NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people and the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
In the old English this is a word meaning minstrel, and it has come down from the time of William the Conqueror in such usage. Those who came in with the conquest were attached to the courts of kinds and noblemen, and in course of time the word came into use as a surname, like many other occupative names in England. It is found in the early records with a great variety of spellings, such as Wayt, Waiet, Weight, Wayte, Wayghte, Waighte and Waite. The name is said to have been rerived from the German, wacht, signifying watch, and was applied to a watchman, which was later applied to the minstrels in England. For many years in London, the Christmas Waits and certain rights which were purchased from the proper officials and were protected against infringements by others within their especial territory.
The earliest known of the name was Ralph de Waiet. In 1315 Richardus le Wayte, of County Warwick, England, was escheator of Berks, Wilts, Oxford, Bedfore and Bucks counties. His descendants continued to spell the name in the same form, and it was not until immigrants came to America that it was spelled an an i. The family was numberously represented in southern England and North Wales. There is a tradition that its removal to this country was made by three brothers, who were set upon while caring for their herds of cattle by a press gang. Having succeeded in fighting off those who sought to capture them, they sold their cattle and immediately took passage for America. This article treats of one of them, with his descendants. One of these, who founded the Watertown family, and most of his descendants spelled the name Waite. The early ancestors of the Rhode Island family did not use the final e.
(I) Thomas Wait, born 1601, arrived with his brothers at Plymouth, Mass., and settled at Portsmouth, Rhode Island, in 1638. This was then called Pocasset, and the name was changed the next year to Portsmouth. He had a house lot there July 1, 1639, and was made freeman at Newport, March 16, 1641. He was also made freeman at Boston, Oct. 8, 1640. On April 3, 1661, he bought land at Acushnet and Cohasset, Mass., and was spoken of as a husbandman. He died after April, 1677, and had children:
Samuel, Joseph, (probably) Benjamin, Jeremiah, Thomas, Mary and Reuben.
(II) Reuben, youngest child of Thomas Wait, resided at Portsmouth, where he died Oct. 7, 1707. In 1685 he was a proprietor of Dartmouth, and his will was proved Oct. 11, 1707. His property was valued at two hundred and seventy-one pouns ten shilling and four pence, of which the land was valued at one hundred and fifty pounds.
He married, in 1681, Tabitha, daughter of John and Jane (Kirby) Lounders.
Thomas, Eleanor, Benjamin, Joseph, Abigail, Reuben, Tabitha and Jeremiah.
(III) Thomas (2), eldest child of Reuben and Tabitha (Lounders) Wiat, was born April 23, 1683, and was made a freeman at Newport, in May, 1732.
He married, Jan. 25, 1771, Mary, born Aug. 22, 1689, daughter of Joseph and Mehetabel (Fish) Tripp.
John, Reuben, Thomas, Mary, Meribah, Mehetabel, Martha and Alice.
(IV) Thomas (3), eldest child of Thomas (2) and Mary (Tripp) Wait, was born Feb. 29, 1716, died 1790. He was a freeman at Newport in February, 1738.
He married, June 6, 1743, at West Greenwich, Rhode Island, Tabitha, second daughter of Jeremiah and Judith Ellis, of that town, born 1721.
After his death she removed to Petersburg, New York, with her son, Rufus, and there died in 1813.
Gideon, Jeremiah, Thomas, Mary, Lydia, Peleg, Rufus and Alice.
(V) Gideon Waite, eldest child of Thomas (3) and Tabitha (Ellis) Wait, was born March 3, 1745, died April 1, 1808. He probably resided in West Greenwich, and was third justice of the court of common pleas for Kent county, Rhode Island, in 1787, and second justice in 1789.
He married, April 6, 1766, Lois, daughter of Peleg Tripp, of West Greenwich, born Aug. 3, 1746, died Oct. 21, 1822. Of their thirteen children, one died in infancy.
The others were:
Dorcas, Eunice, Silas, Jeremiah, Simon, Thomas, Gideon, Reynolds, Benjamin, Lois, Steven and Hanna.
(VI) Simon, third son of Gideon and Lois (Tripp) Waite, was born Feb. 23, 1775, in Rhode Island, died Nov. 22, 1860, at Hammond, St. Lawrence county, New York, where he resided most of his life. He was a natural mechanic, and was also a farmer.
He married Hannah Reynolds.
Nelson, Eunice, Almira, Sydney S., Thomas, Benjamin and Reynolds.
(VII) Sydney Smith, second son of Simon and Hannah (Reynolds) Waite, was born June 6, 1807, at West Greenwich, Rhode Island, died Jan. 20, 1881, in Hammond, N.Y. He settled at Hammond when a young man, and spent most of his life there, engaged in agriculture.
He married, 1831, Julia, daughter of Sylvester and Almira Pond, of Vergennes, Vermont. She was born June 9, 1813, died Jan. 3, 1896.
Mary, Harriet, Sylvester, Isadore, Fannie, and four that died in infancy.
(VIII) Fannie, third daughter of Sydney Smith and Julia (Pond) Waite, was born Dec. 23, 1855, in Hammond; married, Aug. 28, 1878, John Eliot Bell, of Ogdensburg. (See Bell IV).
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