Sparke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Sparke comes from the baptismal name Sparrowhawk, and in " 'the son of Sparrowhawk'; found as early as Domesday [Book] in the forms Sperhauoc (Nottinghamshire) [and] Sparhauoc (Suffolk.)" [1] The name could have been a nickname as in 'the sparrow - hawk,' having derived from the Middle English word "sperhauke." Another source notes the name could have been derived from the Old Norse words "sparkr" or "sproek" which meant "lively, sprightly." [2]

Early Origins of the Sparke family

The surname Sparke was first found in Lincolnshire where William Sperc was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1202. A few years later, Ralph Sparke was listed in Suffolk in 1221. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Sparhcuk Sutor in Suffolk; Thomas Sperheuk in Lincolnshire; and Nicholas Sparke in Norfolk. [1] John Sparhauk was rector of St Buttolph the Abbot, Norwich in 1351 and Kirby's Quest listed Gilbert Sperhauk in Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of Edward III's reign.) [3]

Later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists Magota Spark and Robertus Spark as both living there at that time. [1]

Early History of the Sparke family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sparke research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1613, 1407, 1698, 1566, 1554, 1603, 1583, 1591, 1574, 1640, 1628, 1629, 1636, 1680, 1677, 1680, 1548, 1616, 1584, 1604, 1628, 1677, 1660, 1683, 1740 and 1692 are included under the topic Early Sparke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sparke Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Sparke has appeared include Sparke, Spark, Sparkes, Sparks and others.

Early Notables of the Sparke family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Sparke (died 1566), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Plympton Erle in 1554; John Sparke (d.1603) of Plymouth, Devon, Mayor of Plymouth in 1583 and 1591; and his son, John Sparke (c. 1574-1640), an English politician from The Friary, in the parish of St Jude, Plymouth, Devon, who sat in the House of Commons from 1628 to 1629; and his grandson, John Sparke (1636-1680) an English landowner and...
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sparke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sparke migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Sparke arrived in North America very early:

Sparke Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Sparke who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • George Sparke, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [4]
  • Sarah Sparke, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [4]
  • John Sparke, who arrived in Virginia in 1658 [4]
  • Walter Sparke, who landed in Maryland in 1659 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Sparke migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Sparke Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Sparke, English convict from Somerset, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [5]
  • Elizabeth Sparke, aged 26, a laundress, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Emigrant" [6]

New Zealand Sparke migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Sparke Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Frederick Sparke, aged 21, a farm labourer, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875
  • Ann Sparke, aged 21, who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875
  • Ellie Sparke, aged 3 mths., who arrived in Bluff, New Zealand aboard the ship "Adamant" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Sparke (post 1700) +

  • Bowyer Edward Sparke (1759-1836), English bishop, Dean of Bristol (1803–1810), Bishop of Chester (1810–1812), Bishop of Ely (1812–1836)
  • Stewart Sparke, British Independent Filmmaker from East Yorkshire
  • Penny Sparke (b. 1948), British writer and academic


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Albion voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 200 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1823
  6. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 25th October 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Emigrant 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/emigrant1854.shtml.


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