Just after the formation of Cabarrus County NC, the signature of Thomas Love appears in a petition beside that of his father and two other brothers. Raised ca. 1795, the petition requested support in building public offices for the benefit of the new county. A signer likely had to be of legal age in order to sign such a petition. If Thomas Love were at least 21 years of age when he signed the petition, it would mean he was born prior to 1775.
In 1800, Thomas Love served as chain bearer for a Secretary of State Land Grant issued to his father James Love. Located in Montgomery County, this land was situated on the east side of the Rocky River and adjoined the Cabarrus County line. Not appearing in the 1800 census, Thomas Love could have been living in the home of his father. And then at some point around 1800, Thomas Love married Susannah Polk. From a Polk Family Bible we know she was born Jun 19 1788, the daughter of Charles and Pheobe Helms Polk.
Starting in 1801, Thomas Love began purchasing land a few miles down the Rocky River where it bends sharply to the east and passes just north of Polk Mountain. Known in Anson County deeds as “The Proprietors Land,” the description reflected an earlier time when the region was once part of a great tract of land owned by the associates of Governor Arthur Dobbs. Thomas Love’s lands were situated in both Anson and Mecklenburg Counties near their boundaries adjoining Cabarrus and Montgomery Counties to the north. In 1841, the same land fell into a newly created county known today as Union County NC. Below are the descriptions for Thomas Love’s acquisitions:
Deed (L-141, Anson NC) transation date 12 Jan 1801, recorded Oct 1807. Daniel Coburn sold 350 acres to Thomas Love of Anson County. Known as “the proprietor’s land,” this tract adjoined that belonging to Prior Talley.Henry Ross and possible brother-in-law John Hagler witnessed the transaction.Witnessed by his father and younger brother, this last deed above provides the best proof linking Thomas Love of Anson to his father James Love. Note that John Hagler married Thomas Love’s sister Mary. It makes sense that James Love would be involved as the land was transferred from his daughter’s husband’s family to his son. In 1806, Thomas Love appears in the Mecklenburg County Tax list as owning 130 acres. And later in 1810, the newly married couple is living in Mecklenburg County near Charles Polk, William Polk, and widow Freeman. His family is enumerated as: 1m26-45 // 1f10-, 1f26-45.
Deed (L-142, Anson NC) transaction date 12 Jan 1801, recorded Oct 1807. Frederick Taylor sold 200 acres to Thomas Love of Anson County. Also known by the name of “proprietors land,” this tract adjoined Daniel Coburn’s land. John Hagler and Daniel Coburn witnessed the transaction.
Deed (18-276, Mecklenburg NC) transaction date 26 Jul 1804 recorded Jul 1806. John Hagler of Montgomery County sold two adjacent tracts totaling 130 acres to Thomas Love of Anson County. Situated on the south side of Clear Creek, the land extended to near Goose Creek where it adjoined the lands belonging to Henry Long. William Potts and Frederick Taylor witnessed the transaction.
Deed (L-143, Anson NC) transaction date 22 Mar 1806, recorded Oct 1807. John Hagler of Cabarrus County sold to Thomas Love of Mecklenburg, 100 acres “lying in Anson County joining Mecklenburg County line.” The land adjoined that of “Jery Clounse.” John Hagler is either the husband or father of Thomas Love’s sister Mary. Thomas’s father “James Love Sen” and brother “Jonah Love” witnessed the transaction.
Dated 2 Nov 1810, Thomas Love of Mecklenburg sold to David Russell 130 acres situated on the south side of Clear Creek and on both sides of Goose Creek. John Hagler and Silas B. Dunn witnessed the transaction. This is the same land that Thomas purchased earlier from John Hagler. What really makes this interesting is that the deed was never filed in the courts of Mecklenburg County. This deed and several others were found in Tennessee in the David Green Russell family Bible.
In the 1815 Anson County Tax List, Thomas Love is listed as owning 500 acres valued at $400. At that time, he also owned two slaves. And the 1820 Anson County census enumerates Thomas Love as: 1m10-, 2m10-15, 1m45+ // 1f10-15, 1f45+. And then on 1 Nov 1820, Susannah Love’s father Charles Polk wrote his last will and testament. Probated May 1821 in Mecklenburg County, the will was witnessed by Robert Russell and Susannah Kiser. In the will, Charles Polk bequeathed 100 dollars to his daughter Susannah “Love.” In 1825, the heirs of Charles Polk sold two small tracts of land in Mecklenburg belonging to Charles Polk, deceased. Dated 27 Apr 1825, (Micheal Polk, John Brooks, Gideon Freeman, Charles Polk & m. Polk, George Polk, Thos. Love, Moses Shelby, and Phebe Polk Widow) sold 49 acres on Goose Creek to Hugh Rodgers of Mecklenburg. At the bottom of this deed, the signature of Susannah Love appears beside that of her husband Thomas. Written in language much like this deed, the second was for 31 acres.
Though Thomas Love is known to have been active in other areas, land records in Anson County begin to tell the story of a maturing family. But at the same time, the 1830 census raises new question? Let’s look first at the deeds:
Deed (X-502, Anson NC) transaction date 15 Apr 1830, recorded Apr 1831. For $200, Thomas Love of Anson sold a 350-acre tract lying on Grassy Creek to Leonard Green. The land adjoined that belonging to Pryor Talley. Isaac Tucker and Jordan Drake witnessed the transaction.
Deed (Y-169, Anson NC) transaction date 12 Apr 1830, recorded Apr 1832. For $100, John Love and Thomas Love of Anson sold 100 acres on Grassy Creek to William Honeycut. The land adjoined that of Thomas Love, Mr. Green and Mr. Anderson. Charles Taylor and Robertson Rogers witnessed the transaction.
Deed (Y-451, Anson NC) transaction date 8 Nov 1832, recorded Oct 1833. For $100, William Honeycut and Thomas Love sold 100 acres situated on Grassy Creek to Adam Long. Based on the metes and bounds, this is the same land that John and Thomas Love sold to William Honeycut. Thomas Long and Benj’n Pinyon witnessed the transaction.
In these deeds we assume that Thomas Love and his son John are selling land to William Honeycutt. The son of Dempsy and Rutha Huneycutt, we believe William married what appears to be Thomas Love’s daughter Mary Farley Love. Not long after John and Thomas Love sold the above land, court and deed records of Anson and Union Counties indicate that William Honeycutt found himself in financial difficulty. And from the last deed above, we see Thomas and William selling off the same lands William had just purchased. William died prior to 1850 leaving his widow and children enumerated living near other family members living on Grassy Creek in Union County. The above three deeds begin to tell the story of Mary Farley Love that in no other way would ever be known.
But, where Thomas Love was listed as over 45 years of age in 1820, in 1830, the only Thomas Love enumerated is a 20-30 year old Thomas Love living near Hardy Green and Needham Whitley in Montgomery County. And his wife was only 20-30 years of age. Is this Thomas Love who married Susannah Polk? Or could this be a younger person possibly the son of the older Thomas Love? And if so, where was Thomas and Susannah? The record for 1830 reads: 1m5-, 1m20-30 // 1f20-30. Does this not look like a young family starting out? And then in 1840 Thomas Love appears in Cabarrus County living along the Rocky River. Not far from him are listed Thomas J. Shinn and George Reed. And now Thomas’s age is back to normal. He is listed as: 2m5-, 1m60-70 // 1f10-15, 1f15-20.
Knowing that Thomas Love died without leaving a descriptive estate or other record naming any of his daughters, we are faced with a guessing game like that of trying to find a nut hidden under one of three moving shells. In narrowing down possibilities, the first step was to eliminate daughters who we know were the children of Thomas’s brother Jonah. And then looking at both family interaction and naming patterns, we began looking at marriages and other legal records. A person named Susannah Love must surely be a daughter named for her mother Susannah Polk Love. Susannah Love, the daughter, married first 1836 James L. Reed. After the death of James, Susannah married second David G. Sossoman in 1846.
Thomas Love had other daughters. Dated 10 Aug 1843, Michael Garmon Love married Phebe Love. Thomas P. Reed served as bondsman. We assume that Phebe is named for Thomas Love’s mother-in-law Phebe Helms Polk. As son of Jonah, we know that Michael Love married his first cousin. And then not long after, Thomas P. Reed married Matilda Harriet Love. This name is passed down and used numerous times by descendants of Thomas Love. So looking back to the 1840 census, the two young females my very well be Phebe and Matilda. But who are the very young boys living with Thomas Love?
In 1849, Jonah Love and wife Mary sold two acres (2-255, Stanly NC) situated on Rock Hole Creek and “beside the Cheraw Road”. Located in newly formed Stanly County, and for one cent, Jonah and his wife deeded the land to Duncan Tucker, Solomon Hartsell, George Reed, T. P. Reed, Thomas Love, Sr. Henry Reed, and Jonathan Hartsell who were trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. The deed reads:
“…for the use of the members of the M. E. Church South and in further trust and confidence that they shall at all times for ever here after permit such ministries and preachers belonging to sd. Church south or shall be sent by the annual conference to preach & expound God’s Holy word therin.”Early in life, Thomas Love must have been held in high esteem as in 1808 he served as trustee and received lands for the benefit of Bethel Church in now Midland NC. And now late in life, he appears again as trustee receiving lands from his brother for the founding of Love’s Chapel Methodist Church. Listed with Thomas is George Reed, his niece’s husband. And T. P. Reed is Thomas P. Reed, who was both son-in-law and namesake nephew. Thomas P. Reed is the son of Conrad and Thomas Love's sister Martha Love Reed. At the time of this deed,Thomas P. Reed had married Thomas Love’s daughter Martha Matilda Love. Thomas and Martha Reed would soon leave out for Arkansas.
From the deed above we see that Love’s Chapel was located at the time on Old Cheraw Road. From land records in the mid 1790’s, we know as per a massive tract granted to Thomas Carson and others, that “Poulke Road” ran through the area from what was then Mecklenburg or Anson County. On the plat below, you can see Island Creek. Unidentified and located to the west is Rock Hole Creek. And Polk Road runs from the southwest corner towards the northeast. Well this is pretty neat to me in that Love’s Chapel is located at the corner of Polk Ford Road and Love’s Chapel Road. Love’s Chapel Road must have once been the Cheraw Road. And now running south beyond the town of Stanfield, Love’s Chapel Road turns into Love Mill Road. Thomas Love’s son Charles Cannon owned and operated a mill near the crossing at Rocky River.
The receipt of the above gift deed is the last time Thomas Love is alive and appearing in record. Indicated he had likely died, he is not mentioned in the 1850 census. And clearly marking the death of Thomas Love, the following is found in the February 1850 Stanly County Pleas and Quarters Session minutes:
D. G. Sossamon appointed administrator of the estate of Thomas Love, decd, bond of $200, Michael G. Love and L. A. Hunnycutt, securities.
The naming of Michael G. Love and David G. Sossamon support what we believe to be true concerning the marriages of Thomas Love’s daughters. But how about L. A. Honeycutt? Does he somehow relate to the family? History does not positively record where Thomas Love is buried. As passed down through the writings of James Adam Love in his Rocky River Love Family, it is believed Thomas Love is buried across Rocky River at an old family cemetery with his wife Susannah Polk Love.
Loose Ends . . .
After accounting for all of Jonah’s children, and then after recounting those whom we believe to be children of Jonah’s brother Thomas, there remain a few souls who have not been linked. First, going back through the census, remember that Thomas Love appeared in the 1820 and 1840 census. But in 1830, the census of Montgomery County enumerated a Thomas Love 20 – 30 years old with wife and young son. Though not appearing in deed or any other record, my instincts scream out that this might be a namesake son of elder Thomas Love. Since there are no further records for this younger Thomas, we have to ask: did he die? . . . or did he remove from the state? Note that in 1849, when Love’s Chapel was founded, one of the trustees was named “Thomas Love Senr.” If this is elder Thomas Love, then there had to be a Thoms Love Junior. Who was he?
Tradition strongly holds that Henderson Love was born ca. 1824, the son of the older Thomas Love. But could it be that he was instead the son of the younger Thomas Love above?
Another family of interest appears in the 1850 Stanly County census as: 40 Martha Love, 12 John, 10 Jane and 7 Thomas. Having a son named Thomas, we at first wondered if this was a second wife of old Thomas Love? But the 1840 census does not support that thinking. Could this be the widow of the younger Thomas Love enumerated in 1830? If so, it would seem she would be enumerated in 1850 with other children born in the 1830’s? She could also be the widow of an unknown son of Thomas Love. But looking back through the 1840’s court mintues for Stanly, Cabarrus and Union Counties, there is no evidence in support of this thinking. And lastly, she could be an unwed daughter of Thomas Love who had children but never married. Martha Love was truly the head of her household. Requesting the remains of her deceased son, she states that there was no living father. And then in 1880, Martha Love is enumerated as widowed. She is buried at Love’s grove beside her daughter Martha Jane and her husband Jonah F. Little. Jonah is the son of Jacob W. and Margaret Love Little. And Margaret is the daughter of Jonah and Mary Garmon Love.
And living in Union County from the mid 1860’s through the 1880’s, a John J. Love served with others in the civil war. In 1870, he was enumerated as 53 years of age with family and living beside what appears to be the family of his son Adam Love. And Adam’s brother Joseph Henry Love named a son Jonah T. Love.
And lastly, a man named John C. Love served with John J. and others in the 42nd Reg. NC. I have found but one record for this person in Stanly County. In 1868 a court case was dropped as “John C. Love” was not to be found. But looking at his combined military record, we know John C. Love went to the enemy at Bermuda 100 in Virginia. The last entry in his files states he was “sent to Philadelphia PA.” Why? And then in the 1870’s, a John C. Love of Philadelphia PA purchased large tracts of land in Cabarrus County including what was then known as Linker Mine. If this is the same person as he who served in the civil war, then what a wonderful story it would make!
The children of Thomas and Susannah Polk Love are:
A. Susannah Love married first James L. Reed and married second David Sossomon.
B. Charles Cannon “C. C.” Love Charles C. Love married first Barbara Long and married second Elizabeth I. Kiker
C. John W. Love married Matilda Rushing
D. Mary Farley Love married William Honeycutt.
E. Henderson Love married Elizabeth Taylor
F. Margaret Matilda Love married Thomas P. Reed and removed to Pope County, Arkansas.
G. Phoebe F. Love married Michael Garmon Love.
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