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OUR STORY

 

When Letha (Leatha) Walker was born in 1849 in North Carolina, her father, David and mother, Molly, were both 25 (according to census records, these people were neighbors in Tunica and most likely Letha's parents). Letha bore 6 children; however, by the time census records were available for African Americans, only two sons (Jordan and Allen) and one daughter (Mary Jane) were mentioned. She died on July 26, 1929, in Memphis, Tennessee, at the age of 80, and was buried at Zion Cemetery on South Parkway Blvd. According to her grandson, Marcus Hill, she had lived in Memphis for 24 years. 

 

Letha's husband, Anderson Sparkman, was also born in North Carolina and was only 2 years younger than her parents. Like Letha, there are men (with families) who live near them in Tunica and who share surnames and identical birth information. These are possibly brothers of Anderson. Anderson died between 1880 and 1900.

 

Unfortunately, records indicate that neither Jordan nor Allen fathered any biological children, instead both were step-fathers of 5 collectively. This effectively ended the passing of Anderson's surname (unless one or both of the missing children were male and fathered children). 

When Mary Jane Sparkman was born on December 11, 1871, in Tunica, Mississippi, her father, Anderson, was between 45-47, and her mother, Letha, was between 20-22. She married George Hill in 1887. They had 11 children in 21 years (3 died young; no record of 2): Mary Jane (May) 1890/1 - 1940, Birdie 1893 - unknown death date, Ollie (Py-ja) 1897 - 1987?, Ruth A. 1901, Marcus 1903 She died in 1946 at the age of 75.

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Grandma Letha Sparkman