Notes


Note    H2077         Index
SQ pg 4552: (For photo of Isaac and Jane Sparks, see SQ pg 4554.)

"Isaac Sparks, Son of Nathan and Nancy (Hancock) Sparks, was born on June 25, 1805, in Georgia. He was probably named for his uncle Isaac Sparks, and he has been identified incorrectly several times as his uncle's son because he was designated as Isaac Sparks, Junior, on many records. (While "junior" was/is often added to the name of a son having the same name as his father, it was used frequently in the past simply to designate a younger person, perhaps a nephew or cousin, bearing the same name as an older person in the community.)

"Isaac was a small boy when he accompanied his parents to Tennessee about 1807. It was there that he grew to maturity.

"On September 30, 1824, Isaac sparks was married to Orpha (or Orphah) Thompson in Wilson County, Tennessee, by James Lester, a justice of the peace. The license had been issued on September 27 1824, and Isaac's bondsman was John Major. Orpha had been born on June 17, 1806 , and she was a daughter of Moses and Elizabeth (Suddeth) Thompson . Shortly after their marriage, Isaac and Orpha moved westward about one hundred miles where they settled in Carroll County, probably near Isaac's uncle, Isaac Sparks, Senior. They may have settled on the 40-acre tract of land that Isaac had received as a gift from his father on November 5, 1829. When the 1830 census was taken, Isaac and Orpha were shown with two children, a boy and a girl, born between 1825 and 1830.

"Although Isaac's father, Nathan Sparks, lived most of his life in Wilson County, Isaac spent his life in Carroll County. He was quite active in the affairs of the county. He was appointed road overseer by the Carroll County court on March 15, 1831; on March 10 1834; and in November 1837. He was also a well-to-do farmer and was involved in the buying and selling of land for nearly three decades. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge and of the Presbyterian Church.

"(The Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church is located on Clear Creek in Carroll County, Tennessee, and as far as can be learned, was established in 1825. It was a part of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church that came into existence about 1800-1825 when its members disagreed on the method of ordaining its ministers. A cemetery is a part of the church grounds and a rather large number of Sparkses and their descendants are buried there. Several of the descendants of Nathan Sparks became Presbyterian ministers.)

"Orpha (Thompson) Sparks, wife of Isaac Sparks, died on February 6 , 1842, in Carroll County and was buried in the Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetery. She left Isaac with five small children. About 1843, he was married (second) to Jane L. Donnell. She had been born on August 25, 1817, in Tennessee, and was a daughter of Adreck (?) Donnell. She and Isaac had one child, James Nathan Sparks, born about 1844. She had inherited a one-sixth share of her father's estate, and on October 16, 1848, she and Isaac sold her share of a 245 acre tract of land, formerly belonging to her father, to John W. Winn for $300.

"When the 1850 census was taken of Carroll County, the census taker visited the household of Isaac Sparks on November 5, 1850. He recorded Isaac's age as 45; his occupation was that of a farmer, and he owned real estate valued at $4,500. Jane's age was recorded as 33. With them were Elizabeth E. Sparks, 22; Rachel E. Sparks, 19; William M. Sparks, 16; Moses T. Sparks, 14; and James N. Sparks, 6. Also living in the household were Isaac's nephews, Nathan L. New, age 18, and Pleasant S. New, age 16, sons of Isaac's sister, Eady (Sparks) New, who had died in 1836. Isaac Sparks had been appointed as guardian of the two boys.

"As mentioned above, throughout his life, Isaac appears to have been involved in buying and selling land. It is estimated that he was a party to a dozen or more transactions; however, the record is not clear, because of the difficulty of distinguishing him from his uncle, Isaac Sparks, Senior. The last transactions that he made were probably the disposals of 388 acres of land to his children. To son, William M. Sparks, he sold 120 acres; to son Matthew T. Sparks, he sold 100 acres; and to his daughter, Nancy (Sparks) Melear, he sold 168 acres. Each child paid Isaac $1,500.

"All of Isaac's children had left home when the 1870 census was taken in Carroll County. He and Jane lived near the village of Huntingdon. He was then described as a farmer with real estate valued at $10,000. He died on February 27, 1878, and was buried in the Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetery. His tombstone was inscribed with a Masonic emblem and the following words:

Sleep, father, dear and take thy rest,
God called thee home. He thought it best.
It was hard indeed to part with thee,
But Christ's strong arm supporteth me.

"Jane (Donnell) Sparks survived her husband for twenty years, dying on January 16, 1898. she had made a will on July 3, 1893, in which she named the following: Her son: James N. Sparks; her sister, Bettie A. New; Her nieces: Helen L. Gordon and Mary Jane Blaylock; Heirs of Isaac Sparks, deceased: W. M. Sparks, M. T. Sparks, Nancy Melear, Bettie smith, Elvitta Thomas, and James N. Sparks. Executor: A. C . Gordon, nephew by marriage. Witnesses: H. L. Kemp and J. W. Hamlin.

"This will was probated on February 7, 1898, at the Carroll Count y Court. Jane (Donnell) Sparks was buried beside her husband in th e Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetery. See further reference to their tombstone inscriptions in SQ pg 4931."

See SQ pp. 4667-69 for additional photographs including the Shiloh Church, Carroll County, Tennessee; William Matthew Sparks (1833-1889) and a photo of Ella (Sparks) Gordon, Lonnie T. Sparks (1879-1944), William Edmund Curtis Sparks (1872-1948), and Samuel T. [Sammie] Sparks (1866-1947).