Category Archives: Love

About the Love Family

GRANDSIRE JIMMY HAD A SON NAMED JAMES

We have believed for many years that James Love who left a last will and testament in Campbell County Georgia is the son of Grandsire James Love who settled in early Cabarrus County NC. Proof of this is found in an undated petition to construct public buildings in Concord, the county seat of the newly formed Cabarrus County. The petition dated roughly 1794 was signed by both James Love Senr and James Love Junior. Beyond this proof, naming patterns for James Love Junior’s family includes a son Ingraham Love in honor of his mother, Mary Ingram Love. There are other hints including the documentation of neighbors in Georgia who had also been neighbors in North Carolina.

Having just turned a new page in my life, I’ve spent the afternoon enjoying a subscription to newspapers.com, a retirement gift from my wife Christina. My very first discovery using this new tool can be found in the following legal advertisement.

clipping_9467392 11 Oct 1825 western carolinian

 

A LOVE IN COMMON: Pt. 3

 

 

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For much of my formative years, the centerpiece in my family’s home was a wonderfully ornate pump organ that had belonged to my mother’s grandmother. Having been professionally refinished, it was a fabulous piece of furniture though at times it worked while other times not so well. It served as the safekeep for everything from photographs to all our birth certificates. It held two oil lamps and always, a pair of binoculars hung over the top corner finial.

As time passed, the quality of sound lessoned until one day my brother and I dug into the working end of the instrument. We repaired a hole in the bellows made by mice and even sacrificed our scout belts to replace the linkage connecting the peddles and bellows. It worked, but not perfectly so.

Even as a young kid, I was always amazed by the craftsmanship; the gingerbread and acanthus leaf scroll work. Though my mom always spoke in the most loving way about her grandmother, all I knew of her was this piece of furniture and hence I envisioned some stuffy old house immaculately furnished. But, I was wrong.

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Enjoying the many trips “to the country” and even more so, the times I get to spend with my mom; it’s always good to see her fellowship with those of her own generation, those who she knew in childhood and those whose experience is the same as hers.

On a most recent trip, we visited the granddaughter of my mother’s uncle Rush Love. From the newspaper article, you’ll remember that Rush is the son of James Daniel and Florence Geretta Sossamon Love. To give you a little background, a trip to Stanfield has never been made without my mom pointing out uncle Rush’s barn and telling of his granary. Anyhow, on this trip I not only learned what Uncle Rush looked like, I was also given a photo of grandpa Dan and granny Florence with their organ. It’s a fabulous photo and one I’ll always cherish. These were good and simple folks and like in our house, the organ was obviously a centerpiece.

On other trips to the country we visited my mom’s uncle Coyle Love, another son of grandpa Dan and Granny Florence. I remember the house on the lower side of the road and of my mom showing me her grandpa Dan’s home place just up the road. On one trip I was introduced to Coyle’s granddaughter JoAnne who graciously shared the following testimony of times spent with her Granny Florence.

geretaGRANDMA FLORENCE – MEMORIES

My Grandma Florence lived on Coyle Road in Stanfield, about 2 blocks from our home place on the same road.  I can recall only a few, but precious memories about Grandma Florence.  When I was very young, before school age, I would get to stay with Grandma Florence for short periods of time, never overnight.

During those short visits when it was warm outside, Grandma Florence would get the metal trays out of the ice box.  She would mix up some special ingredients to make vanilla ice cream.  She would pour the mixture in the metal ice trays, and put them in the old ice box.  We then would go to the front part of the little house, and play the organ, while waiting patiently, for the ice cream to freeze. When I say play the organ, Grandma would allow me to pull a knob or two out, and peck at the keys to make music, while she pressed the pedals below.  You see I was much too short do both. I would sit on her lap while we did this, and sing Jesus Loves Me.  Then after we’d finish playing the organ, we would go back to the ice box.   She would take those metal trays and get one ice cream block for each of us.  She put each piece in a little saucer, along with a spoon. 

We would go to the back steps on the back of the house, and have a seat.  While we picked away at that ice cream cube, we would talk, and laugh. It seemed like a long time, because my little cube would usually melt, and I would end up turning the saucer up to drink mine.  I do not remember what we talked about, but I remember her laughing a lot at what I would say.  When she laughed, her little belly would shake like a small bowl of jelly.

I ask her one time, why her belly shook so when she laughed?  She only laughed harder than ever, and said I would know one day.  Well the day has arrived, and I do know and understand the answer to that question!

Some days while we were sitting on the back steps, she would tell me to close my little eyes, and then she would tell me to open them.  She would step away from me, and then I would hear a jingle, and she would walk back to me, and tell me I could open my eyes. She would have enough change in her hand to buy a can of snuff, which she enjoyed dipping. When my Mom came to pick me up, Grandma would ask her to pick her up a can of snuff at the grocery store. When Grandma Florence passed away, I was still too young to understand.  My Dad held me up so I could touch her as she lay in the casket. She was so cold.  I did not like the way she felt.  I kept speaking to her, not understanding why she would not speak back to me.  I remember crying, but Grandma Florence still would not offer to let me play her organ, or make me some block ice cream, so we could talk, laugh, and I could watch her little belly shake.   

It is strange how we may be very young, yet keep such vivid memories of the special people in our lives that meant a lot to us. I still love to eat ice cream, talk, laugh, and when I feel my belly shake a little, I just smile and think of Grandma Florence.  Both of us, sitting on the back steps of her little house in Stanfield.  She was a very sweet, kind, and good lady to a very young little girl.  She made a big impression on me, as to how to treat others, and to create memories to live by.                                                                                                                   Joanne Love Yow

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jdan2Just a boy, James Daniel Love was raised in his father William James Love’s house located north of Love’s Chapel on the west side of Love’s Chapel Rd. I’ve been told a certain old tree in a field behind the present-day houses lining the road was the spot where the old home place once stood. And further back in time, I’ve heard this was also been the home of William James Love’s father, Jonah Askew Love. I’ve always wondered about that.

Dan, as folks would call him, married and left a legacy I’m proud to be a part. He and Florence Sossamon were blessed with a good start in life. However, the years following the stock market crash paid a toll on everyone, and this couple was not immune.

During the past 20 years, our country has passed through a similar time though by no means of the same degree of severity. Called the “New Norm,” growth has been slow or nonexistent. We’ve become creative with money making schemes and life’s just a bit different. But, if times really got bad, I’d reflect on, and find strength in, the lives of people like my great grandparents.   I’m sure they worked hard to make ends meet. And, I can imagine the couple with their pioneer spirit. I’m sure a garden was kept and it was a way of life where daily sustenance grew from much more than a paycheck. You didn’t need to bring home the bacon because it was safe in its pen outback.

In closing, I’d like to share a few remaining photos that I hope you’ll enjoy. Also, please note that I’m looking for and would love to talk to anyone who’d like to share the stories of their members of this greater LOVE family.

 

 

 

 

A LOVE IN COMMON: Part 2

conrad_tonemappedIt was in 1799 when the young Conrad Reed’s discovery on Little Meadow Creek changed America. The son of a German Hessian, he was the first to discover gold in the new country. A few short years later, ca. 1805, Conrad married Martha, the daughter of James Love, a neighbor and founder of a nearby Methodist church known as Love’s or Mount Moriah. Conrad and Martha raised a family on a large tract of land on the banks of Rocky River just south of the present-day intersection of Pine Bluff and Nance roads. And remember, keep in mind this post will all lead back to my great grandfather James Daniel Love and his wife Florence Geretta Sossamon. Note that Conrad’s Martha is the sister of James Daniel Love’s great grandfather Jonah Love.

Conrad and Martha’s first born was James L. Reed who was likely named for Martha’s father, James Love. Court records indicate Conrad Reed died in 1834 at a time when the Reed family was racked by greed over control of their prosperous mine. It was James L Reed who penned an agreement hoping to bring order to the family venture.

On 10 Jun 1836, James L Reed married Susan Love, the daughter of Thomas and Susannah Polk Love. Thomas was a brother to Jonah and therefore offers another Love connection to my story. Thomas Love owned land near Reason’s Branch along the river in now Union County. He also supported the church and is listed among the early trustees of Bethel United Methodist in Midland. James L Reed died young and on 4 Sep 1845, a committee met at his house to lay off a widow’s allotment. James Reed’s grave survives and it is located in a small cemetery on a hill crest amongst a small trailer park near the intersection of Pine Bluff and Nance Roads. His resting place is likely near that of his father, Conrad’s.

lucy-hartsal

Lucy Hartsell, wife of Columbus P Sossamon

On 2 Dec 1847, David Green Sossamon married Susan Love, the widow of James L. Reed. Hmmm…..Sossamon! Note that David is the son of Christian and Susan Kiser Sossamon who are buried at Flat Rock Lutheran Church cemetery. And on 6 May 1849, Columbus P Sossamon was born to Susan Love Reed and David G. Sossamon. Dated 21 Sep 1867, the young Columbus P Sossamon married Lucy Hartsell, the daughter of Joshua and Hester Love Hartsell. And yes, you’ve got that right! Hester Love is the daughter of Jonah Love and is therefore the sister of James Daniel Love’s grandfather. And, though not a direct blood line in this case, Joshua Hartsell’s father was Andrew Hartsell who married Conrad Reed’s sister, Catherine. Following the death of Catherine, on 9 Nov 1833, Andrew married Sally Love, again, a daughter of Jonah Love. She was 26 years younger than Andrew. And following the break-up or Reed’s mine, Andrew purchased the mine and hundreds of surrounding acres.

So here we are, and I hope your patience has held out. Conrad Reed married Martha Love, and their son James L Reed married Susan Love who after the death of her husband James married second to David G Sossamon and had son Columbus P Sossamon who married Lucy Hartsell whose mother was a Love and who’s the mother of Florence Geretta Sossamon born 20 Sep 1871. And, Florence Sossamon, my mother’s grandmother, married 2 Nov 1890 to James Daniel Love.

Packed full of Love, Granny Florence came by it naturally as is clearly reflected in both her heritage and as you’ll see, the words of her legacy.

A LOVE IN COMMON: Part 1

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(On right) James Daniel Love and Sons Livery Stable

I’ve heard the stories of my great grandfather James Daniel Love. On one trip, he and my grandfather William Columbus Love drove to Nebraska in a “touring car” where they bought a box car load of work mules. The purchase was made and the train nearly underway just as all business in this country halted. You see, it was the late 1920’s and the stock market had just crashed. The sale would have been made null and void if not for the wrangling of a lawyer in North Carolina.

Sadly, my great grandfather’s money was of no worth to those in Nebraska. A time of losers and winners,  Dan Love returned to North Carolina with a fresh stock for the livery stable he owned and operated in Oakboro. Everybody needed work mules. There were chattel mortgages and payment with chickens and promises in word. It was indeed hard times and Dan’s mules sustained both community and family. As an old poet by the name of Mr. Smith told me of his memories of the livery stable, the train would line up perfectly with a shoot where mules were offloaded. People gathered and a large human circle formed in which the mules would be corralled. An event to behold, the people would separate and a man on a great white horse would enter the circle, leading the mules up Main Street and directly into the stables of James Daniel Love and Son’s Livery Stable.

I never knew first hand of James Daniel Love as he died the year of Hazel. And, his wife Florence Geretta Sossamon died in 1957, the year prior to my birth. Stories in witness of this couple’s character along with the following newspaper article speak well of James Daniel and his wife Florence. And from surviving photos, we know the couple were down to earth, living a life of simple means. In this series of posts, I’d like to share all that I have on “Grandpa Dan and Granny Florence.” Theirs was a common love and one worth sharing.snap.jpg

Born 10 Sep 1870, James Daniel Love is the son of William James and Eliza Ann Teeter Love. He married 2 Nov 1890 Florence Geretta Sossamon, the daughter of Columbus P and Lucy Hartsell Sossamon who are laid to rest at the Midland Baptist Church cemetery. We are blessed to have the following portrait showing four generations of this Love family. Note that James Daniel Love is on the far right holding my grandfather William Columbus Love. Seated below is Frances Geretta with her arm around daughter Wrissie Love McLester. And, to the far left is patriarch Jonah Askew Love who lost an arm in the civil war. His son William James, father of James Daniel Love, is seated in the middle.

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The William James Love Family

Front Row (R to L): Jonah Askew Love, Dock Fletcher Love, William James Love and wife Liza Teeter Love, Ada Josephine Love(hand on her mother’s shoulder), Florence Sossamon Love and her daughter Wrissie Love.

Back Row (R to L): Mack Halton Love, Elam Croson Love, Crone Simpson Love, Charlie Monroe Love holding son Audie Love and wife Ella Honeycutt Love, James Daniel Love holding son William Columbus Love

James Daniel Love’s family history is one often shared. It’s a rich history full of church, war and country. But how about for Florence Sossamon? I mean, she too has a Love heritage and it’s one that is truthfully more interesting than that of her husband’s. Let’s jump back …way back!

I bet my life would be much different had gold not been found on Little Meadow Creek.

A TIME FOR HEALING


The late 1800’s was an exciting time when spirit and our crude understandings of nature and science coalesced giving birth to today’s modern medicine. Tobacco smoke was blown into sore ears, stones were cast off after being rubbed against a wart, and wolf bane tea was drunk by many. Ritualistic incantations were prayerfully administered while practitioners received prior warning to never reveal the secretive healing words. Beyond the naturopathic qualities of herbs, minerals and other worldly elements, it’s hard to imagine the medicinal benefit found in fanciful words and physical ceremony. But somehow such things healed people ….or so we’ve heard.

At aged 13, in 1891, young Flora Jenkins penned the above healing recitations. She likely received and protected the cookbook of words in a same manner as had been received by many others before. Was this something learned in school, was it part of a strict religious belief, or did it reflect a childhood fad passed on in some rite of passage?

mjandfloraEnjoy the reading and know that Flora was born 10 Jan 1877 to Julius and Mary Pless Jenkins. Mary was the daughter of Solomon and Elizabeth Furr Pless and a sister to my great grandmother Julia Pless. On 19 Jan 1892, Flora married Michael James Love, the son of Michael G. and Phoebe Love. They moved to McKinney Texas in hopes of growing cotton and big yellow onions before returning to Stanly County where they lived out their later years. Michael J. and Flora Love are buried at Love’s Grove UMC.

A HOME FOR MOSES

osborn will

Realizing his life was coming to an end, Cristopher Osborne penned his last will and testament in Mecklenburg, now Cabarrus County NC on the thirteenth day of December in the year 1788. He acknowledges an unborn child and directs son Christopher [H.] Osborne to provide one-hundred pounds (or an equal amount in land) when the child reaches age of 21. Born 1785, the younger Christopher married Catherine “Caty” Furr, the daughter of Paul and Mary Stutts Furr. Paul died in 1837 and Mary followed in 1843. Mary formally disowned Caty per the 7th item in her will:

“I ordain and order that Elizabeth Furr and Caty Osborne, wife of Christopher Osborne, do not receive and are not entitled to one cent of my Estate.”

What happened and why was Caty willed out? Apparently she was part of a suit against her father’s estate eventually settled in the North Carolina Supreme Court. At question was the rights of her deceased brother’s son Noah: https://casetext.com/case/osborne-v-widenhouse There are no known records linking to the unborn Osborne child and we know Christopher and Catherine eventually removed to Dallas Alabama.

In Stanly County, next door to Cabarrus, there lived a man named Moses Osborne. His ancestry has long been unknown though his recorded birth in 1785 makes him the suspect child.. Christopher Osborne Sr was likely a mover amongst the Baptists and what better name would he seek for his unborn son! It’s my belief that a misfiled deed matched to lands of early settlers in the area around Love’s Chapel UMC has shed new light on the matter.

In 1804 and 1806, Hillakiah Weatherford conveyed two adjoining tracts of land to William Morrison of Mecklenburg. Recorded on book and pages 5-129 & 30, Cabarrus County, the land was located not in Cabarrus, but in then Montgomery County on the east prong of Rockhole Creek (see two green tracts below). Reading through the deeds, one of the tracts adjoined the lands of “Christopher Osborne.” Also note that the purchaser William Morrison eventually ended up in the same county in Alabama as young Christopher Osborne.

Deed 5-129, Cabarrus NC

Deed 5-130, Cabarrus NC

Dated 1 Sep 1834, Thomas Craton conveyed a 684 acre tract of land (see large yellow tract below) to my ancestor, Jonah Love. Also situated on Rockhole Creek, Jonah and wife Mary later donated land for Love’s Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church in 1849. Note that Jonah’s big tract abutted the lands originally purchased by Hillikiah Weatherford.

On 5 Jun 1838, Michael and Sally M (Pope) Garmon sold a small tract (14-42 Montgomery NC) to John Little. The tract shown below in blue nests nicely with the southern end of Jonah’s larger holding just below the church cemetery. The land also joined the Whortleberry pond and “lands of Moses Osborne).

There are many land records for Moses Osborne though one in particular links well with the above. Dated 17 Feb 1853, Stanly County Sheriff Marvel Kirk sold a large tract (3-287, Stanly NC) to Andrew Honeycutt. Moses Osborne lost the land through court action. Note that in the 1804 transaction from Hillikiah Weatherford to William Morrison, the deed points to lands then owned by Christopher Osborne that were eventually owned and sold due to a case arising against Moses Osborne. This could be coincidental though there’s very little likelihood that it’s so. This is a rare find and in adding to the story, note that Paul Furr owned lands to the north of Jonah Love. Paul and Levi Furr owned two land grants (2774 and 2775, Stanly NC) shaded orange to the right side of Jonah’s land.

stan master

It’s with great confidence that I believe Moses Osborne should be added to the family tree of Christopher Osborne who died in 1789 Mecklenburg County NC

THE WALK OF AARON MOSES AND MARY MAGDALENE

lovewillA slave with no record illuminating his walk on this earth, he was likely living under the hand of James Love when the census was taken in 1790 Stokes County NC. As the century came to an end, his master’s life began to fail and we are first introduced to the slave named Aaron.

In 1799, on the day after Christmas, James Love acknowledged his earthly mortality. Writing his last will and testament, not only was James firstly concerned with two slaves, he was also interested in the security of their prized colt:

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Who were these seven men and why were Aaron and Megg willed to them in such manner and form? As it turns out, the men were trustees of a church founded by James Love. Just two years prior to the writing of the will, on 13 Dec 1797, Thomas Tucker and wife Ann deeded one acre of land (3-96, Stokes NC) to James Love Senr., Edmund Jean, William Jean, James Love Junr., Edward Cooley, Robert Fulton, and Archibald Campbell. As trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, these seven men had received the gift deed for one acre situated on Rocky Branch of Muddy Creek for the purpose of erecting a meetinghouse. Two years after the deeding of land, Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury wrote of his visit to Love’s Methodist church:

1799 on Monday, October 7. We rode through Stokes County, and attended meeting at Love’s church, which has glass windows, and a yard fenced in.

How deep was James Love’s conviction? Reaching the end of his life, was he preparing a home for his body after death? Was he building legacy and was all this happening because he had finally accepted his earthy mortality? Were these the actions of a man who was making up for lost time or were these the continuation of the good life he had always lived? These are important questions as they get to the heart of James Love, master of Aaron and Megg.

At this point I could write stereotypically about the wrongdoings of slavery and spend time putting meat to a story of festering hurt levied long ago. But in this case, I’m not sure of the depth of hurt; I’m really intrigued with Aaron’s walk to freedom. Were James Love’s orders in his last will and testament honored and how does this story play out?

Probated January 1800, James Love didn’t live long after penning his will. The story of Aaron remains quiet until three years later a Moravian Minister wrote the following in his journal:

15 February 1803. It was noted that the Negro Aaron Moses, who has been working in the tanyard, must be sent away, as certain persons who lay claim to him are seeking to take him by force.

Apparently while under the hands of the seven leaders of the Methodist church, was this an actionable order? Who was coming to lay claim on Aaron and where did they end up sending him? History tells us that the tanyard in the Moravian town of Salem was an early hub of industry for early African Americans, both slaves and free. Did Aaron live and work in Old Salem, or are there other possibilities? Note that William Jean, one of the devisees of James Love’s will is known to have preached at Doubs Methodist church in present day Pfafftown. The site of one of the earliest Methodist Camp Meetings, founder and German immigrant John Doub was also by trade, a tanner.

Later in 1803, the life of James Love and the walk of his slave Aaron were greatly illuminated through a series of emancipation petitions filed with the North Carolina General Assembly. The first petition depicts James Love Senr as an aged, but kind and thoughtful person. It was his wish that the two slaves Aaron and Megg be freed to become known as Aaron Moses and wife Mary Madeline Moses. We also learn that Aaron lived in “Salem” indicating he likely worked at the Moravian tannery. And based on timing, I’m of the belief that Aaron Moses served prominently as a guiding force for other slaves. Note that the petition included separate signature lists for the seven devisees (minus Edward Jean as he had since died), relatives and descendants of James Love deceased, and friends and neighbors. From the list of family, there are few names that I cannot connect to James Love. The devisees of James Love’s will indicated it was his will that they find freedom for the two slaves. Being late in the life of James Love, there had likely been no time for him to grant freedom properly through legal emancipation. And a second petition by citizens was signed entirely in German script. Note a leislative bill has not been found showing that the petition for emancipation was acted upon.

Petition 1, Page 1

Petition 1, Page 1

Petition 1, Page 2

Petition 1, Page 2

Petition 1, Page 3

Petition 1, Page 3

Petition 2

Petition 2

 

 

 

 

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These records are wonderful and really help to tell the story of both my ancestor and of those who were held by him in slavery. But as you might surmise, there’s no further record in North Carolina to advance the walk of Aaron Moses and is wife Mary Magdalene. What happened to them? I can imagine what wonderful Christian souls they must have been. And as for me, this has been a powerful spiritual experience tracing the paths of the couple named Aaron Moses and Mary Magdalene. As hard as I tried, the story came to an end with the filing of a petition. All was quiet until much later I received an Email from a very distant cousin whose name has sadly been lost. Please gather your thoughts as I move to close this post.

Note that James Love Senior’s son John Love died ca 1789. John had sons John Crook Love and James. In the early 1800’s, the younger James and children of deceased John Crook Love moved to Indiana where Love’s Chapel was founded in the town of Loogootee IN. I’m not going to take the time in this post to outline who lived nearby and are buried at the ancient cemetery. To be honest, I’m not sure as it’s a long way to research from my home in Raleigh NC. Anyhow, family in Indiana did not remain there. At some point they followed migrations west with some settling in the state of Kansas. It’s through Email from a member of this family that the story of Aaron Moses is possibly reopened.

zenoloveBorn 1850 in Indiana, Zetto Barnes Love died in Reese Kansas where he was patriarch of a large family (see picture above.) As was conveyed to me, a relative (possibly a sister or aunt) made and provided a written account of the trip from North Carolina to Indiana. Not certain whether it is original or a second hand outline, the account below identifies the starting point as east of the Appalachians. Naming Zetto Barnes Love, the account must also be rooted in his family. To my amazement, a note in the upper right corner indicates the family moved from North Carolina in order to free a slave. Could this be Aaron and his wife Mary Magdalene Moses? The early 1800’s were a time where moral debates around the keeping of slaves split many families.

family travel

Seeking the promise of a better life in Indiana, Quakers and others holding anti-slavery beliefs migrated in mass from the areas of Stokes and Guilford counties NC. It’s possible that Aaron Moses and the family of James Love Senior made this trip north. I’ve looked hard and can’t find any further trace of Aaron Moses. He may have remained here in North Carolina. He may be buried in the hallowed grounds of Loogootee Indiana. Though we’ll never know for sure; we do know he made his mark on life.