I was geeked. After all, my great-great-great-grandfather Adam T. Artis had 25+ children, and I have thousands of cousins in their descendants. (Not to mention the descendants of Adam’s many siblings.) I was crestfallen, then, when H.A. responded that he was descended from Absalom Artis, through Warren Artis, then Henry, then Alonzo, then William Henry Artis. I know the Absalom Artis line (though I didn’t know Warren was in it), and I have no known connection to them. Absalom was born in Virginia circa 1780 and was in northern Wayne County by the early 1800s. He and Adam lived in close proximity, but the record gives no clue to other links. Of course, ultimately, all of the free colored Artises in Wayne County – indeed, throughout Virginia and NC and out into Indiana and Ohio – were likely kin, but the links are so remote that reconstructing them is likely impossible. H.A. and I share enough DNA that our common ancestor had to have been within the last 5 generations or so. In other words, more recent than any common ancestor of Adam and Warren or Absalom.
While reviewing my notes for a post about Adam’s second set of children, I was reminded that his daughter Mary Jane Artis had married an Artis. Henry Artis. Son of Warren and Pearcy Artis. And mystery solved! H.A. and I are not related through his patrilineal Artis line, but via a wife whose father was my great-great-great-grandfather.