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 Footnote.com 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!


  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kathy Wait Myers. Kathy Wait Myers said: [blog] Tombstone Tuesday - James WAITS 1760-1855 http://bit.ly/dlEdn #genealogy #history #surnames [...]

  2. [...] is the pension application for my 5th Great Grandfather James Waits (Waites) (1760-1855). His birth date in this deposition is stated as 1762, but his tombstone says 1760. His [...]

  3. Your ancestor gets a note in my recent post here: http://historyandancestry.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/the-pennsylvania-militiaman-fighting-for-virginia-how-land-disputes-confuse-everyone/