family Love  (1739 - 1865)


wolf to Love

The name Love originated from the word for wolf, which was “Lupsus” in Latin, “Luefs” in French, and  became “Lufe” or “Luiff” in old Scottish dialects.

In the middle ages the wolf was held in mystical awe, and the name Lupus was a name occasionally given to a warrior to honor his brave deeds. It appears occasionally throughout early history.

It was used as a surname in Normandy in the 11th century, and several of that name accompanied William the Conqueror when he invaded England from Normandy in 1066, including a nephew of William’s who was rewarded with an English earldom. After that the name appeared occasionally throughout England, and then Scotland. There is a common thread that seems to tie all together – the coat of arms. Most of those bearing the name Lupus, Lufe, Love, or some similar variation, have had a coat of arms bearing three wolves heads, which would lead one to suspect a common origin for all.

A community of Loves had been established  in the Glasgow, Scotland area prior to the 1600’s, many of which then emigrated to the Ulster area of Northern Ireland.


Loves in America

Several Loves appeared early in the history of America. The first mention of a Love was that of John Love in Boston in 1635, and then a Richard Love in Virginia in 1642, although no records exist which tie these Loves to our family history.

Records also tell of one Ephraim Love who emigrated from the Ulster area of Ireland about 1740 and after living in Pennsylvania, settled in Orange County (later Augusta County), Virginia. There he was a Captain in the militia (Captain of Foot and Horse), and was prominent in affairs of the community. Some researchers claim he is the father of Samuel6 Love, who begins our Love ancestry, and his brother Joseph. Other researchers claim that is not necessarily so and believe that our Love line may have originated from an even earlier immigrant to the New World.

Although it cannot be said with any certainty that Ephraim was the father of Samuel6 and his brother, Joseph, it is generally accepted by researchers that Samuel and Joseph were born in America and were of Ulster Scot ancestry.

Samuel5 Love (ca 1739 – 1781): Samuel married Dorcas6 Bell, daughter of James7 “South River” Bell, in 1759 and shortly after purchased 300 acres on Christian’s Creek, near Tinkling Springs, Virginia. Then, in 1774-5, Samuel and his brother Joseph relocated their families to a plantation in Wythe County, Virginia. It is believed Dorcas died shortly before this relocation.

Later Samuel made two attempts (1775-1777) to relocate his family to Carter’s Valley, Tennessee, but fled both times because of Indian attacks. He returned with his family to his home in Virginia, where he died in 1781.

Samuel and Dorcas had seven children, including Robert5 and Thomas, both of who were prominent in the early history of Waynesville, North Carolina.


Robert5 Love (1760 – 1845): Robert was the first child of Samuel6 Love and Dorcas6 Bell, born in Augusta County, Virginia.

His mother died when he a was teenager, and after that his father attempted to relocate his family, consisting of seven children, to the frontier of what is now Tennessee. There they experienced Indian attacks, and had to flee to safety. This is when Robert’s military career began.

Robert had a long military career, as follows:

1776-1777: at age 16-17, Wagoner in expeditions against the Cherokees in Tennessee, where his family was attempting to settle.

1778: Sergeant stationed at Fort Robertson, Virginia, in expeditions against the Shawnee Indians.

1780: Lieutenant in actions against the Tories, western Virginia and near the Yadkin River, North Carolina.

1781: Lieutenant under General Nathaniel Greene in actions against the British General Cornwallis at Whitsell’s Mill, Haw River, North Carolina.

1782: Lieutenant and Acting Company Officer stationed on the frontier at Fort Robertson, Tennessee.

1788: Colonel in command of North Carolina militia forces in actions against Colonel Sevier and the rebellious State of Franklin.

1788: Colonel in command of a regiment of Washington County men against the Chickamauga Indians.


Late in 1782 Robert moved to the Greasy Cove area in what is now Tennessee. There, in 1783, he married Mary5 Ann Dillard, daughter of Colonel Thomas6 Dillard and Martha6 Webb. He was twenty-three years of age at the time; she was sixteen. The Dillard family was from the same area of Virginia as was the Love family, and it is very possible that the marriage was arranged there by Robert’s father before he died. This was a common practice among prominent families.

Shortly before his death in 1784, Col. Thomas Dillard named Robert as the guardian of his younger children. Robert later arranged the marriage of two of his Dillard wards to his own younger brothers. As such, there was quite a melding of the Love and Dillard families.

In 1784 Robert was selected to be a representative in the formation of a new State called Franklin and was instrumental in its initial organization efforts. Later, as a member of the North Carolina militia, he was required to lead troops to defeat the rebellious new state.  


the rebellious State of Franklin

The State of North Carolina at one time encompassed a large area, extending west of the Blue Ridge Mountains all the way to the Mississippi River. The inhabitants west of the mountains felt they had no support from the State in the form of a court system or a militia, and in fact they did not, and North Carolina even tried at one time to cede these lands back to the U.S. Government so it would not be troubled with them.

In 1784 residents of four counties began a movement to establish their own state, to be called Franklin (named in honor of Benjamin Franklin), and to separate from North Carolina. Robert Love was selected as one of the organizational representatives to meet in Jonesborough. A state constitution was adopted and a Governor chosen, the successful Indian fighter, Colonel John Sevier.

North Carolina refused to honor the separation and for several years the area found itself ruled by two Governors, with two sets of laws and two taxes. The situa­tion became very testy and the people of Franklin formed their own militia for protection. They even considered seceding from the U.S. and joining with Texas.

The North Carolina militia was called out to quell the disturbance. Robert Love was an officer in the militia, and he felt he owed duty to it, even though he was part of the organizational effort to form Franklin, and was sympathetic to its cause.

There were battles, but casualties were light on both sides. For his rebellious ac­tions Colonel Sevier was charged with high treason and the State of North Carolina imposed a death by hanging sentence.

When the Sevier government collapsed, and Colonel Sevier was about to be cap­tured, he stated that he would surrender only to Colonel Robert Love (despite the fact that Robert Love was not the senior officer in the campaign). He did this knowing that Robert Love was an influential man of much integrity who would act in Sevier’s best interests. And he did. Robert Love was able to save Sevier’s life. After that Sevier raised another small army and this time devoted himself to eliminating Indians from the frontier, to considerable success.


the Great Greasy Cove Horse Race

In 1788 Robert Love and Andrew Jackson first crossed paths to near unfortunate consequence. Both were proud young men, to which honor, integrity, pride, and fast horses meant everything.

Robert Love was a young man of twenty-eight years. He was a prosperous, politically prominent military man who had recently received much honor when Colonel Sevier surrendered to him to end the war over the rebellious State of Franklin.

Andrew Jackson was twenty-one years of age, recently qualified as a lawyer, who had been assigned as Attorney General and Public Prosecutor for the Western District of North Carolina (an area west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which now includes all of Tennessee, and other areas to the Mississippi River). This post had been created largely to placate the inhabitants of the Western District by providing them increased services after their aborted attempt at secession. On his way to Nashville, Andrew Jackson tarried at Jonesborough to take care of some legal work, and there encountered Robert Love.

Both men were known to own fine thoroughbred horses – each reputed to be the fastest in the territory. Naturally, pride and youthful competitiveness compelled them to challenge each other to a race.

A race date was set and broadly advertised, and people came from miles around to participate in the excitement. The night before much partying and drinking took place. Robert Love found a way to smuggle a bottle of whisky to Jackson’s Negro jockey, while he locked his own in an apple house, away from temptation and dis­tractions, with a guard posted. In the morning, Jackson found that his jockey was in no condition to ride, so Jackson said that he would ride his own horse in the race (although he was not in much better condition than his jockey).

A huge crowd was in attendance, there was much betting, and much moonshine consumed. The race was close, but in the end, Robert Love’s horse won.

Later, Jackson learned how his jockey got the bottle of whisky. He became incensed and confronted Love and accused him of cheating. Love responded by calling Jackson “a long gangling sorrel topped soap stick” and challenged him to a duel if he did not retract the charge of cheating. 

Fortunately, wiser and saner minds prevailed. It was apparent that Love was more proficient in the dueling arts than was the youthful Jackson and because of that it would not have been a fair fight. The fight was called off and the two – Robert Love and Andrew Jackson – went on to become lifelong friends.


Robert was Justice of the Peace for Washington County, North Carolina, and also served as a member of the North Carolina Convention of 1788 which ratified the Constitution of the United States.

He was elected to represent Washington County in the North Carolina Legislature in November, 1789.

When the area in which he lived was separated from North Carolina and became a territory of the United States in 1790, he became a Justice of the Peace of the territory, called the Territory of the United States South of the River Ohio.

In 1792 he moved east of the Great Smoky mountains to the Mount Prospect area, Buncombe County, North Carolina.

There he represented Buncombe/Haywood County, North Carolina, as a mem­ber of the Electoral College that selected the President and Vice-President of the United States in the years 1800 (election of Thomas Jefferson) through 1828 (election of Andrew Jackson).

He was elected to represent Buncombe County in the North Carolina State Senate for the years 1793, 1794, and 1795. When Haywood County was formed from Buncombe County in 1808, Robert Love suggested the county seat be built on land he owned. His suggestion was approved. He laid out the town, and named it Waynesville, in honor of General Mad Anthony Wayne of Revolutionary War fame.

Robert became a qualified land surveyor, which in those days was an honorable and lucrative profession (another surveyor of his time who amassed considerable wealth and fame was George Washington). Through his surveying activities he became aware of land speculation opportunities, and he was also sometimes compensated for his surveying services with the payment of land. From these activities he became one of the wealthiest men in North Carolina.

In 1830, he was one of two commissioners responsible for establishing the boundary line between Louisiana, Arkansas, Mexico, and Texas.

In 1832 he was appointed by Andrew Jackson as a surveyor for establishing the boundary line between the United States and Mexico, but he declined as he was past his seventy-second birthday and did not feel his health would permit him to undertake the project.

Late in his life, in 1839 when he was 79 years of age, Robert was having difficulty receiving the pension due him for his Revolutionary War services. He appealed to his friend, the former President of the United States, Andrew Jackson, to assist him. Andrew Jackson wrote the following letter on Robert’s behalf:


October 12th, 1839

Dear Sir:

Your letter of the 26th ultimo has just been received, its contents being duly noted, I hasten to reply to it. I sincerely regret to find from the contents of your letter the treatment which that worthy man & patriot, Col. Robert Love, has received at the hands of the pension office - that a man who thro life has sustained such an exemplary character, his honesty, & probity should be suspected, in his decline of life, must be truly mortifying to him, as well as to the people of North Carolina who have shown by their repeated acts of confidence in him, their high estimation of his moral worth.

As you have requested, it gives me pleasure to state my knowledge of Col. Robert Love. I be­came acquainted with him in North Carolina. I think in the fall of 1784, and have known him ever since and hazzard nothing in saying that no man in this union has sus­tained a higher reputation for integrity, than Col. Robert Love, with all men and with all parties. Altho himself a uniform Democratic-Republican, and no man stands diservidly higher, as a man of great moral worth, than Col. Love's has always stood, in the estimation of all who know him - that his integrity should, in his old age, be doubted must be a source of mortification, not only to himself, but to every man in No. Carolina, where he has been so often honored by this confidence, as a public character.

I am with great respect yr. mo. obediant servant.


Andrew Jackson


When seventy-four years of age he was kicked in the hip by a horse and so crippled that he had to use a crutch the rest of his life. Before this accident he had ridden a horse or traveled about in a gig, which was a light, two-wheeled one horse carriage designed for speed. After he became crippled, he used a more sedate barouche, which was a four-wheeled carriage with a coach­man and drawn by two horses. As a very wealthy and influential man he had worn a powdered wig on formal occasions in his earlier years, and he maintained his old-fashioned attire, except for the wig, after fashions changed, wearing a blue swallow-tail and knee britches with silver knee buckles and silk stockings.

His wife, Mary Ann Dillard, died in 1842. Robert died three years later, at age eighty-four.

Largely because of his landholdings, his estate was one of the largest ever probated in North Carolina. Shortly before his death or in his will he gave each of ten children at least 500 acres of land, in addition to slaves. Twenty-six of his slaves were auctioned off after his death.


Mary4 Ann Love (1805 - 1865): Mary Ann was the eleventh child of Robert5 Love and Mary5 Ann Dillard. In 1820, when she was not yet fifteen years of age, she married twenty-four year old William4 Welch. Two years prior to his marriage to Mary Ann, William had married her older sister, Martha, but Martha died one year later.


Family Group Sheet of Robert5 LOVE & Mary5 Ann DILLARD  

Robert5 LOVE

Birth:      23 Aug 1760; Augusta County, Virginia.

Death:      17 Jul 1845; Waynesville, N.C.

Father:     Samuel6 LOVE (    -1781)

Mother:     Dorcas6 BELL



Birth:      21 Sep 1767

Death:      25 Mar 1842; Waynesville, N.C.

Father:     Thomas6 DILLARD Jr. (1730-1784)

Mother:     Martha6 WEBB (1739-1819)

Marriage:   11 Sep 1783; Washington Co., N.C.

Twelve children


Thomas Dillard LOVE

Birth:      cir  1784; Unicoi Co., TN.

Death:      16 Nov 1832

Marriage:   Anna TAYLOR (1794-1843)


Anne Dillard LOVE

Birth:      06 Nov 1787; Unicoi Co., TN.

Marriage:   06 Apr 1805; James GUDGER (1782-1861); Buncombe Co., N.C.

Death:      02 Mar 1861; Buncombe Co., N.C.


Dillard LOVE

Birth:      03 Nov 1789; Unicoi Co., TN.

Marriage:   20 Nov 1822; Margaret YOUNG (1799-1869); Tenn.

Death:      24 Jul 1872; Franklin, N.C.


John Bell LOVE

Birth:      19 May 1791; Unicoi Co., TN.

Marriage:   16 Feb 1825; Margaret Elizabeth COMAN (1810-1893);

Death:      15 Feb 1873; Sylva, N.C.


William Calhoun LOVE

Birth:      cir  1794; Haywood Co., N.C.

Marriage:   03 Dec 1821; Elizabeth JORDAN (1801-1838)

Death:      25 Aug 1838; Madison Co., N.C.


Winnifred Sophia LOVE

Birth:      22 Jan 1796; Haywood Co., N.C.

Marriage:   cir  1815; Michael MOORE (1791-1826)

Marriage:   James A. MILLER (1800-1854)

Death:      23 Jan 1873


Dorcas Bell LOVE

Birth:      09 Feb 1797; Haywood Co., N.C.

Marriage:   06 Sep 1814; Robert HENRY (1767-1863) N.C.

Death:      05 Feb 1857; Asheville, N.C.


James Robert LOVE

Birth:      17 Nov 1798; Haywood Co., N.C.

Marriage:   26 Nov 1822; Maria Williamson COMAN (1805-1847); N.C.

Death:      22 Nov 1863; Waynesville, N.C.


Martha Webb LOVE

Birth:      02 Aug 1799; Haywood Co., N.C.

Marriage:   22 Jul 1818; William WELCH (1796-1865);

Death:      01 Aug 1819; Waynesville, Haywood Co., N.C.


Sarah Bell LOVE

Birth:      24 May 1802; Haywood Co., N.C.

Marriage:   12 Dec 1820; Ganum Cox (1799-1880)

Death:      09 Feb 1870; Knox Co., N.C.


Mary4 Ann LOVE

Birth:      06 Oct 1805; Haywood Co., N.C.

Marriage:   06 May 1820; William WELCH (1796-1865

Death:      4 Mar 1865; Waynesville, N.C.


Rebecca LOVE

Birth:      cir  1807; Haywood Co., N.C.

Marriage:   03 Jan 1828; Lorenzo Dowe PATTON

Death:      cir  1831 



Love’s Valley; Jolee Love.

The Love Family of Trezevant; Albert Love; 1953.

Love Story; Kara Lee Coldiron; 1990.

My Family History; B. J. Rogers.; 1989.

General Thomas Love of Western North Carolina; Robert A. Love.

Robert Love, a biographical sketch; Clyde Freeman; 1980.

The Life of Andrew Jackson; Robert Remin; 1998.

Tennessee History; John Allison; 1897.

Various internet and web sites.


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