Saturday, February 26, 2011

Surname Saturday - Sparks

My Sparks ancestors were from Queen Anne's County, Maryland and the family is thought to originate from England. The earliest references I've seen to Sparks in Maryland are for a William and John Sparks who came from Fareham Parish, Hampshire, England, to Maryland in the 1600's. They are possibly two of the four sons of Thomas Sparks and Joanne Davis of Fareham Parish, Hampshire England. The name is also commonly spelled as Sparkes and I've seen my ancestor's records spelled both ways.

Crest at The Sparks Family Tree
From The Sparks Family Tree:
William Sparks was born about 1640, migrated to Maryland and, by 1672, he had purchased land in what was then Talbot County, now Queen Anne's County.  His primary plantation was located "on the east side of Chester River near the head of a small branch of Island Creek."  On a current map of Queen Anne's County, this can be found a few miles southwest of Church Hill, Maryland.  William Sr.'s son William Jr., remained in Queen Anne's County but by 1736 William Jr.'s son, William Sample Sparks, had migrated west to what was to become Frederick County.  In  about the spring of 1754, William Sample Sparks, his sons and some of his cousins moved to "The Forks of the Yadkin" in northwestern North Carolina. 

My Sparks family stayed in Maryland, so they are not part of the North Carolina Sparks. The furthest I've traced my Sparks tree back is Samuel Sparks, born around 1827 in Maryland. He married Susan Godwin in 1849 in Queen Anne's County, Maryland and their daughter Arianna is my great-grandmother.

The Sparks Quarterly is a great source of information on Sparks families. They charge a one time fee of $5.00 to access the website information, but it is well worth it if you have Sparks in your family.

Here's an early tree referencing Thomas Sparks showing a line from England to Maryland:

1 Thomas Sparks b: Abt. 1615 in Fareham Parish, Hampshire, England
. +Joanne Davis b: Abt. 1619 in Fareham Parish, Hampshire, England m: October 19, 1635 in Fareham Parish, Hampshire Co. En
. 2 William Sparks, Sr b: Abt. 1640 in England d: Abt. 1709 in Queen Annes Co., Md
.... +Mary ( Wright ?)
.... 3 William Sparks, Jr. b: Abt. 1674 in Queen Annes Co., Md d: Aft. 1734
....... +Margaret Ann Hamilton
....... 4 William Sample Sparks b: Abt. 1705 d: Aft. 1764 in Maryland
.......... +Rachel Unknown
.......... 5 William Sparks b: 1725 in Frederick, Md. or Queen Anne's County, Md. d: Abt. 1802 in Surrey Co., NC 

One thing I've found is that most of the research available online is for Sparks that moved away from Maryland. I have not researched this family extensively and would love to get in touch with anyone researching the Sparks that stayed in Queen Anne's. More on my Sparks tree at: My Sparks Tree

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