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Sparks Family Association correspondence and newsletters

Identifier: MSS-286

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence and newsletters from the Sparks Family Association ranging from 1953 to 2008 regarding family history and genealogy.

The collection consists of two series. The first series is correspondence between Jack Carmichael and a number of other members of the SFA, primarily Russell Bidlock. The second series consists of publications series includes volumes I through XVIII of The Sparks Quarterly, spanning from March 1953 to December 1970.


  • Creation: 1953-2008

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Biographical Note / Historical Note / Administrative History

The Sparks Family Association (SFA) declared itself a nonprofit organization in March of 1953. The founders were Paul E. Sparks (President), Russell E. Bidlack (Secretary/ Treasurer) and William Perry Johnson (Historian/Genealogist). With the foundation of the SFA the founders released The Sparks Quarterly, which was a periodical that contained research on the Sparks lineage.

Beginnings of the SFA started with the research of William Perry Johnson in 1934. Johnson discovered that his heritage went back to the marriage of his great-great-great-great grandparents, Susannah Sparks and Charles Johnson. Through his research, W.P. Johnson came to find Paul Sparks and Russell Bidlack. In 1966, John K. (Jack) Carmichael of Muncie, Indiana joined the SFA and eventually became President of the organization.


1.6 Cubic Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into the following series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1966-2008

Series 2: Publications, 1953-2002

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from John K. Carmichael on 2008/08/25. Additions were received by John K. Carmichael on 2008/09/02 and 2008/09/05.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed August 2008 by J. Brugos. EAD finding aid created 2009/06/30 by Maren Read. EAD finding aid revised 2013/09/26 by Leslie Nellis.

Sparks Family Association correspondence and newsletters
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA