Friday, May 20, 2011

I found him!

Photo by dynamosquito

Get a load of this - I found Emery Waller!

The past week has been a flurry of activity and a wealth of information has surfaced.  So much, in fact, that I can hardly keep it straight in my mind.  Right now if you asked me to tell you the sequence of events that led to this discovery, I couldn't do it.

What I do know is that I found a probate record for Emory L Waller in Franklin County.  I contacted the Genealogical Society by e-mail and after clicking the "check mail" button a minimum of 1447 times, 36 hours later I'd received no response.  I know these people are volunteers and I know their hours are limited but geez, didn't they realize how important this was to me?  So I sent off a written request with the probate number and a check which I figured would more than compensate them for their research time and copying as listed on their web site.  Finally, the next day I heard from them! 

Debi, I am chair of the research committee of Franklin Co. Genealogical Soc. & received your request for copies of the probate records for Emory L. Waller, #6605.  There were 3 pages & I had copies made. If you will send me your address I will mail them to you.

EUREKA!  Of course I couldn't stand the suspense so I quickly sent him a message back and asked for the date of death.  His response - December 11, 1891.  Now that was interesting since my records showed his date of birth as December 11, 1813.  Sure he could have died on his birthday ......OR, their records could be incorrect.

Next stop, Find a Grave.  Now I'd already looked for him in Franklin County but I decided to just search on E Waller, Kansas and see what might appear.  And there it was - E L Waller in McPherson County with a death date of 1890.  This had to be him!  And in the same cemetery was Clarina Waller, death date 1885, which was too close to his wife ClarinDa to be a coincidence.  I was getting close!  So I hit the 'request a photo' button in hopes that someone would help me.  And within an hour or so, my request had been 'claimed'.  I was so close now I could taste it!

This afternoon the e-mails really started flying and I knew I'd hit pay dirt.  A kind gentleman from Find a Grave sent me a link to the cemetery that had all of the information for those interred in McPherson Cemetery.  Quick scroll to the W's......and there it was.  WALLER.  One more click and I was there - Clarinda and E L Waller, Block 14, Lot 15, Graves 7 and 8.  My 3rd great grandfather and his wife!  And there was a Cemetery Location Map included. PAY DIRT!
Within an hour, the e-mail from Find a Grave I'd been waiting for appeared - SUCCESS!  Someone had been to the cemetery and photographed the graves for me.  And so I give you Emery and Clarinda Waller.


Emery Waller
Photo by Art Hoch, Find A Grave

Clarinda Waller
Photo by Art Hoch, Find A Grave


But wait, there's no marker for Emery!  My 3rd great grandfather, who served in both the Mexican and Civil War, is lying in an unmarked grave.  This is unacceptable for anyone, much less a veteran who gave so much to his country.  I'm going to contact the Department of Veteran Affairs to see if I can't rectify that.

I've concluded that Emery and Clarinda moved to Kansas in 1882 and were living in McPherson County in 1885 when Clarinda died.  Based on Emery's pension records, I know they were there July 7, 1885 and Clarinda died in November of that year.  From there Emery must have gone to Ness County and, eventually, to Franklin County where he died in either 1890 or 1891.  I'm guessing that after his death his family took his body back to McPherson County for burial with Clarinda.  And they either didn't have the money, or didn't want to spend it, on a tombstone.

So the journey is complete.  Or at least will be when I'm able to get Emery's grave marked.  While the Pension File didn't directly give me the information I was hoping for, I was able to find Emery's final resting place.  In Kansas, no less.  Who knew I'd find him there?  And finding Clarinda was a bonus because I really hadn't given too much thought to ever finding her.
I'm emotionally drained.



  1. Well done! It's those little details that break down the walls. What a thrill for you - and encouragement for us.

  2. Love this. And the fact that he's a veteran, so you can get him a headstone...that is awesome.

  3. Love the appropriate silhouette at the top of the post. Your perseverance in finding him is admirable -- and a well-deserved hurrah at the end. Congrats!