Free People of Color, Migration, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Paternal Kin

Another Arkansas Artis.

Scrolling through old notes, I found two more Artises — Nathan and John — who migrated to Arkansas, probably in the 1880s.

Here’s what I know about them:

  • Nathan and John Artis were the sons of Charity Artis, daughter of Solomon Williams and Vicey Artis. I don’t know who their father was. They were first cousins of Gus Artis and Eliza Artis Everett and second cousins of Guy Lane Jr., all of whom headed west from Wayne County, North Carolina.
  • The 1870 census of Nahunta, Wayne County, shows Solaman Williams, 70 year-old farm laborer, with daughters Charity and Daliley and grandsons Anderson, Nathan, and John.
  • In the 1880 census of Pikeville, Wayne County, Nathan Artis is listed as a nephew in the household of farmer Jonoah Williams, farmer, his wife Pleasant, and children George, Cora, Clarissa, Willie and Vicey.
  • This is a notice of delinquent and insolvent taxpayers published in the Goldsboro Headlight on 28 September, 1893. Nathan Artis is GONE.


Goldsboro Headlight, 1893. 

  • In the 1900 census of Point, Woodruff County, Arkansas: Nathan Artist (born February 1852, NC, farmer), Nora (born Dec 1863), and children John F. (October 1877), Bicy Ann (December 1880), Nathan jr. (March 1883), Adalina (February 1885), James H. (October 1887), Lou (August 1890), Solomon (September 1891), and McKinley (November 1897); plus Nathan’s brother John Artis (May 1866, NC), nieces Parthena (December 1894) and Alsie (February 1899) and nephew John H. (February 1897).  Nathan’s last four children were born in Arkansas.  The nieces and nephews were born in Arkansas to a North Carolina-born father and Tennessee-born mother.
  • In the 1910 census of Point, Woodruff County, Nathan Artis (55, farmer, b. NC), wife Norah (50, b. NC), and children Solomon (16), McKenley (11), Markannon (11), Mittie Ann (8) and Anderson (6), all born in Arkansas.  Nora reported 10 of 15 children living. John Artis (47, born NC) appears in the same township with second wife Bettie (33, born Georgia) and children Parthenia (14), John Henry (12), Elsia Jane (11), Pinkie Ann (7), Josheway (5) and Daisy (3), plus Mary Artis (65), described as “mother.” [Who was this? A stepmother? Bettie’s mother?]
  • Nathan Artis died 3 August 1915 in Woodruff County, Arkansas, and was buried in Harris cemetery in that county. His headstone gives his birthdate as 23 January 1849.
  • Nathan’s five sons registered for the World War I draft: (1) Nathan Artis, born 12 March 1885; resided Brinkley, Monroe County, Arkansas; section laborer for St.L.S.W.Ry.; wife Mary Artis; tall, medium build, brown eyes, black hair; signed his name; registered 12 September 1918; (2) James Artis, born 14 November 1888 in “Goldsburg,” NC; resided Aubrey, Arkansas; farmer for self; supported wife and three children; medium height, slender, brown hair and eyes; registered 5 June 1917; (3) Mark Hanna Artis, born 6 November 1896; resided Audrey, Arkansas; employed by T.F. Turner; nearest relative, Nora Artis; medium height, slender, black hair and eyes; signed with X; registered 5 June 1918; Mark’s twin (4) McKinley Artis, born 6 November 1896; resided Audrey, Arkansas; employed by Angeline Steward; nearest relative, Frances Artis; tall, medium build, black hair and eyes; signed with X; registered 5 June 1918; and (5) Solomon Artis, born 16 November 1893; resided Aubrey, Arkansas; farmer for self; single; medium height and build, black hair and eyes; signed with X; registered 5 June 1917.
  • So did John’s oldest son John Henry Artist, born 8 April 1899; resided Gregory, Arkansas; farmer for John Artist; nearest relative, John Artist; tall, medium build, brown eyes, black hair; signed with X; registered 12 September 1918.
  • John Artis was alive as late as 1930, when he appears in the census of Mississippi County, Arkansas.
  • At least two of Nathan Artis’ sons migrated to the Memphis. McKinley, died there in 1925 of tuberculosis. His first cousin John Henry, who lived in Oakville, Shelby County, died three years later of the same disease brother. His brother “Jack,” however, lived into early middle age, dying in Memphis in 1939. The remainder of Nathan and John Artis’ children seem to have remained, at least till the eve of World War II, in eastern Arkansas.



2 thoughts on “Another Arkansas Artis.

  1. I have been looking through your site, reading up on Artis folks because I found cousin matches on ANCESTRy on my mom’s side. I was fascinated and then overwhelmed as I started trying to mirror all of the Artises in cousin matches’ trees. But I still couldn’t figure out how they would be related to my mother’s people- Her parents lived in Woodruff County, Arkansas (before they headed further west), and here you go: “In the 1900 census of Point, Woodruff County, Arkansas: Nathan Artist (born February 1852, NC, farmer),”.. I wonder if these are the Artis kin who are connected to my mom’s paternal family who settled in Woodruff! This gives me something more concrete to look into! Thanks!

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