Historian’s Report Summer 1997
By Patricia Thayer Muno
Our First Thayer Family Reunion and Annual TFA Meeting was a resounding success. We had over 100 wonderful folks joining us from all across the nation. A lot of progress was made at our various meetings and we gained some publicity through the television airing on Braintree channel 31 of our gathering commemorating 360 years of the Thayer family in America. Filming consisted of Braintree City Selectman, Jim Sullivan, interview our President, Al Morton, and myself at the studio for nearly one hour of camera footage. The first half of our annual board meeting on Saturday was also covered by Channel 31.
Selectman, Sullivan was in attendance that day and reminded those present that Thomas Thayer, the first founding father, stepped into this continent only 17 years after the Pilgrims had landed at Plymouth Rock. It was most exciting to hear him proclaim the week we were there as “Thayer Week” as we took advantage of this opportunity to pay homage to our valiant Puritan ancestors for their remarkable accomplishments!
The “Thayeritage” gathering turned out to be the highlight of the week, and we have Marcia McGhee and Theresa Thayer Tait to thank for its splendid success. Many thanks also to all who came from distances near and far to bring their cherished family photos, mementos, stories and family legends to share with all. Our President suggested that the “Thayeritage” event take “center stage” next year as this provided us with the much-needed opportunity to mingle and get better acquainted with one another. Curtis Ross Thayer and wife, Donna of Freeland, MI has agreed to head up this project in 1998. Curt and Donna drove over 860 miles to bring his family’s ancient dulcimer for “show and tell!”
Hand-made dulcimer made by Arthur Thayer displayed at “Thayeritage” by grandson Curtis R. Thayer.
Association officers and Family Representatives who were in attendance were awarded with the beautiful pin illustrating the TFA logo. The delicious luncheon, held on Saturday, and the annual dinner, held this year at Amelia’s on the waterfront, were real highlights of the week. There were door prizes aplenty and soon-to-be-90 year old Robert Nathaniel Thayer, was proclaimed the family patriarch in attendance this year.
We have some changes in leadership which will be of interest to our readers. A tremendous debt of gratitude is owed to our retiring officers.
Raymond Alexander Thayer (“RickEast”) has retired from serving the family tirelessly for many years as our beloved Secretary/Treasurer. His immense responsibly has now been divided into two jobs with the Reverend Charles Russell (“Russ”) Thayer of Hanover, MA taking on the Secretary chores and Judith L. (“Judy”) Thayer of Hampton, VA assuming the Treasurer duties.
Marilynn Munn Strand of Wheat Ridge, CO has retired as a director of TFA and filling her vacancy is Elizabeth Parker Vaulin of Spanish Fort, AL.
Paul Goodwin Thayer of Staunton, VA has retired as TFA Membership Chairman and his position will be filled by Retta Thayer of Salem, Oregon. (More info about Retta below).
Our heartfelt appreciation to each of our retiring officers, whom we hope will remain active on our committees and various areas of service, and a grand welcome to each of our new in-coming officers.
The deadline for acceptance of genealogical information for inclusion in the forthcoming A Comprehensive Genealogy of the Thayer Family of America was June 30th. My correspondence have been really wonderful in providing their information in time for the deadline. During the last 2 months, I have been catching up on a mountain of correspondence, some of which was over a year old. Many thanks to all for their patience in receiving a reply back from me. The response to this project has been absolutely overwhelming!
As extraordinary things were expected of our early Thayer ancestors, so are they of us. The matter of fund-raising for this immense publishing project still remains to be resolved and we seek the help and generosity of all in this worthwhile ambition. When completed, it is believed we will have one of the most absolute and largest family histories ever published! It is truly a privilege to be part of this monumental project!
Since we have so many new members in the TFA, I have been requested to do a 6th printing of The Thayer - Tayer - Theyer Families of Gloucestershire, England, 1500-1600. An order form for this popular publication is included elsewhere in this issue.
I would like to ask our readers to respond to the request for more pre-1920 Thayer photographs! Although the genealogical information must be in place in order for me to commence the formatting, the photographs can be worked in just about any time up until the book goes to press. Since the volume on the descendants of Nathaniel Thayer will be prepared for publication first, it would be helpful to have pictures of the Thayers in this line as soon as possible. Please see the add for the Thayer Photography Project elsewhere in this issue.
We have the success stories of a few instances of TFA members helping other members. The connection to the descendants of the Immigrant, Thomas Thayer for Family Representatives, Lonnie and Cyndi Thayer of Tucson, Arizona was made with the help of Family Representative, Lu Anne Kriebs of Omaha, NE. I contacted Lu Anne and told her what to look for and she made a trip to where the records were located and ìEureka!î She found the information we were seeking. Many, many thanks to LuAnne and congratulations to Lonnie and Cyndi. Cyndi continues to seek out Thayers hiding in various corners of cyberspace and has been very successful in helping to build the TFA membership.
Julianne Mevis of Wauwatosa, WI is helping with the connection of another unplaced family, and has successfully extracted the Thayers appearing in the 1850 census for that state. Much appreciation to Julianne for help with this project!
The descendents of Nathan Thayer and Sarah Rebecca Reed have now taken on identity with the help of TFA member Marcia McElhinny Thayer. Marcia, however, does not know the this yet because she has not checked daughter, Susan Ann's e-mail!!!!
We have some new people to introduce this quarter: Gordon David (“David”) Thayer of Salem, Oregon will be representing the descendants of Stephen Howard THAYER (1810-1890) and Harriet Sophia HOLDEN (1817-1850). Descendants settled mainly in NY, PA, NJ, and CO. If you have information to share with David, please contact him at the following address:
Paul Goodwin Thayer, who has served faithfully as a Director and Membership Chairman has a much deserved retirement in order and David’s wonderful wife, Retta M. Thayer, has agreed to serve as TFA’s new Membership Chairman. Welcome aboard Retta! She can be reached at the same address as David, but has her own e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Kreh of Bealeton, VA, has agreed to help Kevin Lynn Thayer as co-Representative for the descendants of George Thayer (1706-1774) and Catherine Graves (1720-1785) whose posterity settled primarily in Fauquier County, Virginia. It has been determined that George was a later immigrant from England, and his relationship to the Thayer Colonial Immigrants in the mid-1600’s to Massachusetts is not yet known. Tim can be contacted at the following address:
Brand new TFA member Lisa L. Jones, of Portland, Oregon has agreed to represent the descendants of Fairfax Smith THAYER (1834-1886) and Julia ROBERTS (1824-1909). Fairfax and Julia came from Lebanon, Madison, NY via Red Wing, MN and settled in Scio, Linn, Oregon. Their only son, Frank Tilton THAYER had eleven children and helped to proliferate the family out here in the Northwest! My first knowledge of this family’s existence was over two decades ago, but only recently came into contact with them. Lisa can be reached at the following address:
There has been a change in generation being represented by Bruce Errol Thayer of Fairchild, WI. He will now be representing the descendants of Lyman Thayer (1784- 1834) and Alydia Wolcott (1795- ). Descendants of this couple settled primarily in Fond du Lac County, WI. Bruce can be contacted at the following:
Marcia McMelhinny Thayer will be representing the descendants of Nathan THAYER (1776-1837) and Sarah Rebecca REED (1778-1842)
Nathan is believed to be an unrecorded son of Zephaniah5 (William4-3, Shadrach2, Thomas1) Thayer. He was found by Marcia in 1800 and 1810 Hartford, Windsor, VT census living next to his door to his brother, Dr. Frederick Thayer and wife, Lucy Wright! This news will be a source of excitement for several of my correspondents. If any of you have information to share with Marcia, please contact her at the following:
Thanks to all, Patricia
If any of our readers can identify this unknown Thayer please write us.