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Sparlings In The Early Rathkeale Registers

PHILIP (possibly born about 1718) married a Barbara / Elizabeth and was having children christened in Rathkeale by 1745. He may have had earlier children of course, but Rathkeale registers only started then. [According to a 1772 letter written to a James Duane when applying for land holdings in New York State, Philip was the brother of Peter (see below)—H Z Jones research]. He died on 23 October 1754 / 29 December 1754 and was buried in Rathkeale.

I PAUL/ DAN'L chr 3 June 1745 at Rathkeale, son of Philip and Elizabeth Sparling. A Paul Sparling died at Dunkerrin, outside Roscrea, in 1806. [see Tenison Groves Mss in Ireland]

II Catherine (29 March 1747). It is suggested that she might have married Adam FISSELL on 6 October 1778. This would be exceptionally late for a woman to be marrying, aged 31. But she was his second wife, the first having been Mary Dolmage.

Adam and his wife Catherine had two daughters, Margaret on 16 June 1782 and Ann on 13 Feb 1785. However, there was another Catherine, born 1760, daughter of Christopher Stuffle who would be the perfect age to be marrying in 1778—but in that case, why did she not go on bearing a string of children for the rest of her reproductive cycle ??? She—or her husband—might have died, of course!

III GEORGE (8 Sept 1749) went to New York to his uncle Peter [see below], and possibly married Catharine Schafer on 4 May 1772 in New York City. Uncle Peter wrote a letter to Duane, a major landholder, on 7 Sept 1772 asking for 200 acres close to Salem Twp for his nephews, George who “had served 7 years in N York to a Tanner, his brother is a farmer”.

Later Sparlings feature in the Katsbaan Reformed Church register at Saugerties, Ulster Co, New York, where a number of Palatines had settled in 1710. As our Palatines spoke German for a couple of generations after arrival in Ireland, it would not have been difficult for any reaching America to merge with the other group. George would definitely be fluent in German.

IV PHILIP (chr 12 Jan 1751) also went to New York. A notice in the New York Mercury in 1765 concerned a Philip Sparling, aged 15 and born in Ireland, a runaway indentured servant to Charles Miller of New York City. A Philip Sparling later appeared in Vermont, and Palatines did settle here too.

CHRISTOPHER STUFFLE, presumably born about 1720 in Killiheen married Margaret Mary Legier on 24 June 1746. Margaret Mary Legier had to be a younger daughter of John Adam Legier who had married about 1710 soon after leaving Rotterdam, and settled in Courtmatrix. Christopher Stuffle died on 8 June 1787 and was buried at Rathkeale. He appears on the Killeheen (Kilscannel Parish) freeholder lists for 1755, 1759 and 1767 lists [PRONI] as well as the 1776 list [PROI]. His family were all christened in Rathkeale. They were JOHN; PETER I; Catherine I; GEORGE; PETER II; Margaret; Catherine II; CHRISTOPHER; PHILIP; and finally PETER III.

We believe that his sons John and George settled in Adare, Christopher lived near Patrickswell and young Philip stayed in the Rathkeale area, living on the Brown estate in the townland of Dromard.

GEORGE JUNIOR (clearly stated in the Parish Registers), possibly born about 1722, died before George Senior.

PETER possibly born about 1724, married Margaret Fissell on 29 October 1754.

They had a son CHRISEPHER (son of Peter Sparin and Margaret) christened on 5 Feb 1756, and a daughter Ann christened on 22 Nov 1758, but are believed to have gone to USA in 1760.

They sailed for the New World in the Pery under Captain Hogan. The voyage took 63 days. He first petitioned for land in Albany Co. in 1763. William Peter became a schoolmaster, running a business school in 1767 in New York. A further 5 children were born in New York State. A letter written on 7 September 1772 states that he “had been in some measure helpful in settling this town” (Salem Twp) and were pleading for further land nearby where two nephews, George and his brother, could settle.

By 1773 the family had moved to Camden Valley, Charlotte Co, but left in 1775 with the Empire Loyalists (including a Henry Sparling of Philadelphia) and were given grants of land in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, then moved on to North Sydney. A married daughter joined them there, Anne and her husband Bartholomew Musgrave, who had married in New York in 1778. So were founded the Cape Breton Sparlings and Musgraves. William Peter died on 4 February 1821 in Canada, his wife Margaret having died in October 1820. [See Nova Scotia Chapter].

A HENRY Sparling was living in Philidelphia prior to 1773. Palatines had been emigrating to the United States from Ireland since 1756. Henry and family joined Peter (see above) in his flight from New York to Nova Scotia in 1775. Is it possible that these two were brothers? He must have returned to the US as there are no further records of him in Nova Scotia. A Henry Sparling is shown in the 1790, 1800 and 1810 Albany Co, New York census record. I wonder if this was the land which Peter Sparling had been granted in 1773—and which he had abandoned in favour of Nova Scotia.

Henry must have been the father of Henry Sparling who was born circa 1807 in Albany Co, who married Lovina Luckey and migrated to Pennsylvania then Illinois, and then to Iowa. JOHN, possibly born about 1726, first married a Catherine. Her surname is unknown, as is the date of the marriage as it did not take place in Rathkeale. [Most of the old Irish Parish records were lost in 1922].

We now believe that the first child of this marriage was PHILIP born in 1757/58 who lived in Graigue, Adare. He would have been christened in the church where the wedding had taken place. Later children were all christened in Rathkeale—CHRISTOPHER (chr 30 Aug 1761), son of John and Catherine ‘Sparing’; PETER (1764); JOHN (1765), GEORGE (1768); SAMUEL (1771); JACOB (1773); JAMES (1776); Frances (1778); WILLIAM (1781) and Catherine (1783). John certainly was a freeholder in Killeheen in 1755 & 1776.

Catherine, wife of John of Killiheen died on 20 August 1784; and then, in October, John Sparling married Elizabeth Teskey of Kilscannell. There was one son HENRY in 1785. John died on 11 May 1786. He had been churchwarden of Rathkeale for 1783, 1784, 1785 and 1786. After then, there is no further mention of him—hardly surprising! His widow Elizabeth (nee Teskey) married Adam Miller in February 1792. Then, on 21 March 1792, the vicar records the death of ‘Catherine, daughter of John Sparling and Elizabeth’. This girl was really the daughter of John and his first wife Catherine; so the vicar must have made a slip, indicating to me that it was the same John, who married twice—and the vicar, 9 years later, couldn’t recall which wife was the mother of the dead girl.

The son of John and Elizabeth, Henry (1785) turned up in Doonard, Kilnaughtin Parish in the 1840s. I have succeeded in tracing him to Madras, India, 1812–1825. The descendants of George (1768) state that John had nine sons, they omit any reference to Jacob (1773) but list all the rest. The obituary of James (1776) states that nine brothers predeceased him.

Elizabeth, possibly born about 1728, married Tobias FISSELL of Courtmatrix on 5 May 1747. They migrated to the Castle Oliver Estate by 1761 where they settled in Ballyorgan, Kilflyn Parish. It appears that there might have been contact with nephews, sons of her brother John who stayed in Rathkeale. It was quite normal for youngsters to be dispatched to live with uncles and aunts. In this way they learnt the best practices of husbandry and houswifery away from conflict with their parents. I Catherine (chr 15 May 1748). II Adam (chr 7 June 1750), died at Kilfinane 9 Oct 1820. III Margaret (chr 12 Feb 1753). IV Mary (chr 26 Oct 1755). V John (chr 25 Feb 1759). VI Tobias (circa 1762). Tobias, parish clerk of Kilflyn, died at Coolfree aged 75 years and was interred on 13 April 1837. Susannah, possibly born about 1730, married Christopher Youngman on 9 Sept 1749. She is said to have died on 28 July, 1771. [Dates of birth have been derived from supposition, based on men marrying about the age of 30 and girls about the age of 20.]

[That's all I have room for -- I hope your appetite is whetted and you would like a copy!]

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