Sparks Family Search
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The Collection

Bytown ca. 1853
Bytown ca. 1853
We don't own family history - we simply preserve it for the next generation. This website is dedicated to creating and sharing the genealogy of the Sparks family of Carleton and surrounding counties in Ontario and Quebec.

The Sparks family heritage is rooted in the history of England and Ireland. A published source says that the Sparks name comes from the Old English term "sparrowhawk". Another source says the Sparks surname is derived from old Norse "sparkr or spraek" and adopted into Olde English in the Middle Ages. In 16th and 17th centuries, the old English versions gradually morphed into Spark and its patronymic forms Sparke, Sparkes and Sparks.

Family legend tells of Sparks lineage descending from a Nicholas Sparks of England, an officer in the British army serving under John Churchill the Duke of Marlborough (1650-1722). In 1720, Nicholas was granted a land lease in the townland of Dranagh, Wexford County, Ireland as payment for his military services. It is from these roots that some of our European heritage has been uncovered.

A prominent descendant from our Wexford, Ireland heritage is Nicholas Sparks, an early Bytown landholder and timberer. The life and times of Nicholas Sparks are well-documented. This website provides a collection of genealogical records for the ancestors and descendants of Nicholas Sparks, and his siblings and cousins. An extensive genealogical collection for his younger brother George Sparks of Bells Corners and his second cousin George Sparks of Gloucester are credited to the research work of family historians Doris Hope and Julia Hoffman respectively.

Access to the website is free, however, a login registration is required to view the website pages. When registering, please indicate your interest and connection to the Sparks family. Users are asked to review the terms and conditions agreement before using the site to ensure the privacy policy, registration process, site privileges, copyright conditions and information accuracy standards are understood and respected. Use of the site implies that users have accepted and comply with the terms and conditions listed.

Sources are cited whenever possible, but it's known that references to some documented sources and information collected over the years may be incomplete or inaccurate, leaving some doubt as to the reliability of the record. For new additions and changes to the records, a proof standard is incorporated which assigns a "level of reliability" to recorded information.

Building a family history is an endless process. There will always be some undiscovered family member, fact or story. We welcome all contributions (old vintage photographs, published and online sources of local historical interest related to the Sparks family, etc.) with due acknowledgment and credit given to submitters. Simply click the "Contact Us" link, submit your comments, and we can exchange emails to arrange for submissions. All submissions will be answered.

Enjoy searching your Sparks relatives and ancestors.

Wayne Lester
Sparks Family Researcher and Site Author


Ancestral Search - Search for your Sparks family ancestors. If you can't find your ancestors and wish to add them to our collection, simply click on the "Contact Us" link below and send us a request.

Most Wanted - There are unsolved mysteries about our ancestors. Can you help?

What's New - View the latest updates made to this site.

Web Links of Interest - Browse selected web links describing the life of Nicholas Sparks as well as some of Ottawa's early history.

Articles and Publications
  • Updates to Naomi Slater Heydon's publication LOOKING BACK, written by her daughter Julia Hoffman.
  • Sorting out the Various Sparks Families written by Sparks family historian Doris Grierson Hope.
  • Addendum to Sorting out the Various Sparks Families written by Doris Hope.

On the Lighter Side

Lighter Side

Contact Us

If you have any questions or comments about the information on this site, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.

Latest News
May 2017
Declining church membership is leading to abandonment of many church cemeteries. St. James Anglican Church Cemetery, Gatineau, Quebec is no exception with many graves deteriorating. From years of neglect, an aging tree has shifted sections of iron fencing surrounding the Nicholas Sparks gravesite. Descendants concerned with this condition requested cemetery caretakers to make repairs.

January 2017
George Lloyd Sparks celebrated his 100th birthday with friends and family January 28th, 2017 at the RA Centre. An Ottawa Citizen article by Bruce Deachman reminices about George's life.

October 2016
Updates to LOOKING BACK genealogical charts added courtesy of Julia Hoffman. See also Publications and Articles on this page.

September 2016
Genealogy updates and photos added to
George Sparks of Gloucester Township courtesy of Anne Prowse, Overbrook historian.

June 2016
Sparks cousins and extended family gathered in a family reunion at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa to celebrate the arrival of Nicholas Sparks and other founding families in Bytown.

November 2015
Genealogical records for George Sparks of Gloucester added courtesy of Julia Hoffman.

July 2015
Website released for public access.