Welcome to the Thayer Families Association!
With members in 43 U.S. states plus Canada and Thailand, the Thayer Families Association welcomes all who have an interest in Thayer families, including all variant spellings. Please check out what we have to offer. We hope you will return to see the additional features as we go forward. If you have suggestions or comments, please contact us at one of the links HERE.
We now have a public outreach platform on Facebook — click on the logo to access our page! You can use our "Thayer Families Association" page to connect with others interested in our heritage; to share historical photos and genealogy-related information, or to ask questions of our online community. Please note that becoming a free member of our Facebook page does NOT substitute for all the many other benefits you receive as a paid member of our association.
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Or Join By Mail . . . If you prefer joining by regular mail, complete the membership application form available HERE that you may fill on your computer, then print, and mail it along with your check to TFA.
John Howard Thayer 7/20/1942 - 8/17/2022
The Thayer Families Association would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family and relatives of John Howard Thayer. He was a TFA member since February 1999, and Thayer Quarterly contributor in the December 2013 issue.
John Howard Thayer, age 80, of Rome, passed away peacefully on August 17, 2022.
He was born July 20, 1942, in Rome, a son of the late Carlton E. and Rita Anna Alexander Thayer. He graduated from Rome Free Academy in 1960. John was a member of the National Honor Society, played Freshman, Junior Varsity and Varsity baseball and was the captain of the record setting 1960 team (14-1). He was a running back on the 1957 undefeated Junior Varsity football team, and the 1959 undefeated Varsity football team. He also played freshman and JV basketball. He graduated from the State University College at Cortland with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education in 1964. He was a member of “Who’s Who in Colleges and Universities” and Beta Phi Epsilon fraternity. At SUNY Cortland, he lettered in Varsity Soccer, and was a Varsity Gymnast. He also served as an assistant student coach of the Freshman football team and participated in student government and was a dormitory Resident Assistant during his senior year. He graduated from the State University of New York at Albany in 1966, with a Masters in Education degree in Personal Services. This included a one academic year assistantship that he fulfilled at the State University College at Oneonta as part of his master’s program.
John worked as an Admissions Assistant at the State University Agricultural and Technical College at Farmingdale, L.I. from 1965-1967. He then became a founding member and initial Student Services administrator with the title of Admissions Counselor and Registrar at Herkimer County Community College in January 1967. He later worked under the titles of Director of Admissions, Assistant to the Dean of Students and Director of Counseling Services, and served as Acting Dean of Students on two occasions. John retired from HCCC after 28 years of full-time service and 2 years of part-time service in 1997, and was awarded the prestigious “Torchbearers Award” in 2009.
Following his retirement, he moved to the St. Lawrence River area and spent many hours enjoying the 1000 Islands where he was at home while cruising the area in his boats. He was proud of the fact that he only sank one boat while “at the river”.
John is survived by two sons, John Peter Thayer of Williamstown, WV, and Matthew Sheldon Thayer of Falmouth, ME; a daughter, Christal Rae Thayer of Ilion; a sister and brother in law, Rita and Frederick Hoffman, Lt. Col. USAF, retired, of Rome; a sister in law, Patricia Thayer of Rome; special friend and cousin, Kevin VanVechten; nieces and nephews, Christine Dambro, Erika Sperling, Michael Thayer and Bradley Hoffman; and grandsons Abraham and Simon Thayer. He was predeceased by his brother, Brian E. Thayer in 2009.
Our Reunion Program Chair is Cousin Tammy Thayer and she needs our input! Please think of what you would like her to add to our agenda for our July 6-9, 2023 Reunion in Braintree, Massachusetts! (Braintree is the home of Sylvanus Thayer - Father of West Point - and the site of Thayer Academy, in addition to being the landing point of the first Thayer boys who emigrated from Thornbury, England to Braintree to start the Thayer family tree that makes us all "somehow cousins"! Can't wait to meet you all there!
Contact Tammy at email@example.com
We have added the INDEX OF NAMES from all of Patricia Thayer Muno's "A Comprehensive Genealogy of the Thayer Families of America" so that you may learn which volume contains your family's information. The complete set is in Patricia's Corner in a searchable format.
Click above to Open, Fill & Download Order Form
Marking Two Years Since Mayflower II's Triumphant Return to Plymouth Following Her Multi-Year Restoration.
The Speedwell (Left) was a 60-ton pinnace that, along with Mayflower, transported the Pilgrims and was the smaller of the two ships. Later, it carried Thomas Thayer’s goods from England to Boston in 1637. Thomas THAYER, son of Richard THAYER, was christened 16 August 1596 at Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England, and died 2 June 1665 in Braintree, Massachusetts.
The C.A. Thayer (Above Right) was built by Danish-born Hans Ditlev Bendixsen in his shipyard, located across the narrows of Humboldt Bay from the city of Eureka in Northern California. Bendixsen also built the Wawona (1897) which was dismantled in 2009. The C.A. Thayer was named for Clarence A. Thayer, a partner in the San Francisco-based E.K. Wood Lumber Company.
Click this link to view Harold Huycke’s 1957 motion picture film of C.A. Thayer in 6 parts. There are over 3 hours of video! Description: Harold Huycke motion picture film of C.A. Thayer (built 1895; schooner, 3m) restoration. Reel 1: Hood Canal to Maritime Shipyard, Tugboat Titan, and schooner C.A. Thayer. Reel 2: New stern, stepping masts, painting ship’s name, and Maritime Shipyard to Winslow. Reel 3: Winslow rigging to sea, sternwork, sailing return voyage to San Francisco. Reel 4: Deckhands at work and on rigging, sailing, lowering sails, arriving in San Francisco. Reel 5: Arrival in San Francisco assisted by tugboat “W 150”, visitors aboard, and Harold Huycke. Reel 6: Drawbridge, Maritime Shipyard, deckhands at work.
Click on the photos below for details or refresh browser for more items!
The Thayer Tartan
The Thayers, along with many other US citizens, trace their lineage back to Scotland. The colours reflect the prosperity of Thayers of Scottish descent in the USA and their awareness of their roots. This tartan is for the use of all of the name of Thayer born in the USA.
A woven sample of this tartan has been received by the Scottish Register of Tartans for permanent preservation in the National Records of Scotland.
James B. Thayer
In Memoriam ~ Brigadier General James Burdett Thayer ~
Sadly, our last surviving founder who was elected TFA's first Vice-President December 1992 passed away 16 September 2018 at the age of 96.
March 10, 1922 - September 16, 2018 James Burdett Thayer passed away peacefully with his family at his side Sept. 16, 2018 at his home in Lake Oswego.
Jim lived an extraordinary life of 96 years, with his wife Patricia, his family of five children, six grandchildren, and his strong faith in God. He was a military hero, a successful businessman, and a renowned civic leader.
Jim was born March 10, 1922 in Portland to James and Ruby (Alexander) Thayer. His maternal grandparents raised him on a farm in Carlton where he attended Carlton High School. He became an accomplished editor of the school's newspaper leading to a scholarship at the University of Oregon School of Journalism.
The 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor changed his life. Jim left college at the end of his sophomore year and joined the Army. He entered service at the Presidio of Monterey as an infantry private and was selected for Officer Candidate School shortly after induction. He was commissioned a second lieutenant on Oct. 3, 1944 and assigned to a frontline antitank company in the 71st Infantry Division, arriving in Le Havre, France in February 1945.
As a mine platoon commander, Jim led his unit across France and into Germany clearing minefields along the Maginot Line. He was reassigned as a reconnaissance platoon leader with a unit of 16 men, two halftracks, and a Jeep. In April 1945 his platoon engaged German SS troops who were occupying the Austrian town of Horbach. In the battle, his platoon overtook the German soldiers. When reinforcements from his battalion arrived, 800 German soldiers surrendered. For his action, Jim was awarded the Silver Star.
On May 4, 1945, his platoon was hunting for German ammunition dumps near Wels, Austria. As they followed a remote forest road, the platoon began to find dead, dying, and emaciated people. At the end of the road, Thayer and his men discovered and liberated the Gunskirchen Lager concentration camp, part of the Mauthausen-Gusen complex, saving the lives of over 15,000 Hungarian Jewish refugees.
Jim returned to U of O after the war, graduating in 1947 with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics. In 1952 he met his future wife Patricia Cunningham in The Dalles. They were married April 19, 1954 and settled in Beaverton to start a family together. Jim and Pat were founding members of St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in 1954. Together they co-founded the J. Thayer Company in 1955, selling office products, furniture, stationary and fine gifts.
Over the years, Jim served as president of the Oregon Historical Society, president of the Port of Portland Commission, and president of the Beaverton Chamber of Commerce. He chaired the Tuality Community Hospital board and Governor Victor Atiyeh's Lower Columbia River Task Force. He served on the Reed College Board of Trustees, and sat on the board of directors for GTE Northwest, the Oregon Graduate Institute for Science and Technology, the Knappton Corp, the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission, Evergreen Aviation Museum, Boys & Girls Aid of Portland, and Church Divinity School of the Pacific.
He received honorary doctorate degrees from Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea in 1988, Pacific University in 2009, and received the University of Oregon Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005.
Jim retired from the US Army Reserves as a full colonel in 1982 and became Oregon's Civilian Aid to the Secretary of the Army in 1989. He was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service in 1994. Jim reactivated as Commander of the Oregon State Defense Force and became Brigadier General.
The Brigadier General James B. Thayer Oregon Military Museum at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas, near completion, will be a fitting tribute to General Thayer with plans to open in 2020. The $20 million museum and historic park will honor all Oregon veterans and citizen soldiers past, present and future.
After 50 years in Beaverton, Jim and Pat sold their home in 2008 and moved to The Stafford Retirement Community in Lake Oswego meeting new friends and enjoying a simpler lifestyle together. Patricia passed in 2014, and Jim has spent recent years at home holding vigil with his family and close friends.
Jim is survived by his sons, Jim, John, Tommy and Mike (Kristy) Thayer; grandchildren Matthew and Patrick Thayer, and Haley, Eli, Tristan and Carson Thayer. Jim was preceded in death by his wife Patricia, and his daughter Anne.
A memorial service to celebrate Jim's life was held at 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Beaverton. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the St. Bartholomew's Vicar's Fund, 11265 S. W. Cabot Street, Beaverton, OR 97005.
Thayer Y-DNA Project
If you would like to join the Thayer Y-DNA Project, go to the Thayer Family DNA project please click the above icon or title; then click on the JOIN button near the top right of the page and fill in the requested information. I will respond to your request and you will be sent a link with information on how to purchase a test kit. Links at the top left of the website provide information and will answer many of your questions. The Y-DNA111 test is recommended for people joining the Thayer DNA Project as it provides the largest test data. The cost for the Y-DNA 111 test is $339, the Y-DNA67 test is $248, and the Y-DNA 37 test is $149.