Great-great-grandparent demographics.

Edward Cunningham Harrison and Mary Brown. Jasper Holmes and Matilda, whose maiden name is unknown. John Walker Colvert and Harriet Nicholson. Henry W. McNeely and Martha Margaret Miller. Green Taylor and Fereby Taylor. Willis Barnes and Cherry Battle. John William Aldridge and Louvicey Artis. Joseph Buckner Martin and Loudie Henderson. 

These are my 16 great-great-grandparents.

Four were born in Virginia; the remainder in North Carolina. They were born between 1817 and 1874; most in the 1840s or ’50s. All died in the state in which they were born.

Of the 13 born in the antebellum era, 11 were enslaved. One was a free man of color. Two of the enslaved were children of their owner. All of the three born after the war were born to freeborn parents.

Fourteen were of varying degrees of African descent, classified as black or mulatto. Two were white.

Hat tip to Edie Lee Harris for the exercise.

Free People of Color, Letters, Migration, Paternal Kin, Virginia

An Artis founding story.

A cousin sent me this undated letter a few days ago, asking if I knew anything about it. She is descended from my great-great-great-grandfather Adam Artis‘ brother Richard Artis. Her Richard is not one of the Richards listed to in the document. (There were several contemporaneous Richard Artises just in the Wayne-Greene-Wilson County corner, none of whom I can link to one another.) The family history recounted in the letter smacks of the apocryphal, but it is interesting, and I will try to follow up on it.


Business, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

C.D. Sauls, influential colored man of Snow Hill, invests.

In 1897, cousin Cain D. Sauls was one of two African-American members of a five-man delegation that traveled eastern North Carolina advocating for the “Snow Hill Railroad.”

Goldsboro_Weekly_Argus__4_15_1897_CD_Sauls_Snow_Hill_RR (1)

Goldsboro Weekly Argus, 15 April 1897.

A little over a year later, North Carolina’s secretary of state approved the incorporation of the Great Eastern Railway Company, which planned to build and operate a 130+ mile railroad passing through Johnston, Wayne, Greene, Pitt, Beaufort and Hyde Counties. Among the 25 stockholders incorporating the railroad? C.D. Sauls!


Raleigh Morning Post, 15 October 1898.