Ancestral Family Topic 944

 944   John Sparrow I (c.1725-c.1780)
Pedigree Chart 08

John Sparrow I, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, John Sparrow I might describe his life as follows.

As early as 1749, I was living near John LeGrand on Beaverdam Branch in present-day Halifax County,  where I served as a juror in 1752, the year it became a county. 
My mother, Sarah, and I were the executors of the 1748 will of my stepfather, Thomas Seymour, who was kind enough to leave me 100 acres on Difficult Creek that I deeded to William Chandler 15 March 1759/60. 
Elizabeth and I had been married many years when she joined me in selling land in 1762.  Since I owned land in Halifax County, I was qualified to vote for our county burgesses. I cast votes for Edward Booker in 1764, Thomas Green in 1765, and Walter Cole, Nathaniel Terry, and Robert Wooding in 1768. 
We had one plantation of about 400 acres on Terrible Creek, which we sold off by 1771 to move to one of 387 acres nearby on Difficult Creek.
Although no will for me remains, the county enumerations reveal only two Sparrow families in Halifax County in 1782 and 1785, those of Thomas and John Sparrow—evidently my sons. 

John Sparrow, who was born about 1725, was illiterate, making his mark on documents. We have yet to identify his parents. Nor do we know who Elizabeth, his wife, was or where they came from.
John Sparrow’s mother was presumably Sarah, the wife named in the will of Thomas Seymour who left 100 acres each to George Seymour, William Seymour, and John Sparrow, describing the tract he gave Sparrow as, “land at the place where he made his beginning” (will dated 22 Nov. 1748  and proved 4 July 1749 ), although there is no evidence that Sarah was the mother of any Seymour children. The land described in Seymour’s will was undoubtedly a patent of 400 acres on both sides of Difficult Creek issued to him posthumously in 1756.  Indeed, the sale of Sparrow’s tract in 1759 described it as part of a 400-acre tract,  and when George and William sold their 211 acres in 1763, it was described as being on both sides of Difficult Creek.  They evidently remained in the county because the large families of both George and William Seymour were enumerated in Halifax near Thomas Sparrow in 1782. 
Thomas may have been the son of Thomas Seymour who was living in Isle of Wight County when he secured a patent to 345 acres on Waqua Creek in 1728,  which as Thomas Seymour Sr. of St. Andrew’s Parish he sold to George Tillman Jr. of Bristol Parish in 1739.  Thomas was paid for tarring the Brunswick County courthouse and prison in 1734 and building a bridge over the Nottoway River in 1735,  but by 1742 was described as “70 years old and not able to labor.” 
He was evidently depicted as senior in 1739 to distinguish him from another man of this name mentioned in the will James Jordan made in St. Andrew’s Parish in 1746. 

His plantations
John Sparrow was a plantation-owner when he contributed his hands to clear a road from the Cow Ford and the Banister River in 1756 and 1757.  He secured his patent for 403 acres on both sides of Terrible Creek in Halifax County 3 March 1760.  His tract was next to Alexander Nelson and John Echols and an old survey book identifies his other neighbors as Joseph Shaw and Richard Echols. 
John disposed of his Terrible Creek plantation by 1771. He sold 100 acres to John Echols and 160 acres to George Scoggins of Brunswick County in 1762, 2 acres to James Hunt of Lunenburg County in 1764.  and the remaining 141 acres to William Owen of Cumberland 22 Oct. 1771. 
Charles Sullivant deeded about 387 acres to Sparrow 21 Feb. 1771,  100 acres of which John and Elizabeth sold in 1773.  The deed conveying the land to Sullivant placed it on both sides of Difficult Creek and next to John Sparrow. 

John’s death
John evidently died intestate by 1782 leaving an eldest son, Thomas Sparrow. In 1786 Thomas Sparrow sold to John Sparrow 100 acres where he was living and to William Sparrow 100 acres where Elizabeth Sparrow was living.  Thomas was likely his brother and William was Thomas’ son.

Origin of John Sparrow
We have examined several counties looking for where John Sparrow may have been born.
The name John Sparrow appeared as headrights for the following patents: Nicholas Perry for land on Upper Chippokes in 1652,  Capt. William Corker for 1,850 acres in Surry County in 1671,  and Charles Fleming for 1,427 acres on Fine Creek on the south side of the James River in Henrico (now Cumberland) County in 1714. 
With Charles Bailey, John Sparrow got 450 acres in Accomack County in 1715.  He might be connected to the William Sparrow who was a headright for a patent in Accomack County in 1682.  Thomas Sparrow (-1719) of Anne Arundel County, Md., who married Ann West may be of this family. 

Sparrow of Norfolk County
Another Sparrow family was in Norfolk County, near present-day Portsmouth. A partial patent was recorded for Thomas Sparrow for 300 acres in Lower Norfolk County in 1637.  He purchased property from Francis Wyatt 1646-50,  and was still living along the Elizabeth River in 1663 and 1666.  The 1704 quit rent list includes only William Sparrow with 350 acres in Norfolk County. The estate of George Sparrow, who as a headright for John Williams when he got 184 acres in Norfolk County in 1713,  was recorded in Norfolk County 1718-19.  John Sparrow bought and sold land there 1733-39. 
The partially-mutilated will of Richard Sparrow, which was proved with others of 1740, named wife Sarah, and children Thomas Sparrow, Rodham Sparrow, and Sarah Sparrow. 

Charles Sparrow of Charles City
Charles Sparrow, a justice of Charles City County and burgess (1645-6, 1649, 1652, 1660), left heirs in present-day Prince George County. Mr. Charles Sparrow secured a patent to 750 acres on the west side of Chippokes Creek 30 Sept. 1645,  and he and Richard Tye, another justice, held 2,500 acres near the head of Powell Creek in 1650. 
They buried Charles Sparrow in Martin’s Brandon Parish 11 Sept. 1660 and his widow, Jane, was married to Lt. William Rollinson 5 days later. 
The court authorized Rollinson to administer the estate until “the arrival [of age] of Selby Sparrow, the heir of the decedent.”  Because Charles’ son Selby was a minor in 1661, the court appointed 4 prominent citizens to manage the estate and advised Selby to choose a guardian. Francis Gray bound himself for 100,000 pounds of tobacco for Selby Sparrow that he “shall not embezzle or waste any of his own or his Brothers and Sisters estate” until he can produce security at his full age.  While under Gray’s guardianship, Selby witnessed a deed for him in Surry County 26 Jan. 1662/3, but was dead by Sept. 1663. 
Walter Holdsworth and Ferdinando Austin were securities for Rollinson in Aug. 1663.  After Rollinson became guardian to the heirs, the court advised him to keep them away from his house since his wife, Jane, “by reason of danger of their Mother’s Lunatick Violence,” had been accused of having drowned “a Negro child of her family” in 1663. 
Following Selby’s death, Rollinson sought a part of his estate in right of his wife, but was denied as the now-lost will of Charles Sparrow showed he had no legal right.  Rollinson then charged Francis Gray and his wife of concealing assets that had belonged to Selby Sparrow, which they denied.
A Mr. Sparrow, perhaps a son of Charles Sparrow, was settled on Birchen Swamp on the south side of the James River in Charles City County in 1669 when Thomas Newhouse received a patent for neighboring land. 
One George Sparrow of Martin’s Brandon Parish made a now-lost will dated 16 Feb. 1675/6 leaving a tract by the name of “Burliegh” to Anthony Wyatt and Nicholas Wyatt, sons of Nicholas Wyatt. 

Thomas Wright Sparrow
Thomas Wright Sparrow was a resident of Martin’s Brandon Parish and had a wife, Mary when he sold 100 acres by the mouth of Indian Spring Branch to Robert Hall in 1727.  Thomas had owned the tract since 12 Feb. 1722/3. 
Thomas Wright Sparrow was living in North Carolina when he and his wife, Elizabeth, sold 301 acres on Sturgeon Run to Henry Embry via deeds of lease and release in 1739.  Sparrow had been a resident of Surry County when he received the plantation by patent 28 Sept. 1728. 

Descendants of John Sparrow I
Information about the children of John Sparrow I, their descendants, and allied families previously found at Virginians.com is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 John Sparrow II (-1800),  
 Thomas Sparrow,  



Notes
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