Thursday, July 30, 2009

Taking Thursday off... kinda

I'm emotionally exhausted today and don't feel like researching or blogging much.  My Aunt Deanna sent me an email earlier so I could correct my brother Brian's birth year (1957, not 1959... sorry Brian) and I sent her an email that kind of explained how the last couple of days have been for me.  I thought I'd share it with you...
It took me 2 days and a whole lot of kleenex and bubblebaths to get through writing about my Dad yesterday.  I'm a member of Geneabloggers and the Tuesday writing prompt is "Tombstone Tuesday" and people post pictures of headstones and cemeteries (it is a great source of info about ancestors!).  I really wanted Dad to be one of my first entries, but it didn't do him justice to just post a picture of his headstone.  It seemed disrespectful to me.  So then I read and entry last week that a gal wrote about her Dad and it seemed natural to follow her lead and do a full blown out article.  He's the whole reason that I started researching in the first place.

I wish we would have had more actual conversations while he was still here.  It's been 5 years now and my heart is still broken.  I was talking to my boyfriend Scott last night and trying to explain why this affects me so much still.  He still has both of his parents.  We've both been through divorces, so I told him it's kind of like going through that only you've known this person your entire life and there's no hope that there will ever be another person to fill that hole they left.  You can always find another spouse... I'll never have another Dad.

I know he's still hovering around and looking out for me and witnessing my life, but I sure wish that he was here in body as well as spirit.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Dad and shipmates during Korean War

"10 Feb 1952 - USS JC Breckinridge - Korean War - Roy F Wait Jr (blonde, center) and unknown shipmates - off coast of Hawaii on way to the states"

10 Feb 1952 - USS JC Breckinridge - Korean War - Roy F Wait Jr (blonde, center) and unknown shipmates

Tombstone Tuesday - Roy Frederick "Sonny" Wait Jr (1931-2004)

"Roy - Age 3?"

Uncle Sonny young man

Roy was born in Greeley, Colorado on March 16, 1931 to Roy Frederick and Freda Delores (Fleming) Wait.

  Kath's Dad

His siblings were Betty (b: 1925), Vivian (1927-1983), Doris (1929-2003), William (b:1935), and Shirley (1945-1998).  His family then moved back to his dad's hometown of Seward, Nebraska, where they lived where his brother Bill was born in 1935.

He joined the US Navy in 1949 and was stationed onboard the USS General JC Breckinridge 1950.  His ship was used to transport fresh troops to the front lines and wounded troops .  He received several medals for his service during the Korean War; The United Nations Service Medal, Navy Occupation Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with three service stars, National Defense Service Medal, and the China Service Medal.

Mom, Dad, Tony, Brian, Kathy, and baby Karen

Mom, Dad, Tony, Brian, Kathy, and baby Karen

 I guess you could say that my Dad had a way with women.  In 1956, at the age of 25, he married Laurie Grant.  She blessed him with a son, Brian Paul in 1957.  They eventually divorced and by the time he married my mom, he also sired Nancy Sue McCumber and Mark Fredericks (Wait?).  He married my mom, Shirley Ann Kunz, in 1966.  I came along in 1968, followed by my sister Karen in 1972.  Toss in my brother Tony, who was my Mom's son from a previous marriage, and we were one big happy family (for the most part)!

The Wait Clan - Late 70s? (Back: Joe, Bill, Bob, Roy, Ron - Front, Betty, Shirley, Freda, Doris, Vivian, Deanna)

The Wait Clan - Late 70s?

Dad was known for his playfulness and wicked sense of humor.  You could always count on him to give you rabbit ears in photos, steal food off your plate, or take your car for a spin around the block if you were careless enough to leave your keys laying around.  Uncle Bill told me once that when they were growing up, you could always tell when Sonny was back home because he there would be a big fingerprint in the cake!  He was in heaven when I started playing pool and we'd go to the pool hall and shoot a couple of games.

Uncle Joe and Dad joking around

Uncle Joe and Dad joking around

We lived in San Jose, California from 1966 until 1974.  During this time, Dad worked as a toolcrib attendant for Ford Motor Company.  By 1974,  Dad had lost his father and Mom had just lost both of her parents, so my parents decided it was time to move back to Nebraska.  Dad got a job doing building maintenance for Jantzen Sportswear and worked there until the plant closed in 1992.  He then transferred to the plant in Walhalla, SC for two years until his retirement in 1994.  For him, it was like being sent to Siberia and it didn't agree with him at all.  Upon retirement, he promptly moved back to Nebraska.

Dad at a car show, probably with Justin and Ian

Dad at a car show, probably with Justin and Ian

 Dad spent his retirement on the phone and on the road, traveling from here to there visiting friends and relatives and spending time with his grandkids.  He was known to just show up on your doorstep or where you worked just to say hi and maybe get some lunch or something.  When the new quarters came out, he made a point of collecting them for his family in California and sending them out without fail.  (I don't think I even knew about this hobby until we found his stash of quarters and Sheryl and her family mentioned it.)

He loved all of his grandkids; Justin, Ian, Stephanie, Ariel, and Naomi.  He really bonded with Justin and Ian during this time and liked taking them to car shows and up to the Strategic Air and Space Museum in Ashland NE.  Of course, the boys drove him nuts and he loved to complain about their antics, but he loved every minute of it.  In 2003, he was very active helping my Mom fix up her house for sale and then helping my brother Tony build his garage. 

Then things really took a turn for the worse.  Dad started having trouble with his knee, so he went in for surgery.  That slowed him down and you could tell he wasn't feeling too well.  After Christmas, he finally went in to the doctor and it was decided that his gallbladder needed to be removed.  So he went in for his outpatient surgery and ended up being in the hospital for a week because he wasn't recovering like they'd hoped.

While he was in, he told them that his lymph nodes were swollen but they said they'd wait until after he recovered from his gallbladder to take a look at it.  Within a week, the lymph node on the right side of his neck was swollen to the size of an egg.  The pain in his back worsened.   So they did a biopsy and a week later diagnosed him with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  That was Thursday, Feb 5th 2004.

By this time, the cancer was spreading rapidly and they started chemo right away.  I wanted to keep his out-of-state family up to date on his progress, so I built a website for him.  I posted a daily blog (though at that time, I didn't know what a blog was!) with updates on his condition and information about the fundraising I was doing for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society right before he was diagnosed.  He had good days and would joke around with people and try to make phone calls, and bad days... he even had me take this picture so I could post it for his family.

Dad in the hospital on his 73rd birthday, March 16th 2004

Dad in the hospital on his 73rd birthday, March 16th 2004



He died at home on March 24, 2004 in Lincoln, Nebraska after only six weeks of battling cancer.  Our lives have never been the same.
Obituary:

Roy Frederick "Sonny" Wait, Jr, 73

Born 3/16/31 in Greeley, CO
Died 3/28/04 in Lincoln, NE after only six weeks of battling Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

US Navy Korean War Veteran, Building maintenance for Jantzen, Driver for Armadillo Express for the railroaders, Delivery driver for Lincoln Drug, drove a Taxi, Toolcrib attendant for Ford Motor Company, Delivery driver for Miller & Paine, sacker at Russ's IGA in Havelock, Greeter at SuperK.

Survivors:

Son:  Brian Wait (Lincoln) and his wife Becky and grandkids Ian and Ariel
Daughter: Kathy Myers (Chicago)
Daughter: Karen Wait (Palmyra) and grandkids Justin and Stephanie
Stepson: Tony Snyder (Murdock) and his wife Debra and grandkid Naomi

Ex-Wife: Shirley Wait (Lincoln)... they stayed close even after being divorced 15 years ago

Brother: Bill Wait (Valencia Ca) and his wife Deanna
Sister:  Betty Amaral (Woodburn Or)
Cousins, Nieces, Nephews, Friends, and many more...

Preceded in death by:
Father: Roy Frederick Wait, Sr
Mother: Freda Delores (Fleming) Wait
Sister:  Vivian (Wait) Head
Sister:  Shirley (Wait) McFall
Sister:  Doris (Wait) Budin and brother-in-law Bob Budin

Cars and Family were his passions.  He put over 250,000 miles on his 1990 Lincoln Mark XII visiting family and friends.  He enjoyed driving, photographing, and tinkering with cars.  Whenever Dad would borrow one of our cars, he would bring it back washed and waxed, oil changed, tires checked, with a full tank of gas.  He was known to lure you into the car with the promise of ice cream and trap you there while he visited friends and family... we would eventually get ice cream, but a 15 minute trip always took 3 hours.  Cousin Sheryl said that they used to tell him 'You drive like a rocket and stop like a bomb!"

Dad was also known for his wry sense of humor.  We fought over who had to sit next to him because it was inevitable that that person would end up with his hand clamped on your knee.. he could hit that nerve there every time and send you to the roof!  He couldn't let a cake or pie sit there peacefully without poking his finger in the top of it.  It was his trademark!  He taught us kids to play cribbage when we were in grade school and we would play for a penny a point and he actually kept score!  I would say that over the years, he probaby has an 80/20 win/lose ratio..  but I think I skunked him twice!  (he skunked me waaaaaayyyy more than that!)

He taught me "old math".  9+9 turned into 10+10-2.    18, either way.  I still add that way!

Dad loved his cell phone!  He is the only person I know who used every single minute on his plan!  750 anytime minutes... 3000 night and weekend... and he still had free PCS to PCS calls!  He got so mad the day they started charging to check his minutes!  "They use up a whole minute before they even start telling you what you have left!"  Tony just took his phone to the SprintPCS Store to print out his numbers so we can make our calls and they came back with 8 pages of phone numbers!!  This could take a while...

We're in the process of going through his papers looking for his DD214 (discharge) papers.  We can't find that, but we have found every single card that anyone has ever sent to him!  He would cut the return address labels off and tape them to a sheet of paper so they'd be easily accessible.  He kept everything!!!  Letters, bills, receipts, rabies papers for Sheba (his dog who has been gone for a couple of years now)...  Here's a good example of what we found:  A 22 rifle that he bought from JC Penney in about 1970... in the original box.. mint condition... with the receipt (that was filed away in the desk).  His place is like a continuous time capsule of his life.  We have found so many packets of pictures in his place... old navy pictures, family pictures, car shows, parades, vacations, and old family photos.  My big Project is going to be to sort through it all, put it in order, make copies for family, and add them to albums.  I hope to get it done before the family reunion this summer, too!

I miss him already...  no more 7am phone calls just to say "hi" (he never got the hang of waiting until 'double digits' to call me)...  no more evening calls to say "what's for dinner?"  even if he'd already eaten.... he would ask you to do things just to see if you would do them and then say that he was just kidding...

He was strong enough to stand his ground when he was right, but soft enough that he would do anything for anyone.  He could dish it out, and take it too!  He was loved.

Dad's newest grandkid, Skylar, at his Grandpa's grave 2009.
Dad's newest grandkid, Skylar, at his Grandpa's grave 2009.
Dad is buried near his parents at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Ruby, Nebraska.

Roy F Wait, Jr.

US Navy

Korea

March 16, 1931 + March 25, 2004

Sonny

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Found! Elve S Long - obituary

Elve Obituary

Thanks again to Vicki McAlister, I have what I feel to be a final confirmation of Elve Sonoria Long's past.  Vicki sent me a scan of Elve's obituary yesterday that pretty much sums up what I've been talking about for the past couple of days!  Heck!  They even cropped her out of the photo that I posted on Sunday.
Mrs W. H. Wait, First to Be Wed in Seward, Called

Mrs. Wait, who died at Ruby, Neb., recently held the distinction of bein the first bride in Seward county having been wed there, Nov 12, 1866 to John W. Pitt.  She married W. H. Wait July 24, 1875.  She is survived by eight children, one by her first marriage and seven by her second.  Mrs. Wait suffered a stoke of paralysis in August, 1927 from which she never fully recovered.  An attack of influenza was directly responsible for her death.  Mrs. Wait's maiden name was Elve Sonoria Long.

Well?  You can't ask for much more than that!  They even list her cause of death.  Although I'm not sure why the obituaries that I find don't mention birth and death dates.  I do wish that I knew what happened to John Pitt.  I'm assuming he must have died since his son's obituary says that he lived with his grandmother.  I am happy to know now that his middle initial was W.  Every little bit helps!

I am so shocked that all of this information has come to light in a matter of days!  I told Vicki that I get the feeling that Elve wanted her obit to be found and to have all of the pieces put together!  Thanks, Elve!  Rest in peace...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Elve Senora Long-Pitt-Waits (1849-1928)

William and Elve Waits and family

William and Elve Waits and family

Mystery solved!!

After posting about Grandpa Will's obituary yesterday and finding the Pitt reference for Elve, I remembered seeing something with the name Pitt on it.  So I dug out my big envelope with all of the original documentation that I got from my Dad and started looking.  Sure enough!  There was a photocopy of a handwritten note that I assume was transcribed from an obituary?  It's hard to say, but here it is!
Samuel Melvin Pitt

the son of John & Elvie Pitt was borned May 13-1869 in his Grand Father home stead near Ruby Nebr he passed away at his home in Ruby a part of the home stead of his grand Father his age 70 years 10 months 3 days. His Father & Mother were the first white couple married in Seward County married Nov 12 1866.  Mr Pitt never married he preferred single life he live with his grand mother for many years and farmed the old home stead for several (photocopy cuts the rest off).

This explains a lot!  I kept running into this name on Census forms and he was always either living with a family member or right  next door to them!

  • The 1880 Census shows William H (35) & Elve (35) living with Melvin S (son-11), Fred (son-4), and Vina (dau-2).  My family group sheet shows Fred as the oldest, but I added Melvin S in anyway and just documented it with the census information. 

  • I also have a photocopy of a photo (shown above) that has all of the Waits kids and their parents.  They all look pretty much identical except for the guy on the left, who looks older and has a face that's more square than long and skinny like the rest of the family.  Yet, when you count out the kids and compare that to the family group sheet, there's one extra.  and in my mind, it has to be  Samuel Melvin Pitt.

Thanks again to Vicki!  We emailed back and forth a few times yesterday.  I just saw this morning that she sent an awesome scan of a 1900s photo of William and Elve that I haven't seen before.  Yippee!

If anyone has an original photo of the one posted above, or any other photos of that family, I would love it if you could scan them and send them on to me.  It doesn't come out so well when you scan a photocopy of a photo.  Like in Multiplicity, a copy of a copy of a copy just isn't that sharp.  =)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Found! Obituary for William Henry Waits (1845-1927)

[caption id="attachment_73" align="aligncenter" width="213" caption="William Henry Waits and Elve Senora Long (or is it PITT??)"

William Henry Waits and Elve Senora Long (or is it PITT??)

My heart is beating so fast right now!  I was surfing through the genforum at genealogy.com, looking at various requests for information for my surnames... Wait... Waits... etc, and I stumbled on a post from December 16, 1999 that has a transcription of g-grandpa Will's obituary in it.  Holy moly!  I couldn't believe it!
Pioneer Of Ruby Died Early Sunday Morning

Wm. H. Wait, Civil War Veteran, Responds To Final Call; Resident of County 54 Years.

Wm. H. Wait, a resident of Seward county for nearly fifty-four years, died at his home at Ruby Sunday morning at the age of 81 years, 4 months and one day. During the civil war, Mr. Wait served first in Co. H, 54th Ohio, and later in Co. F, 195th Ohio. He was in the battles at Harper's Ferry, Winchester, and Old Town, as well as in many skirmishes. In 1873 he came to Nebraska and entered a homestead in Hamilton county. A short time later he came to Seward county and has resided here ever since. On July 24, 1877, he was married to Elsie S. Pitt, who survives him. He was born in the county jail in Clermont county, Ohio, September 29, 1845, his father being sheriff of the county at the time. He was married in the county jail at Seward, by the late I. D. Neihardt, who was then sheriff of Seward county, as well as a justice of the peace. Mrs. Neihardt and Mrs. Wait are sisters. Mr. Wait joked many times about his experience in jails, and expressed hope that he would not have to die in jail.

When Mr. Wait first came to this county he followed the occupation of stone mason, and helped lay the foundations in many of the first buildings in Seward, among them being the old brick school house and the original Tishue block.
Besides his wife the deceased is survived by seven children, as follows: Fred H. Wait, Seward; Mrs. John Lunny, Ord; Simon Wait, Seward; Mrs. Rhoda Davis, Ruby; Thos. Wait, Garland; Mrs. Lizzie Daake, Seward, and Edwin Wait, Ruby. There are also twenty-nine grandchildren and one great grandchild.

Two brothers, James, living in western Nebraska, and Thomas, of Creston, Iowa, and one sister, Mrs. Ada Palmer, of Omaha, also survive. M. W. Wait and "Dick" Wait, brothers, died a few years ago.
Funeral services were held at the home at 2 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, conducted by Rev. D. A. McCullough of the Methodist church of Seward, and interment was made in the Ruby cemetery.

It was posted by someone someone named Vicki McAlister, who is Thomas Boyd Waits great-granddaughter.  Thomas Boyd Waits is William Henry Waits' brother.  She also recites a letter from her great aunt that refers to him as "Uncle Will".  =)  You can view the entire post HERE.

Other than the misspelling of almost every name in the obit, there is a wealth of information here!  I emailed the original poster (if she has the same email from 10 years ago) to thank her.  I'd like to find out which newspaper this was in and the date it was posted.  And if luck is really on my side, maybe even get her to scan the clipping!

 This also brings up an important question... and it looks like I have some studying to do!
What was Elve's last name?  I have her listed as Elve S LONG, but this obit lists Elsie S PITT as his wife.

Memorial Day in Elmwood

Mom, watering Gramma's flowersMom, watering Gramma's flowers

This photo was taken on 5/23/09 - Memorial Day. It started out as a beautiful sunny day so my Mom, sister Karen and her kids, and I went out to my Mom's hometown Elmwood, NE. My niece Naomi had a dance recital in the area, so we went to see her dance first and then chatted with my brother Tony and his wife Deb in the parking lot for a while. So by the time we left there to visit the graves, the weather was taking a turn for the worse.

You could see a wall of storms moving in, so we tried to get around to all of the graves so I could take pictures of the tombstones. We had taken Peonies and Iris from the garden to put by the graves, and were paying tribute and listening to Mom's stories as we went along.

I was taking a picture of the last one when the rain finally started coming down... hard! The flags were practically blowing off their poles and the rain was coming down sideways. I yelled to Mom, "Here it comes!!" and we ran for the minivan, getting inside just as it started pouring outside. Mom and I sat there for a minute laughing at how we got there just in time, when she looked down at the cupholder and saw that the big glass of water she had brought for the flower vase at her Mom's headstone was still full. (oh, no...)
I need to water Mom's flowers!

She looked a little panicked and I could tell that there was no way that I was going to be able to talk her out of it. But I sure tried!

"Just give it a minute and it'll be full of rainwater! It's pouring out there! You'll catch pnemonia! What kind of person waters flowers in a rainstorm?!"

But she wouldn't have it. So she grabbed the big cup of water and hopped out of the van, then took off running towards her Mom's grave. I could just picture the look on Karen's face as she watched Mom run between our vehicles and out to Gramma's grave.

All I could think to do was stick my camera out the window and snap this picture of my super-crazy, rain-running, flower-watering, mom-loving Mom.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Mom's Memories

Christmas 1968

Christmas 1968

My Mom came into town yesterday for a visit, so I took the opportunity to put my interviewing skills to the test.  So while we were driving from here to there talking about Walter Cronkite and the stories that he covered over the years, I made sure to ask her what she remembers of those historical events. Where she was... what she was doing... and it was really interesting to see history through her eyes.

She told me about where she was when President Kennedy was shot... She had just dropped my brother Tony off at Meadowlane school and went to pick up my Aunt Carol to go shopping downtown at Gold's.  This was back when the only place you could go to shop was downtown.  She said that when they got into the department store, there wasn't a single person there.  They knew he had been shot, but didn't realize that it would affect so many people that way.  They eventually felt so uncomfortable because of the big empty store that they just went home.

When JFK's brother Robert Kennedy was shot, she was big and pregnant with me.  We lived in San Jose then, June 5, 1968 BAC (before air conditioners) and she was laid out on the couch trying to keep cool.  No such luck.  She said that they kept showing story after story about RFK and she was glued to the television.  It was 3am before she knew it, so she went to bed.  I was born 9 days later.

Remarkably, she doesn't remember the lunar landing!  She laughed about how everyone has been saying this week that this event was shared by everyone and how they'll never forget where they were.  She has no idea.  I was 13 months old then, so it was probably my fault.  haha...

I also discovered the details about my parents' marriage.  They were living in San Jose back in 1966 and drove to Reno to get hitched.  Sep 10th.  After the ceremony, they were going to get a hotel room and stay there overnight but my Dad gambled away all of their money, so they had to go right back home.  Now that's romance!  You won't find a story like that on Ancestry.com!  Surprisingly, she doesn't remember when they divorced.  I think I was about 21 when she moved out. I'm sure it was a long time coming, though!

I have to keep reminding myself that the best source of family information is going to come from your family members!  They might not remember exact dates, but that's what the internet is for, right?  Mom told me that I should talk to my Aunt Irene about our family history since she is the one most involved with it.  So even though she didn't have the answers to all of my questions, I have another place to turn to.  After I talk to Irene, maybe she can send me on down the line to someone else who knows a little more?  That works for me!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Corn

Fred and Corn

Frederick Hiram Wait (1876-1955)

Photo Find! James G Waits (1816-1880)


I may have found a photo of my great-great-great-grandfather on Ancestry.com today!  That would be Fred Wait's grandfather!  Wow!

I've emailed the owner of the tree that I found him in to see if I can get a copy of the photo to share with you.  She also has a picture of Fred's uncle James Turner Waits where you can totally see his resemblance to William Henry (Grandpa Fred's dad... pictured here!).

William Henry Waits & Elve S Long

James G Waits




  • James G Waits fought in the Civil War

    • 16 Sep 1862 - Enlisted in Company K, Ohio 79th Infantry Regiment

    • 29 Sep 1862 - Enlisted in Company 4th Indpt, Ohio 4th Sharp Shooter Company

    • 25 Apr 1863 - Mustered Out

    James' brother William Christopher Waits also fought in the Civil War.

    • 27 Dec 1861 - Enlisted in Company B, Ohio 60th Regiment

    • 8 Jul 1862 - Died in an Army hospital in Winchester, Virginia.

    I wonder what it must have been like for James.  Did he know that his brother had passed?  Were they serving anywhere near each other?  My g-g-grandfather William was James' first born son... is he William Christopher's namesake?

    It looks like I'll need to do a little research on the Civil War and its battles.  It would be nice to see a visual map of where they served or what battles they were in.

    Photo scanning blunders

    Oh jeez...  I'm going to have to re-scan all of my photos.  At least, if I want to archive them in the best possible format to ensure that they last forever.  Which is really what I'm trying to accomplish, right?

    I just ran across a site called Jacobs Archival (via GeneaBloggers).  When you sign up for their emailing list, they send you a free e-pamphlet called "8 Blunders People Make When They Scan Photographs... and how to avoid them".  I was crusing right through them... "yep!  ok!  makes sense!" when I got to Blunder #4 - Saving in the Wrong File Format.  Oh, crap.

    Apparently, when you save your pictures in .jpg format, it compresses the file and you lose a bunch of pixels or something.  I'm no expert, so I'll let you read it for yourself if you're so inclined.  The way she explains it makes perfect sense, though.

    Since we got the new computer, we've been talking about getting an external hard drive for all of my family photos.

    • Photos take up a lot of memory

    • This new file extention is going to take up about 10x more memory than a .jpg

    • The more memory you use, the slower your computer is

    • What if the hard drive crashes?  Yikes!!

    So it looks like it might be a while before I scan any more of these photos.  Every time you subject them to the scanning light, it hurts them a little.  So I'm going to wait until I get that new external drive before continuing that part of my project.  Once I get that, it'll be kind of cool to be able to take all of my information and photos with me when I travel.  You just never know when you'll have the opportunity to bond with family over a shared history!

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    Late night researching

    I was sitting on the couch a bit ago watching Moonshot on A&E (it's about lunar landing) and what should pop into my head?

    "I should go to www.deadfred.com and www.findagrave.com to see if Elvie Wait is on there."

    Elvie (1919-1920) is my great Aunt Harriet's twin sister who died at 18 months old in Coquille, Coos County, Oregon.  With Aunt Harriet turning 90 pretty soon, we've been trying to locate the grave for her.  So after my show was over, I hopped online to do some "quick" poking around.  I didn't find anything this time.  Dang. What I did find is that I can upload the grave photos that I've taken so that other people searching for our shared relatives can see them.  I tried it out and loaded my grandpa Roy's grave on there and it was pretty easy!  I have probably 40 or so photos still, so I think I'll add them as I think about it.  It might be yet another way for cousins to find me and the rest of the family!

    Now that I think about it, I might be able to add a request, though, and see if anyone out in that area can find where Elvie is buried.  As far as I can tell, there's the Coquille Pioneer Cemetery... that sounds like the most likely place right now.  It's worth a shot!  I'm too tired to figure out how to fill out the request form right now, so I'll have to come back to it tomorrow.

    I got sucked into GenealogyWise today...

    There's a new genealogy site that just launched on 7/17.  It's like Facebook for genealogists and people interested in researching family history.

    There are groups to join... today I joined:

    • Fleming Family Genealogy

    • Military Research

    • Internet Research Tips and Tricks

    • Writing Genealogy and Family History

    • Virginia Genealogy

    • Nebraska Research and Ancestry

    • Long Families in Pennsylvania

    • Ireland and Irish Ancestry

    Then I spent all day clicking around in there and learning about websites to search on, etc.  I found a gal who is going to look up my maternal Grandmother in this book about Keya Paha, Nebraska.  And that's all I did!  haha... I didn't do any actual researching.  I just researched how to research.  What a dork.

    Hello, Family!

    I have a confession to make.  Over the past few months, I've acquired a bit of an obsession about our family history.   It all started with a trunk of old photos and an old family tree that I inherited when Dad passed.  I recognized a few people, but the rest were a mystery!  Who were they?  What were they like?  How did they fit into my ancestry?

    I set out to find out what I could with a 14-day free subscription to Ancestry.com.  Ha!  14 days??  I would sit in front of the computer all day filling in what information I did know, and searching for records in their database.  I'm pretty sure that I was hooked the minute that I pulled up my first Census form.  There it was in black and white.  A scanned copy of an actual census form from 1880... Precinct J, Seward, Seward County, Nebraska, USA... handwritten when my great grandfather Fred was 4 years old.  There were his parents, William & Elve!  And who was this Melvin S Wait, age 11, who is listed as "son" to William & Elve?  He's not on my family tree.  That's odd.   And in the entry right above theirs were Elve's parents Samuel and Paulina Long.  Amazing.

    When Scott came home from work, I would give him an update of what I found that day.  My sister would get phone calls and emails about it.  This week, I finally got smart!  I'll write a blog!  That way I can tell everyone at once what it was that I found as it happens.  People who want to follow along will follow... people who couldn't care less didn't have to hear about it!  Perfect!  Ooh!  And if I have a photo that I need to have identified, I can post it here and people can leave comments as to who they think it is!

    What I really want to do with this blog and with my research is to really find out what my ancestors were like... beyond the data.  What was life like back then?  Why did Fred & Uella move to Oregon that time?  Why did Freddie die at the tender age of 23?  Why was my Dad born in Colorado and why can't I find anything on him?

    I also want to use this as a forum to introduce different members of my family to the rest of you!  I've met some real characters at our reunions and think you would like them, too.   Maybe it will inspire you to attend one of our reunions at some point.  For the record, they are every other year on the even years.  The location changes according to who is hosting it or where we feel like going.

    Wait Reunion 2010:

    Coos Bay, Oregon - July 9-11, 2010

    Contact me for more information or join us on Facebook!

    Anyway!  I'm really glad that you're here!

    Cousin Kathy