An American Family History

Isaac Cummings

  also spelled Comings  
The town of Ipswich was established on August 5, 1634, from common land called Agawam. On October 18, 1648, that portion called the "Village" at the New Meadows was set off as Topsfield. The boundary line between Ipswich and Topsfield was established, February 28, 1694.

Isaac Cummings was born about 1633. He was the son of Isaac Cummings.

He married Mary Andrews.

Their children included:

Isaac Cummings (1664, married Alice Howlett),
John Cummings (1666, married Susannah Towne, daughter of Joseph Towne),
Thomas Cummings (1670),
Mary Cummings (1671/2),
Rebecca Cummings (1674)
Abigail Cummings (1676)
Stebbings Cummings (1680/1)

They lived in Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts. He was on the list of commoners in 1672. and held various offices in Ipswich: moderator, surveyor, constable, and selectman.

In 1675, he was sergeant during Narragansett War.

In 1684, Isaac his wife were members in full communion of the church in Topsfield.

He was chosen deacon of the church, 1686. He testified in court against Elizabeth How. He said that a mare of his was strangely affected under Elisabeth’s bad influence. Elisabeth Howe was condemned, and executed in July, 1692.

He died June 19, 1721.

The Great Swamp Fight was on November 2, 1675. Josiah Winslow led a force of over 1000 colonial militia and about 150 Pequot and Mohegan warriors against the Narragansett. Several abandoned Narragansett villages were burned and the tribe retreated to a five acre fort in the center of a swamp near Kingston, Rhode Island. The fort, which was occupied by over a thousand indigenous warriors, was taken after a fierce fight. It was burned and the inhabitants, including women and children, were killed or evicted. The winter stores were destroyed. The colonists lost about 70 men and nearly 150 were wounded.

cummings House
The Cummings Home



from The Cummings Memorial: A Genealogical History of the Descendants of Isaac Cummings, an Early Settler of Topsfield, Massachusetts, by George Mooar, published by B. F. Cummings., 1903

Isaac Cummings [Immigrant Ancestor] appears on a list of the "Commoners" of Ipswich, Mass., on the last day of the year 1641. He is said to have had, as early as July 1638, a planting lot in "Reedy Marsh," and a house lot in town....In 1666 he was constable, and his son Isaac was his deputy, and in a deposition he states his age to be 65. The same year he was assessed 4s 7d to pay the town's indebtedness. He was deacon of the church, and in 1676, at least, moderator of the town meeting. No mention remains of his wife nor of her name. She was not living when his will was made, May 8, 1677. It is on file in the probate office, but unrecorded...

i. John [Cummings], born about 1630. On the list of Freemen, 1672, his name precedes Isaac's. 1673, he testified in court to being 40 years old; in 1678, 43 (47?) ; in 1679, 50.
ii. Isaac [Cummings], born about 1633. In 1692 he testified to being 60 years; in 1696, 63.
iii. Ann, born perhaps 1629, as she was said to be 60 years of age at her death, June 29, 1689. She married, Oct . 8, 1669, John Pease, his second marriage.
iv. Elizabeth, born , married Feb. 2, 1661—"same month and day of marriage of Abraham Jewett"—John Jewett, born about 1637.

Deacons played a respected and important role in early New England churches. They sat in a raised pew near the pulpit and had special duties during communion.

Any man entering a colony or becoming a a member the church, was not free. He was not forced to work, but his movements were carefully observed to see if they followed the Puritanical ideal. After this probationary period, he became a "freeman." Men then took the Oath of a Freeman where they vowed to defend the Commonwealth and not to overthrow the government.


from The Cummings Memorial

Isaac Cummings [1633] lived in Ipswich. He was on the list of commoners, 1672. "Sergeant in Narragansett War." He held various offices in the town, moderator, surveyor, constable, selectman.

He was chosen deacon of the church, 1686. The story of his experience with the minister, Rev. Thomas Gilbert, shows that he was influential before he was deacon. For the minister one day came into the pulpit, badly beside himself from drink. His speech was confused and he forgot the order of exercises. First he prayed and he sang, then he prayed again and sang. Finally, Isaac Cummings arose and requested him to stop.

The deacon was not above all the influences prevailing in his time. For at the period of the witchcraft excitement he testified in court against Elisabeth How, that a mare of his was strangely affected under Elisabeth’s bad influence. His testimony was corroborated by that of Isaac, his son, and of Mary, his wife. Elisabeth How was condemned, and executed in July 1692.

Isaac and Mary sold to Tobijah Perkins, July 9, 1674, "44 acres, which was all of Cummings" land, south of Howlet’s brook and bounded west by Lt. Francis Peabody, south by Daniel Borman, east by land William Howlet’s house is built on, with privilege to cart through Cummings’ farm from this land to Winthrop's Hill.’ Mr. Perkins. also sold 20 acres to Isaac Cummings, ‘furderest devision next to farmer Nequallis (Nichols) land.’ in 1686 he bought of Joseph Chaplin and wife Elizabeth, 67 acres in Rowley Village. This he deeded to his son Isaac in 1708. His homestead bounded by lands of Potter on the north and Foster on the east, of Pea body on the south and of Perkins also on the east, was deeded to his son John, Mar. 1714-5.”

Will: Apr. 27, 1712, proved Jan. 19, 1721-2:48

  • I Give son Isaac £30 which I formerly paid him; also all that parcel of land in Boxford I bo't of Jos. Chaplin, of Rowley, abt seven acres, of which I have already given him a deed.
  • Son John to have that land where he now dwells on the south side of the river, being 50 acres; also ten acres on south side of the river: also all my houses, buildings, &c., in consideration of what he has done for mine and my wife’s support while my wife lived and in consideration that he maintain me honorably during my natural life and be at charges of my funeral. He have residue of estate and approve him executor.
  • To son Thomas, for whom I have done considerable already, helping him purchase land to value of £60 I have paid for him which I do will to him, his heirs &c. as also my English dictionary which is his portion.
  • To daughter Abigail Perly I give her £60 which I have paid, excepting a feather bed and bedstead and under bed and sett of curtains to be paid to her by my executor, also three bed-blankets.
  • My daughter Rebecca Howlet to have £60 which I have paid her.
  • To my granddaughter Lydia Cumengs, child of my son Isaac, £30 in household goods already paid her.

Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts was first settled in 1639.

Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
An American Family History is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.