Sarah N. Love
Likely the Daughter of James and Polly Tucker Love

Born 1 Jun 1821 in Cabarrus County, Sarah “Sally” N. Love is the twin sister of Hartwell Spain Love. It has always been believed that Sarah and others were the children of elder James Love of Cabarrus County and a second and much younger wife named Ester Belle Carriker. However, new information leads us to believe this just may be in error. Sarah and her known siblings may be the children of another James Love who married 10 Aug 1813 Polly Tucker. This other James is possibly the son of elder James Love of Cabarrus County. The 1820 Cabarrus County census identifies the family of James Love as:

James Love, page 26
2m0-10, 1m26-45 // 1f16-26 // 10 slaves

As per two War of 1812 bounty claim applications, James’s wife Mary provides under oath two conflicting dates for his death. In one application she states that he died in 1822. In the other she states he died 1825. Court records are more supportive of James Love’s death in 1822 as in October 1824, George Tucker was appointed Guardian for “Darling, Pleasant, Hartwell S., and Sally N. Love.” George and John Reid posted a $4,000 security bond. In January 1825, George Tucker made a “Return of estate for minor heirs by guardian.” George Tucker married Esther Love in the same year that Sally’s father died. It has always been believed that as the second wife of elder James Love, Esther married second George Tucker. And it is said that her maiden name was Esther Belle Carriker. But could Esther be the sister of the younger James Love who married Polly Tucker? Following the death of James Love and the eventual remarriage of his widow Polly, could James’s sister and her husband have taken in the children to be raised as their own?

The 1830 Cabarrus County census indicates Sarah and her siblings were living in the home of George and Esther Tucker:

1830 Cabarrus County NC
George Tucker

1m5-10, 2m10-15 // 2f5-10 // 8 slaves
Dated 5 Dec 1837, Sarah N. Love married William A. Burkhead in Cabarrus County NC. Dated 28 Dec 1816, William A. Burckhead was born in the portion of Rowan County that later became Davidson County NC. He is the son of James Myers and Charity Muse Burkhead. His family was instrumental in the forming of Methodist churches in Carthage, Moore County NC. Charity is the daughter of James and Charity Braswell Muse. A Tory during the American Revolution, he led loyalist troops at the battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge. He then retreated to England where he resided in London. James Muse returned to the United States, where before his death in the 1780’s, settled in Cumberland County NC. In order to save a portion of the farm, Charity’s mother and older brother sold a slave as was bequeathed to the said Charity as per the will of her father James Muse. For years, she tried unsuccessfully to suit for her rightful claim to the estate. But in those days, a young single woman had little power within the legal authority ruling in what was known as “Feme Court”. But when she married, this all changed. During the 1820’s, James Burkhead and wife Charity of Montgomery County NC filed suit for what was believed her rightful claim to the estate of James Muse deceased. Used as evidence, the following Bible record is found among the many pages of documentation:
James Muse was Born January 2nd 1734

Charity Muse his wife was Born april the 5th 1739

James and Charity was married May the 27th 1755

Daniel Muse son of James and Charity his wife was born Feb the 11 1756

James Muse was born November the 27th 1757

Jesse Muse was born April the 26th 1759


Elisabeth Muse was born Feb 26th 1762

Charles Muse was born april 5th 1764

Mary Muse was born March 11th 1767

Thos. Muse was Born Jan 2nd 1769

Charity Muse was Born November 24th 1770

Lydia Muse was Born September 29th 1772

Shortly after their marriage in Cabarrus County, William and Sarah Love Burkhead removed to Davidson County NC. It appears that William and Sarah lived for a short while on fifty acres cut from his father’s lands. Returning to Cabarrus County, William A. Burkhead served in 1843 as commissioner for the laying off of a widow’s dower. Dated 25 Dec 1848, William A. Burkhead purchased three small tracts (17-297, Cabarrus County NC) from Michael Garmon. The transaction was in response of debt against said Garmon. Timothy Reed witnessed the deed. He is alos know from early deed records as Dr. William A. Burkhead. At one point, he became indebted and among the items listed at the ensuing sale were medical supplies.

Dated 3 May 1849, William A. Burkhead sold to Jesse D. Cox 152 ¾ acres (28-195, Cabarrus County, NC) situated on the east side of Rocky River. The tract adjoined Andrew Hartsell’s old corner, John Reid’s corner, the “Flat Branch,” Martin Randleman’s corner, and “a corner of the church lot then with a line or lines of the church lot.” This deed was not actually filed until on 1 Feb 1878, the court recorded the transaction declaring: “William A. Burkhead has long since left the state and is dead.” Dated 9 Oct 1869, Thomas J, Shinn, Martin Widenhouse and A. H. Smith as a committee of the Methodist Church sold to Jesse D. Cox, two acres being “all of that tract or parcel of land known as the Mount Moriah Church ground” lying on the east side of Rocky River adjoining Barba’s line and Jesse D. Cox lands (27-273, Cabarrus County NC). Finding no deed accounting for William A. Burkhead’s acquisition of this land, we have to ask whether or not it could have been a part of Sarah’s inheritance? Note that all her siblings owned land in the same area. And in the early 1930’s, James Adam Love wrote “The Rocky River Loves” in which he states:

It should hardly be inferred that he [James Love] was a licensed preacher, but was probably an exhorter, class leader or local preacher belonging to old Mt. Moriah Methodist Church that stood near his home . .

The site of old Grandsire Jimmie’s old home is still pointed out and less than 100 yards away is the old Love graveyard enclosed with a rough wall of piled field stone picked up from the surrounding land by the late Mr. Jesse Cox, late owner of the property . . .

Believing that William A. Burkhead did acquire the tract by way of the estate of James Love, a great deal can be gleaned from a title search of this tract of land. We learn that James Love once lived on this land. He and George and Esther Tucker are buried there. And back in 1806, James Love did in fact purchase land situated on “Flat Branch” that appears to be these same lands on which Old Mount Moriah was built. It is my belief the tract does ascend back to the estate of James Love.

The 1850 Cabarrus County census records William A. Burkhead living near Michael Garman and J. M. Randleman. Burkhead is identified as a physician. The birth locations for the children in the census also records Sarah and William’s short-term removal to William’s home in Davidson County NC. The record reads as follows:

1850 Cabarrus County

34 William A. Burkhead physician (Davidson County)
30 Sarah
12 James M. (Davidson County)
10 Mary F. (Davidson County)
07 Hessebel
03 Sarah J.
5/12 George S.

And shortly after the census was taken, and dated 24 Sep 1850, William Burkhead was found by the court to be indebted to many area residents. It was ordered that 116 acres (18-330, Cabarrus County NC) situated on Rocky River and Meadow Creek be sold. Jonathan M. Rendleman purchased the land as he was the highest bidder at the public auction. The courts also ordered that many household and farm items be sold. And "all my medicine and medical ware" was sold.

By 1850 Sarah’s older brother Darling left earlier for Pope County Arkansas. Knowing that whom we believe to be Sarah’s father died in the War of 1812, we have to ask if Darling inherited a bounty claim possibly received by his father? At some point in the mid 1850’s, many others from Stanly and Cabarrus Counties NC followed suit and moved to Arkansas. William and Sarah made the move along with Sarah’s brother Pleasant. The only one of these children that remained in North Carolina was Sarah’s twin brother Hartwell Spain Love. He removed to nearby Iredell County where he enlisted for and died in Service during the Civil War.


My first cousin Linda Love Krauter worked on our Love family history during the 1970’s. She met and corresponded with Gwen Burkhead Platt who descended from William A. and Sarah N. Love Burkhead. Gwen’s interest was primarily with the families who moved during the mid-1800’s from Stanly County NC to Pope County AR. As with many in the family of Sarah and her siblings, Gwen expressed doubts with how her ancestors had been recorded. Though she waivers in the fact of lacking the record needed to make the clear connection, I believe Gwen was on the right track. In one of her letters she says:

I’m a rather hard-nosed about this Love family research and my theories. This is because everyone has always used those “old letters” of Darlings grandchildren for a reference Point, and using them they have never progressed beyond “old grandsire Jimmie”. There were 16 years between the settling of Darling Love and Pleasant Love in Arkansas. And I still believe they (the last 4 children) had the same mother. I agree that the mother’s name was Mary ______; but I think it was Mary Tucker. I’d Love for you to prove me wrong. Because then we would be making some good headway in the research . . .

Gwen was able to obtain copies of photographs from distant Burkhead cousins. From a letter with two photographs attached, Gwen wrote and gave to Linda images of who she believed to be Sarah N. Love and her possible mother EstherBelle Carriker Love Tucker. The photos provided what seemed to be a wonderful visual comparison of Sarah and her mother. The likeness was compelling. But shortly after, Gwen learned she had been told wrong about the photos. Instead of being the images of Sarah and her mother, they were both of Sarah. One was taken when she was young and the other just before she died. Gwen wrote to Linda of her planned last chance trip to North Carolina where she hoped to unravel mysteries plaguing her Burkhead family history. Apparently on this trip, she located in Union County yet another photo believed by family to be that of EstherBelle Carriker Love Tucker. And again Gwen sent Linda this new photograph along with a written explanation. The photographs and letter does not provide the smoking gun we need. But they do leave us with visual imagery and a basis for the traditional story as been told so many times.


William A. Burkhead and family removed to Pope County Arkansas where they resided for a short duration before moving to Texas. Dated 27 Dec 1863, Wm. Alexander died near Lancaster, Dallas TX. Sally and family lived Ellis County TX where she died on 9 Aug 1901. Sally Love Burkhead is buried at Bell’s Chapel in Red Oak, Ellis County TX. The children of William Alexander and Sarah “Sally” N. Love Burkhead are:

A. James McDonald Burkhead

Born 12 Dec 1838, James M. Burkhead married 11 Jun 1867 Margaret Prudence Bell in Ellis County TX. He died 24 Feb 1913 and is buried in Waxahachie, Ellis County TX.

B. Mary Frances Burkhead

Born 14 Dec 1840, Mary F. Burkhead married 29 Dec 1860 Moses S. Rutherford. She died 29 Dec 1919 and is buried in Waxahachie, Ellis County TX.

C. Hessie Belle Burkhead

Born 24 Oct 1844, Hessie married 27 May 1864 James W. Rutherford. They lived on the family farm known as “Possum Trot”. Hessie died 3 Jun 1928 and is buried at the Rutherford family cemetery in Ellis County TX.

D. Nancy Burkhead

Born 28 Apr 1843, Nancy died 28 Apr 1843 in North Carolina.

E. Sarah “Jennie” Burkhead

Born 14 Oct 1847, Sarah married first 19 Mar 1865 David W. Butcher. She married second 21 May 1871 F. M. Fry. Sarah Burkhead married third 24 Dec 1879 Samuel W. Fry. She died 30 Jun1928 and is buried at Bell’s Chapel Cemetery, Waxahachie, Ellis County TX.

F. George S. Burkhead

Born 6 Jun 1850 in North Carolina, George married 5 Dec 1875 Louranie V. Pearson in Smith’s Creek, Ellis County TX. He left for Oregon ca. 1887. He died 24 Jan 1993 and is buried in Corvallis, Oregon.

G. D. L.(Darling Love?) Burkhead

Born 14 Apr 1852, D. L. Burkhead died 11 Aug 1918.

H. Elizabeth C. Burkhead

Born 5 May 1852 in Arkansas, Elizabeth died 27 Jan 1858 in Arkansas.

I. Rufus H. Burkhead

Born 5 Feb 1858, Rufus married 31 May 1893 in Russelville, Pope County AR. He married Ida Mae Hartsell, daughter of Andrew Jackson and Margaret E. Long Hartsell. Rufus died 30 Aug 1927 in Waxahachie, Ellis County TX.

J. William Whitson Burkhead

Born 27 Mar 1860 in Arkansas, Wm. W. Burkhead died 25 Aug 1869 in Red Oak, Ellis County TX.


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