Mystery Catherine (or is it Martha) Love
Daughter of James Love, Jr.?

The interpretation of records for this person (or persons) brings rise to yet another real mystery within our family story. The existence of three people named Martha greatly complicates the scope of discussion. Not knowing where to begin, I guess let’s start by looking quickly at the name Martha.

Dated 19 Apr 1805, Evan Howell went to the courthouse and filed a bond for marriage to Martha Love. Evan’s brother Eli served as bondsman. Several years earlier, dated 12 Feb 1801, we know for sure that Evan’s brother Ely married Nancy Love. Named for her Aunt Nancy Love Clayton, she is likely the daughter of James Love. So here we have one Howell marrying a Love girl and later his brother filing to marry what appears to be a sister. But in the very same year, dated 9 Nov 1805, Henry Reed filed a bond for his marriage to “Patsey” Love. And we know that Patsey is a nickname for Martha. Jonah Love signed this marriage bond indicating he intended to serve as bondsman. A known son of James and Mary Ingram Love, this potential for familial relation is undeniable. And finally, Conrad Reed, discoverer of gold, is said to have married ca. 1805 to “Martha Love.” Though no marriage bond can be found for Conrad and Martha, valuable information on them is verified in other forms including a biographical sketch pertaining to their son Thomas P. Reed. Reflecting the Love family heritage, Martha who married Conrad had children named “James L.” Reed, “Ingram” Reed, “Nancy” Reed Cagle, and “Thomas” P. Reed. So in the same year, history records two Reed brothers and two Howell brothers involved in marriages to “Martha [Patsy] Love.”

Where to go from here . . . From all sources online, Evan Howell above married first Martha Love. In 1808, he sold two lots (7-261&262, Cabarrus County NC) in the county seat of Concord. Filed July 1810, the transaction was witnessed by Jonah and Mary I. Love. Then ca. 1810, all accounts in Howell histories indicate Evan married Mary Elliott in Cabarrus County. In no research do we find anything more about Martha. Did she die? Evan and Martha could have filed bond but later decided not to go through with marriage. And then did she marry one of the other persons? This would open the way for the marriage bonds reflecting the two other ladies by the name of Martha. But if that were the case, then why in 1810 did Jonah and wife witness the deed for Evan Howell? The plausibility of this scenario can equally be cast in the direction of Conrad or Henry Reed. Another possibility would be that the number of ladies named Martha could be the results of the death of unknown male Love men. We could be seeing the results of a second marriage. Therefore, what appears to be a potential daughter of James Love may very well be a daughter-in-law. Finding no other Love men in Cabarus County living along Rocky River, how else can we even begin to reconcile these people?


This page is actually dedicated to Martha Love who married 9 Nov 1805 Henry Reed. And in all fairness, though Jonah Love signed the bond, we must ask if the wedding actually occurred? In 1810, Henry Reed is enumerated in Cabarrus County living near other family members along Rocky River. He and wife are listed without children. In 1811, John Reed Sr sold to son Henry Reed, 200 acres (10-30, Cabarrus County NC) on the west side of the river where said Henry “now lives.” This land adjoined the Charleston Road. William Craton witnessed the transaction. In January of 1812, Henry Reed was appointed overseer of the Fayetteville Road from the crossing of the Dutch Road to the Montgomery County line. And then dated 10 Aug 1819, John Kisor sold to Henry Reed 210 acres (9-362, Cabarrus County NC) situated on the east side of Rocky River near the Montgomery County line. Wm. Craton and David Kisor witnessed the transaction. The 1820 Cabarrus County census again enumerates Henry without children. This time he is enumerated twice. It appears he had homes both on the east and west side of the river.

Henry Reed died in 1827. Without any living children, his estate naturally fell to the hands of his parents and siblings. In an agreement not indexed in the deed book, on page 440 of Book 10, his father John Reed released all right to Henry’s estate:

State of N Carolina
Cabarrus County

Know all men by these presents that I John Reed Senr. of the county & State afours’d for & in consideration of the Natural love & affection & of the sum of ten dollars to me in hand paid the rec't whereof I do hereby acknowledge hath given granted Bargained & Sold & doth by these presents give grant bargain & Sell unto my children now living (viz:) Conrad Reed, George Reed, John Reed, Fanny Creaton wife of Wm. Creaton, Elizabeth Motley wife of Rob't Motley, Katherine Hartsel wife of Andrew Hartsel, Polly Kiser wife of Moses Kiser & Patsy Barnhardt wife of Geo. Barnhardt all right title & Interest to any property or money or claim which is or may be vested in me as the next of kin of my Dec'd son Henry Reed & also my right or claim which I may have or heis at law of the said Henry - In Testimony whereof I have here unto set my hand & affixed my seal A. D. 1827 this 15th of October.

W. J. Alexander

John (x) Reed

In October 1829, the court ordered M. P. Archibald and Seneca Turner to act in committee to work with the Administrator in settling the estate of Henry Reed, dec’d. In January 1830 they returned to the heirs a settlement of $1916.99. And then the 1830 census records Henry’s widow as “Catherine Reed.” She is enumerated as head of household, 40-50 years of age, and with one other female of age 20- 30 years of age. She is living beside John and William Petray. Note that by this time, John Petray had married another Martha Love, the daughter of Jonah Love. Dated 3 Nov 1831, George Barringer filed a bond for his marriage to “Catherine” Reed. Wm. Allen was bondsman and James G. Spears served as witness. Dated 1 Jan 1844, George Barringer and wife Catherine sold to John Green 96 acres (18-9, Cabarrus County NC). This was “that tract and parcel of land which was surveyed to the said Catherine Barringer as her dower for life which she is entitled to by her former husband Henry Reed dec’d as the law directs in such cases.” The land was situated on Rocky River. Witnessed by Henry Barringer and John Faggert, this transaction was filed in 1846 after the death of Catherine’s second husband. Note that John Petray purchased land on Rocky River from John Faggert.

Without doubt, we know from the above that Catherine married George Barringer. And we know that this very same person was once the wife of Henry Reed. We also know all were married and that Henry died, leaving a widow named Catherine. But knowing of the three people named Martha Love, and that in 1805 Henry Reed filed a bond for marriage to one of them, we must ask if Catherine of this situation is the same person as Martha who married Henry. Martha could have died, leaving Henry to marry second to a Catherine before he passed on. Not yet finding the answer to this puzzle, let’s push ahead with the life record of Catherine ________ Reed Barringer.

Born 28 Sep 1777, George M. Barringer was the son of John Barringer. Catherine was George’s fourth wife. They had no children. George Barringer died 25 Oct 1844 and is buried at St. John’s Lutheran Church. In October 1845, Catherine Barringer was ordered by the Cabarrus County court to pay “single tax for the year 1844.” In 1850 she is enumerated as 69 years of age. Looking at the census, the entry for place of birth is smeared. The writing may indicate she was born in Virginia. Appearing among several families of Boger, Catherine is enumerated as head of household. Living with her is the family of 36 year-old Nicholas Ridenhour.

Catherine died prior to 29 Oct 1864. At that time, a commission settled and recorded in deed “the lands of which George Barringer late of Said county died seized and possesses of which was endowed to Catherine Barringer dec’d widow and relict of the said George Barringer dec’d” (21-361, Cabarrus County NC). Lots were drawn and the heirs as follows received shares of the estate. They are Crissy Cress, John Barringer, Amy S. Cress, Caroline Boger, and Mary Ann Cress heirs. At this time I have been able to locate where Catherine is buried.

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