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Sparks, Fortner and Related Families

Updated February 26, 2006

About Our Family Research

As a very young child I was fascinated with our family history. I recall listening to the "old people" talk of those who were long gone and the telling of colorful family stories. I listened and remembered, I took notes as I got older, I wandered cemeteries with my parents, picked the memories of so many relatives that I was often told that I "asked too many questions" or to "go away for a while". What I didn't do, was always record who told me what! I was young, I didn't even know what geneoalogy work was much less that it was what I was doing. Now the "old people" are gone. I still hear their voices, hear the unique accent and the extinct phrases they used in their speech. I wish I could pull them back, I wish I could hear them talk to me just once more of the days gone by, the memories of family stories, I wish I knew the secrets that some hinted of, but would not tell. I hope to share not just the people of my past, but the lives of my past, to hold the hands of my grandparents and them the hands of their grandparents - and them the hands of my children and grandchildren. To share their roots, to know where we came from and who we are. Not just names - but people, living, loving, feeling people who paved life for us.

Family Photos
  • James M. Sparks Family ca. late 1890s (123 KB)
    Parents and brothers of James Thomas "Jim Tom" Sparks. James M. Sparks and wife Martha Jane Roberts (Webb widow). Contact me more name and date info
  • Charles Abraham Sparks 1905 - 1937 (60 KB)
    My paternal grandfather. He was murdered when my father was 6 years old. This is the only photo we have of him. He is the son of James Thomas Sparks and Sallie O. Cunningham
  • Elisha Wroten Hughes and grandchildren ca 1942 (572 KB)
    Pappy Hughes, father of Elisha William Hughes. Shown here with my Uncle Earl Wade. Sr. and my Aunt Bonnie - Marjorie Yvonne Hughes
  • Lige Marion Fortner (62 KB)
    My papaw as a young man, probably about 16 years old here. He is the son of Marshall Fortner and Fannie Gist. His daughter Zera Mae Fortner is my mother.
  • Bessie Nora Pace nad daughter Libra Louise Sparks (246 KB)
    My grandmother, Bessie N. Pace 1909 -1984 and daughter Libra Louise Sparks 1940s. Bessie is the daughter of Henry Walter Pace and Ida Nora Burfield. Libra Louise is the daughter of Bessie and Charles Abraham Sparks
  • Fannie C. Gist Fortner and daughters (118 KB)
    Someone told me that Fannie made them drag the chair out to the road for this photo! Aunt Pearl, Aunt Mary and Aunt Myrtle
  • Fortner Family ca. 1960 (665 KB)
    Alma Jane Dugger/Duggar and Lige Marion Fortner and some of their children. Zera Mae (in middle) James william, Fannie Inez and Jewell Dean (Jake)
  • Lige Fortner and Alma Jane Dugger/Duggar ca 1950 (394 KB)
    My maternal grandparents. Lige is the son of Marshall Fortner and Fannie Gist. Alma is the daughter of John Lewis Duggar and Martha "Mattie" Bishop.
  • Sparks Family ca 1959 (596 KB)
    Charles Walter Sparks, wife Zera Mae Fortner. Children Brenda Carol Sparks and Charles Wayne Sparks ca. 1959. C. Walter Sparks is the son of Charles Abrham Sparks and Bessie Nora Pace. Zera M. Fortner is the daughter of Lige Marion Fortner and Alma Jane Duggar/Dugger
  • C. Monroe Pace and T. Corean Barnes 1970s (187 KB)
    My Uncle Monroe and Aunt Corean. Son of Ida Nora Burfield and Henry Walter pace, daughter of J.F.C."Cal" Barnes and Elnorah Hunkapiller
  • Earl Wade Hughes, Sr. ca 1950s (27 KB)
    My Uncle Wade! Son of Bessie Nora Pace and Elisha William Hughes
  • Sparks children ca 1963 (719 KB)
    Children of Zera Mae Fortner and Charles Walter Sparks: L-R; Brenda Carol, Charles Wayne "Buddy" and Phyllis Ann Sparks
  • Charles Walter Sparks 1940 school picture (29 KB)
    My dad. Son of Charles A. Sparks and Bessie Nora Pace. He was about 9 years old here.
  • Roney Ann Gist (64 KB)
    Daughter of Thomas O. Gist and 1st wife Sarah. Mother of Ida Nora Burfield Pace and sister to Fannie Clementine Gist Fortner. Roney Ann married John Franklin Burfield
  • Marjorie Yvonne Hughes aka "Bonnie" ca 1950s (233 KB)
    My Aunt Bonnie! Daughter of Elisha William Hughes and Bessie Nora Pace. Aunt Bonnie I love you!
  • Fetney Angeline Pace (354 KB)
    Mother of Henry Walter Pace, grandmother of Bessie Nora Pace ca. late 1880s?
  • Zera Mae Fortner Sparks and son ca 1958 (106 KB)
    My mom and brother. Zera Mae Fortner Sparks and Charles Wayne "Buddy" Sparks
  • Cannie Pace and John Henry Barnes (21 KB)
    Daughter of Fetney Angeline Pace and unknown sister of Henry Walter Pace. Son of Jesse B. Barnes and Lucinda Barnes - a different Barnes line I am told.
  • F. Eugene Sparks (547 KB)
    I never met my Uncle Gene. Son of Charles Abraham Sparks and Bessie Nora Pace
  • Charles Walter Sparks Family ca 1965 (407 KB)
    Charles Walter Sparks, Zera Mae Fortner and children; Charles Wayne, Brenda Carol, Steven Walter and Phyllis Ann Sparks, photo taken in Sandwich, IL.
  • Charles Walter Sparks at the fair! ca. 1945 (524 KB)
    My dad as a cowboy. A dress up at the fair! He was about 15 years old.
  • Ma and Pa Pace, Trannie Stephans (23 KB)
    My great grandparents. Henry Walter Pace and second wife Samantha Elizabeth Sheilds (Stephans widow). Trannie Stehens is Samantha's son from her 1st marriage. In all Walter pace had 10 children with Ida Burfield, 5 children with Samantha Sheilds and Samantha had 6 children with her first marriage! What a wonderful clan! Although Samantha was my "step" grandmother I loved her much as did all who knew her, I named MY daughter after her!
  • Henry Walter Pace and Ida Nora Burfield (233 KB)
    These are my great grandparents. Ida died when my grandmother was about 14 years old. She died in childbirth along with her tenth child. The children here are Alvin and Johnny
  • Fortner family ca. 1900 (540 KB)
    Marshall Fortner, wife Fannie Clemintine Gist and children, L-R Zeblen Thomas, James William Mary Elizabeth, Lige Marion and Sara in the middle - Fannie is pregnant with Aunt Pearl!
  • Ida Nora Burfield and son (301 KB)
    My great grandmother as a young girl. Not sure if the baby is Uncle Johnny or Uncle Alvin-or another Uncle! Wife of H. Walter Pace, daughter of Roney Ann Gist and John Franklin Burfield. Ida died in childbirth with her infant son - her tenth child.
  • Fortner sisters ca. 1952 (233 KB)
    My mom, Zera Mae Fortner Sparks and her sisters, Faye Fortner Woods to the left and Fannie Inez Fortner Fleming to the right. Taken in Osceola Arkansas
  • James Thomas Sparks and Sallie O. Cunningham (224 KB)
    ca. 1930. Parents of Charles Abrham Sparks. Jim Tom was a son of James M. Sparks and Martha Jane Roberts (a Webb widow).
  • Hoyt Harlan Fortner (48 KB)
    My Uncle Harlan during the War. Son of Alma Jane Dugger/Duggar and Lige Marion Fortner
  • Alfred L. Cunningham and Mary Ann Finch ca 1900 (242 KB)
    Parents of Sallie Oliver Cunningham, wife of James Thomas Sparks, my great great grandparents (paternal)
  • James Thomas Sparks Family ca. 1907 (407 KB)
    Jim Tom is holding my grandfather, his son Charles Abraham. Sallie is holding Gulmer and J. Oliver is in the middle. Maggie Lois is the only girl and Uncle Will is holding those good looking hunting hounds!
  • James William "Bill" Fortner (69 KB)
    Uncle Bill. Son of Alma Jane Dugger/Duggar and Lige Marion Fortner during his service.
  • Elisha Wiliam Hughes 1950s (26 KB)
    This is my step-grandfather. He is the son of Elisha Wroten Hughes and Adaline Dobbs. My grandmother Bessie Nora Pace Sparks/Hughes was his only wife. They had two children together; Marjorie Yvonne "Bonnie" and Earl Wade, Sr.
  • Earl Wade Hughes, Sr. Elizabeth Deason "Betty" (141 KB)
    Mu Uncle Wade Hughes and his first wife "Betty" Elizabeth Deason. She died on her 18th birhday in a car accident. They are shown here with their only child, Earl Wade Hughes, Jr. I would like more info on the Deason family - I have some info, but would like learn more - if anyone can help, please contact me.
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