Cummins Kinship and DNA Analysis John Cummins and Mary Jacob Cummins and Huldah Coolidge Mindwell Cummins and David Brown Huldah Brown and Benoni Morey Eli Morey and Sophronia Mason Elijah Mason Morey and Elizabeth Merrill William Clemeth Morey and Melvina E. Andrews Minnie Elsie Morey and Aretus Erastus Freeman Iva Melvina Freeman and Donald VanHoosier Lawson Stephen Martin Lawson
For over a century, there have been conjectures of a kinship between John COMINS of Woburn and Oxford, MA and Isaac CUMMINGS of Watertown and Ipswich, MA. Due to lack of documentary evidence, no kinship has been proven. Recent studies of the families, including suggestions of possible, unproven kinships include the following two articles from the New England Historical and Genealogical Record: "Isaac Cummings of Essex County, Massachusetts," by John Plummer (NEHGR 145 :239-240), and "John Comins (c.1668-1751) of Woburn and Oxford, Massachusetts, and Windham County, Connecticut - Exploring His Origins and Connections," by Abbott Lowell Cummings (NEHGR 153 :52-72). Readers are urged to consult the indicated articles for further details.
The research relating to a kinship between Isaac and John is reviewed in the First Generation chapter (pages 1-14) of Abbot Lowell Cummings' Descendants of John Comins (ca. 1688-1751) and his wife Mary of Woburn and Oxford, Massachusetts and Windham County, Connecticut (Boston: Newbury Street Press, 2001). The Isaac Cummings Family Association maintains a summary of the current research concerning the CUMMINS family in England, both for Isaac CUMMINGS of Topsfield, MA and John COMINS of Woburn, MA.
The conjectured kinship is no longer included here, following the publication in the "Genetics & Genealogy" column of New England Ancestors (NEHGS, Summer 2003, Vol. 4, No. 3) of David Butler Cummings' article, "Was 'Woburn John' Comins Kin of Isaac Cummings?" (pages 49-51, 53).
The article presents genetic analysis based on DNA samples from three decendants from three sons of John COMINS and from six descendants through two sons and four grandsons of Isaac CUMMINGS - fascinating! The analysis resulted in the conclusion: "The likelihood the 'Woburn John' was a grandnephew of Isaac in the male line... is exeedingly small, about three chances out of a million. Thus it can be said there is almost no likelihood of a male line connection between the descendants of Isaac Cummings and 'Woburn John' Comins." The author notes that these studies "in no way rule out the possibility of a relationship in female lines," and presents a number of possible explanations of how descendants of "Woburn John" bear the Cummings surname, but not the Cummings Y-DNA. Recommended reading.
The principal source of information on the Cummins family in America is Descendants of John Comins (ca.1668-1751) and his wife, Mary, of Woburn and Oxford, Massachusetts, and Windham County, Connecticut, by Abbott Lowell Cummings (2001, Newbury Street Press, Boston). Please refer to this well documented publication for up to nine generations of Comins/Cummins/Commings surnamed descendants of "Woburn John" CUMMINS. The author concludes that the subject is "of unknown parentage and the place and exact date of his birth have not been determined." He does, however, discuss a possible origin on pages 3-7 that is consistent with the hypothesis presented here, and concludes that such origin is possible but with no documentary evidence available.
Foundational research of the CUMMINS line from John CUMMINS through son Jacob to granddaughter Mindwell (CUMMINS) BROWN was published in 1892 at Oxford, MA in History of the Town of Oxford Massachusettes with Genealogies and Notes on Persons and Estates, by George F. Daniels, pages 446-448.
John CUMMINS - b. about 1668; d. Apr. 10, 1751. Parentage unknown. His death place may have been either Killingly, Windham Co., CT or Oxford, Worcester Co., MA, where his son John resided. The death date is from a bible published in 1712 and which has remained in the family for nearly 300 years, containing the following quotation as reported by Abbott Lowell Cummings in Descendants of John Comins (2001), page 1:
Charlton [Massachusetts] April the 18 day year 1762[,] Reuben Comins his Book[,] geven to him by his grandfather John Comins who departed this lif April the 10 d[a]y 1751 Age 83 years and gave this Book to Jacob Comins his Son his Life time and then orde[re]d it to be genen to Reuben Comins the son of Jacob Comins.
The earliest reference to "John Comins and mary his wife" is a Middlesex Court charge of Mar. 21, 1690/1 that they committed fornication prior to marriage. Additional court records of Jun. 16, Jul. 17 and Aug. 14, 1691 reveal some details of the penitence of John and Mary, John's earlier apprenticeship to Edmond ADROS, his participation in the campaign against Canada in late 1690, and the Court's reduction of the original £4 fine by 40 shillings. Resided at Woburn (or Cambridge Village), MA until 1709 when he bought 150 acres at Pomfret (then Mashamuchituck), CT. Purchased land at Thompson Parish and Chestnut Hill in 1717, and moved to Oxford, Worcester Co., MA in 1719 when he purchased the 'old mill'. Deeded land to sons Jacob and Stephen in 1723-1724. John CUMMINS was a member of the Church, and served as chairman of selectmen and as town clerk in 1721, 1723 and 1724 at Oxford, Worcester Co., MA. Returned to Killingly, CT in or shortly after 1726, following the death of his wife. Married about 1691, probably at Woburn, Middlesex Co., MA.
Mary - d. Oct. 24, 1724 or 1725, Oxford, Worcester Co., MA.
Jacob CUMMINS - b. Jul. 14, 1700, Woburn, Middlesex Co., MA; d. Apr.-May 1762, Worcester Co., MA. Son of John CUMMINS and Mary. His death date is not documented, but one report is that he died May 4, 1762 at Charlton, Worcester Co., MA. Abbott Lowell Cumings reports his death date as Apr. 18, 1762, with reference to the bible record quoted previously in the narrative for his father, but it may have been that the bible passed to his son Reuben by Jacob CUMMINS after writing his will and in anticipation of his impending death. Jacob CUMMINS served in the French war. He lived at the corner of Main and Sutton roads at Oxford, Worcester Co., MA, on a farm in 1730, and in the north part of town for a short period until he purchased a sawmill in 1736. Settled at Charlton, Worcester Co., MA before his death. His will dated Apr. 17, 1762 (George Daniels gives will date of Apr. 7, 1762 in History of Town of Oxford) and proved May 17, 1762 left his property at Charlton to sons Lemuel and Jacob. The estate was declared insolvent. Married first Jul. 27, 1723, possibly at Framingham, Middlesex Co., MA Martha LEARNED (b. May. 2, 1702; d. Sep. 17, 1732, Oxford, Worcester Co., MA), daughter of Isaac LEARNED and Sarah BIGELOW, and mother of Jacob. Married second May 24, 1733, Oxford, Worcester Co., MA Huldah COOLIDGE, mother of William and Mindwell. Married third Feb. 22, 1736/7 Elizabeth EDDY (d. Apr. 26, 1749, Oxford, Worcester Co., MA), mother of seven youngest children. Intentions to marry fourth Deborah HINKLEY of Willington, Tolland Co., CT were published Aug. 1750 at Oxford, Worcester Co., MA.
Huldah COOLIDGE - b. Jan. 10, 1704/5, Watertown, Middlesex Co., MA; d. Nov. 25, 1736, Oxford, Worcester Co., MA. Daughter of John COOLIDGE and Margaret BOND.