I know the Heltons in this area.Most live in Lucia, N.C. but some live in Stanley, N.C. My brother-in-law's family lived in Murphy, N.C. and they were descendants of Michael Abernathy/Abernethy who came from Catawba County, N.C. (was probably Lincoln County, N.C. at the time of 1840-50). They lived next to the Cherokees but I don't think they intermarried.Most of that family moved back to Piedmont of N.C. to work in the textiles (at turn of 20th century). My family to my knowledge didn't marry any Helton/Hiltons.
Have you looked at the Bartow County Cemetery lists on the web? www.gabartow.org