begins with Henery Sparks [i.e. Henry] who, at the
time of his marriage to Martha Barrett, 10 July 1676, in Chelmsford,
Massachusetts, was of Exeter, New Hampshire.
Born around 1646, he may be the same Henery who left Bristol, England,
on 28 August 1666 bound to Edward Tocknell and
destined for New England. (See Tepper, Passengers to America) Henery
was fined in 1667 at Cocheco (now Dover, New Hampshire)
for fighting with the Indian Cromwell; he was taxed in 1671. In 1673 he was
fined for taking Samuel Leavitt's bridle "on
27:12:1673, Samuel Leavett Vs. Henery
Sparkes for taking away his bridle from Goodman Robie in a disorderly way, under suspicion of theft. Judgement for
plaintiff." (From Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts,
Vol. V, 1672 74) In February 1677-78, he was "late of Ex. now sojourning at Chelmsf ack. Judg. to Simon
Bradstreet." (Noyes, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine
and New Hampshire)
In February 1676, Henry was credited to Chelmsford
in the return of a Middlesex Regiment of Militia as it met the challenge of
King Phillip's War. He was twice pressed into service. He was granted land in Chelmsford for this
service. (History of Chelmsford)
daughter of Thomas and Frances (Woolderson) Barrett
and granddaughter of Thomas and Margaret Barrett, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts,
on 17 September 1656. Her father moved to Chelmsford
prior to March, 1660. She married Henery Sparks on 10
July 1676 in Chelmsford.
It is probable that they had the following children: Frances;
a male born in Chelmsford
and died on 6 May 1683; Abiell (or Abigail); Henry;
It was while Henry
was fighting in the eastern parts of the colony that problems beset Martha. She
was put in jail in Boston
on suspicion of witchcraft. The History of Chelmsford, quoting from the
Massachusetts Archives, provides us with an account of John Arnold, the Boston jailer, who not only played host to Martha Barrett Sparkes for 58 weeks, from 28 October 1691 to 8 December
1692, but had as his guests the more celebrated ladies from Salem, including Sarah Good, Sarah Osbourn, and Rebecca Nurse. On 1 November 1692, Martha's
father, Thomas Barrett, petitioned the Governor and Council for her release.
The account above and the petition below are taken from the Massachusetts
Archives, Vol. 135.
To his Excy. Sr. William Phips, Knt. Capn Genll.
and Governor in Cheife of
Province of the Massachusetts
Bay in New England and to the Honed. Council thereof. The Humble Petition of Thomas Barrett of
Chelmsford in New England, in behalf of his Daughter Martha Sparkes,
wife of Henry Sparkes who is now a Souldier in their Majties Service
att the Easterne Parts, and
soe hath beene for a Considersble Time, Humbly Showeth
That yor Petitionrs
Daughter hath Layne in Prison in Boston for the Space of Twelve months and Five
days, being Committed by Thomas Danforth, Esq the Late Depty Governor, upon
suspicion of Witchcraft, Since which noe Evidence
hath appeared against her in any Such matter, neither hath any Given bond to
prosecute her nor doth any one att this day accuse
her of any such thing as yor Petitionr
knows of. That Yor Petitionr
hath ever since Kept two of her children - -†
the one of 5 years ye other of 2 years old, wch
hath been a considerable Trouble and charge to him in his poore
& meane Condition; besides yor
Petitionr hath a Lame antient
& sick wife, who for these 5 yeares & upwards
past hath beene soe
afflicted: as that shee is altogether rendred uncapable of affording
her self any help, wch much augments his Trouble. Yor Poore Petitionr
Earnestly and humbly Intreates
Yor E'cy & honrs. to take his distressed
condition into yor consideracon,
And that you will please to order ye releasemt. of his Daughtr. from
her confinement. Whereby shee may returne home to her poore
children to look after them, haveing nothing to pay
the charge of her Confinemt.
appeared before the Court on December 6, 1692, and guaranteed a bond for
Martha's appearance before the next session of the Court. Two days later she
was set free. The Records of the Middlesex County Court for this period were
burned in a Concord
fire since that time. No papers relating to the case are to be found in the
Court files of 1692 and 1693 (according to the History of Chelmsford).
As if this were
not enough, Henery Sparks died on 16 July 1694 in Chelmsford. Martha
(Barrett) Sparks died on 28 February 1697 in Chelmsford at 40 years of
ASA SPARKS of MOUNT
Last Will & Testament signature of Asa
1987 issue of the Sparks Quarterly dealt with the Henry Sparks lineage which
began in Chelmsford, Mass, and then went to Rhode Island and Connecticut.
The article focused only on one son of Samuel and Margaret (Lorton) Sparks, a
second son of Samuel and Margaret, who went to Berkshire County, Mass, and
whose descendants went to Connecticut, New York, Michigan, Ohio, California and
Asa Sparks was
probably born in Scituate, Rhode Island about 1745. Family tradition
simply stated that Asa went west. West in the late 1760's apparently meant New
York State of Western Massachusetts. It is possible that he traveled west with
his brother Henry and sister Margaret. Asa and Margaret both settled in Berkshire County,
Mass, while Henry is found in Washington
County, NY. On May
28, 1770, Asa married Abigail Sage in Sharon,
CT. That record listed both Asa
and Abigail as being of the Oblong. The Oblong was disputed territory that
included the entire western border of Connecticut
and New York, as well as the southwestern
border of Massachusetts and New York.
Revolutionary War service consisted of three separate enlistments according to
Massachusetts Archive Records. He enlisted from December 16, 1776 to March 15,
1777, and was present at Ticonderoga in
February of 1777. Second, he enlisted from July 8, 1777, as part of the
Berkshire County Militia. Third, he enlisted from October 23, 1780 to October
25, 1780 as part of a march from Mount Washington to Bennington, Vermont,
to guard the frontiers on an alarm
Abigail Sage was
the daughter of Allen and Abigail (Willard) Sage, she was born in Waterbury, CT
on August 4th 1754. She was baptized in The Cromwell, CT, First Congregational
Church on August 11, 1754. Allen Sage became an original proprietor of Taconic Mountain,
Mass, later named Mount Washington. He and his
son Daniel also served in the Revolutionary War. It was from his father-in-law
that Asa Sparks purchased his tract of land in Mount
Washington in 1775.
purchases expanded. He bought land that extended from the mountain top of Mount
Washington east to the swamps of Sheffield,
Mass. His land holdings also
extended south in the northern Connecticut
town of Salisbury.
He was a yeoman and in the Town of Taconic Mountain in the 1790 federal census.
From 1792 to 1814, he was listed in the assessorís reports of Sheffield, Mass.
About 1800, Asa became involved in the iron ore industry of the area. He
purchased an iron forge from Calvin Loring, et al., in the northern part of Salisbury that abutted the Massachusetts line. In the account book of
Captain Abel Thorp, a neighbor of Asa's in Sheffield,
Asa is shown as often paying his debts with materials made of iron, presumably
made at his forge. The forge was sold to his son-in-law, David Chapin in 1807.
David died however during 1812 and the forge returned to Asa who leased a
portion of it for a six year period to Isaac Bartlett of Salisbury. The remainder of the land was sold
to David Chapin's cousin, Phineas Chapin in 1812.
The latter years
of Asa's life were probably spent as a retired farmer. Among Asa's probate
papers, there is a statement by his son Benjamin that he (Benjamin) ran the
farm as "a hired hand" from February 15, 1806 to June 1, 1814. At
Asa's death, it was Benjamin who received the family homestead and served as
executor of his father's estate.
Asa died June 8,
1814, in Sheffield, Mass. His place of burial is unknown. It is
likely, however, that he was buried either in the Sage-Candee Cemetery
in which many of his descendants are buried. Abigail, his wife, survived until
at least 1830 and it is probable she died and was buried in New York.
Asa Sparks wrote
his last will and testament on July 4, 1813, saying that he was "infirm of
body and threatened with death tho thro the mercy of God of sound mind and
memory." The probate records provide a complete list of Asa's children. He
listed ten children in his will. However, the probate documents acknowledge
that three children predeceased Asa. His will was proved in Sheffield,
Mass, on August 4, 1814.
The first of ten
children of Asa Sparks were probably all born in Mount Washington, Mass.
The vital records of Mount Washington for that
period are very scarce. The 1790 federal census lists two males over 16, 5
males under 16 and 4 females. The youngest three were probably born in Sheffield, Mass."
Source: Asa Sparks (ca. 1745
- 1814) of Berkshire County,
Mass. By Thomas and Virginia N.
Howard (appeared in the Sparks Quarterly, Vol. XXXV, March 1987, Whole# 137.)
SPARKS FAMILY TREE