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Below we will find several quotes from the SPARKS QUARTERLY from articles published over a 40 year period, each adding new information and some correcting earlier data. In the issue for December 1992, Whole No. 160, from pg. 4025 through page 4034, several corrections or augmentations were published. Rather than

copy this whole article as written, relevant portions will hereinafter be inserted near the earlier data which it corrects or supplements. Such information will be in brackets [ ], and will bear the notation "No. 160, p. xxx".



"That part of North America now called Maryland was first settled by white people in 1631 when William Claiborne came over from the colony of Virginia and established a trading post on Kent Island. He remained without neighbors until 1634 when the first colonists, led by Leonard Calvert, arrived from England in the vessels called the ARK and the DOVE, and founded the county of St. Marys. The future of the colony (named Terrae Marie or Maryland in honor of Queen Henrietta Marie) was assured. Thereafter, settlers from England poured in by shipload after shipload. "Each freeman who came to Maryland was given 100 acres of land for himself, his wife and each child over age sixteen. In addition, he was given 50 acres for each child under age sixteen and for each "servant" he brought with him. "Servants" were persons brought in for hire and obligated to work or in some other manner pay for their transportation. In general, these persons were farmers, mechanics, masons, carpenters, shipbuilders, and often they were educated clerks and teachers.

"Generally speaking, the lot of a servant was not especially unpleasant. The indenture usually lasted from two to six years and at the end provision was made to give him or her a degree of independence. In the case of a male servant, he was given fifty acres of land, an ox, a gun, two hoes, and a modest amount of clothing. If the servant were a female, she received a skirt, waistcoat, apron, smock, cap, shoes and stockings, and three barrels of Indian corn.

"This provision for encouraging new colonists proved so popular that seven years after the colony was established the land allowance was reduced from 100 acres to 50 acres for adults and to 25 acres for each child under age sixteen. In like manner, the early liberal allowance of land for transporting colonists was tightened. Initially the transportation of five men was worth 2000 acres, but in 1636 this was changed to require the transportation of ten men for this amount of land, and in 1641 it was again changed to require twenty men and women to be worth 2000 acres.

"In many cases, the servant paid for his transportation by simply transfering the acreage he was to receive as a new colonist to the person who transported him. In turn, the person who provided the transportation might transfer his right to the land to another person who had n o actual part in arranging or providing the transportation. The system was finally abolished in 1683.

[See SQ No. 160, p. 4026: after repeating the above information taken from the article published in December 1970, No. 72, (commencing on page1362), see the following: "Our reason for including this description of immigration to Maryland during much of the seventeenth century is because we believe, although we cannot prove beyond any doubt, that the William Sparks who died in 1709 in Queen Annes County was the same William Sparks who had been brought to Maryland in 1662 by a man named Thomas Skillington. (On page 1363 of the December 1970 issue of the QUARTERLY, Whole No . 72, we mistakenly copied his name as Thomas Skillingham, and this error was repeated on page 1381 of the March 1971issue, Whole No. 73.)]

[Dr. Sparks noted in his 1970 article, cited above, that the records of the assigning of land to persons transporting themselves or others to Maryland are preserved at the Maryland Hall of Records in Annapolis . We have obtained a photographic copy of each of the two records pertaining to William Sparks who came to Maryland in 1662. The first of these is found in Liber 6, called "Patents," page 71, entry #359, and reads as follows:

I Thomas Skillington of the province of Maryland do assign unto George Richardson all my right and Title of these following Rights of Land first For Thomas Skillington and Mary his wife, William Sparks, Servants in all Six Ann Powell, Mary Webb, John Green as wittness my hand this 2d of the 10 Month 1663.

[signed] Thomas Skillington]

[From the wording of this transfer of Skillington's claim for land, it is difficult to determine the status of William Sparks. It appears that Ann Powell, Mary Webb, and John Green were definitely "servants," but William Sparks may not have been a servant, but was simply one of the six persons entitled to land. The manner in which Skillington wrote the date of this transfer of his "Rights of Land" to Richardson is significant. In other entries on this same page, as well as on preceding and succeeding pages, the name of the month is given. Members of the Quaker faith, however, refused to use what they considered pagan names for the months in the Julian calendar, and substituted numbers. Under the Julian calendar, which would continue to be used in England and her colonies until 1752, March 25th was designated as the beginning of each new year. March was thus considered to be the first month while February was considered to be the twelfth month . Thus, when Skillington dated his transfer of land rights to Richardson as "this 2d of the 10 Month 1663,"he substituted the number 10 for the month of

December. The date of this transfer under the Julian calendar was thus, December 2, 1663.]

[Although we have found no further references to Thomas Skillington in relationship to William Sparks, there is further reason to believe that Skillington was a Quaker. An entry appears in the minutes of the Third Haven Meeting of the Quaker denomination in Maryland which reads :"Kenellam Skillington of Talbot County, planter, and Lydia Craxtill, late of Barbados, speinster, married 20 8th month, 1692, at home of Thomas Skillington."]

[The next entry (#372) among Maryland's land patents in Liber 6containing a reference to William Sparks is dated January 5, 1663. Under the Julian calendar, the year 1663 extended from what would, under the Gregorian Calendar, have been March 25, 1663, through March 24, 1664.Under the Gregorian Calendar (in use in England and America after 1752), entry #372 was made just a month and three days after entry #359, quoted above.]

[Entry #372 reveals that George Richardson obtained a warrant for 1300acres of land based on his being credited with transporting himself and a Mary Richardson, who may have been his wife, along with twenty-four others. These included the six individuals whose transportation had been "assigned" to him by Thomas Skillington, plus six others that had been transported by Robert Blurkhorse and likewise assigned to him, along with four individuals transported by John Edmondson and also assigned to Richardson. We can assume that Richardson rewarded Skillington, Blurkhorse, and Edmondson in some manner for transferring these land rights to him. In the transcription of the entire text of entry #359which follows, it will be seen that the name of Thomas and Mary Skillington was mistakenly spelled "Skillinson" and that William Sparks was called "William Sparke."]

[[Liber 6, Entry #372, dated 5th January 1663 (i.e. 1664 under the Gregorian Calendar) Punctuation has been added for clarity in this transcription. Then came George Richardson and demands Land for the transportation of himself in Anno 1661, Mary Richardson in 1663, Thomas Hayward in 1662, Elizabeth Clarke 1661, Anthony Willson 1659; John Skitters 1656; Thomas Skillinson 1653; Mary Skillinson 1660, William Sparke [and] Ann Powell in 1662, Mary Webb 1661. John Green 1663, John Gary 1660, Jno Morfett[?] 1663, were Entered by Robert Blurkhorse, ditto die, assigned unto the said Richardson. Francis Devine [and] Mary Devine1660, Edward Goodman 1656, Robert Stapleford 1661, Richard Richardson1663, Elizabeth Cordrass 1661 . Ditto Richardson Enters more rights, Viz: William Lile 1653, Priscilla Lile 1656; John Cooke, James Graner, John Housmond, and Susanna Eastneck, these four assignd him from John Edmondson as per assignment. Warrant Issued, ditto die, in the said Richardsons Name for 1300 Acres, being for all the above mentioned Rights, returnable 5th July next.

[While George Richardson spelled Thomas and Mary Skillington's name as "Skillinson," and William Sparks as "William Sparke," there can be no doubt that the six immigrants whose land rights he had acquired from Thomas Skillington (Entry #359) were among those for whom he subsequently obtained his warrant for 1,300 acres of Maryland land. It should be noted that Entry #372 also identifies the precise year (1662) that William Sparks came to America. Again, we must emphasize, however , that we have no compelling proof that he was the same William Sparks (died1709) for whom we have many subsequent Maryland records. Their being the same person, however, seems highly probable. {Here ends the insert from Whole No. 160, at p. 4027}]

"In the index which follows, the names of many colonists have been omitted and in cases where there were many names, only those settlers named SPARKS have been included in the interest of brevity. In future issues of the QUARTERLY, we hope to be able to trace further the record of these Sparks immigrants to Maryland. The book and page numbers which appear in the following list refer to the bound volumes at the Hall of Records in Annapolis, MD, entitled INDEX OF EARLY SETTLERS, MARYLAND,1633-1680. (Here find list of names.)


"The history of the Colony of Maryland begins with the first Lord Baltimore (George Calvert), convert to the Roman Catholic faith, who prevailed upon King James I to grant him a colony along the Atlantic coast which would serve as an asylum for Englishmen seeking religious freedom. Although the first Lord Baltimore died before his dream could be realized, the King granted the promised charter to his son , Cecilius Calvert, the 2nd Lord Baltimore, on June 20, 1632.

"Leonard Calvert, brother to Cecilius, became the Colony's first governor. Although the 2nd Lord Baltimore never visited his colony, he supervised its development until his death in 1675 and has often been referred to as the First Lord Proprietor. [JS Note: Leonard Calvert adirect ancestor of James J. Sparks through James's paternal grandmother, Mary Theresa (Stone) Sparks.]

"Before Lord Baltimore could arrange to send the fist colonists to his colony, a Virginian named William Claiborne had established a trading post on Kent Island. For many decades thereafter there was conflict between the Virginia traders and settlers on Kent Island (which is nowpart of Queen Anne's County) and the settlers brought from England to the Colony by Lord Baltimore. There were also agreements with William Penn regarding the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania and with the Duke of York regarding the boundary between Maryland and Deleware. There were also Indian uprisings and civil strife but religious freedom prevailed through all of these troubles.

"In the article appearing (above) Dr. Paul Sparks described the system by which large numbers of settlers were brought to Maryland from England in the 1600's. Many of the settlers came as "indentured servants, "individuals and who had traded a term of service, (from two to six years for adults and longer for children), for the cost of passage to America. The individual who wished to emigrate but could not afford the passage would get in touch with a ship master or his agent and a contract would be drawn up in which the passenger agreed to serve the ship master or his agent for a stated term of years. When the passenger, now an "indentured servant", reached his destination, his master was free to sell the passenger's services to any purchaser in order to recoup the expense of passange. The "servant" then went to live with and work for the new for the number of years specified in the contract. (The number of years of service varied from one "indentured servant" to another because their skills varied--the skilled artisan brought a highter price than an ordinary laborer; thus the agent would have to demand longer service of the laborer in order to his indenture and recover the cost of the voyage.) Many of the early immigrants to Maryland settled on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay in the area that is now Queen Anne's County. It was here that the branch of the Sparks family settled which is traced in this Article.

"Kent County, comprising what is now the counties of Cecil, Kent ,Queen Anne's, Talbot and a portion of Caroline, was created officially in1642. In1661,Talbot County was cut off from Kent, although Kent Island remained as part of Kent County until 1695. In 1706, Talbot County was divided to form Queen Anne's County. (Queen Anne's accession to the English throne had occurred four years earlier and the new county was named for her. ) The Sparks family in whom we are currently interested lived in what became Queen Anne's County in 1706. Edward Sparks lived on Kent Island (that portion of Queen Anne's County which extends into the Bay. ) William and John Sparks, believed to have been brothers, both owned property in "West Chester Towne", believed to have been the western part of what is now the town of Chester; their land holdings were on the Chester River (which forms the northern boundary of Queen Anne' s and the southern boundary of Kent County) near the present towns of Centreville and Church Hill. Island Creek and Southeast Creek are mentioned in the deed describing the land of William Sparks. There was also a Thomas Sparks who was a servant of Richard Tilghman in 1671 who lived on Chester River.

"It is important to keep in mind that records of this branch of the Sparks family are found in Kent County up until 1661 when Talbot County was set apart from Kent County. From 1661 until 1706, the records of this family were recorded in both Kent and Talbot because their land lay in both counties and the boundary line was often uncertain. Furthermore, Kent Island remained part of Kent County until 1695. After 1706, records of the family are found chiefly in Queen Anne's County , which was carved out of Talbot County. In 1706 Kent Island also became a part of Queen Anne's County. [nd of article at page 1374.]


"Our earliest reference to a William Sparks in Maryland is dated 1663when Thomas Skillington sold to George Richardson the land which he had been granted by the Lord Proprietor for having transported six settlers to the Province, one of whom was William Sparks. The other five were himself, his wife Mary, Ann Powell, Mary Webb and John Green. A little later the same year George Richardson, in making claim for the land sold to him by Thomas Skillington, Richardson gave William Sparks's name as William Sparke and the date of his coming to Maryland as 1662 . Neither the name of Thomas Skillington nor George Richardson has been found among the records of Kent, Talbot, and Queen Anne's County; perhaps this William Sparks was not the William Sparks who died in Queen Anne's County in 1709. Further research will probably determine this.

"Our first definite record of the William Sparks who died in 1709 living in the area that is now Queen Anne's County, Maryland, is a deed by which he and a man named Thomas Heather purchased jointly a tract of100 acres from Richard Pernes on July 17, 1672, for 5,60 0 pounds of tobacco. This deed was recorded in Talbot County (Deed B ook I, p.213). The land was described as "Lying and being on the North Side of St. Michaels River beginning at a marked Oake Standing at the head of a Small branch Running North West & Runing for breadth down the branch East South east 50 poles to a marked gumme tree then North East up the River for Length 320 poles being formerly laid out for Francis Martin." The witnesses were James and Mary Murphy.

"Apparently William Sparks and Thomas Heather were business associates, perhaps even partners, because five years later, on October16 , 1677, Heather publicly acknowledged that he owed Sparks 20,000pounds of tobacco. In this document, Heather's wife was identified as Anna; the document was witnessed by Ralph Elston, Jr., and Richard Duddley. (Talbot County Deed Book 3, p. 93) Tobacco was the chief medium of currency at that time in Maryland and Virginia and remained as currency until sometime after the Revolutionary War.

"There is no evidence that William Sparks ever lived on the land in St. Michael's River, located in what is now the sourthern portion of Queen Anne's County. On July 21, 1696, William Sparks (called William Sparks Senr .) and his wife Mary sold this tract to Alexander Ray for10,000 pounds of tobacco. Apparently he had acquired Thomas Heather's portion of this land earlier. (See Talbot County Deed Book 7, p. 224.)

[See No. 160, p. 4028]: "When we published the March 1971 article, we had not discovered the Talbot County deed dated September 17, 1677(Talbot Co. Land Record GG#:85:87) by which Thomas Heather (spelled "Hatherd" in the deed), with the consent of his wife, Anna, sold to William Sparks his share (50 acres) of this 100-acre tract. In this deed, both Sparks (spelled Sparkes) and Heather were described as then being residents of Talbot County, but what is especially interesting about this 1677 deed is that it reveals that it was on this same 100-acre tract that "the said Sparkes now liveth." The tract, as we have noted, was located on "the north side of St. Michaels River. " Today, this river is called "Miles River". It is in what is now the southern portion of Queen Annes County.]

["As we noted on page 1381 of the March 1971 issue of the QUARTERLY, there is a Talbot County record dated October 16, 1677, which was just a month after Heather sold his interest in the land to Sparks, in which Heather acknowledged a debt to Sparks of 20,000 pounds of tobacco. How Heather became indebted to Sparks for this sizeable amount we do not know. It seems probable, however, that what was described as a "valuable consideration" as Heather's compensation when he sold his share of the100-acre tract to Sparks was actually in the form of a reduction of his debt to Sparks. Thomas Heather and William Sparks were obviously neighbors and close associates over a period of many years. We wonder whether there might have been a family relationship.]


[cont. The finding of the September 17, 1677, deed disproves our statement at the bottom of page 1381 that "here is no evidence that William Sparks ever lived on the land on St. Michaels River." We now know that he and his family were, indeed, living there in the autumn of1677 and probably had been living there since 1672.

[cont. As noted on page 1381, William Sparks and his wife Mary, sold this tract of 100 acres for 10,000 pounds of tobacco to Alexander Ray on July 21,1696. However, it must have been considerably before 1696 that William Sparks had moved his family a few miles north to the 250-acretract of land called "Sparks Choice" on the east side of Chester River .We do not have the exact date of his purchase of this larger tract , for which he chose the name, but it was about 1681.]

(Continuing in the SPARKS QUARTERLY, pg 1382:)

"During the years from the early 1670's until his death in 1709,William Sparks's name was frequently recorded in the official records of Kent, Talbot, and Queen Anne's Counties. We cannot, however make many statements of fact regarding his personal life. He was probably born about 1640 in England. His wife's name was Mary and they had at least five children, four sons and one daughter. William Sparks gradually acquired a considerable amount of land. At one time he owned nearly 1,000acres on Island Creek, a tributary of Southeast Creek, which in turn is a tributary of Chester River. He was a member of the Anglican faith.

"On August 16, 1681, William Sparks purchased a tract of 100 acres from Michael Hackett and his wife Mary of Talbot County for 5,000 pounds of tobacco. This tract had originally been granted on October 16, 1670,to John Mitchell at which time it had been given the name "Adventure. "Mitchell had later sold it to Hackett, who sold it to William Sparks. This deed of 1681 (Book 4, p. 68) and the rent rolls describe the tract as lying on the south side of Chester River and on the south-east side of Island Creek, and adjoining land owned by John Hawkins. The deed by which William Sparks purchased this tract was witnessed by Henry Willcockes and John Parsons. On June 1, 1691, William Sparks sold this tract along with 100 additional acres to Samuel Withers (Book 5, p. 336). (John Hawkins, who owned land adjoining William Sparks's "Adventure ,also owned land on Coursey's Creek; in 1706 the Assembly passed an act to establish the county-seat of Queen Anne's County on a

tract of 100 acres "upon the plantation of Major John Hawkins, in Coursey 's Creek to be called Queens-Towne." After the Revolution, however, the county seat was moved to Centreville. John Hawkins was a vestry man of the parish church at Chester; when he died in 1718 he was succeeded by Augustine Thompson, another close friend and neighbor of the Sparks family.

"At about the same time that William Sparks purchased "Adventure "from Michael Hackett, he also acquired a tract of 250 acres which had been originally as part of a 450-acre tract for Michael Hackett o n July18, 1681. This 250-acre tract was known as "Sparks Choice" and was located on the "east side of Chester River near the head of a small branch of Island Creek." Although we have not found the actual patent by which he acquired this important tract, we know from the Rent Rolls and subsequent deeds that this was the land on which William Sparks and his family actually lived. Anthony Ivy owned the remaining 200 acres in the original tract of 450 acres of Michael Hackett.

"On September 10, 1684, William Sparks obtained a patent from the Province of Maryland for another tract of land adjoining his home plantation comprising 100 acres. It had been surveyed for him on June21, 1683 ( Rent Rolls, Queen Anne's County, p. 242). To this new tract, he gave the name "Sparks Own", or "Sparks Oune" as it was first recorded in Talbot County Deed Book A, p. 507, although it had been previously owned by Anthony Ivy and his wife Anne. William Sparks purchased this tract from William Coursey, Jr., assignee for Col. Vinceant Lowe who had obtained it as part of a tract of 3,000 acres granted to him on March 20,1683. The description of William Sparks's tract reads as follows on the patent dated September 10, 1683: "...all that tract or parcell of land called Sparks Oune lying in the county of Talbott on the east side of Chester River beginning at a marked oake standing neere the head of a branch on the north side of Island Creeke and running north north-west parallel with a line of a tract of land held by Michaell Hackett to Capt. Hide one hundred perches untill it intersects an east and by south line of a parcell of land formerly laid out for John Mitchell and then running with the said line two hundred perches untill it come to a parcell of land called Sparks Choice and running thence south south-east one hundred perches untill it comes to a parcell of land called Mount Hope lately taken up by Henry Wilcocks and from the end of that said line west and north to the first tree two hundred perches hundred acres..." For this grant William Sparks agreed to pay the Lord Proprietor "Rent of four Shillings Sterling in Silver or Gold." (Talbot County Land Records, Book SD #A, p.507.)

"Island Creek, mentioned in the patent for "Sparks Own", has its source about four miles northeast of Centreville, the county seat ofQueen Annes County. It meanders nearly due north as a gentle stream through fairly level land until it reaches Southeast Creek, nearly nine miles away. There , Southeast Creek empties into the Chester River about three miles west of the community of Church Hill. The surrounding areais low and inclined to be marshy. It was, and is, an agricultural area. One of the roads serving the area today is Sparks Mill Road.

"On October 22, 1687, a tract of 114 acres known as "Sparks Outlet "was surveyed for William Sparks. The patent for this tract was issued on June 12, 1688 (Talbot County Deed Book 2, p. 625). According to this patent, this tract was assigned to Sparks by Thomas Smithson who was an assignee of Daniel Walker, all being of Talbot County . Walker had acquired this tract as part of a grant of 1,200 acres on June 13, 1687.In the patent, it is described as "that tract or parcel of land called Sparkes Outlett lyeing in Talbott County neare Chester River betwixt the Land of the said William Sparkes and the Land of John Hawkins beginning at a marked Red oake standing in or near the line of John Hawkins and--?-- runs thence south-west most eighty perches to another marked Redoake thence southeast forty perches to a marked blacke oake att the Corner of a little pocoson, thence east and by south one hundred sixty perches, and from the end there of Running north and by east towards the Land of John Hawkins one hundred and fourteen perches and from the end of the north and by east line runing west and by north to the first Red Oake Containing within the sd lines and now laid out for one hundred and fourteen Acres be it more or less according to the Certificate of survey thereof taken and Returned into the Land office att the City of St. Maries being date the twenty second day of October one thousand sixhundred eighty seaven..." For this tract William Sparks promised to pay the Lord Proprietor "Rent of foure shillings and seven pence sterling in silver or Gold..."

"A near neighbor of William Sparks was John Hamer. On May 12, 1689,William Sparks was named by Hannah Hamer, wife of John Hamer, as her "true and lawful attorney" in connection with the sale of some land.(Tal. Co. Deed Bk 5, p 232)

"On June 1, 1691, William Sparks sold lot No. 6 in the Town of West Chester to John Salter, Joyner, "for a valuable consideration by me in hand already received." (Talbot County Deed Book 7, p. 53). As on other occasions, William Sparks signed this deed by mark. The witnesses were John Hamer and William Godinge. John Salter appears to have been a close friend of William Sparks. He was a prominent man in the area that became Queen Anne's County in 1707 and was a member of the House of Delegates from 1708 to 1711. He was also a member of the Probate Court and a vestryman of St. Paul's Parish. John Salter was a witness along with John Hamer, Jr., to William Sparks's will when it was probated in 1709.As noted earlier in the sketch on John Sparks who died in 1700, this same John Salter purchased a lot in West Chester from John Sparks in 1695.There is little doubt that John Sparks (died 1700) and William Sparks(died 1709) were brothers."

"On October 20, 1691, William Sparks purchased from Robert and Ann Smith a tract of 200 acres for 8,500 pounds of tobacco. This tract was part of a larger tract called "Wrights Choyse" and was located on the south side of Chester River "and on the North Side of the South East branch of a Creek in the Said River called Island Creek." In the description of this tract, there is a reference to an adjoining tract "for merly Layde out for Robert Smith." It must have been located very near William Sparks's other holdings. The witnesses to this deed were Thomas Beckles and Sollomon Wright. (Talbot County Deed Book 5, p. 328) (Robert Smith died about 1703 and Anthony Ivy and Renatus Smith were the executors of his estate. They sold his land on Island Creek (150-acres) to John Fowler and it was noted in the deed that it adjoined land owned by John Hawkins, John Singleton, and Thomas Norris . (See Emory's history of Queen Anne's County, p. 39.) Solomon Wright, whose wife's name was Anna, was a member of a large and prominent family in Queen Anne's County; he was a churchwarden in 1698. We believe that there were family connection between the Wright and Sparks families.) "The day following his purchase of this 200-acre tract, William Sparks and his wife Mary sold 200 acres of their other land to Samuel

Withers for 8,000 pounds of tobacco. In all probability, William Sparks increased the value of his other holdings through this purchase and sale. As part of the 200 acres which he sold to Withers was "Sparks Own" which he had acquired in 1684. The other 100 acres was a portion of his 250 acre tract called "Sparks Choice "which he had acquired in 1681. The witnesses to this deed were Solomon Wright, John Salter, and John Chafe. (Talbot County Deed Book 53 p. 336) (Emory, in his history of Queen Anne's County, p. 49, notes that Samuel Withers "erected a brick house sometime prior to 1724 on Island Creek.")

"The first official record of a son of William Sparks was recorded in October 1695 when he and his son, William Sparks, Jr., were witnesses to the will of John Ellet in Talbot County. (Maryland Calendar of Wills, Vol. 2, p. 109) From this we may infer that William Sparks, Jr., was the oldest son of William Sparks and was probably born twenty-one or more years earlier, or at least by 1674. If this inference is correct, we may speculate that William and Mary had been married about 1670-173. "In 1696, William Sparks was elected a warden of St. Paul's Parish. The territory of this parish comprised the lower part of what is now Queen Anne's County and the upper part of Talbot County. This parish had existed many years prior to 1692 when the act establishing the Anglican Church in the province was passed by the General Assembly, but thereafter records seem to have been kept for the first time. Edward Tomlins was the other warden in 1696. William Sparks was succeeded in 1698 by Solomon Wright.

"On December 2, 1696, both William Sparks and his son William Sparks, Jr., signed an interesting document addressed to the King of England, William III. In the previous February there had been an assassination plot to restore King James II to the throne. The plot was betrayed, most of the conspirators were arrested, and eight of them were put to death. Stating that the news had "here Arriv'd of the horrible intended Conspiracy agains his Royal person," the justices of the province along with the civil officers and military officers of each county, sidned an "address" of congratulations to their "Dread Soverain." The signers professed their loyalty to King William and promised to "Stand by &Assist Each other to the Utmost of our power in the Support and Defence of Yor Mats Governmt against the late King James and all his Adherents..." William Sparks's name appears among the 29 "Civill Officers and Magistrates" of Kent County who signed this address, and the names of both William Sparks and his son, William Sparks, Jr., were included among the 62 "Military Officers of Kent County." (A number of other individuals were listed among both the civil and military officers, including John Hunter and John Hamer, thus we can be quite sure that the William Sparks in both lists was the same person.) Why William Sparks and his son were listed among the officials of Kent County rather than Talbot County, we cannot be sure. Talbot County had been cut off from Kent County in 1662, although Kent Island remained part of Kent County until 1695. Histories of the province have frequently pointed out, however, that the boundaries between the counties were often indefinite during the 1600's and early 1700's. This is proven by a deed dated January 27, 1701, by which William Sparks and his wife Mary sold to John Hamer for 4000 pounds of tobacco the tract of land which Williain Sparks had purchased in 1691 from Robert and Ann Smith called "Wright's Choice "located on Ellis Branch of Island Creek. (Kent County Land Records JD #1,P. 79-81) The 1691 deed was recorded in Talbot County but in 1701 the deed was recorded in Kent County and William and Mary Sparks were identified therein as "of Kent County." (The tract was described as it had been in 1691, except that the "South-East Branch of Island Creek" was now called "Ellis Branch." The tract was identified as "being lately in the tenure or occupation of the sd. William Sparks.") It is possible, of course, that the family had moved over the line from Talbot County into Kent County, but it seems more probable that their land holdings were located so nearly on the dividing line between Kent and Talbot Counties that there was some confusion regarding their exact whereabouts. Even after Queen Anne's County was cut off from Talbot in 1706, the boundary between Kent and the new county seems not to have been clearly determined.

"In this 1701 deed., William Sparks was identified as "William Sparks, Senr."; as was his custom, he signed by mark as while his wife Mary signed as "M". The witnesses were Edward Goding and Thomas Hawkins.

"The last time that William Sparks purchased land was on February 2,1707, when John and Elizabeth Hamer of Kent County sold him two tracts in what had just become Queen Anne's County (formerly Talbot County). (Book A, Lieber EF, p. 16) In this deed, William Sparks was identified as being a resident of Queen Anne's County. One tract comprised 249 acres and the other 199 acres; both were located on the south side of Chester River on Island Creek. Solomon Wright and John Salter signed as witnesses on February 13., 1707. At the same time, in a separate transaction, William and Mary Sparks (her name appeared in the deed as "Marah", but her signature was clearly "Mary") sold 480 acres in Queen Arme's County to John Hamer, Sr., for the same amount, 22,000 pounds of tobacco. (Book A, Lieber EF, p. 12) Frederick Emory, who wrote a history of Queen Arme's County in 1950, noted (P. 39) that this deed contains the earliest reference to Royston's Creek, this being a tract laid out by Richard Royston.) The witnesses were again Solomon Wright and John Salter, and since they signed both deeds on February 13, even though one was dated February 2 and the other October 3, it is apparent that John Hamer and William Sparks were actually trading tracts of land.

"Two years later, when William Sparks made his will., he left the tract that he had purchased from Hamer to his son John Sparks. However, he stated that if Hamer should be dispossessed from the land which William Sparks had sold to him, then Hamer would have the right to take back the other tract. It would appear that William Sparks was uncertain of his title to the tract that he had sold to Hamer, perhaps because of his wife's dower rights. On March 15,1716, William and John Sparks, identified as "Planters of Queen Anne's County ... fulfilling the last Will and Testament of their father William Sparks" gave a new deed to John Hamer, Sr., for those two tracts called "Harden" and "Higate". Then on April 22, 1722, John Hamer, Sr., gave William Sparks, Jr., a new deed for the 480-acre tract of Royston's Creek which he had sold to William Sparks, Sr., in 1701; however, William Sparks, Jr., had to give Hamer 700 pounds of tobacco for the new deed.

"On March 25, 1707, William Sparks gave a tract of land to his son, George Sparks. Perhaps this was a wedding present. In this deed, which his recorded in Kent County (Book C., p. 187) William Sparks was identified as "of said County, Planter." He stated that "I, William Sparkes as well for and in Respect of the Love I bear unto my Son George Sparkes of said County as also for other divers good Causes and Considerations me at this time Especiall moving have given ... unto the said George Sparkes one hundred and fifty acres of Land part of a tract of Land called Sparks Choice." This tract of 150 acres was the remaining portion of the 250-acre tract Called "Sparks Choice" which William Sparks had acquired in 1681. He had sold the other 100 acres to Samuel Withers in 1691.

"Our last record of William Sparks disposing of property is a deed recorded in Kent County dated April 16, 1707 (Book C, p. 227-235). In this deed, William Sparks and his wife, Mary, along with John Hamer and his wife Elizabeth, sold a tract of 250 acres To James Wyat for 7,500pounds of tobacco. All parties in this deed were Identified as "of Kent County." We have found no record of Sparks and Hamer having accuired this land, although it is probable that it relates to the exchange of tracts between them two months earlier. This tract is described in this deed of April 16, 1707, as "situate and being in Kent County on the South side of Chester River and on the upper side of Royston Creek, Beginning at abounded pine Tree standing on the River side a little below a small Marsh being the Second bounded Tree of the said Land called Royston and running thence South and by East three hundred perches to Royston's branch then by and with the said branch down to the River and then by and with the said River up to the afsd (aforesaid) pine containing by Estimation two hundred and fifty acres more or less." William Sparks signed this deed with his usual mark (an X in a circle) and Mary Sparks signed as "M" as was her custom. John and Elizabeth Hamer both signed their names, as did the three witnesses C. Wright, Nathaniel Wright, and Flower Wattes.

"On June 21, 1709, William Sparks made his will, signing by his usual mark (an X in a circle). Four months later his will was probated, on October 24, 1709. This proves that he died between June 21 and October24, 1709. From his will, given below, certain inferences can be made. He was obviously quite ill at the time he made his will, apparently quite certain that he would die. His son William Sparks, Jr., whom he named to serve as executor with his wife, was obviously his oldest son. He probably named his other children in the other of their birth. George must have been the second son--he had obviously married and had children by 1709. Apparently the next oldest child was a daughter who had married a man named Hynson and had a son named Charles Hynson by 1709 to whom William Sparks willed a heifer. He also gave a heffer "to the daughter of his son William Sparks, Jr. John Sparks his third son, was apparently at least 21 years old in 1709 and to him William Sparks left the land which he had purchased from John Hamer in 1707, although he realized that, there was apparently some doubt about the title to that land and he provided an alternative inheritance for John if that proved to be the case. To his eldest son, William Sparks, Jr, and to his youngest son, Joseph Sparks, who was not yet of age in 1709, William Sparks left the plantation "that I now live on called hills adventure and Sparkes outlet." It thus appears that William Sparks's home was either on the 100 acre tract called "Adventure" (or "Hill's Adventure") which he had purchased from Michael Hackett in 1681, or on the 114-acre adjoining tract called "Sparks Outlet" which he had purchased in 1687 from Thomas Smithson. He made the customary provision for his wife, providing carefully for her so long as she. did not remarry and assuring that her sons should not take any advantage of her.

"Following is the full text of the will of William Sparks:

The Last Will of William Sparks of Queen Anne's County Maryland

Maryland. In the Name of God Amen I William of Queen Annes County being Sick in body but of Sound and perfect, memory but knowing the uncertainty of Life and being Desirous to --?-- my Estate do make and Constitute and order this to be my last will and Testament hereby makeing Void all and every will or wills heretofore by me made.

first I bequeath my Soul into the hands of God beleiving by the merritts of Jesus Christ to receive pardon of all my Sins and my body to the Earth to be Decently buried in such Decent manner as my Exrs hereafter named Shall think of it and as to the worldly good it has pleased God to bestow upon me my will in they be Disposed of in Manner and forms following --

Item I will that all my Just Debts and funerall Necessary Charges be first paid

I give to my Son George Sparks one fether bed and bolster two blankets and one Rugg being the same he use to lye on the same to be Delivered to him presently after my Decease & that my Son George and his wife and Children Shall have Liberty to live three years with his mother on my now Dwelling plantation in my now Dwelling house to make a crop of Corne and TobO be laying in five barrens of Indian corne every year dureing the said time and to take due care of his mothers Stock and for so doing to have his and his wife and Children's accomodations and to pay no rent dureing the sd Time Item I give to my grandson Charles Hynson one two year old heffer withall her female Increase and the male Increase to them who Shall take Care and Look after the Same the Said heffer to be marked for him Immediately after my Death

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 Increase to be marked and Delivered for her use presently after my Death the males to go to him her or them that Shall or does take care of the same.

My will is that my Loveing wife Mary Sparks Shall have possess and Injoy my now Dwelling plant with all it's appurts during her widow hood but not to protest her son William Sparks but then he Shall have the same Liberty As he has now what is ordered before for George Sparks Excepting that neither the said Wm nor George do molest or disturb their mother dureing her widowhood but if my said wife Mary Sparkes does marry again then to have no more than her thirds of my Said Land and plantation dureing her life and the thirds of my personall Estate but Dureing her widowhood She Shall have the Disposall of all my personall Estate Except as before Excepted and if she does happen to die before she marries then to Dispose of it as she will but if She marrys my personall Estate Except her thirds to be Equally divided among all of my Children.

Item I give and bequeath to my Son John Sparks that planta and tract of Land with all its appurts thereunto belonging formerly John Hamers to him and to his heires forever

Item I give to my Sons Wm Sparks and Joseph Sparks all my planta and Land there unto belonging that I now live in Called hills adventure and Sparkes out let and my will is that if the planta late John Hamers above given to my Son John Should be Returned again to the sd John Hamers as my said Son is obliged to do if John Hamer Shall be Legally Disposest of the Land he now lives on part of 10'S he had of me in Exchange for the said planta then my will is that my Son John Shall Come in with his two brotbers Wm and Joseph and Shall have Equall Share and proportion of the Said Land and Shall be Equally Divided among them & Shall have hold &Enjoy the same to them and their heires forever.

I will that if my Son Joseph Shall happen to die before he comes to agethen his part of Land to fall to my Son William and his heires forever he paying to my Son Geo Sparks his heires and assignes the Sume of two thousand pounds of Tobo.

I give to my Son Joseph Sparks one Yearling heffer

I do hereby appoint my wife Mary Sparks and my Son William to be the Exrs of this my Last will and Testamt.

In Wittness hereunto I have Set my hand and affixed my Seale the Twentyfirst day of June 1709.


Signed Sealed and pronounced Wm X Sparks (seal)

Declared to be my Last will & mark

Testament in the presents of

(signed) John Salter his

Wm A Boulton

Jno Hamer, Junr mark


Thomas O Trickee


Octr 24, 1709

Then came John Salter, John Hamer Junr and Thos Trickey three of the Evidences to the above will made oath upon the Holy Evangelist aht they saw the Teste Wm Sparks Seal pronounce and Declare the above writeing to be his Last will and Testamt and tht he was at the time of a Sound & Disposeing mind and memory before me

Evan Thomas Dty County.

The above will has been copied from the copy that was made in the Will Book of Queen Anne's County, Liber 13, folio 4.

As noted earlier in this article, William Sparks and his family were members of St. Paul's Parish. Unfortunately, the records of birth, marriages, and deaths of this parish do not survive. In 1729, however, St. Paul's Parish was divided and the descendants of William Sparks became members of the new parish known as St. Luke's. The church for this parish was (and is) located at Church Hill; it was long known as "Up-River Chapel." Its records have been preserved beginning in 1728 (although some pages have been lost). A careful search of the births, marriages, and death records of St. Luke's has been made for us by John Frederick Dorman, and the Sparks entries from this record appear hereafter.

We have found no record of the death of Mary Sparks, widow of William. From his will and other records, we know that William and Mary Sparks were the parents of four sons and one daughter. In subsequent issues of the QUARTERLY, we plan to publish additional material on these sons and their descendants. The names of these children were: (for which see family sheet).

[Returning to p. 4028: One of the most important documents found thus far to provide insight into the life of William Sparks is his will dated June 21, 1709, and probated on October 24, 1709. (From these dates we know that William Sparks died between June 21 and October 24, 1709.) The full text of William Sparks's will was transcribed on pp. 1387-88) of the March 1971 issue [and set forth above]. In his will William Sparks provided for each of his four sons (William Sparks, Jr. born about 1674; George Sparks, born about 1678; John Sparks, born about 1680; and Joseph Sparks, who was not yet of age when his father made his will in 1709.) William Sparks also provided for a grandson named Charles Hynson, who was apparently the child of a deceased daughter of William and Mary Sparks. We have not discovered the daughter's name.

Charles Hynson, grandson of William and Mary Sparks, was probably the same Charles Hynson who was married to Phebe Carvill on November 30,1739. This marriage was recorded in the register of St. Paul's Parish. The births of five children of Charles and Phebe are also recorded in this parish register: (1) Charles Hynson, Jr., born December 11, 1743,called their "first born son"; (2) John Carvill Hynson, twin of Charles, Jr., called their "second son" born also on December 11, 1743; (3) Mary Hynson, born May 21, 1746; (4) Phebe Hynson, Jr., born December 3, 1747; and (5) Richard Hynson, born February 3, 1749.

We know from a number of sources that the wife of William Sparks had the given name Mary, but we have found no clue by which we can identify her maiden surname. She was living at the time that William Sparks made his will, and he provided for her in a way that was typical at the time.

After the payment of his debts, of which there were very few, and the distribution of his specific bequests, William Sparks directed that one-third of his remaining personal estate be inherited by his wife, but she was to have the control and use of all of his personal property so long as she remained his widow, that is, so long as she did not remarry. She was also to have possession of what William Sparks described as "my now Dwelling planta[tion], with all its appurts (i.e. appurtenants) and the Land belonging to the Same ... dureing her widowhood." He added, however, that "if my said wife, Mary Sparkes, does marry again then to have no more than her third of my Said Land and plantation dureing her life..." At the close of his will, William Sparks appointed "my wife, Mary Sparks, and my Son, William Sparks, to be the Exrs. [i.e. executors]of this my Last

will and Testamt."

Since preparing the 1971 article, cited earlier, in which we gave the full text of the will of William Sparks, we have obtained copies of additional documents contained in the probate file of his estate. These papers were maintained originally by the Queen Anne's County Probate Court, but they are now preserved at the Maryland Hall of Records in Annapolis.

(A continuation of this article at pg 4029 appears under notes for George Sparks for space reasons).

[For the final notes on William Sparks, Sr. (d.1709) carried forward on the notes for his spouse, Mary ---, see below.]

See THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, December, 1989, Whole No. 148, P. 3486:

WILLIAM SAMPLE SPARKS, ca.1700-ca.1765:

"William Sparks, Jr." [JS: father of William Sample Sparks] "had three brothers who, along with himself, were named in their father's will of June 1709. They were: George Sparks , born about 1679; John Sparks, born about 1684; and Joseph Sparks, born about 1689. The elder William Sparks also mentioned a deceased daughter in his will, who had married a man named Hynson."

See THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, June, 1988, Whole No. 142, p. 3229:


"The following is an alphabetical listing of the thirty-five probable(and known) grandchildren of William Sparks, Sr. No attempt has been made to name any of the children of his daughter who married a man named Hynson. In the list which follows, we have attempted to estimate the probable year of birth. We have also included the date of marriage, the name of the spouse, and the names of children where known." (Included here only are the children of George Sparks):

8. George Sparks. Probable son of George Sparks. Born ca.1702.Married (1st) Elizabeth Ricketts on September 14, 1729, and (2nd) Ann Bolton on November 6, 1755. Names of Children: Elizabeth, George, Rebecca, Thomas, others?

12. James Sparks. Probable son of George Sparks. Born ca.1720.Married Rebecca ---, probably ca. 1740. Names of children: Ursula, William, others?

16. Jonas Sparks. Probable son of George Sparks. Born ca.1710.Married Mary Sinnott on August 4, 1731. Names of children: Jemima, Lambert, Mary Ann, others?

19. Joseph Sparks. Probable son of George Sparks. Born ca.1710.Married Elizabeth Kelly on November 18, 1731. Names of children: Ann, David, Elizabeth, Joseph, Mary, Arthur, Frances, and Amy.

28. Sarah Sparks. Probable daughter of George Sparks. Born ca.1725. Married John Offley Collins on February 10, 1746/47. Names of children unknown.

31. Ursula Sparks. Probable daughter of George Sparks. Born ca.1720. Married William Gregory on December 22, 1741. Names of children unknown.

33. William Sparks. Probable son of George Sparks. Born ca.1715.Married Ellinor Brooks on August 30, 1738. Names of children: William, others?

See THE SPARKS QUARTERLY, December 1992, Whole No. 160, p. 4035:



[Editor's Note: As was noted in the preceding article, the William Sparks who died in Queen Annes County, Maryland, in 1709, was the ancestor of thousands of Sparks descendants living today in all parts of the United States. Each of his four sons had large families; we know that there were at least thirty-five grandchildren who reached adulthood.(See pages 3229-31 of the June 1988 issue of the QUARTERLY, Whole No.142, for a tentative list of these grandchildren.)

[Articles about William Sparks and three of his sons have already been published in the QUARTERLY. Besides the preceding article, an account of the life of William Sparks appeared on pages 1381-89 of the March 1971issue, Whole No. 73. In that same issue, pages 1376-81, we presented information about John Sparks, brother of William, who died in Queen Annes County, Maryland, in 1700, along with documentary proof that two sons of John were living in Hampshire County, England, in 1717. We are certain that it had been from there that William and John had come to Maryland many years earlier. Information regarding William Sparks, Jr., the eldest son of William Sparks (died 1709), appeared in the QUARTERLY of December 1989 (Whole No. 148) as part of the article on William Sample Sparks, son of William, Jr., pp. 3484-3500. John Sparks, the probable second son of William Sparks (died 1709) was the subject of an article on pages 1699-1704 of the December 1974 issue, Whole No. 88, and an account of Joseph Sparks, who was William's youngest son, appeared on pages3554-61 of the March 1990 issue, Whole No. 149.]

[Paul E. Sparks now presents the information that we have found regarding George Sparks, whom we believe to have been the third son of William Sparks (died 1709) of Queen Annes County, Maryland.]

"The earliest record that we have found of George Sparks, son of William and Mary (----- ) Sparks of early Queen Annes County, Maryland, is in a deed made in Kent County, Maryland, on March 25, 1707, by which William Sparks gave to his son George, a 150-acre tract of land called "Sparks Choice." The consideration was "in Respect of the Love I bear unto my Son, George Sparkes." William had acquired this land in 1681,and he may have given it to his son as a wedding present. (See also page1386 of the March 1971 issue of the QUARTERLY, Whole No. 73, for more details regarding this deed.)

"George Sparks had been born about 1678 in Talbot County, Maryland.(Queen Annes County was then part of Talbot and was not cut off as a separate county until 1706.) George Sparks was married to Mary ----- in or about 1700 in what is now Queen Annes County. It seems quite likely that George and his wife were living on the same "plantation" as his parents when his father made his will in June 1709. In his will, William Sparks specified that after his death "my Son George and his wife and Children Shall have Liberty to live three years with his mother on my now Dwelling plantation in my now Dwelling house to make a crop of Corne and Tobo he laying in five barrens of Indian corne every year dureing the said time and to take due care of his mothers Stock and for so doing tohave his and wife and Children's accomodations and to pay no rent during the Sd Time. "

"Apparently, George and his brother, William Sparks, Jr., had shown some degree of impatience to have control of their father's land, and their father may have been aware of their feelings, for, after making a clause in his will by which he left all of his land to his wife, he requested her "not to protest her Son, William Sparks, but then he Shall have the Same Liberty as he has now what is ordered before for George Sparks Excepting that neither the said Wm. nor George do molest or disturb their mother dureing her widowhood."


"We have no way of knowing how long George Sparks and his family lived with his mother after the death of his father, although, with Mary's second marriage to Thomas Trickey sometime before October 24, 1711, she probably moved from the Sparks "plantation" to that of her new husband. It was not until February 25, 1719/20, that another record reveals a legal act by George Sparks. On that date he sold the 105-acre tract which had been given to him by his father in 1707. He sold this land, called "Sparks Choice," to Augustine Thompson, a wealthy planter in Queen Annes County, for the consideration of seven pounds, three shillings, plus 3,000 pounds "of good, sound, merchantable tobacco." Mary Sparks, wife of George, agreed to the sale, having been "first privately examined according to law" as to her feelings about the sale.

"It is interesting to note that a month later, Joseph Sparks, brother of George, sold his portion of "Sparks Choice" to Augustine Thompson, also, The consideration was 3,000 pounds of merchantable tobacco for the100-acre tract of land. In both sales, the deeds were witnessed by John Whittington and James Earle.

"On October 3, 1728, George Sparks was one of a group of citizens from Queen Annes County who signed a petition to the Assembly of the Province of Maryland requesting the formation of a new parish from a portion of St. Pauls Parish. The reason for this request was that many parishioners of St. Pauls had to travel a great distance to attend church. As a result of the petition, St. Lukes Parish was established in 1728. The church was built in the village of Church Hill.

"The following year, George and Mary Sparks were involved in another land sale when George's brother, William Sparks, sold a tract of land which he had inherited from their father. The land was the 114-acretract called "Sparks Outlet" which William Sparks, Senior had acquired in1687. This tract was sold by William Sparks, Junior on March 3, 1729/30 to Thomas Honey for 6,000 pounds of tobacco. George and Mary Sparks were witnesses to the fact that George's brother, William Sparks, received the tobacco, although the tobacco, itself, was probably not delivered to him by Thomas Honey, but rather a document transferring ownership to it.

"We have found no further records of either George or Mary Sparks, including any which concern the administration of their estates. It seems apparent that they both died intestate. It is obvious that they had children before 1709 when George's father made his will. By a process of elimination, we have set the size of their family as seven children, and we have also made "educated guesses" regarding their names and identity. We must remind our readers, however, that while these designations are conjectural, nevertheless, the probable children of George and Mary Sparks were the following:

1. George Sparks, Jr., born ca.1702

2. Joseph Sparks, born ca.1704

3. Jonas Sparks, born ca.1706

4. James Sparks, born ca. 1710

5. William Sparks, born ca. 1715

6. Ursula Sparks, born ca.1720

7. Sarah Sparks, born ca.1722



[Continuing on p.4029:]


"The first of these documents, after the will, is dated October 8,1709, and is a bond in the amount of "four hundred pounds Sterling currant Money of England" with John Hawkins, Jr. and John Nabb, both of Queen Annes County, as guarantors, that "Mary Sparks and William Sparks[Jr.], Executors of the last Will and Testament of William Sparks, Sen., late of Queen Ann's County, deceas'd, do make or cause to be made a true & perfect Inventory of all & singular the goods Chaitells and credits of the said deceased, appraised in Money ... " Mary Sparks and her son, William, Jr., were given until "the 24th day of JanrY next ensuing" to complete the inventory, and they were given one year to pay the debts charged against the estate as well as to carry out each provision contained in William Sparks's will. Both Mary Sparks and her son, William, Jr., signed this bond by mark, Mary drawing the initial I'M" and William the initial "W." (See below a photographic reproduction of this part of the bond.) The two sureties for the bond, John Hawkins, Jr. And John Nabb, signed their names. There were three witnesses as well: Thomas Trickey, Robert Thomas, and Johanna Nabb. Thomas Trickey and Johanna Nabb signed by mark. Johanna was probably the wife of John Nabb. Robert Thomas was a county official whose title was "Deputy Commissary." Thomas Trickey was a neighbor of the Sparkses; he had also been a witness to William Sparks's mark (signature) when Sparks had made his will in the previous June. The person who wrote Thomas Trickey's name for him spelled it Tricky, but in most records it appears as Trickey.

"It was on January 25, 1710, that an inventory was taken of the personal property that had belonged to William Sparks. The inventory was made by John Hawkins, Jr. and John Hackett, both of whom were neighbors of the Sparkses.

"Readers are reminded that the old Julian Calendar was still in use in England and her colonies at the time William Sparks's estate was settled, and it would continue to be used until 1752. the Gregorian Calendar, however, was then in use in most European Countries. The new year began, according to the Julian Calendar, on March 25, hence the period from January 1 to March 25, 1710, under the Gregorian Calendar, was still 1709 under the old Julian Calendar. Because of the commercial intercourse between England and Europe , many legal documents in both England and America written between January 1st and March 25th prior to 1752 (when England finally adopted the Gregorian Calendar) were "double dated, "i.e., a slash or line would follow the Julian Calendar year, then the year according to the Gregorian Calendar would be added. Thus, the inventory for the estate of William Sparks bears the date "25th day of Janeroy 1709/10."

"This inventory of the personal property owned by William Sparks at the time of his death in 1709 provides an interesting view of the lifestyle of a prosperous Maryland farmer at the beginning of the 18th century. Dr. Sparks has transcribed the list of his possessions as recorded in the inventory; where he was uncertain of the word intended, he added a question mark enclosed in brackets. The standard abbreviations were used in the inventory for pounds(), shillings (s), and pence(d). (The "d" for pence came from the Latin word for penny, "denarius.")

A Trew and perficke Inventory of all and Singley the goods and Chattels Wrights and credits of Wm. Sparks of queen Annes County Law enfoefdand Aprisd in Money by we hose hands are under written this 20th day of

Janeroy 1709/10.

s d

To: Waring apparell.................................... 2:02: 0
To: a pare of Leather Briches..................... 0:07: 0
To: a parcel of old Books......................... 0:94: 0

To: 11 yrds of ofan brigs [?]..................... 0:05: 6

To: an old Raser.................................. 0:00: 6

To: 7 rds of flannel.............................. 0:14: 8

To: 1 feather Bed and Linin in the new house 4:10: 0

To: 1 feather Bed and furniture in the old house.. 2:10: 0

To: 1 Chist of Drawers............................ 1:00: 0

To: 2 Tables and firens [?]....................... 1:00: 0

To: 1 horse cauld Scott........................... 4:00: 0

To: 1 horse cald [blank].......................... 3:10: 0

To: do cauld Chance.......................... 4:00: 0

To: do cauled Hailor......................... 3:10: 0

To: 6 sickels and hooks........................... 0:07: 0

To: a Small Tub of feathers....................... 0:07: 0

To: a parcell of unbroke flack.................... 0:10: 0

To: 3 old cases of botels......................... 0:10: 0

To: 8 quart botels................................ 0:19:19

To: 2 old ladle................................... 0:02: 0

To: 2 old Lotts of windger etc. [?] 0:05:0

To: 1 old Crescent Saw & file 0:08:0

To: 1 hansaw 0:01:0

To: 1 pare of Stilards & balance 0:04:0

To: 1 chafing dish & Lockett 0:02:0

To: 4 old bands 0:02:0

To: 1 old adz and handel 0: 02:0

To: 1 old augur and hamer 0:01:6

To: 1 old drawing Knife 0:01:6

To: 4 Spike gimbletts 0:00:6

To: 3 Fanting acks 0:01:6

To: 2 old broad acks & cut knife 0:03:0

To: 1 old frow and millpaks 0:01:0

To: a parsell of old iron 0:02:0

To: a set of weeding plow irons 0:04:6

To: 2 old plow shar and colter 0:10:0

To: 1 old hand mill 0:10:0

To: a cask & whole with rings 1:00:0

To: 1 old cart collar & saddle 0:08:0

To: 2 collar and tanse 0:08:0

To: 1 old saddall 0:08:0

To: 1 old Gun 0:05:0

To: 2 putor Chamber potts 0:02:0

To: 15 spoons 0:02:6

To: I putor bason 0:01:0

To: 1 putor Tankard & Tumbler 0:00:1

To: 1 old poringer and Sawsar 0:00:6

To: 5 putor dishes 0:15:0

To: 9 putor plates 0:04:6

To: 1 mustard pott Tin 0:00:6

To: 1 brass drinking glass 0:01:0

To: 1 brass Skillit 0:03:6

To: 1 brass candell stick 0:00:6

To: 1 Boamshall spieomortor [?] 0:03:0

To: 1 Iron candell stick 0:00:6

To: 1 small Smoothing iron 0:04:6

To: 1 seimer 0:00:2

To: 3 Iron Potts 0:15:0

To: 1 Fring Pan 0:01:6

To: 1 Pare of Fier Tongs 0:01:6

To: 1 Pare of Flesh Fork and Ladell 0:00:6

To: 2 Leather Charer [?] 0:03:0

To: 1 Larg Wooden Chaircold 0:05:0

To: 1 wooling Spinning Whell 0:07:0

To: 1 old couch 0:04:0

To: 4 old Chists 0:16:0

To: 1 old Trunk 0:04:0

To: 1 old Cubord 0:10:0

To: 1 Small Looking Glass 0:01:6

To: 2 warming pan 0:04:0

To: a harrow with Iron Teeth 0:07:0

To: 2 Sifters and one straner 0:01:6

To: 2 Sifting Trays 0:03:0

To: 2 pales 1 pign 1"ff cups and 1 chien [?] 0:05:0

To: 9: old bales 0:04:6

To: 2 Erthen Pans a Stue potte and 8 erthen

butter pans 0:03:0

To: 2 new mault bags 1 old do 0:04:0

To: 1 bushall of Salt 0:03:0

To: 7 old Tubs & 2 Ston gars 0:08:0

To: 8 Fifty Gallon Casques old 0:12:0

To: Thirty Gallon Casque old 0:04:0

To: 3 forty Gall Casque 0:07:0

To: 2 pipes old 2 [--?--I 8:08:0

To: 3 runlitts 0:01:6

To: 2 old Whell barrows 0:03:0

To: 1 old lard bag [?] 0:00:8

To: 1 small Iron gug 0:00:8

To: 2 cannews 0:15:0

To: 1 Chospes 0:07:0

To: 6 Cows and Calves 2 heifers and Calves 14:00:0

To: 4 four year old steers 7:00:0

To: 1 four year old bull 1:05:0

To: 2 Three year old heifers 1:05:0

To: 1 five year old steer 2:00:0

To: 3 barein Cows 4:10:0

To: 4 Two year old steers and 2 Two year old

heifers 4:10:0

To: 3 yearlings 2:00:0

To: 1 calf 0:03:0

To: 27 sheep 8:02:0

To: 7 Two year old barrows 3:10:0

To: 6 Sows and 9 Shoats 4:10:0

To: 1 young barrow 0:08:0

To: 1 grater 0:00:5

To: 1 pr of Spaniel & common chains 0:06:0

To: 1 pare of Woosteed Comes [?] 0:07:0

To: 37 bushals of wheat 6:09:3

To: 12 bushels of oatts 1:04:0

To: 8 barils Ingin Corn 4:00:0

To: 750 pd of Tobacco at Id pr 3:02:6

To: 1 Tobacco cask 0:00:6

To: Thomas Honey pr ares 500 [?] 2:01:5

To: atto by the County fore Cathrin Jnoson [?] 6:05:0

Sume Totall 126 06s 08d

[signed] John Hawkins Jr

[signed] John Hackett

"The final item on this inventory is as follows: "Inventory of William Sparks Estate 1709. Recorded in W. B. No. 4. Recorded Libe r C.Folio 220."

"The following document is also part of the probate file for William Sparks (died 1709) and has been transcribed by Dr. Paul E. Sparks as follows:

Qn Annes Co. ss.

The Account of Thomas Trickey & Mary his wife, and William Sparks exrs of the last Will and Testament of William Sparks Late of said County Decd as well of and for Such and so much of the Goods, Chattels & Credits of the Said Deceased as Came to Their hands and Possession, as of the Payments & Disbursements made out of the Same and Allowoth Viz

Imprimus The Said Accomptents Charge themselves with all and Singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the said Deceased, Specified and Comprised in an Inventory of Goods and Exhibited into the Office for Probate of Wills amounting to the Sum of 126:06:08

And the said Accomptents humbly Crave Allowances for the Following Payments and Disbursements made out of the Same as folls, viz:

for Tobacco pd for a Coffin and Funeral Expenses 400

for Tobacco Paid Col. Hynson on Mr. Grahams Acct as

pr Acct proved & Rect 1905

for Money pd Jno Hawkins Junr one of the Apprs 60

for Tobbco pd Robt Wharton as pr acct proved and

Rect appears 208

For Tobbco pd Tho@@ Parsons as per acct proved and

Rect appears 500

For Tobbco Pd Edwd. Hambleton as pr acct proved &

Rect appears 211

For TobcO pd the Honble County Genl for fees 840

for TobcO pd the said County for Do 150

For tobco pd do for drawing and posting this Acct 50

And they humbly Crave Allowance for the above

payments at 10 pr cent being 4324 lb Tobco 432



Which 4756 lbs of TobbcO at 4d per pd comes to 19:14:16

Remaining in the Accomptents hands to be Thereafter

accounted for, (as they humblv Pray time may be lO6:11:20

given them to Exhibit an Addl Acct) the Sum of


October the 24th 1711

"Then came the above named, William Sparks & Mary Trickey and made oath upon the Holy Evangelists that the above is a Just and true Account of their Administration on the said Estate So Farr as they have administered.

Before Me Robt Thomas DepY Comity"

[A note appears on the reverse of this document indicating that on October 10, 1712, this administration had been accepted in the Prerogative Office at Annapolis.]

"The inventory taken of the estate of William Sparks (died 1709) listed only his personal property, not his land. The tract of land which William Sparks called his "home plantation" in his will consisted of two adjoining tracts, one called "Hill' s Adventure" and the other called "Sparks Outlet." "Hill's Adventure " comprised 100 acres that Sparks had purchased from Michael Hackett in 1681, while "Sparks Outlet" comprised 114 acres, the patent for which sparks had purchased from Thomas Smithson in 1687. (See notes under William Sparks [and SQ 1382-83] for details).

"From the inventory of William Sparks's personal property, we know that there was a "new house" as well as an "old house," both containing beds and furniture belonging to William, on his "home plantation ."George Sparks (born ca.1678), son of William and Mary Sparks, ma y well have been living in the "old house" at the time of his father' s death in1709. (See the article on George Sparks under his notes and at SQp.4035.)

"As shown in the transcription on SQ p.4033 of a probate record from the file on William Sparks's estate, we know that his creditors paid 400pounds worth of tobacco for his "Coffin and Funerall Expenses. " From this same document, we know that tobacco was then valued at four penceper pound (weight). Since there were twelve pence in a shilling and twenty shillings in a pound (of money), these expenses were the equivalent of 6 pounds, 13 shillings, and 4 pence, or close to the value placed on four 4-year-old steers (7 pounds) listed on the inventory of William's personal property. The total cost of settling William Sparks's estate, including the payment of several debts, came to 4,756 pounds of tobacco, or the equivalent in money of 19 pounds, 14 shillings, and 16pence.

"The most interesting new information provided in the probate papers for William Sparks is that within two years following William's death in1709, his widow, Mary, had remarried. No record had been found to reveal the exact date of this marriage, but the accounting of the expenditures in the settling of William Sparks's estate dated October 24, 1711,reveals that Mary's name was now "Mary Trickey." Further more, because a married woman in

those days could not act in legal matters without the involvement of her husband, this document clearly eveals, also, that her new husband was Thomas Trickey. Thomas Trickey had been one of the witnesses to William Sparks's will as well as to the executor's bond dated October 24, 1709. (His name was sometimes spelled Trickee as well as Tricky.) We can be quite certain that he was both a near neighbor and a personal friend of the Sparks family.

"We can speculate that Mary, wife and widow of William Sparks, had probably been born in the 1650s, since her oldest son, William Sparks, Jr., had been born ca.1674. He youngest son, Joseph, was not yet 21years of age when his father made his will in 1709, placing his birth abound 1690. (See the article devoted Joseph Sparks in SQ of March,1990, Whole NO. 149 , pp. 3554-3561.) It would appear that Mary Sparks was a woman past her child-bearing years when she was married to Thomas Trickey. It seems probable, also, that Thomas Trickey was a widower when he became Mary's second husband. He may have been the father of a Thomas Trickey of St. Luke's Parish who was married to Mary Harrington on February 10, 1736. We have found no record of Mary, widow of William Sparks, after 1711.

"Recently we engaged a professional genealogist living in Hampshire County, England, to conduct research there in an effort to prove the English origins of William Sparks (died 1709) and of his brother, John Sparks (died 1700). We hope that in a future issue of the QUARTERLY we can provide our readers with even more details regarding the life of William Sparks (died 1709), ancestor of so many Sparkses in America today."