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by Norma Jennings and William McAtlin

Last updated: March 8, 2003

    The earliest documented history we have of  our branch of the Cummings family is of John H. Cummings and Mary Hubbard which was first located in the Washington County, Iowa history books. Marriages and residences have been documented  in our own research as noted below. Mary Cummings was the head of the household in Harrison Co., Ohio in 1830 so it is assumed that John H. died prior to that time. A tentative date has been set at 1824 but the actual estate records have not been located. The youngest child was between 10-15 yrs. of age.  Elizabeth/Eleanor? was born in 1821.

1830 Mary Cummings - 0001300  00111001

   This matches our known records of four sons John H. b. ca. 1805, Amos b. ca. 1808, Abel b. ca. 1813, and Ebenezer b. 1810. All married after 1830.  The daughters are less easy to verify but we have a Sarah, Mary Jane, and Elizabeth tentatively identified.

Please note there are errors in this bio as his marriage date is stated to be 1821 when he was only 11 yrs. old. (Note: actually 20 August 1833 in Jefferson Co., Ohio) Correct date in manuscript and family history below bio.
Biography of Ebenezer Cummings  -  Portrait & Biographical Album of Washington County, Iowa

EBENEZER B. CUMMINGS was born in Bridgeport, N.H., in 1810. He is the son of John H. and Mary (Hubbard) Cumings. They were married in that State, and were probably born there, but full information could not be obtained. They left that rocky State and located in Steubenville, Harrison Co., Ohio, six weeks after the birth of our subject. John H. Cumings was a blacksmith by trade, and at once opened a forge in Steubenville. One of his first achievements was the manufacture of a rag wheel for a paper mill of that place, which was operated for many years and is, perhaps, yet running. Five children were born to them in New Hampshire—Luther, John H. Sarah, Amos and Ebenezer. The eldest son learned the trade and worked with his father for several years. The father died when fifty-five years of age.

  Our subject, Ebenezer Cumings, was married to Elizabeth Kendrick, in 1821,  who bore two children: Calvin, deceased, and Mary Alepha, now the wife of Miles Beck, of Henry County, Iowa. Mr. Cumings learned the trade of boat-building, and and for a number of years built flatboats which were loaded with flour at Steubenville, and were then floated down to New Orleans. In 1823 he removed to Tuscarawas County, Ohio, where he farmed and also burned several kilns of brick. The next year the death of Mrs. Cumings occurred, after which he removed to St. Clair County, Ill., where he also burned brick and erected some town property.

  While a resident of Centerville Mr. Cummings returned to Ohio and was wedded to Miss Matilda Young, of Canal Dover. The young bride was taken back to Illinois, and for seven years they resided in Centerville, where Mr. Cummings was engaged in the occupation above mentioned, and in addition he built two residences and improved the town property which he owned. His money was carefuly saved, but only a living was made during the first years of their wedded life. While living in Centerville, Emily, Nancy and John were born. They accompanied their parents to the western country in 1847, where Mr. Cumings entered the northeast one-quarter of section 31, upon which he still resides. The family found quarters in an old log house that had been long unoccupied, and had only part of a clapboard roof, while the prairies swarmed with rattlesnakes. Mr. Cumings wanted to go back to Illinois, but his wife liked the broad prairies too much to leave.

  After spending two years, hoping that his wife would agree to go back to Illinois, our subject concluded

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to stay, although he felt as if it was a hopeless task to undertake to farm so remote from navigation, and with no stock to eat his grain even if he raised any. The first land he owned was not entered by himself, but was purchased from Thomas Parish, who made him a deed to forty acres for $80, upon which he built his log cabin, and split rails to fence a part of the land. Mr. Culmngs brought but little cash when he came. After paying for his 40-acre tract, purchasing a cow, and one sow and seven pigs, he bethought him that a few bushels of wheat would not be amiss, and so expended his remaining cash for ten bushels. This left him with one dollar. The winter was coming on and the team had to be cared for. He could purchase two stacks of oats from a neighbor if he had the money, but this was as scarce as good clothes with our subject. Learning that the Saunder Bros., of Mt. Pleasant, had money, Mr. Cumings decided to borrow some if possible. Although a stranger, he boldly walked in and asked if he could borrow $10 to buy oats for his team during the winter. Upon learning that he was an actual settler, the money was handed him and the oats purchased. These men have since done a business amounting to thousands of dollars between them, and their friendship has never diminished. The old log house that yet stands was built that year. Rails were drawn and a field fenced, which produced a splendid crop, and before he was aware of it Mr. Cummings had grain to sell. The log cabin was gladdened by the birth of a son, Sylvester, and as the children grew and his flocks increased, the happiness and prosperity of the family became proverbial.

  The mother of our subject made her home with him during the latter years of her life, and her death occurred when eighty-five years of age, in the old log cabin already mentioned. All the land was broken by Mr. Cumings with oxen, and the products of one wheat crop which gave him such a start that from that day everything has gone easy with him. A grand frame house was erected, and the stately trees have all been grown since 1849. He has increased his 40-acre tract by hundreds of acres, and has given his son Calvin a handsome farm adjoining his own, and yet retains for himself 240 acres of choice land. As they have grown in years so have Mr. and Mrs. Cumings grown in popularity and in wealth. Thirteen grandchildren do them honor, and among the pioneers of Washington County none are more highly esteemed. Calvin wedded Nancy Coppack; Emily is the wife of Harvey Millhone; David wedded Nancy McKee; Enos is the husband of Jessie Noble. The remaining children are unmarried and reside upon the old home farm, happy in the love of a devoted mother and an indulgent father, who is yet a hale and heart man at seventy-seven years.

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Biography of Andrew Cummings -unrelated to this family
 Cemetery - Rumble
New Hampshire
 Tuscawaras Co., Ohio
 St. Clair Co., Ill.
Washington Co., Iowa
John H. Cummings Descendants - PDF file

On the 3 June 1841 in St. Clair Co., Illinois, George Jarrard married Mary Jane Cummings, b. 1805-1810, the daughter of John H. and Mary (Hubbard) Cummings. Mary's sister-in-law,  Susanna H. McDowell Cummings died 6 April 1862, followed by the death of Mary's brother Abiel L.  ten months later.  leaving some orphaned minor children.  George and Mary Jane (Cummings) Jarrard moved from St. Clair County, Illinois to Washington County, Iowa to care for her young nieces, Susan and Sarah Isabell.  Sarah  was at times called Isabel.  Louisa Jarrard was a young lady at the time and prob. assumed most of the care of these little girls as she took them with her when she married James McAtlin who also had small children.  Susan was six years old and Sarah was three when their father died.

John H. Cummings and Mary Hubbard were married in New Hampshire and moved to Steubenville, Harrison Co., Ohio in 1810. John H. Cummings, Sr. was a blacksmith and opened a forge in Steubenville. He manufactured a rag wheel for a paper mill which operated for many years. A biography of Mary's brother Ebenezer in the Washington County history states that Ebenezer was born at Bridgeport, New Hampshire and when he was only six weeks old, the family moved to Ohio.

Part of the family came to Iowa before 1860. Listed in the 1860 census are:

 28  439  420 Cummings       Abiel          47    M    .    Farmer         .         200       Mass              .     .     .    .    .
29 439 420 Cummings Susanah 42 F . . . . Ohio . . . . .
30 439 420 Cummings Martha J. 19 F . . . . Ills . X . . .
31 439 420 Cummings Joseph 15 M . . . . Iowa . X . . .
32 439 420 Cummings Abial L. 14 M . . . . " . X . . .
33 439 420 Cummings Uriah 11 M . . . . " . X . . .
34 439 420 Cummings Wm. T. 8 M . . . . " . . . . .
35 439 420 Cummings Susan 4 F . . . . " . . . . .
36 439 420 Cummings Isabell 1 F . . . .

In 1874, Ebenezer Cummings was the father of Alepha Cummings Peck in whose home George Jarrard died a few years later according to my grandmother Mary Belle (Jarrard) Snider. The exact date of George's death and that of his wife Mary are not known because their deaths were never recorded in the records of the state of Iowa. Even though the law required that all deaths be recorded, the Department of Vital Statistics in Des Moines advised me that this law was frequently ignored in those early days.

The Ohio records contradict the Washington County history book which says that Ebenezer was married in 1821 to Elizabeth Kendrick who was the mother of Calvin and Mary Alepha Cummings. This history book is incorrect as he would have been only eleven years old in 1821, and the census records document his birth as 1810. Marriage records in Jefferson County, Ohio record his marriage to Felitha E. Kendrick on 20 August 1833. Ebenezer and Elizabeth lived in Tuscawaras Co., Ohio in 1833, not 1823 as recorded in the history book where they farmed and burned several kilns of brick.

Ebenezer moved to St. Clair Co., Illinois after her death where he also burned brick and erected some town property. County histories provide clues to locating ancestors, but they have repeatedly proved unreliable in relating accurate family history as they are constructed from family traditions and memories that have distorted the facts in the passage of time. The Cummings name is spelled with one `m' in Washington County, Iowa history books and even on some tombstones; however, it is spelled with two `mm's in the St. Clair Co., marriage record of Mary Cummings and both ways in the Steubenville records in Ohio.

Mary (Cummings) Jarrard's father John H. died when he was only fifty five years old in 1823-1824 in Tuscawaras Co. There is an index that indicates there is a probate record for John H. Cummings, but efforts to obtain a copy have been unsuccessful.

Luther, Abel, and Charles Cummings came to St. Clair Co., Illinois prior to 1840 and are listed in the 1840 census. Since Ebenezer is not listed in the census records at this time, one may assume he and his two small children were residing with one of his brothers, Luther or Abel, and a sister-in-law was caring for his children. Charles has not been identified as a brother to these boys and is believed to be either an uncle or cousin as Charles Cummings died in the 1840's and although listed in the St. Clair Co. courthouse indexes, the actual records cannot now be located. Ebenezer returned briefly to Tuscawaras Co., Ohio where he was married the second time to Matilda Young, of Canal Dover, Ohio on 28 November 1841. He and his family lived in Centerville for several years before coming on to Iowa. From the Washington County history book, we also learn that Ebenezer's mother, Mary Hubbard Cummings lived with Ebenezer's family until her death at the age of 85 years of age. In the 1860 census records, she is listed in Ebenezer's household as 83 years old; thus, she died around 1862. This would place her birth date ca. 1777. Mary Jane (Cummings) Jarrard was the descendant of some of the earliest New England settlers that arrived in this country. There is evidence that the family lived in Hillsborough Co., New Hampshire before coming to Ohio in the census records. Our State Historical Society of Iowa does not have much information on New Hampshire to pursue this to any great length.

The known siblings of Mary (Cummings) Jarrard were Luther, b. 1804, John H., b. 1806, Amos, b. 1808, Sarah, Ebenezer, b. 1810, Eleanor Elizabeth, b. 1821, and William Cummings. Elizabeth married Joseph Young 29 March 1838 in Tuscawaras Co., Ohio and lived neighbors to Amos, Abel, and John H. in Washington Co., Iowa. No further information is available on Sarah.

Benjamin Cummings of Steubenville had children named Mary, Louisa, and Alfred and they have all been identified as such in their burial records. Benjamin appears to have come to Steubenville about the same time as John H and has children older than John's. Positive identification of either Benjamin or Samuel as John's father has not been located. The death notice of another Sarah Cummings gives her parents as Samuel and Sarah. She was b. 1787 in Washington Co., Pa. and died in Steubenville in 1880 in her 93rd year. A Joseph Cummings was about the age of John H.'s children, but he has not been identified as one of them. The 1820 census showed John as having the following in his household: 1 male under 10; 3 males 10-16; 1 male 16-18; 1 male 18-26; 1 male 45 and up; 2 females under 10; 1 female 10-16; 1 female 26-45.

Since Elizabeth was only 29 years old in 1850, she would have been born after the 1820 census so there is another sister that we have not identified. Possibly Nancy or Catharine according to marriage records. Sarah born in New Hampshire would have been the female over ten years old.

We have what was an unidentified photo that simply said "Cummings" on it and that the older lady  in the photo was a "Long"?????  However, recently we discovered that John Jarrot (Jarrard) married Melissa Long 1/10/1834.  George Jarrard that married Mary Cummings had a brother John Jarrard that was divorced.  Did he remarry? Interestingly, George and Mary's marriage is listed as Jarrot in St. Clair Co., Illinois

From the 1880 census, it appears that this photo is the family of William Cummings b. 1833 in Ohio, wife Sarah (Long ?). In 1880, the children are: Maggie 22, b. Ill.; Elizabeth, 20 b. Ill; Mary I. 18, b. Ill; Rosella 16 b. Ill.; Anna B. 13, b. Ill.; James H., 10 b. Ill.; George M. 7, b. Ia.  There is no other Cummings family in the area that had  5 girls and 2 boys.

Cummings Family Photo