For five years I have searched for information on Gardiner Wait/Waite and Phoebe/Phebe Unknown. All I knew about her is that she was born in Albany County, New York, she married Gardiner Wait and she was living until after 1860.
Female lines can be the hardest lines to figure out. So far I have not been able to find a death certificate for any of her children, or the children I believe belong to this couple. I actually only have one document that links these two as a couple. The 1855 New York State census, were they are bot living with Russel Wait (our direct line). before that she is just a slash mark.
In hopes to find more on this couple I created a list of boys and girls with the time frame they would have been born from the 1820, 1830, and 1840 Federal Censuses. I then started filling in possible children from 1850 and 1860 census for the Cicero area. Then I would research this person excluding them if I could prove a different set of people. I believed Phoebe was a Loomis for a while. I had a list of children that were living with other families in 1850. I have never found Gardiner in 1850 and Phoebe appears twice, once with Jeremiah and once with Harvey.
One day I would frustrated with a project I was working on, sometimes it helping to doing something else for a bit to clear my head. I went to Google Books and entered “Gardiner Wait” “Phoebe” “Cicero”, BINGO!
Phoebe Shepard m. Gardiner Wait, three hits. Mayflower Descendant, Doty and Shepard genealogies. I couldn’t read the whole entry, but I was lucky it was a Monday and the Rochester library is open late on Monday. I went there directly after work, they had all three books. I copied the pages and returned home to study them. I was able to prove them most the relationship I had put together were correct. Maria Wait who was living with Loomis family not because Phoebe was a Loomis, but because Mrs. Loomis was Phoebe’s sister. I have still not discovered when Phoebe or Gardiner died or are buried, but I now know more about this female line then I do about the male line.
I have ideas about who was named after whom, and I have more clues to follow. So try including the woman’s name and the locate in your searches, you may be surprised.