Fourth Generation Inclusive

Historical Documents of Genealogical Interest to Researchers of North Carolina's Free People of Color

1 grubing hoe, 1 irone Square, 1 saw & drawing knife

The “Account of the Sale of the property of Ablassom [sic] Artis decest Sold by Jesse Hollowell Admr for Confederate money this March 9th 1864” chronicled the disposal of Absalom Artis‘ possessions.  His estate included household goods, farm implements, carpenter’s tools, a cow and calf, and 5 “chickings.”  Most of the buyers were Absalom’s free colored neighbors and kin: Green Simmons, Jacob Artis, Patrick Artis, Joseph Artis, John Artis, Edwin Artis, Oliver Guy, Edmond Artis, Charity Hagans and Levi Winn.

Records of Wills and Estates, Wayne County Records, North Carolina State Archives.

[Sidenote: The Civil War is raging. Absalom Artis has died of old age. Folk gather at the sale of his estate, hoping for a good deal on a harness or maybe a hammer. The crowd, standing shoulder to shoulder to peer at each item, is unusually mixed. Of the 21 buyers listed in the account, only ten were white. The others, 10 men and a woman, were members of Wayne County’s resilient little free colored community. Most were desperately poor, clinging to their precarious toehold on liberty. Others, like Absalom Artis and many of his kin, had managed to achieve a measure of comfort (material, anyway) that equalled or bested that of their white neighbors. They stepped up and laid down their Confederate dollars like the next man. 

I am an Artis, but not descended from Absalom. The connection between him and my Artis forebear is lost to time, but the Artises collectively comprised one of the largest free colored families in antebellum North Carolina. They had been freed generations before in southside Virginia. — LYH]

HAGANS -- Eliza Hagans Children

Bring in the bodies.

On motion it is ordered that the sheriff of this county be directed to bring into Court at the next term the bodies of Lavinia Hagans & Rebecca Hagans coloured children of Eliza Hagans and notify said Eliza Hagans to show cause, if any she has, why the said children should not be bound out to service.

He has a free woman for his wife.

$25 REWARD.  RAN AWAY from the subscriber in February last, my Negro man BOB, commonly called Amason hopping Bob, well known in the neighborhood of Stantonsburg.  He has a free woman for his wife, one of old Stephen Mitchell‘s daughters.

She and old Mitchell live in the neighborhood of Theophilus Eason, in the edge of Greene county, where it is supposed Bob is lurking about.  All persons are forewarned employing, harboring or giving him aid, or countenancing him in any way, under penalty of the law.  I will give the above reward of $25, and all reasonable expenses paid, to have him confined in any jail so that I can get him again — or delivered to Mr. William Barnes, on White Oak, in Edgecombe County.  JOSEPH J.M. BARNES.

Tarboro Press, 1 Feb 1840.

Application to marry.

Ing’s Mills Dec’r 13th 1844

F.M. Taylor Clerk &c Sir

James Jones a free man of colour will apply to you for licence to Marry Jesse Boon and Elizabeth Jones, both free persons of colour, __ should you have any scruples in regard to granting them ,__ I can inform you that I am acquainted with the parties and wou’d not suppose them any liability on your part as they are of contracting ages &c &c           Yrs sincerely

Jacob Ing

Records of Slaves and Free People of Color, Nash County Records, NC State Archives

A summons.

August Term 1841.

Notice issued to Margaret Carroll, residing at Mrs. Sally Grice’s plantation, to bring in her children Garry, Feriba, Elvina and Mary Carroll.

Minutes, Johnston County Court of Pleas & Quarter Sessions.

In the 1850 census of Johnston County, Margaret Carroll and her children Mary, Raiford, Patsey, Mary and William appear in the household if farmer John M. Grice.