|The roots of this branch of the Thoma / Thomae family can be traced back to shortly after the Reformation, when our forefather became a Lutheran pastor. Christoph Thomae who died on June 6, 1634 in Hildburghausen, Sachsen-Hildburghausen, Thuringia, Germany was the first of the lineage and himself a pastor. His son, Stephen Thomae, became the Pastor and Adjutant of Sonnefeld. This noted theologian served the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sonnefeld for twenty-seven years. It is this church which is illustrated opposite of this text.
Sonnefeld is the name of the combined villages of Sonnefeld and Hofstaedten, Sachsen-Coburg, Thuringia, Germany; and while the church was located in Sonnefeld the family lived in Hofstaedten. For nearly 175 years the village of Hofstaedten was "home" to the Thoma family. Not all were as famous as Stephen and none became wealthy. Mostly they were respected citizens who worked at the trade of pottery making.
And it was the pottery craft that Lorenz George Thomae / Thoma brought with him when he immigrated to Boonville, Cooper County, Missouri in 1854. Here his occupation was needed to fashion the vessels that were purchased for the long wagon caravans heading westward. But in time all things change. And so it was with pottery manufacture, as the craft passed before the modern methods of glass manufacture. Today the descendents of Christoph Thomae follow many avocations and are scattered far beyond the narrow confines of Hofstaedten. But is to the memory and honor of all that this site is dedicated.