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Isaac's Parents

By David Butler Cummings


Isaac Cummings was baptized 5 April 1601 at Easthorpe, Essex, England, the son of John and Amy (Green) Cummings. This is a major conclusion of the research detailed below.

In June I posted a retraction of false information on the Cummings family in Copford, Essex, England that had been supplied by an English genealogist. At that time I stated that Mrs. Jane Bedford, of the Colchester Branch of the Essex County Records Office, had found the correct baptismal records for Isaac and his siblings. These were in the parish of Easthorpe, Essex, which is contiguous to Copford on the southwest. My wife and I agreed with her transcription of the original record under ultra violet light. Those records have also been transcribed by Peter C. Nutt, of Wickford, Essex, England, Genealogist and Record Researcher, who has worked with Abbott Lowell Cummings. The results fit well with other research done by Abbott Lowell Cummings and Peter C. Nutt, and John Plummer. The material in this posting was presented at the Isaac Cummings Family Association reunion on August 14 in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Easthorpe Parish Register, Original in Essex Record Office, Colchester, D/P386/1/1 Salt Lake Family History Library Microfilm 0853320

Baptisms
Ao 1595 Junii 17 John Commin soon of John Commin & his wife bapt
Ao 1597 Maii 8 Ursely Commin daught[er] of Goodman Commin bapt
1599 November 11 Abraham Commin the sonne of Jhon Comin & his wyf baptised
Anno 1601 Apr 5 Izahk Comin the sonne of Jhon Commin baptised anno ut sup___
[remainder of word unclear; probably either supradicto or suprascripto meaning "the year as above said or above written"]

Copford Parish Register, Original in Essex Record Office, Colchester, D/P186/1/1 Salt Lake Family History Library Microfilm 1472221

Baptisms
1605 Mary Comming the daughter of John Comming was babtized the x day of November
1608 John Commin sonn of John Commin babtized the xxv of March
An Dm 1619[Blank] the Daughter of John Comyns and of [Blank] his wife was baptised the 28th of Ffebruarie 1619[/1620]

Burials
1608[/1609] A maid servant of John Commins 10 January
1610 John Commyn buryed 3 children 1 Novemb.1.2.3

NOTE: Entries above and below this have the day after the month but prior entries have the day first. A mark like a 1 before Novemb may be the day. The meaning of .1.2.3 is not clear. Suggestions are 1) triplets, 2) the first three of their children, or 3) they are buried on top of each other. We do not know which children were buried. There are gaps in the birth sequence in which 3 or 4 children could have been born.

1612 The wife of John Comens Noveb 3 (This is presumably Amy).

Marriages
There is no specific date, but the following entry appears between 1 Sep 1590 and 26 Feb 1593/1594. In the IGI it is given as 1591.

Matrimony was solemnised the [Blank] Daie of [Blank] Between [Blank] Commins and Amy Greene Daughter of John Grene of much-birch. [also known as Great Birch]

Considering: 1) the proximity of Copford and Easthorpe, 2) no other marriage for John has been found, 3) the children of John began after this marriage, and 4) John owned land in Copford (see below), this is probably the marriage of John Commin, the father of children in both parishes.

Land Survey
The following document was also found by Jane Bedford showing John was a landowner in Copford in the third year of the reign of King James I [1606] which is consistent with his marriage and children born there.

Uncatalogued survey of the manor of Copford 13 January 3 James I [1606], Essex Records Office accession C891 [will be catalogued as part of D/DV 161/ ]

John Cumyne claims to hold by virtue of the surrender by Robert Noothe and Marger[y] his wifeand Thurston Noothe, one tenement and one virgate of heriotable [land] containing XXX ta [?30] acres called from ancient times Goreland alias Hedghouse and now Fullers and one croft containing five [?] acres of land called Hedgland, parcel of Hedgeland tenement.

The information above leads to the following family group:

John Commin, born about 1565, of Copford and Easthorpe.

His father might possibly be Johannes (John) Cowman, baptized 23 Jul 1561 at Bocking, Essex, found in the IGI and confirmed in the Bocking parish register, SLFHL Film 1471886, Extracted SLFHL Film 0472340. Bocking is about eleven miles from Copford whereas Mistley, where Isaac's first four children were born, is about thirteen miles from Copford.

Married 1590/1594 at Copford.

Amy Greene, born about 1569, daughter of John Greene of Much (Great)Birch. Died 3 Nov 1612 at Copford.

  1. John1 Commin, baptized 17 Jun 1595 at Easthorpe (Probably John of Tolleshunt D'Arcy, Essex)
  2. Ursely Commin, baptized 8 May 1597 at Easthorpe
  3. Abraham Commin, baptized 11 Nov 1599 at Easthorpe (Probably Abraham of Woolverstone, Suffolk)
  4. Izahk Com[m]in, baptized 5 Apr 1601 at Easthorpe
  5. Mary Comming, baptized 10 Nov 1605 at Copford
  6. John2 Commin, baptized 25 Mar 1608 at Copford
  7. (?) [Blank] Comyns, baptized 28 Feb 1619/1620 at Copford. (This could be a child that might have caused Amy's death in 1612 and was not baptized until later, or it could be the daughter of a another wife, or the daughter of a different John Comyns)

Isaac Cummings served as constable in Topsfield,Massachusetts, and as such gave depositions in 1666 and 1673 in which his age would yield a birth in 1600/1601. This fits precisely with the birth of Izahk above.

The following data come from an article by Abbott Lowell Cummings in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol 163, January 1999, especially pages 64 through 66. A court record in 1631 in Mistley recorded the theft of goats belonging to Isaac Cummyn and Abr. Cummyn, in a "cote" or pen. Their having livestock in the same pen would suggest a relationship between Isaac and Abraham. In addition, he quotes from the will of Abraham Comin, yeoman, then of Much Tey, Essex, dated 10 January 1656. In it he named his son John Comyns executor, and a brother, John Comyn of "Tolson Darcey" in Essex, as one of the "supervisors". From the dates of their first children below, the ages of John, Abraham, and Isaac would be in the order of the baptisms above. In addition, all three names were given to children of Abraham. John had only one son, John. Isaac named his sons Isaac and John. All three appear in the family of Isaac's son John. Although the proof is not positive, these three appear to be sons of John and Amy.

John Commin

Using the data of Abbott Lowell Cummings the family of John of Tolleshunt D'Arcy can be assembled as follows using the Easthorpe baptism for the first John and estimated dates for Rebecca and their marriage. The children were all baptized at Tolleshunt D'Arcy.

NOTE: Although it is not common, sometimes there were two or more living children of the same Christian name, especially when the name was John. Peter C. Nutt cited an example of a family with three Johns that were called "Young John," Middle John," and "Old John." Therefore, though more common, having two sons named John does not necessarily mean that the first John died and the name was used again. This is important because the second John would have been too young to have been John of Tolleshunt D'Arcy.

John1 Comyn, baptized 17 Jun 1595 at Easthorpe, about 7 miles from Tolleshunt D'Arcy. Married about 1624.
+Rebecca, born about 1600

  1. John, baptized 11 Nov 1625, all at Tolleshunt D'Arcy
  2. Rebecca, baptized 25 Sep 1627
  3. Elizabeth, baptized 29 Nov 1629, buried14 Jan 1639/1640
  4. Mary, baptized 16 Feb 1631/1632
  5. Susan, baptized 15 May 1634
  6. Sarah, baptized 5 Sep 1636
  7. Hannah, baptized 2 May 1641
  8. Martha, baptized 25 Aug 1644
  9. Elizabeth, baptized 28 Jun 1649, buried 27 Feb 1653/1654.

Abraham Commin
Similarly, the family of Abraham is as follows:

Abraham, baptized 11 Nov 1599 at Easthorpe
Married 31 Jan 1625/1626 at Woolverstone, Suffolk, north from Mistley across the River Stour Estuary.
Margaret Lord, born about 1603, of Woolverstone

  1. Margaret, baptized 19 Jul 1627 at Woolverstone, died after 1656
  2. Abraham, baptized 26 Sep 1629 at Woolverstone, buried 15 Jul 1647 in Great Tey, Essex
  3. Mary, baptized 29 Jul 1632 at Great Bentley, Essex, buried there 19 Mar 1633/1634
  4. Isaak, baptized 27 Dec 1634 at Great Bentley, buried there 5 Jan 1636/1637
  5. John, baptized 4 Jan 1635/1636 at Great Bentley, buried there 5 Mar 1635/1636
  6. Mathew, baptized 16 Jul 1637 at Great Bentley, buried there 23 Dec 1637
  7. Mary or Marie, baptized 2 Dec 1638 at Great Bentley, died after 1656
  8. Israel, baptized 12 Mar 1644/1645 at Great Tey, Essex, buried there 15 May 1647
  9. John, born 3 Oct 1646 at Great Tey, baptized there 11 Apr 1664  NOTE: Age at baptism was 17.

Isaac Commen
Baptized 5 April 1601 at Easthorpe.
Died before 22 May 1677.
Married about 1628.
+Anne, born about 1605, of Mistley<

  1. Isaac, baptized 20 May 1629 at Mistley, buried there 23 May 1629
  2. John, baptized 9 May 1630 at Mistley, died 1 Dec 1700 at Dunstable, Middlesex,Massachusetts
  3. Isaac, baptized 17 Mar 1632/1633 at Mistley, died before 19 Jun 1721 in Topsfield, Essex, Massachusetts
  4. Anne, baptized 22 Feb 1634/1635 at Mistley, died 29 Jul 1689 at Enfield, Hartford, Connecticut
  5. Elizabeth, born probably 1636/1637 at Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, died 9 Jul 1679 at Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts

The three most authoritative books on Isaac's family are:

  • ISAAC CUMMINGS, OF TOPSFIELD, MASS. AND SOME OF HIS DESCENDANTS, Miss Marietta Clark, Mrs. Abbie W.Towne, W. F. Cummings and George Francis Dow, published 1899 by the Topsfield Historical Society
  • CUMMINGS MEMORIAL, George W. Mooar, published 1903 New York, by B. F. Cummings
  • CUMMINGS GENEALOGY, Albert Oren Cummins, published 1904 Montpelier, Vermont.

All three books stated the name of Isaac Cummings' wife was not known. However, various family collections have given her name as Mary, Marie,Margaret or Elizabeth. Since no evidence for a second marriage has been published, let us hope that Anne will be accepted as Isaac's wife.

Summary
It appears that the baptismal date and place of Isaac Cummings have been found, together with five or six siblings. It appears that the families of John, Abraham, and Isaac have also been identified. A number of probable members of the family of Amy Greene have also been found in Easthorpe, and Birch, which abuts Easthorpe and Copford on the south.  Further research is planned on both the Cummings and Greene families which will be sponsored by the Isaac Cummings Family Association.


David Butler Cummings - 20 August 1999