Thomas Love was born ca. 1803 in Wilkes County NC. The son of John and Patsy James Love, he grew up on land along Hunting Creek first settled by his Grandfather James Love, Junior. Thomas is likely named for his father’s brother who removed to live in Anson/Cabarrus County NC. Dated 17 Jul 1827, Thomas married Caroline Johnson in Wilkes County. The Bondsman was Joseph Ray and R. Martin, Clerk, witnessed the marriage document. Thomas Love moved his family about seventy miles westward into then Ashe County. He entered Secretary of State land grant # 2539 on 1 Sep 1836. The warrant ordered for a survey to be made of 100 acres on Watauga River adjoining lands owned by Joel Dyars. Not surveyed until 27 Aug 1838, the plat and description further situates the tract as lying on Timms Mountain. John Mast and Andrew Bowers served as chain bearers. The land grant was formally issued 20 Dec 1838. In the 1840 Ashe County census, Thomas Love is enumerated as 2m10-, 1m10/16, 1m30-40 // 2f10-, 1f30/40. Other tracts entered by Thomas Love are as follows:
Thomas Love (Grant # 3164, Ashe County NC)In 1848, the southern portion of Ashe County and southwestern portion of Wilkes were cut to form Watauga County. Thomas Love’s land fell into the extreme western portion of the new county. One of the more scenic regions of our state, Watauga is filled with majestic mountains and broad green valleys. The topography combines the most rugged and yet peaceful terrain and serves to illustrate the awe of God’s creation. Protecting the Old North State from cold northerly winds, the mountains take the brunt of weather and provide the perfect place for snow skiing in the winter. The Watauga River puts on a spectacular show as its waters race west from the mountains into the State of Tennessee. Within ten miles of the state’s border, our Thomas Love made his home on a knob along the banks of the Watauga River.
Ent. 10 May 1844, Sur. 1 Oct 1844, Iss. 25 Nov 1844. Being 100 acres, the land was situated on Rush Branch. Beginning at Noel Johnson’s corner, the surveyed land adjoined that owned by Claiborn Cable. Note that the use of “Noel” runs through both the Love and Johnson families. Could he be a brother to Thomas’s wife Caroline? John C. and Claiborne Cable served as chain bearers for the survey. Looking for Noel Johnson and his land, I found two grants issued in his name. One of which was # 3847, issued 29 Nov 1848, for 39 acres situated on Cove Creek adjoining lands of Thomas Love, Amos Ward, and Leason Mast. Hiram Hix and Leason Mast served as chain bearers for the survey of that granted tract.
Thomas Love (Grant # 3428, Ashe County NC)
Ent. 10 Aug 1846, Sur. 6 Oct 1846, Iss. 7 Dec 1846. Though the warrant for survey was for 100 acres, the survey plat and shuck list the granted amount as 65 acres. The land was situated on the banks of the Watauga River, joining his own line and Cable’s corner. William Love and Noel Johnson served as chain bearers. Now we have Noel Johnson assisting his kinfolk. But we also see the name William Love appearing as chain bearer. Usually a friend or family member, the chain bearer carried the surveyor’s equipment and acted as witness to the landmarks used in identifying the granted tract. The law required the chain bearer to be at least 12 years of age. As will become clear from the 1850 census, Thomas Love’s son William was indeed of age by the time of this survey.
Our only concern with Watuaga is that it’s courthouse burned and so many needed records have been destroyed. Looking at the 1850 Watuaga County Census, our Love families appear as follows:
1850, Page 134, 397/401
46, Thomas Love, Farmer
19, William, Farmer
17, Wesley, Farmer
1850, Page 134, 398/402
21, James Love, Farmer
On 23 Dec 1848, the above James Love married Emeline Pennington in pre-Watauga Ashe County. Jonathan M. Smith served as Bondsman and G. M. Bingham witnessed the document. Later records combined with the 1860 census illuminate other children of Thomas and Catherine “Caroline” Love. Ca. 1855, James’s little brother Wesley married Irena, the younger sister of his own wife Emeline Pennington. Sister Elizabeth Love married ca. 1856 William Hartley. He is the son of Benjamin and Elizabeth Church Hartley. Brother William falls from the census in 1860. As we will see, William L. Love removed from the area only to return much later.
The Civil War came to the mountains and carried off the children to fight in the great cause. Elizabeth’s husband died in Charlottesville and she later married one of her husband’s old friends. Her brother James A. Love was wounded twice in war and never really recovered from the injuries. Barely of age to fight, his brother Thomas enlisted in 1863. So as with most others in the south, the Thomas Love family was hit hard by the Civil War. Returning home to the mountains, the sons reengaged their families and settled down to make a living off the land.
In the 1870 Watauga County census, 67 year old Thomas Love is listed with 58 year old wife “Caroline” and their son Joseph. Living nearby are the families of son James Love and daughter Martha Love Danner. The name Caroline and Catherine have been a point of confusion in linking the couple back to the Love family in Wilkes County. The 1827 Wilkes County marriage bond names her as Caroline Johnson, the early census records name her as Catherine, and later she is known again as Caroline. It appears the name of Thomas Love’s wife is Catherine Caroline Johnson Love.
Dated 23 Feb 1872, Thomas Love Senior gave a tract of land on Rush Creek (K-342, Watauga County NC) to his son William Love “whose residence is unknown.” The transaction was not filed until 28 Dec 1885. On 23 Feb 1874, Thomas Love Senior conveyed another gift deed of land (R-529, Watauga County NC) to his son James Love. Being thirty-five acres, the land was situated on the Watauga River. Thomas Love signed the deed with his mark Thos (x) Love. A. C. Farthing and J. M. Danner witnessed the transaction. Four years later, being on 11 Oct 1878, Thomas Love’s son John J. Love put up 187 acres, livestock and all that he owned (I-277, Watauga County NC) as surety in a civil case against his father-in-law, General H. Lundsford. Described as the William Roland land, the tract was situated on Watauga River and adjoined that owned by W. A. Harman, C. S. Farthing, and Fillmore Bingham. The court found the General guilty and John J. Love lost all to pay court costs. In Feb 1880, Thomas Love’s wife Caroline was highest bidder at the public auction where she purchased the same land (I-447, Watauga County NC). The fact that Caroline made the purchase in her own right may be a signal that the health of Thomas Love was quickly waning.
Dated 7 Mar 1893, Thomas Love gave ¼ acres (R-13, Watauga County NC) on Rush Creek to his son William Love. On the very same day, a last will and testament was prepared for and signed by Thomas Love. He named his daughter M. J. Danner, her husband John and their son Lloyd McNeal Danner. Probated 27 Aug 1894, A. C. Farthing, G. W. Cable, and J. Cook witnessed the will. Prominent in the loose estate papers, a petition was raised by the remaining heirs of Thomas Love, Senior. Believing their father wrote the will in a weakened state of mind, they sought their fare share. Of importance to this history, item one of the petition reads:
I. That Thomas Love Senior late of Watauga County in said state died [in said county] July the 4th 1894 leaving [him surviving] the following heirs at law and next of kin, James Love, William Love, Wesley Love, Thomas Love, John J. Love, Joseph Love, Elizabeth who intermarried with John New, and Sarah Barker only heirs of Sarah Dugger deceased who intermarried with Barker.Thomas Love is likely buried in the family cemetery across the road from where the family lived. Since his last will and testament does not mention his wife, and since there is no mention of her in the estate, it is believed Caroline died earlier. We can only imagine she lays at rest beside her husband in Love’s Cemetery. The children of Thomas and Catherine Caroline Johnson Love are:
Dated18 Sep 1861, and at age 27 years, James Love enlisted for service in CSA Co. E, 37th Reg. NC. He was wounded in the battle of second Manassas VA on 29 Aug 1862. He reported wounded or absent through November-December muster 1863. His younger brother Thomas enlisted in the same unit 1 Dec 1863. The two likely left home together to rejoin the service. On 23 May 1864 James Love was wounded in the right leg at Jericho Mills VA. Returning to duty in Sep 1864, James Love was accounted for through Feb 1865.
Returning from war, James settled back down in the community of Watauga Falls. Dated 23 Feb 1874, Thomas Love Senior filed a gift deed of land (R-529, Watauga County NC) to his son James Love. Being thirty-five acres, the land was situated on the Watauga River. Thomas Love signed the deed with his mark Thos (x) Love. A. C. Farthing and J. M. Danner witnessed the transaction.
On 28 Jun 1901, James Love applied for a soldier’s disability pension. Living in the Watauga Falls community, he listed his age as 73 years. Stating the nature of his disabilities, I quote the following information provided by James Love:
I have a ball in my left hip near the joint which I received while in battle at Mansassas Junction Va, also had one finger shot off and another very badly injured. I also have a serious damaged to [my] back done by a log mashing me while working at a breast work near Pettersburg Va, which entirely disabled me from doing any work. I was also shot through the calf of my right leg near Jericho Ford Va.Reading the words he spoke so long ago, I realize that military records never tell the complete story. But I can only imagine the pain James Love lived with throughout his life. From the same documentation, a doctor examined James Love and provided a graphic accounting confirming the injuries.
James A. Love died a few years later on 16 Mar 1904. He is buried at Love family Cemetery on the lands where they once lived. His wife Emeline died 19 Dec 1920. At her death, Emeline resided in the town of Villa, Watauga County NC. Her death certificate states she was buried in Laurel Creek Township. She is likely buried beside her husband at Love Cemetery.
The children of James A. and Emeline Pennington Love are:
A. Thomas Anderson Love Born 21 Jan 1854, Thomas A. Love married Lula F. born 1 Jan 1863. Thomas A. Love died 22 Dec 1927 and is buried at Newland Cemetery, Avery County NC. Lula died 10 Nov 1933 and is buried beside her husband. The children of Thomas Anderson and Lula F. Love are: a.) George Love b. Aug 1883; b.) Marrie Love b. Jun 1886; c.) Annie Love b. Dec 1887; d.) FLorence Love b. Mar 1890; e.) Roderick Love b. Feb 1896; McDuffy Love b. Mar 1898.
B. Jane Love b. 20 Apr 1857
C. James Edward Love b. 9 May 1859
D. Sarah Alzenia Love b. 23 Dec 1863, married A. G. Cook. The children of A. G. and Sarah A. Love Cook are: a.) Florence Cook, b.) Lula Cook b. 11 Sep 1880.
E. Margaret Love b. 7 Sep 1866
F. Julia C. Love b. 23 Apr 1868
G. Lillie Ann Love b. 8 Apr 1869 d. 29 Sep 1963 bur. Henson Chapel Methodist Cem., married 24 Nov 1886 Harvey Crawford Bingham
H. William Jackson Love24 Dec 1871.
I. Martha E. Love
J. Arreny Love
Later in the same decade, our William Love is listed in marriage records of Greene County as marrying Elizabeth Odom on 12 May 1857. Looking back to the 1850 Greene County census, Elizabeth is listed as 17 years of age, born in Tennessee and the daughter of Tilman and Amy Odom. In 1860, neither William Love nor Tilman Odom is found in the census records of Tennessee or North Carolina. Note that in 1860, a Dr. W. L. Love lived in Webster in Jackson County, but he is in no way our William Love. A year later, at age 31 years, William L. Love (our William) enlisted for war while “residing” in Jackson County NC. On 31 Aug 1861, he joined up with CSA Co. F, 29th Reg. NC. Dated 31 Aug 1861, William was hospitalized in Macon GA with gunshot wounds to the back of the leg. Furloughed 20 Aug 1864, he was later hospitalized for a wound on 11 Apr 1865 at Meridian MS. He surrendered at Citronella AL 4 May 1865 and was paroled 9 May 1865 at Meridian.
Somehow William removed to Jackson County where he enlisted for war. Not appearing in the 1860 census, he disappears from census record. Dated 23 Feb 1872, Thomas Love Senior gave a tract of land on Rush Creek (K-342, Watauga County NC) to his son William Love “whose residence is unknown.” The deed was not recorded until 28 Dec 1885….at Christmas time. And in 1893 being the same day his father wrote his last will and testament, William received another gift of ¼ acres (R-13, Watauga County NC) on Rush Creek. Not appearing in the census from 1860 and until 1900, and listed as “residences unknown,” there must be more to this story. William Love received the gift deed and then appeared as an heir in documents making up his father’s 1894 loose estate papers. In 1900, William and Elizabeth are back in Watauga County living on Laurel Creek. He is listed as being born in Oct 1828 and his wife Jul 1831. Living with them is one daughter Nancy Love, who is listed as being born Jun 1870. Also living in the county is his son Samuel Love.
Dated 1 Jul 1901, a 73 year old William L. Love came before the soldier’s pension board in Watauga County. At that time he was listed as living at Watauga Falls for at least the past twelve months. William L. Love stated he enlisted in CSA Co. F, 29th Reg. NC and served until being wounded in the hip in 1864-5 at Atlanta GA. Dated 3 Jul 1905, William’s wife Elizabeth M. Love came into the pension office to apply for a widow’s benefit. Residing in the Gordon Community, the 72-year old widow stated her husband died 11 Sep 1904. A portion of a petition found in the loose estate records of William Love reads as follows:
That William Love late of said County died interstate in said County on the __ day of August 1904 Leaving him surviving the following children [and widow] to wit: his widow Elizabeth Love Samuel Love Nancy Love Catherine Love who intermarried with Emery who died before the decease of said William Love and Tilda Love who intermarried with George Graham [Sarah Love who intermarried with Allen King] who are his only heirs at law and of [whom] all are of the full age of 21 yearsElizabeth Love died 19 May 1922 while living in Laurel Creek Township in Watauga County. From her death certificate, we know Elizabeth was about 83 years of age, born in Greenville TN, and was the daughter of Tilman Odom. The informant was son Samuel Love. Buried in “Cable Graveyard,” Elizabeth Love lies at rest beside her husband. The children of William L. and Elizabeth M. Odom Love are:
Wesley Love married second Anna J. sometime after the 1874 birth of Edward J. Love. Wesley appears in 1880 as living in Linville Township, Mitchell County NC.
After the death of William Hartley, John William New came to visit Elizabeth. A friend of William Hartley during the war, John New married Elizabeth Love Hartley before 1870. He and Elizabeth had four more children when at some point he left her and the children. It is said he wrote home a couple of times and stopped writing when he found out his mule named “Jack” had died. Affectionately known as “Granny New,” Elizabeth New is buried beside her parents at Love Cemetery. The children of John William and Elizabeth Love Hartley New are:
A. Mary New Married Elisha Glenn
B. Nancy New Married Mr. Clark and died in Oregon.
C. Ann New
D. William New
The children of John Mack and Martha Jane Love Danner are:
A. Thomas Wesley Danner Born 1869.
B. William G. Danner Born 30 Apr 1872.
C. Lloyd McNeal Danner Born 8 Jul 1875.
D. George B. Danner Born 2 May 1879.
E. H. H. Danner Enumerated in the 1880 Watauga County mortality census, H. H. Danner died after living 2 days after being born in May 1880.
Thomas J. Love’s older brothers enlisted and went off to war in 1861. His older brother James was wounded and returned home to recover. On 1 Dec 1863 James and Thomas Love enlisted together at Liberty Hill in CSA Co. E, 37th Reg. NC. The combined military record indicates Thomas Love resided in Catawba County at enlistment. Was he living there or was that a mistake? Thomas Love was captured at Petersburg Va on 2 Apr 1865 and confined at Point Lookout MD until being released on 28 Jun 1865. Thomas Love returned home where he and wife Omanda raised a daughter and son. Thomas Jefferson Love died 3 Mar 1934 and is buried at Adam’s Cemetery in Watauga County. Cecelia Omanda Hartley Love died two years later on 14 Sep 1936. The children of Thomas Jefferson and Cecelia Omanda Hartley Love are:
A. Martha Love
B. Francis Love Married Mary Presnell
Thomas Love's Will
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