This version of the Sparks Crest by the Courtesy
John Sparks, Louisville, KY.
(Copyright: John Sparks, October 19, 2003)
The Sparks name was originally Sparrowhawk. The story goes that when people began taking surnames from their occupations, there was a man who was the chief falconer for Richard the LionHearted. Richard's favorite falcon was the Sparrowhawk being the swiftest and most true. This man's name became Sparrowhawk. As time passed, some of his descendants shortened it to Sparks.
The family motto is "Celer et Verus" (Swift and True).
The Leopard Rampant is believed to have come from a Scottish Knight who was an ally of Richard's and saved the King's life twice during the Crusades. It was originally a sleeping leopard, but was raised to rampant because of the knight's efforts. The crest also contains a ducal coronet under the leopard and the leopard has fire spewing from his mouth and ears.
The Field - Chequy or et vert (gold and green checks) with band-ermine. (Those little things in the diagonal white stripe are ermine tails signifying royalty). The green checks are for the Scottish highlands.
Another description and explanation of the crest and the origin of the surname "Sparks" is shown in the chart on the next page. This is a copy from the English Library of Family Surname History which I picked up on my last trip to England: Click Here to view this chart.
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