Births Deaths Marriages, Migration, Newspaper Articles, North Carolina, Paternal Kin, Photographs, Virginia

Adam’s diaspora: Haywood Artis.

I’ve written here and here about the migration of Adam T. Artis‘ children Gus K. and Eliza to Arkansas. Though most of his 30 or so children remained in North Carolina, a few went in North. Or, at least, a little further north. One was Haywood Artis, born about 1870 to Adam and his wife Frances Seaberry Artis. He was my great-great-grandmother Vicey‘s full brother.


                          Haywood Artis

In the 1880 census of Nahunta, township, Wayne County, North Carolina, Adam Artis, widowed mulatto farmer, is listed with children Eliza, Dock, George Anner, Adam, Hayward, Emma, Walter, William, and Jesse, and four month-old grandson Frank Artis.  (I’ve never been able to determine whose child Frank is.]

Haywood’s whereabouts over the next 15 years are unrecorded, though he was likely still living in his father’s home most of that time. However, at some point he joined the tide of migrants flowing into Tidewater Virginia, and, on 13 January 1897, in Norfolk, Virginia, Hayward Artis, age 26, born in North Carolina to A. and F. Artis, married Hattie E. Hawthorn, 23, born in Virginia to J. and E. Hawthorn. As early as 1897, Haywood began appearing in city directories for Norfolk, Virginia. Here, for example, is Hill’s City Directory for 1898:


Haywood and Hattie and their children Bertha E., 3, and Jessie, 11 months, appeared in the 1900 census of Tanners Creek township, Norfolk County, Virginia. The family resided on Johnston Street, and Haywood worked as a porter at a jewelry store. Ten years later, they were in the same area. Haywood was working as a farm laborer, and Hattie reported four or her seven children living — Bertha, 12, Jessie, 11, Hattie, 8, and M. Willie, 2.

In the 1920 census of Monroe Ward, Norfolk, Haywood and Harriet Artis appear with children Elnora, 22, Jessie, 20, Hattie, 18, Willie Mae, 12, Haywood Jr., 8, and Charlie, 5.  Haywood was a farm operator on a truck farm, daughters Elnora and Hattie were stemmers at a tobacco factory, and son Jesse was a laborer for house builders.

By 1930, the Artises were renting a house at Calvert Street.  Heywood Artis headed an extended household that included wife Harriett, Haywood jr. (laborer at odd jobs), Charles, son-in-law Daniel Johnson (machinist for U.S. government) and his wife Hattie (bag maker at factory), cousins Henry Sample, Raymond G. Mickle, and Lois Sample, and granddaughters Mabel Johnson, 2, Olivia Washington, 15, and Lucille, 13, Bertha, 9, and Lois Brown, 6.

On 19 March 1955, Haywood Artis’ obituary appeared in the Norfolk Journal and Guide:

Haywood Artis, who has made his home in Norfolk for some 65 years, was buried following impressive funeral rites held at Hale’s funeral home March 7 with the Rev. W. H. Evans officiating.

Mr. Artis died March 4 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Willie Mae Yancey, 2734 Beechmont avenue, after a long illness.

Mr. Artis, who was born in Goldsboro, NC, is survived by three daughters, Mesdames Elnora Brown, Hattie Johnson and Willie Mae Yancey, all of Norfolk, and a son, Hayward Jr., of New Jersey.

There are also 34 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and other relatives and friends.

Interment was in Calvary Cemetery.

Thanks to B.G. for the copy of his great-great-grandfather Haywood Artis’ photograph.


22 thoughts on “Adam’s diaspora: Haywood Artis.

    • In the 1870s and ’80s, Arkansas was promoted back East as a land of opportunity for black farmers who wanted to purchase land at relatively cheap prices. Google “Exodusters” for more info about this movement.

  1. Bernice Washington-Cox says:

    Bertha Artis Brown was my grandmother. My mother name is Bernice Dillard
    she is 100 years old. we have Haywood Artis picture siting on our table. My name
    Bernice Cox.

    • Iris Goldsboro says:

      Hi Bernice my name is Iris and Haywood Artis was my great grandfather.. My grandfather was his jr… My mother’s name is Selena Artis we are from NJ.. I would love to get to know my family and would like to hear back from you..

      • QuoVadis Washington-Brown says:

        Hello Iris: My name is QuoVadis Washington-Brown my mother Bernice Cox wrote a message her 3 years ago. Sh3 has since passed away and I am tracking family history. My grandmother Bernice Dillard’s grandfather was Haywood Artis. Please let me know if you would be interested in speaking by phone.

  2. Pingback: Napoleon Artis, known as Doc. | Scuffalong: Genealogy.

  3. Lisa says:

    Haywood Artis is my great grandfather. My grandfather was Jessie Artis you question who was Frank Artis he was my uncle Frank was Jessie son which was my grandfather’s.
    Hello Family! I Love finding out about history

  4. Lisa Henderson thank you for sending me this link. It is very informative. Haywood Artis is my great-grandfather. My grandmother is Bertha Elnora, she has one child still living in Virginia. Who are the people in the photo on your blog?

  5. Richard Grantham says:

    Hello family… U descend from Vicey/Solomon, and Haywood(Simon Pig)/Celia. The artis family runs on both my mother and father’s sides as I am from Goldsboro(Nahunta), NC. Feel free to contact me as I would love for us to fit the pieces to the puzzle.

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