Questions about the Parentage of William and John Sparks

As will be noted, on several pages of this web site the parents of William And John Sparks are listed as Thomas Sparks b:abt 1615 and Joanne Davis b:abt 1619.  They are shown as the "probable" parents, or as being the most likely candidates.

This information came after the Sparks Family Association enlisted the aid of a professional researcher in England to search for the Parents Of Our William and John who came into America about 1662-1664 through Maryland.  The two brothers are rightly credited with being the ancestors of a great many Sparkses now living in America, although certainly not all of them.

The Sparks Association did not publish this as being the "Gospel" but it has come to be assumed true by many.  I for one, doubt this parentage for the reasons given below.

I have corresponded with a Welsh Sparks researcher, John Sparks.  I asked him to, on one of his jaunts, check the ship's records for departures of Sparkses from England to America.  He found that a William Sparks sailed from Southampton in 1662, The year recorded here for the immigration of William into Maryland.

It is generally assumed that John came over at the same time. He was not on the ship's record for 1662, but was on record for 1664.  It seems that both were deported after having served time in Newgate Prison, probably for political reasons.

Now, as to my thinking about the Thomas And Joanne connection.  The dates for the birth/christening of the sons of Thomas and Joanne were: William, 1645 and John, 1649.

This means that at the time of William's deportation he would have been 17 years of age.  In 1664 when John was deported he would have been about 15 Years of age.  This would not be impossible, but is improbable.

What is even more improbable is this:  At his death, John's will bequeaths some property in America to two sons, still in England, providing they come to America and live on it.  They declined to do so.

My question is this.  If John was deported from England at the age of 15 after spending time in Newgate Prison, how could he have married and sired two sons before coming to America?

 It has been the opinion of some that John may have returned to England to marry and to sire his sons, and then returned to America.  In my opinion this is also highly improbable.  Firstly, there is no record to prove this happened.  Secondly, John was deported from England and probably arrived in America with little more than the clothes on his back.  For him to have come up with the fare for passage back to England and then back to America again is not logical.  In addition, remember he was deported from England after release from prison, and would probably have been arrested and imprisoned again upon returning.

I therefore think that John was older than the son of Thomas and Joanne and was married and had children before going to jail and being deported.

It is also difficult to know if John's wife, ( assuming he had married very young ), later followed him from England or if he was remarried in America. To my knowledge, none of the the records show this.

I would like to hear from anyone with information or views either pro or con. You may E-mail me by clicking the Icon below.

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Signed,

Harold Sparks

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