A chance discovery of pictures, letters, artifacts, and a war journal among her grandfather’s personal belongings spurred Tamara Thayer to document the life story of Dr. Ellsworth “Mike” Thayer in A Country Doctor Goes to War. Tamara won ten awards on her debut book. Then Tamara was surprised to learn that her four-times great grandmother Barbara Fritchie's Wikipedia page said she didn't have children and that her heroic actions are now questioned. That began her quest to prove or disprove her lineage and the truth of Barbara's famous flag waving actions standing up to Stonewall Jackson. Her second book came out June 5, 2020. Tamara is available for talks and presentations on her books and many other topics. Tamara also works as a free-lance ASL interpreter.
Tamara grew up in Faribault, MN, where she was very active in her community and church. A few of her achievements and awards include the WCCO Young Achiever's Award, The Faribault Jaycee's Outstanding Young Adult Award, Rice County Fair Queen, Minnesota State 4-H Ambassador and National 4-H club Congress winner in leadership. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health from Mankato State University. She is a former director of Christ Through Hands Ministry With People Who Are Blind or Deaf in Faribault.
She is a member of the Rochester Civil War Roundtable and former officer of the Scott Hosier Veteran's Roundtable. She has been a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 311 since 2009 and is the current chairman of both the Veterans Affairs and Veterans affairs and Rehab committees. She is a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants through her 11th great-grandfather Captain Myles Standish. Tamara is in the application process to join the Daughters of the American Revolution proving her lineage to her 5th great-grandfather Baruch/Barick Thayer. Tamara's love of genealogy is the inspiration for her series of workshops that she teaches and for the next book she is writing.
Tamara's biggest achievements are her three children, Allison, Andrew, and Andrea. Allison Cooney graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 2010 after studying one semester in Thailand and one year in Ireland. She spent 2011 teaching English in South Korea. She recieved her MA in intercultural studies from Dublin City University, Ireland in 2013. She is currently working for 3M in Minnesota. Andrew Cooney served six years of active duty in Gulfport, Mississippi where he was stationed in the Navy as a Seabee. Andrew had three deployments during that time to; South Korea, Afghanistan, and Spain. Andrew was one of 12 Seabees chosen to assist the FBI to successfully rescue a 5 year old boy kidnapped in Alabama. Andrew is the father of Brennan, Jackson, and Ireland. He has a bachelors degree from the American Military Academy and is pursuing another degree. The authors youngest child is Andrea Nelson who was active in her church youth group volunteering to do service work on 5 mission trips. In college she went on her 6th mission trip and first to Japan. She graduated during the 2020 pandemic, passed her boards, and is now a registered dental hygienist. Andrea married Sam Nelson in 2021.
Tamara Thayer in Belgium
Allison enjoying Australia
Andrew and his 3 children
ready to watch the Vikings.
Andrea in Portugal
Her life adventures and love of travel have brought Tamara to the side of an active volcano while taking pictures up close of hot lava, parasailing, diving down in a shark cage to see sharks up-close, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, touring European castles, and kissing the Blarney Stone for good luck. These are just a few of the daring adventures you may read about in one of her next books.