Matthew Sparks moved his family across the Blue Ridge into Wilkes County, prior to the American Revolution, and his sons were involved in the fight for Independence, as is evidenced from their Pension Applications. Matthew himself furnished horses & supplies to the cause.
It was in 1754 when Matthew Sparks moved with his father, William Sample Sparks from Frederick County, Maryland to Rowan county, North Carolina, along with several other Sparks relatives. They settled in an area of Rowan county known as the 'Forks of the Yadkin'. Matthew married Sarah Thompson there or else in Maryland shortly before arriving in Rowan. Their first 8 children were born there, including our Nathan Sparks. Nathan was born on October 29, 1775, according to the information copied from the family bible published in 1816. Nathan was born in Rowan County, North Carolina, and was probably just an infant when his parents moved to Surry County, North Carolina. There, they settled near the village of Jefferson on New River in present day Ashe County.
Matthew Sparks, our direct ancestor, father of Nathan, seems always to have been an adventurer. He had moved to the New River site in 1775, the year of Nathan's birth, from the Forks of the Yadkin in what is now Davie County, North Carolina. That portion of Surrey county was cut off to become Wilkes County, North Carolina in 1778. At the time of Matthew's next son, Bailey's birth, in 1778, he was still "squatting" on a 400-acre tract that he planned to purchase from the state of North Carolina when it should become available. Such "squatting" was a common and respected custom among pioneers on the frontier at that time. Happily for Matthew and his family, he succeeded in obtaining from the Raleigh Land Office Warrant No. 163, for this tract in the fall of the same year that Bailey was born:
Wilkes County, North Carolina. File No. 22, Warrant No. 163:
Our Sparks family remained there, involved in the American Revolution until its close. Nathan was a young man when he accompanied his parents to Franklin County, Georgia, following the American Revolution.
Many Sparks cousins remained in North Carolina, and when the 1860 census was taken in the United States, no county in any state was found to contain more Sparks households than did Wilkes County in North Carolina, there being twenty-three, with six single Sparkses enumerated in other families. In all, there was a total of 138 men, women, and children named Sparks living in Wilkes County on the eve of the Civil War. All were descendants of the six Sparks brothers and cousins who had migrated from Frederick County, Maryland, to the Forks of the Yadkin, then Rowan County, North Carolina, in 1754 and 1764. Every adult male named Sparks In Wilkes County in 1860 was a farmer, although 59-year-old Colby Sparks was also a Baptist preacher. None of them was a slave owner.
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