The First Generation

Jacob & Abazena SPARKS NORTON are the first of my proven NORTON/SPARKS ancestors. It is thought that their families originated in Prince George County, Maryland. They later moved to Pittsylvania County, Virginia in the mid/late 1700's, then to Spartanburg County, South Carolina in the late 1700's, then to Georgia around 1820 or 1830. However, there are assumed ties, also, to North Carolina and Tennessee.

The possible ties to North Carolina are based on a few circumstances:  1)  A Nehemiah Norton was entitled to damages incurred during the Civil War in McDowell County, North Carolina, which was formed from Burke County. 2) A Fielder Norton and a Messor Norton both resided in Burke County and in Walton County, Georgia.  The are that Jacob resided was originally Walton County before Newton County was formed.  3)  A Fielder Norton resided in Spartanburg County, South Carolina and in Cherokee County, Alabama.

The First Generation:

1. Jacob1 NORTON was born SC ca1807, based on 1850 Census of Newton County, Georgia. He died aft1852 based on Jacob's children Matthew and Singleton Sparks being listed in 1852 roster of Poor School Children, Newton Co., GA. No known data exists after 1852. It is assumed that he died or moved with wife outside the state. Abazena, Matthew, Marcus, and Nancy show up residing with Walter Gowens in Rock Run, Cherokee Co., AL in 1860/1870 Census.

Jacob married Abazena SPARKS in Cherokee, Georgia, on January 4,1843, per Book A, page 52. (Her name was spelled as Ervisend Sparks. Other spellings of her name include Arbeizinie, Arbezena, Arvergiena, and Aberzene.) Abazena was born in GA ca1827 based on 1850 Census and died after 1880 in Cherokee County, Alabama. Abazena was the daughter of Levin SPARKS and Nancy SPARKS, both born in South Carolina per Census information. She married before 1860 to Walter Gowens of Newton County. She and Walter resided in Cherokee County, Alabama in 1860 and had 5 children.  Cherokee County was also the home of many other Sparks and Norton families duing that period of time.

Jacob and his family resided in Bald Rock District of Newton County, Georgia in 1850, which is now known as the Sheffield District of Rockdale County.  Some family researchers believe that Nehemiah, not Jacob,was the father of Matthew Mark. This rearcher, and those of associated families including ALMAND and SPARKS, are convinced that Jacob is the correct father. Two primary reasons - 1) Jacob was listed as the father of Matthew Mark Norton in the 1852 school listing for the poor in Newton County. 2) Jacob is listed as head of household in 1850 Census, Newton Co., with Matthew Mark as his son. 3) Abazena, Matthew, Marcus, and Nancy are listed in 1860 Census, Cherokee Co., AL with Walter Gowens.

Jacob NORTON and Abazena SPARKS had the following children:

2i. Nancy2 NORTON.

3ii. Matthew Mark NORTON was born 10/09/1847.

4iii. Marcus Gausby NORTON was born ca 1849.

The following children have not been confirmed. It is highly likely that they are the children of Nehemiah and Permelia RICE NORTON, the assumed brother and sister-in-law of Jacob.

5iv. Othia A. NORTON was born ca1854 and died aft 5/31/1910. She married William RICHARDSON.

6v. Thomas Edmond NORTON was born 11/11/1861 and died 11/8/1933 Steiner Clinic, Atlanta, GA, at 71 years of age. His body was interred Conyers, Rockdale Co., GA, Eastview Cemetery. Ed registered to vote Rockdale Co., GA, 1896: Sheffield District: TE 36 years old. He was never married.


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