An American Family History

The Cummings Family

  also spelled Comings  

Isaac Cummings

Anne Cummings (1629, married John Pease),
John Cummings (1630, married Sarah Howlett),
Isaac Cummings (1633, married Mary Andrews),
Elizabeth Cummings

They immigrated to America and were in Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts by 1638.

Isaac died in 1677.


John Cummings was born about 1630. He was the son of Isaac Cummings

He married Sarah Howlett.

John Cummings (1657),
Thomas Cummings (1658, married Priscilla Warner),
Nathaniel Cummings (1659, married Abigail Parkhurst),
Sarah Cummings (1661, married Samuel French),
Abraham Cummings (1707, married Sarah Wright),
Isaac Cummings,
Ebenezer Cummings,
William Cummings (1671, died as an infant)
Eleazer Cummings (1671)
Benjamin Cummings (1673), and
Samuel Cummings (1677).

In 1666, John was made a corporal in the Topsfield militia.

Isaac and Ebenezer died on November 2, 1688.

Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

In 1688, during the Glorious Revolution, the Protestant king and queen,William and Mary, took the English throne from Catholic King James II. The bloodless revolution profoundly impacted the American colonies.


John Cummings was born about 1657  in Boxford, Massachusetts. He was the son of John Cummings and Sarah Howlett.

He married Elizabeth Kinsley.

John Cummings (1682),
Samuel Cummings (1684),
Elizabeth Cummings (1687, married Joseph French),
Hannah Cummings (1690),
Ebenezer Cummings (1695),
Ann, Cummings (1698)
Lydia Cummings (1701, died as an infant),
William Cummings (1702)

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),
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.


John Cummings was born on June 7, 1666.

He married Susannah Towne on January 23, 1688/89.

Joseph Cummings (1689/90, married Abigail Estey),
John Cummings (1692)
Isaac Cummings (1695, married Hannah Estey),
David Cummings (1698, married Sarah Goodhue and Anna),
Mary Cummings (1700),
Susannah Cummings (1701/2),
Stebbins Cummings (1706),
Samuel Cummings (1708/09, married Susannah Hood),
Rebecca Cummings (1713).

In 1740 David and John were among group of men who were deeded a half acre of land in Topsfield to be used as a cemetery.


Abraham Cummings was the son of John Cummings (1630) and Sarah Howlett.

He married Sarah Wright on February 28, 1686-7. The marriage was performed by by the Reverend Jabez Fox. She born on February 25, 1669-70 and was daughter of Deacon Joseph Wright and Elizabeth Hassell.

Abraham Cummings (1690)
Joseph Cummings (1692, married Sarah Estey and Priscilla Lamson),
Sarah Cummings (1693-4),
Jacob Cummings (1695),
Josiah Cummings (1698), and
Eleazer Cummings (1704).

cummings House
The Cummings Home

Captain Joseph Cummings was born about 1692in 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

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.


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

Abraham Cummings (John2, Isaac1) [1663] married Feb. 28, 1686-7, Sarah Wright, of Woburn. The marriage was by Rev. Jabez Fox. She was daughter of Dea. Joseph and Elizabeth (Hassell) Wright and born Feb. 25, 1669-70. His children's births are recorded in Woburn, with the exception of Josiah's, which is recorded in Dunstable. He was a contributor to the wood-rate there in 1699, when there were but twenty heads of families to contribute.

Abraham, born Oct. 7, 1690 .
Joseph, born Sept. 1, 1692. [married Sarah Estey]
Sarah, born Feb. 10, 1693-4.
Jacob, born Jan. 3, 1695.
Josiah, born July 12, 1698.
Eleazer, born Apr. 9, 1704.


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

John Cummings, of Boxford, Massachusetts; b. 1630; d. 1st December, 1700; m. Sarah Howlett, d. 7th December, 1700, dau. of Ensign Thomas and Alice (french) Howlett. 

i. John, b. 1657
ii. Thomas, b. 6th October, 1658, at Boxford; d. 23d October, 1722; m. 19th December, 1688, Priscilla Warner. 
iii. Nathaniel, b. 10th September, 1659, m. 14th April, 1697, Abigail Parkhurst.
iv. Sarah, b. 27th January, 1661; m. 28th December, 1682, Lieuteant Samuel French, b. 1645.
v. Abraham, d. circa 1706-1707; m. 28th February, 1687, Sarah Wright. 
vi. Isaac, killed by Indians, 2d November, 1688.
vii. Ebenezer, killed by Indians, 2d November, 1688.
viii. William (twin), b. 1671, d. 3d March, 1672.
ix. Eleazer (twin) b. 1671.
x. Benjamin, b. 1673.
xi. Samuel, b. 1677.

European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.

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

John Cummings, of Chelmsford, Massachusetts; b. in Boxford, Massachusetts, 1657; m. 13th September, 1680, Elizabeth Kinsley, b. 22A. November, 1657. d. 3d July, 1706, dau. of Samuel and Hannah (Brockett) Kinsley. 

i. John, b. 7th July, 1682.
ii. Samuel, b. 6th October, 1684,
iii. Elizabeth, b. 5th January, 1687; m. 10th November, 1687, Joseph French. 
iv. Hannah, b. 20th May, 1690.
v. Ebenezer, b. 17th September, 1695, at Woburn; d. 5th September, 1724.
vi. Ann, b. 14th September, 1698.
vii. Lydia, b. 24th March, 1701; d. April, 1701.
viii. William, b. 24th April, 1702.


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.



from Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont edited by Hiram Carleton

John Cummings (3), son of Isaac Cummings, Jr., was born in Topsfield, Massachusetts, and married Miss Susannah Towne, daughter of Joseph Towne. His death occurred between-May 8 and July 16, 1722.


from Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs, Volume 2 edited by William Richard Cutter

Cornet David Cummings, fourth son and child of John (3) and Susanna (Town) Cummings, was born in Ipswich. Massachusetts, April 15, 1698, and died at Topsfield, same state, April 2, 1765. David Cummings and his brother John gave the land for the burying ground on the South Side. He also owned land in Middleton, Massachusetts.

He married (first) Anna . . born 1710. died February 9, 1741, by whom he had children:
1. David, born March 26, 1729.
2. Jonathan, born March 14, 1730-1; died April 6. 1731.
3. Samuel, see forward.
4. Anna, born October 20, 1734; married, April 11, 1754, Moses Perkins.
5. Susanna, born May 8, 1737; married, December 8, 1763, Edmund Town.
6. Elizabeth, born September 17, 1739. died February 13, 1741.

He married (second), published October 30, 1741, Sarah Goodhue, daughter of John and Sarah (Sherwin) Goodhue, and they had children:
1. Jonathan, born October 14, 1743.
2. Stephen, born January 27, 1744-5.
3. Elizabeth, born January 19, 1746-7. died February 13, 1746-7.
4. Daniel, born August 30, 1749.
5. Archelaus, born January 1, 1652. Sarah (Goodhue) Cummings married (second), May 25, 1769, Deacon George Bixby, and died June 30, 1776, aged sixty-four years.


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,rd.
3. Mehitable, born August 3, 1767; married Thomas Emerson, Jr.
4. Samuel, born September 10, 1774.

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 2019
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.