Search billions of records on

The WVGenWeb Project

Thayer Family

	Thayer Family	


There were two original settlers in Braintree, of the name Thayer, Richard and Thomas. Whether they were related to each other is not known. Not improbably they were brothers. We begin with the Family of Richard Thayer.

In the year 1640 Richard Thayer with 13 other families embarked on a little sailing vessel of 90 tons burden called the (Polly) "Arm" as a part of the Governor Winthrop Colony.

"Richard Thayer came from England, where some of his children were undoubtedly born.  Freeman, 1640.  Settled in Braintree not far from that date.  In 1641, he purchased a tract of land of Josias Wampatuck, sachem of the Indians, who lived on Neponset River, near Squantum, who claimed the land as far as Marshfield.  This Josias was a minor in 1641, according to the English usage, his father Chicatabut having died in 1633; hence the remonstrance of the town of Braintree against this transaction.  In 1692 Richard Thayer sent a petition to the king in favor of the claim under this deed (Mass. Archives1 3,34.) Richard d. in Braintree, Aug. 27, 1695."  (From The Thayer Family, Vinton Memorial, pg. 355-7)


"Richard Thayer, (second) son of the preceding; b. probably in England;m. Dorothy Fray, December, 24, 1651. He was of Braintree.  He was in Capt. Johnson's company, Oct. 1675, employed against the Indians.  He d. Dec. 4, 1705.  But this date belongs to his son Richard. His wife d. Dec. 11, 1705."


"Nathaniel Thayer, (third) son of Richard (2) and Dorothy, b. Jan. 1, 1657-8,  m. Hannan Hayden, May 27, 1679.  He lived in what is now called South Braintree, about a mile South of the S. Braintree meeting-house on the road to East Randolph; was a man of property, and respectability; a "house-wright".  Died intestate, March 26, 1726. Four, if not five, generations of Thayers have been born on that spot; which continued in the occupancy of his decendants till a few years ago, when it was sold by Col. Sylvanus Thayer. (7) (Vinton, 1311)"

Sylvanus Thayer has been called the father of "technical education" in America for his pioneering reforms at West Point. A class valedictorian at Dartmouth, Thayer Hall was named in his honor. Thayer was sent to Europe after the war of 1812 to study military education. He returned with a great library on the subject and was appointed superintendent at the Academy in 1817.

Under Thayer's guidance West Point became a technological school. The teaching methods he developed had nationwide influence during the industrial revolution.


Zachariah Thayer, fourth child of Nathaniel and Hannah Hayden Thayer. He was born in Braintree on March 16, 1681 (1688) and died in Braintree in 1755. He married two times.  His first wife was Elizabeth Curtis (born: Apr. 5, 1695 in Braintree; Died: Nov. 1733 in Braintree).  His second wife was Abigail Seeler (Sesler) (born; May 28, 1734 in Boston: day of his death is not known, mentioned in husbandus will dated 1755)


Abel Thayer, was the third child of Zachariah and Abigail Thayer. He was born in Braintree on July 28, 1740-1 and died in Williamsburg, Mass. on May 24, 1805. He married Dorothy Curtiss (born in Braintree on Jan. 14, 1741) on April 5, 1759.  Abel was a Captain on Col. Fellow's Regiment and assigned in 1775 to the Massachusetts Line. Later captured by the British and confined aboard the prison ships lying in the Jersey flats. He was exchanged and survived until 1805. Earlier, however, according to the History of Williamsburg Captain Abel Thayer commanded the first ten men to leave Williamsburg to join the Continental Army. They marched at the first alarm .to Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775.

6.		JOB THAYER: Born:	August 6, 1782, at Williamsburg, Mass.
		Died:	May 8, 1857, at Kanawha Salines, Virginia,
		(Malden, West Virginia).

		Son of Captain Abel and Dorothy (Curtis) Thayer.

		Married:	Fanny Taylor July 13, 1810

		Born:	February 11, 1789
		Died:	January 17, 1857

		Both are buried in Spring Hill Cemetery, Charleston, West Virginia.

		1.	Seth Thayer
		2.	Fanny Taylor Thayer
		3.	Wil1iam Taylor Thayer
		4.	Harriet P. Thayer
		5.	Job Edward Thayer
		6.	Caroline M. Thayer
		7.	James S. Thayer
		8.	James S. Thayer
		9.	Naomi L. Thayer (unmarried)
		10.  Otis Adonijah Thayer

7.	OTIS ADONIJAH THAYER - Tenth child of Job and Fanny (Taylor) Thayer

	Born:	October 26, 1835
	Died:	November 23, 1900
	Married: Annette Todd Putney* of Malden, Va. (W.Va.) on February 1, 
		 1863 at Malden1 West Virginia

		Born:	March 16, 1844
		Died:	December 12, 1936


	1.	Garland Todd Thayer, Sr.
		Born:	October 26, 1864
		Died:	December 4, 1956

	2.	James Richard Thayer
		Born:	August 22, 1867
		Died:	June 12, 1896 (unmarried)

	3.	Annette May Thayer
		Born:	August 30, 1870

	4.	Otis Alexander Thayer
		Born:	July 29, 1879
		Died:	February 9, 1923

	5.	Harry Guerrant Thayer
		Born:	November 4, 1885

*Philip Garland Todd (1795/1830) from Kentucky married (1822) Minerva
 Reynolds (1800/1836). Their daughter Alethea Todd (1824/1697) married
 Richard E. Putney (1818/1895).  Their daughter was Annette Todd Putney.

8.	GARLAND TODD THAYER, SR. - First child of Otis A. Thayer and Annette (Putney) Thayer

	Born:	October 26, 1864
	Died:	December 4, 1956
	Married:	Gertrude Venable** at Charleston, West Virginia, November 9,
			1892, daughter of Mathew Walton Venable and Margaret Dyer Venable. 
			A partial and appropriate part of the Venable family history is attached.

	Born:	June 7, 1871
	Died:	November 18, 1953


	*1.	Garland Todd Thayer1 Jr.
		Born:	March 21, 1894
		Died:	March 19, 1964

	2.	Margaret Venable Thayer
		Born:	March 14, 1896
		Died:	January 9, 1986

	3.	Dorothy Putney Thayer**
		Born:	January 11, 1898

	4.	Gertrude Annette Thayer**
		Born:	October 9, 1899
		Died:	May, 1985

**Members of the National Society of The Colonial Dames 
in the State of West Virginia.

9.	GARLAND TODD THAYER, JR. - First child of Garland T. and Gertrude (Venable) Thayer, Sr.

	Born:	March 21, 1894
	Died:	March 19, 1964

Married (1):	Clara Frances Shaver of Sydney, Nova Scotia, on 
		April 1, 1920, daughter of Sanford and Daisy Townsend Shaver.

		Born:	December 24, 1906
		Died:	May, 1949

Married (2):	Gertrude Gorman of Cincinnati1 Ohio, January 15, 1942, 
		daughter of John and Nellie (Conley) Gorman of Cincinnati, Ohio.

	Children (1):

	1.	Annette Todd Thayer
		Born:	April 21, 1921

	2.	Margaret Louise Thayer
		Born:	March 22, 1923

	3.	Garland Todd Thayer, III
		Born:	August 12, 1924

	4.	William Edwin Thayer
		Born:  September 19, 1925

10.  ANNETTE TODD THAYER - First child of Garland T. and Clara S. Thayer, Jr.

	Born:	April 21, 1921

	Married:	Herbert Margerum West

	Born:	August 8, 1918 


	1.	Annette Thayer West
		Born:	March 11, 1945

	2.	Eleanor Pratt West
		Born:	January 23, 1946

	3.	Herbert Thayer West
		Born:	October 21, 1948

	4.	Christopher Zeph West
		Born:	August 24, 1953


	(in part)	
The Venables of Gnosall Parrish, Staffordshire, England, "Early Immigrants to Virginia" (Greer), show that one

1.	Richard Venables purchased land in Virginia from Alexander Stonar in 1635. The Stonars and Venables were prolific in Staffordshire.

2.	Abraham Venables, son of Richard, spent from 1675 to 1680 in Barbados (rent rolls of St. Peter1s Parrish).  He was probably born in England about 1647.  He moved to Virginia and his name.appears on tax papers in New Kent County in 1687.

3.	Abraham Venables, Jr., son of Abraham, Sr. was born in New Kent County in
1700 and was his only surviving child. Tax rolls show this man owned
20,000 acres in Hanover, Goochland, Amelia, and Lunenburg Counties. Also large tracts in Louisa and Albamarle Counties.. He was a Justice 6f the Peace, County Lieutenant, and member of the House of Burgesses from Louisa from 1742-1762.  He was a Vestry man, St. Paules Parrish, Hanover County and married Martha Davis.

4.	Nathaniel E. Venable (first to drop the "5") was the fifth child of Abraham Venable, Jr. and Martha Davis. He married Elizabeth Woodson and they built "Slate Hill" in 1754 where he lived and died. He was a founder of Hampden-Sydney College. Nathaniel and Elizabe ~ had two sons, :3amuel Woodson Venable and William Lewis Venable.

5.	William Lewis Venable married Frances Nantz of Kentucky, niece of General Mathew Walton. They had a son Thomas Frederick Venable born in 1812 after settling in "Haymarket" near Farmville.

6.	Thomas F. Venable married his second cousin, Mary Priscilla Venable, daughter of Nathaniel E. Venable (son of Samuel Woodson Venable) who had built ~Longwoodu and Mary Embra Scott Venable. Thomas F. Venable and Mary P. Venable lived in "Scott-Greene" Plantation (named for General Scott & General Green). "Scott-Green" Plantation had been a wedding gift to Mary Pricilla Venable from her father, Nathaniel E. Venable of "Longwod".  They had 12 children: William Lewis Venable (1835-1863), Nathaniel E. Venable (1836-    ), Abraham B. Venable (1838-Clement Read Venable (1840-    ), Harriet Anne Venable (1841-1923), Catherine Scott Venable (1843-1923), Mathew Walton Venable (1847-1930) Gertrude Alice Venable (1948-1901), Robert Cocke Venable (1850-   ), Charles Fontaine Venable (1852-   ), Mary Cantey Venable (1855-   ), and Frederica Venable (1857-).

7.	Mathew Walton Venable (7th child of Thomas F. Venable and Mary Pricilla Venable) was born at "Scott Green" in 1847. He was educated at Hampden-Sydney and the University of Virginia. He served in the Confederate Army and celebrated his 18th birthday at Appomattox. He married Maria Dyer in 1870 and they had s~veral children before Maria died. He later married Anne Haymond Byrne. Among the children born to Mathew Walton Venable and Maria Dyer was Gertrude Venable, born in 1872.

8.	Gertrude Venable married Garland Todd Thayer, Sr. (See Thayer Family).

Thayer Data Sheet written by Herb West and submitted by Garland J. Thayer
Back to Kanawha County Family Data Sheets