The Waite Family History

The Wayte Coat of Arms is a shield with three silver bugles and the motto, "Pro Aries et Foce," Latin for: "For our Homes and Altars."


The name Waite (also Wait, Wayt, Wayte, Wayght, Waight, and Weight) derives from the Old English word for Watch (as in Watchman). The term described the minstrels who originally performed for noble families and later referred to the men who called out the Watch (hour) and performed music to entertain the passers-by.

All the Waites of England and Wales are believed to be descendants of Ricardus Le Wayte of the County of Warwick, who was Escheater of the counties of Berkshire, Wilts, Oxford, Bedford, and Bucks in 1315. Ricardus was a direct descendant of Ralf de Waiet, whose wife was Emma, sister of Roger, Earl of Hereford, and cousin of William the Conqueror. In 1075 A.D., William presented the Earldom, city and castle of Norwich, England, to Ralf de Waiet on his marriage to Emma.


The Waites of Medway, Maine, are the descendants of George Washington Waite, who is believed to be related to one of the earliest lines of Waites to settle in America -- that of John of Malden who arrived in Massachusetts in 1638.

Captain John Waite was born in 1617/18 in Fitchingfield, Essex, England. John's parents were Samuel Waite (b. 1587), of Wethersfield, Essex, and Mary Ward (b. 1582) also of Essex.

Per "The Waite Family of Malden, Mass." (1913) by Deloraine Corey,

John Waite "accompanied, or followed, to New England, his father-in-law, Joseph Hills, who came in the "Susan and Ellen," of London, in 1638; was one of the early settlers of Mystic Side (afterwards Malden), where he purchased a house and land... in 1644; member of the Charlestown Church, 1647, and made a FREEMAN in May of that year... he became a leader in [Malden's] civil and religious affairs... was a clerk and selectman for many years, captain of the trainband, and commissioner to end small causes. In 1666 he succeeded Joseph Hills in the House of Deputies... In 1675, during King Philip's war... he was able to take command of a company in active service. In 1684 he was chosen Speaker of the House of Deputies; and, becoming deprived of his sight, soon after retired from public life. He died Sept. 26, 1693, ae. 75. He m. first, in England, Mary, dau. of Joseph and Rose Hills, who d. Nov. 25, 1674; second, August 4, 1675, Sarah, widow of Jacob Parker of Chelmsford, who d. Jan. 13, 1707-8, ae. 81." John had 10 children: John, Joseph, Samuel, Mary, Hannah, Mehitable, Thomas, Rebecca, Sarah, and Nathanial.

His son Samuel was "b. at Malden Oct. 11, 1650; was admitted a FREEMAN in 1690; d. Sept. 20, 1720, at Malden. He m. Mehitable Bucknam, b. Aug., 1654, and d. Sept. 17, 1734, dau. of William Bucknam and Sarah (Dau. of Prudence Wilkinson)."

Their eldest child was Samuel, "b. about 1680; was of Malden, and d. Jan. 14, 1739/40, in 60th year of his age. He m. Anna, dau. of Joseph and Elizabeth (Tufts) Lynde, b. May 29, 1688. She m. Aug. 11, 1743, John Hoyle of Providence, R.I.

NOTE: There were included two references in footnotes to articles in the "Boston Evening Post" as follows: "This is to give Notice to all Persons, that the Wife of Doctor John Hoyle of Providence, which was formerly the Widow of Capt. Samuel Wett of Malden, has left her husband; I do forbid any Person trading with her; for I shall not pay any Debts she shall contract, till after she returns home to her Husband at Providence. John Hoyle. Sept. 15, 1746."

"This is to give Notice to all Men, what was the Cause that I put my Wife in the Papers, being she had left me. The Law is plain she had Power to run me into Debt, but she never did any such Thing, and she saith she never intended to run me into any Debt, and I think my Wife's word is to be credited. John Hoyle. Sept. 29, 1746."

Samuel and Anna had nine children: Anna, Samuel, William, Mary, Martha, Phebe, Lydia, Nathan, and Elizabeth.

Their son Samuel was "b. at Malden Dec. 14, 1709; resided both in Charlestown and in Malden; d. in Malden Jan. 5, 1783. He m. (1) Mch. 16, 1730/1, Elizabeth, dau. of Ebenezer and Rachel (Floyd) Pratt, b. in Boston, Oct. 24, 1713, who d. July 16, 1745, ae. 31; (2) Mch. 20, 1745/6, Rebecca Sweetser of Charlestown, dau. of James and Mary Austin, b. Aug. 9, 1714 (and wid. of Joseph Sweetser), d. Dec. 27, 1750, ae. 36 yrs. 4 m. 17 d.; (3) July 18, 1751, Elizabeth, dau. of John and Elizabeth (Austin) Sprague of Charlestown, b. Charlestown Apr. 14, 1723; d. at Newburyport July 17, 1799, ae. 74." Samuel had eleven children: Samuel, Nathan, David, Elizabeth, Mary, Ebenezer, Richard, Rebecca, Sarah, John, and Nathaniel.

John Waite, the child of Samuel and Elizabeth Sprague, was "b. at Charlestown Aug. 5, 1754; lived in Boston and Charlestown; a merchant and was engaged in the manufacture of chocolate in Boston and Saugus; was a deacon of the First Baptist Church, Boston, 1801-18. Rem. to New York, where he d. He m. (1) Apr. 23, 1778, Jane, dau. of Capt. John (a naval commander in the Revolution) and Mary (Rust) Skinner of Boston, b. 1758, d. in Boston July 4, 1815, ae. 57; (2) [?]." John had 14 children: Mary West, Betsey, John, Samuel, George Washington, Jane, Sarah, Francis (son), Nathaniel, Richard Gridley, Lucius Hallet, infant, infant, and John Howard.


George W. Waite was born Nov. 11, 1793, and married March 24, 1817, in New Gloucester, Maine, to Mary R. Haskell (born Aug. 17, 1797 in New Gloucester), daughter of Nathan and Judith (Witham) Haskell, of New Gloucester. George died February 22, 1870. Mary died March 24, 1864. Both are buried in Mattawamkeag, Maine.

We don't know a lot about George's life before he came to Medway. Some family stories indicate he was a sea captain. Others say no. The main problem was that he was reluctant to talk about his past and had moved around a fair amount over the years (he could almost have been a Michaud, the way he wandered.) from New Gloucester [according to family records and the 1820 Census of Maine], to Minot [according to the 1830 Census of Maine], before arriving in the Medway area with his wife and seven children (he would have three more children in Medway).

George clearly arrived in Medway with no small amount of money for, according to "The History and Genealogy of Medway Maine" (1975) by H.C. Beathem, when he moved to Medway from Mattawamkeag in 1843, he purchased lot 18 in Tract Z (on Pattagumpus Brook) from John and Sophia Barker of Bangor. The site included a sawmill, along with long-log equipment, two clapboard-making machines and a shingle machine. Two years later, George purchased 250 acres in TAR7 from Isreal Heald, of Lincoln Settlement, which George then sold to his son, William. This land was known as "the Farm at Nicatou" (Nicatou is the Penobscot Indian name for the Medway area), and was mentioned by Henry David Thoreau in "The Maine Woods" (Ktaadn, Section Two).


In 1864, at age 37, William Waite left the family lumbermill to join the 11th Maine Infantry Volunteers. The 11th Maine fought in Virginia and South Carolina throughout the Civil War and was involved in three separate engagements during the Appomattox Campaign.

In February of 1875, Medway was incorporated, and William was elected a Road Commissioner at the first official Medway town meeting. He took over operation of his father's sawmill that same year, and by 1877, he had become postmaster at Pattagumpus. In an interesting side note, in 1900, three of William's sons, Lincoln, Orlando, and Edwin B., were among the fourteen people in Medway to own organs -- this is an indication of some small prosperity on their part. Two other people in town owned actual pianos!

Edwin B. Waite's third child (and my great grandfather), Norman, became eligible to vote in 1909, and in 1913, he married Flora Boynton. He and Flora had ten children. In 1910, Edwin's brother, Orlando, became Medway Town Treasurer. In 1923, Edwin's eldest son, Ross, owned three automobiles (out of 64 for the entire town), and had the first residential electrical lines in Medway installed in his home.

Norman was elected West Side Road Commissioner in 1937. His daughter Lera (my grandmother) traveled to Washington, DC, during World War II, where she worked at the Pentagon. She returned to Medway in 1945 and married Ralph McLaughlin, also of Medway. In 1957, Ralph, Lera, and their children moved into Ross Waite's old farm in Chester.

Information from "The History and Genealogy of Medway Maine" (1975) and family records.


HOME | Writing Resource Page | Genealogy Page | INDEX

Merci! You are one of people
to have wandered around the Michaud Barn.

I would love to hear from you!
Here's My Old GUESTBOOK,
which may or may not still work.

Sign My
NEW Guestbook

Just Look At
My NEW Guestbook

Please contact
Scott Michaud

For Additional Information