My maternal ancestor is James Love, born in the early-mid 1700’s possibly in the area of Brunswick County VA. The son of James and Elizabeth Love, he did in fact live in Brunswick County prior to moving westward through the south side of Virginia before crossing the border into old Surry County, now Stokes County NC. He moved deeper into the foothills of Wilkes County NC where his son John served in his stead during the revolutionary war. John remained in Wilkes County as his father James and family moved east to Mecklenburg, now Cabarrus County NC. Our James Love, fondly known by us as Grandsire Jimmy, is well recorded in the annals of time. Though I’ve seen him listed as James Jr. and James Sr., his purported middle name Allison has never been recorded to my knowledge. That being said, where does the name come from and how did its use come to be?
All evidence goes back to information provided to my great uncle James Adam Love, son of John Ephraim and Frances Isabelle Hinson Love. The author of The Rocky River Love Family, Adam frequently read his story during the Love family reunion at Love’s Chapel UMC in Stanfield NC. I remember so many times my mother telling of him standing before the congregation reading from the history. Old Mump Love leaned forward with ear horn in hand listening carefully to every word said. Following the program, the gathering adjourned to the grounds where a great spread of food awaited. Just a little girl then, my mother remembers large barrels of ice tea and the pleasures of family and fellowship. It’s almost as if I were there.
James Adam Love died 6 Apr 1939 and is buried at Love’s Chapel. A letter from his collection was given to his sister (my Grandmother), Minnie Ann Love. It’s a correspondence Uncle Adam had received from a distant cousin in Pope County AR whose ancestors had left Stanly County back in the mid 1800’s. Mrs. Robert Bigham Henry wrote of her grandfather Darling Love and of her family’s rich history. From a visit to Helen Tucker Obermeier in Stanly County NC, I learned of the existence of Adam’s response to the letter written by Mrs. Henry. From a typed copy obtained from Myra Norwood, Helen allowed me to copy James Adam Love’s letter of reply. Written in August 1932, he announced success in what was the first ever Love Family Reunion. He writes of a day of reading and singing and confirms the spirited event just as has been passed down to me by my mother.
Listen up as this upcoming sentence is important. From family in Arkansas, we know Darling Love had a son James Allison Love whose daughter passed on that he, James Allison Love, was named for his grandfather. Court records here in NC opened the door, allowing this prevailing thought from Arkansas to be mistakenly associated with the life record of old Grandsire Jimmy. At that day and time it was believed against all likelihood that Darling Love was the son of old Grandsire Jimmy. Darling was born ca. 1815 and Grandsire Jimmy was born ca. 1745. Read the letters closely and you can sense the miscommunication in the correspondences between my great uncle and Ms. Henry from Arkansas.
Since the days of Adam Love, two discoveries offer new possibilities. Most recently found, DNA from descendants of a James Love born ca. 1764, who died ca. 1824 in Campbell County GA, matches that from descendants of our Grandsire Jimmy. And, a petition in support of constructing public buildings ca 1794 in the newly formed Cabarrus County names James Love Sr. and James Love Jr. More than likely, James Love, who died in Campbell County GA is “Jr,” being the son of Grandsire Jimmy. There’s no mention of Allison in records of either James Love Sr. or Jr.
During the War of 1812, a person named James Love served in a unit raised in Cabarrus County. This could not be old Grandsire Jimmy nor James Love who later died in GA. They‘re simply too old. Per the unit roster, Private James Love served under Captain Evan S. Wiley who served under Lt. Col. Richard Allison. Could this James Love be the father of Darling Love and could Darling have named a son for a leader of the unit in which his dad served? And when Darling Love’s granddaughter said that her father James Allison Love was named for his grandfather, could the namesake have been this private who served in the War of 1812? You bet, but what ever happened to this James Love?
Helen Tucker Obermeier introduced me to a record that few others had seen. Dated 3 Sep 1858, the 62 year-old “Mary Brooks” applied for bounty land she believed due her on behalf of military services rendered by her deceased husband James Love in the War of 1812. In the two-page affidavit, Mary states she and James Love married 10 Aug 1813. And “…her name before said marriage was Mary [Polly] Tucker.” James and Mary were married by Isaiah Spiers, Justice of Peace of Cabarrus County. Two years later James Love enlisted about 10 Aug 1815 in Concord, Cabarrus County NC. James Love served for fifteen days until being honorably discharged 2 Mar 1815 at Wadesboro in Anson County. The unit returned home due to ratification of peace with Great Britain. Mary states that her husband James Love “died on Rocky River [at his residence] on the 8th day of April 1825.” Mary Tucker Love married 16 Sep 1828 David Brooks in Montgomery County. They were married by John Little, Justice of the Peace. Mary goes on to state that said husband David Brooks died about 1 Aug 1842. G. H. Honneycutt and Jonah Love witnessed the affidavit.
More on this James Love can be found on my site at: http://www.angelfire.com/nc/benjthomasofansonnc/lovetucker.html
Traditional family history had it that late in life, old Grandsire Jimmy had four children named Darling, Pleasant, Hartwell, and Nica Love. And after his death, the children were raised by George Tucker and wife. We now see this younger, previously unknown James with wife of maiden name Tucker. Was she George’s sister? Even if not, the record gives a hint at why George raised the kids after the death and remarriage of Polly.
In bringing this post to close, there was no Allison in VA tied to the family in such a way to be the namesake of our Grandsire Jimmy. However, there were plenty of that name in the area surrounding Cabarrus. I believe it’s wrong and a mistake that we refer to old Grandsire as James Allison Love. The records instead point to the younger James who married Polly Tucker. This James could be the son of the James who moved to GA. He could also be the son of Thomas Love who also lived along Rocky River. He could also be a son of a son of Grandsire Jimmy who died young and has not been found in record?