Adam T. Artis, part 2.

I have blogged many times about siblings Cain Artis, William M. Artis, Walter S. Artis, Alberta Artis Cooper, Columbus E. Artis, Josephine Artis Sherrod, and June S. Artis — but not specifically about their father Adam Toussaint Artis, a free-born farmer who bought and sold hundreds of acres of farm and woodland near present-day Eureka in Nahunta township, Wayne County, North Carolina. Artis had five wives over his long life, and more than 25 children. Many of his thousands of descendants, including me, have ties to Wilson.

In this second post, a look at Adam T. Artis’ life with his second wife.


Per an unsigned narrative (“The Adam Artis Family History”) written, I think, by one of Adam Artis’ great-grandchildren:

Adam Artis had about five wives and 39 children. His first legal wife was Frances Hagens of Eureka. She was very fair and had beautiful long black silky hair. Adam was very tall and slender. He owned a large farm in Eureka and was a first class carpenter. They lived in a nice two story house. Frances’ brother, Napoleon Hagens, owned a very large plantation near Eureka. He had several tenants and/or slaves there. He was very mean to his wife and tenants. He would sit on the fence in the shade and watch the tenants plow. If they didn’t plow the way he wanted them to, he would crack them with a whip. One day a tenant grabbed the whip and beat Napoleon’s shirt off.

This is a nice starting point for this phase of Adam Artis’ life, if not entirely accurate. Frances Seaberry was Adam’s second legal wife, not his first. (If he had 39 children, not even his last surviving daughter, Josephine Artis Sherrod, could name them.) Frances, born free in 1845 in Wayne County to Aaron Seaberry and Levisa Hagans Seaberry, married Adam Artis 20 August 1861 in Wayne County. (Frances’ half-brother Napoleon Hagans never owned slaves, though he had many tenants, and he cast a shadow large enough that his sister’s descendants thought his last name was hers.)

Marriage license of Adam Artis and Frances Seaberry, Wayne County Register of Deeds Office, Goldsboro, North Carolina.

The “Family History” goes on to state: Frances and Adam Artis had 9 children (Hayward, William, Walter, Addie, Jesse, Doc, Georgianna, Luvicie and Ida.) Luvicie and Ida were twins. Frances died when the twins were only 13 years old.

In fact, Adam and Frances Seaberry Artis had 11 children:

Ida Artis was born about 1861. She married Isaac Reid (1853-??), son of Zion and Lucy Reid, about 1876. Their children were Frances Reid (1877-??) and Lorenzo Eli Reid (1879-1952). Ida Artis Reid died 1880-1900.

Napoleon Artis, known as “Doc,” was born 28 February 1863. He married Sallie Taylor; their sons were Humphrey, Leslie, and Odell Artis. Doc died 16 October 1942. His descendants still live on land along Route 222 between Stantonsburg and Eureka once owned by Adam Artis.

When Luvicie Artis was 13 years old, she married John Aldridge of Dudley. John was the son of Robert and Eliza Aldridge. … Luvicie had very high cheek bones. Luvicie was a mid-wife and nurse. She died at the age of 64. She only wanted to eat peas and sweet potatoes. She wouldn’t eat much meat or green vegetables, and would drink hardly any water.

Louvicey “Vicey” Artis was born in 1865 and married John Aldridge in 1879. Their children surviving to adulthood were Zebedee Aldridge, Lula Aldridge, Frances Aldridge Cooper, John J. Aldridge, James Thomas Aldridge, Amanda Aldridge Newsome, Beulah Aldridge Carter, Correna Aldridge Newsome, Catherine Aldridge Davis, and Christine Lenora Aldridge Henderson. Vicey Artis Aldridge, a midwife, died 13 February 1927.

Louvicey’s twin, Eliza Artis, married Haywood Everett. Before 1900, the couple migrated to Lonoke County, Arkansas. They had no children, and Eliza died 10 October 1936.

Georgeanna Artis was born 1867. She married Henry Reid (1859-1930), son of John and Mozana Hall Reid (and first cousin to Isaac Reid, above) on 29 November 1883. Their children were Alice Reid Williamson, Cora Reid Sampson, William H. Reid, Brodie Reid, Lenny Reid, Nita Reid, Henry N. Reid, Linda B. Reid, and Georgia Reid. She died 18 August 1923 in Goldsboro NC.

Adam Toussaint Artis Jr. was born in 1868. He married Rena G. Wynn in 1893 in Wayne County and had one son, Lafayette. Adam Jr. migrated to Washington DC, and married second wife Agnes West in 1904. Their son was Harry L. Artis.

Haywood Artis was born in 1870. He migrated to Norfolk, Virginia, in the 1890s, and married Harriet Hawthorne. Their children included Bertha Artis, Jesse Artis, Hattie Artis Johnson, Mae Willie Artis, Haywood Artis Jr., and Charles Artis.

Emma Artis, born 1872, married Robert H. Locust and died within months of the wedding.

Walter Scott Artis was born 2 October 1874. He married Hannah E. Forte. Their children: Napoleon Artis, Beatrice Artis, Estelle Artis, Adam Toussaint Artis III, and Elmer Hazel Artis. Walter Artis died 25 June 1951.

William Marshall Artis was born 28 August 1875 and married Etta Diggs.  Their children: Beulah M. Artis Exum, Margaret Artis Thompson, Irene Artis Carter, Frances Artis Edmundson, William M. Artis Jr., Adam H. Artis, Fletcher Artis, Doris V. Artis Carr, Haywood T. Artis, and Elmer W. Artis. William died 28 September 1945.

Jesse Artis was born in 1878. Frances Seaberry Artis died the same year, perhaps from complications from her last childbirth.

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