Nicholas SPARKS and Sarah (Sally) OLMSTEAD
Nicholas Sparks came from County Wexford, Ireland
(Sparks Street in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)


March 22, 2012:

In 1821, Nicholas Sparks was a farmhand for Philemon Wright. The opportunity came for him to purchase 200 acres (including a cabin 
with simple furnishings) from John Burrows Honey who was looking to sell his property quickly so that he could return to England. 
The property lay on the Upper Canada side of the Ottawa River. Nicholas borrowed 95 pounds sterling from Philemon Wright so that he 
could make the purchase, sight unseen.

When he went to claim his property, Nicholas was dismayed by the barren, desolate place and found that the land was of little worth. 
It was situated high above the Ottawa River and consisted of mainly limestone with only a few inches of poor topsoil. What scragly 
trees and bushes there were, grew in crevices in the limestone. The property was useless for farming and had no obvious practical 
value. 

However, fate took pity on Nicholas when in 1826, Colonel John By arrived to build the Rideau Canal and establish a small town. It 
turned out that the Sparks property lay completely within the boundaries of the newly drawn up town. Nicholas donated some land 
for the construction of the canal as well as the development of the small town, later to be known as Bytown. By 1836, he was able 
to sell small parcels of land for 400 pounds sterling for the construction of new homes and businesses. As a result, Nicholas became 
a wealthy landowner and a man of great influence in the new community until his death in 1862 at the age of 68 years.

Sparks Street in Uppertown is named after him.

Source: Ottawa, City of the Big Ears

September 4, 2010: Some early Descendants of Nicholas Sparks Source: Database created by the Late Mr. Robert Sample of Goulbourn Township. The George Sparks family in Goulbourn Township was related to Nicholas Sparks. 1 Nicholas Sparks 1792 - 1862 .. + Sarah 'Sally' Olmstead 1790 - 1871 (widow of Philomen Wright Jr.) ... The Olmsteads came from Burritt's Rapids to Hull. ........ 2 Mary Sparks 1829 - 1904 ............ +Alonzo Wright 1825 - 1894 ........ 2 Esther Sparks 1832 - 1894 ............ +James Dyson Slater 1813 - 1876 ................... 3 Robert Nicholas Slater 1851 - 1920 ....................... + Ann Tomlinson 1854 - 1941 ............................. 4 Leonard Dyson Slater 1880 - 1915 ................................. + Flora MacDonald Stewart 1883 - 1964 ............................. 4 Mary Slater 1882 - ................................. + William Foster Wilson 1874 - 1944 ................... 3 Florence Augusta Slater 1859 - ....................... + James E.W. Currier 1849 - ........ 2 Nicholas Sparks 1833 - 1872 ............ + Caroline Blaisdell 1843 - 1887
Map Source: Ottawa, An Illustrated History by John H. Taylor, 1986, James Lorimer and Company, Publishers, ISBN 0-88862-981-8, page 14
Thanks to Mr. Robert Sample for the following picture from Looking Back, by Naomi Slater Heydon The Nicholas Sparks Home

June 9, 2012: Below is a photograph of the tombstone of Walter Henry Sparks and Ethel Marion Graham at Maple Grove Cemetery in Hazeldean, Kanata, Ottawa. This Mr. Sparks is likely a descendant of George Sparks who was (I think) a cousin of Nicholas Sparks. In the earliest days, the Protestant settlers in Philomen Wright's Settlement became connected with many of the pioneer families of Goulbourn Township, (The Talbot settlers and the disbanded soldiers of the 99th Regiment of Foot) and developed a loose aristocracy within the Ottawa area.
Walter Henry Sparks and Ethel Marion Graham Tombstone of Walter Henry Sparks and Ethel Marion Graham

October 31, 2015: Here is a new web site for the Sparks family in the Ottawa, Canada area.
March 9, 2016 Hi John, Some descendants of Nicholas Sparks are trying to organize a Sparks family reunion in June 2016 to commemorate the arrival of Nicholas Sparks in Canada in 1816. The organizers are trying to spread the word about the event and I have volunteered to try and arrange for a notice in the quarterly Ottawa Genealogist publication. Would it be too late to place a notice in the April to June edition in terms of delivery timing, i.e. delivered in time for the June event, and if not too late, who could I contact to place such a notice. Thanks, Wayne
New May 14, 2016: This just came through with the Ontario Genealogical Society Weekly newsletter:
200th Anniversary of the arrival of Nicholas Sparks (Sparks Street)
... Al

E-mail Wayne Lester and Al Lewis

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