Ira Berlin died this week. His Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South (1974) helped me make sense of the lives of my Henderson, Aldridge, Artis, Hagans and Seaberry ancestors, whose free status I had never suspected — or perhaps even heard of — when I began genealogical research. When I veered toward a Ph.D. in American History after law school, Professor Berlin tried to convince me to come to the University of Maryland. I chose Columbia University instead, though it pained me to miss an opportunity to study under him.
Edgar J. “Buddy” Artis (1914-1988) and James Broady Artis (1912-1963), sons of June S. and Ethel Becton Artis, circa 1919.
The Artis brothers were my double cousins. My great-great-great-grandfather Adam T. Artis was their paternal grandfather, and my great-great-great-aunt Amanda Aldridge Artis was their paternal grandmother.
The 1920 census of Stantonsburg township, Wilson County, recorded the family right around the time the boys posed for this portrait: on Stantonsburg & Wilson Road, farm manager June S. Artis, 30, wife Ethel, 26, and children James, 7, Edgar, 5, Manda Bell, 3, and farm laborer Edgar Exum.
Many thanks to my cousin Adam S. Artis, Edgar J. Artis’ grandson, for sharing this photo.
Milford Elmer Carter Jr. recently celebrated his 95th birthday. Born in Wilson in 1923 to Wayne County natives Milford E. and Beulah Aldridge Carter, he and his family boarded briefly in Cora Miller Washington‘s home at 701 East Green Street, around the corner from the Elba Street home of Milford Carter Sr’s uncle, Jesse A. Jacobs Jr. and, per the 1922 city directory, lived at 905 East Vance Street. The family soon migrated to Pennsylvania, then New York City. M. Elmer Carter Jr. is a veteran of World War II.
Photos courtesy of Carla Carter Jacobs.
Cousin Onra and her brother, Johnnie D. Henderson, 1940s.
Wishing my first cousin twice removed, Onra Henderson Camp Dillard, the happiest 98th birthday!
Cousin Onra and I at her home in Washington, D.C., 2016.
Eighty-four years ago today, The Daily Press announced the failure of the failure of a fundraising drive for Whittaker Memorial Hospital in Newport News, Virginia. My great-grandfather John C. Allen Sr. was on the hospital’s board.
The Daily Press, 2 May 1934.
The Record (Statesville, N.C.), 10 December 1937.
- For an overview of the Petty family, see here.
- Jacolia Hall was the daughter of Kermit C.J. Hall and Marjorie Petty Hall.
- Delia Macheree Walker was the daughter of Gilmer and Eva Petty Walker (and thus Jacolia’s cousin, not niece.)
- James Edward Walker was Macheree’s brother.
- Delia Petty was Eva Petty Walker’s mother.
- Eva Petty Walker was the daughter of Lon W. Colvert and Delia Petty.