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  • Writer's pictureGregory Winters

Meet Your Researchers: Nancy Wayts Ayers

Nancy has always been an enthusiastic supporter of all our research efforts and of this website. I've known Nancy since October 2002 and have received many communiqués and a great deal of material from her. Much of the western portion of our tree has been provided by Nancy. It's always a pleasure hearing from her. Nancy currently resides in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Thanks to our cuzzin on the 'Wayts' side of the family!

Nancy Wayts Ayers (the name she prefers because of the number of 'Nancy Wayts' there are) first got into genealogy after her parents passed away (Paul and Lily Marie Nelson Wayts). "With such a rare last name, [I] thought I'd see what I could find on the Wayts line. My Dad said he thought he was the last one in the USA. He knew the family originally came from Virginia, but he didn't know when or where - he knew nothing about them past his own grandparents. His grandparents told him the Wayts family had been in America for many generations, but [had] no details on that."

Nancy continues: "[Paul] had traveled a lot and never found another [Wayts] in phone books (this was before computers were common, he died in 1990). After folks started getting their own PC's, I got one and got a listing of every Wayts in all the USA phone books that were not unlisted numbers. There were about 20 and I wrote to all of them with what information I had. Almost all of them wrote back; I even found another Paul Wayts living in Ohio who was about 10 yrs younger than my Dad. He was Barbara Wayts Olsen's father. How I wish the two Paul's could have met. My Dad would have been so pleased to know he wasn't the only Wayts left."

Research always involves a number of interesting aspects and Nancy's has been no different. When asked about her most exciting discovery, she replied: "Actually, I think there were two - finding out how many Wayts and descendants there really are, and finding out Andrew Sr. had been in the Revolutionary War." Related to this latter discovery was her proudest moment: becoming a member of the DAR (the Daughters of the American Revolution) "courtesy of Andrew Wayt, Sr."

Nancy relates an amusing story which occurred when her parents were still in the "dating stage." Her father had taken his future wife to meet his parents in Abilene, Kansas. "He had a new 1925 Ford car and they pulled up in front of the house in it. Dad's parents were out in the yard and they walked over to the curb to welcome the new girlfriend. Before Dad could walk around and open the car door for her, it popped open and she rolled out on the grass at the curb right in front of the future relatives. She was so embarrassed, dress over her head, grass in her hair...she never forgot the incident. But hey, it was the Roaring 20's, raz ma taz and all that jazz, nobody cared! Were they drinking?? Probably."

Nancy also has a message for the generations who would come after us - from serious researchers to those who are simply curious about their ancestry: "There are thousands of hours of work and hundreds of dollars spent finding all this information for you. Some family members have worked over 40 years finding all this for you, we enjoyed every minute of it, in many cases it was like solving a mystery... the hows and ways of it all. You have a proud heritage, keep all our work ongoing and most of all...enjoy!"

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