An American Family History

The Cummings Family

  also spelled Comings  

Joseph Cummings was born about 1692 in Woburn. He was the son of Abraham Cummings. Joseph was adopted by William Howlett. William was married to Mary Perkins.

He married Sarah Kimball on December 1, 1714. She was the daughter of Isaac Kimball and Abigail Estey. They lived in the part of Ipswich that became Topsfield in 1774.

Thomas Cummings (1716)
Sarah Cummings (1720 married Benjamin Lamson).

Joseph's second wife was Priscilla Lamson.




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

Capt. Joseph Cummings (Abraham, John2, Isaac1) [1692] married, Dec. 1, 1714, Sarah, daughter of Isaac and Abigail (Kimball) Estey, sister to Abigail, who married Joseph Cummings, (20).

. . . Joseph who was born in Woburn, went at the age of 12, to live with his Uncle Howlet. This was about the year 1704. The uncle William had married Oct. 27, 1671, Mary Perkins, daughter of Thomas and Phebe (Gould), born 1651; died, 1728. They had but one child, Thomas, who married, 1695, Rebecca Cummings (3, viii). Thomas having no child, adopted Joseph Cummings, whose mother was Sarah Howlet. . .

Capt. Cummings became quite a large operator in real estate, for between 1719 and 1763 as many as twenty-three deeds were recorded as passed between him and various parties, principally purchases by him of tracts of land. After a good deal of negotiation, the part of Ipswich where he lived was set off to Topsfield. This was in 1774. . .

. . .a part of the notice of him which appeared in the Salem Gazette, May 13, shortly after his death . . .

In early life he made a public profession of religion, and, by a uniform piety, integrity, temperance, cheerfulness and benevolence, he supported an amiable and unblemished character. He was not favored with the advantages of education; but strong mental powers, 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 of a rich fund of interesting and entertaining anecdotes, he was a living history of nearly a century. Within his memory the people in his neighborhood were in fear of the Indians, and he had himself stood sentry at a small fortress in the town.

Employed from his youth in cultivating a valuable farm, not with excessive labor, but steady industry—living in a plentiful, but plain and simple manner—and enjoying a uniform cheerfulness—the powers of his body and mind continued in great vigor to a very advanced age. When nearly a hundred, he would readily mount his horse from the ground; and his reason continued to his last moments. Satisfied with living, and with little appearance of any other disease than senility, he closed this mortal scene, in the cheering hope of a blessed immortality.

His descendants were 2 children, 23 grandchildren, 116 greatgrandchildren, and 32 great-great-grandchildren, total, 173.

In a statement made by Mrs. Susanna Randall, is found the following tradition:

The day he was a hundred years old, he put his foot in the stirrup from the ground, seated himself in the saddle, rode to Andover on a cold wintry day to visit his grandson, Stephen, my father, and about that time Stephen had a son born whom he named Joseph for his grand-sire.

As will be seen from comparison of records, the grand-sire was born Sept. 1, 1692, and his name-sake, Dec. 6, 1792.

Capt . Cummings married for his second wife, Nov. 10, 1751, Priscilla Lamson [daughter of John Lamson]. In his will, dated July 29, 1785, and proved May 5, 1794 (he died Apr. 22 preceding), he mentions

the heirs of my last wife's two brothers, viz.: The heirs of John Lamson and the heirs of Peter Lamson, deceased; the heirs of Abigail Edwards, also deceased. Mary Davis, daughter to my granddaughter, Hannah Adams.

Among his granddaughters he also mentions Sarah Wiggins and Lydia Wiggins. To his son Thomas, with whom he had spent his declining days he devised the residue of the estate. Priscilla, the second wife, had died Aug. 19, 1780.

i. Thomas, baptized July 15, 1716.
ii. Sarah, born Aug. 20, 1720, published Sept . 18, 1736, to Benjamin Lamson, son of William [son of John Lamson and Martha Perkins] and Lydia, of Ipswich, and born Apr. 8, 1710. He died in the spring of 1753, his will dated March 29. His wife was then alive. She is mentioned too in her father's will, July 29, 1785, as then living as well as three of her children, Benjamin, Sarah, and Lydia.


from Colonial Families of the United States of America edited by George Norbury Mackenzie

Samuel Cummings, of Groton, Massachusetts; b. 6th October, 1684, in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, d. 1718; m. 14th January, 1708, Elizabeth Shedd, dau. of Samuel and Elizabeth Shedd of Billerica and Chelmsford.

i. Samuel, b. 6th March, 1709.
ii. Jerahameal, b. 10th October, 1711.
iii. James, b. 14th July, 1713.
iv. Leonard, b. 1714,


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 (John,2 Isaac,2 Isaac1) married, Jan. 5, 1720-1, Hannah, daughter of Isaac and Abigail (Kimball) Esty.

Our sister, Hannah Cummings, wife of Isaac, of Sutton, Mass., died about a month after they moved there of lung fever.

Diary of the Rev. Mr. Morse, of Canton. She died June 23, 1743. He may have married second, Mar. 13, 1743-4, in Sutton, Susanna Holden, and had Susanna, born Apr. 14, 1746. We read of an Isaac of Douglas as buying lands in that town, April 23, 1752. Isaac was the first selectman in Douglas. The children mentioned below were recorded in Stoughton, Mass.

i. Hannah, born Oct. 26, 1721, married Mar. 23, 1743-4, Phineas Rice, (Dorchester record). On June 9, 1773, Daniel Cummings and Phineas Rice were among families petitioning to be erected into a new precinct.
ii. Isaac, born Feb. 12, 1723, died Dec. 19, 1745.
iii. Mary, born Sept. 30, 1726.
iv. Mehitabel, born Aug. 8, 1730.
v. Rebecca, born Aug. 7, 1735.
vi. Ebenezer, born June 17, 1738.
vii. Sarah, born July 17, 1740.
viii. Noah, born Sept. 14, 1742.


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

Jacob Cummings (Thomas,3 Isaac,2 Isaac1) married, 1745, Mary. She died in Boxford, Mass., Dec.2, 178-. He died there Mar. 26, 1803. He was selectman ten times between 1751 and 1771 inclusive. He was a private in Capt. Jacob Gould's company, which marched to Lexington on the alarm of Apr. 19, 1775.

i. Mehitabel, born Sept. 21, 1746, died Dec. 5, 1752.
ii. Dudley, born Feb. 18, 1748, died June 25, 1815. He was not regarded as of sound mind. He, as well as his brother Thomas, who was similarly unsound, lived many years with Mr. John Sawyer. Dudley hung himself being in Willis Woods, E. Boxford, at a locality known as "the college." He went there

to gather herbs, carrying with him a line with which to tie his bundle. Taking the line, he stretched it from one tree to another, several feet from the ground, near a large ledge, whose perpendicular side rose up in close proximity to the trees. Letting his feet lie on the top of the ledge, he placed his neck on the line, and there lay till he died.

Perley's History of Boxford, Page 401.
iii. Jacob, born Apr. 17, 1750, died Apr. 10, 1757.
iv. Polly, born Apr. 15, 1752. She was received into covenant in First Church, Boxford, and baptized Oct. 1778. Published for marriage, Mar. 29, 1785, to Thomas Andrews.
v. William [Cummings], born Sept. 19, 1755. He was in the same company with his father in the summons to Lexington, 1775. He was also in the Northern army, near Ticonderoga, in the fall of 1776, and died Nov. 10, 1776.
vi. Jacob, born Jan. 10, 1762, died Apr. 13, 1769.
vii. Thomas, born Oct. 12, 1765, see above, died May 29, 1834.


Mister ( Mr.) was derived from master and Mrs. and Miss were derived from mistress. They indicated people of superior social status in colonial America.



Samuel Cummings, third son and child of Cornet David (4) and Anna Cummings, was born in Topsfield, Massachusetts, February 28, 1731-2, and died in the same town March 29, 1796.

He purchased land at Andover, February 27, 1777, of Abiel Abbot, and later added considerably to his extensive holdings in that town. [Lieutenant in Joseph Gould's Company]

He married, April 25, 1756, Eunice Bradstreet, born in Topsfield, April 15, 1733, died there July 20. 1810, daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Clark) Bradstreet, and great-granddaughter of Governor Simon Bradstreet [and Anne Dudley Bradstreet], and they had children:
1. Sarah, born March 27, 1759: married Francis Peabody, of Middleton.
2. David,
3. Mehitable, born August 3, 1767; married Thomas Emerson, Jr.
4. Samuel, born September 10, 1774.

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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