Purpose and Mission of the Thomas Minor Society
The purpose of the Thomas Minor Society (TMS) is to honor the memory of Thomas and his descendants, to collect and preserve genealogical records of the Minor/Miner family, and to foster a spirit of fellowship among its members. Membership in this Society is open to any person who is interested in its purposes. Descendants of Thomas Minor (1608 – 1690) are particularly welcome.
The Thomas Minor Society was founded in September, 1979 in Chew Magna, England when 75 of Thomas’s descendants and their spouses gathered to visit Thomas Minor’s birthplace to commemorate the 350th anniversary of his departure for America. At that gathering, those in attendance decided to band together in a family organization to accomplish the purposes of the Society as later enunciated. A slate of officers was elected to head the new Society and to guide it through its organization and development. The Society has grown from that original band of 75 pilgrims and today numbers approximately 800 descendants and their families.
(A brief sketch)
Thomas Minor was born in 1608 in Chew Magna, Somersett County, England. Thomas migrated to the newly founded English Colonies in America in 1629. He married Grace Palmer, daughter of Walter Palmer, in 1634 and after living for brief periods in Salem, Rehoboth and Hingham, Mass. and New London, Conn., he settled in Stonington, Conn. and is recognized as a co-founder of the town along with Walter Palmer, William Chesebrough and Thomas Stanton.
Thomas and Grace had ten children of whom six lived to have descendants. These children were John, Clement, Ephraim, Joseph, Manassah and Hannah.
Thomas and Grace both died in 1690 and are buried in Wequetequock cemetery in Stonington, Connecticut.
RESPONSIBILITY OF MEMBERS
An application Form must be submitted when a member joins the Society. If he does not have such a Form, he will be supplied with one and be expected to fill and return it at his earliest convenience. This Form, when completed, shows only briefly the member’s descent from Thomas and is not to be considered the complete lineage which may be required in pursuit of our second purpose. If the new member does not know his descendancy from Thomas, he should fill as much of the Application Form as he can and leave the rest blank. A copy will then be sent to the Society Genealogist who will help the member with his research. The actual searching of the line must be done by the member himself as we are not equipped to do genealogical research other than in connection with our own records. In many cases we are able to complete the lineage immediately from our records. The larger and more detailed our records become, the more often this will be possible.
After the completed Application Form has been submitted, the new member will then be told what additional information we need in order to bring his branch of the Family up-to-date. It is the responsibility of members to submit such information if at all possible.
In addition to genealogical data, the Society is also collecting copies of photographs of ancestors, their homes, their tombstones, etc. We are also collecting copies of legal documents concerning ancestors such as marriage licenses, Armed Forces records, death certificates. These articles are placed in Albums and are taken to our reunion meetings so that they can be seen and enjoyed by all who attend. Members are not under obligation to submit photographs and documents, but it is only with cooperation that these Albums can grow. The exception to this would be if a document were needed to prove some part of a member’s lineage.
Many of our early ancestors are buried in several small cemeteries in the Stonington, Conn. area. Some of these cemeteries have been badly neglected over the years —many tombstones have fallen, are broken and are becoming illegible due to weathering. We have undertaken the project of restoring these cemeteries so that the memory of those who lie there may be honored and perpetuated. This project will require a great deal of time and money and we are dependent for restoration funds on contributions from members and proceeds from the sale of various Society related articles.
THE MINOR MIRROR
The Society’s newsletter, THE MINOR MIRROR, is published twice yearly in January and July. It carries articles concerning our early ancestors as well as news about our members, their families and upcoming reunions. In it members will be kept informed of Society activities and related areas of interest to the descendants of Thomas. Members are encouraged to send pictures and articles to the editor for consideration.
BUSINESS MEETINGS AND MEMBERSHIP DUES
Business meeting reunions are held biennially at locations to be determined by the Officers.
Membership dues are $15.00 annually and membership includes the descendant, spouse and dependant children, if any.
Members are encouraged to offer suggestions for the betterment of the Society at any time and to ask any questions they may have.