Historian's Report, Spring 1997

By Patricia Thayer Muno

The formatting of A Comprehensive Genealogy of the Thayer Family of America is about to commence, and the deadline is drawing near for the acceptance of any new genealogical information to be included in the forthcoming Thayer publication! I cannot guarantee that any information sent to me after 1 Jul 1997 will be received in time to be included in this unprecedented publishing project. In recent weeks, our dedicated Membership Chairman, Paul Goodwin Thayer, has helped me tremendously by contacting our TFA members whose names I did not recognize or who were known to have incomplete information in my computer files. We wanted to be certain that the genealogical data of the families of our wonderful members would assuredly be included in this monumental project. The response has been encouraging, and I wish to thank each of you who took time from your busy schedules to comply to this request for information.

Thayer descendants by the dozens will be returning to Braintree, Norfolk County, Massachusetts June 17th-21st to celebrate 360 years in America. In 1637, Thomas Thayer, first of the immigrating Colonial ancestors, came from Thornbury, Gloucester, England and eventually settled on 79 acres at Mt. Wolleston (now Braintree). He was followed by four years later by his brother, Richard, who also settled for a time in Braintree. In 1660, Nathaniel followed his two uncles to the New "World" and settled in Taunton, Bristol County, MA. Fifteen generations of American Citizens have come of these three colonial Thayer ancestors, and the genealogical information of near 50,000 of their descendants will be published in the forthcoming Thayer Genealogy!

The TFA officers and directors have been feverishly working behind the scenes making the necessary arrangements for the fast approaching Thayer Family Reunion and Annual TFA Meeting. This is the first time in history that the Thayer family has had the opportunity to attend a gathering of relatives on a National scale. Thanks to the meritorious foresight of our President, Albert Thayer Morton, we are able to perform the necessary toil and exertion of running an awesome Family Association behind the scenes so we can also socialize and enjoy on another√≠s company during this exiting week. The event follows more than 6 years of planning and board meetings which was held annually in Braintree. Members are expected to be in attendance from all across the country, and several will be coming from as far as the West coast. This will be grand time to meet your Thayer cousins from all around the country!

The officers and directors will be in meetings of and on throughout most of the week, while fun things are being planned for those who are more interested in discovering their Thayer heritage and having fun exploring the "ancestral stomping grounds" in and around Braintree. The week's activities will culminate with the TFA Annual Board Meeting, which will be held from 10:00a a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 21st. Interested individuals are encouraged to attend. The meeting will be followed by the annual dinner to be held at Amelia√≠s in North Quincy, MA. A luncheon will be served earlier in the day at the Academy. Pre-paid tickets are required for both the dinner and the luncheon.

In March, I was privileged to meet in person with my Family Representatives, Marcia Thayer McGhee of St. Petersburg, Florida. (See picture Spring 1996 TTQ and story Winter 96/97 TTQ). Recognizing Marcia's expertise in organizing Family Reunions, I quickly drafted her to help us with our June event. Marcia enlisted the help of her cousin, Theresa Thayer Taitt of Detroit, Michigan and together, they have planned an exciting event for all! We will be holding a "Thayeritage Celebration" on Friday and Saturday June 20th and 21st, from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Southworth Library, Thayer Academy in Braintree. We ask that all our reunion attendees join us in exploring our Thayer legacy, and sharing of memories, family photos, recollections, anecdotes, keepsakes, mementos, etc. Marcia and Theresa have contacted each of the Family Representatives encouraging them to participate. Please bring your Thayer treasures and plan on joining us for this exciting function!

We will also be collecting recipes for the forthcoming Thayer Cook Book undertaking to benefit the publishing project, so please bring your special recipes with you, which will then be passed along to our cookbook editor, Ralph Clinton ("Clint") Thayer of Waterford, CT. There will be a special prize for the individual who brings the most family recipes, and there will be door prizes offered at each of our major gatherings! Other events include a tour of the Freedom Trail in Boston.

Also, a proposed tour of the Mendon and Uxbridge areas is in the planning.

Although our wonderful association is still relatively in its infancy, we have experienced phenomenal growth in this last year. This has been largely due to the mass mailing project where we attempted to contact as many of the near 7,000 Thayer families residing in America today that we possibly could locate. The TFA home page (posted at http://www.geocities.com /Haartland/Plains/4507/tfa.htm.) has also been responsible for a large amount of exposure and resultant growth.

Of course not all of the Thayers in America descend from one of the three Colonial Immigrants. The TFA is a devoted to helping all the who carry the Thayer surname (and its spelling variations). An interesting letter was received recently from my correspondent, Colleen Thayer of Binghampton, NY. Colleen mentioned receiving information from a fellow cousin, Wayne Thayer of Ohio, that their earliest known ancestor, George Thayer, born about 1706, and progenitor of a large clan of Thayers who resided in the state of Virginia, may have been the son of William Thayer of England. Following is an excerpt from Colleen's letter of 5 May 1997.

"The information sent to me indicates that a William Thayer may have been the first Thayer to arrive in VA. George was probably his son. William Thayer was a convict who was deported from England to the colonies for his sins. It seems he stole 40 shillings, and the King's men did not take kindly to this act. My cousin, Wayne Thayer of Ohio, is a retired lawyer who was in England and researched some legal records. His time was limited and he wasn't able to come up with the name of the ship William sailed on. This is probably the reason no records exist here. Wayne feels that this record is still in England and can be researched."

There is only one new Family Representative to announce this term:
Susan J. Gardner
476 Union Street
Leominster, MA 01453-4144
e-mail: SueG476@aol.com

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Sue will be representing the descendants of Bezer Thayer (1795 Milton, MA - 1854 Taunton, MA) and Melinda Brown (1796 MA - 1885 MA). Some interesting correspondence has come out of this challenge for Sue when Nick Hagen, of Mesa Arizona, ran across the TFA home page on the Internet. Nick's sister, Donna, married Robert Anthony Thayer11(William Alfred10, Frederico9, Charles Lawrence8, Bezer7, Bezer6, Richard5, John4, Richard3-2-1). As a devoted brother- in-law, Nick was trying to help Bob find out something of his Thayer ancestors, so he promptly contacted our Internet chairman, Lee Thayer, who forwarded to me Nick's request for information. In the back of my memory was a question Sue had posted to me well over a year ago concerning whether or not I had heard of any Massachusetts Thayers who had settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the last century. Everything started to fit together, and with Nick's help, we were able to piece together the information on the descendants of one of Bezer and Melinda's sons, who did, indeed, settle in New Mexico. Charles Lawrence Thayer married as his 2nd wife, Guadalupe Ortiz and many of their descendants to this day reside in the Southwest.

 

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I have also received a belated photo from Rep. Larry Gene Thayer, of Wauconda, IL. This picture was taken during Larry's Tai Chi class. His line of representation for the descendants of Winfield Scott Thayer and Clara Bell Howard was mentioned on page 4 of the Fall 1996 Thayer Quarterly newsletter.

Also pictured here is Roland Bradley Clark Jr. of Rosamond, California. Roland has been a kind friend of the TFA by performing any service that has been requested of him! Many many thanks to Roland for his help in various areas of need! Our special thanks also to Cyndi Thayer of Tucson, AZ for her dedicated help in scouting out new Thayer cousins through the Internet. Several of our new members have come to us a direct result of Cyndi's efforts. If you have E-mail and have not shared your address with us, please send to: TriciaMuno@aol.com

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Please remember to bring your Thayer recipes to the reunion with you or submit them to:
Clint Thayer
10 Quinley Way
Waterford, CT 06385-4128

I am widening the window of opportunity for submitting photographs to be included in the forthcoming comprehensive genealogy. Previously I had listed the cutoff date to pre-1900 pictures. The new date will be pre-1920 pictures. Please send your pictures to TFA Photographer:
Robert William Thayer
1194 Parkwood Blvd.
Schenectady, NY 12308

Your photographs will be copied and returned to you unharmed.