I could not have written the following without the help of Hagler family historians
John B. Hagler of Raleigh NC and Travis Jackson Hagler of Huntsville AL.
John B. Hagler spends a great deal of time at NC Archives and has kept my thinking straight in separating out the numerous family members named John Hagler. His knowledge of traditional history is keen and he is able to cut through a story that at times seems “clear as mud.” Travis “Jack” Hagler has compiled research and written volumes on the family. His book “Trail of the Haglers” is a must for all Hagler family members. Jack’s work has given me a roadmap from which I have been able to navigate this family tree. The efforts of both men and their willingness to share are greatly appreciated.
Named for her mother, Mary Love was likely born ca. 1765 in Brunswick County, Virginia. Her family migrated through Charlotte and Halifax counties VA, before removing to North Carolina. They lived in Wilkes and Surry Counties before eventually settling ca. 1792 along the Rocky River in northeast Mecklenburg County. Within a year of moving to Mecklenburg, the land where the Love family lived was set off to form Cabarrus County.
Dated 21 Apr 1795, “Polly” Love and John Hagler registered a marriage bond just to the north in Rowan County. John Hagler and Mary’s brother Thomas Love cosigned the bond. For some unknown reason, nine days later, John Hagler and “Mary” Love again registered a bond for marriage. This time in Cabarrus County, John Hagler and Daniel Little cosigned the bond. William Polk witnessed the documentation. Since ca. 1794 a petition arose out of Cabarrus for the construction of public buildings, it is possible John Hagler believed the newly formed Cabarrus County did not yet have the formal infrastructure to process marriage bonds. Learning of his error, John was possibly required to post bond in the county where the marriage would take place.
Known early as “John Junior,” Mary’s husband represents the third consecutive generation to be given the name John. His father was known as John Sr. or “Cripple John.” However, this John Sr. was the son of yet another John Hagler who died as per a will written in 1771 Mecklenburg County. Our John Junior (III) is the son of Catherine Seitz and Cripple John Hagler. The Hagler family was of German descent and likely founding members of Cold Water German Reformed Church. They indeed lived along the Rocky River at Hagler’s Ford near the mouth of Cold Water Creek.
Looking at the marriage bonds, there is a hint of things to be. William Polk witnessed the marriage of John Hagler and Mary Love. Relating directly to President James K. Polk, William and others of his family lived south of Cabarrus County. The Rocky River flows past Hagler’s Ford southward and beyond the lands settled by James Love. Striking the hilly terrain rising up to what is known as “Polk’s Mountain” in then Anson County, the river bends due east making a beeline to the Great Pee Dee River. Along this easterly run of Rocky River, the waters themselves form the boundary between Montgomery County to the north and Anson to the south. And Mecklenburg County lies to the west of Anson. Ca. 1841, part of Anson and Mecklenburg were taken to form Union County. In 1800 John Hagler and wife Mary lived in Mecklenburg near this juncture of four counties.
As follows, with the assistance of friend William Polk, John Hagler first began acquiring land in Mecklenburg County:
Deed (15-99, Mecklenburg County NC) 17 Jul 1793, filed Jul 1795. Alexander Allen, late sheriff of Mecklenburg to John Hagler of Cabarrus. This was 30 acres purchased by William Polk as highest bidder at a tax sale. He assigned the land over to John Hagler. Situated on Goose Creek, the tract adjoined lands of Henry Long and Polk. Paul _________ and John Thomas witnessed the transaction.Beginning with the first of the above deeds, note that this transaction took place in the same week that the said Polk and Hagler filed bond for John’s marriage to Mary Love. Was the assignment of the deed a marriage gift? And as for the other two deeds, it is easy to see that these tracts were located in the major bend of the Rocky River forming the boundaries of old Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Anson, and Montgomery Counties. Clear Creek rises as branches in Cabarrus and Mecklenburg Counties. Converging along the county line, the creek flows east until emptying in the great bend in the Rocky River. And note that Allen Freeman is the seller for both pieces of land. He is likely the father or brother of Claiborne Freeman who may have married Patience Love, the sister of Mary and another daughter of James Love, Junior.
Deed (15-116, Mecklenburg County NC) 26 Apr 1795, filed Oct 1795. Allen Freeman of Mecklenburg sold 100 on the south side of Clear Creek to John Hagler. Charles Polk and Joseph __________ witnessed the trasaction.
Deed (15-252, Mecklenburg County NC) 9 Nov 1796, filed Jan 1797. Allen Freeman Senr sold 181 ½ acres to John Hagler. Situated on the south side of the mouth of Clear Creek, the land adjoined that owned by Jeremiah Clontz. B. ________ and Jeremiah (x) Clonch witnessed the transaction.
As outlined above, the first three land transactions for John Hagler appear in the annals of Mecklenburg. The next two records occur a few years later and fall within the legal jurisdiction of Anson County. John Hagler’s brother Phillip moved to the same area, and as his son John reached majority, records for him may be confused as attributable to our John who married Mary Love. With these concerns aired up front, let’s look at a few of the more promising deeds for our John Hagler filed in Anson County:
Deed (H2-90, Anson County NC) 13 Jan 1801, filed Jan 1801. John Wright Jur. acting as attorney for William Johnson sold 100 acres to John Hagler. The land was situated on the county line and adjoined the lands of Jeremiah Clontz. James Nowell and Neavil Bennett witnessed the transaction. Also note that John Thomas who served as witness in an earlier deed also purchased land from William Johnson. William Johnson was a banker, developer who lived in Fayetteville.From these deeds, although a bit farther east in Anson County, we see first that John Hagler continued to purchase land in the same general area. As for the second deed, we know that James Love Junior owned land in then Montgomery County adjoining that belonging to Phillip Frederick. And we believe Mary Love Hagler’s sister Patience married Claiborne Freeman who died by 1800. In the estate of Claiborne Freeman as settled by James Love, she is first known as Patience Freeman and then as Patience Taylor. Are we seeing Patience’s husband’s family in this record?
Deed (LM-167, Anson County NC) 27 Jul 1804, filed Oct. 1807. James Mullis of Anson County sold 100 acres to John Hagler of Montgomery County. Situated on both sides of Grassy Branch, that creek is a bit further down the river. And yet, traditional lore names “Thomas Love of Grassy Creek.” Thomas Love and Anto Taylor witnessed the transaction.
Deed (LM-237, Anson County NC) 12 Jan 1808, filed Jan 1808. John Frederick of Montgomery County sold 150 acres to John Hagler Junr. of Cabarrus County. Situated on the west side of Haystack Branch, the land adjoined that once owned by John’s father Phillip Frederick, deceased. Jas. Little and I. R. Black witnessed the transaction.
The only surviving tax list in Anson County for this time period lists John Hagler as owning 800 acres valued at 700 dollars for the year 1815. Also listed are brothers Peter Hagler as 560 acres and Phillip with 230 acres. From the Carolina Observer, published in early Fayetteville NC, several years of Anson CountySheriff’s tax sales were advertised. From the 8 May 1823 edition of the paper, a John Hagler is listed as owing taxes on 290 acres on Crooked Creek. Also listed is Peter Hagler who owed for 760 acres on Rocky River. Note the sale was for taxes not collected for the year 1821. Knowing Peter’s son lived in that area and massed a large amount of land before moving to Alabama, this later record likely represents him. But as for the 1815 tax record, we are not certain as to whom it should be attributed. Known conveyances of John Hagler’s lands are as follows.
Dated 26 Jul 1804, and recorded Jul 1806, John Hagler of Montgomery County sold two adjoining tracts (18-276, Mecklenburg) to his brother-in-law Thomas Love of Anson County. Situated on the south side of Clear Creek, the first tract reflects the metes and bounds of an earlier purchase of 100 acres (15-116, Mecklenburg County NC) made of Allen Freeman. The second tract of 30 acres (15-99, Mecklenburg County NC) had been assigned by to John Hagler by William Polk in 1795. William Potts (or Polk) and Frederick Taylor witnessed this conveyance. Dated 22 Mar 1806 and recorded Oct. 1807, John Hagler of now Cabarrus County again sold 100 acres (L-143, Anson NC) to Thomas Love of now Mecklenburg County. Lying on the Anson - Mecklenburg County line, the land adjoined that owned by “Jery Clounse.” Thomas’s father “James Love Ser.” and brother “Jonah Love” witnessed the transactions. Notice how both John Hagler and Thomas Love are listed in different counties as earlier defined in both deeds and census readings. This was a time of great change, as James Love had just become partner in the lucrative Reed gold mine. Situated on the Montgomery – Cabarrus line not far below John Hagler’s father’s land, I feel sure all warm bodies were hard at work in search of new veins of gold. And also during this time, John Hagler’s father was about to write his last will and testament likely penned by James Love.
Selling his land on the Mecklenburg/Cabarrus County lines, John Hagler then purchased several tracts in Anson County. But dated 16 Mar 1808, being only a few months after he purchased the lands, John Hagler of then Anson County sold two tracts (V-339, Anson County NC) to James Little of Montgomery County. Note the conveyance was not filed until Jul 1826. Situated on Haystack Branch and the Wateree Branch, the first piece of land adjoined Phillip Frederick’s old 70 acre tract. The second piece was Phillip Frederick’s old thirty acres tract. In all, the combined lands in this transaction amounted to 150 acres. Daniel Little and John Taylor witnessed the transaction.
Dated 4 Oct 1808, the last will and testament of John Hagler, Senior was written. Being the father of Mary Love Hagler’s husband, it is interesting that the will was written near the same time that Mary’s husband sold his lands on the Cabarrus / Mecklenburg County line. James Love and Joseph Howell witnessed the will. Looking closely at the handwriting, the will appears to have been written by James Love. Both James Love and Joseph Howell had vested interest in the will as their daughters married into the Hagler family. And though son “John Hagler Junior” is named Co-Executor with Jacob Long, the same John Hagler Junior does not receive a share of the estate. Also, the 1811 loose estate record does not indicate that John Junior protested the writing of the will. It is at first glance believed that as an older son, John Junior had already received all that his father had to offer him. And yet, there are no surviving deeds in which John Hagler Senior sold or ever gave land to his son John Junior. Keeping this in mind, and the fact that transactions this early were not always filed in court, it is possible that John Hagler Junior could have owned land that once belonged to his father.
John B. Hagler told me numerous times about a court record in which John and Mary Love Hagler’s son James had made a deal with Mary’s father. Reading through the old court minutes, I could not find hide or hair of the old record. Recently Travis Jackson Hagler sent me a copy of working notes for this branch of the Hagler family. He too mentioned the court record, but referenced it to a deed book! Filed in Apr 1826 Cabarrus County, four short agreements (10-326, Cabarrus County NC) appear on one page of the deed book. Dated 29 Dec 1825, John Hagler deeded over to his son James all rights to the estate of John’s brother Jacob Hagler. On the same day, John again deeded to his son all rights to the estate of his deceased parents John and Catherine. And then at the same time, John and wife Mary Love Hagler deeded to their son, all of Mary’s rights to her father’s estate. And finally, an agreement between “James Love and his grandson James Hagler was backdated 22 Jan 1821 and recorded Apr 1826. The agreement reads:
“ . . . the Sd. Grandson James Hagler is by bargain to move his grandfather’s barn from where it now stands & build it again over the hallow by the crib & is to find covering & new logs if there is any a wanting to repair with -- The agreement of this bargain this that if the sd. James Hagler doth comply with the bargain that is now entered in the sd. Hagler is to have a certain piece of land lying on the west side of Rocky River joining Michael Garman Wm. Bost John Carathers Geo. Garman & Jos. Howel & if not complied with it will be of none effect & if complied with the sd. Jas. Hagler is to have the land more or less.So though Mary’s husband was not mentioned in his father’s will, he did receive untold residue of his parent’s estate . . . and the same is true for Mary. And James Love did acquire land in Cabarrus adjoining the people mentioned in the above agreement. And this was the last known act by James Love before he died early the following year.
From his obituary, we know that Mary Love Hagler’s father James Love Junior died 15 April 1821. We also know his final desires were voiced in the form of a last will and testament. Likely lost in a fire at the Cabarrus County Courthouse, the written instrument only survives in the few settlement remarks found within the minutes of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions. As follows, Darling Love and others filed suit against James Hagler in Jul of 1825. This was likely Darling and the other minor children traditionally believed to be the children of James Love by a second wife. Note below that D.F.C and M.J.A are the attorneys’ initials. The court found that James Hagler was not guilty for that which he was charged. And there is no coincidence in relating this case to the above series of agreements. Signing the agreements in December of 1825, both John and Mary were still alive at the time of the court case naming their son. So from the court case, we cannot imply that John and Mary had died. Instead, this is likely a point of contention concerning only James Hagler and the 1821 agreement with his grandfather.
Book A, Jul 1825,
Court of Pleas and Quarter Session Trial DocketD.F.C. Doe on the demise of Darling Love & Others Common Rule vs. Not Guilty M.J.A. Richard Roe and James Hagler
The census records do not perfectly record the life of John and Mary Hagler. While understanding the crude task of enumeration, contradictions do raise questions. Let’s take a look at the census records:
Jno. Hagler, Mecklenburg County
2m10-, 1m10-16, 1m26-45 // 1f1f10-16, 1f26-45
Listed next to Jeremiah Cluntz, Allin Freeman, Charles Polk Senr, and Phillip Hagler
Jno. Hagler, Anson County
2m10-, 2m10-16, 1m26-45 // 1f10-, 1f10-16, 1f16-26
John Hagler Sr., Anson County
1m10-, 1m10-16, 1m16-26, 1m45+ // 1f10-, 1f10-16, 1f45+
John Hagler Jr., Anson County
1m10-16, 1m16-26 // 3f10-, 1f26-45
John Hagler, Anson County
1m30-40, 1m80-90 // 1f5-10, 1f20-30, 1f60-70
John Hagler, Montgomery County
Living beside Ezekiel Brooks
2m5-, 1m5-10, 1m20-30 // 1f10-, 1f20-30
John Hagler, Montgomery County
Living near Pleasant Love
1m5-10, 2m10-15, 1m40-50 // 1f5-, 1f15-20, 1f50-60
John Hagler, Mecklenburg County
1m5-, 1m5-10, 1m40-50 // 1f30-40
We see that John and Mary first appear in 1800 Mecklenburg County where they likely lived on Clear Creek upon lands purchased of Allen Freeman. The remaining entries for our John Hagler (III) Junior are all in Anson County. John and Mary mature in age and the children grow and move on to create their own families. But in 1830, and being the last probable recording of John and Mary Hagler, John is listed as 80-90 years of age while what appears to be Mary is enumerated as 60- 70 years. That means Mary was born ca. 1760-1780 and John 1740-1750. This must be incorrect as John was too old in comparison to the other records. At any rate, John and Mary do not appear after 1830.
Recently encouragement by Helen Tucker Obermier led to a retracing of history written in 1935 by James Adam Love. His writings identified the location of Old Mount Moriah Church, James Love’s home place, and what he believed to be the old Love family cemetery. Situated near Reed Mine at another bend in Rocky River, the only graves known to be readable from the cemetery are those of George and Esther Tucker. Helen and I decided to visit the cemetery. Quickly locating the graves of George and Esther, we spread out in hopes of making a new find. We were amazed at the number of unmarked graves. While I took a lower route wading through briars along the edge of the cemetery, I heard Helen in a central row saying look ….look! look! Scrambling to see what she had found, we began scratching away at the roots and leaves where the writing on an 18 inch tall stone identified the resting place of Mary Love’s husband John Hagler. And just beside John’s resting place is an unmarked grave that must surely be that of his wife Mary. John’s grave reads as follows:
Dated 11 Jul 1835, John and Mary’s son James “M.” Hagler sold 150 acres (12-388, Cabarrus County NC) to John Sprinkle. John Sprinkle had already married Martha Hagler who was James M. Hagler’s sister. Situated “on the waters of Rocky River on the south side of same and north of the creek called Andersons Creek,” the land adjoined that owned by John White, Geo. Garman, and Joseph White. This appears to be the same lands James Hagler acquired by agreement with his Grandfather. Following the legal description of the tract, this deed from James M. Hagler further stipulates the exclusion and
“exception of Mary Haglers Dowry with the house she now lives in during her lifetime.”Filed July 1835, John J. Burkhead witnessed the transaction. From this valuable passage, we know that a “Mary Hagler” was alive in 1835. Whether passed down to Mary and her husband John by way of her father’s estate or via some court action related to the estate of her husband’s family, this record surely confirms the death of her husband John Hagler.
James Love amassed wealth as an early partner in Reed’s gold mine. And sadly, he did own slaves. He died in 1821 after writing a last will and testament that was probated in Cabarrus County. Though the courthouse burned and destroyed this valuable writing, later court and deed entries provide a glimpse as to the will. The following is entered into Deed Book 15, Page 199.
Know all men by these presents that I James Hagler of the county of Mecklenburg for & in consideration of the sum of one thousand dollars to me in hand by the said Mary Hagler and for the further consideration of quieting a Law Suit – I have bargained sold and delivered to the said Mary Hagler the following Negroes Peter, Rachael, Cynthia, Spencer, Daniel, Enoch, Westley, and Pleasant to have and to hold the said slaves & their increase during her life – and after her death the said slaves & their increase are to be equally divided among her children including myself – witness my hand and seal this 16th day of October 1843
Signed and sealed
Robert L. Archibald
James (X) Hagler
Marking the death of Mary Hagler, the division of slaves was recorded in 1848:
Cabarrus County Court October Session 1848
Division of the slaves of James Love, Dec’d.
July 24 1848 in pursuance of the 8th item of the
last will and testament of James Love, dec’d,
I George Tucker proceeded to divide the lot of Negroes
therin mentioned to wit:
Lot No. 1 boy Peter to James Hagler valued at ................. $530 Lot No. 2 girl Rachel to Thomas Hagler valued at .............. $550 Lot No. 3 girl Lucinder to Paul Hagler valued at............... $500 Lot No. 4 boy Pleasant to John Hagler valued at. .............. $600 Lot No. 5 boy Spencer to Polly Hagler .....but now Polly Garman valued at................... $600 Lot No. 6 boy Daniel to Charles Hagler valued at .............. $350 Lot No. 7 boy Enoch to Martha Hagler .....but now Martha Sprinkle valued at ................ $325 Lot No. 8 boy Wesley &girl Eunas to Elizabeth Hagler .......but now Elizabeth Hinson valued at ..............$400
George Tucker, Adm.
Settling the only known item of the will of James Love, this entry accomplishes a great deal. Not only do we know the names of the children of John and Mary Hagler, but we also know the married names for the girls. And as provided by my friend John B. Hagler, the following was found in the Union County Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions, July 1848 term. In this entry, it was ordered that letters of administration be issued to Charles Hagler upon the estate of Mary Hagler, dec`d. Charles gave bond in the sum of $100. Robert Simpson and C.C. Love were named as providing securities. Mary Hagler was listed with 4 black polls in the Union County tax lists from 1842 - 1846. In 1847 she is listed with 5 black polls. And then in 1848 there is no mention of Mary indicating she had died sometime in the year 1847 or early 1848. Later on 2 Dec 1848, the “Estate of Mary Hagler” was sold according to law. Appearing on page one of the account book for Union County, a listing of items and purchasers indicates Mary likely lived in Union County at the time of her death. Some of the named purchasers are: Henry Long Senr., John Sprinkle, John Hagler Senr, E. Hagler, Richard W. Tarlton, Nicholas Stegall, R. W. Pinsion, Paul Hagler, John Love, Margaret Freeman, Thomas Hagler, Robert Ramsey, and Jane M. Long.
So Mary owned dower lands near what is now Midland in Cabarrus County NC. She is also enumerated in tax lists of Union County as owning slaves. But we know from deed records that the children of John and Mary Love Hagler were spread out, living on lands in both Union and Cabarrus Counties. Even though she had holdings in both areas, we cannot say for sure where Mary lived out her life. But in looking at the grave of her husband John Hagler, I do believe that Mary rests there, in what we believe to be the Love family cemetery near Reed mine.
The children of John and Mary Love Hagler are:
John E. Hagler
James Merriman Hagler
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