett, John M. Sparks, and Carl R. Sparks. They have thirteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Whole Number 39
Mrs. Nelliemae Burns Sparks, one of our most enthusiastic and active members, reports that she has purchased a Griscombe Microfilm viewer on which she is able to read 35 and 16 mm. film and that she has also purchased film containing many census records. Mrs. Sparks offers to search any census record for a member of the Association in exchange for the cost of the film. Census records are available on film at the National Archives from 1800 to 1880. The cost varies from six to eleven dollars. Those interested in taking advantage of Mrs. Sparks's generous offer should write to her for further information.
Whole Number 39
|District of Columbia||3||Ohio||11|
|Missouri||9||Grand Bahama Island||1|
Whole Number 41
On Sunday, August 4, 1963, the descendants of Robert Thomas Sparks, a pioneer settler of Denton County, Texas, will hold their annual reunion at the Denton City Park. All members of this branch of the Sparks family are urged to attend. At last year's reunion there were over one hundred family members present.
Robert Thomas Sparks was born September 14, 1848, and died in Denton, Texas, on April 15, 1925. His parents were Stephen and Elizabeth J. (Levi) Sparks, who were married in Allen County, Kentucky, on June 3, 1843. Stephen Sparks joined the Union Army early in the Civil War and died at Pittsburg, Tennessee, on April 15, 1862, as a result of wounds received on the battle field. In 1866, his widow applied for a pension and listed those of her children who were then under sixteen years of age as follows: John S. Sparks, born July 13, 1851; William W. Sparks, born April 10, 1854; Margaret K. Sparks, born November 25, 1857; and Mary V. Sparks, born June 26, 1860. In later records, the daughter Margaret K. was called Louisa M. K. Sparks, and the daughter Mary V. was called Mary E. V. Sparks. Census records indicate there was also a daughter named Amanda C. Sparks who was born ca. 1846, as well as the eldest son, Robert Thomas Sparks.
As a young man, Robert Thomas Sparks, son of Stephen and Elizabeth J. (Levi) Sparks, moved to Missouri and later to Denton County, Texas. He was married twice. His first wife was Amanda Caroline Collins, whom he married in Bakersfield, Missouri, on November 19, 1876. She was the daughter of John Bunyon and Ruth Elizabeth Collins; she was born in Tennessee on February 20, 1851, and died in Denton, Texas, on June 11, 1888. On January 27, 1889, Robert Thomas Sparks married, second, Ruth Isabel Collins, sister of his first wife.
by his first wife, Robert Thomas Sparks had four children:
1. George Warren Sparks, born October 13, 1879.
2, Mary Olie Sparks, born December 1, 1881.
3. Thomas Luther Sparks, born September 13, 1884.
4. Lotta Ethel Sparks, born November 2, 1886.
by his second wife, Robert Thomas Sparks had six children:
5. John Stephen Sparks, born August 25, 1890.
6. William Franklin Sparks, born August 27, 1892.
7. Ruth Elizabeth Sparks, born September 10, 1895.
8. Amanda Carolyn Sparks, born April 6, 1898.
9. Gilford Raymond Sparks, born October 11, 1900.
10. Milbra June Sparks, born January 19, 1903.
Whole Number 43
George W. B. Evans, who was one of the many thousands of Americans who went to California in 1849 to seek gold, kept a journal during his journey which was published in 1949. Evans left from Defiance, Ohio, went down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans, thence by boat to Galveston, thence to Matagorda Bay, then overland to California. He crossed the San Joaquin River in central California on October 21, 1849, and wrote the following:
"At this crossing ... we found a regular Yankee ferry, kept by a man by the name of SPARKS, and who charges for his services in transferring persons from side to side, the moderate sum of $1.00 per head, man and beast. Thinking this rather too feeling, we took advantage of a ford a short distance above the ferry, and in five minutes time we were all safely over. Mr. SPARKS has a victually establishment or traders tent and here for the first time we found hay in the stack which would sell for $100 per ton."
Whole Number 43
When reading the financial records of our Colonial ancestors, we should keep in mind that the Colonial pound was not the pound sterling. The pound was twenty shillings, the shilling twelve pence, equivalent to $3.33 1/3, and 16 2/3 cents, respectively.
Whole Number 43
In the American State Papers , published in 1834, in Class VIII devoterto "Public Lands,"there are two Sparks references. On February 7, 1809, a certificate was issued to James Richardson for 240 arpents of land near a water course called Marais des Liards. This land had been claimed by JONAS SPARKS. It is not clear whether James Richardson was his heir or whether he had purchased the right from Jonas Sparks (see Vol. 2, page 694). In a section devoted to "Claims in the Western District of Louisiana"(Vol. 3, page 242) appears the following entry: " No. 1239-1037-- JONATHON SPARKS claims six hundred and forty acres of land on both sides of Stokely's creek, pariah of Cattahoula. The evidence of Henry Combs, taken the 15th December 1813, states that the claimant settled on the land in 1803, and has inhabited and cultivated the same ever since."Can anyone identify either JONAS SPARKS or JONATHAN SPARKS?
Whole Number 54
A LETTER FOR WILLIAM SPARKS IN SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA, 1841
Included in the names of persons who had unclaimed letters at the Shreveport, Louisiana, Post Office dated January 1, 1841, is that of 'WILLIAM SPARKS.
Whole Number 61
The following item appeared in the Republican Banner published in Williamsport, Maryland, on Saturday, April 30, 1831: 'In Litchfield, New Hampshire, Mr. Samuel Sparke, a Revolutionary War soldier, aged 80, married widow Sarah Barnes, aged 73, after a tedious courtship of eighteen hours.'
Whole Number 67
A number of years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Seymour T. Rose began publishing the Rose Family Bulletin. Mr. and Mrs. Rose are attempting to do for the Rose family what we are trying to. do for the Sparks family.
Mr. and Mrs. Rose have asked us to announce that they will be pleased to check their master index for anyone named Rose in the United States. They will be glad to do so without charge. Write to Mr. & Mrs. Seymour T. Rose, 1474 Montelegre Dr., San Jose, California (95120).
A PERSONAL NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
On July 1, 1969, your Editor accepted the appointment of Dean of the School of Library Science at the University of Michigan. The many responsibilities of this position will make it even more difficult for him to find time to devote to the Sparks Family Association than in the past. He will make every effort to continue to edit and publish the Quarterly, but it will be impossible for him to continue to correspond with any degree of regularity with members of the Association regarding their Sparks ancestors. Please be patient when an issue of the Quarterly is late or a letter goes unanswered.
Whole Number 75
Mr. M. J. Denis, editor of The Maine Genealogical Inquirer, has asked us to call his publication to the attention of the members of The Sparks Family Association. This publication is a bi-monthly magazine which specializes in Maine and New England genealogy. It is indexed in the Genealogical Periodical Annual Index. Subscribers may submit unlimited free inquiries. The price is one year (six issues) for $4.00, or two years (twelve issues) for $6.00. Address: “The Maine Genealogical Inquirer,” M. J. Denis, Editor, Box 253, Oakland, Maine (04963).
Whole Number 76
In 4246 B.C., the Egyptians adopted the first calendar based on the Solar year. It was a twelve-month calendar, with each month containing thirty days, totalling 360 days for the year. To make the calendar come out even with the Sun, they added five days at the end of the year - - six days every fourth year. The five days were not part of any month - - they were used as feast days to honor their gods.
In 1795, just as the Gregorian calendar was well on its way to universal use, France revived the original calendar of Egypt, dating back to 4246 B.C. They called it the Calendar of Reason. There were twelve months of thirty days, each month divided into ten day periods. The five extra days at the end of the year were set aside as holidays and called Sans Culottes - - after the poor people of France, meaning without pants. The Calendar of Reason lasted only 12 years.
Whole Number 81
AN INTERESTING HISTORICAL NOTE: It is worth remembering that Thomas Jefferson returned on foot from his inauguration as President, to his boarding house. When he arrived, he found that all the seats at the dinner table were occupied, and he waited his turn.
Whole Number 83
(A correspondent added a note to a recent letter lamenting the lost art of whistling. “I remember when most every man I knew whistled. We need some historic preservation on whistling.” She sent along the following piece by H. E. Zimmerman.)
“The fellow who knows how to whistle and still has his front teeth, and whistles, is a benefactor of mankind. Just pucker up your lips and whistle. Whistle the poison out of your soul.
“Whistle hope. Whistle cheer. Have you ever heard an unhappy man whistle? You never have, because unhappiness, anger, and discouragement, and all other unpleasant things blow right out with the first breath of a gentle whistle.
“When you feel failure in your bones, whistle. At the moment you start to scold, whistle. Before you begin to burden anyone with your troubles, whistle. Keep your mouth moist and ready all the time. Whistling is contagious. As soon as your whistle starts, the other fellow is apt to begin. Whistling makes difficult things easier and the big things possible. It oils up the world and makes folks happier.
Whole Number 84
During the years that the Association has been in existence, we have received dozens of accounts of the destruction of old family letters and documents when the old family home was cleaned out or during an annual spring house cleaning. All too often, these old letters and documents contained genealogical data that have been lost forever, while others described a way of life, and an aspect of social history, that would fascinate and enlighten future generations. Likewise, old photographs, often dating back a century or more are discarded daily because no one remembers the identity of the subjects. Before a grandparent or great aunt passes from the scene, everyone with any regard for family history should sit down with that person and record on the backs of the pictures in the old family album the names and dates than can be remembered. Tomorrow may be too late! And let your editor borrow those old letters and photographs for publication in the Quarterly.
Whole Number 96
"More than one ancestor is struggling within you! We are all of mixed blood--very mixed, indeed, but more good than bad. You have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents, thirty-two great-great-great-grandparents, and so on! Go back only ten generations and you accumulate 2,046 ancestors on the way. You are descended from possibly 1,024 different people of the generation that saw the Mayflower cross the ocean. There is nothing so democratic as a family tree, if you climb into all its branches'."--Albert W. Palmer. (From OUR AMERICAN HERITAGE, edited by Charles L. Wallis, published by Harper & Row.)
Whole Number 101
OF NICHOLAS AND MARY (RIDLEY) SPARKS OF TRURO, MASSACHUSETTS
For several years, we have been collecting data about a SPARKS family who lived on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, during the 17OOts. This branch of the family was headed by NICHOLAS SPARKS, probably born ca. 1705, who married MARY RIDLEY in 1728/29 in the village of Truro. Records of descendants have been found not only in Massachusetts, but in Maine, and by 1830, as far west as California.
An article for the Quarterly is being prepared by descendants and will probably be published in 1979. Our president, Paul E. Sparks, has received many records and several photographs of members of this family. We invite any of our readers who have information about this branch of the family to share the information with us. Data should be sent to Dr. Sparks at 155 N. Hite Ave., Louisville, Ky., 40206.
For the June 1978 issue of the Quarterly we are planning an article on the family of Richard Sparks (born ca 1780) and his wife, Sarah Peterson (born ca. 1782). Richard Sparks was born in Virginia, probably Pittsylvania County, and spent his youth in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, where he and Sarah were married ca.1801. by 1810 they were living in Rutherford County, North Carolina, where they remained until early in the 1820's when they moved to Roane County, Tennessee. Between 1850 and 1860, Richard and Sarah Sparks moved to Carroll County, Arkansas, near Their son, Peterson Sparks. Sarah was still living in 1870, with her son Joshua Sparks in Newton County, Arkansas, but Richard had died by that date. Richard and Sarah (Peterson) Sparks had children named: Samuel, James, Peterson, William M., Thomas, John, Hiram, Joshua, Rachel, Abigail, and Nancy Jane.
Descendants of this family are urged to write immediately to the editor (Russell E.Bidlack) so that we can make this article as complete and accurate as possible.
Whole Number 105
Several of our members have received a letter which has upset them from a person who signs himself as "Hooty." This person states that he has obtained the member's name and address from The Sparks Quarterly and then, under the guise of asking for help with a genealogical problem, he gives a rather bizarre account of childhood incidents.
We have terminated this person's membership in The Sparks Family Association and have requested him to discontinue using our membership list for this purpose. We would appreciate it if other members will call our attention to this kind of letter if he persists.
Roy Sparks of 622 Sylvan, Emporia, Kansas (66801) has asked that we announce that the golden anniversary of the John C. Sparks Family Reunion will be held on September 9th at Dyer Park in Odessa, Missouri. Much hard work and cooperation from the entire family have made this reunion a symbol of what family respect and love should be.
John C. Sparks was born June 5, 1815, in Surry County, North Carolina, and died on October 24, 1896, in Johnson County, Missouri. He and his wife, Sarah (Cobb) Sparks, were buried in the Cobb Cemetery near Odessa, Missouri. 188.8.131.52.1.2.4.x John C. Sparks was a son of 184.108.40.206.1.2.4 Joel Sparks, Sr., who was born in Surry County, North Carolina; he moved to Lafayette County, Missouri, prior to 1850, where he died about 1861. The application of Joel Sparks, Sr. for bounty land based on his service in the War of 1812 was abstracted in the Quarterly of September 1961 (Vol. IX, No. 3, Whole No. 35, pp. 579-80.) He was a son of 220.127.116.11.1.2 Matthew and Eunice Sparks of Surry County, North Carolina, and a grandson of 18.104.22.168.1 William Sparks who moved from Frederick County, Maryland, to North Carolina, about 1760.
All descendants of this family, including those of the brother of John C. Sparks, Joel Sparks, Jr., who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Lone Jack during the Civil War, are invited to this reunion. Roy Sparks urges, "Bring a covered dish and spend the day with a remarkable and friendly family."
Whole Number 108
We plan to publish an article in the Quarterly in 1980 regarding two men named ABEL SPARKS, one of whom we believe to have been an uncle of the other, who lived in Surry and Wilkes Counties, North Carolina, in the 1790s and early 1800's. The elder of the two, born ca. 1767 (son of Solomon and Sarah Sparks) moved to what is now Oconee County, Georgia, about 1804. He was in Walton County, Georgia, in 1820. The other Abel Sparks, born ca. 1778, was probably a son of Joseph Sparks, who was a brother of the elder Abel Sparks, This younger Abel Sparks married Sarah ----- and moved first to Tennessee, then to Illinois, and finally to Wisconsin where he died at the age of 94 on December 27, 1872. Your editor is anxious to correspond with descendants of both of these men before completing the article for publication. Please write to Russell E. Bidlack, 1709 Cherokee Rd., Ann Arbor, Michigan (48104).
THERE IS NOTHING SO DEMOCRATIC AS A FAMILY TREE"
S.F.A. member and retired U.S. Army Colonel John Sparks of Memphis has called our attention to the following interesting statement by Albert W. Palmer in Our American Heritage, edited by Charles L. Wallis and published by Harper & Row. "More than one ancestor is struggling within you! We are all of mixed blood-very mixed, indeed, but more good than bad. You have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents, thirty-two great-great-great-grandparents, and so on! Go back only ten generations and you accumulate 2,046 ancestors on the way. You are descended from possibly 1,024 different people of the generation that saw the Mayflower cross the ocean. There is nothing so democratic as a family tree, if you climb into all its branches!"
Whole Number 110
by ASA H. SPARKS
A member of the Sparks Family Association, the Rev. Asa Howard Sparks, has written a book for children called Hope for the Frogs (47 pages). It is illustrated by JoAnn Dick and was published by JalMarch Press Ind., 6501 Elvas Ave., Sacramento, CA (95819) for $3.95. It is described by the publisher as "A psychological fable for people of all ages ... a charming and amusing story for young people as well as a very special gift book for caring adults. The story of Freddie Frog, helped by a friend's love to discover that he has been a prince waiting to discover this greatest of all experiences."
Asa H. Sparks is currently employed by Dacatur, Alabama, City Schools as director of the Crossroads Center, an alternative school for juvenile delinquents. He is described as "an administrator, poet, writer, minister, father and dedicated model-train buff. Over 100 of his articles have appeared in educational, religious, and railroad magazines; his previous publications include God Says I'm OK, 1976, and Illustrations from Science, 1970."
Whole Number 110
BOOK TO BE PUBLISHED ABOUT DESCENDANTS OF JONATHAN ENGLAND
Ernest J. England, 4211 S.E. 19th Place, Commodore I, Apt. 1-C, Cape Coral, FL (33904) has announced the forthcoming publication of a book entitled "The Descendants of Jonathan England of Adair County, Kentucky" (price $10.75). Jonathan England was the oldest son of Nathaniel England and he married Mary Sparks, daughter of William Sparks of Adair County, ca. 1800. See page 1856 of the December 1976 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 96.
PUT NAMES & DATES ON OLD PHOTOGRAPHS
Paul M. Sparks of Wichita, Kansas, wrote recently: "After my parents passed away we found numerous photos with no names on them. Please encourage your readers to affix names, dates and locations on their current photos so they won't be discarded by their descendants." We have had dozens of letters through the years from Sparks descendants who have said, "If only I had asked my parents about this before they died!" We would urge those with parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles still living to sit down with them before it is too late to make sure the family photographs are identified. Also, write down their stories of the past (or record them with a tape recorder) while there is still time! With the death of each elderly person, there is lost a whole library of family information unless someone has made a permanent record of those memories.
Whole Number 111
In connection with the above record of two Sparks orphans having been made apprentices, it is of interest to note the provisions of the Kentucky Act dated March 1, 1797, concerning "Guardians, Infants, Masters and Apprentices." The following is taken from Laws of Kentucky 1797, printed by the Commonwealth, 1803:
Poor Orphans to be Bound to a Trade: Every orphan who hath no estate sufficient for maintenance out of the benefits shall by order of the court of the county in which he resides be bound apprentice until the age of twenty-one if a boy or of sixteen years if a girl to some master or mistress who shall covenant to teach the apprentice some art, trade or business to be particularized in the indenture, as also reading and writing, and if a boy, common arithmetic including the rule of three and to pay him or her three pounds, ten shillings and a suit of cloathes at the expiration of the time, which indenture shall be approved by the court and recorded.
Whole Number 113
THE MICHAEL REED FAMILY ASSOCIATION
Darryl M. Reed, President of the Michael Reed Family Association, would like to hear from descendants of William Crain Sparks and his first wife, Sarah Reed. An article on a daughter of this union, Martha Ann, who married Isaac Carter Spence, appeared in the December 1980 issue of the Quarterly, Vol. XXVIII, No. 4, Whole No. 112, pp. 2250-55.
We believe that William C. Sparks was a son of James and Nancy (“Ann”) Sparks of Franklin County, Georgia. He was born June 14, 1798. Subsequently, he lived in Tennessee (Hardeman County) and later in Texas, in Wheelock, now Robertson County, and later Nacogdoches County. by 1848 he was living in Brazos County where the village of Sparks was named for him. He died on October 10, 1857.
William C. and Sarah (Reed) Sparks had one son and five daughters:
(1) Stephen Sparks, who died without issue;
(2) Martha Ann Sparks who married Isaac Spence;
(3) Nancy Sparks who married Alex Spencer, but whether she was his first or second wife is not known;
(4) Harriet Sparks who also married Alex Spencer, but whether she was his first or second wife is not known;
(5) Sarah Sparks who married Hiram Hanover; and
(6) Elizabeth Sparks who married (first) Lafayette Bryant and (2nd) Joe Reveal.
Michael Reed, father of Sarah who married William C. Sparks, came with his family to Texas in the early 1830's as part of Robertson's Colony.
Descendants of any off these daughters of William Crain Sparks (who had additional children by a second marriage) should write to Darryl M. Reed, President, The Michael Reed Family association, 316 N. 8th, Temple, TX 76501.
Whole Number 114
Once again we remind our readers that queries pertaining to members of the Sparks family are always welcome and are printed in the Quarterly without charge. There must, however, be a Sparks connection. Queries should include as much information as possible since, in future years, they may, themselves,serve as sources for research on the family.
Whole Number 116
We have received a clipping from The Informer-Times _& Observer-Record newspaper of Jasper, Arkansas, which tells of the celebration of the 100th birthday of Mrs. Irene (Boncard) Sparks. Six generations of her descendants and other relatives were among the 150 who attended the celebration on April 11, 1981.
Mrs. Sparks was born April 14, 1881, at Dardenelle, Arkansas, and was a daughter of Charles H. and Mary Ann (Ellis) Boncard. She married Richard Sparks on September 27, 1901, at Mossville, Arkansas, by John Whitely. Richard Sparks was born February 2, 1881, and was a son of Joshua and Sarah Elizabeth (Self) Sparks. He died on December 19, 1976. He and Irene had ten children, seven of whom are still living. They were: Gladys Hodge, Mandy Hodge, Ola Rader, Jearl Sparks, Mary Watson, Walter Sparks, and Bill Sparks. (For further details about this branch of the SPARKS family, see the June 1978 issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 102.)
Whole Number 117
THE ANCESTRY OF HARDY SPARKS'S IN-LAWS IN NORTH CAROLINA AND INDIANA is a group of family group sheets on CARMICHAEL, FULK, GRUBBS, HOLDER, HUTCHINS, KRAUSE, LINEBACK, LONG, MARTINDALE and WITT submitted to The Sparks Family Association in March, 1982 by Patricia Patton (Mrs. William F.), 315 East Crawford St., Paris, Illinois (61944) in appreciation for the article in The Sparks Quarterly of March 1969 on Hardy Sparks and his wives, Susannah Brown and Martha Motley, who was born 1796 in North Carolina and died in 1866 in Monroe County, Indiana. Though not a Sparks descendant, Mrs. Patton's research is relevant to descendants of Hardy Sparks's children: Calvin, Elizabeth, Henry, John, Alfred, Martha, Merritt, and Joseph, though it is subject to revision as research progresses. She welcomes additions, corrections, and correspondence. Copies of the family group sheets are available from The Sparks Family Association.
Whole Number 120
Although we do not often include advertisements in the Quarterly, one of our loyal members, Jeraldyne B. Clipson, is co-editor of a new genealogical publication that we believe is worthy of notice here. It is INDEX OF PATRIOTS, REVOLUTIONARY WAR HEROES & THEIR FAMILIES, compiled by Jeraldyne B. Clipson and Katherine B. Brinkdopke, published by the Cincinnati Chapter, D.A.R. It is an index of ancestors of almost 2,000 Chapter Members, 1893 -1981. The data have been taken from original Membership Applications regarding the Revolutionary Generation and their children. Pre-publication price, $25; after April l, 1983, $30. Ohio residents should add 5.5% sales tax. Order from: JERALDYNE B. CLIPSON, 905 GREENVILLE AVE., CINCINNATI, OHIO, 45246.
Whole Number 121
Rose Nell Harris of 4107 Bent Drive, Colorado Springs, Colorado (80909) has written to request that we publish a notice of the reunion planned for the Willis and Sparks families of Pharr, Texas, and the surrounding area. It has been scheduled for June 10, 1983, beginning at 9:00 a.m. It will be held in the People's Chapel, Fellowship Hall, 600 West Sam Houston, Pharr, Texas. Mrs. Harris says "Let's get acquainted and have a pot luck noon meal." For more information, call 303-596-1672.
Whole Number 124
During the 31 years that The Sparks Quarterly has been published, we have included dozens of photographs of Sparks ancestors of our members. In most instances, the originals have been loaned to Dr. Bidlack who has then had negatives and prints made through the University of Michigan's photo lab at a fraction of the cost of taking them to a commercial photographer. The originals are then returned to the sender. For as long as a set of the back issues of the Quarterly is preserved, the identity of the individuals in those photographs will thus be known. We beg our members not only to write names on the backs of their old photographs, but also to loan those of persons named Sparks to Dr. Bidlack, the Quarterly'S editor, so that copies can be made for publication. No charge is made to the person who loans us old Sparks photographs, and we will even provide you with extra prints as well as the negative.
Whole Number 130
There are still many persons across America who can remember when the terms "to spark" or "sparking" were used in common conversation to denote that a couple was engaged in courtship, or in wooing each other. Thus it is quite understandable that when S.F.A. member, Mrs. Lurana Cook, of Truro, Massachusetts, asked the Nantucket (Massachusetts) Historical Association how "Sparks Avenue" in that town got its name, she received this reply:
In reply to your letter concerning the name of "Sparks Avenue" in Nantucket, the selection of the name evolved from a former title given the road a number of years ago. It was originally known as "Lovers Lane" in the 1890 -1920 period, and the County Commissioners, in a less than serious mood, decided to call it "Sparks Avenue," and the name was retained by subsequent boards.
[signed] Edouard A. Stackpole, Director
The Peter Foulger Museum
Whole Number 133
Your Association's president and its editor frequently receive letters of appreciation from members who have been able to extend their knowledge of their Sparks heritage through the information published in the Quarterly. We have sometimes been tempted to include some of these letters in the Quarterly, but
we have refrained lest we appear to be boastful. Because of the human interest of a recent note from Dorothy Thurman of Corpus Christi, Texas, however, we have decided to share her "kind words" with our readers.
I have received all of the back issues of the Quarterly and am still reading and enjoying them. I discovered a 3d cousin of my husband's living in our city and met her. She and I were then able to bring together several relations - - all in their 70s and 80s (one is 87). They visited and enjoyed the Rockport area, Portland and Corpus Christi. They had a lovely time, and it was a pleasure to see their joy at seeing each other again. Thanks to your Association, it was possible to unite them. You bring happiness to many people in many ways. Thank you, and God bless you in your work in the new year.
Whole Number 134
The Muscatine [Iowa] Journal of March 10, 1983, in its "Yesterdays" reported that 75 years earlier, in 1908, Professor E. E. Sparks of the University of Chicago, had appeared in the Muscatine Chautauqua and had stated: "The tin can has made women's clubs possible. The rise of the laundry and the bakery and above all the canning industry has lessened the labor incidental to housekeeping, and shifted the obligation of women from the domestic to civic."
Whole Number 142
A touching gravestone epitaph for a Mrs. Samuel P. Williams, who died at age 35, is found in a book published in 1880 entitled MANSFIELD, A PASSING SKETCH OF THE VILLAGE, 1685-1879.:
"I died untimely, happier fate by thine,
Live out thy years, dear husband, live out mine."
(Quoted in NEHGS Nexus, Vol. V, No. 1, March 1988.)
Whole Number 145
Not every member of our Association is a Sparks descendant. One such member is Dr. William D. Kay of Charleston, South Carolina, who wrote the following note when he renewed his contributing membership for 1989: "As a 'non-Sparks' I have continued to subscribe to your excellent Quarterly, using it as a guide until we got our own family newsletter underway. We finally launched Issue #1 in November and wanted to send you a copy. I'm sure you'll be able to see the influence you have had upon us, and we hope to improve as time goes on. We received about 95 members from our first issue."
The KAY Quarterly, NEWSLETTER OF THE KAY FAMILY ASSOCIATION is not the first family periodical to be influenced by The Sparks Quarterly, and we always take it as a compliment when we learn of such emulation.
The KAY Quarterly was launched last fall following the publication of THE DESCENDANTS OF ROBERT KAY OF SOUTH CAROLINA which traces descendants of Robert Kay through ten generations, from Virginia to Pendleton District of Anderson County, South Carolina. Should any of our members have Kay family connections, we note that this volume may be purchased for $25.00 from Dr. James E. Kay, 26 Paisley Park, Sumter, South Carolina (29150). Anyone wishing to join the Kay Family Association, and receive its quarterly, also should write to Dr. McKay. Annual dues are as follows: Active membership, $5.00; Contributing membership, $10.00; and Sustaining membership, any amount over $10.00.
We hope that the KAY Quarterly staff have genuine success in their endeavor.
Whole Number 148
The April 23, 1832, issue of the National Banner & Nashville Daily Advertiser reported the loss of the steamboat, Brandywine. Among the passengers named as having been lost was WILLIAM SPARKS of Vicksburgh. Can anyone identify this William Sparks?
Whole Number 151
Among the early vital records of Kalamazoo County, Michigan, according to a listing appearing in the Autumn 1959 Issue of Michigan Heritage, page 26, appears the following Sparks record:
September 18, 1837. Mr. Augustus Buel & Miss Betsey Sparks, both of Kalamazoo [Michigani. by Rev. Silas Woodbury.
Whole Number 153
AN INTERESTING OBSERVATION
The following observation by Elizabeth and Gary Mills appeared as part of their editorial comment in the Quarterly of the National Genealogical Society, December 1988. It is good advice for the family historian. 'Understanding demands honesty. Realism. If we whitewash the tarnished, elevate the downtrodden, and put pedestals under men with feet of clay, then we distort our world past any chance of understanding it.'
Whole Number 156
[Editor's Note: The following item is copied from a History of Michigan by Charles Moore, published in 1915, Vol. II, p. 779.]
William Sparks, born Devonshire, England, May 9, 1873, came to the United States at the age of 12 with his parents, George E. and Elizabeth (Way )Sparks. In the fall of 1900 he became one of the organizers and founders of the Sparks-Withington Company in Grand Rapids. He was a Mason and an Episcopalian. He married Miss Matilda J. Peters on August 24, 1894. Their Issue: Harry G. Sparks, born August 28, 1895, and Clifford M. Sparks, born October 1897.
Whole Number 171
MONUMENT TO SAN BERNARDINO PIONEERS
This monument is dedicated to all of the Mormon pioneers who came to San Bernardino, California, in the early 1850s. Among them was Quartus Strong Sparks who arrived there with his family in 1853. The monument is located near the San Bernardino City Hall.
Whole Number 172
If readers have noted fewer typographical errors in the 1995 issues of the Quarterly, please understand that we are indebted to Mr. Carmichael (Jack) for this improvement. A member of the Association since 1966, Jack is an expert proofreader, and we are most grateful to him.
Whole Number 178
Jean S. Ducey, 1517 Hickory, Niles, Michigan, 49120, has shared with us the fol lowing item from Geoffrey A. Goddenrs British Pottery&Porcelain,1780-1850.
George Sparks (1804-74) worked at Worcester from 1836 to 1854; he decorated Chamberlain and Coalport porcelains and added his name to these examples. Many pieces were painted with views of Witley Court, the temporary residence (1842-46) of her Majesty Queen Adelaide.
Sparks's showroom was in Broad Street, Worcester. An advertisement of 1851 reads: 11Dinner, Dessert, Tea and Coffee Services always in stock from the lowest description up to the most costly patterns upon the fine old Dresden and Sevres shapes.... The Nobility, Clergy and Gentry are respectfully informed that orders are taken at this Establishment for Services got up with Arms, Crests, Mottos &c., on the most reasonable charges--Crests from sixpence each
"Indictment, May 1735. Of James Houston of the Pre cinct of the Highlands, Cordwainer, for having at the said precinct assaulted and escapted from Robert Sparkes, bailiff for Johannes Wynkoop, Esq., High Sheriff of Ulster C., who had arrested him by virtue of a writ issued in a charge of trespass brought against him by Zacharias Hoffman; witnesses: Henry Wileman, Robert Sparks." (From the NationalGenealogicalSocietyQuarterly, March 1973, Vol. 61, No. 1, p.63.)
Whole Number 182
Following is another Sparks item found by Linda Zapp. (See our note regarding Ms. Zapp's contributions at the beginning of the obituary of William Sparks on page 5003 of this issue of the Quarterly.) As will be seen, the following is an item that had appeared in a Southern newspaper during the period of "Reconstruction." It was published in the Augusta (Georgia] Chronicle in 1867 and was reprinted in the November 23, 1867, issue of the Weekly Western Sun published in Vincennes, Knox County, Indiana. It is the reprint found by Ms. Zapp that we give here.
PASSING AWAY. There are facts that speak most painfully of the
destiny of the negro race in the South under the blessings of
freedom. We have one in point, related to us by a gentleman whose
word none has ever questioned. Mr. Jas. S. Sparks, a wealthy
citizen of Louisiana, owned one hundred and eigthty-three slaves,
who were liberated by the Government, and became scattered
through the State. A short time since he felt an interest to know
what had become of them, and to supply the wants of such as
might be in a suffering condition. He followed them up by in-
quiry until all were heard from, and out of the one hundred and
eighty-three, but forty were found still living. We commend the
fact to the negro's "peculiar friends" at the North. -- Augusta
[Editor's Note: We believe that the "Mr. Jas. S. Sparks," described as "a wealthy citizen of Louisiana," was either a fictitious name or, possibly, he was Sherrod Sparks, who was a son of Thomas and Achsah (Love) Sparks. Information regarding Sherrod Sparks may be found in an article on his brother, Wiffiam H. Sparks, in the Quarterly of December 1981, Whole No. 116, p. 2364. Sherrod Sparks was born ca. 1815 in Georgia. He became a sugar planter in Louisiana and was shown on the 1850 census of Assumption Parish, Second Congressional District, with property valued at $25,000. His brother, Robertus Love Sparks, born ca. 1809, was also a sugar planter and was living in the same area as Sherrod in 1850.
[Sherrod Sparks married Martha A. Pauncey in St. Mary's Parish, Louisiana, on January 2, 1837. (The marriage record, doubtless made by a French priest, gives Sherrod's name as "Hurod B. Sparks.) Sherrod Sparks owned 21 slaves when the 1850 census was taken; his brother, Robertus, owned 19. (See the Quarterly of September 1985, Whole No. 131, pp. 2793-96, for a record of all persons named Sparks found on the 1850 census of Louisiana.) Probably the wealthiest Sparks living in Louisiana at the beginning of the Civil War was Daniel Pierce Sparks (1784-1867), who was a native of South Carolina. His sugar plantation was located on the Bayou Teche in St. Mary's Parish, but shortly before the Civil War, he sold it and bought another across the river from New Orleans called "Shady Grove." (For information regarding Daniel P. Sparks, and his son of the same name, see an article appearing in the Quarterly of June 1968, Whole No. 62, pp. 1159-61.]
Whole Number 186
RUTH SPARKS BYRNE
GLENDALE, AZ 85302
May 21, 1999
SPARKS FAMILY ASSOCIATION
1709 CHEROKEE ROAD
ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN 48104-4498
I was extremely sorry to hear of the death of Paul Sparks. The work that he and Russell Bidlack have done for past, present and future generations of Sparks is immeasurable. While others search in vain for ancestors, we members of the Sparks Family Association merely go to our Sparks Quarterlies for accurate well researched information. When Bidlack, Johnson and Sparks joined forces so manyyears ago even they probably didn't realize how much they would achieve. The years of dedicated work is much appreciated.
I am enclosing a check for $50.00 to the Association in memory of Paul Sparks and inhonor of Russell Bidlack as a small way to say thanks to both of them for their yearsof dedicated service the Sparks Family Association.
Ruth Sparks byrne
Whole Number 188
A SPARKS ITEM FROM FAIRFIELD COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
From a transcription of cemetery inscriptions from Winnsboro, South Carolina, found in the Daughters of the American Revolution Library in Washington, DC.
Cemetery on Garden Street. Lavinia Sparks Miller, September 19, 1819 - August 20, 1841.
Whole Number 191
AN ITEM FROM OREGON GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES, by McArthur, 1944.
SPARKS LAKE, located in Deschutes County, Oregon, is a long kidney-shaped lake just east of the Cascade Range. Its weedy banks originally provided a rendezvous for many varieties of water fowl, some of which, unfortunately, had been driven away by automobile travel. The lake was named for ELIJAH (LIGE) SPARKS, a pioneer stockman of central Oregon.
Whole Number 68
Notes In the next issue of the Quarterly, we plan to include sketches of the Sparks families from Lewis County, Kentucky, based on the records published in this issue and on other materials in our files. We would be pleased to hear from any of our members who descend from these families and who can provide us with additional data.