Saturday, 24 March 2012


Since hearing that one of our Waite family members has agreed to a DNA test, I have worked a little more on the two brick walls: Smith (or Schmid) and Waite (or Wait). It seems no stone has been left unturned, but I am retracing some of it, as it seems there must be some clue we've missed in one of these lines.

Mostly I'm excited because my parents will be back in Calgary tomorrow. Dad is so methodical about his research, and I am a lot more random. Sometimes we make progress due to his logical and steady approach to our work, and other times I find new clues because I often work in less conventional ways. For example, recently I found church records for John Schmid and Lily Hay, with their daughter Sarah Lincoln Schmid in Philadelphia. Chances are good that these folks are John & Lilly Smith, with their daughter Sallie Lincoln Smith. I'll be more comfortable once the data has gone through the "Don Smith" legitimacy test, but I think I've stumbled onto a small new piece of the puzzle.

I can appreciate that it will take some time for the DNA test to make its way through the mail and to be processed. I am trying to remain patient, and hope the results give us some idea about our family ties.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

DNA - our best hope for breaking down brick walls!

This has been a big month for me. After many years of research, Dad and I agreed there were very few stones left unturned when it came to our research on the Waite and Smith families. We have done most of the work ourselves, but we have also hired professional genealogists to help us to tackle these brick walls.

In the fall, we visited Philadelphia, and hoped to make some progress with the Smith family, but there was simply nothing to add to the John Smith story, and just a few tidbits about his children. We plan to visit Ontario again later this year, and hold out some hope we will find something about the Waite family. There is some work to do at home before we get there -- I am thankful Dad is a very organized and methodical person, as I am much more random in my approach to our research.

We have gone back to the DNA data that we have for the Smith family, and have posted it in the Ancestry database. Next, I will add it to the Family Tree Maker database, as that seems to be a larger pool of DNA data.

On the Waite side, we are thankful that one of the direct Waite descendants has agreed to take a DNA test, and we have ordered and sent the test to him. We will add the results to the existing Waite study, which has been in place for many years. I spoke to Sue Waite-Langley on the phone this week, and I am very excited about the potential, as she seems very organized and was quite encouraging. This is not an inexpensive process, but it will be worth it, as we will have proof -- there are a few Waite families we could be descended from, and we will finally hope to tie ourselves to one specific line.

All there is to do now is to wait for the results of the test. It will take about 2 weeks for the test to make its way from Family Tree Maker to our willing test-taker in Canada, then time for him to do the test and return it. At best, we will be looking at about the middle of April, and from then, I would guess it will take FTM a week or two to process the sample and provide the results. We have linked to the Waite group project when we ordered the test, so Sue Waite-Langley will have the results and will be able to connect us with any potential connections right away.

So now we wait patiently, and hope for good news this spring!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A New Tree - Schmidt

Recently we created a new tree on Ancestry, as searching by "Smith" was not giving us many good results. We have reason to believe the Smith family may have been Schmidt, so the new tree is very small, but narrows down the family a little, and the different surname has given us a few new leads.

In addition, we have posted Dad's DNA data in Ancestry's DNA database, and we're now waiting to see if we'll see any solid matches in the future. At this time, there are a few matches, but nothing clear enough to pursue as close family members.

Somehow in all of this, we hope to make some headway with the Smith/Schmidt family. The new church records from Pennsylvania have given us some hope, and with a little persistence, perhaps we'll get some proof of the family's arrival in North America, and clues as to where in Switzerland they came from.