Births Deaths Marriages, Paternal Kin

Misinformation Monday, no. 2.

The second in a series of posts revealing the fallability of records, even “official” ones.


The “true facts”: Richard Artis Sr. was born about 1850 in Wayne or Greene County to Vicey Artis and Solomon Williams.

Here’s his death certificate:


First of all, poor penmanship — a “bad hand,” as my grandmother would have said — will do you in. Based on that misshapen “S,” has indexed this document as the death record of Richard Artis Jr.  In fact, Junior was the informant, and his “J” is unambiguous. This is Richard Senior’s death cert.

Second, Richard’s father was certainly named Solomon, but not Artis, as unhelpfully pencilled in.

Third, Richard’s mother’s name is illegible, which is just as well, as it surely does not say “Vicey Artis.”


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