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

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - William Christopher WAITS - Civil War casualty


Yesterday, I was drawn to my WAITS ancestors in Ohio and thought I would look through all of the records in that listed WAITS in Brown County, Ohio.  It sorts them according to the name of the cemetery and I was almost immediately rewarded with a hit in the Batavia Cemetery.  Here is a picture of the headstone of my g-g-g-uncle William C Waits and his wife Elizabeth L Leopold, courtesy of Kevin Guy; Civil War enthusiast and Find A Grave volunteer.

You may remember William C WAITS from this post [Photo Find! James G WAITS].  I told you about how they both fought in the Civil War.  My g-g-g-grandfather James survived, his brother William did not.  Previous information led me to believe that William died in an Army Hospital in Winchester VA, so the inscription "burried on battlefield" came as a surprise to me!  So I decided to do a little digging and see if I could uncover the truth about his death.

According to this letter, William C was last heard from 4 Jul 1862 when he wrote his wife from the hospital at Winchester VA.  I wonder what the letter to his wife said... what are the chances that it's still around?

[caption id="attachment_265" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="This is an excerpt from a letter written "December the 15th, 1862" from William and James' father Charles Waits to their brother Reason Waits.  I don't know where the original is.  This was given to me by my cousin, and is on page 5 of 24.  Almost all letters are written to Reason Waits.  I would love to see originals and/or the responses to these letters so we can paint a clearer picture of the discussions."]This is an excerpt from a letter written "December the 15th, 1862" from William and James' father Charles Waits to their brother Reason Waits.[/caption]

According to this book, he was reported absent after being sick in Cumberland MD.

[caption id="attachment_266" align="aligncenter" width="542" caption="The main source for this roster is the: Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866. Vol. V., 54th-69th Regiments - Infantry. Akron, Ohio: The Werner Ptg. and Mfg. Co., 1887."]The main source for this roster is the: Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1866. Vol. V., 54th-69th Regiments - Infantry. Akron, Ohio: The Werner Ptg. and Mfg. Co., 1887.[/caption]

Yet another search on uncovered this listing:

Name:William Waits
Enlistment Date:27 Dec 1861
Side Served:Union
State Served:Ohio
Service Record:Enlisted as a Private on 27 December 1861 at the age of 33.
Enlisted in Company B, 60th Infantry Regiment Ohio on 27 Dec 1861.
Died of disease Company B, 60th Infantry Regiment Ohio on 8 Jul 1862 at Cumberland, MD.
Sources:17,501Source Information:
Historical Data Systems, comp.. American Civil War Soldiers [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 1999. Original data: Data compiled by Historical Data Systems of Kingston, MA form the following list of works.

So I guess I don't really know why his headstone says that he was buried on the battlefield since he apparently died of disease in Cumberland MD.  From what I've read about the conditions the soldiers of the 60th Ohio Infantry had to endure... forced marches... low supplies... that could have something to do with it.  I also read that some succumbed to childhood diseases that they hadn't been exposed to when they were younger.  Either I read about someone having the mumps or I dreamed about it last night... foggy now.  Hm.

Where did they bury people who died in an Army hospital back then?  I searched on the internet for a couple of hours before deciding that I better just post this.

The Clarysville Inn near Cumberland was used as a military hospital during the time that William was hospitalized.  They had a nearby graveyard, but those graves were moved to The Antietam Cemetery.  But The Antietam Cemetery has their records online and he isn't listed there.  Hm.  Maybe a helpful reader or long lost relative will help me figure that one out.

What I do know is that he left behind a family who loved him; a wife and at least three young children, along with his elderly father and 11 brothers and sisters.

Thank you for your service, William Christopher Waits.  Rest in Peace, wherever you are.