The Sinking of the R.M.S. Leinster

People on board

Margaret Ann Sparks

SPARKS, Margaret Ann

Margaret Ann Sparks was born about 1853 to Richard William Sparks and Rose Bernard Carter. Richard, son of a Solicitor, was a Carpet Merchant in Suffolk Street in Dublin but was living in Sandymount at the time of his marriage in 1849. In 1861 he gave up the business, and by 1865, when he was dealing with the Administration of his father’s Will, he was living in Graigue na Spidogue in Co Carlow. He may have moved there earlier as Margaret gave her place of birth in the 1871 UK census as Carlow. A son, Thomas Robert, born 1854, gave his place of birth as Dublin. The eldest son, Richard Noble Sparks, born in 1850 died in Chicago in 1904.

Rose Bernard Sparks died in 1868, aged fifty-three and in 1871 Margaret was a pupil in a small private school in Camberwell, London, aged eighteen.  Richard William Sparks died in Carlow in 1883 and the Executor of his Will was his son Thomas, who was then living in Dublin. In 1890 Thomas was married in Birkenhead to Sarah Emily Moss, daughter of the late Samuel Moss of Dundrum. The newspaper notice also stated that Thomas was son of the late Richard William Sparks of Carlow. A piece in North American Family Histories on the Thistlethwaite family says that Thomas Sparks “is said to be descended from Archbishop Ussher”, but this claim has not been verified.

In the 1911 UK census Margaret Sparks was a Visitor to the home of Fanny Charlotte Green in London. Margaret gave her occupation as “Editress of Gleanings from Spain” and said that she worked from home, which was given as Graigue na Spidogue, Co Carlow. Her brother Thomas and his family were in Dublin in both the 1901 and 1911 censuses. Thomas died in 1915, aged sixty-one.

Margaret’s address in October 1918 was 1 Farquhar Road, Upper Norwood, Surrey. She was perhaps visiting Thomas’s family in October 1918 and was returning to London on the 10th. She did not survive the sinking and her name is recorded on the family grave in Mount Jerome cemetery, but it is not clear if her body was recovered.



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