CAUTION: THE THAYER FAMILY OF THORNBURY IS HIGHLY FLAWED ON THE INTERNET AND IN PUBLISHED WORKS. DO NOT CHANGE THE NAMES ON THIS PROFILE, OF PARENTS, OR OF CHILDREN BASED ON THE WORKS OF OJEDA OR HOLMAN OR ANY INTERNET SOURCE.
Orthographic variations: Thayer, Tayer, Tawier, Tawyer, Tawer, Taire, Tayre. The most common spelling in this early period was Tayer followed by Tawier. A standarized spelling of Thayer will be used in the biography of this profile for convenience and to avoid confusion.
A number of attempts have been made to reconstruct the genealogy of the Thayer family of Thornbury. Because of a lack of relevant wills, and because the names of parents are not given in baptismal records, this is very difficult to do with any certainty. The relevant baptism records and wills from Thornbury were first printed in the NEHGR in 1906.  However, serious errors were made in transcribing these records in both dates and names. This caused later researchers to be misled and publish inaccurate genealogies. The first such attempt was by Tomas Thayer Ojeda in 1907, who used the NEHGR to construct a genealogy.  The next major work was by the noted genealogist Mary Lovering Holman in 1938 in her Pillsbury Ancestry. Both Ojeda and Holman were misled by errors in the NEHGR articles and are highly flawed; they should not be used as sources in these early generations. In 1998, Clifford L. Stott attempted to address and correct all of the errors found in the NEHGR, Ojeda and Holman.  A useful summary was also recently published in The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton.
The name on this profile should be Unknown Thayer. It exists to serve as a parent for two brothers, John Thayer of Thornbury and Thomas Thayer of Thornbury. In addition, they may have had two sisters, Joan and Constance Thayer. While there is good evidence that John and Thomas were brothers, there is essentially no evidence that Joan and Constance were their sisters. Joan and Constance were married at Thornbury at around the time John and Thomas were baptizing children in Thornbury - that is the extent of the evidence.
Possible name - John: Ojeda, in his 1907 reconstruction, suggested that the first known Thayer (this generation) could be a John Thayer.  He believed that the Joh[an]es Tawier buried at Thornbury on 11 February 1560/1 could be the father of the known next generation.  This is almost certainly incorrect. First, there is no evidence to show this. Second, this man's son John had two son's also named John baptized 4 January 1557/8 and 6 May 1561. The best guess is that the burial record on 11 February 1559/60 was the infant son born on 4 January 1557/8. There is no real evidence that the father of John and Thomas was named John.
Possible name - William: Holman, in her 1938 reconstruction, suggested that the first known Thayer (this generation) could be a William Thayer.  She believed the Willihelmus Tawier buried on 11 February 1561 could be the father of the known next generation.  There is no evidence to support this in the way of wills or baptisms. This William could have been the father of John and Thomas of the next generation. However, he just as easily could have been a brother, a child, an uncle or a distant cousin. There is nothing to support the identification of this William as the father of John and Thomas.
Born: Say 1510.
Very rough estimate based on his children being born in the 1530s.
Marriage and Children
Marriage: Just like the name of the head of this family is not actually known, the name of the mother of John and Thomas Thayer is not known with any certainty. A Constance Thayer was on buried 19 March 1561. She is generally assumed to be the mother of John and Thomas Thayer though there is no actual evidence to prove this.
Children of Unknown and Constance? Thayer:
Joan Thayer, born say 1533. The date is a very rough estimate based on her marriage in 1553. Married Thomas Jamys on 15 November 1553 at Thornbury, Gloucester. There is no actual evidence that she is a sister of John and Thomas other than she was married at about the time John and Thomas began having children.
John Thayer, born say 1535. The date is a very rough estimate based on his first known child being born in 1558. Burial on 12 October 1584 at Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England. He and his known brother Thomas are the two heads of the Thayer families of Thornbury.
Thomas Thayer, born say 1536. The date is a very rough estimate based on his first known child being born in 1538. Buried on 17 March 1573 at Thornbury, Gloucester. He and his known brother John are the two heads of the Thayer families of Thornbury.
Constance Thayer, born say 1540. Married Thomas Holdbrooke on 19 February 1560 at Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England.  There is no actual evidence that she is a sister of John and Thomas other than she was married at about the time John and Thomas began having children.
Possible, unlikely, and unproven children:
William Thayer. A William Thayer was buried at Thornbury 11 February 1561. He was said to be a son in this generation by Ojeda; he was made the father of John and Thomas by Holman. There is no possible way to place him in the family based on a single burial record - he could be a father, son, uncle, or cousin to the names on this profile.
Agnes Thayer. An Agneta Tawier was buried on 5 May 1571 at Thornbury. She was said by Ojeda to be another sister. It is certainly possible, but there is no possible way to place her in the family based on a single burial record - she could be a mother, sister, aunt, cousin, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, etc.
Alice Thayer. An Alice Tawier was a Godmother in 1566 and 1567, and buried on 13 December 1586. at Thornbury. She was said by Ojeda to be another sister. It is certainly possible, but there is no possible way to place her in the family based on these records - she could be a mother, sister, aunt, cousin, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, etc.
Died: Unknown, we don't know this man's name and we certainly don't know when he died.
Ojeda believed him to the John Thayer buried at Thornbury on 11 February 1560/1. As discussed above this almost certainly wrong, and is certainly unproven.
Holman believed him to be the William Tawier buried at Thornbury on 11 February 1560/1. While this is possible, it is certainly unproven and many other relationships are just as likely.
Reconstruction of the Thayer Family
Introduction: The person represented by this profile is not known to have existed with certainty. There have been three major attempts to reconstruct and publish the Thayer family of Thornbury. First by Tomas Thayer Ojeda in 1907, then by Mary Lovering Holman in 1938, and most recently by Clifford L. Stott in 1998.  Ojeda and Holman were led astray by errors in published abstracts of the Thornbury parish registers and made significant mistakes. Stott republished the extracts in an attempt to correct those mistakes. I intend to use this space to review the known data, and explain the reasoning of how this family was reconstructed.
The problem: The Thornbury parish register begins in 1550, and except for a few small gaps in the early years are for the most part complete. Unfortunately, this parish generally did not name the parents of the children being baptized. There are also very few relevant wills to help with the Thayer family. This makes it extremely difficult to know how to put family groups together. It needs to be done with some deductive reasoning, a few assumptions, and a little bit of guesswork.
Starting point: We have no useful information on this family before the parish registers begin in 1550. Because the names of parents are not given it seems we may be out of luck for putting families together. However, looking at the dates of the baptisms, it is clear there were at least two Thayer families baptizing in Thornbury in the early period of 1550 to 1570. When we look at the names of witnesses and Godparents, which are usually given, we find exactly two Thayer men in the records as witnesses/Godparents from 1550 to 1590:
John Thayer: in 1565, 1567, 1568, 1569, 1585, 1590.
Thomas Thayer: in 1557, 1558, 1559, 1560, 1562, 1567, 1583.
The assumption then is that all Thayer baptisms in the early period belong to either John Thayer or to Thomas Thayer. There is of course a chance that this may not be true - that there could have been a third family baptizing children at Thornbury. But if so, this third person occurs no where in any record.
I will call these two heads of families JohnB Thayer and ThomasB Thayer below.
Known data: Reconstruction of this family then depends on a few known facts:
There is a single entry where a parent is named - John Thayer, son and heir of Thomas Thayer, was baptized 15 October 1558. This single record will force a number of children to be assigned to either JohnB or ThomasB Thayer.
Thomas Thayer died in 1573.
A John Thayer made his will in 1600 naming his mother Mary Cooke, and children John, Alice, Thomas, and Cicely.
When Mary (Unknown) (Thayer) Cooke died in 1611 she was specifically called the sister-in-law of the Thomas Thayer who died in 1573.
She was therefore the wife of JohnB Thayer.
JohnB and ThomasB Thayer were brothers.
JohnB and Mary Thayer were the parents of the John Thayer who died in 1600.
A deductive reconstruction: Okay, so given this limited set of data points, can we say anything about all of the other baptisms and burials where the parents are not named? We will try to assign children to either John Thayer or to his brother Thomas Thayer.
The Early Baptisms and Burials:
John Thayer, bp. 4 January 1558. Since John Thayer, son and heir of Thomas Thayer, was baptized only 9 months later in October 1558, this John must be a son of JohnB Thayer.
John Thayer, buried 21 August 1558. This is always presumed to be the infant son of John Thayer who was baptized 4 January 1558.
John Thayer, son and heir of Thomas Thayer, bp. 15 October 1558. This is our one fixed data point and the only child whose parent is known with absolute certainty, son of ThomasB Thayer.
John Thayer, buried 11 February 1561. This is presumed to be the burial of John Thayer, son of ThomasB Thayer who was born in 1558. Ojeda and Holman incorrectly thought the burial occurred in 1561/2 and said it belonged to the John Thayer baptized in May of 1561. This caused a number of other errors to occur in their reconstruction attempts.
Thomas Thayer, bp. 7 November 1559. This baptism is less than thirteen months after the baptism of John Thayer, son of Thomas. Though not impossible, it is extremely unlikely he is another son of Thomas. Also, the will of John Thayer in 1599 names his brother Thomas. Therefore this almost certainly a son of JohnB Thayer.
Margaret Thayer, bp. 13 October 1560. This is only 11 months after the baptism of Thomas Thayer making very unlikely she is a daughter of John Thayer. She is therefore the daughter of ThomasB Thayer.
John Thayer, bp. 6 May 1561. Obviously, too soon after the baptism of Margaret, this must a son of JohnB Thayer. He is the John Thayer who died in 1600, naming his mother Mary Cooke and brother Thomas Thayer in his will.
Cutberta Thayer, bp. 1 September 1561. Again, occurring only a few months after the baptism of John Thayer, she must be a daughter of ThomasB Thayer.
Richard Thayer, bp. 2 August 1562. Baptized less than a year after Cutberta, he must be a son of JohnB Thayer.
Thomas Thayer, bp. 13 February 1563. Baptized a few months after Richard Thayer, he must be a son of ThomasB Thayer.
William Thayer, bp. 1 November 1564. For the first time we have a baptism far enough from the previous one that we cannot say if John or Thomas is the father. We will have to work in the other direction. Richard Thayer baptized 6 May 1565, had as one of his Godparents a Mary Thayer. This Mary Thayer is likely the wife of JohnB Thayer. As Mary would not be the Godmother to her own child, Richard must be a son of ThomasB Thayer. Therefore, this William is likely the son of JohnB Thayer.
Richard Thayer, bp. 6 May 1565. This Richard Thayer had as one of his Godparents Mary Thayer. This is the first time a Mary Thayer occurs in the records. She is almost certainly the wife of JohnB Thayer, as there are no other known Mary Thayers in Thornbury. Since Mary would not be the Godmother to her own child, Richard Thayer must be the son of ThomasB Thayer.
Alice Thayer, bp. 16 December 1565. Baptized only a few months after Richard, she must be a daughter of JohnB Thayer.
Now this back and forth of baptisms of the children of JohnB and ThomasB begins to break down. The assignment of parents becomes even less certain.
Cecilia Thayer, bp. 20 December 1567. Two years after the last Thayer baptism, we cannot say if she belongs to John or Thomas. Her godfather was Richard Wilcox who was also a godfather to Richard Thayer in 1565. We will assign her to ThomasB Thayer based solely on this weak association of having the same godparent. This also fits well since the Thomas bp. in 1570 i most likely a son of ThomasB.
Lucy Thayer, bp. 23 September 1568. We cannot say with much certainty if she belongs to John or Thomas. However, if Ceilia and Thomas belong to ThomasB, then this Lucy is most likely a daughter of JohnB.
Thomas Thayer, bp. 12 February 1570. Since JohnB has a son Thomas still living, and ThomasB had a son Thomas who died, this Thomas is most likely another son of ThomasB named Thomas. This also fits well with the assignment of Cecilia to ThomasB Thayer.
Ann Thayer, bp. 13 August 1570. Since Thomas Thayer was baptized only 6 months before and we suppose him to be a son of ThomasB Thayer, the this Ann Thayer must be a daughter of JohnB Thayer.
The following are impossible to place. ThomasB Thayer died in 1573, and JohnB Thayer died in 1584. While we could just give the first few to JohnB Thayer, the ones born from 1585 to 1590 seem to indicate we have another unidentified Thayer having children.
William Thayer, bp. 23 March 1572. Perhaps a son of ThomasB Thayer?
Nicholas Thayer, bp. 25 January 1573. Perhaps a son of JohnB Thayer?
Edward Thayer, bp. 26 October 1577. Perhaps a son of JohnB Thayer?
Ursula Thayer, bp. 25 April 1579. Perhaps a son of JohnB Thayer?
Anthony Thayer, bp. 6 January 1581. Bur. 26 August 1587. Perhaps a son of JohnB Thayer?
Catherine Thayer, bp. 14 June 1586. Bur. 11 September 1586.
Alee (Alice?) Thayer, bp. 23 October 1587.
Margaret Thayer, bp. 23 December 1589. Bur. 26 April 1593.
A few more Thayers: There are a few more Thayers in the early records. Their traditional placements in the family are complete guesses with absolutely absolutely no evidence to back up the assumptions.
Constance Thayer, buried 19 March 1561. We don't know if this is the burial of an adult or a child. We don't know how she might connect to the Thayer family tree - she could be a daughter, sister, mother, aunt, or cousin to JohnB and ThomasB Thayer. However, based on this record alone, the mother of JohnB and ThomasB Thayer is said to possibly be the Constance Thayer buried in 1561.
A Constance Thayer married Thomas Holdbrooke on 19 February 1560. Based on the date alone she is usually placed as a sister of JohnB and ThomasB Thayer. There is no real evidence this is true.
A Joan Thayer married Thomas Jamys on 15 November 1553. Based on the date alone she is usually placed as a sister of JohnB and ThomasB Thayer. There is no real evidence this is true.
A Joan Thayer was buried at Thornbury on 4 May 1571. It is sometimes suggested that she could be the wife of this Unknown Thayer (instead of Constance), and the mother of the next generation. There is no evidence of any kind to accurately place her in the Thayer family.
↑ 9.09.1 Beware of a widespread dating error found in the NEHGR, in Ojada and in Holman. They all incorrectly assumed that the new year began on March 25. In an unusual quirk of the Thornbury parish registers, the new year was began on January 1 from 1550 to 1610. This caused all dates given by Ojeda and Holman to wrong by 1 year if they fell between January 1 and March 25.
Holman, Mary Lovering. Ancestry of Charles Stinson Pillsbury and John Sargent Pillsbury, vol. 1. (1938):443-449. HathiTrust.org LINK
Ojeda, Tomas Thayer , The Thayer Family of Thornbury: A Study Trying its Reconstitution. (Santiago, Chili, 1907):16-17. Archive.org LINK
Muno, Patricia Thayer, The Thayer - Tayer - Theyer Families of Gloucestershire, England, 1500-1600 (1995).
Smith, Dean Crawford and Melinde Lutz Sanborn. The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton, 1878-1908: Part 3, The Ancestry of Henry Clay Bartlett, 1832-1892. (Boston, MA: NEHGS, 2004):370.
New England Historical and Genealogical Register [NEHGR] vol. 60 no. 4 (October 1906):281-88. Tayer (Thayer) Family Entries in the Parish Register of Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England, by Walter Faxon, Edward Henry Whorf, and Henry Ernest Woods. Caution: contains errors, compare to TAG (1998):81-90.Books.Google.com LINK
NEHGR vol. 60 no. 4 (October 1906): 289-91. Abstracts of Wills Relating to the Tayer (Thayer) Family of Thornbury, Gloucestershire, England, by Walter Faxon, Edward Henry Whorf, and Henry Ernest Woods. Books.Google.com LINK
See information obtained from "The Thayer, Tayer, Theyer Families of Gloucestershire, England 1500-1660," by Patricia Thayer Muno (Willamette Print & Blueprint, Portland, Oregon 1995). According to this source, the Thayer name sometimes appears as the name Tawier.