Note    N44         Index
According to Christening records dated 2 January 1855, Barbara Aiken and George Sherriffs were never married. They had a child, Jane, who was born March 19, 1849 in Methlick and died in 1916. Barbara married Peter Crighton (c1811-9 April, 1889) on 3 May, 1860. He was a widower and with his first wife Catherine Arthur had 4 children. It appears that Barbara also had a son David Smith born 1855 in Methlick.

Barbara died of apoplexy (stroke) on 29 December 1884 aged 57 and is buried in Tarves as is Peter and their daughter Elspet (Elsie) who died in 1902 aged 36.


Note    H45         Index
Social Security records for Pearl Pigott, SS # 479-80-0517, show t hat she
was born in June 30, 1892 and died in March, 1986. Her card was issu ed in
Iowa and her last known residence was in Iowa, zip code area 51012, C herokee.


Note    H46         Index
John may have been born in Inglewood, CA.


Note    N47         Index
Christopher and Cristina were divorced.


Note    N48         Index
Christopher George Anderson was married and is divorced. They had 4 daughters and one son.


Note    H49         Index
SQ pg 2595: They had one child, Freda.


Note    N3375         Index
Never married


Note    H50         Index

William Anderson was the brother of George "Sparky" Anderson, famous
major league baseball manager. William was a teacher in the Los Angeles
Public Schools.


Note    H51         Index

Paul Sparks, in his unpublished article on James Sparks (189) states: "Susan Sparks, wife of Solomon, died prior to 1850 for she was not listed on the 1850 census of Washington County. Solomon was listed as head of his family and six of his eleven children were living with him."

Regarding marriage, speculation sets 1813 as the date. Solomon first shows in Washington Co., VA tax rolls in 1815. After 1811 when Solomon was 23, his father James was living in Lee County, VA and was still there in 1820 living with his son Jesse. Thus, it is possible that Solomon and Susan were married in Lee County or Washington County, VA. The family was in Smyth County in the 1840 census. Susan may have died in Smyth County before Solomon moved back to Washington County. Check these
records for Washington and Smyth Counties, Virginia:

Baptist Church 975.5A1 (notes unclear, looks like "no 75")
Chancery Court Records 1831-1850, FHL 34387
Index to Minutes of Court 1777-1851, FHL 34380
Probate Records 975.5725P2e
Cemetary Records FHL 928116(6), book 975.5725V22c
Births and Deaths, book 975.5725V2m
Smyth Co. Index to Wills FHL 33976
Smyth Co. Marriages 975.5723V2v
Smyth Co. Birth and Death Register 33991.


Note    H52         Index
* * * * * * * * * * * * *




By Russell E. Bidlack

We begin this article with grateful acknowledgement to Joyce Bastasch, a long-time member of our Association, who lives in Palos Verdes Estates, California. It was Mrs. Bastasch who discovered and called this writer's attention to information contained in the published court records of early New Castle County, Delaware, thus enabling us to solve a mystery that has long mystified descendants of William Sample Sparks (ca.1700-ca.1765), son of William, Jr. and Margaret Sparks. An article about William Sample Sparks was published in the QUARTERLY of December 1989, Whole No. 148, to which further details regarding his life were added in the QUARTERLY of June 1997, Whole No. 178, as part of an article devoted' to his daughter, Rachel (Sparks) Bicknell. The mystery has pertained to the source of the middle name of William Sample Sparks. The record noted by Mrs. Bastasch is the will of William Sample father of Margaret Sample, the future wife of William Sparks, Jr. Dated December 11, 1682, William Sample's will was probated three weeks later, on January 1, 1683. (The old Julian Calendar was then in use, so these dates are slightly different under our Gregorian Calendar used since 1752.) The full text of the will of William Sample will appear later in this article.

Typical of the time, the name "Sample" was spelled in a variety of ways among the court records of early New Castle County. When Williaim Sample made his will, for example, he signed his name "Will: Sempell." When he had been granted a tract of land (600 acres) in the colony of Delaware on April 19, 1681, his name was recorded as "William Semple." In a tax record dated June 12, 1684, for this same 600 acres, his widow's name was given as "Widdow Sample." Although William Sample Sparks seems to have signed his name by mark, others spelled his middle name as Sample. Except in quotations, we will use that spelling here.

Because of the mystery pertaining to the origin of the name Sample, we have noted our inability to account for it in a number of articles that have appeared in the QUARTERLY. Our earliest mention of William Sample Sparks was in the issue for June 1961, Whole No. 34 (p.557). There we noted that the signatures (by mark) of William Sample Sparks and Rachel Sparks had appeared on the inventory taken in 1749 of the estate of Joseph Sparks who had died that year in Frederick County, Maryland. Joseph Sparks was an uncle of William Sample Sparks. (Maryland law then required that two relatives, as well as the estate's two major creditors, sign the inventory of the possessions of a deceased person as part of the probate process.) There were other references to William Sample Sparks in later issues of the QUARTERLY, often including the question of why the name Sample had been chosen for him.

It was not until the issue of the QUARTERLY of December 1989, Whole No. 148, that we presented a detailed record of the life of William Sample Sparks. There we noted that he had used his middle name only when he might otherwise have been confused with a cousin or nephew also named William Sparks. We even speculated that he might have chosen "Sample," himself, to use as a middle name merely to prevent this confusion, rather than having been christened "William Sample Sparks." this remains a possibility, but whether chosen by his parents at the time of his birth in or about 1700, or whether it was added by himself at a later time, we can be sure it had come from the name of his maternal grandfather, William Sample. While this grandfather had died some two decades prior to the birth of his namesake, William Sample Sparks's mother, Margaret (Sample) Sparks, dooubtlesstold him of her father who had died while she was still a little girl.


Based on a predominance of evidence gathered over many rears, we stated in the 1989 article, as we had done in earlier references, that Willam Sample Sparks was a son of William Sparks, Jr. William Sparks, Jr. was the eldest son of the immigrant, William Sparks, who died in Queen Annes Couny, Maryland, in 1709. (See the articles in the QUARTERLY of March 1971, Whole No. 73, and December 1992, Whole No. 160, for information on William Sparks' [died 1709] and his family.) We also noted in the 1989 article that William Spatks, Jr. had been married twice, his first wife, Margaret, mother of William Sample Sparks, having died prior to 1730.

Until Mrs. Bastasch's discovery, we believed that the maiden name of Margaret had been Hamilton based on a New Castle County, Delaware, document of March 31, 1696, that had been copied incorrectly. This erroneously copied record appears in New Castle County, Delaware, Land Records, 1673 -1710, compiled by Carol Bryant, pp.76-77. It can easily be understood how this error had been made from the 200-year-old handwritten copy of the original by a Court clerk. Furthermore, women then rarely owned land, so in copying this document, Ms. Bryant had doubtless just assumed that the land in question had pertained to a man.

A photocopy of this 1696 deed, recorded in New Castle County deed book B1, pp. 101-02, has been obtained from the Hall of Records in Dover, Delaware. In this there is the identification of "William Sparks of the province of Maryland and Margaret his wife, the daughter of Josine Hamilton, later of New Castle, Delaware ..." In this first recording of the name "Josine" in the 1696, it could easily be interpreted as "Josiah," but when her name was repeated later in the deed, the spelling is clearly "Josine." We now know that, following the death of William Sample in 1682, his wife, Josine, had been married to a man named Hamilton. Margaret, wife of William Sparks, Jr., was, asthis 1696 deed indicates, a daughter of Josine Hamilton, but Josine had been Josine Sample when Margaret had been born in the 1670s.

A transcription of this entire 1696 deed follows, with a minimum of punctuation added for clarity:

Know all men that John Bisk of the Town of New Castle, Taylour, and William Sparks of the province of Maryland and Margaret his wife, the daughter of Josinh [?] Hamilton late of New Castle deceased, for a valuable Consideration to whom in hand paid by Benjamin Sweet of the Town of New Castle aforesaid the recept whereof they do hereby Acknowledge Have given, granted, Enfeofed and by these presents Confirmed unto the said Benj. Sweet a certain Lott of ground in the Town of New Castle containing in bredth thirty foot and in lenth from sewer to street bounded to the Eastward by Front Street, to the Westward by Land Street, to the Northward by the land of the said John Bisk and to the southward by a house and gound lately belonging to the said Josine Hamilton, deceased, which said lott was confirmed by patent from Francis Lovelace, Esqr. Governour under his Royall highness James Duke of York the Eighth of Aprile 1672 unto Isaac Tine with other lotts thereto adjoyning To Have and to hold the sd lott of ground and premisses with fencings and Improvements to the sd Benj. Sweet and his heirs and behoef of him, his heirs and assigns forever under the Yearly rent according to the Lord of the Soyle. And the said John Bisk, William Spark and Margaret his wife the premesses & every part thereof to the said Benj.Sweet and his heirs against them and their heirs and all other persons whatsoever shall and will warrant and forever defend by these presents
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
(Transcription of deed, continued.)

In witness whereof
they have hereunto sett their hands and sealls this 31st of March 1696
Sealled and delivered in
the presence of

Lendorr 0 sterhaven John Bisk
Jacob Allrichs Eliz: Bisk
Henry Wright William Sparks
Sarah Bisk
Acknowledged in Open Court held at New Castlethe 16th
of June 1696 as wittness my hand and seal of the court

Based on the published copy of this deed, as noted earlier, this writer stated, erroneously, in his 1989 article, as in earlier references in the QUARTERLY, that Margaret, wife of William Sparks, Jr., had been a daughter of "Josiah Hamilton." We know now that Josiah Hamilton did not even exist. The photocopy of the officially recorded copy of the deed in question clearly reveals that it was Margaret's mother who was described as "late of New Castle deceased." Although when Margaret's mother, Josine, died, she was married to a man named Hamilton, her earlier husband had been William Sample (or "Semple"), as proven by his will dated December 11, 1682. This will was recorded "vetbatim" in the records of the Court of New Castle meeting January 1, 1683, at Which session "The laest [i.e. last] will and Testament of William Sempill, Late of New Castle, deceased" was produced (i.e., probated) by two of the witnesses, John Biske and Jonas Arskin. The text of this will follows:
The Last Will and Testament of William Sample

In the Name of God amen this 11th day of december in the yeare of or Lord God 1682. I: William Sempill, Inhabitant of New Castle upon delaware River being Sick and weake in Boddy but of perfect mind and memory thankes be Given unto God, Therefore calling unto mind the mortality of my Boddy and knowing that itt is appointed for all men once to dye, Doe make and ordayne this my Laest will and Testament in manner and forme following That is to say first and Principally I: give my Soule into the Hands of God who Gave itt to mee and for my boddy I: commend itt to the Earth, to bee burried in decent Christian manner, noteing butt att the Gennerll: Resurection I: shall Receave the same againe by the mighty power of God, And as touching Such worldly goods as itt hath bin pleased God to bless me in this Lyfe tyme wth I: Give devyse bequeath and dispose the Same in manner & forme following Vizt: First I: give, devyse and bequeath unto my dearly beloved wyfe Josyn Sempill and my Little daughter Margaret wth: Rest of my wifes Children all my p'sonall Estate as goods and Chattles & moveables to be Equally divyded and distributed to my wife and daughter Margret and the rest of my wyves Children to use, occupy and dlspose of as Shee my said wyfe Shall See necessary and conveniety for the use of my sd: wyfe and daughter Margaret and my wyves Children, only Excepted -5446-

I: doe devyse and bequeath & Give unto my Little daughter Margaret all my Estate in Christina Creeke or upon a brainch of the said Creeke boath Reall & personall movements and imovables, goods and Chattles wth: all the increase to the Soale and proper use and behoffe of she my said daughter Margartet itt being my will that first of all my wyfe Josyn Sempill puts on and upon the Plantation in Christina or brainch of the sd Creeke for the use of my daughter Margaret Soe manny Cowes, Sowes and other Chattell and What Els I: am allreaddy obliged to put upon the aforsd Plantation all being for the Soale and proper use and behoofe of my daughter Margret, until Shee Marryeth or Comes of age, the Increase to be att the disposal of my wyfe Soe Long as she remains a widdow provyded She my wyfe Keepes the old Stoke good, and in the next place, if itt please God to call mee out of this world I: doe ordaine Constitute and appoint my beloved friends Mr. James Walliam & Samuel Land of the Towne of New Castle, to bee executors: of what what worldly Estate I shall Leave behind mee, and to use the best of their Indeavors for the bennefitt of my wyfe, my daughter Margret and my wyves Children, with all that my wyfe Josyne Sempill pay all Just debts due from me, to others, and that sheereceive all debts due from others to mee, and I: doe hereby utterly disallow Revoake & Annull all and Every other former Testaments, wills, Legacies, bequeaths. Executors: By me in any wise before this type named, willed, or bequeathed, Ratifying and Confirming this and none other to bee my Laest [last] will & Testament whereof I haue hereunto Sett my hand & Seale the day & yeare above written--

[signed] Will: Sempell (LS)
Signed Sealed published
pronounced. declared by
the sd: William Sempill
as his Laest will & Testament
In the Presence of us --
J. D haes [Johannes DeHaes]
Jan Bisek [John Bisk]

In this will, a symbol from Old English and Old Norse, the Runic character called the "thorn," was used for the letters th, as in the, this, etc. The symbol resembles the letter y, and many editors substitute a y for the thorn, thus spelling the word "the" as "ye" or "that" as "yt " implying that "the" had been pronounced "ye" or "that" as "yet;." Since the thorn was not a y, this writer prefers to substitute the letters "th" to retain the pronunciation that the original writer had intended.

From the will of William Sample, it is apparent that his wife Josine, had been married previously, and that she had had children by that earlier husband. Unfortunately, however, William Sample did not mention the surname of Josine's children by her earlier marriage. We will return to this question later in this article.

From the wording of his will, its seems apparent that William Sample intended that his two friends, James Walliam and Samuel Land, serve as executors of his estate, although he qualilied their appointment with the words "use the best of Indeavors for the bennefitt of my wyfe, my daughter Margret and my wyves Children... The Court record indicates that when this will was presented to the Court for probate, William Sample's widow, Josine, made the claim that her husband had intended that she administer his estate, and that James Walliam and Samuel Land should "bee understood only as overseers & assistants to the widdow [herself] in the performand of her husbands will." Josine must have been a strong and bold woman for her day, for the justices accepted her argument.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Before returning to a discussion if the provisions that William Sample made in his will, it may be appropriate to review the dating system then in use in England and her colonies. As noted, it was on January 1, 1683, that William Sample's will was presented for probate in the New Castle court. The meeting dates for this session of the court were recorded however, as follows: "Att a Court Held in the towne of New Castle...the first and 2d dayes of the Elleventh month called January annoq. Dom.1682/3." It was under the old Julian Calendar, which remained in use in England and her colonies untill 1752 that January was counted as the eleventh month of the year and February as the twelfth. The new year began on March 25th, in keeping with vernal equinox, but all of March was counted as the first month of the year.

Dating back to the time of Julius Caesar, the Julian calendar had been adopted in the Christian world during the Nicene Council in A.D. 325. While based on the solar year and divided into 365 days, plus an extra day every fourth year, the Julian calendar was found to exceed the solar year by eleven minutes, amounting to a full day every 131 days. This was corrected in 1582 with the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, which we use today, by having no leap year in centenial years not divisable by 400, and to correct the cumulative error that had grown over the centuries, ten days were dropped and January was designated as the first month of the year. Because it was Pope Gregory XIII who ordered that the new calendar be adopted, it was named for him. For this reason, the Gregorian calendar was ridiculed by Protestant nations, including England, calling it a "Catholic Calendar".
With Henry VIII having broken with Rome, England insisted on continuing to count the passing of time with the old Julian Calendar longer than did the rest of Europe. Particularly in the world of trade and travel, the two calendars caused growing confusion. In the American colonies, the custom grew to use "double dates" during January and February and the most of March. Thus, the New Castle Court session beginning on January 1, 1682 under the Julian Calendar was written "1: January: 1682/3" Under the Gregorian Calendar this was New Year's day, 1683. The English parliament finally adopted the Gregorian Calendar in 1752, by which time it was necessary to drop eleven days, and throughout England and the colonies in 1752, September 2 was followed by September 14.

Early Historical Events in the Colony of Delaware

Another historical matter needing discussion in order to understand the difficulty in tracing the forebears of William Sample Sparks is the complicaterd evolution of the the colony of Delaware. First it is important to note that New Castle County, Delaware, the place of residence of William Sample when he died in December 1682, very nearly adjoins Queen Annes County, Maryland, the home of William Sparks, Jr. It is not surprising that William Sparks, Jr. became aquainted with Margaret Sample, for, though living in different colonies, they grew up but a few miles apart. They were probably married in Delaware in or about 1695.

Delaware did not come under English rule until 1664, the same year that England took possession of Amsterdam in New York. Although its shore on the Delaware River had been visited in 1609 by Henry Hudson, a British sea captain in the service of the Dutch West India Company, it had been Sweden, not Holland, that succeeded in establishing a settlement at what is now Wilmington in 1638.

In 1651, the Dutch established a colony and built a fort at what is now New Castle, and in 1655 New Sweden capitulated to the Dutch.The Swedish colonists on the Delaware remained, however, coming under Dutch rule. Then in 1664 when a war between England and Holland spread to the New World New Amsterdamand other Dutch possessions in America were taken by an English expedition under James, Duke of York. The Swedish and Dutch settlers on the Delaware River were permitted by the English to remain on their land byswearing allegiance to the King of England, and in 1673 the Duke of York's Bookof Laws introduced them to the English legal system. In the 1696 deed quoted earlier, the reference to "the Lord of the Soyle" meant the King of England. It is only after English rule do local records exist for what became the colony of Delaware.

In 1682, King Charles II extended the proprietary rule of William Penn to include, beyond the colony of Pennsylvania, the land on the Delaware River that eventually would become the colony of Delaware. Initially, however it became known as the "Lower Counties" of Pennsylvania. These three "Lower Counties" were called New Castle, St. Johns, and Sussex, although St. Johns was changed to Kent County in 1682. In 1703, these three counties were granted their own assembly, which was an important step toward their becoming the separate colony of Delaware.

William Sample, Immigrant to Maryland

Although our earliest reference to William Sample in New Castle County, Delaware, found thus far is dated October 22, 1677, we believe that if there existed Dutch and Swedish court or land records prior to English rule, we would probably find his name there. We are certain, however, that he was neither a native of Holland nor Sweden, but that he had come from England. We further believe that he was the same William Sample who arrived in Maryland in February 1653/4, i.e., it was 1653 under the old Julian calendar but 1654 under the Gregorian Calendar.

At the Maryland Hall of Records there is a very early handwritten volume of land records called "Liber A. B. & H." An expert in locating and interpreting Maryland records, Dr. Carson Gibb, who has done research for us over a number of years, has provided us with photocopies of a number of pages in this volume pertaining to William Sample.

As explained in The EarlySettlers of Maryland by Gust Skordas (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1968, p. ix), this "Liber A.B.& H" is a transcription completed in 1717 from much earlier records, most of which are no longer extant. Included in this 1717 transcription is what was once called "Liber H (1650-55)," which no longer exists.

To interpret the earliest record pertaining to William Sample in "Liber A.B.& H." one must note that, to attract settlers to Maryland, Lord Baltimore, the proprietor of the Colony, offered free land to any man or woman who came to his colony
at his/her own expense. The number of acres provided had been reduced from 100 to 50 per immigrant by 1653 when William Sample came. Ship passage from England to Maryland cost about 20 pounds at that time, a sum that few individuals desiring to emigrate to Maryland could pay. Many such men and women therefore, came as indentured servants, agreeing to work for the person paying their passage for varying numbers of years for their passage. The person paying for the passage would receive his servant's "right" to the 50 acres.

The immigrant who "transported himself," i.e., paid his own way, or the person who "transported" someone, would, soon after arrival in Maryland "demand" a "right" to the promised 50 acres. Upon receiving the written "right", he/she could then transfer (sell) it to another person. (For a more detailed account of this form of acquiring land in Maryland, see the QUARTERLY of December 1992, Whole No. 160, pp.4025-26.)

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

On page [folio] 382 of "Liber A.B.& H" appears the following entry dated 26th January 1653: "William Sample" Demandeth Fifty acres of land for transporting himself into this province about February last." (This would have been February 1653 under the Julian Calendar, but it would be February 1654 under the Gregorian Calendar.)

The name "Sample" was by no means a common surname in the 1600s nor is it even today. No one else named Sample appears in the Skordas volume cited earlier or in Carson Gibb's A Supplement to The Early Settlers of Maryland.

The exact same entry that appears for William Sample on page 382 of "Liber A.B. & H". was made also, on the same page, for each of two other men who had transported themselves, i.e., paid their own way, from England to Maryland. They were Samuel Graves and Richard Harris. Whether Graves and Harris might have come to Maryland with William Sample is not known.

Sometime prior to July 3, 1654, William Sample had transferred his "right" to fifty acres to a man named George Bushy (also spelled Bussy). George Bushy had also arrived in Maryland about the same time as had William Sample, Samuel Graves and Richard Harris as revealed in an entry on page 380 of "Liber A.B. & H." Just above the George Bushy entry is that of Henry Keyne who figures later with William Sample, Samuel Graves and Richard Harris in the sale of their "rights".

"Liber A.B.& H." Folio 381.
26th June [1654] Henry Keyne Demandeth one Hundred and fifty
Acres for Transporting himself and Richard and Edward Kene, his
two Brothers into this province about February last.

[Same Liber, same folio, & same date.]

George Bushy Demandeth two hundred and Fifty acres of land for
Transporting himself, his Wife and George and Henry Bussy [sic]
their Sons into this province about February last with John Jenkins
his Servant.

No written record has been found by which Henry Keyne, William Sample, Samuel Graves, and Richard Harris transferring their "rights" to George Bushy (oe Bussy) has been found, but that they had done so is indicated by the following entries on folio 384 of "Liber A.B.& H."
3d July [1654] George Bussy [sic] Demandeth as pr Titles two
Hundred and Fifty Acres in his own Right and one hundred and
Fifty in the right of Henry Keene and his Brothers and fifty acres
a piece in Rights of Samuel Graves, William Sample and Richard
Harris, in all Five hundred and fifty acres.
Immediately following this entry, at the top of folio 385 appears the following:
3d July [1654] Warrt [i.e., Warrant] to lay out for George Bussy [sic] two Hundred and Fifty acres and for Henry Keene and his Brothers One hundred and Fifty acres and for Samuel Graves Fifty acres, for William Sample Fifty acres and for Richard Harris fifty acres being in all Five hundred and Fifty acres of land in any part of the province not formerly taken up. retd 1st January.

One other Maryland record has been found pertaining to William Sample. On April 1, 1660, he and one Francis Carpenter witnessed the will of Richard Hix in Calvert County. Hix was identified in the will as living on "Patuxent River". Here William Sample signed his name as "Wm. Sampell." Perhaps it was from Calvert County Maryland that he went to Delaware while it was still under Dutch rule.


Because he had had the resources to transport himself to America, William Sample must have been a young man of some means. By the time he appears in the English Delaware records, he seems to have been a man of both Financial resources and status in his community, as will be seen below.

Records Pertaining to William Sample in Delaware

We have had no access to any records that may have been kept during the Dutch rule of Delaware, but English Court records survive and those from 1676 to 1699 were published by the Colonial Society of Pennsylvania in two volumes, 1676-1681
in 1904 and 1681-1699 in 1934. Both volumes have been reprinted by the Clearfield Company of Baltimore, Maryland, in 2000.

It was on April 4, 1677, that William Sample first appeared in the English Court records of New Castle. This was a case in which he and William Hamilton were plaintiffs against James Besevick, claiming that Besevick owed them "by his bill bearing date 8th of Novembr Last [1676] the sume of seven hundred fourthy and seven gilders & three styvers." The Court, comprised of three justices of the peace who served as magistrates, ruled in favor of Sample and Hamilton. There were subsequent cases in which William Sample and William Hamilton were co-plaintiffs regarding money due them, suggesting that they may have been partners in some manner. For example, at a session of the Court on February 18, 167718, William Sample and William Hamilton were plaintiffs against the estate of John Askin, deceased, "for the sume of three hundred and six gilders and seven styvers."

In a Court record dated July 24, 1677, a jury was empaneled to consider a case involving a stolen coat; William Sample was one of the jurors, a duty that he would perform thereafter on several occasions.

In the autumn of 1677, a census was taken of the "Tydable [tithable] prsons living in the [New Castle] Court's Jurisdiction." A total of 307 male heads of households were listed in such a way to suggest that their arrangement was geographical. That in which William Sample's name appeared was headed "from the next side" and comprised 42 names. William Hamilton's name followed that of William Sample in the list, suggesting that their houses were probably side-by-side. Close neighbors included Math: d' Ring, John Bisk, Jan Boyer, Joh: d' haes, and James Walliam, all being persons mentioned as Sample's associates in later records.

That William Sample was a prominent citizen of New Castle County is proven in the Court's minutes of July 17, 1678. A petition was then drawn up addressed to the Governor, Sir Edmund Andross, requesting that three additional justices of the peace be appointed to serve as magistrates on the Court. Included in the petition were the names of four citizens presented "as the fittest prsons" from whom the Governor might choose three: "Mr Johannes Dehaes, Mr William Semple, Mr Abram Man, and Mr Hendrick Williams." William Sample was one of the three who were appointed by the Governor, and as one of the now seven magistrates, he attended his first Court session on November 5, 1678.

Governor Andross, whose principal duty was to govern the colony of New York, then also governed the three Delaware counties, which meant that his Delaware subjects rarely had personal contact with him. In July 1679, four of the New Castle magistrates, including William Sample, agreed to be available on occasion to travel to New York to represent New Castle County before the Governor. It is interesting to note that when the New Castle Court met on July 6, 1681, it

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

adjourned without acting because Justice Otto was ill and "Justice Will: Sempill is absent at New York." Sample served as a member of the New Castle Court for the remainder of his life.

References From the New Castle Court Records
Pertaining to Josine Sample

In attempting to gather information regarding Josine Sample in order to tell something of her life, we are fortunate that she was mentioned a number of times in the extant Court records of New Castle. It is also helpful that she was the only person with the forename Josine in these records. Her name is also spelled Josyn, Joslyn, and, on one ocasion, Usyn.

This writer is quite certain that her maiden name was Boyer. She was married, first, to a man named John Marshall by whom she had a number of children; he had died prior to 1675. Josine was married, second, to William Sample; they were the parents of one child, Margaret Sample. With William Sample's death in 1681, Josine again became a widow. Sometime prior to 1686 she was married, third, to William Hamilton. She died prior to March 1696. The Court records revealing her marriage and other events in her life are discussed below.

(This article is continued in the notes for Anne's "child" The remaining notes for Wm. Sample Sparks.)


SQ p. 5457:

Margaret Sample, Wife of William Sparks, Jr.

As we have noted earlier, it was in or about 1695 that William Sparks, Jr. was married to Margaret Sample. In his will, William Sample had called Margaret "my little daughter." She was probably born about 1676 and was probably 18 or 19 years of age at the time of her marriage. William Sparks, Jr. was probably a little older than Margaret.

We cannot be certain where William Sparks, Jr. was living in 1695. In the 1696 deed quoted earlier, he was identified as a resident "of the province of Maryland." He and his father, William Sparks (died 1709), had witnessed the will of John Ellet in Talbot County, Maryland, in October 1695. Talbot County then included what became Queen Annes County in 1706.

On December 2, 1696, William Sparks, Jr. and his father were among 62 "Military Officers of Kent County, Maryland" who signed a pledge of loyalty to King William III expressing their shock on learning of an assassination plot to restore King James II to the English throne.

We can be sure that William Sparks, Jr. lived close enough to New Castle, Delaware, for him easily to have become acquainted with Margaret Sample. With their marriage, William, of course, came into possession of Margaret's inheritance.

In the will of the senior William Sparks in 1709, he had left property to each of his four sons (William, Jr., George, John, and Joseph), as well as to a grandson, Charles Hynson, whose deceased mother had been a daughter. He also mentioned a granddaughter, a child of his son, William, Jr., as follows:

I give to my Daughter, that is to say my grand Daughter, being the daughter of my Son Wm. Sparks,
one year heffer with all her female Increas to be marked and Delivered for her use presently after my
Death, the males to go to him or them that Shall or does take care of the same.

Unfortunately, William Sparks, Sr. did not include the name of his granddaughter in his will. Perhaps his singling her out for a special gift was simply because she was his first granddaughter. A discussion of the tracts of land that William Sparks, Jr. inherited from his father will appear in a future issue of the QUARTERLY. Here we note, however, a land transaction that proves Margaret (Sample) Sparks was living in 1710. She died at some point during the next two decades, however, for another deed proves that William, Jr.'s wife's name in 1730 was Ann.

The senior William Sparks (died 1709) had a brother named John Sparks who died in Kent County, Maryland, in 1700. In his will, John Sparks had left his 100-acre farm, that was described as part of a larger tract called "Bucks Hill," located in Kent County on the north side of Chester River, to his two sons, John, Jr. and George Sparks, who were still in England. To claim their inheritance, however, John Sparks required that one or both of these sons would have to come to Maryland "to enjoy it." (The text of the will of John Sparks was published on pp. 1377-78 of the QUARTERLY of March 1971.) Neither of these sons of John ever came to America to claim their inheritance, however, although they attempted to have an intermediary do so for them, an attempt that failed. By March 1710, John's oldest nephew, William Sparks, Jr., had become the land's owner, following the death of John's widow, Elinor Sparks. (Note: After the death in 1709 of the elder William Sparks, his son, William, Jr., was no longer called "Junior" in court and land records. We will continue to refer to him as "Jr." in this article, how ever, for the sake of clarity.)

On March 6, 1710, "William Sparks of Queen Anns County and Margaret his wife" sold this land to William Cummings (spelled "Comegys" in this deed) of Kent County, Maryland, for 3,500 pounds of tobacco, the common currency of Maryland at that time. Acknowledging the possibility that his uncle's sons in England might still claim this land, the following statement was included in this deed. (Punctuation has been added for clarity.)

...... said William Sparks & Margarett his wife, their heirs Extrs and admtrs [i.e., executors and administrators], Shall & will from time to time & att all times for Ever hereafter warrant & for Ever defend the before granted premises to the said William Comegys, his heirs & assigns, for Ever against the hris[heirs] & Successors of John Sparks, Deceased, Onckle [uncle] to the aforenamed William Sparks, as alsoe any other person or persons Claiming Right by heire Ship from the said John Sparks, Deceased...

It was required in Maryland that deeds be presented to the Court of the county in which the land was located to be registered and recorded. William Sparks, Jr. presented this deed to the clerk of the Kent County Court, John Smith, on March 79 1710. Margaret did not accompany her husband on his journey from their home in Queen Annes County to Kent County to sign this deed and present it in Court (See Land Records JS # N, pp.248-49 of Kent County.) Instead, she appointed a family friend, who may also have been a relative, Michael Haskett, to represent her. Her appointment of him was recorded with the deed, following:

Know all men by these prsents that I Margrett Sparks of Queen Anns County have & doe appoint my
trusty & well beloved friend Mr. Michell Haskett of Kent County to be my true & lawful attorney for & in
my name, stead & behalf, to affix my name to a Sertain Deed of Sale for one hundred akers of Land
as in the Said Deed may more lawfully appear and also to acknowledge the same as the law
directs, to Wm Comegys, his heirs & assigns for Ever, Rattifling & holding good & firm in Law
Whatever my Said Attorney Shall act in & aboute the prs. In witness whereof I have hereunto sett
hand and fixed my Seal this [blank] day of March anno Dom 1710/11. Signed, Sealed & delivered in
the Presents of us

[Names of witnesses not recorded.]

Margaret M Sparks