Genealogical and Family History
STATE OF MAINE
Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.
LEWIS HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY
[Please see Index page for full citation.]
[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]
[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]
The origin of the Cummings family is unknown; some claim the family came from Normandy, others from Northumberland. The clan Cumin flourised in Badenoch in the southewestern district of Iverness-shire, Scotland, between 1080 and 1330, and then began to decline. "According to the Chronicle of Melrose," says the Cummings Genealogy, by Albrt Oren Cummings, for which much of this account of the famliy is taken, "the firt of the name who figured prominently, was slain with Malcom III, at Alnwick, in 1093, leaving two sons, John and William. From John all the Cumins in Scotland are said to be descended, Sir John the Red Cumin or Comyn, was the first lord of Badenoch, and in 1240 was an ambassador from Alexander II to Louis IX of France. His son John, called the Block Lord of Badenoch, was inferior to no subject in Scotland in wealth and power, and was one of those who vowed to support Queen Margaret, daughter of Alexander III, in her title to the crown. At her death he became a competitor for the crown of Scotland, 'as the son and heir of John, who was son and heir of Donald, King of Scotland.' The son of this lord, called in turn the Red Comyn, was the east lord of Badenoch of the surname of Cumin. The name is spelled in nearly twenty ways, but it is pronounced substantially the same in all cases. The Cummings family of America was very fully represented in the military operations of the revolutionary and the civil war.
(I) Isaac Cummings, immigrant, who tradition says was of Scottish ancestroy, claiming descent from the Red Cumin, seems to have been one of those who landed in Salem in 1627, and began a settlement there and in Topsfield and Ipswich. Isaac Cummings, according to a deposition made by him in March, 1666, must have been born in 1601. His will was made May 8, 1677, his inventory filed "this 22 Maye, 1677," and his will was probated June 14, 1677; so his death must have occurred between May 8 and May 22, 1677.
Isaac Cummings appears with records of Watertown, Mass., as the grantee of thirty-five acres of land in 1636. This was in the allotment of lands called the "Great Dividends," and was the earliest land granted in that town. A record of the town of Ipswich shows that Isaac Cummings owned a planting lot near Reedy Marsh, in that town, previous to July 25, 1638. In 1639, 9th of the second month, he also owned a house lot in Ipswich Village, on the street called the East End, next the lot owned by Rev. Nathaniel Rogers; was a commoner and sold land near the highway leading to Jeffrey's Neck; also had land adjoining that of John Winthrop and William Goodhue, the farm being partly in Ipswich and partly in Topsfield.
He was made a freeman May 18, 1642, and was a proprietor in Watertown the same year, and at Topsfield afterward, where he was one of thirty commoners. As an Ipswich commoner he was one of those "that have right of commonage there the last of the last month, 1641." On the first of the second month, 1652, Isaac Cummings, for thirty pounds, bought of Samuel Symonds 150 acres of land, being the northeast corner of his farm called Ollivers. Isaac Cummings seems not to have got along without contentions with his neighbors over property; and he appears at different times both as plaintiff and defendent in suits. The Essex county court records show that Goodman Isaac Cummings, of Topsfield, had suit brought against him by John Fuller, March 28, 1654; Isaac Cummings, senior, was sued for debt by Jerobabell Phillips, of Ipswich, March, 1652; Isaac Cummings senior brought suit against John Fuller for damage done in his corn by swine belonging to said Fuller, Dec. 31, 1656; and so on.
That he was a person of character and high standing is shown by the fact that he was chosen grand juryman in 1675, and was moderator of the town meeting in 1676, and was a deacon of the church in Topsfield many years.
Nothing is known of the wife of Isaac Cummings except that she was not living at the time he made his will.
John, Isaac, Elizabeth and Ann.
(II) John, eldest son of Isaac Cummings, was born in 1630, died Dec. 1, 1700. By the provisions of his father's will, he received the homestead consisting of forty acres, with houses, barns, orchards and fences, and in 1680 sold the same to Edward Nealand. About 1658 he removed to Boxford, where he was made freeman in 1673. He removed with his family to Dunstable about 1680, and was one of the first settlers in that town, where he was selectman in 1682.
John Cummings married Sarah, daughter of Ensign Thomas and Alice (French) Howlett, of Ipswich; she died Dec. 7, 1700. Both he and his wife were members of the church in Topsfield, Dec. 7, 1685: "voted dismission to John Cummings without commendation and dismissed his wife with commendation to the church to be shortly gathered at Dunstable." He was a member of the chruch in 1684.
John, Thomas, Nathaniel, Sarah, Abraham, Isaac, Ebenezer, William, Eleazer, Benjamin and Samuel.
(III) Abraham, fourth son of John and Sarah (Howlett) Cummings, was born in Boxford, and removed with his father to Dunstable about 1680; he evidently was living in 1689, he being one of those who contributed to the minister's "wood rate."
He married, Feb. 28, 1687, Sarah, daughter of Deacon Joseph and Elizabeth (Hassell) Wright, of Woburn, where he lived about ten years. He died and his widow married (second) Sept. 4, 1707, Aron Pratt, son of Phineas and Mary (Priest) Pratt, born in Charlestown, 1654, and died Feb. 23, 1735. She was distinguished for her sagacity and energy. She had a very extensive practice in midwifery in Higham and its vicinity. This branch of the medical profession was then largely conducted by females. She died Dec. 25, 1752, aged eighty-four years, "lamented by all who knew her."
Abraham, Joseph, Sarah, Jacob, Josiah and Eleazer.
(IV) Captain Joseph, second son of Abraham and Sarah (Wright) Cummings, was born in Woburn, Sept. 1, 1692, died April 22, 1794. "At the age of twelve, tradition says, he went to Topsfield to live with Thomas Howlett, whose wife was Rebecca Cummings, and by whom he was adopted. In 1715 he received by deed the farm east of the Ipswich river, in "thick woods," of recent years known as the Smith farm. To the last his memory was strong and exact - his judgment clear and sound - his retorts equally clear and keen. He had stong mental powers and an inquisitive turn of mind, and a tenacious memory had enabled him to acquire and retain a good knowledge of the principal events and public transactions of the last hundred years. Possessed by a rich fund of interesting and entertaining anecdotes, he was a living history of nearly a century; when nearly a hundred he would radily mount a horse from the ground, and his reason continued to his last moment. Satisfied with living, and with little appearance of any disease than sinility, he closed this mortal scene, in the cheerful hope of a blessed immortality.
His descendants were two children: twenty-three grandchldren, one hundred and sixteen great grandchildren, and thirty two great-great-grandchildren. Total one hundred and seventy-three.
He married, Dec. 1, 1714, Sarah, daughter of Isaac and Abigail (Kimball) Estey. She died 1749-50, and he married (second) Nov. 11, 1751, Priscilla Lamson, who died Aug. 19, 1780.
Children of 1st wife:
Thomas and Sarah.
(V) Lieutenant Thomas, only son of Capt. Joseph and Sarah (Estey) Cummings, was born in Ipswich, baptized July 15, 1716, and died Sept. 3, 1765. He was a lieutenant in the French and Indian war and was at the capture of Louisburg. He probably lived with his father on the hill farm in "thich woods" until 1763, where he bought a farm in Topsfield on which he spent the remaining two years of his life.
He married (first) Lydia Richardson, of Dracut, their marriage intentions being published July 17, 1736. She died March 26, 1753, and he married (second) March 28, 1754, Anna, daughter of Richard and Anna (Lord) Kettell, widow of Asa Johnson, of Andover. She died April 10, 1792, leaving a will which was proved May 8, following.
Thomas Cummings was the father of thirteen children: seven by the first wife and six by the second.
Asa (died young), Lydia, Thomas, Sarah, Anna, Elizabeth, Rhoda, Abraham, Josiah, Stephen, Daniel, Asa and Israel.
(VI) Thomas, second son of Lieut. Thomas and Lydia (Richardson) Cummings, was born in Ipswich, Feb. 12, 1741, and died March 27, 1806. He lived with his grandfather, Capt. Joseph, until the death of the latter in 1794, and then became heir to all his real estate.
He was a soldier in the revolution and sergeant of the company which marched from Topsfield under the command of Capt. Stephen Perkins in consequence of the alarm of April 19, 1775; and perhaps saw other service.
Thomas Cummings married April 16, 1763, Lois Boardman, of Topsfield, who died Dec. 6, 1792. He married (second) Sept. 3, 1797, Elizabeth Perkins, of Topsfield, who died Dec. 6, 1825.
Children, all by 1st wife:
Jonas, Joseph, Thomas, Nathaniel, Daniel and John Boardman.
(VII) Daniel, fifth of the six sons of Thomas (2) and Lois (Boardman) Cummings, was born in Topsfield, Mass., April 10, 1774, died in Freeport, Maine, Aug. 2, 1854. He went to Freeport in the Province of Maine in early life and lived there more than half a century. He was a strong old-time Baptist, a carpenter, church builder and farmer.
He married Elizabeth Knowlton. Their intentions of marriage were published Jan. 29, 1797. She was born Dec. 19, 1773, died Juy 6, 1862.
Clarissa, Elizabeth, John Boardman, Perley Dodge (died young), Thomas, Freeman Gridley, Perley Dodge, Louisa Dodge, Daniel, Mary Hyde and Joseph Porter.
(VIII) Daniel (2), sixth son of Daniel (1) and Elizabeth (Knowlton) Cummings, was born in Freeport, Maine, Oct. 11, 1812, died May 2, 1883. He was a carpenter, lumber dealer and building contractor. He lived in Portland from about 1836 till his death. Several of his brothers were engaged in the same line of business that he was.
Sept. 15, 1851, he married Frances W., daughter of Aphsah Roberts, a boat builder of Portland. She was born June 22, 1817, died about 1855.
George Henry and Mary Adelaide.
He married (second), 1860, Martha Brock, who died Dec., 1872.
(IX) Dr. George Henry, only son of Daniel (2) and Frances W. (Roberts) Cummings, was born in Portland, April 4, 1850, died there Aug. 22, 1903. He graduated from the Portland high school in 1868, Bowdoin College, 1872, entered the Maine Medical College (Bowdoin) 1872, and attended there the next two years, and in 1875 took the degree of M. D. at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. After completing his medical course, he returned to Portland and that was the field of his labors as long as he lived. For some years much of his time was devoted to obstetrics and the diseases of women. He was a good physician and a skillful surgeon, and in later life gave particular attention to surgery. In 1890 he became adjutant surgeon to the Maine General Hospital, and in 1895 one of the operating surgeons to that institution, retaining that position as long as he lived. He was city physician in 1880 and 1881, and was a member of the board of health nine years, resigning in July, 1902. It was while he was a member of the health board that the small-pox epidemic broke out in Portland. In that troublesome period Dr. Cummings rendered valiant service to thousands of people, going to the office of the board of the city building every day for many weeks and vaccinating with Dr. H. P. Merrill, his associate, throngs and throngs who went to him for that purpose. His energies were undoubtedly severely taxed during this small-pox epidemic, and this strain with his large private practice in all probability resulted in breaking down a physical system which up to that time had been well night perfect.
Dr. Cummings had not been in the best of health for several months, and during that time he had complained of weakness of the heart. Shortly before his death he had been particularly busy, and to secure a little relaxation from professional cares he took a trip with two of his friends, Dr. C. W. Bray and Philip I. Jones, and went on the steam yacht "Maitland" of the former to Booth Bay, in the vicinity of which he died suddenly of acute indigestion.
Dr. Cummings stood high in his profession and was a favorite with the physicians of Portland. He was a member of the Cumberland Medical Association, Portland Medical Association and the American Academy of Medicine. He was a member of Ancient Landmark Lodge, F. and A. M., of which he was made a life member Oct. 19, 1875. He was also a member of the Portland Club and the Portland Yacht Club, in the circles of both being a familar figure. He was an attendant of the State Street Congregational Church, and was one of its liberal supporters. Dr. Cummings and his family had for several years resided in a beautiful home at 699 Congress street.
George H. Cummings married, in Brunswick, June 11, 1879, Anda Celestia, born on shipboard, near the Andaman Islands, Indian Ocean, daughter of Capt. William Merritt and Harriet Maria (Melcher) Otis. Children of Capt. William M. and Harriet M. (Melcher) Otis were: James Snow, married Annette Whittier; Harriet Maria; Anda C. (mentioned above); W. Ella, and Albert Henry (married Alice Dyer).
Child of George Henry and Anda C. (Otis) Cummings:
George Otis, born July 31, 1891, now a student in the Portland high school.
The OTISes mentioned below have descended from John Otis, who was born in Barnstable, Devonshire, England, 1581, and came to Hingham, New England, and drew house lots with first division of lands in that town, 1638.
1. Samuel Otis went from Massachusetts to Nova Scotia, 1761-64, and settled at what is now Yarmouth. He was a member of the committee appointed by the council of the province to divide the forfeited lands in the township of Yarmouth under the act of August, 1761. His name appears in a list of settlers in the township of Yarmouth furnished to the govenment by John Crowley in 1764. It is remarkable that he is the only one of the whole fifty-three who has the title of "Esquire" attached to his name. He was the only person there who owned a vessel.
His family consisted of seven persons. He seems to have returned to Province of Massachusetts Bay about 1765 and settled on Katteerine Island, now Rutherford Island, in the town of Bristol, which island was conveyed to him by Thomas Droune, of Boston, probably in 1788.
May 2, 1775, he was chairman of the committee of safety and in that capacity addressed a letter to the provincial congress which is on file in Boston. He was appointed to present a petition to the geneal court Jan. 31, 1782.
His will was made Aug. 28, and proved Oct. 26, 1805. He married, at Dartmouth, Mass., Patience Sherman, probably a daughter of Ebenezer and Wait Sherman. She died in 1828.
Samuel, Wait, Ebenezer, David, Thankful, Patience, Anna, Sarah and John.
2. Samuel (2), eldest son of Samuel (1) and Patience (Sherman) Otis, removed from Cape Cod, Mass., and settled at St. George, Thomastone, Maine, or near there. Samuel Otis was in Cushing in 1794, and later, probably, lived on Harpswell Great Island.
He married Mercy Williams, of Harpswell.
James (mentioned below), Samuel, Rebecca, Betsey, Reuben, Hannah and Sally.
Samuel, of Topsham, was in the Harpswell company in the war of 1812-1814.
3. James, eldest child of Samuel (2) and Mercy (Williams) Otis, was born March 26, 1788. James Otis, of Brunswick, was a solider in the war of 1812, in Capt. Richard T. Dunlap's company in 1814. He married in 1813, Betsey Snow, born June 12, 1792. Her parents were John Snow, b. Oct. 28, 1762, and his wife, Thankful (Purinton) Snow, b. June 24, 1766, and m. Sept. 22, 1786. Their children were: Priscilla, Jesse, Betsey, Fanny, Abner, Isaiah, Jane and Mary. The grandparents of Betsey Snow were Isaac Snow, b. May 18, 1736, and his wife Elizabeth (Larrabee) Snow, b. June 10, 1737, and m. Aug., 1757. Their children were: Jesse, Mary, John, Samuel, William, Benjamin, Stephan, Rebecca, Elizabeth and Isaac.
The children of James and Betsey (Snow) Otis were:
William Merritt, James, Harvey Snow, Caroline Maria, Albert Curtis, Reuben Henry and Edwin Francis.
4. Captain William Merritt, son of James and Betsey (Snow) Otis, was born in Brunswick, Jan. 4, 1814, and at this date, 1908, is living at Brunswick in the enjoyment of his physical and mental faculties, at the age of ninety-four. He was a captain for forty-three years, and sailed to ports in nearly every civilized country in the world. He marrried, 1839, Harriet Maria Melcher, b. Dec., 1812, died June, 1853, dau. of Josiah and Nancy Melcher of Brunswick. Four children were born to them: James Snow, Harriet Maria, Anda Celestia, W. Ella. Anda C. was born on the Indian Ocean, near the Andaman Islands, and married Dr. George H. Cummings.
Captain Otis married (second), 1857, Harriet W. Barion; one child: Albert Henry Otis.
The present sketch treats of a line of descendants of John Comins, whose surname in later generations took the present form, Cummings. John Comins lived in Woburn, Mass., where by wife Mary he had:
John (died young), Mary, John, Katherine, Jacob, Josiah, Stephen and James, all born between Sept. 15, 1692 and May 7, 1705. Of these Jacob was the father of Lemuel, one of the first settlers of Charlton, Mass. One of his sons was William, of Parkman, Maine, it is said.
(I) John Gilman, second son of William and Deborah (Harris) Cummings, was born in Parkman, Maine, June 22, 1829, and after acquiring his education started in life as a school teacher and taught several terms in the vicinity of his home. About 1860 he engaged in the stove and tinware business in Biddeford and with George West, under the firm name Cummings & West. He enlisted as a private Sept. 9, 1862, at Biddeford, in Company I, First Maine Cavalry, and was mustered into the U. S. service Oct. 13, 1862. May 2, 1863 he was taken prisoner at Louisa Court House, Virginia, and held at Belle Isle prison until May 19, of the same month, when he was exchanged. Rejoining his company Sept. 12, following he kept with it until Jan. 6, 1864, when he was captured by Mosby's guerillas near Warrenton and taken to Libby prison, Richmond. Feb. 23, 1864, he was exchanged and again shared the fortunes of his command until Oct. 27, 1864, when he was wounded in an engagement at Boydton Plank Road, Virginia, but recovering from his injury remained with the regiment until the end of the war, when he was mustered out of the service.
Soon after he returned to Maine he became assiatant overseer in the Pepperell Mills at Biddeford and held that position until his death in 1888.
He was a Republican. He was a member of Sheridan Post, G.A.R., of Biddeford, and served several terms as chaplian. For many years he was a deacon of the First Baptist Church in Biddeford, and served many terms as moderator of the parish.
John G. Cummings married Dec. 25, 1859, at Biddeford, Theodate, born in Osspiee, New Hampshire, Nov. 30, 1837, daughter of Samuel and Theodate (Lang) Tasker, of Ossipee, the former a native of New Durham and the latter of Rye, N. H. The parents of Theodate Lang were John and Mercy (Drake) Lang.
1. Jennie L., died at the age of seventeen.
2. John Ernest, born in Saco in 1862, graduated from Saco high school in 1880; Colby College, 1884; Newton Theological Institution, 1887; and received the degree of D. D. from Colby College in 1904; in 1887 he went as a Baptist missionary to India and has remained till the present time; he has the superivision of the Henzada mission district in Lower Burma, which is under the charge of the American Baptist Missionary Union; is a member of the English government board in Henzada; and is a trustee of the Baptist College at Rangoon, India; he married (first) in 1887, Rena A. Webster, of Bakerfield, Vermont, who died in Henzad 1896; (second) in 1896 Dora Roberts, daughter of Rev. William H. Roberts, a Baptist Missionary in Burmah; he had by his first wife three children: John Webster, Stanely Walter and Bessie Margaret; by the second wife: Robert, Ruth, Roger, Caroline Green and William Henry.
3. Abraham L. T., mentioned below.
4. Isabel M., was graduated from Saco high school and attended Farmington Normal School. She married Samuel W. Buker, of Biddeford, who died in Somerville, Mass. in 1903; they had two children, Samuel and Helene.
5. Lora G., a graduate of Colby College, class of 1893, taught in Skowhegan, Maine and Bakersfield, Vermont; married Edgar P. Neal, of Litchfield, Maine, who graduated from Colby College in 1893, and is now principal of the high school at West Boylston, Mass.; they have three children: Arthur Merrill, Alfred Cummings and Lora Gertrude.
6. Gertrude F., a graduate of Saco high school, teaches in Saco.
7. Nettie, died young.
(II) Abraham Lincoln Tasker, second son of John G. and Theodate (Tasker) Cummings, was born in Saco Feb. 13, 1865. He acquired his education in the common and high schools of Saco, and then took a place on the Biddeford Times, doing mechanical, reportorial and editorial work successively. He was president of the York County Wheelman and several years secretary-treasurer of Maine Division, League of American Wheelmen. In 1894 he was appointed western Maine correspondent of the Boston Herald and did the work incident to that place, in Cumberland and York counties, for thirteen years.
He is a Republican. In 1894 he was elected alderman of Biddeford. In 1897 he was elected alderman of Biddeford. In 1897 he removed to Portland. He was clerk of the Portland common council from 1901 to 1906. In 1903 he was appointed deputy collector of internal revenue and served until 1907. In 1907 he was elected city clerk of Portland.
He is a member of Deering Lodge, No. 183, Free and Accepted Masons; Greenleaf Royal Arch Chapter; Portland Commandery, No. 2, Knights Templar; and Maine Consistory, Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, in which he has attained the thirty-second degree. He is also a member of Fraternity Lodge, No. 6, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, of Portland, and Mavoshen Lodge, No. 1, Knights of Pythias, of Biddeford; and the Portland Club. He and his family attend the Congregational church.
Abraham L. T. Cummings married, in Biddeford, Sept. 3, 1889, Angie Fidella, born in Biddeford Aug. 29, 1867, daughter of Charles A. and Susan Nason (York) Morton.