Is It “Love” at First Sight?

Polly Williams Love has been a brick wall for years. I’ve never been able to let her go and, although I have looked for her several times through the years, I have never found a clue as to who she married or where they went. Perhaps what might surprise you the most is that she isn’t a direct line for either my husband or myself. In fact, she is quite a distant collateral line for Dave because their common ancestor would be the parents of Thomas and Matthias Williams, both born in the early 1700s.

In spite of that, I don’t like brick walls and feel compelled to try to break through them. First, the very (very) basics. Polly Williams, so named in the will of her father, Samuel, probated in Cumberland County, Virginia in 1823, was the only daughter among Samuel’s ten children. Her birth is estimated to be in the late 1770s, but that is strictly a guess as I only have exact dates of birth for four of Samuel’s ten children. The other sons’ birth dates are estimated from their dates of marriage.

Just FYI, Samuel’s sons were, in estimated birth order): Anderson, William Ligon, John, Charles, Reuben, (I think Polly fits in about here), Samuel, Benjamin, Robert and Joseph.

However, other than her name, the only fact I know about Mary/Polly is that she married a Mr. Love because Samuel calls her “daughter Polly Love.” There is a young female in Samuel’s household in 1820 who could conceivably be Polly, but Cumberland County’s marriage records are intact for that time period and there is no marriage recorded in any time period before 1823 for a Mary or Polly Williams to a man named Love.

I have a suspicion why her marriage record might not be in Cumberland County. Samuel’s family is the one in which six of his sons left for eastern Tennessee in 1805. I am thinking that perhaps Polly was unmarried at the time, but wanted to go on this new adventure and her father (probably sadly) gave his permission. She then married somewhere along the way.

That leads to the next problem – where and when? The family has been documented in Wythe County, Virginia, where they seemed to head in a couple of different directions – Grayson and Hardin Counties in Kentucky and then Illinois, along with Roane, Morgan, Marion and Anderson Counties, Tennessee. By the mid-1800s, some of the next generation had left those areas and gone to Missouri. That’s a lot of places to search.

However, there might (or might not) be two Love sightings – clues sitting right under my nose and this is where I am hoping a reader or two might recognize these families and jump in to help solve this mystery.

Love Clue #1 – Susan Williams, daughter of William Ligon Williams, and niece of Polly Williams Love, married twice. She was born about 1805, probably in Grayson County, Kentucky. Her first husband was a Keller, probably George, and they had three children: William L., Mary E.K. an Sarah H. Mr. Keller died about 1834 or 1835 and Susan married (2) John Allen Love, 2 February 1836 in Coles County, Illinois. He was younger than her, born about 1813, also in Kentucky.  A group of families appeared to migrate together or closely follow one another from Kentucky to Illinois. If the Love family was part of this group, then William Love, who lived in Grayson County, Kentucky in 1820, was likely the father of John Allen Love.

The 1860 census shows Susan Love, now 46 and thus born about 1814, as the head of household and nine children with her, including daughter Sarah Keller, who is listed as a Love. In 1870, John, Susan and children Reuben, Pamelia and Susan are at home with grand grandchildren Carrie Sparks, 8, and Yager Tate, 14. Daughter Sarah Keller is also still at home, unmarried. Where John Allen Love was in 1860  is not known, but he appears again in 1880, living with daughter (Permelia) Taylor Overton’s family in Paradise, Coles County. He was listed as a widower at that time so Susan evidently died between 1870-1880.

Children: (Love)

Elizabeth Jane, born c1836, Illinois; died 23 February 1856; married James Abner Tate, 21 February 1854, Coles County, Illinois.
John A., born c1839, Illinois; married Lincey/Lucy Fuller, 27 August 1868, Coles County, Illinois; family not found after 1870.
Reuben W., born c1841, Illinois; married Mary Good, 21 October 1876, Coles County, Illinois
James C., born c1843, Illinois; died after 1860. He may be the James Love who married Mary H. Hart on 12 March 1867 in Coles County.
Louisa, born c1845, Illinois; married Alonzo Sparks, 8 October 1861, Coles County, Illinois. She may have died before 1870, as daughter Carrie is living with her parents in 1870.
Permelia Taylor, born c1847, Illinois; married Jesse Overton, 25 September 1872, Coles County, Illinois. This family hasn’t been found after 1880, when John Allen Love lived with them.
Thomas, born c1849, Illinois; not found after 1860.
Susan, born c1853, Illinois; not found after 1870.

Love Clue #2 – Polly Love Williams’ brother, John, ended up in Roane County, Tennessee. He had a daughter, Frances Jane, who married Phillip Fritts. Phillip and Frances had a daughter, Parmelia Jane, born 25 August 1841 in Roane County, Tennessee. This family  removed to Maries County, Missouri. Parmelia Jane married John Elbert Love, 14 February 1861, Maries County, Missouri. She would be the grandniece of Polly Williams Love.

John is the son of Harvey Connelly and Margaret (Sands) Love. He was born 11 November 1840 probably in Crawford County, Missouri, where Harvey C. was enumerated that year. Maries County is just slightly northwest of Crawford County, although there is a sliver of Phelps County separating them.

By 1850, Harvey and family are living in Osage County, bordering Maries County. He was born about 1814 in Tennessee. Right next door is an Isaac Love, born about 1785 in Virginia and his wife, Phebe, born 1794, reportedly in Tennessee. Could Isaac be a son of Mr. Love and Polly Williams Love? Possibly, since my 1770s birth estimate for Polly is just that. Her eldest brother, Anderson, was born in 1769. A marriage for a girl in the South at aged 14 or 15 is not unheard of and Isaac’s age might not be entirely accurate on the 1850 census either.

Children of Harvey C. and wife, Martha, born about 1817 in Tennessee, all born in Missouri:

Isaac, born about 1837
Jacob, born about 1839
John, born about 1842
Phebe, born about 1844
William, born about 1846
Harvey, born about 1847
Virginia, born July 1850

Children of John Elbert Love and Parmelia Jane Fritts:

Stephen Wesley, born 5 September 1862; died 11 December 1933; married Lou Smith, 26 October 1882, Maries County, Missouri.
Thomas L., born 7 April 1866; died 10 August 1950
William N., born 27 February 1868; died 29 July 1917; married Sarah (MNU).
Walker A.,
born 26 April 1870; died 26 February 1937; married Cora A. (MNU)
Delora C.,
twin, born 10 August 1872; died 26 March 1938; married Sarah Elta Key, 13 August 1893.
Robert Lee, twin, born 10 August 1872; died 12 September 1874
Etta Evelyn, born 12 September 1877; died 16 September 1930; married William R. Hutchinson, 3 February 1901.
Mathew G., born 23 November 1880; died 22 December 1888

Are these two Love families related? I have no idea. If either is Love is related to Polly Williams Love, it would probably be Susan Williams Keller Love, who was her niece.

If you are related to either of these families, I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to hear from you. Polly Williams Love survived her father so she was somewhere with someone after that time. Where is she???


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