TFA Historian’s Report 31 Jan 1999

For those new to the Thayer Family Association, welcome. It has been customary for me to take a moment of my time and yours to quarterly inform TFA members, new and old, of items of concern relating to my research and writing progress. As this is a new year, I will give you a brief review. My Thayer project began October 1973 and now approaches 26 years in progress. With the formal organization of the Thayer Families Association in January of 1991, and by this time having gathered a large body of research, I spent a concentrated 2 years correcting a vast amount of mis-linked lineage in the Thayer family tree and developed an errata for interested Thayer family members. Valiant efforts of early compilers who attempted to gather Thayer genealogies included General Bezaleel Thayer’s efforts in the 1870’s, followed by Ruth Thayer Ravenscroft in the 1940’s and Waldo Chamberlin Sprague’s work in the 1960’s. With each generation, and the proliferation of Thayers, hope of tackling and completing an increasingly massive body of scattered research seemed doubtful, according to the late H. Hobart Holly, Historian for Quincy and Braintree Historical Societies. 

Since the beginning of my research both my family and my office has grown. My office hasn’t moved for the past 15 years and is still here in Beaverton, Oregon. Our four children, however, have grown and my youngest is bound for a two year Houston, Texas mission, while my third child will tie the marriage knot in 2 weeks in Orem, Utah. My Thayer work continues, although sometimes now at a somewhat slower rate of less than 16 hours a day, and often times moves from my office to my new laptop which I found necessary during research trips and family events which pull me away. I’ve worn out three computers and of the 3 now in use, 2 keyboards have most of the letters worn off. For you techies, a new 13- gigabyte hard drive is being added to my Internet computer to better accommodate large data base storage and upcoming publishing needs. RAM was also added to speed up email response efforts and pre- publishing needs, which often are going on at the same time. 

Tonight, I am responding to email number 103 of the 4312 Thayer-related correspondence messages received since May 1998, which I have chosen to electronically keep. If you take time to read in this Thayer Quarterly’s issue “My search for Me” you will get a glimpse of the correspondence which I respond to daily. The average number is 45 but I have received as many as over 100 in a single 24-hour day. I believe we are receiving about 10 new individuals a month who seek my help through Web inquiry. My Family Representative, Jerry Thayer, of Hampton, VA, has taken on the monumental task of helping me with answering some of this avalanche of submissions and requests for information. He has also successfully caught the interest of a fair number of the near 100 new e-mail Thayers I have provided him with to contact. Since there are so many new TFA members as a result of these efforts, I hope to publish an updated list of my Family Representatives in a future “TQ” issue. 

My printer is nearly worn out and I will likely need to invest in another prior to printing out press-ready hard copies of my forthcoming book on the Descendants of Nathaniel Thayer, Immigrant to America 1660. It is anticipated that this volume will be available for purchase before the year’s end. In the last quarterly I reviewed this upcoming publication and identified the states and countries where Nathaniel’s descendants currently reside, so I will draw your attention to my last report for further information. 

As everything is in a state of change, it appears that a slight increase in the cost of my book on the Thayer Families of Gloucestershire England, if another printing is to be made, will need to be passed along to cover publishing costs which have continued to raise since first offered in 1995. There has been a total of 10 printings since that time. When the next Comprehensive Genealogy volumes approach publication readiness, it is my hope that the efforts of our TFA leadership to secure the needed 501(c) 3 tax exempt fund status will enable fund raising for final preparations of the larger publications which many of you have long awaited. 

And now for a surprise! The above quarterly report was not written by Patricia Muno, but by her husband Donald. For you see it’s now 2:30 am and Patricia is still answering e-mail before turning in, and I know that the quarterly editor, Rick in Washington, is eager to receive a response to meet his deadline. What can I say? Signing off, your Thayer genealogist’s widower.