Anecdotes

You know it's summer in Ireland when the rain gets warmer
- Hal Roach

 

Click the links below to quick-navigate to the stories.

The Kansas Wayts - Part 1

A Hollen Mystery Solved

Where's Uncle Ira Buried?

Photos as Pathways

The Kansas Wayts - Part 2

The Dakan Family

The Wesley Family

The Horton Family

The Kansas Wayts - Part 3

Strange Reunion

 


The following was noted and submitted by Nancy Wayts Ayers:

This is a story told to me by my Grandfather, George Wayts as it was told to him by his father, James Andrew Wayts. It's one of the adventures James Andrew had getting to Abilene, Kansas.

"There were no jobs in Decatur, Illinois after the Civil War, and no money for a single man to buy a farm and marry.  James, who was always good with horses and cattle, decided to go to Texas and get in on the cattle drives going to Kansas. In 1867, Abilene, Kansas was the terminal point of the Kansas Pacific (later the Union Pacific) Railroad and the nearest railhead for the shipment of cattle brought North over the Chisholm Trail. The number of cattle shipped East from here between 1867 and 1871 has been estimated at more than one million, and often 500 cowboys were paid off at a time. City marshals Tom Smith and Wild Bill Hickok brought in law and order in the 1870's.

"James Andrew had at least one other person (possibly two) from Decatur go with him to Texas. (I think they were his brothers-in-law, John Lowery and John Gill but I am not positive about the names. Also, I think we may have already had Wayt kin living in Texas during this time.)  They were with a large herd coming from San Antonio, Texas to Abilene and were in the vicinity to the Republican River when a wild, dark, electrical storm hit. Wind blowing, dirt flying, thunder booming and lightening flashing, the herd went from restless to near panic.

"The cowboys kept the cattle in a slow moving circle (perhaps a mile or more across there were so many) trying to quiet them, then the worst happened. A lightening bolt hit in the middle of the herd and blue fire started rolling across their horns. These were Texas longhorns with horns about six feet from tip to tip. The stampede was on, there was no way to control or stop them. James Andrew had seen blue fire before so he knew what it was, said it was about the size of a golf ball, was blue and made a sizzling sound, almost all the cattle had these balls of plasma rolling across their horns. He said it didn't last but maybe a minute or two but in the meantime the herd went crazy, they were running full tilt and nothing would stop them. James Andrew always had a good, fast horse and evidently the others did, too, as they all made it out alive to tell the story. It took them several hours to get the cattle rounded up again and somewhat calmed down, they did eventually make it to Abilene.

"I don't know how many cattle drives James Andrew went on, but this one may have been enough. He liked Abilene and bought property there. Then he went back to Decatur, Illinois and married his true love, Laura Doake, then an entire wagon train of people from Decatur moved to Abilene. (I often wondered why they didn't take the train, but James Andrew's wagon was pulled by oxen to Kansas.)

"I've seen blue fire myself when we lived in Arkansas. We had a wood cookstove in the kitchen and it came down the stovepipe, blew off one of the round lids, the traveled through the kitchen into the living room and out the window. Never did hurt anything, but it smelled strange."


May the blessing of light be on you...light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you and your warm heart
till it glows like a great peat fire.
-
old Celtic blessing

If you've ever wondered what kind of work goes into sorting out all the puzzles in genealogy research (or if you've had to actually do this yourself), you'll appreciate the following story.

Karen Hollen, grand-daughter of James Luther and Susan Catherine Wayts Hollen, has been a tireless contributor to our database and has done a lot of recent running around gathering stories and information from a number of Hollen relatives and descendants.  Of particular note was the lineup of the children of James and Susan.  Karen has spent a great deal of time getting this list as accurate as possible, but there were still a few discrepancies. 

Normally, I'm able to prioritize opinions in regard to specific records.  I give precedence to those which have official citations, but I try to take into account what the family has to say about it, as well.  Usually, there isn't much of a problem other than to note that folks have differing opinions as to what the record should say.

In the case of the Hollen children, however, it was a tough call.  Karen had a solid list of thirteen children:  Wilburt, Fred, Shirley, Dewey, Creta May, Freda, James, Veatrice, Rose, John, Fern, Clem, and Burl (her father).  As you can see, she is directly related to this line and would naturally be considered a serious source of information about it.  However, there are a number of other Wayt researchers who have performed investigational work on this line, most notably, Shirley Rabinoff Duke, the grand-daughter of George Leslie and Olive Rachel Stalnaker Wayt.  George is Susan Catherine's brother, making Shirley, also, quite close to this line.

Shirley's records matched Karen's in just about every way (with the exception of some spelling variances), but there were two large discrepancies:  Shirley had two additional Hollen children in the list!  I brought this to Karen's attention and she was baffled by these two phantoms, but worked hard with her relatives to try and solve the mystery.  These two additional kids were Lueda May Hollen (b. Nov. 1899 Upshur County), and Richard Veere Hollen (b. 1903 Upshur County).

Although Shirley had alluded to census records in her original paperwork, I wrote her and asked for additional information, if possible, while Karen continued to work her end of things.  Shirley sent me back the following:  "T623 WVa Upshur Co Banks Dist 5 June 1900..Sheet 3 Line 72Federal Census lists Lueda May, dau born Nov 1899, six months."  I'll have to admit that I was quite taken aback by this information, but I looked into it and...I couldn't find the reference!  I know Shirley would not make this up, so I was stumped.

Meanwhile, Karen came back from her research activities and declared flatly that there couldn't be any additional kids.  She had the Hollen family Bible, which meticulously lists all of the children and their birth dates, as well as testimony from older members of the family.  No one had ever heard of Lueda May or Richard Veere Hollen.

What I finally decided to do was a complete scan of the Upshur County census for the year 1900.  This would be a long task, but I couldn't imagine this large family being overlooked by the census taker.  The search bore tremendous fruit.  As you can see from the image below, 'Lueda May' is indeed there, but the handwriting is so sloppy that her real name - Creta May - is misread by the person who transcribed the 1900 Upshur County index.

The initial problem was caused by the misspelling of 'Hollen' as 'Holland.'  (Those familiar with SoundEx know how bad it is.  When I ran that, I got about every name in the book starting with the letter 'H' except Holland!)  With the discovery of this new information, we have reduced the discrepancy of the number of children to one.

The next issue at hand was Creta May's birthdate.  The family had it as November 1900, but the census taker has it marked here as November 1899 along with a '6/12' indicating her approximate age when the enumeration took place.  Since the census is a summer proposition, it would not be possible for Creta may to be born in November of 1900 and show up on the 1900 census, especially with the additional information of 'Nov 1899' and '6/12' attached to her name.  However, this wasn't exactly a slam dunk.

When I related this information to Karen, she did some more legwork and wrote back that she had asked a friend at the courthouse in Buckhannon to look into the birth date controversy.  The friend wrote back:  "....In October 1955, a G. McCue filed an affidavit with the State of WV, changing/transferring the birth date of Creta May Hollen, from November 1899 to November 1900."  Here you see a case of two parties being 'correct' about a certain fact, but in reality talking apples and oranges.  There's little doubt that Creta May Hollen was actually born in November of 1899.  There simply is no way for the census taker to simply conjure her up out of thin air.  However, Creta May's 'official' birthdate is indeed November 1900 as declared by the Upshur County courts!

This story has one last twist:  the Hollen family Bible.  The listing in this Bible was created long before October 1955 when G. McCue went to get the record changed, yet the year listed for Creta May's birth in the Bible is 1900!  It will remain to be seen if we ever get to the bottom of this most interesting mystery.

The Richard Veere/John Vier issue still remains open.  Again, we have absolute family records which show that there was indeed a John Vier Hollen and he also had descendants.  Richard Veere, however, can only be directly verified by Shirley's records.  There is no census record of him...unless the 'Vier Hollen' b. 1903 listed in the 1910 Upshur County census is this Richard.  Karen insists, however, that John Vier Hollen was born in 1910.

Whew!  :-)


There is an Irish way of paying compliments
as though they were irresistible truths
which makes what would otherwise be an impertinence delightful.
- Katharine Tynan Hinkson

Mystery has always surrounded the life and death of my great-grandfather, Ira James Wayt.  In life, Ira is caught up in a larger mystery:  whatever happened to the widow and family of John Wayt (1806-1868) in 1870, just after his death?  They seem to have completely disappeared.  Mickie Charlene Griffith, wife of James William Griffith (the great-grandson of Elbert E. and Emma Jane Wayt Griffith) and I worked for a spell on this one and came up with a number of tantalizing bits of information, but nothing conclusive.

In 1870, Eliza Jane Armstrong Wayt had five surviving children:  William Davenport, Ira James, Sarah Samantha, Mary Elizabeth, and Emma Jane.  (David had died in 1865.)  According to our accepted tradition, Eliza died 1 March 1879 (Al Laser, et al).  We also know that her late husband John had a nice piece of property in Ohio County near Triadelphia.  Would this be a case of an aging widow not being able to tend the farm and her two eldest male children not desirous of the same?

Mickie first posed the question to me in an e-mail dated 30 November 2005 and I instantly became intrigued since Eliza is my g-g-grandmother.  When I began to look into the matter, however, it was quite a difficult story.  I wrote Margaret DeBolt and asked her what she thought.  She is in possession of correspondence between William David (W.D.) and his wife, Elizabeth Null Wayt.  The letters were written over the course of William's travels to Cincinnati, Ohio to attend Miami Medical College.  This time period was 2 November 1870 to 29 January 1871.

Margaret noted that the letters contain some important pieces of information, including the fact that Eliza with living with son Ira and that he was in Ohio at the time.  This information has always been something I myself believed as a result of separate correspondence between Ira's son, Harry Earl Wayt and Al Laser which stated that Ira lived in Belmont County, Ohio for a spell before moving on to Findlay, Ohio.  However, when, exactly, did Ira and Elizabeth go to Belmont County?

Mickie found an 1870 Triadelphia census record that shows a young couple, James and Sarah Wayts, living there.  James is listed as being 24 years of age and born in Pennsylvania.  Sarah is shown as being 23 years old, also being born in Pennsylvania.  There are no others listed as living with them.  Ira's first wife was Sarah E. 'Libby' Daniels and they were married 7 April 1869, and although their only daughter, Jesse, was born in 1870, it is possible that she wasn't born yet when the census was taken.  The discrepancies regarding Ira's age (he would have been 22 in 1870) and his birthplace (it was either Kentucky or West Virginia) aren't showstoppers, but it's hard to reconcile.  However, I cannot place any other 'James Wayts' to any other family, so Mickie may have latched onto something here.

There is sometimes a side benefit to work that you're performing for another reason.  This story was no exception.  Mickie turned up a long lost 1880 Hancock County, Ohio census reference to Ira and his little family living as Ira Waite with wife 'Mandy' (Amanda Mae Simms Wayt) and two children.  This was a great find.

The story rests now with many of the original questions still unanswered.  What happened to Eliza?  Where was the family after John died?  Eliza J’s connection with the Armstrong family is also problematic. Our tradition shows that her parents were David and Mary Ann Ewing Armstrong and that she was born in 1821, yet Internet sources who’ve documented the Armstrong family claim that Mary Ann was David’s second wife and they weren’t married until 1823. (The first wife was Jennie (Armstrong.))

On the back end of the story is poor Ira, dying of stomach cancer at the early age of 52 on 18 April 1900 (probably from working in those awful conditions of the gas fields in Findlay) and the family having no money with which to bury him.  By now, his daughter Jesse had left (or had died), and he had six children with Amanda.  The company paid for the 'hole in the ground,' but that was it.  Ira was buried in the back of the city cemetery in an unmarked grave.

I have always felt a special sort of driving feeling to locate where my g-grandfather is buried.  He is the reason I am into genealogy (as I mentioned in a previous anecdote).  Regardless, I can never accept the idea of people coming into and going out of existence with no memorial to their being, so I decided to try and track down Ira's burial place.

My original information was the place to start, so I went to Findlay and contacted the office of Maple Grove Cemetery there.  After a cursory review of their records, they informed me that there was no Ira Wayt buried there and that I should try the public library.  The library was of little help.  Although I located a microfilmed obituary and some City Directory records, there was nothing as to the burial.  That trip ended there.

I contacted my aunt, Anne Corinne Winters, (daughter of Ira's daughter, Bertha) and asked her if she could recall anything - any little tidbit of information that might help.  After contemplating for awhile, she was able to recall a story of her mom and some aunts and uncles visiting the Findlay cemetery sometimes in the late 1960s.   I perked up.  I wondered if she still had those old photos of this group traveling to Findlay, and sure enough, she did.  In this photo set were photos of the group at the cemetery!  This proved that they were indeed there, but there was more.

[Photo at left from the War Memorial monument at Maple Grove Cemetery, Findlay, Ohio ~1967:  L-R Arthur Alvin Wayt, Harry Earl Wayt, Elsie Winters Wayt, Ollie Leland Wayt Winters , Bertha Fern Wayt Winters. Photo probably taken by William Daniel Winters, Ollie's husband.]

My aunt recalled that even at that time, the cemetery management did not know where Ira was buried, but they called an 'old gentleman' who lived in town who could remember where everyone was buried in the cemetery, including those in unmarked sites, and he came out to the cemetery and led the group back to their father's burial place.  At this time, my great-uncle, Arthur Alvin Wayt, suggested that they all pitch in for a stone since the gravesite was unmarked, but he was overruled by everyone else who held that 'no one would care, anyway.'  The matter was left at that.

However, this was a lead, so back to Findlay I headed.  The cemetery office wasn't of much help and neither was the library, but the person heading the genealogy area there suggested that I contact the Hancock County Historical Society for assistance.  It was here that I got a small breakthrough.  An investigation I conducted in November 2005 revealed that this 'old gentleman's' name was Ernest Dietsch (who died September 1, 1974) and he was the superintendent of the cemetery for nearly 30 years. After he had retired, he got a small job delivering dry cleaning around town on his bicycle, but made himself available to continue to help with the cemetery. When the office ran into a problem, they would contact him and he would ride his bike over to help.

This is evidently what he did the day the Wayts visited the cemetery. Speaking with a number of folks in Findlay, I was told that he was known for his photographic memory and my story, if true, would not be surprising. Phone calls to Ernest's living nephews bore no fruit - no one was aware of any records that Ernest might have left about his knowledge. The only glitch in this whole sequence is that even if Ernest indeed possessed this gifted memory, he couldn't have acquired the knowledge on his own. He became superintendent of Maple Grove in the 1930's, but Ira was buried in 1900. To me, this meant that Ernest had to have seen some form of written records and then committed them to memory.

Upon return to the cemetery, however, I found the office closed, but ran into a gentleman who was the supervisor of maintenance there and he informed me that there were some 'old books' kept in the safe there and that I might want to check those. I revisited the cemetery in February 2006 and was permitted to open the books. We found Ira's burial record right where it should have been with surname listed as 'Wayte.' This is not an uncommon spelling of the name and the office manager was curious as to why Ira's record never appeared in the computer printout. It seems as though the computer records were never transcribed directly from the books, but from cards which were transcribed from the books. When we researched the burial by the Lot number, however, the card assigned to that lot was for one 'Ira Wayle' - W-A-Y-L-E. What had happened was that the original cursive in the book had looped the T in the name and never really crossed it well, so the transcriber thought it was an L and added the E on the end.

We had one final issue to deal with, however. The vast majority of the burials in this 'indigent' section had no stones and the small cement markers which had originally designated the lots were few and far between. With good luck we located a lot adjacent to Ira's that had a stone and thus we were able to locate Ira. A monument has been placed at the site. (look for a photo here of it soon)


Your humble Webmaster has a few stories of his own to share (and some nice photos, too!)  Hopefully, these will inspire others to contribute their knowledge.  I never started out to get into genealogy directly.  Rather, I inherited a number of old photos and artifacts from some surviving relatives since I was the one in the family who didn't want to see these things discarded.

Of interest in this story were two old and fragile portraits of my great-grandparents, Ira James and Amanda Mae Simms Wayt.  (Ira's portrait is second from the right in the website banner above.)  I was instantly enthralled with the portraits.  Amanda's was housed in a beautiful 19th century oval frame made of tiger stripe wood and thin concaved glass.  The portrait itself was stretched over a mount of thin cardboard, also concaved.  Ira's portrait was even more stunning, as I was to also learn later.  His was mounted on a square of old wood, but the material was not paper.

As I carefully handled the portraits, I noticed that they would chip and disintegrate right in my hands no matter how careful I was.  I was horrified that my family history was literally crumbling right before my eyes, so I vowed to spend the time and money and get these portraits duplicated before Father Time had his way with them.  Since the acid in the cardboard mount was responsible, I inquired as to the feasibility of separating the photo paper from the mount.  I was advised that this would be next to impossible to accomplish, but it wouldn't make any difference anyway:  the photo had already absorbed a lethal amount of acid from the cardboard and was going to disintegrate eventually, anyway.

We opted to create an exact duplicate, so a special camera was required to take a high-density oversize negative, about two inches square.  From there, the studio created an exact replica of her portrait (albeit flat) that I was able to mount in the oval wood frame.  To the untrained eye, it looks just as it was when the real image was there.

Ira's was much trickier.  Although I paid only $300, the artist assigned to the task took nearly three months to complete the work and told me had she known what the job was to entail, she would have charged me well over $1000.  (She said that there were no hard feelings since she 'went to school' herself with the job and learned a great deal in the process!)  Ira's portrait was created using an old technique sometimes known as 'charcoal detailing.'  If you've ever seen a charcoal sketch of someone which looks like a photograph, then read on, because I've always been baffled as to why these never turned out to be part-caricature like portraits always seem to.

The way things work is that the photograph paper is mounted on a wooden frame which is made to be the exact size of the photo.  Next, a thin layer of fine linen, sized larger than the wooden frame, but in the same shape, is stretched over the mounted photo and around the sides of the frame then sealed on the wood in the back with beeswax.  The beeswax dries like glue, but it also stretches the linen tighter across the photo since it shrinks as it dries.

After the linen has completely dried, it is basically flush against the photo underneath and because the material is fine, it is easy to see the image through the linen.  The artist then takes a number of different types of charcoal implements and proceeds to exactly copy the photo onto the linen.  The linen is then usually cut off and images can be easily transferred to paper, but still retaining that 'charcoal' look.

Ira's case was different, however.  For some reason, no one ever bothered to remove the linen - the linen actually became the portrait!  Over time, the photo and the linen became one.  Unfortunately, in order to make an exact duplicate photo, the linen had to be carefully peeled from the photo in strips, effectively destroying it.  However, an excellent copy was made of the photo, and the artist was even able to retain the old yellowish color of the original.

With the two duplicates, I was able to order smaller scale images which promptly became the first two items in my now large digital library.  I vowed right at that moment that I was going to contact every relative I could and offer to scan their precious old images so that when Time claimed them, as well, we would all have the information they contained in a format which would last forever.

This is where genealogy came into the picture...It was easy to contact close relatives, but then things started to branch out.  I was having more and more difficulty identifying people and places as the branches got further out on the tree.  I decided to get a copy of Family Tree Maker and enter folks into it as I ran across their images and other records just to keep track of things, but that wasn't the best part.

Without realizing it, I soon was spending far more time on the names than on the photos.  In fact, the names had become avenues to photos!  The photo above was procured from a distant cousin who was 'pretty sure' it was 'a Wayt,' but didn't know who the couple was.  Well, for me this was a treasure.  It's the only photo I have ever seen of my great-grandfather Ira with his first wife, Sarah E. 'Libby' Daniels.  This was truly an incredible find because we know so little about Ira's first wife and daughter, Jessie.  The genealogy had led me to the photo instead of the photo leading me to the genealogy, and I haven't looked back since.

In another great story, I was visiting a cousin of my grandfather and mentioned that I was doing work with the Wayt family.  He paused for a minute then mentioned something about being sure he had some old photos that might have something to do with the Wayt and Winters families.  Well, the photo above was labeled on the back 'Bertha [Wayt] Winters and three of her kids with friend on the left.'  I burst out laughing and everyone wanted to know what was so funny.  I informed them that this 'friend' in the photo was my mom and that I had never seen a photo of her from the year 1954.  (above L-R:  Norma Jane Dolvin Winters, husband Lee S. Winters, William R. Winters, Bertha Fern Wayt Winters, Anne Corinne Winters at Wheeling Park in 1954.  Photo courtesy of George Jones.)

These are the kinds of things which bring the 'hobby' of genealogy alive and give it meaning.  I'm sure that the reader has experienced similar events.


Paul Wayts (pictured at right) is the father of Nancy Wayts Ayers.  "Paul Wayts was only one generation away from the code of the West Virginia hill people," Nancy says. "His mother died when he was only six.  His grandparents James Andrew and Laura M. Doake Wayts (both from Wheeling, West Virginia but living in Abilene, Kansas by then) helped raise him and his two sisters until their father, George, remarried."

She continues: "Like so many from the hills, they were stubborn, fiercely independent, distrusting of government, honest, and patriotic. Paul owned several meat markets at various times in Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma.  He learned the cattle and meat market business from his father, George, and his grandfather, the old cowboy, James Andrew Wayts. Later in life when supermarkets became common, they got out of the meat business and into construction."

Paul's work required him to be on the road much of the time, but he took his wife and daughter with him on many occasions.  "I remember one cattle buying trip we went on to Mexico," Nancy recalls. "This was combined with a fishing trip and sightseeing. We had to get smallpox vaccinations at the Mexican border - theirs took, but mine didn't.  I had to get it a second time and wait for the results.  Dad looked at cattle that were for sale all the way to Mexico City, finally decided on a herd, paid for them and made arrangements for them to be shipped by railroad to Oklahoma."

"Dad was to meet the train at the border when the shipment crossed over into the United States, but upon arrival, he discovered that a different herd than the one he had purchased was on the train.  These were old, sick bags of bones, dying of screw worms.  [Editor's note:  screw worms are fly larvae.]  He refused the shipment but never could get his money back. That was the end of his dealing with foreign cattle deals."

"We had some fun times on the cattle buying trips, at least I thought so," Nancy remembers, "but my mother wasn't so thrilled.  We once stayed at an old cattlemen's hotel in Ogallala, Nebraska.  The fire escape was a lariat tied around an iron heat radiator.  In case of fire, you opened the window, threw out the rope and climbed down."

"Paul was an avid reader; he said all the family members were.  His grandpa told him that long ago many of them got jobs because they were the only ones for miles around that could read and write.  He loved fine horses, another Wayts trait, and he had many in his lifetime.  He was a sportsman and loved to hunt and fish, and was a nature lover. He loved to travel and explore new things, and he was so pleased to live to see people go from the horse and buggy days to the moon.  He died of a heart attack in Wyoming after a long and happy life."

"George Wayts (pictured above with wife, Anna D. Elwick Wayts) moved with the family from Decatur, Illinois to Abilene, Kansas in 1875," Nancy writes about her grandfather.  "The entire family came in a wagon pulled by oxen, it was a real adventure for five year old George!   It seems from old records that several families from Decatur formed their own wagon train and moved to Abilene and the surrounding area.  Jobs in Decatur were hard to find after the Civil War, and after a few years of trying to make a decent living, it was decided to move West."

Nancy continues:  "George learned the cattle business and how to operate his own meat market from his father, the old cowboy who came up the Chisholm Trail, James Andrew Wayts [photo left with wife, Laura M. Doake Wayts, and below right in the Wayts Meat Market, Abilene, Kansas in 1900].  George and his brother, Hallis (Hal) took over the meat market when James died in 1913 and ran the business until 1930 when the depression years forced them to close."

"George saw a lot of history living in Abilene.  Once, when the Jesse James gang was robbing the Abilene Bank, making their getaway and shooting up the town, George threw Anna and himself behind a horse watering trough in front of the Wayts Meat Market."

Nancy offers an astonishing event in George's life:  " Ex-President Ike Eisenhower's father was working for them part time at the meat market, helping install a roller on the ceiling to move the heavy cattle parts around.  He accidentally dropped a wrench on George's back.  George said it left a large bruise but really didn't hurt too bad.  It became a small open sore that got larger through the the years.  It developed into a cancer which eventually killed him."

There were other exciting aspects, too.  "George used to talk about the buffalo herds he had seen in Kansas, herds so large that when moving, they would pass through for a whole day and a night," Nancy says.  "[There was a] locust invasion - they ate the paint off the house, no leaves left, no blade of grass, and the sky would turn dark with them during the middle of the day.  Then the dust storms in the 20s - they put wet sheets over the windows to try to keep the dust down, it was everywhere.  Cattle & horses dying with plugs of mud in their nose & lungs."

George wasn't much of a sportsman like most of the Wayts', but he and Anna both liked fine horses. Anna always made him buy her the fastest pacer around for her buggy.  Proper ladies in those days weren't allowed to do much, but Anna and the other ladies in Abilene weren't beyond a buggy race when the occasion arose.  Anna was a wonderful stepmother to George's children, they all loved her, and she was a real treasure for all of them.  They moved to Berthoud, Colorado about 1930 and had a small cafe there.  Both retired and had a good life in Colorado.  George said in his later years that it had been a hard life, but a good life."

Thanks again to Nancy for these wonderful photos and the accompanying stories!

Our Irish blunders are never blunders of the heart.
-
Maria Edeworth

 


 

The photo on the left was submitted by Diana Dakan Coslick, granddaughter of Henry Grover & Elsie Wayt Dakan.  It's a wonderful family image of Henry and Elsie, and their three sons, Harold (oldest), Robert G. (standing), and infant Henry Lawrence taken at the end of 1917.

Diana notes:  "The picture was taken in 1917 and shows Elsie Wayt (my grandmother) holding baby Henry Lawrence Dakan (my father). Upper left is son Robert age 3, husband Henry G. Dakan age 30, and son Harold age 7. Henry died in the flu epidemic in March 1919 and their son Howard was born in October of that same year. Elsie raised the four boys on the farm at Fork Ridge and was well liked and respected in the community. After the children left home she did some practical nursing and then sold the farm and took a position as head of the Children's Shelter in Moundsville where she worked for many years till her retirement about 1970. She moved to Pittsburgh to be near her youngest son's family and then traveled the country by tour bus. She suffered strokes and lived in a nursing home several years and passed away in 1973. When I was left to raise four children alone and life seemed tough I always looked to my grandmother for strength--'she did it and I can too.'"

For more information about this family, please refer to the Descendant Narrative available elsewhere on this website.


One of my very favorite names in our database belongs to one Creety Texan Yeater.  When folks check out the names in the database, his name always invokes comments such as, "Well, there's no doubt that guy came from the hills!"  The Yeater clan is related to our Wayts by virtue of Creety's marriage to Catherine I.B. Wayt, daughter of Henry A.W. and Rachel Jane Wilson Wayt.

This photo, kindly submitted by Creety's grandson, Don Wesley (who is the little boy in the front with his head turned), shows the whole family ca. 1944-45.  The original image (cropped here to display on the web page) contained a handwritten listing of the folks posing for this photo.  To the best of my ability to read and position the handwriting, here's the who's who:

The back row L-R (starting from the woman on the extreme left holding an object:  Mary Ruth King (daughter of Henry and Dessie P. Yeater King, Creety's niece), Mary Elizabeth 'Betty' Maxwell Yeater (you can see just her face over Mary Ruth's right shoulder, Creety's daughter-in-law, wife of Burrell Wilson Yeater), Burrell Wilson Yeater (Creety's son), Dessie P. Yeater King (Creety's sister and wife of Henry King), Beatrice Yeater (not sure who this lady is, there is no Beatrice listed in Christopher's family, so she is possibly the wife of one of his sons), Woodrow L. Wesley (Don Wesley's father).

The front row of adults L-R: Catherine Maxine Yeater Cook (Creety's daughter and wife of Robert L. Cook), Ruth Yeater (not sure who this lady is, but there is a marriage note on the internet that Creety's brother, Harvey Upton Yeater married one Mary Ruth Jenkins, so this is possibly her), Charlotte Virginia Yeater Wesley (wife of Woodrow Wesley, Creety's daughter), Catherine I.B. Wayt Yeater, Harvey Upton Yeater (aka Harvey N. Yeater, Creety's brother), Creety Yeater, Christopher E. Yeater.

The children in the foreground L-R are:  Fredrick Maxwell Yeater (son of Burrell Wilson and Mary Maxwell Yeater), I.B. Kathleen Wesley and Donald Brooks Wesley.

Anyone who can add to the information in this photo (including where it was taken - Cameron?) is invited to drop me a note.  (Besides, I would love to learn what 'I.B.' stands for!)


Tamryn Burgin Glaser is the great-granddaughter of Adam August & Addie Wayt Horton, and she has been exceptionally kind to send along a number of priceless photos of the Horton family whom she has been researching for some time now.  This first selection (below) is from a wedding held in November 1927 which features newlyweds William Vincent & Idella Charlotte Horton Jones (the couple seated on the right) and two members of their wedding party, Elizabeth Margaret Wayt (?) and Idella's brother, Thomas Horton.

There is some mystery surrounding this photo, however.  There is writing which accompanies the photo which suggests that this might be a double wedding (the word 'weddings' is used).  However, it is hard to figure out exactly what this would refer to.  Thomas Horton would have been only fifteen years old in November 1927 (and he looks to be about that in this photo), and we have an additional record that he was married to one Angela Delmonaco on 13 June 1934.  In addition, it's not clear who the 'Margaret Wayt' is in the photo.  My guess (noted above) was based upon a number of factors:  proximity to the wedding, age of the woman, and closeness of relation to the newlyweds.  Elizabeth M. Wayt was the daughter of George A. & Ida Clementine Kirts Wayt and was born in 1911, making her right about Thomas' age, and a natural pair if we assume that they are Best Man and Maid of Honor.  (Note:  Since this posting, Tamryn has contacted me and mentioned that the second couple married at the same time as William and Idella could be friends of the couple, and not pictured in the photo. - GJW)

In any event, it's a great photo with plenty of detail to feast one's eyes on, and thanks to Tamryn for providing it.


This neat little article and note was contributed by Nancy Wayts Ayers, the great-great-granddaughter of the mysterious Andrew B. Wayts of Illinois.  (For more information about Andrew B. Wayts and his descendants, please see the Notes in the Narrative report.) 

Nancy believes that this article was about her father, Paul Wayts, and although she included a photocopy of a small photo of her dad on a pony, it didn't scan well enough to include here.  The image was of Paul and a pony he received for Christmas in 1910.

"It wouldn't surprise me if the young man was my Dad and the family didn't want his name put in the paper," Nancy wrote.  "Dad told me about getting the pony, but he never told me about this.  This sounds like something the a Wayts would do."

Since Paul Wayts would have been only eight years old at the time, I'm wondering if he was 'frightened' along with his horse!

For those of you not familiar with Nancy, she has been a tremendous help with the information on this website in regard to our 'western' Wayt family.  There are other items she has contributed which will be up on the site shortly.


It's nice to know that our website is for more than just noting the information and the deeds of the dear departed!  Tamryn Glaser sent me a note crediting the website with bringing together her and her second cousin, Leigh Diersing.  (Tamryn's and Leigh's grandparents were brothers - Addison Wayt Horton and  Thomas Robert Horton, respectively.  Rather than interpret, I'll let the cousins tell a nice story in their own words:

"Several years ago my brother-in-law was dating a girl named Missy and I met her at a couple of family gatherings," Tamryn notes. "This was before I started researching the family and her name meant nothing to me.  Thankfully she came to her senses and dumped my brother-in-law, but since that time I have had the opportunity to speak to her on the phone a couple of times. Missy works for a company that does work at our house.

"One day a few months ago, my husband came in to the house to tell me there was a lady outside that I was going to want to talk to. The woman told my husband she was looking for Tamryn Glaser that was related to the Horton family. Turned out the woman was Missy's sister, Leigh. She had recently come across your site and saw that someone had provided info on Thomas and Angela Horton, her grandparents and Toni Rae Horton Edwards, her mother.  She saw that you [the Descendant Narrative] had listed me as the person who had provided the info.  With Adam and Addie moving their family here from Indiana, and her grandfather living in Cincinnati until his death, she was hoping that I was living in the area.

"She checked the phone book and found a listing for a Jeff and Tammy Glaser in Cincinnati, but was never able to reach anyone at the number. She mentioned to her sister about the info and the person who provided it.  The  following morning Missy called Leigh and told her that the guy she used to date had a brother named Jeff and that his wife had an unusual name, and that it was worth a shot.  Leigh, her husband and son live less than 2 blocks from me.  Since the first  meeting we have seen each other several times to talk about the family.

"During the holidays I work at the mall for Waldenbooks and Leigh and some of her friends go there in the winter time to walk so that has given us the opportunity to see each other almost every day. Some days we are able to talk at length and other days we barely get a chance to say hello.  Needless to say it was a nice surprise to find out that we were related, lived so close, and that a few years back that I had met Missy. Leigh has met my mother and they have shared stories, and my mother was able to answer a few questions about Thomas Horton that Leigh had.

"I will be finishing up the season next week. My mother, Leigh and I making plans to meet with one of Glen Horton's daughters. For years, she and my mother have lived next door to each other and didn't know it until this past year shortly after Leigh found me.  She has lots of pictures and I'm sure she has her own stories to tell.

Leigh adds:  "That is pretty much how it happened...Just to let you know why I started looking for Tamryn, my sister and I didn't know if our grandfather's brothers and sister had any children. My grandfather died pretty young and my grandmother didn't keep in contact with anyone except his sister, and she died before my grandmother. My mother didn't know if she had any living relatives from that side. We only knew our family from my grandmother. I wanted to know if we had any relatives on that side so I started looking and doing research which is what brought us to your website."

We'll surely look forward to what comes from these reunions!

Now, if you're going to go traveling in Ireland,
it's important you know the correct way
to ask somebody for directions...
A tangential preamble is essential;
something along the lines of, "Ah, that's a great hedge
you're trimming," or, "Sure, it's a glorious day,"
especially if it isn't.
- Pete McCarthy