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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Wait

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1078-1080 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

This name is derived from that of the ancient town crier "the Weyte." He had a fixed round like the "Bellman," and announced such news from bench and council as concerned the public welfare. His early title was borne by Ralph le Weyte or Robert le Weyte. By night he carried a trump with which to sound the watches or give the alarm. Wait, Waite, Wayt and Whaite are the forms of the word as it now exists (Our British Surname). The earliest record and the source from which all branches seem to trace is Ralf de Waiet, son of Ralf (an Englishman by a Welsh mother), who married Emma, sister of Roger, Earl of the Hereford, a cousin to William the Conqueror, who gave him in 1075 a gift of Earldom, city and castle of Norwich in England. Among genealogists it is conceded that Ricardus le Wayte, of county Warwick, who was in 1315 escheator of counties Berkshire, Wilts, Oxford, Bedford and Bucks, was a lineal descendant of Ralf. The earliest settlers in New England were Richard, Gamaliel and Thomas, brothers, who settled in Boston; Richard, of Watertown, Thomas, of Ipswich, Benjamin, of Halfield, John, of Windsor, Connecticut, and George, of Providence, Rhode Island. The branch to which Chief Justice Waite of the United States supreme court descended, settled in Lyme, Connecticut.

The American ancestor of the Amsterdam, New York, family was Thomas, born in England, 1601, came to Boston, 1634. He located in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, and is known as "Thomas of Portsmouth." He was made a freeman, March 16, 1641, which proves church membership. He bought lands in Achuset and Cohasset, Massachusetts, 1661. He died at Portsmouth, 1677, intestate, and the town council divided his property among his children: Samuel, Joseph, Jeremiah, Thomas, Mary and Reuben. His wife's name is not mentioned in the records. She probably died previous to the distribution of his property.

(II) Reuben, son of Thomas Wait, of Portsmouth, appeared in court in 1685, with others as proprietors of Dartmouth, Massachusetts. He died October 7, 1707. His will was proved November 5, of the same year. He married Tabitha Lounders, who died in 1707, shortly after her husband. In his will she was appointed executor. He named besides his wife Tabitha, children: Thomas, Benjamin, Joseph, Reuben (2), Jeremiah, Eleanor, Abigail and Tabitha. Joseph and Abigail were twins, as were also Reuben and Tabitha.

(III) Thomas (2), eldest son of Reuben and Tabitha Wait, was born April 23, 1683. He inherited half of his father's farm, but in 1721 sold his right to his brother Benjamin. He married, in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, January 25, 1711, Mary, born August 22, 1689, daughter of Joseph and Mehitable (Fish) Tripp. Children: John, Reuben, see forward; Thomas, Mary, Meribah, Mehitable, Martha and Alice.

(IV) Reuben (2), son of Thomas (2) and Mary (Tripp) Wait, was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, February 7, 1714. He married and had issue.

(V) Reuben (3), son of Reuben (2) Wait, was (probably) born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, April 28, 1758. He was the first of his line to settle in Saratoga county, New York, where numerous descendants now reside. He married and had issue:

  1. John, farmer of Saratoga county; married and had three children.
  2. James, settled in western New York, where he married and reared a family.
  3. Reuben, see forward.
  4. Greene, settled in western New York, never married.
  5. Phoebe, married Reuben Mosher, of Mosherville, New York; son, Philip Mosher, resides in Stillwater, New York.
  6. Polly, married Samuel Marion, of Montgomery county.
  7. Hannah, married Nathan Jeffords, farmer of Saratoga county, reared a large family.

(VI) Reuben (4), son of Reuben (3) Wait, died in 1872-73. He was reared on the farm in Galway, where his father had early settled, and was all his life a capable farmer. He had a mill or factory where he manufactured barrels, tubs, churns, etc., which he sold in his own and adjacent counties. He made these goods in large quantities and of such a good quality that they became well known in the market. He was a hard working man of spotless reputation, known far and near for honest goods and fair dealing. He was a good farmer, a practical business man, and an active worker in the Disciples of Christ Church, which his father had been largely instrumental in founding in Saratoga county, and had served as deacon. The family were all of a religious nature, and in the early days were the main support of the church. As a family they were Jacksonian Democrats, but latterly have been strong supporters of the Republican party. Reuben Wait, married, in Providence, New York, Ruby, born in that town, February 13, 1803, daughter of Latham Coffin, of New England. She was one of a large family of children, among them being Rev. Latham Coffin, minister of the Christian Church in Wayne county, New York. She was an earnest worker in the church and was thoroughly in accord with her husband in his church work. Reuben and Ruby (Coffin) Wait were the parents of a son and daughter: Elmina, and Charles Franklin, see forward.

  1. Elmina, born December 25, 1825, married Samuel Mosher, of Galway, Saratoga county, where they reside on the Mosher homestead, formerly owned by their grandfather; they have four children:
    1. Julia, died early in life;
    2. Obed H., married Viola Jayne and has Lillian and Horace E. Mosher, both residents of Saratoga county;
    3. Edgar, of Ballston; has his second wife, who is the mother of a son;
    4. Alice H., wife of George Taggart and has May and Ruby Taggart; reside on the Wait homestead.

(VII) Charles Franklin, only son of Reuben (4) and Ruby (Coffin) Wait, was born in Galway, Saratoga county, New York, February 5, 1841. He was educated in the town schools, and there grew to man's estate. On coming of age the great civil war was in progress and he enlisted August 26, 1862, in Company I, One Hundred and Fifteenth Regiment, New York Volunteers, commanded by Captain Walrath and Colonel Simeon Sammons. He was part of the garrison that surrendered at Harper's Ferry, Virginia. He was later exchanged. He was assigned to detached duty at Hilton Head, being assigned to the medical department under Dr. J. J. Craven, where he was retained until mustered out in Albany, New York, at the close of the war. In 1866 he went to California by the Isthmus route, and after a journey of several months reached California, where he remained several years. In 1871 he returned, this time overland, the Union Pacific railway being then in operation. On his return to Galway he purchased a farm of one hundred and thirty acres, which he cultivated until 1903, when he retired from active life, locating in Amsterdam, where he is spending his declining years in comfort and ease in his pleasant home. He is a prominent fraternity man and holds membership in Artisan Lodge, No. 84, Free and Accepted Masons; Amsterdam Chapter, No. 81, Royal Arch Masons; Johnstown Council, No. 72, Royal and Select Masters; Holy Cross Commandery, No. 5, Knights Templar, of Gloversville, New York, and Albany Sovereign Consistory, Supreme Princes Royal Secret, thirty-second degree. He is past grand of Galway Lodge, No. 453, Independent Order of Odd Fellows; past chief patriarch, Star Encampment, No. 33; past district deputy grand patriarch, Montgomery District; past captain of Canton Amsterdam, No. 20, and lieutenant colonel on staff of General M. A. Raney, commanding patriarchs militant. Mr. Wait, November 1, 1905, received the Grand Decoration of Chivalry from his lodge. He is past commander of E. S. Young Post, No. 33, Grand Army of the Republic. So interested is he in lodge work and so familiar with the ritual that he confers the four degrees without the aid of a manual.

Mr. Wait married, in Galway, August 15, 1865, Alice E., born in Providence, April, 1842, died in Amsterdam, April, 1901, daughter of Gilbert L. and Alice H. (Carpenter), Loomis, of a family prominent in New England.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Wait were the parents of three children who died in infancy; their only surviving child is Alice D., born October 15, 1871; she was educated in the Galway schools and at Newburg, New York; she married (first) De Witt A. Devendorf, who died at Fort Hunter, Montgomery county, New York, 1899, leaving a daughter, Dorothy, born May, 1894; she married (second) Emil Karl Janser, born in Switzerland; he came to America when a boy and became a successful musician and a noted instructor; they reside in Springfield, Massachusetts, where Professor Janser's business is located.

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