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The Sprinkle Families of

Western North Carolina



My passion is documenting the Sprinkle and related families of Western North Carolina.

Genealogy has been such a blessing! What a JOY to meet and correspond with "cousins" related to our families!


"My feelings are in each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.

To me, doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before."

The purpose of my website is to provide a very brief overview of our Sprinkle heritage.

My FTM database currently includes over 35,000 individuals.

The majority of my free time is spent documenting my genealogy project, "Sprinkle and Related Families of Western North Carolina".

My personal goal is to manage the most complete and accurate (verified) account of the Sprinkle's from WNC.

This genealogy project began as a hobby and developed into a passion and commitment to preserve our past.


In the Beginning . . .

Our Sprinkle heritage begins with German immigrant Peter Sprenckel.

Researchers and DNA have not verified the region in Germany where Peter's family originated. Also, Peter's wife's name is not known. Peter's family settled in York, (Chester) Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania in the early 1700's. Peter has three sons, Michael, Peter and George.

The spelling of our lineage was changed from Sprenckel to "Sprinkle(s)". Sure wish I had been interested in genealogy while I lived in Germany.

Our branch of the huge Sprinkle family tree descends from Peter's son, Michael Sprinkle who was born abt. 1732 in Pennsylvania and died 1789 in Spartanburg District, South Carolina. Michael married Martha Patsy (Robinson) abt. 1765 and moved to Rowan Co., North Carolina. Michael was a large landowner in Rowan / Surry Co., NC and Spartanburg District, SC.

Michael and Martha had five children: James "Moses", Robert, William Michael "Billy", Amelia "Milly" and Anna.

We are descendants of Michael & Martha's son, William Michael Sprinkle, Sr., known as Uncle Billy, who was born February 27, 1783 in Rowan Co., NC and died June 15, 1872 in Gabriel's Creek, Madison Co., NC.

William married Isabella Palmer about 1806 in the Ivy settlement of "Old" Buncombe Co., NC. The area is actually lower Gabriel's Creek, Madison Co., NC, but Madison County was not established until 1851.

Isabella is the daughter of Edmond Palmer & Mary Brittain Palmer. Isabella was born June 12, 1788 in VA and died December 20, 1864 in Gabriel's Creek, Madison Co., NC.

Religion and education have played essential roles in our Sprinkle history. William Sprinkle was a farmer and Christian lay-preacher. Worship services were held in William and Isabella's home. The children and community were raised and educated in the Baptist faith. William wanted to provide a location for the community to worship and bury their families. William deeded the land and the Gabriel's Creek Baptist Church and cemetery were established in 1837.

As a note of interest, Isabella's father, Edmond Palmer, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War, was a surveyor and pioneer settler on the Big Ivy River about 1790. He brought many families from Rowan County, NC to settle in the beautiful mountains of "Old Buncombe County" now known as Madison County. Edmond was one of the largest landowners in the area. Devout Christians, they exemplified the hardy people who loved God, loved freedom, and worked that their descendants might enjoy liberty. Palmer Ford settlement on the Ivy River was named in his honor.

Edmond's son, Lewis Palmer was an "Old Buncombe" county magistrate, NC Legislator and a founding trustee of Mars Hill Baptist College. Lewis is credited with naming the institution. The NC General Assembly met February 16, 1859 and the charter was approved. Lewis chose the name based upon Bible scriptures Acts 17:22 "Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars Hill..." Lewis and our ancestors would surely be very displeased with the current morals and liberal standards associated with Mars Hill College (University) today.

William and Isabella Sprinkle had thirteen children who are listed below.

I have extensive documentation for their families. To date, my book is over a thousand pages.

William and Isabella's descendants can be credited with the majority of Sprinkle families currently residing in Western North Carolina.


William & Isabella's children

Sprinkle Child

Their Spouse(s)

1. Lovey Sprinkle

Rev. Stephen Ammons

2. John Sprinkle

Evaline (maiden name unknown)

3. Edmund Sprinkle

Elizabeth (maiden name unknown)

4. Martha Patsy Sprinkle

Tatom Buckner

5. Elizabeth "Betsy" Sprinkle

James Wilson Gillespie

6. Emily Sprinkle

John E. Radford

7. Stephen Sprinkle

1) Elizabeth Ann Williams - 2) Nancy Fisher Reaves

8. George Baird Sprinkle

1) Sarah Smith - 2) Delilah Foster

9. Rev. William Michael Sprinkle, Jr.

Elizabeth Fisher

10. David Sprinkle

Mary Jane Foster

11. Isabella Sprinkle

Garrett Peek

12. Thursa Sprinkle

Lewis Anders

13. Michael James Sprinkle

Delilah Jane Harwood


Our Sprinkle Lineage ...

Please, let's set the record straight to eliminate junk shown on the internet and booklets available in local Genealogy Societies -
  • We have NO PROOF of the names of Peter Sprenckel's parents, his wife or the location they resided in Germany. SO MANY websites want to list Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany as the area of origin and attach Johann Heinrich Sprenckel and Charit Speis as his parents.

  • PLEASE HELP… researchers need to set the record straight. The link between immigrant Peter and Johann DOES NOT EXIST. Any website that lists any names for Peter's parents and wife or a specific region in Germany are bogus! Please do not add this area or people to your database. Dismiss these websites as credible sources. If that info is used, it's a sure bet that other information was grabbed off the Internet and used without proof. When you see them listed as Peter's parents on websites, do everyone a favor and send an email to the person who posted the info or post a comment on their site with a polite note to encourage them to remove Rheinland-Pfalz, Johann and Charit from their database. Let's do what we can to stop this myth.

  • We have no valid proof that Edmond Palmer was the son of Edmond/Edmund/Edward Palmer and Hannah Martha Bowlby. I have researched their lineage and Edmond's birth is not consistent with their census records. Please do not add these people to your database.

  • Peter's son, Michael Sprinkle married Martha Patsy (Robinson). There is a very strong indication based upon Michael's land deeds that Martha's maiden name is Robinson but marriage documents are not available to positively verified their union.

  • Michael and Martha Patsy Sprinkle only had these five children: James "Moses", Robert, William "Billy", Amelia "Milly" and Anna. Michael and Martha did not have a daughter named Lettice, born November 16, 1771.

  • William Sprinkle did not serve in the military in the War of 1812.

  • William & Isabella Sprinkle did not have a daughter named Maryann, born November 27, 1824.

  • Emily Sprinkle (seen spelled as Ammaly) married John Radford, a founding trustee of Mars Hill College.

  • Martha Patsy Sprinkle did not marry a Bill Solesby. Apparently lists are confusing William Sprinkle's daughter Martha Patsy who married Tatom Buckner for his sister, Amelia "Milly" Sprinkle's daughter, Martha Sprinkle who married John Solesby.

  • Find A Grave websites: I am requesting editorial privileges for Sprinkle families for most in our area. Many thanks to the volunteers who uploaded obituaries and photos. I've been contacting contributors who provided inaccurate info and headstone photos. When one person makes an error in the FaG database, the problems just multiply. Please take the time to verify the information.

  • Local Heritage Books: There are beautifully written articles regarding several Sprinkle related families. Please be aware there are numerous errors in names, dates, marriages, lineage and civil war military service records listed in the articles. I have spent a vast amount of time, money and research reviewing archived documents to decipher correct information and have shared these findings with the authors of the articles. Unfortunately, the discrepancies are published and now assumed to be factual.

  • Genealogy Society Booklets: Please be aware that there are numerous errors in local family heritage booklets. The info was collected years ago when information was just passed down through families. They did not see the need to collect birth & death certificates or visit cemeteries to see if their info was accurate. Please do everyone a favor and not copy the booklets and just take it for granted you have collected correct information. They are good starting points. When errors are copied from these resources without an effort made to verify the information, these inaccuracies are passed on to our next generation or republished and just taken for granted to be factual. I have taken a lot of time and money to review the information and make the necessary corrections.
Sure is a challenge to convince interested researchers that "it just ain't so". *smile



. . . Tidbits about me . . .

  • My name is Ellen Feldman. I grew up in Mars Hill, Madison Co., NC. My mother is a Sprinkle from Madison Co., NC. My academics include an undergraduate degree in Education and advanced degree accreditation's in the fields of Counseling and Education. My professional career includes teaching public school, program and center director in two Army Recreation Centers in Germany and an Army Continuing Education System education specialist - counselor. I lived several years in Germany and Army military posts in the US. After many years of traveling and working for the government, I set "roots" in a lovely rural area in south-central Pennsylvania.

  • I correspond (phone, "snail-mail" and email) with many people throughout the US who are related to our ancestors. I probably have mailed a hundred letters and cards to introduce myself to people who are related to our Sprinkle and related families. I visit Register of Deeds offices to research and verify data. I visit areas where our ancestors lived and worshipped and when possible, photograph home places, churches, cemeteries & headstone inscriptions. I visit local libraries to research archived obituaries and articles. I own 40+ Madison and Buncombe County, NC heritage & resource books to cross-reference and verify my research. I subscribe to local newspapers and save articles, family and area photographs, birth, engagement, wedding and anniversary announcements and have over 1000 obituaries and over 500 photos and clippings. I subscribe to numerous Internet genealogy-based websites. I serve as a primary resource for Sprinkle heritage with local genealogy societies. My database will not be uploaded to the Ancestry website.   



Thank You

I would like to take a moment and express a heartfelt thank you again to all my family, friends & new acquaintances who keep in touch to share discoveries & updates in their families.

It is so kind of you to let me know about the new arrivals in the family (births / weddings) and passing of loved ones.

I sincerely appreciate your kindness and generosity in sharing family records & photographs, school pictures, copies of certificates & obituaries, photos of cemeteries & headstones, Bible entries and stories that have been passed down through the generations. These are filled with family knowledge, "lore" and lots of love. I am always delighted when friends share these precious treasures!

God Bless!

Ellen Feldman

Historian, Sprinkle & Related Families of WNC


A family tree can wither if nobody tends it's roots


 Copyright EW ©January 2016

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