June 11, 2020


June 11, 2020

Historian’s Report

Long ago and far away, doing genealogical research on our Thayer family required traveling to distant lands - from our then home in NW Oregon - to Salt Lake City, Utah. It required spending untold hours in the Family History Library, traversing back and forth, over and over again, from the microfilm reader to the countless file cabinets filled with thousands of rolls of microfilm. This would require a period of at least a week or two, as many times a year as was affordable.

Fast forward to the future, everything – well, ALMOST everything, is now available right in the comfort of our own home offices! It is because of this vast amount of now-easily accessible wealth of immediate genealogical information that I spent considerable extra effort updating my Thayer data that had been gleaned over the past 47 years. Readers of the forthcoming “Volume X” of A Comprehensive Genealogy of the Thayer Family of America will find it to be the most correct and complete volume yet. As soon as we picked up Volume IX (9) from the bindery in December, I immediately commenced work of Volume X (10), and I have been working around the clock on that one ever since. It was a great surprise to me that Shadrach Thayer (son of the Immigrant Thomas Thayer ) had such a vast family of descendants. He almost rivals those of his older brother, Ferdinando, who, with six sons producing issue, created the greatest number of Thayer descendants! Shadrach, on the other hand, had only three sons who produced issue, namely: Samuel, Ephraim, and William. In this latest volume, I made a great extra effort to search out the PARENTS of the SPOUSES of Thayers - both the husbands and the wives of Thayer ’s who had married. I have just finished that massive project, and am now in the process of computerizing this information for inclusion in the book. It has taken me over 5 months of almost constant work in verifying every name, date, and place for every individual and every event in what I had supposed would become Volume X. I had no idea until I got into work on this volume that Shadrach Thayer had so very many descendants. The problem with this is: it is becoming evident that I may need to split Volume X into two volumes: becoming Volume X (10) AND Volume XI (11). The only alternative would be to make the font size much smaller than the usual 12pt, which would be much more difficult for our senior family members to read. Not unlike the descendants of the Immigrant Richard ( brother of the immigrant Thomas Thayer ), a great many of the descendants of Shadrach intermarried with their own Thayer cousins. This presents a problem in that my books follow the male line of descent only, and it is ever so easy to get off on the wrong line and follow the descendants of the females! In accomplishing the verification task, I worked primarily on FamilySearch in the process of verifying my own records, and at the same time making thousands of corrections in FamilySearch. This process was very tedious but was worth it to have the information there for others to see in its corrected form. Ancestry and Find A Grave also became indispensable tools.

Additionally, in making these corrections, it became necessary to merge thousands of duplicated individuals. It seems like almost everyone in FamilySearch had at least one, and sometimes as many as 4 or 5 duplicates!! This was quite exhaustive work for the last five-plus months. The bookbindery can only accommodate binding so many pages, and when it is much over 1,000 pages, there is a risk of breaking their very expensive machines! Most of my volumes have been around 1,000 pages, or slightly over.

Concerning the canceled 2020 Bi-annual National Thayer Family Reunion, we are very saddened that we are not all going to be able to get together this summer. Darned old Coronavirus anyway! I know that our Reunion planning team had some very exciting things lined up for us for our gathering, and now we all will miss out on the fun and friend-shipping – at least until 2022. “Hang in there” – better times are a-coming!! Putting things into perspective, it was probably the best decision to cancel our gathering, in- as-much as your trusty historian/genealogist is most certainly a HUGGER, and social distancing would have been very difficult for me!

Until we meet again, please keep safe and stay well! Patricia