Wednesday, 17 August 2011


The CUMMINGS FH Research to date.
     Apologies for the pathetic layout which is taking an inordiate length of time to get right after the transfer from Windows live spaces to Wordpress which was just as bad. So now it's here on good old blogspot. While aboard 'Piano' -see sister blog for adventures-I spend quite a bit of time digitally enhancing images of Parish Records, newspapers and censuses.  Not all are finished -yet, more apologies. As usual I begin at the farthest back and continue to the present. Great excitement in October 2008 I resorted to transcribing the Prs for St James Deeping, Lincolnshire so that I could search at leisure for Comings ancestors. Well it all paid off I have found the marriage of James (my 6 times Great Grandfather) to Elizabeth Wait by Banns on the 1st of January 1753/4

their first child was a daughter whom they Christened Letitia she was baptised on the 9th of June 1754.
Then follows the birth of James (my 5 times great grandfather) on the 6th February 1756/7

And 2 years later the birth of second son John 27th March 1758.  Unfortunately he died young 31 months and 25 days later. This was also found in Deeping St James The third child was called Mary and was christened on the 10th of August 1760.  She also died young on the 21st of November 1760.  The last child found in this parish is another John who was christened on 27 March.  1763 We are now into the era of Year change.  The old “ Julian“ Calendar which ran from March 25th  around to March 26th was changed in 1752 to the Gregorian Calendar with a loss of eleven days together with the labourers' pay for those days.  It also put the tax system at odds with a salaried year , and even bigger problems with the clergy- not least the incomprehension of problems faced by present day historians! To relate it to our system entries between December 31st and March 26th are shown with both old and new years!
[I have also found a birth of John Cumming January 1746 and his death 9 months later 5th October 1747 his parents were John and Susannah. Father John was a mason married *ear Cainbridge aged 32/52 when he died. This may give clues to the parents of James at a later date!]
James married Ann Farmery by Banns on the 2nd, June 1772 at Sleaford both of this Parish, he signed she left a mark with consent of her mother. Ann a minor. 

Pam Baille, a very kind soul who has helped me greatly by doing look-ups at Lincoln Record Office, found this in Sleaford Parish Register.  It is highly likely that Ann was only 17 when she married since she had her mothers consent,  also fits with burial Register in Sleaford she being buried 13th June 1827 age '75'. as Ann CUMMIN James and Ann then settled down to have a family as follows…
   First Rebecca 27th November, 1772, (so Rebecca was conceived four months before the wedding!)  Next Sarah 16th August 1777.  Third Elizabeth 14th, February 1779.
Fourth Robert 28th, October 1781. Although this entry says Robert son of James and Mary Commins so needs further checking.  Fifth . Richard Cummings, (my 4 times Great Grandfather) Baptised 19th July 1784 at Sleaford son of James and Ann (Source Parish Register Sleaford). 
We follow Richard through since he is my direct ancestor he married Sarah.  It is not conclusive as we have a wedding 3 years after his birth so something is wrong!
He is the direct line to me. The name is spelt “Commens”.  Sixth came Michael born 6th February 1786. Name spelt Commins.
Seventh-Elizabeth,23,February 1789, I expect the first named Elizabeth died young but I have found no certificate yet.  Eighth and last of all found so far came John born 14th October 1795. The surname has now become Commings! So we are getting closer...   James a labourer, living somewhere near Grantham died aged 58 on 24th November 1842.  This gives a birth of about 1784. Ann died on 13th July 1827 Sleaford, Lincolnshire.

Incidentally,  I found a marriage for William and Sarah Mason at Grantham St Wulfram's on 25th December 1845. She is a widow and her maiden name was Wise. It looks as though her father John Wise, was present at the wedding. So that begs the question were the children in the 1841 census from her previous marriage ?
In the transcription William spells his name CUMMINS.  See below 1841 for this couple.
William was baptised on the 4th of July 1813 in the parish of Grantham. The vicar was
the Reverend W.P. Thackray.

Second Richard was baptised on the 29th of May 1815 Third came Elizabeth baptised on the 11th of May.
Fourth came Thomas (my Great, Great, Great Grandfather, baptised on the 27th of February 1820

Fifth, Sarah, baptised on the 30th of January 1822 by a new Vicar; Reverend Gilbert.
Sixth, James, baptised on the 17th of May 1824.
Seventh came Mary Ann, baptised on the 10th of November 1826.
And finally came Martha their eighth child who was baptised on the 13th of April
1830 by another vicar the Reverend H.W.Crick Not only do we have neatly written Parish records but we also have the Government Censuses I list as the sources which I used to research the family.

1841 Census [HO107/625/5 Grantham Union Workhouse] Richard,(40) Mary Ann (12) & Eliza,(10) in the Union Workhouse at Grantham.

1841 census [HO107/625/5] for Grantham, Spittlegate shows Thomas
(20) and his younger brother James, (17) who are both Agricultural Labourers.

1841 has William (27), with his wife Sarah (27), and their children
Richard (8), William (4), and Sarah (3). They are living at Back Street
Grantham. Williams’ brother Richard (25) is also married -just—to Mary (20) and they have a baby daughter Clara (1). They are living in a caravan! At Woolsthorpe

My highlighting here will assist later in the knotty problem 'WE' are now unraveling!

Thomas Cummins

Thomas was born on the 27th February 1820 son of Richard and Sarah,
Christened at St Wolframs Church, Grantham. His early childhood is spent living with his parents and siblings. By the first census (’41) he is 17 living and working with his brother Richard.    
1851 [HO 107/2103] 

Thomas living with his sister Elizabeth and her family at Wood Hill Grantham.   He says he is 22- but is mistaken he was really 32 and this has caused me alot of bother!  He chops and changes his age like the weather!  Fortunately he reverts to a more reasonable estimate in the 1861 Census when he says he is 40.

It was a bonus to find Elizabeth's marriage and family. She has married Robert REAR and is living at Wood Hill Grantham. They have two daughter’s Mary Ann (12), and Sarah (4).  It would be nice to find that Roberts mother was also called Mary but my time is short and it is not high on my list of priorities.
Thomas met Sarah Maria during 1842. Their first child was Elizabeth Tyler Farrington born 26th January 1842, in Grantham before the marriage.
Sarah Farrington was born in Market Deeping about 1801.  How she and Thomas met are a mystery, her father Richard was a coachman so may have known the local horse breaker.  Whatever -  they were married in Church on the 30th August 1842.
“Thomas CUMMINGS bachelor Horse breaker of Grantham (father Richard-Labourer) and Sarah Maria FARRINGTON spinster of Grantham (father Richard Coachman). Both of age, she signed, he made his mark-witnesses Mary LEE, & George WOOD” (both signed).  I Also have the GRO certificate for this marriage.
Sarah Emma was born on 16th March 1844, in Grantham.
They must have then moved to Manchester since their next three children were born there, they lived at 16, Tib Lane, Manchester. 

[While, looking through the 1871 Census I found Mary daughter of Thomas aged 29       ( so born 1842) the housekeeper, could this be the same person ????? Or a twin of Elizabeth, or as Lynn thinks it is Elizabeth just calling herself Mary !  Anyway she appears to be married to Thomas Greenwood (22)  Thomas Hollingworth (9) and his brother Daniel (6) are Grandsons –of which Thomas ? I haven’t quite tied them in yet]
Third was Thomas Edwin (my Great Grandfather) born 9 Oct 1846 Manchester.   No Pr here but GRO certificate as evidence.
 Fourth child was Alfred Richard born 12th May 1849.  I have him on a later Census married.  Lastly was Sarah Maria born 31st, December 1856 but she died three months later on 25th, February 1857.
 In 1861 [RG9/2941] taken midnight 7/8th April

has Thomas (40) an Ostler, living in Manchester.  It looks like Great Newark Street, St James.  His wife Sarah Maria (40) daughter Elizabeth (19) is a nursemaid, Thomas Edwin (14) is a ?? Letterpress with his younger brother Alfred Richard (11) 
The 1871 census [RG10/4015] 

This was taken midnight Sunday/Monday 2/3rd June and Thomas did not have Sarah Maria with him. March 2005 I found Sarahs’ death in Reading Record Office March 1871 8a 89 Macclesfield. Sarah would have been 70 So she died just before the Census was taken. He is still living at Broughton Salford , but has moved to 12, Chapel Street.  Here the other members of the house are Thomas Greenwood (22) his son-in-law who is also a groom! Mary is down as his daughter – so I conclude that she has married Thomas Greenwood and is the housekeeper, she is 29.  Charles Sonnen? A gardener is a border with them (21), as are Thomas (9) and Daniel (6), Hollingworth - both scholars who are grandsons of Thomas.  They are the children of Sarah Emma who married John Hollingworth.  I have found their marriage entry in Manchester March 1861 8d 403. (and I have still to find out what happened to this couple) 
1881 Census [RG11/4027] 

Shows Thomas in Crumpsall Workhouse aged 59 years. He is still sane since he knows the answers to the enumerator, telling him he was born in Grantham and used to be a groom.

Alfred Richard Cummings
He deserves a mention. He was born 12th May 1849 -just before the 1851 Census in Grantham, Lincolnshire, England.

1871 Census [RG10/4015] shows Alfred R (21) and wife Mary Nee Littler (20) living at Broughton,
Salford. Alfred must have married soon before the Census since between 1771 and the 1881.

1881 [RG11/3955] Alfred Richard a Carter, aged (31) is living at 1, Walker street,
Broughton, Manchester with Mary Ellen their eldest is their daughter Emily (9),
next is Tom (6), Joe (5), Elizabeth (2), and last Maria (1), Nephews Daniel and Thomas Hollingworth have now moved from living with old Thomas to this house, remember Thomas is in the Workhouse at the moment.  1886 Alfred and Mary have another son James Fardinand born 30th November, they are still resident in Chapel Street Broughton.  
 I found his birth certificate while sorting out my research notes where it has been since 1981 when I first began the research. It was found in the Family book The Cumyns & The Bruces.  Grandfather must have ordered it while doing his own research in some hope that it would lead back to Scotland and the family fortune! or as you will read later another branch of money! Anyway it is so rewarding to find an obscure piece of the tree, which confirms the research.  It is similar to getting a piece of jigsaw done.
 Of course this begs the question of what went on in the years between 1871 and 1881. I must wonder...Maybe Mary and Thomas Greenwood fell on hard times and could no longer have Thomas living with them, I’ll have to look for Greenwood on the 1881. Meanwhile - Lynn has reviewed the 1871 census entry and what she has in her file. She came to the conclusion that 'Mary' Greenwood in the census is in fact Elizabeth nee Farrington because of her age and relationship to Thomas. 
Lynn deduced that Elizabeth married Thomas Greenwood December 1869 so in the less than 2 years between the marriage and the 1871 census she would have needed to die AND for  Thomas to remarry. Not impossible. The new wife wouldn't have been a daughter of Thomas C unless he had another daughter born in the same year. Nil to suggest twins, and anyway that would be illegal thinks Lynn. Perhaps the name Mary is a mistake or maybe she liked to be known as Mary. Her mother Sarah Maria appears on a couple of documents as Sarah Mary.  We all know how the family like to be known as anything but there own name!
 Anyway to get back to James Fardinand I found his birth certificate while sorting out my research notes where is has been since 1981 when I first began the research. It was found in the Family book The Cumyns & The Bruces. Grandfather must have ordered it while doing his own research in some hope that it would lead back to Scotland and the family fortune! Anyway it is so rewarding to find an obscure piece of the tree, which confirms the research.  It is similar to getting a piece of jigsaw done.

Thomas Edwin   (my Great Grandfather) was born 9th October 1846 in the registration District of Manchester;sub-district Market Street, County of Manchester Thomas Edwin ‘married’ Loretta Josephine formerly Snelham (or Snaylam)
but no certificate found yet (2007). Have tried most spellings of Loretto/Lauretta and Snaylam/Snelham. Evidence so far is from the unreliable Ancestral File AFN : 3SSL-OP Born 18 Mar 1875 in West Derby Liverpool and more reliable GRO birth 1875 8b 240. died 31st July 1961 Ashford Kent. Have also tried FreeBMD for both parties.  They too lived in Manchester and had a fine family. I need the 1891 Census for Thomas Edwin !! to see if he will be married yet . First born was Annie Loretto on the 3rd of March 1894, Prestwich, Manchester, Lancashire.
Now have GRO birth for firstborn Annie Loretto which shows Thomas EdwARD as father living at 8 Rainsough Brow Rainsough Prestwich. He is a fireman at Works. Second came her sister Edith born 21st March 1896, Pendleton, Salford, Lancashire.  She married Louis Rosen 12th February 1916 and died in 1931 Third came my grandfather Edwin Gordon (my Grandfather) born 15th, April 1898. More of him later. Fourth came Leah Winifred born 21st of Jun 1900. Fifth there was Amy born 7th February, 1902 again Pendleton Salford Lancashire. Sixth was Elizabeth Ellen born 20th May 1904 at 34, North James Henry Street, Salford.  She lived most of life in Hingham, Massachusetts. USA. She was a Naturalized US citizen, and formerly a Canadian Citizen.   She remarried (without divorce) to John Webster Fergusson.  
1986 Elizabeth Ellen has sworn an affidavit confirming her ancestry and that of James Winstanley Cummings and sees that she is entitled to a share of his estate. It seems nothing was gained by Elizabeth Ellen paperwork is in her multimedia file as at 2013. Incidentally she was then living at 31, Highland Avenue Cohasset, Massachusetts, U.S.A. and was married to Charles Casey.   Further she believes that she is related to James Winstanley Cummings son of William and Jessica Selina Cummings (Nee Brown), but has not found his birth certificate!  She died of a stroke  29th, November 1981.
Now in 2013 we agree that Thomas Edwin had no brother William which fits with Elizabeth Ellen's findings.  We  also know that their Grand-father Thomas DID have a brother called William!
Seventh was my uncle Stanley Joffre born 24th September 1915.
Uncle Chump says he remembers Stanley living at 45, High Street Sandwich, when he was ill with Consumption -now known as Tuberculosis.  Good that an octogenarian has memories from when he was 6 years old. He also had the clipping from the local paper probably The Gazette.

“On July 15th ,at Deal Memorial Hospital, Stanley Joffre, of 45, High Street Sandwich age 17 years. 
Eighth came Frances who was born on the 15th, April, 1919 Manchester Lancashire. Just after the 1st World War.  She married John Savage 14th February 1942 and  had 4 children 
1*Christine Margaret Josephine
2* Elizabeth Mary
3*Glynis Wendy Theresa
4*Jonathan Francis
She was only 62 when she died.

  2013 UPDATE see latest below!

Aunty June wrote “As for Aunt Olive - she was always an enigma to me. I remember when I was quite young; she came back from Canada and brought me some slippers, which were too small." She was mad on swimming and used to walk down the bay very early in the morning and used to take Peter with her (Mary's brother who was a good swimmer) The Twymans lived opposite Also Frances, Dad's younger sister came to stay once. A very devout Catholic and she knelt to say her prayers every night
by the bed (she slept with me in the back room.) That's all I remember about the Cummings family - in those days people didn't travel any further than Canterbury.

I have a snap of Aunt Olive and have tried researching her, more follows the October Meeting.
1901 census [RG13/3713 p6] showing Thomas Edwin & Loretta with children Annie Lorreto (7) Edith (5), Edwin Gordon (2), and Leah Winifred (9 months).

       Wow! Can I believe it ? In January 2013 I had an email from a second cousin! Angela who had stumbled across this blog and told me of many more living relations.  I have since been working with Lynn, and Wendy and can now put some more detail into the blog!
Firstly, Angela and Lynn are Elizabeth Ellen ( nee Cummings) grand-daughters.  Far better was that they actually knew Aunt Olive and Aunt Frances!!!  Well, the next email was from Wendy, whose grand-mother was Child number 11 Frances! I am hoping to meet them all when I return to the UK in October. 

The October meeting.
  After a miserable drive through motorway spray and driving rain,my new iPad app finally delivered me to Lynns House.  After introductions Lynn took us all for lunch where we began in earnest.  I met Wendy her husband Peter and amazing dog 'Ted'. Unfortunately they had another appointment so left soon after lunch. 

Lynn, Wendy,Sue & Angela

 Angela Lynn and I continued through the afternoon, into the evening and again the next morning.  My cold had almost cleared but had taken my voice with it!  I left with much to research and update.  Here is the jist.
At some point in time a firm of solicitors (called GEDDES) made enquiries into our Cummings line to verify if we were connected to an heir whose estate they were managing.   A letter was written by Tom to Edwin Gordon sometime after 1950, which , while of interest doesn't help with untangling the knot.  Elizabeth Ellen, swore an affidavit to the effect that she thought she was related to a William CUMMINGS, brother of her father Thomas Edwin and that James Winstanley CUMMINGS (the one the solicitors were interested in ) was his son.  Neither Elizabeth Ellen, Edwin Gordon, or anyone who knows the story has been able to find a birth certificate for him.  This includes all those at the family gathering.  We would all love to find out this characters credentials but have hit another brick wall!  In other words the jury is still out.

   Now then as far as Aunt Olive is concerned Olive born 23 Jun 1912. She married William Charles Jones in 1937, not sure where but in England. She didn't like his boring name of Jones so they changed it to Randolph before they married. Her 2 children, David and Stephanie were born in England before they all moved to Canada. At some stage they changed their name from Jones to Randolph, so Stephanie is Stephanie Randolph, but she was married in Canada and has a daughter.

Edwin Gordon CUMMINGS

Born 15th April 1898 in the registration district of Salford, Manchester. The family were living at 43, Russell Street Pendleton, Salford.
Edwin Gordon joined the Army when he was 14 (yes he lied) and fought in the 1914 - 1918 War and survived. For this he has a war record at Kew Archives. The Medal card of Cummings, Edwin G Corps: Lancashire Fusiliers Regiment No: 1958 282691
Rank: Private. 1914-1920 [WO 372/5] He received 3 medals; 
Victory Roll H/1/101B32 Page 6740
British            “”   “”
15 Star H/1/53B3 page 211.
He probably met Nan (Kathleen Rigden) while he was at Port Richborough at the secret army depot. He married ‘Kath’ on the 19th March, 1924, it was Solemnized in the
Parish of St Clement in the County of Kent. Edwin Gordon, was a bachelor aged 25, and had been living at 13, New Street, Sandwich.  Kathleen Edith was a spinster aged 25 years, and had been living at Strand Street Sandwich.  The witnesses were Walter Rigden and A. Powell.


  1. Hi Sue, I am descended from the John and Susanna you have mentioned through their son Richard. Feel sure your family is related as Richard had a daughter he also christened Letitia. Too much of a coincidence. Please get in touch if you have found the link, I can fill in some gaps for you.
    Kind regards
    Debby Mills

    1. Hi Debbie, Amazingly I have just found your comment! and it's the new year of 2017! I apologise for not finding it sooner . I am presently in the Caribbean aboard a yacht called Piano and won't be back in the UK until the hurricane season ( mid june) YES I am interested in your family history especially if you are now somehow related! Best to email me ( if this ever gets to you - smaile XX