Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Kreativ Blogger Award

It's been a big week for me!  I got my first blogging award, started communicating with Angeline Harris ("the" WAIT researcher), and started a new job!  Whew!  My apologies to Regina and Missy for taking so long to get this post up. My cup runneth over.

Thank you, Regina De Leon aka: Kinfolk News for awarding me with my very first blogging award!  What a great surprise!

By the time I got around to finishing this entry, I received a second award from Missy Corley at Bayside Research in Maryland.  She was already on my list of favorites, so right back at'cha!

Apparently, I need to write 7 things that you don't know about me and then nominate 7 blogs of my own.

So here it goes!

Seven Things About Me:

  1. I am purpose-driven and devoted to improving my quality of life by focusing on things that actually matter. My new job is at Target and it allows me the flexibility to work on my projects without selling my soul.  After suffering from extreme burnout and an eye-opening back injury in 2007, I left my corporate travel job of 11 years to pursue a career in Life Coaching. It turned out that I was better suited to "receive" than to "give" in that field, so I'm no longer coaching but I do stay in close contact with my friend and coach Brenda Rosaaen from Montana. She's been through a lot with me in the past couple of years and I highly recommend her if you're looking for a Life Coach.

  2. When I run across a quote that I identify with, I like to write it on a colored index card and hang it where I can see it a lot. One of my latest favorites, "Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become." -- Gandhi

  3. I like things the way I like them. That's why my blog has changed at least three times since I started it. If it doesn't have the right feel, I can't get past it. I'm a little obsessive like that. So I taught myself how to install WordPress and customize it to my liking. It took me away from blogging for a couple of weeks, but I just couldn't get past it! I'm now helping Brenda design her new site (slow and steady wins the race, right, Brenda?).

  4. I'm deliberately nurturing my inner artist and going through The Artist's Way program (more about that later).  A few weeks ago, I looked out the window and really fell in love with the way my neighborhood looked with the changing of the season. So I ran outside in my PJs and slippers and took a few pictures of my neighbors trees.  One of those photos is in my header on this site. It's my neighbor's tree and I love the way it turned out. Here's hoping that Santa brings me a new camera for Christmas! And just in case Santa's reading this now, here's my Wishlist!  Ho! Ho! Ho!

  5. I'm really affected by color. My office is lavender, the living room is a light green, the bathroom is blue and white, the kitchen is in the midst of a paint job right now and will be the same color as the living room!  We're planning on knocking out the top half of the wall separating the kitchen and living room, so we're planning ahead!

  6. I have a dent in my head. (that explains a lot, right?)

  7. Here are some of my current favorites:  Books:  Right now, I have bookmarks in The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan, and Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I also read Johanna Lindsey books on occasion and various personal development authors!  Movies: Office Space, The Princess Bride, and Yes Man!

Seven Blogs I Enjoy Reading:

Amber Dawn Abroad - My friend and former roommate Amber just moved to London!

Davis/Williams Family Tree - A fellow WAIT researcher and awesome new blogger.

Brenda Rosaaen, Life Coach - She hasn't updated it for a while, but it was one of my favorite reads and I can't wait for her to start blogging again! I'll update her link when we get her new blog platform off the ground, but for now you can read through her musings. =)

A Multitude of -sens

Bayside Blog


Valentino's Wife

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Family Tree DNA Test Kits on SALE

Good news!  Family Tree DNA has just put their DNA test kits on sale!  Yessss!!!

Sue Waite-Langley over at Waite Genealogy is still administering the Waite DNA Project that I wrote about in August, and we're still looking for participants!

The 37-marker test is normally $149 for our test group (and $169 if you're flying solo), but for a limited time it's only $119!  This kit will get us in the door, so to speak.

The 67-marker test is normally $239 for our test group (and $298 if you're flying solo), but it's now only $209!  This kit is ideal for our test group, because it will show who the TOP ancestor is on the tree.

Don't have the Y-chromosome?  Can't afford to foot the entire bill?  Does cheek-swabbing creep you out?

Then Chip In!

Under my photo at the top left part of my site, you'll see a tally of our donations thus far.  When you contribute to this cause, your donation will be sent to me via PayPal and will be earmarked for this project alone. I will update the meter as we progress to our goal.

FTDNA's sale is going on through the end of the year.  Let's raise $209 by New Year's Eve and get the ball rolling! If 21 people donate $10 each, then we're in!  That's pretty painless.

Want to be part of the study?  Not afraid of swabs?  Contact Me and I'll put you on the list of volunteers for this project.

If more than one person volunteers, we'll pick the first participant at random.

Thank you in advance for your support!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My All-American Heritage

I have this overwhelming fascination with finding out what my nationality really is (besides American).  There's a part of me that feels like I'm missing out on something. It's the part that surfaces when I go to my friend George Kazas's Greek restaurant The Parthenon, when I watch French Kiss,  and when I listen to the stories that my boyfriend Scott tells about his Polish grandmother making pierogies (which are delicious!).

Back in September, I was reminded of this again when my cousin Amber (1st cousin, 2x removed) contacted me about a school project she was doing.  She needed to write a generation paper to find out where we came from and how we immigrated here. Her aunt Lisa (of custom screen printing and Fleming photo book fame) suggested that she contact me so she could see the family tree.

Oh, if only it were that cut and dried!

I remember doing something similar when I was in school. I asked my Mom and Dad and somehow ended up with the notion that I was German and Czech from Mom's side and Irish and English from Dad's side.

Once I started working on my family tree, things got a bit more complicated.

The KUNZ connection to Germany was almost immediately apparent. My Mom's paternal great grandfather John Michael Kunz emigrated here with his wife Christinea Winegar from Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, in 1857.  Definitely German. Their son Hiram Frederick Kunz married another German gal named Amalia Lee. Which makes my grandfather Earl Daniel Kunz German. 100% German. (as far as I know)

I thought that my HARTSOCK (Hertzog) ancestors were from Czechoslovakia, but now I'm almost positive that isn't true. I don't know where I got that idea, and Mom doesn't remember telling me that.  But I guess that's what happens when you're in grade school.  Limited attention span.  Now what was I saying?  Oh yes.  So far I've traced the Hartsock line back to 1789 Pennsylvania, and that's it. There's more info on the web, but it isn't sourced so I haven't dug too deeply into it yet.  I checked Public Profiler for this one and it says that Strasbourg, Alsace, France has the highest population of people with the surname Hertzog.  France?  Really? Then I checked... yep!  It's just West of the German border. I found anothergenealogy site with a great map of the area, you should check it out!

The FLEMING side is supposed to be from Ireland. It sure sounds Irish! I've only made it as far back as my Dad's 3rd great grandfather who was supposedly born in Massachusetts ca 1790. His wife Matilda is listed on Census forms as coming from either Ireland or Massachusetts or Maryland depending on which one you're looking at.  Upon researching the Fleming name, it's translated from French "le Fleming", or "from Flanders" and the first Flemings were 12th century merchants from Flanders.  Surname origin: Norman.  Okay! There's also an impressive one-name study on the Fleming name and origins at

That leaves me with WAIT, or in past generations, WAITS. Since the connection to Richard Waite and Sarah Blake has been disproved, the furthest I can follow them back is John Waites who was born about 1730 and married Ann Deloss in Pennsylvania in 1750.  According to the Public Profilerwebsite, the place with the highest concentration of WAITES is in Middlesbrough, North England, United Kingdom, right under Scotland. WAITS comes back with a top city of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. That sure makes things interesting!

So where does that leave me?

I would say that I'm a Hybrid of 25% German and 75% American.  My other three lines have been in the U.S. for over 200 years. So long, that every other part of ethnicity seems to have been blended into something else. I have my Mother's brown eyes and my Father's blonde hair. I was raised in a meat-and-potatoes household with the occasional homemade Runza treat. Heck, I didn't even eat at a Mexican restaurant until I was in high school! We always ate around the dinner table and if we actually did go out to eat, it was for pizza or diner food.

Yep.  I'm an all-American girl! Yet I still have hope that I will discover what makes up the other 75% of me. That's the piece that I feel like I'm missing, and probably the reason that I'm so drawn to Genealogy. But I feel confident that through additional research and scientific advancements like DNA Testing, I'll get it all figured out.  Maybe then, I'll feel complete.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Obituary - William Henry WAITS (1845-1927)


William Henry Waits was born in Clermont County Ohio, September 29, 1845. He departed this life at his home in Ruby, Nebraska, January 30, 1927. Age 81 years, 4 months, and one day.

He was united in marriag with Mrs. Elvie Pitt, January 24, 1875. To this union seven children were born, four sons and three daughters. He came to Nebraska in 1873 and Homesteaded in Hamilton County. He later moved to Seward County, and has made Seward County his place of residence until his death.

In 1861 at the opening of the civil war he was in the struggles at Harper's Ferry; he enlisted in Company H, 53rd regiment Ohio Volunteers and also served in Co. "F" 195th Ohio Regiment.

Mr Waits was a stonemason by trade laying the foundations of the Tishue Block, the Windsor Hotel, and was instrumental in building the Congregational church in Seward, Nebraska.

In 1893 he was converted, acknowledging Jesus Christ as his Saviour, and united with the Methodist Episcopal church at Ruby, Nebraska. He remained a faithful member of that great branch of the Christian faith until his departure.

He leaves to remember him as a faithful husband and father, with the hope if Christ of a meeting beyond this life the following: his faithful wife and helpmeet; four sons; Frederick of Seward, Simeon, Thomas and Edwin, all of Seward County, Nebraska. Three daughters, Mrs Lovina Lunney of Valley county, Mrs Rhoda Davis of Ruby, Nebraska; Mrs Lizzie Davis of Seward County. There are twenty-nine grandchildren, one great grandchild, two brothers, James and Thomas of Western Nebraska, with large company of friends and acquaintances.

The funeral services were held from his home in Ruby, Nebr., on February 1st, conducted by Rev. D. A. McCullough, pastor of the Seward Methodist church. Burial was in Ruby cemetery.

Review - OBITS OF NEBRASKA Website

I found a new website yesterday called Obits of Nebraska that specializes in pre-1930s obituaries for people who died in Nebraska.  Having deep Nebraska roots, I thought I would give it a shot and see if they have any from Seward County.  Since it's such a rural county, there usually aren't any clippings from their newspapers, but it was free to search!

So I typed in WAITS, and sure enough there was my 2nd GGF William!  The listing showed his Name, Birth year, Death year, County, and the date of the publication.  So I was absolutely certain that it was MY William!  They have a handy "buy now" button right there that linked to their PayPal account, so I clicked away!

Obits of Nebraska charges $4.99 with 50 cents of each purchase donated to the Nebraska State Historical Society.  Considering what it would cost me to find this image myself, not to mention the time, I was happy to fork over $5 for it (and even happier that they donate 10% to NSHS)!

There was an error on the landing screen after my purchase, so I forwarded a copy of it to the email address they provided.

According to my PayPal receipt, my order went through at 2:25p on 11/8/09 (Sunday).  At 4:30pm the same day, I had an email from Barbara Starks along with a .pdf of William's obituary!  Two hours and 5 minutes on a Sunday afternoon.  Not too shabby!
Good afternoon, Kathy

Thank you for your support. Your selection for #20535, William Henry Waits is attached. If you have any questions or problems, please feel free to contact us
Our email office hours are from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.  In addition, I have forwarded the error message you received on to technical support.

Thanks again,

Barbara Starks
O'Bits of Nebraska

I was happy to see that the image was labeled with the newspaper name, county, and date.  Very useful to include the Source!

Since the file was in .pdf format, I zoomed way out on the image until I could see the whole thing on my screen at once (without scrolling). Then I just clicked on the upper left corner of the image and dragged a box down to the lower right corner.  The right-clicked and selected "copy image". From there, I opened up Paint (which comes standard on almost everyone's computers these days), clicked "Edit" and then "Paste".  Then "Save As", named the file WAITS_William_Henry_1845_1927.jpg, then saved it.  Taa-Daaaaa!!  It's now a photo.  Now I just need to upload the photo onto my tree and I'm done!

I'm not sure why the file isn't sent as a .jpg file, but in reality it only added a few more steps to my process.

Obits of Nebraska has nine more WAITs on their website, some I recognized immediately and a few from Fillmore County which I don't think are related.  One of those is William's wife Elve and although I have a copy of her obituary, I may order it anyway.  This version of William's obituary was completely different than the transcript that I got from a cousin.  And much longer!

I played around with the Search button and decided to see if I could find ALL of the Seward County obituaries.  So I typed in "Seward" and it found 83 obituaries with Seward in them.  Eight of which I believe are related as well, so I'll probably be back to get those too!  A few just had Seward somewhere in their name, but the rest were all from Seward County.  As I mentioned, Seward County is pretty rural and considering that these are all pre-1930, I think that's an amazing number!

All in all, I'm very pleased with the quality, service, and helpfulness of Obits of Nebraska and will definitely be back for more!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Visit to the Prairie

Yesterday, I went to Nine Mile Prairie for my first Artist's Date (more on that later).  Nine Mile Prairie is basically a piece of land (230 acres) that has never been plowed.  It's covered with natural prairie grasses and native trees and is one of the largest of its kind in the Midwest. It strikes me as funny that I've lived in this area for most of my life and I'd never been there!  Maybe if Laura Ingalls Wilder were hanging out there, I would have made a point to visit her sometime within the past 35 years that I've lived here.

After dutifully writing out my morning pages, I put on my hiking shoes (and am sure glad I did!), grabbed my trusty camera, and out the door I went. I didn't even take the dog or my cell phone! While I was there, I walked along the path and waded into the tallgrass to see what it was like.  I also took a few photos (114) and tried to imagine what it would have been like to be a Pioneer, bouncing along in your covered wagon, and having this be the only thing you see for miles and miles.

Even the way the cut the grass for paths reminded me of ruts made from wagon wheels, though more uniform and less muddy.  I covered about 1/3 of the land, following the path they had cut. There's a big "lake"... well... what used to be a lake according to the map and the watermarks on the trees. Right now, it's just a big divot with thick dried up mud in the center.

Here are some hoof prints from the local deer.

A bit further on, I discovered a ravine to explore. Of course there were footholds carved out (barely) and some loose rope tied to steel poles along the side to use a handrail, so someone must have discovered it before I did.  I didn't really trust the setup, but used it anyway.  I climbed down into it, and it was maybe five feet wide at its base.  I took a few photos, looked around, listened for animals that I swear were staring at me, and then fought my way back to the top the way I came.  THEN I realized that it was a dead end. So I went back to the edge of it and looked across and sure enough, there was another "stairway" on the other side and the path continued on.  So back down I went and up the other embankment.

After stopping to study some Milkweed going to seed, the path wound around the Airport Authority's fence line and I ended up back where I started.

I was out there for about an hour and a half and boy can I feel it in my legs today!  It was about 70 degrees yesterday, so once the clouds cleared a bit, it was really nice out there.  It's sunny now and if I had the car here, I would be really tempted to go back and try my hand at more photos!  It's funny what you see in them once you see them enlarged on your screen.

This little field trip is part of the program called The Artist's Way that I just started.  It's to help me get in touch with my creative side a bit more.  My work on my family tree does feel creative, but it's also giving me new ideas on how to pursue it further.  I want to incorporate more storytelling into it, but find myself blogging in more of a fact-after-fact way.  I want to add more photos, too, to show what it was like to live back then.  Things looked vastly different and even day to day living was all-encompassing.  Already, I'm starting to feel my brain loosen up and the words are flowing better.  Hopefully this trend will continue and you'll have easier reading from here on out.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - F. S. Wood, Blacksmith

Photo: F. S. Wood, date unknown. Digital image. Privately held by Kathy Wait Myers, (ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE), Nebraska, 2009. All rights reserved."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

FOUND - 1839 Charles WAITS marriage to Catherine HAYNS Moyer

I dreamed about genealogy all night last night!  Who belongs to who, who lived where, and what happened to William Mathews from yesterday's post.  So when I woke up this morning, I hopped right on the computer and started searching for people in that family cluster.  One thing led to another and soon I was looking at a list of WAITS marriages in Clermont County, Ohio from 1800-1850.

Very few of the names looked familiar when I scanned the page, but I thought I would transcribe the page and add it to my Wait Heritage Group so others could compare their trees to it.  So I was typing away, and came across this entry.

Charles lost his wife Mary Goble Waits in May 1838, just months after the birth of their 12th child, David.  Another two month later, David died as well.

Catherine lost her husband Michael Moyer at about the same time that Mary died, leaving her with 4 children. Until last week, I had only seen her listed as Catherine MOYER.  Then I was reading through a family reunion book that a descendant of Reason Waits sent me, and she was listed as Catherine Weaver Moyer.  There isn't a source listed, so I kind of kept it in the back of my mind.

Charles and Catherine married March 23, 1839, according to all sources I've seen.  So it makes sense to me that this marriage entry is my Charles and Catherine.  The date is right, the place is right, they're both widows.  The only thing that differs is Catherine's last name. I plan on doing more research with the HAYNS last name (it could even be HAYNES, since the entries aren't without error).  I'd like a couple more sources to back this up, but thought I'd share what I found so far!

The 1840 census shows Charles and family in Jackson Township, Clermont County, Ohio.  They have 13 children between "under 5" and "15-20" living with them. What a houseful!

Between 1842 and 1849, Charles and Catherine had 3 more children, bringing their grand total to 19, including the ones who died young.  WOW.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

FOUND - WAITS in 1870 Census

I finally found James G and Susannah (Susan) WAITS and family in the 1870 Census!  They're in Ohio for the 1860 census and in Nebraska by 1880.  So I decided to look at every census form of anyone with a name anything like WAITS.  There they were in Illinois, of all places!  Pittsfield in Pike County, to be exact.  Thankfully they have a really big family!  They were listed with the last name of WEIT.  Sweet!

My 2nd great grandfather William Henry was listed there at age 26 with his parents and brothers and sisters.

There was also an 8-month old infant named "Will", born in October 1869.  I'm not sure how he fits into the family, though. In 1880, he shows up again as 10-year old Wm Mathews in Platte, Hamilton County, Nebraska living with his grandmother Susannah and her son Thomas Boyd Waits who is 22 years old and has the "Chills".

I wonder if he's Sarah Waits' son?  Someone else's tree on says that she passed away in 1869 at the age of 26.  So it is possible that she died in childbirth.  I'll have to check marriage records to see if she married someone with the last name of Mathews!

Boy, it sure helps to talk this all out here!  Thanks for listening!

Wordless Wednesday - old WAITS tintype

This tintype image comes from my cousin Robin Roy in Washington State.  We believe this is her great grandfather (and my 2nd great grandfather), William Henry WAITS (1845-1927).  We can't seem to come to a conclusion about who the lovely lady is standing beside him.

William married Elve Sonoria LONG PITT (1849-1928) sometime between 1873 and 1877 (different sources have different dates).

What do you think?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wait Family Heritage Group & Nonprofit

I thought I'd let you all know about a genealogy group that I started.

Over the last few months that I've been researching my WAIT roots, I've "met" probably a dozen people online who have also researched my line.  Through a series of emails and messages on, I've learned a lot about where I come from (and where I don't)!  One of the things that bugged me about using this method was that all of that info was now tucked away in a private message, and I wondered who else I might meet if these discussions were out in the public eye.

So I had this idea to start a group where everyone could contribute what they know and we could get to know each other.   I searched around a bit and ended up modeling it after the Parker Heritage Group.

I started interest groups for each of the families in my line:

Frederick Hiram WAIT (1876-1955)

William H WAITS (1845-1927)

James G WAITS (1816-1880)

Charles Waits (1790-1868)

James WAITS (1760-1855)

John WAITS (1730-1791) (my brick wall WAITS)

I also started interest groups for each of the states they lived in:

NEBRASKA Genealogy

OHIO Genealogy

Along with that, there is a group for the DNA project:

Waite DNA Surname Project

I highly recommend that you take a look and join the groups that call to you.  You can add to discussions, start new ones, upload some photos, even have a blog!  Then keep checking back every week as new content is added and the site really starts to pick up momentum!  The more eyes we have on our history, the more we stand to learn!

My vision is to start a Wait Family Association that's dedicated to preserving the heritage of the Wait family through education and genealogy.  I want to run it as a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.  I've been doing some initial research for a couple of weeks and just this morning, I found another family to model the group after!

Towne Family Association

The Next Generation of Genealogy Software has been on my radar as an excellent way to share our trees, census forms, documents, and photos, so it's pretty cool that they use that platform as well!

For those of you who were at the reunion this July, you'll remember that in the land of Hunters and Farmers, I'm a Hunter.  I have a vision.  I have ideas.  I have passion.  I have social skills.  What I need are some more Hunters to collaborate with. And most importantly, some Farmers who are good at things like business practices, the law, accounting, and general stick-to-it-iveness.  People who are dotting the i's and crossing the t's.

If you think you'd be interested in helping with this project or know someone else who would be, please get in contact with me!

Update (9/5/2013) -- The idea for the ning site and the family association fell through the cracks since this post. Please disregard.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - James WAITS 1760-1855

James WAITS is my 5th great grandfather. In other words, he's my grandfather's grandfather's great grandfather!

James was born in Berkeley County, Virginia (which is now West Virginia).  His tombstone says he was born in 1760, but a deposition that I read in his Revolutionary War Pension file says that he was born in March of 1762.

In May 1777 when James was 17, he joined the American Revolution.  He enlisted in the militia of Washington County, Pennsylvania and served six months under the command of Colonel Springer.  During this time, he was "engaged in several skirmishes with the Indians at Garrets Fort and on the waters of Whitely."  He served again in 1778 out of Fayette County, Pennsylvania.

James applied for his pension in April 1833 and was eventually awarded a pension in March 1834 in the amount of $54.65 per year for his service in the War of Independence.

In 1781, he married Margaret Livengood in Washington County, Pennsylvania.  She was born 3 Sep 1763 in Greene County, Pennsylvania.  I don't yet know who her parents were.  James and Margaret raised eleven children and were married for 74 years.  Neither knew how to read or write and signed papers with an X, known as their "marks."  Although they didn't write out their names, their marks are definitely unique.  James wrote his as an "and" sign like I use.  Margaret used an X with swirly tips.

James WAITS signature (aka: "his mark")

Margaret Waits signature (aka: "her mark")

In 1782, James volunteered for military service again.  This time, he fought in Sandusky.

In 1799, James and Margaret moved to Clermont County, Ohio along with his brother Charles who was also in the Revolutionary War.  According to an article in the Clermont Courier, (July 1, 1885), James lived in Williamsburg and was always out for the Fourth of July celebrations.

In 1838, he is listed as owning 118 acres in Sterling Township, Brown County, Ohio.  Nearby, were his brother Charles as well as James' sons Charles (my 4th great grandfather) and Jacob.

James and Margaret lived in Sterling, Brown, Ohio for the remainder of their lives.  James died on March 2, 1855 at the age of 95.  He is buried at Taylor Chapel Cemetery in Sterling, Brown, Ohio.  Section 1, Row 5, Grave 9.

After the death of her husband, Margaret filed for her widow's pension at the age of 92.  She died the following year on July 14, 1856.  I'm not sure where she is buried.

I'd like to take a trip to Ohio soon, so I can visit his grave and find hers.  Also, there is a book at the Batavia library in Clermont County that apparently has a wealth of information about James and his brother Charles as well as their families.

I'd also like to thank for blessing me with 58 pages of his pension file!  Without them, who knows how long it would have taken me to see his X. It's a remarkable experience to see an image that he touched so many years ago.  Thank you!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Clues on John W PITT

I thought I'd check out today for something different.  Within 5 minutes, I located Civil War pension cards for several of my ancestors!

My 2nd great grandfather William H WAITS' card was especially interesting because it mentioned his wife Elve's first husband John PITT.

All I've been able to find on John PITT so far, was that he was married to Elve and was the father of Samuel M PITT. No census information, no date of birth, death, or burial information.  And yet here he is mentioned on WH's pension card!  Apparently, he served during the Civil War in Co K 58th Indiana Infantry.

Naturally, I immediately looked his card up to see what other information they had on him!

Here it is!  But... I don't get it.  It looks to me like he died Feb 1, 1928.  Could that be right?  I guess I've always assumed that she was a widow when she met William.  But if he was still living, then why would William be listed on his card?  There's nothing filled in about his widow, and I'm not sure what the 1st line of remarks means, other than 718192 matches William's certificate number.  It looks like he filed for benefits on Dec 7, 1885 five years before William did.

Can anyone shed some light on this?  I don't get it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - My Dad, the Cab Driver

Stork Shows He Still Runs Pretty Fast

A Lincoln woman staged a race with the stork at 3 a.m Wednesday, but even with the aid of her husband, a cab driver, and two police officers, she still lost the contest, though only by a few yards.

Mrs. Willie Pickett gave birth to a baby daughter on a surgical cart while being moved from a cab, parked in the parking area of Lincoln General Hospital, ot the hospital.

The cab driver was Roy (Whitey) Wait of 860 No. 25th.

It was quite a hectic experience for Wait. After picking up Mr. and Mrs. Pickett at their home at 2021 Vine, he radioed for a police escort.

The escort picked him up at 17th and B, found out everything was still all right, and escorted the cab to the hospital.

A surgical cart was secured from the hospital and the two police officers, Arthur Walker and Bruce Nelson, began wheeling Mrs. Pickett into the hospital.

But that is where the stork was declared winner of the race.

The hospital reported both mother and the 8-pound daughter doing well. The father is stationed at Lincoln Air Force Base.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Blue Mound Cemetery, Milford, Nebraska

I took a little trip to Milford today to take a couple of photos for people on  One of the requests was for a military stone and the requester mentioned that it might just be a stone with his ancestor's name and military information on it, and that it was probably in a long row of military stones.  Wow.  Was he ever right!

There are 165 stones in this cemetery that honor G.A.R. soldiers.  I could tell from the dates on the star that it had to do something with the Civil war, but had to look it up when I got back.  G.A.R. stands for the Grand Army of the Republic... ie: those who fought for the Union side in the Civil War.  I had no idea that there were so many of these graves here in the Nebraska countryside!  I wonder if this cemetery was "the place" to bury them?

When I set out to find the headstone I came for, I very systematically went through and photographed all of these military headstones so I could load them onto the findagrave website.  I figured it would be a good little project for me and it was my way of thanking them for their service.  Unfortunately, I forgot to bring a spare battery for my camera... ouch... so I was able to get all of the stones except THREE.  Ugh.  And that was before I made it over to the cemetery in Ruby, NE for another findagrave request.

Fortunately, it was a beautiful day to spend snapping photos and I'm looking forward to my return so I can finish what I started.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Madness Monday - Turning Over a New Leaf

I had a bit of a panic attack on Friday!  I decided to clean up the categories that I use in my blog entries... delete any subcategories... use just surnames instead of full names... centuries instead of decades... you can see my handiwork by clicking the dropdown arrow for "Categories" over there on the right margin.  --->

So after I switched my categories and got them the way I wanted them, I went through each post and reassigned categories to them.  I was moving right along until I got to the entries that I wrote about my Dad... in particular, this post:

It took me right back to the week that I wrote my first Tombstone Tuesday post about my Dad.  It took me a week to come up with that entry because it dug up all of the emotions I felt when he died.  It was an emotional rollercoaster!  So I took a big breath and went to the post right before that one:

I sat there for a minute admiring the photo, wishing that he didn't have such a weird look on his face and that his eyes were open.  He was probably trying to give the guy in front of him "rabbit ears" right before they snapped the photo.  haha...  Then I went to the previous entry, which I knew would be this one:

................. and it wasn't there .................

The whole world stopped.  I stared at my screen for what seemed like an hour.  Then I started talking to myself....
oh my gosh. oh my gosh. where is it? where is Dad's post? oh my gosh. oh my gosh. oh my gosh. okay.... breathe... okay... THINK!!!  where is it? what happened to it?  oh my gosh. Check your old blog!  Okay.... crap!!!!  It's not there!!!  Where are the rest of my entries?????  There's like a whole week missing!!!  THINK!!  THINK!!  Ok!!  Check the blogger blog that you posted last week when you freaked out about!!  Okay!!!  It's there!!!  They're all there!!!  Now how do you get it back over to your new blog. Oh!  That's right!  I exported the old blog, so that file is here somewhere.  Where is it... where is it...  OK!  Found it!  Now, IMPORT!!!  Whew... okay... it's there... they're all there now... I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT WORDPRESS DELETED TWELVE OF MY BLOG ENTRIES!!!!!  Now I know why I freaked out about them last Friday and was compelled to move my blog somewhere else!  My Dad was probably pushing me to export it so his information wouldn't be lost.  Thank you Dad!!  Thank you Universe!!  Thank you, whatever made me freak out and move my blog twice in a week!!   

Suddenly, all of my "what if's" have come to the forefront of my mind.  What if my hard drive crashes? What if I accidentally delete something I'm not supposed to?  What if I scan all of these pictures and then something happens and I lose the files?  What if, what if, what if??

So I'm turning over a new leaf!  I've decided that I need to export my blog WAY more often. Weekly during Monday Madness?  After every post?  I haven't decided.  What do you think?  I remember seeing something that Thomas MacEntee from Geneabloggers posted a while ago about keeping backups of your blog.  I'll have to dig that up and see what he said about it (my brain was full when I read it the first time)!

I also spent the weekend researching portable external hard drives so I can back up my hard drive regularly.  After looking at a bunch of them, I decided the Western Digital Elements 500 GB Portable External Hard Drive.  According to the techy guys at Amazon, it's probably my best bet.  Enough memory to last me a while and I guess the NTFS format is what I need so I can copy folders and files that are over 4GB.  That'll come in handy the next time AnceStories hosts Scanfest!!  It's a little more expensive than the desktop version, but it's only 6oz instead of 3lbs so I'll be more likely to pack it up to take it to my next family reunion.  I even followed through and bought it!!  I'll let you know how my first backup goes!  Can't wait!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

My blog-dentity crisis

Hey!  I'm back!  I don't know if anyone noticed, but it's been over a week since I last posted a blog.  It's not that I haven't wanted to write, but that I was having a blog-dentity crisis!  I was blogging through on one of their little starter accounts, but every time I tried to add a new widget (those little buttons on the right), it would error out and break the code.

I grew envious of my blogging friends pretty blogs on, so I started moving over there.  But then I couldn't find a design that I liked. Hm.

Then my friend Kevin V in New York  suggested that I just get my own domain and host wordpress.ORG on it.  Ok!  Now we're talking!

The I saw that Doteasy was having a domain name sale, so I bought my own domain name! $2.95 later, and  WWW.KATHYWAITMYERS.COM was born!!

Then I had to figure out where to host it.  Doteasy has free hosting, BUT not if you need these things called "php" and "MySQL" whatever that is.

See... I'm NOT the webmaster type.  I can usually figure things out, but when it comes to programming and moving files from here to there, I'm absolutely lost.

So I went on to and they suggested six different companies that you can use to do your hosting with.  I checked them all out... thought about it... tried to work it into my budget... and then checked them all out again!

I wound up going with Dream Host  because they had the best price.  lol!  They offer everything that I could possibly use now, plus I'll have room to grow my website as my needs change.  AND!  They also have an AWESOME anniversary sale going on right now, where you pay $9.24 for the WHOLE YEAR (a savings of $110... it's normally $8.95/month).  When you go to their website, the message is right there taking up the whole screen.  Plus, you get the first two weeks free.  Yay!

My biggest sigh of relief came when I used their "one click installer" for Wordpress blogs.  Amazingly, it actually worked the first time.  Before lunch, I had my blog up and running and on the web again and imported the posts from my old blog and everything!  I can't tell you how impressed I was at that.  Over the past week, I found a template that I liked, but couldn't figure out for the life of me how to get it uploaded on another webhosting company's site.  Sooooo frustrating.

Now I think I've got it!  I have a pretty new face to my blog... I'm in love with green and brown right now!  I have all of my little widgets lined up over there on the right margin!  Including the badge for my new WAIT HERITAGE group to share information and get to know my genealogy loving cousins!  My website name is MY name!!  I have to tell you... I was a little afraid that when I switched my website address, no one would be able to find me again.

So!!!  Bookmark my new site!!  Add it to your favorites!!  Subscribe to it via email!!  Follow me on Facebook!!  Follow me on Twitter!!

(no pressure)  ;-)  (Update: I no longer maintain this blog.)

WHEW!!!  Can I get back to researching and blogging now?  Thanks!!!  =)


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Reason Waits (1819-1892)

Reason WAITS was my great great great grandfather James G WAITS' brother, and the source of the letters that I quoted a couple of weeks ago in this post.

For some reason, Reason has been on my radar a lot this week so I thought it would be fitting to post these photos of his very unusual and cool headstone that a volunteer posted.  She said that someone before her chalked the monument, which can damage the headstone and make it deteriorate faster.  Not a good idea, in my book.

Actually, doing anything to a headstone is frowned upon in the genealogy and cemetery world.  There's an ongoing debate over what's acceptable and what's not.  For more on that, check out this blog post from Dick Eastman.

And the follow up post:

But for now, let's get back to today's Tombstone!


Reason Waits

b: 19 Nov 1819 in Brown County, Ohio

m: 19 Nov 1844 to Susan SIPES (1825-1855) in Ray, Missouri

m: 31 Oct 1858 to Melissa Jane CLEMMONS (1839-1927) in Atchinson, Missouri

d: 23 Feb 1892 in Fairfax, Atchinson County, Missouri

He had 4 children with Susan, and 7 children with Melissa.

I really don't know a lot about him at this point, but I get the feeling this will change sometime in the very near future.  I found a cousin on that is one of his descendants, and she just emailed me this morning to say that she found a ton of WAITS photos and documents in a family scrapbook that she hasn't looked at in a while.  So I scanned the copies of Reason's letters and she is going to copy what she has and send it to me.  So this story will break wide open  in the next few weeks!


"The pains of death are past
Labor and sorrow cease
And life's long warfare closed at last
His soul is found in peace"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday - Grandma's Suitcase


For my first Treasure Chest Thursday, I thought it would be appropriate to post a photo or two of... well... my treasure chest!

This is the metal suitcase that all of my old photos were kept in.  I'm not sure where it came from or who originally owned it or where it's been.  Although it's pretty dented up, you can see on the left side there that it has remained relatively glossy on the surfaces that weren't used much.  What surprises me about this suitcase is that it's remarkably sturdy, yet light at the same time!  I think it must be aluminum because I can lift it easily.

The lock is long gone, but the clasps that keep the lid shut are completely functional.  There are metal corners to reinforce the structure and I must say that they've done their job well!  The handle is also missing, but someone had the presence of mind to tie one dandy rope handle up.  My Dad was in the Navy, so I wonder if he may have been the one who tied this fancy one up.  Do they still teach sailors how to tie all of those knots or is that pretty much a useless skill now-a-days?


Inside the chest, you'll find a wooden box inside of a metal box.  The inner box is covered in this lovely brown and blue flowered wallpaper.  At least it looks like wallpaper to me.  There is one hinge on the right side that keeps the top open remarkably well.  And blue ribbons tied at the top to keep things somewhat organized for trips. I can only imagine that it must have been pretty, bright, and cheerful in its day.

Whenever I open my treasure chest, I always flash back to the first time I found it.  My Dad had just passed away and we were cleaning out his house so we could put it up for sale.  I'd lived on my own for a really long time, so I wasn't interested in any of the day to day items.  Everything else was just "stuff" to me... except this.  I was immediately drawn to it and when I popped the top open, I knew why.  Hidden inside this beat up old suitcase were piles and piles of old photos.  Sadly, some of them are in pretty bad shape from sliding around in there rubbing against each other.  Thankfully, there was a smaller box inside that contained more photos, so they are in much better condition.  I had no idea who any of the people were, but something inside me was insisting that I find out!

It's been five years since Dad died and I inherited this beat up old suitcase.  I've moved a few times and keep purging unwanted belongings by the carloads, but still have my treasure chest.   I call it Grandma's trunk because that's just the vibe that I get from it.  I don't know when it was made or how far its traveled.  But I get the feeling that sooner or later I'll be going through photos with someone and there it'll be... sitting in all it's former glory... and the mystery of its owner will be unraveled.  Until then, it will stay perched on the top shelf of the closet in my office.  Safe and sound.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Edwin William Waits (1892-1963)

I thought it would be fitting today to show you Edwin William Waits' tombstone, since he was a major part of my day yesterday.

Edwin was born in Milford, Seward, Nebraska, USA and died in Marion, Oregon, USA.  It's my understanding that he was married with kids.  Was it common back then to take someone's body across country and not bury them with their spouse?  That seemed to happen a lot in my family.

I took this photo at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Ruby, Seward, Nebraska, USA on Memorial Day, 2009 and noticed that a few of my family's graves had flowers on them.  Same thing in the Seward Cemetery.  Assuming that the visitors are cousins, I'd really like to talk to them and let them know about my research and blog and see if they want to compare notes.  Does anyone have any ideas on how I would get in touch with them?  I've thought about leaving a note in a ziploc next Memorial Day, but that's nine months away.  Seems a shame to let it go that long if we live in the same area.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Madness Monday - Mystery Men photo 2nd UPDATE!

UPDATE 2 !(9/8/09)

Robin and I have been comparing the 2nd gent to his brother, pictured here.  The hair is definitely the same, but it's hard to tell since his face would have filled out quite a bit since the first picture.  The first photo was taken at the same time as Edwin's grainy one (have I mentioned lately that I really want a scan of the original to these photocopied photos?).  It's not as obvious as Edwin's picture, but still a possibility?


UPDATE!!! (9/7/09)

My cousin Robin figured out who the top guy is!  It's my great grandfather's youngest brother Edwin William Waits.  The only other photo I have is that really grainy one that's a scan of a photocopy.  Good eyes, Robin!!  Now figure out who his friend is! lol!

The 1900 census shows Edwin in Seward NE.  In 1917/1918, he registered for the draft for WWI, but I haven't seen anything that shows that he enlisted.  His draft card shows that he was working for the Union Pacific Railroad as a machinists helper and was married.

I'm still dying to know what's written on the back of that photo, though.  I think I'll take everyone's advice and take it to a professional!  Thanks for all of the feedback!!  =)

This photo has driven me mad since I first saw it.  I really stands out against the photos of farms and farmers that it was mixed in with.


Who are these guys?  I can only assume that they're either from the WAIT or FLEMING sides of my family since that's the photo album I found them in. I can see a bit of family resemblence between the two of them, especially their noses and ears... but their eyes and mouths and hair are completely different.  When was the photo taken?  My guess is some time in the 1800s.  How old are they?  Late teens?  Early 20s?  What's with the fur coat?  I haven't come across anyone in my tree yet who lived anywhere that a fur coat was warranted or practical.  Not to mention affordable!  The guy on the bottom is wearing a turtleneck and what looks like a wool pea coat?  They certainly took great care in their appearance... it's almost like they knew I'd be staring at this picture for hours and they wanted to look their best.  What sort of event would warrant a photo like this to be taken?


Look at the back of the same photo.  There's black scrapbook paper glued to it from where it was taken out of a photo album, but you can tell there's something written underneath it.  Argh!  Not to mention that part of the word on the left was cropped off when they trimmed the photo.  It looks like "Ed" and what looks like the beginning of a capital "W"  to me.  At the end of the last word is definitely "tt"... what's the letter they're connected to... "a"... "i".... something like that?  Or am I just imagining things because I subconsciously want their last name to be Wait or some version of that.  Was this photo originally in a frame?  When were these postcards available?  Could this have been a reprint on post card stock or is this the original photo?  I think I saw some sort of solution in a scrapbooking store once that was used specifially for dissolving the glue on pictures like this, but I would be more afraid of ruining it than anything.

If anyone has any guesses or advice on this photo, please comment away!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Photo Request - William Henry WAITS (1845-1927)

William Henry Waits

William Henry Waits

Have you seen this man?  This is my great great grandfather William Henry WAITS and I am looking for additional photos of him for a family project that I'm working on.  If you've been reading along and thinking that maybe you think that I'd like to see some of the photos that you have of this family, you're right!  Now's your chance!  Scan them and send them in!

Please email the files to me at:

  • If possible, try to scan the photos with a resolution of at least 300 ppi.  Preferably 600 ppi! The bigger, the better.  My email can handle it.

  • If you inherited photos of William or anyone else related to his family and want to give them to another family member, I would gladly take them.  I am archiving all of my photos and would be thrilled to add yours to my collection so I can protect them as well as share them with other family members.

Here's the nitty gritty to help you find him in your photos!


b. 29 Sep 1845 - Miami, Clermont, Ohio, USA

m. 24 Jul 1877 - Elve Sonoria LONG PITT - Seward, Seward, Nebraska, USA

d. 30 Jan 1927 - Ruby, Seward, Nebraska, USA


James G Waits, William's fatherWAITS_James_G


  • James G WAITS (1816-1880) - son of Charles Waits (1790-1868) and Mary GOBLE (1799-1839)


  • Susannah ARTHUR (1816-1901) - dau of William ARTHUR (1788-1865) AND Mary Polly REED


  • Rachel Waits (1840-1868)

  • Mary Lucinda Waits HULEN (1841-1902)

  • Sarah E Waits (1845-1869)

  • Rhoda C Waits (1848-?)

  • Charles Richmond "Dick" Waits (1850-1917)

  • James Turner Waits (1852-1929)

  • Moses Woodruff Waits (1855-1921)

  • Thomas Boyd Waits (1858-1927)

  • Ada May Waits PALMER(1861-1951)



  • Elve Sonoria LONG PITT - dau of Samuel LONG (1811-1887) and Permelia Ann ROGERS (1824-1916)



  • Samuel Melvin PITT (1869-)

  • Frederick Hiram WAIT (1876-1955)

  • Lavina Lenora Waits LUNNEY (1878-1966)

  • Simeon Andboy Waits (1881-1941)

  • Rhoda L Waits DAVIS (1884-1973)

  • Thomas Grover Waits (1886-1962)

  • Elizabeth Myrtle Waits DAAKE (1889-1974)


  • Civil War Veteran - Fought for Union

  • Co H, 54th Ohio Volunteers

  • Co F, 195th Ohio Volunteers

  • Battles: Harper's Ferry, Winchester, and Old Town


  • Sterling, Brown County, Ohio, USA

  • Harrison County, Nebraska, USA

  • Ruby, Seward County, Nebraska, USA

  • Seward, Seward County, Nebraska, USA


  • Stonemason

  • Farmer

  • Laborer

Wednesday, September 2, 2009