There’s a Whole Lot of Love in Cabarrus County

14 Feb 2015

The following article, reprinted from the Charlotte Observer, Wednesday, 12 Feb 2003, adds some Cabarrus County genealogy Love to Valentine’s Day:

Cabarrus Throbs with the Name of Love – Turns out the Region’s Full of the Hearty Clan
Jaime Levy- Staff Writer

Looking for Love in all the wrong places?
Try Cabarrus County.

Cabarrus has the nation’s highest concentration of people named Love — eight times more per capita than the national average — according to a Valentine’s-week study by a San Diego marketing research firm.

York, Union, Gaston and Mecklenburg counties aren’t far behind Cabarrus, making ours the nation’s Love-liest region.


Look in Charlotte-area phone books, and you’ll find dozens of people with the amorous appellation.

People like Betsy Love, a Concord interior designer, who kept her maiden name upon marriage rather than lose her Love.

Or Rock Hill jeweler Allison Love, who sends out her business mail with the U.S. “Love” stamp. She answers her shop’s telephone “Allison Love’s Fine Jewelry.” Callers respond, “So do I.”

The Claritas demographers tossed around several mushy monikers — Romeo, Casanova, Cupid — in their search for Loves.

They tried Lust, too. But even where Lust is popular (first place: Oneida County, N.Y.), Love prevailed.

In case you were wondering, it was James Lee Love who wrote the book of Love. Actually, it’s more of a pamphlet. It maps the history of the Robert Calvin Grier Love family, which moved to South Carolina around 1766 as part of the wave of Scots-Irish immigrants to the Carolinas.

In the history, James Lee Love wrote that the Love handle is an ancient surname of Saxon origin; its early form was “Lufu,” meaning “a dear one.”

Although the Charlotte region has, comparatively, a whole lot of Love, the surname accounts for only a small part of the population. But demographers say no name does much more — not even Smith, the most popular, which in 1990 identified only slightly more than 1 percent of U.S. residents.

Clementeene Love Glover of Gastonia, whose father’s family used to have frequent reunions (Love-fests?), said her maiden name is telling: “I’m just a friendly, happy-go-lucky person. I love my family and I love people.”

“It’s a beautiful name, Love,” she said. “It’s a way of life.”

There may be plenty of Love to go around, but after nearly a page of Loves in the Cabarrus phone book, there’s only one man without: Richard Loveless, who assures us he’s not lonely.

“I’ve got a lot of family here,” he said. “It just happens to be sisters.”

One such member of the Cabarrus Love family was the Reverend James Love, who was born in Brunswick County, Virginia in 1745. James was the son of James Love and Elizabeth Crook. He married Mary Elizabeth Ingram in 1770. They eventually made their way to North Carolina. He later married Elizabeth Black in 1777 and then Esther Bell Carraker on 13 Jul 1813 in Cabarrus County.

James was a preacher at old Mt. Moriah Methodist Church, about two miles southwest of Stanfield, where old Cedar Hill School was later built. In 1799, a large gold nugget was discovered on land owned by James’ neighbor, John Reed. When Reed realized what he had, he formed a partnership with James Love, Frederick Kizer and Martin Phifer, Jr. to develop a gold mine. After crops were planted and the stream dried up in late summer, each of the three supplied equipment and two slaves to dig for gold in the creek bed. Before the end of the season, one of the slaves unearthed a 28-pound nugget. The Loves and the Reeds became family when Henry Reed, the first child of John Reed married Patsy Love, daughter of Rev. James Love on November 9, 1805.

The Reverend James Loved died 15 April 1821. His obituary in the 24 April 1821 edition of The Western Carolinian, announced his passing: 

DIED In Cabarrus county, on Sunday morning, the 15th of April, the Rev. James Love, in the 76th year of his age. Mr. Love belonged to that denomination of Christians called Anti-pedo-Baptists. He was a true Whig in the Revolutionary War.