About David Sparks
From Sparks Family Quarterly: [Whole Number 45]
"220.127.116.11.6 David Sparks, son of Jonas Sparks, was born ca. 1768 in Rowan County, North Carolina. He was still living in 1850, but is believed to have died soon after that date. According to family tradition, David Sparks, when a young man about eighteen years old, objected trongly to his father's second marriage, largely because the woman was of German extraction. Later, however, David Sparks married his step-mother's pretty daughter, Mary Little. A grandson of David and Mary (Little) Sparks remembered that Mary herself always spoke with a German accent."
"[NOTE: See also the Sparks Quarterly for September, 1986, Whole No. 135, pp. 2944-2947, for additional information on this family.]
(Descendants of David and Mary (Little) Sparks)
18.104.22.168.6.1 Cornelius Sparks, eldest son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born in Rowan County, North Carolina, June 11, 1789; he died in Berrien County, Michigan, in August, 1862. He was married in December, 1812, to Susannah Stephens, in North Carolina, probably in Rowan County. She was born October 28, 1794, and died in 1861. Apparently Cornelius Sparks did not accompany his parents to Tennessee; it appears that even before their departure from Rowan County that he and his wife and infant son had moved to Wayne County, Indiana, in the autumn of 1814, Thus it was that Cornelius Sparks joined the great migration to the Northwest Territory from whence had come glowing reports of vast, rich farm lands waiting for the plow.
There is a family traditon that Cornelius Sparks came north at least in part because of his opposition to slavery. One version of the story was recorded by a descendant, Mrs. Mary Park Wille, in 1938: 'His father was angered at a young slave boy who had grown up with him and been his constant companion. He had the boy tied up by his thumbs and whipped to death.' Since even the most cruel slave owner, and there were not many of this type, would scarcely kill a young slave valued at several hundred dollars, a much more plausible version was written in 1903 when a Buchanan, Michigan, newspaper published an article on the family:
'Members of this family relate that it was the brutal acts of slave-holders that was chiefly responsible for the removal of the pioneers from Rowan County, North Carolina, forty-six years prior to the secession of the state from the union. Cornelius Sparks was an accidental witness to the act of a member of his uncle's family. A colored woman had reared a family of white children, after their own mother had died. She was cruelly knocked down with the butt of a whip because she was unable to suppress her grief at the sale of her own son. That was the spark that set the abolition spirit of Cornelius Sparks aflame. He had known of the service of the negro woman to the unfortunate white children, and he resolved to leave the country that harbored such an institution.'
According to this account written in 1903, which was copied for us by Helen Sparks of Los Angeles, a descendant of Cornelius, he and his family made the journey to Indiana by ox team, camping in a tent at night and driving their stock with them. Joseph Sparks, Cornelius' oldest son, was a nine-month-old baby at the time (he was born January 24, 1814). Accoding to this 1903 record: 'On the way they stopped under the roof that sheltered five generations of the babe's mother's family. Along the wayside in Kentucky was the home of the Adams, relatives of the mother's side of the family. Beside the babe, there was his father and mother, his grandfather and grandmother, the father of little Joseph's great-grandmother. The mother of his great-grand-mother had been there, but she was absent that night, although she was living in another part of the state. This strange meeting was occasioned. by some members of the family waiting on the others to come up, as they were known to be moving to the new country across the Ohio.'
22.214.171.124.6.1 Cornelius Sparks remained in Wayne County, Indiana, until 1828, when he moved with his family to Berrien County, Michigan. There he and his wife lived the rest of their lives. They were the parents of the following children. (We plan to publish a more detailed record of the descendants of Cornelius Sparks in a future issue of the Quarterly.) [NOTE: For this record see the March, 1978, issue of the Quarterly, Whole No. 101, pp. 1965-1984.] Children of Cornelius and Susannah (Stephens) Sparks:
126.96.36.199.6.1.1 Joseph Sparks, born January 24, 1814, in Rowan County, North Carolina.
188.8.131.52.6.1.2 Spencer Sparks, born December 9, 1815, in Wayne County, Indiana.
184.108.40.206.6.1.3 David Sparks, born August 14, 1817, in Wayne County, Indiana.
220.127.116.11.6.1.4 Mary Sparks, born July 7, 1819, in Wayne County, Indiana.
18.104.22.168.6.1.5 Elizabeth Sparks, born July 26, 1821, in Wayne County, Indiana.
22.214.171.124.6.1.6 Levi Sparks, born October 3, 1823, in Wayne County, Indiana.
126.96.36.199.6.1.7 Anna Sparks, born September 30, 1825, in Wayne County, Indiana.
188.8.131.52.6.1.8 Ira Sparks, born October 31, 1827, in Wayne County, Indiana.
184.108.40.206.6.1.9 Wilson Sparks, born April 19, 1830, in Berrien County, Michigan.
220.127.116.11.6.1.10 Susan Sparks, born August 1, 1832, in Berrien County, Michigan.
18.104.22.168.6.1.11 Cynthia Sparks, born August 27, 1834, in Berrien County, Michigan.
22.214.171.124.6.2 Joseph Sparks, son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born in the 1790's in Rowan County, North Carolina. This was probably the Joseph Sparks who married Febey Hinkle in Rowan County in 1811 (marriage bond dated January 28, 1811). No further information.
126.96.36.199.6.3 John Sparks, son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born in the 1790's in Rowan County, North Carolina. He apparently accompanied his father to Tennessee and was probably the John Sparks listed on the tax roll of Madison County, Tennessee, in 1828. He was probably the John Sparks who married Kitty Harwood, daughter of Henry Harwood, of Rowan County, North Carolina, prior to 1819 when he and other heirs of Henry Harwood gave a power of attorney to Richard Smith (another son-in-law of Henry Harwood) to sell land in Rowan County that had formerly belonged to Henry Harwood in Rowan County (Rowan County Deed B ook 26, p. 7). No further record.
188.8.131.52.6.4 Jonas Sparks, son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born ca. 1800 in Rowan County, North Carolina. His name appears on the tax lists of Madison County, Tennessee, of 1827, 1828, and 1829. In 1840 he was living in Shelby County, Tennessee, but by 1850 he had moved to Tippah County, Mississippi, just over the line from Hardeman County, Tennessee, and near his cousin, Ephraim Sparks. His age in 1850 was given as 49, that of his wife, Rebecca, as 44. Both were born in North Carolina. Their children, as listed on the 1850 census were: (there were probably others born After this date but the family had moved from the area of Tippah County by 1860)
184.108.40.206.6.4.1 Amanda Sparks, born ca. 1830 in Tennessee.
220.127.116.11.6.4.2 Daniel Sparks, born ca. 1832 in Tennessee.
18.104.22.168.6.4.3 Rebecca C. Sparks, born ca. 1837 in Tennessee.
22.214.171.124.6.4.4 Jonas Sparks, born ca. 1841 in Tennessee.
126.96.36.199.6.4.5 Laura A. Sparks, born ca. 1846 in Mississippi.
188.8.131.52.6.4.6 Joseph Sparks, born ca. 1848 in Mississippi.
184.108.40.206.6.5 Daniel Sparks, son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born ca. 1802 in Rowan County, North Carolina. He accompanied his parents to Tennessee and his name appears on the tax lists of Madison County, Tennessee, for 1824, 1825, and 1826. He was married in Madison County, Tennessee, on September 17, 1827, to Mary (or Polly) Pull, the same day on which his brother, David Sparks, Jr., was married. He was listed on the 1830 census of Madison County and had one daughter prior to 1830. By 1850 he was living in Henderson County, Tennessee, where his occupation was given as 'miller'; his wife's age was given as 43 in 1850 (born ca. 1807) and her birthplace was Tennessee. By 1860, he was living in Hardeman County, Tennessee. From these two census records, it appears that Daniel and Mary (Pull) Sparks were the parents of the following children:
220.127.116.11.6.5.1 Matilda Sparks, born ca. 1831 in Tennessee.
18.104.22.168.6.5.2 Susan Sparks, born ca. 1834 in Tennessee.
22.214.171.124.6.5.3 John Sparks, born ca. 1838 in Tennessee.
126.96.36.199.6.5.4 George Sparks, born ca. 1838 in Tennessee.
188.8.131.52.6.5.5 Elizabeth Sparks, born ca. 1842 or 1843 in Tennessee.
184.108.40.206.6.5.6 Juliannia (or Julina) Sparks, born ca. 1844 or 1845 in Tennessee.
220.127.116.11.6.5.7 Isabella (or Martha) Sparks, born ca. 1847 in Tennessee. On the 1850 census her name appeared as Isabella, but on the 1860 census as Martha.
18.104.22.168.6.5.8 James Sparks, born ca. 1850 in Tennessee.
22.214.171.124.6.6 William Sparks, son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born ca. 1808 in Rowan County, North Carolina. He moved to Tennessee with his parents and in 1850 was living in McNairy County. He moved to Prairie County, Arkansas, shortly before his death, which occurred in 1860. He married, first, Emiline Moore, who was born ca. 1820 in Alabama and died about 1851 in Tennessee. His second wife was a widow named Mrs. Lucinda Davis. It is believed that William and Emiline (Moore) Sparks were the parents of eight children, but we have the names of only six:
126.96.36.199.6.6.1 Rufus Sparks, born November 2, 1838, in Tennessee.
188.8.131.52.6.6.2 Daniel Sparks, born ca. 1841 in Tennessee.
184.108.40.206.6.6.3 Albert or John Sparks, born ca. 1842 in Tennessee
220.127.116.11.6.6.4 Martha Sparks, born ca. 1844 in Tennessee.
18.104.22.168.6.6.5 William Sparks, Jr., born July 9, 1846, in Tennessee.
22.214.171.124.6.6.6 Mary Ann Sparks, born ca. 1849, in Tennessee. It is not believed that William Sparks had children by his second wife, Lucinda. For a more complete record of this family, see The Sparks Quarterly of March, 1959 (Vol. VII, No. 1, Whole No. 25, pp. 373-4).
126.96.36.199.6.7 David Sparks, Jr., son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born ca. 1808 in Rowan County, North Carolina. He accompanied his parents to Tennessee and was married in Madison County, Tennessee, on September 17, 1827, to Comfort Moffett, daughter of John Moffett of Hardeman County, Tennessee. He was married on the same day as his brother Daniel. Comfort Mcffett was born ca. 1810 in North Carolina. David Sparks, Jr., moved to Prairie County, Arkansas, with his brother William prior to 1860. From the census records, it appears that David Sparks, Jr., and his wife, Comfort (Moffett) Sparks, were the parents of the following children:
188.8.131.52.6.7.1 Julia A. Sparks, born ca. 1829, in Tennessee.
184.108.40.206.6.7.2 Fonety Sparks, born ca. 1831, in Tennessee.
220.127.116.11.6.7.3 Sarah Sparks, born ca. 1833, in Tennessee.
18.104.22.168.6.7.4 Spencer Sparks, born ca. 1836, in Tennessee.
22.214.171.124.6.7.5 Comfort Sparks, born ca. 1838, in Tennessee.
126.96.36.199.6.7.6 John Sparks, born ca. 1842, in Tennessee.
188.8.131.52.6.7.7 William Sparks, born January 22, 1844, in Hardeman County, Tennessee.
184.108.40.206.6.7.8 Almeda Sparks, born ca. 1849, in Tennessee.
220.127.116.11.6.7.9 Ainanda Sparks, born ca. 1852, in Tennessee.
18.104.22.168.6.7.10 James D. Sparks, born ca. 1854, in Tennessee.
22.214.171.124.6.8 Minus Lafayette Sparks (also called Miner and Minnie), son of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born in Rowan County, North Carolina, about 1811. He remained at home with his parents and did not marry until after 1850. He died April 23, 1889, at Crainesville (now Hornsby), Hardeman County, Tennessee. He married Sarah (Sally) Shinn, who was part Indian, on January 27, 1851, in Hardeman County, Tennessee. She was born ca. 1826. They were the parents of the following children:
126.96.36.199.6.8.1 John W. Sparks, born ca. 1851; he was married to Mary Smith on December 22, 1881.
188.8.131.52.6.8.2 Elizabeth Sparks, born ca. 1854; she married James Sanders.
184.108.40.206.6.8.3 Cornelia Sparks (or possibly this was Cornelius Sparks) born ca. 1856; she (or he) married a Thornton.
220.127.116.11.6.8.4 Thomas Overton Sparks, born ca. 1858; he was married to Almeda Robinson on September 4, 1883.
18.104.22.168.6.8.5 Mary Ann Sparks, born ca. 1860; she married Nathan Henderson.
22.214.171.124.6.8.6 Sarah Jane Sparks, born ca. 1863; she married William Robinson.
126.96.36.199.6.8.7 Idell Faidy Sparks (spelling uncertain), born ca. 1866; she married William McCann.
188.8.131.52.6.9 Elizabeth (or Betsey) Sparks, daughter of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born probably in Rowan County, North Carolina. All that is known of her is that she married a man named Jarvis.
184.108.40.206.6.10 Mary Sparks (called Polly), daughter of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was born February 11, 1797, in Rowan County, North Carolina, and died November 30, 1877, in McNairy County, Tennessee. She was married in Lincoln County, Tennessee, to James D. ainter, who was born in North Carolina on December 7, 1796, and died in McNairy County, Tennessee, on December 26, 1865. Both were buried in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in MoNairy County. They were the parents of the following children:
220.127.116.11.6.10.1 Sarah (or Sally) Hunter, born February 27, 1822, in Lincoln County, Tennessee, and died December 6, 1903; she married William Walter Stovall.
18.104.22.168.6.10.2 Hance Alexander Hunter, born July 13, 1824, in Lincoln County, Tennessee, and died March 15, 1916; he married, first, Laura Amelia Moore.
22.214.171.124.6.10.3 Ann Jenette Hunter, born September 4, 1826, and died September 4, 1880; she married Lawson A. Lockman.
126.96.36.199.6.10.4 Mary Hunter, born November 19, 1829, and died August 18, 1859; she married Drury D. Sanders.
188.8.131.52.6.10.5 Louisa Hunter; she died as a child from the bite of a rattlesnake.
184.108.40.206.6.10.6 Sophronia Hunter, born ca. 1833.
220.127.116.11.6.10.7 Leutitia Hunter, born ca. 1834.
18.104.22.168.6.10.8 Nancy Miranda Hunter, born June 23, 1835, and died April 30, 1913; she was married on September 9, 1858, to Jesse Cannon Jackson.
22.214.171.124.6.10.9 (?) Emma Jane Hunter, born ca. 1836, married W. B. Shelton; there is some doubt regarding the identity of this daughter.
126.96.36.199.6.10.10 James David Sparks Hunter, born February 18, 1838, and died May 26, 1923; he married Mrs. Mary E. (Knight) Gooch.
We plan to publish a more detailed record of the descendants of Mary (Sparks) Hunter in a future issue. The portrait of Mary that appears on page 806 has been reproduced from the original owned by descendants of Margaret Caroline Hunter.
188.8.131.52.6.11 Sarah (or Sally) Sparks, daughter of David and Mary (Little) Sparks.
184.108.40.206.6.12 Juliana (or Julia) Sparks, daughter of David and Mary (Little) Sparks, was probably born ca. 1814. She was probably the Julia Birkhead, aged 36, a widow, who was living next to David Sparks in 1850. According to this census record of Hardeman County, Tennessee, she had the following children:
220.127.116.11.6.12.1 William Birkhead, born ca. 1835 in North Carolina.
18.104.22.168.6.12.2 Eleaser Birkhead, born ca. 1836 in Tennessee.
22.214.171.124.6.12.3 David Birkhead, born ca. 1838 in Tennessee.
126.96.36.199.6.12.4 Mary Birkhead, born ca. 1840 in Tennessee. "