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  • Writer's pictureGregory Winters

Meet Your Researchers: Anne Wayt Dunivan

Anne currently resides in San Antonio, Texas. She had lived in Chicago for one year, but "I hated it up there (too cold for me) and moved back to San Antonio. Give me 100 degree weather!" When I began seriously looking into the Internet as a tool for genealogical research (in 2001), it wasn't long before I 'ran into' Anne. Although we haven't corresponded nearly as much as I would like to (my research has taken me - so far - to other branches of the family), I always enjoy hearing from her and she is always prompt and extremely helpful.

Anne Wayt Dunivan has been researching our family for many years. It's hard to browse Wayt information on the Internet without seeing Anne's name associated with at least some aspect of it. She describes her lineage as follows: "My father was Clyde Wayt, his father was Elmer Wayt, his father was Abraham Bird Wayt, his father was Allen Glen Wayt, his father was Joseph Wayt, and his father was Andrew Wayt. I am directly descended from Andrew and proud of it."

Anne was introduced to genealogy by a friend who was 'seriously' into it and accompanied her on a family research trip to Austin, Texas. While there, she performed a few random searches and turned up a couple of Elmer Wayt's brothers who had lived in Oklahoma and "that hooked me but good." She goes on to describe the resulting experience familiar to many of us: "I just couldn't get enough. I stayed up until all hours of the night and would go to school (I'm a teacher) very tired the next day."

When asked to provide an example of her most exciting or significant research discovery, Anne's example is curious, but typical of someone who has spent long hours absorbing family history far beyond mere names and dates. "I love reading the copy of Andrew's will about the bee hives. He had so little in material things, yet he founded a wonderful group of people. We are few, but we are strong and compassionate descendants." Well stated! Anne also is proud of her connection to Andrew Wayt and the American Revolution.

Those of us who have had similar experiences can relate to Anne's narrative of her funniest research story: "I guess the funniest thing that happened was one time my friend and I took a trip to Houston to research up there. We got lost and spent hours trying to find the library. She just knew that she could find it because she was a native Texan and had been there before. I was no help - being a non-native Texan." Many of us have discovered sometimes how little the locals know of their libraries, churches, and courthouses, but that's what some of the fun is, too.

Anne's advice for future generations of Wayts is quite important: "Just know that environment can play a part in who you are, but your ancestors give you that character that makes you a good person. If they were hard workers, working hard for things is instilled in each new generation. Your ancestors can give you a better sense of self - we are all people, doing stupid things at times, great things at other times. You can either rise to the occasion and do something great or ignore circumstances and do nothing." Maybe even some of the present generation could take this good advice?

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