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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hey Art! Your Roots Are Showing!

I finally got another member of my family to take a DNA test! 

My half-brother M. Artis took the Ancestry DNA test on December 4, 2015 and the results came in on record time on December 22nd. I guess the folks at Ancestry were into the spirit of giving.  Thank you AncestryDNA!

Well it's official, he is my mother's son. LOL... There are times when I think that we can't possibly be related because we are soo different but Ancestry confirmed our relationship.

I once read somewhere that DNA is "randomly" passed down from generation to generation; well that also includes from child to child.  For instance, my brother and I match as 1st cousins instead of half-siblings and Gedmatch states that we are 1.5 generations removed.  

Side by side comparison of my brother and my mother's DNA Results

My Ancestry DNA Results

My brother’s father, Sylvester Artis, is deceased but with Mom’s DNA we can compare what he inherited from her and his father and some interesting facts were discovered. I inherited my Asian DNA from my Mom but my brother did not. I believe the Asian DNA comes from our maternal grandmother, Classie. Classie’s father was supposedly Native American however, another family lore said that he was from India. Perhaps there is some substance to this family tale.

Another ironic fact is that both my brother and mother have Melanesia DNA but I don’t. Like I said, some kids inherit and some don’t. Similarly, he has more Nigerian and less Cameroon/Congo and Benin/Togo DNA, than Mom and I.  

But what really surprised me is that my brother has 16% Irish ancestry while Mom only has 8% and I have 5%.  This discovery reminds me that we can never assume anything. Because my brother is darker than Mom and I, I assumed he would have less European DNA. Instead he has twice the amount our mother has. Never let the amount of melanin fool you! 

My brother’s father was a light skin African American and who had some free ancestors, perhaps his “original father” aka father’s father’s father’s and so on was from Ireland. But that is something that my brother will have to research.  In fact, it is well known that most of the Artises in Wayne, Wilson and Greene Counties North Carolina were descended from Free African Americans.   

Mr. Sylvester’s Ancestors:

Parents - Absolum and Laurina (Rena) Smith Artis:

Paternal Grandparents - Albert and Neicy Simmons Artis:

According to the 1860 census, Albert Artis’ parents, Edwin and Emily Artis, were free African Americans.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t as successful in discovering Laurina Smith Artis’ family, however, another family lore (We got plenty of these.) says that Absolum and Laurina were second cousins.

Perhaps this post will give my Big Brother The Genealogy Itch. Hey Art...want you come over to the Genealogy side!

Ancestry DNA; U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT. USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.


  1. Thanks so much for your post! I am a descendant of the Artis family. My great-great-great grandfather was Daniel Artis and he lived in Greene County, North Carolina. His daughter, my great-great grandmother Mariah Artis Swinson lived in Greene County and in Wayne County, North Carolina.

    M. Fenton

  2. Thanks, Ms. Fenton, I'm glad you like my post. Are you and my brother distant relatives?