DNA, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

DNA Definites, no. 14: Artis.

Well, I’ll be….

Several months ago, I sent a share request to N.S. on 23andme because he listed Kinston NC as a family location. N.S. is a match to my cousin K.H. Though K.H. and I don’t have ancestors from Lenoir County, it’s close enough to Dudley that I thought it worthwhile to establish contact.

I was skimming through K.H.’s matches yesterday and stopped short at N.S. … Hmmm … Kinston? Speight? Could he …?

I sent a message, “Are you descended from Lemmon Speight?,” and he quickly responded that he is indeed, that Lemmon was his grandfather.

If you remember, I discovered Lemmon Speight a few weeks ago in the Civil War pension application file of Bailham Speight. Speight’s widow Hannah Sauls Speight, several friends and relatives, and Lemmon himself testified that Lemmon, Hannah’s first child, had been fathered by Loderick Artis, whom she had never married. Loderick Artis was the son of Daniel Artis, who was brother of my great-great-great-great-grandmother Vicey Artis Williams.

N.S. and K.H. share .46%, and 23andme estimated their relationship as 3rd-5th cousins. They are, in fact, 4th cousins.

[UPDATE: I was at the North Carolina State Archives last week when my phone rang with an unfamiliar number from area code 202. I stepped out to answer it and found myself talking to N.S.' brother-in-law, the family historian. We talked in depth later that night, and he told me that the family had long known the identity of Lemmon Speight's father, that several descendants migrated to Georgia and are holding a reunion here next year, that he himself is also a Greene County Speight, and did I know D.S.? "Are you kidding??? He lives two doors down from my parents! I've known him all my life!" They are both descended from Stephen and Fereby Speight and are somehow related to Mr. Kenny!  -- LYH, 6 May 2014]

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6 thoughts on “DNA Definites, no. 14: Artis.

  1. Sybilla says:

    Hi, I’ve been looking for descendants of Daniel Artis for awhile. I’ve followed your website but was too shy to post. You see, my gg-grandfather was John Lane, which I only found out in the past few years…I was so ashamed to find out he owned slaves. I had heard Daniel was a free black since his name was listed but then I found out my gg-grandfather owned slaves too, and I feel so much shame over that as his white descendant. I have a story about Daniel handed down if it is welcome. But I wanted to find out first. I saw gg-grandfather’s name mentioned on your site along with Daniel’s and my family had handed down Daniel’s story since I was a child. I apologize that one of my relatives took part in such a terrible time in history. But Daniel was special to our family from what my Grandfather handed down.

    Thanks so much, Tammi Lane

    • Oh, wow, Tammi!!! You have completely made my day! None of us is responsible for what our ancestors did. I have ancestors from every strata of antebellum southern society — slaveowners included. Please, please, please contact me at lyhend at aol dot com! I’d love to talk to you!!! — Lisa H.

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