Historian’s Report June 2021
By Patricia Thayer Muno
GREAT news!! Volume X is at the bindery and should be ready for distribution, likely by the time you are reading this issue of the Thayer Quarterly!
Our Thayer predecessors came to this country in the mid-1600s, crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England, and landing in what is now Massachusetts. Surrounded by the wilderness to which they had come, they cut down trees, cleared the land, and built their humble homes as they reflected upon their remembrances of the homes, friends, and relatives they had left behind.
Along with others from the homeland, they put their faith in the Bible and came to this country for religious purposes. They were associated with the Congregational Church.
Volume X concerns the descendants of the immigrant, Thomas Thayer (1596-1665) – oldest of the three brothers who sought freedom in the “New World” in 1637; it was the same year, on April 30th, that King Charles I issued a proclamation attempting to stem emigration to the North American Colonies. Previous volumes of A Comprehensive Genealogy of the Thayer Family of America have covered the remainder of Thomas Thayer’s descendants through his sons Thomas and Ferdinando. Volume X deals exclusively pertaining to Thomas’ descendants through his son, Shadrach (1629-1678) and through Shadrach’s sons, Samuel (1667-1706) and William (1675-1727) in 448 pages.
Volume XI will cover the descendants of Shadrach’s son Ephraim (1669/70-1757) and is currently in progress. Due to the extensive number of Shadrach’s descendants, it was necessary to split the volume into two volumes. As it fits into the Comprehensive Thayer set, it will also be bound in a matching red leatherette-colored cover with gold embossed lettering.
A Comprehensive Genealogy of the Thayer Family of America Descendants of Thomas Thayer - Immigrant to America 1637 Through his Son Shadrach2 and Grandsons Samuel3 and William3
By Editor/Publisher Donald P. Muno
3618 North 225 East North Ogden, UT 84414
It’s now 7:30 PM Mountain daylight savings time here in the Wasatch Rocky Mountains of Utah where Patricia and I have spent the day finalizing and delivering Volume X to our printer in South Ogden, Utah. On the printer’s wall was posted a large gold seal of award for being Utah’s 2015 outstanding printer of the year. It was reassuring as we special ordered our high-quality 60lb paper for printing and asked to be called when a single proof copy is printed for our final review. This was done before we ordered our limited press run, which when finished, we then deliver to our bindery in Salt Lake City.
Of the 448 pages, the first 23 pages introduce the reader to the design of the genealogy book. The Thayer Family of Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England, including photos of Thornbury Castle, which once housed King Henry VIII and his new bride, Anne Boleyn. (It is possible Thornbury lands were granted to the Thayer family in 1325.) Remember, it was the Medieval and Middle Ages, Queen Isabell traveled to France and didn’t want to return to England. (Google 1325 England to better understand your early Thayer history.)
The introduction also includes the origin of the Thayer name, along with an explanation of Patricia’s use of abbreviations. She leaves little to be wanting, as the reader readies to enter into the body of the book to find out about Thayer ancestors and their descendants. The names of four of Patricia’s family representatives in this volume are also accompanied by the names of 153 contributors of information and photos. This volume was dedicated to family representative Martha Thayer Evans who commented “I found great fun providing information and working with Patricia following retirement.”
Sometimes overlooked, a Bibliography is an indication of a book’s author’s scholarly effort. Volume X has 12 pages dedicated to bibliography followed by a cross-referenced name Index of 53 pages. Patricia’s bibliography is a roadmap of sources that can provide the reader with further family research long after the book is published and sitting on your library shelf.
As Patricia includes extensive information in her published notes, she takes great care to highlight individuals in her Addendums. She provides personal close-ups of Thayer life and insights that a historian would only dream of to be able to include in their own historical anthologies.
Twelve Addendums are added to Volume X; a lifetime of stories to be shared with children and grandchildren during family gatherings. Family stories will enrich the “Thayer experience” and build pride in their family; something often missing in families separated by vast distances of the American landscape. School classroom sharing time will take on new meanings as stories of their own ancestors are retold by children with pride.
Patricia’s Volume X first Addendum begins with a close-up of our immigrant ancestor, Thomas Thayer. The Civil War’s most infamous Andersonville Prison experience is followed by a famous American painter, Sanford Thayer. The account of a World War I Thayer sailor precedes a Revolutionary War Thayer ancestor’s personal accounts. Also included is a rare story of a pregnant pioneer woman surviving the ordeals of nearly impossible times. In another Addendum is a story about an early wife living in the Colonies. These are but a few of the precious stories and accounts of your ancestors that a handful of Thayers who order Volume X following the publishing will have to provide the generations who follow.
Is it a wonder that during your lifetime only a few of your generation will have the opportunity to benefit from Patricia’s life of 48 years of research and sacrifice necessary to chronicle your Thayer family of America from England to the Colonies, and on to the westward expansion of today. To be included in their lives across America is an experience not shared but by a few, and the ancestral journey of a lifetime.
Patricia’s journey began in 1973, several years before forming the TFA with Cousin Brig. General James Burdett Thayer following her trip to Braintree, Massachusetts to research and meet with H. Hobart Holly, a renowned Historian, and Genealogist of Quincy and Braintree, with whom she had been corresponding. At their meeting, Patricia declared her intentions of researching and publishing an extensive and comprehensive Thayer family genealogy which had never been accomplished but had been attempted by several early respected genealogists in Massachusetts. They could not have known that Patricia’s determination, persistence, and incredible skills and effort, would one day lead to one of the largest published family genealogies of all time.
I end this review of Volume X’s 448 pages, as Patricia has already begun Volume XI which will be over 3000 remaining individuals. However, following Volume XI, one last volume remains to include all those Thayer’s whose immigrant connection has not yet been found. Never being discarded, Thayer’s and their families have always been carefully recorded over the past 48 years of research, as Patricia’s own Thayer family is included, at this time, as “unplaced.”
Patricia’s Thayer journey began before home micro-computers had been invented before Ancestry programs had been written and at a time when a number of older Thayer’s were still living and available to share family stories. Had Patricia not become totally deaf during her Journey and partially blind, spending her entire life to accomplish the massive research and writing of A Comprehensive Genealogy of the Thayer Family of America is anyone’s guess. But, here it is for you and your posterity.
One last question remains: After long examination and consideration, Patricia has insisted the cost of Volume X be offered at $95 plus $15 shipping and handling. At the end of this journey other options will be considered; such as returning out-of-print volumes back to press, a comprehensive combined index of all volumes, and perhaps an electronic version…
May God Bless each of you, and your willingness to support her as her Thayer journey is not over yet.