ORIGINS OF THE NAME OF CUMMINGS
From the book Cummings Genealogy, Isaac Cummings 1601-1677 of Ipswich 1638 and Some of his Descendants, compiled and published by Albert Oren Cummins, Montpelier, Vermont, 1904.
Isaac Comings, according to tradition, was of Scottish ancestry, claiming descent from the "Red Cumin", of Badenoch, in the southeastern district of Inverness-shire, a wild mountainous country, presenting wide stretches of bleak moorland. Here the clan flourished from 1080 to 1330, and then began to decline. Some deduce their origin from Normandy and others from
According to the Chronicle of Melrose, the first of the name who figured prominently, was slain with Malcom III at Alnwick in 1093, leaving two sons, John and William. From John, all the Cumins in Scotland are said to be descended. Sir John, the Red Cumin or Comyn, was the first Lord of Badenoch, and in 1240 was an ambassador from Alexander II to Louis IX, of France.
His son John, called the Black Lord of Badenoch, was inferior to no subject in Scotland for wealth and power, and was one of those who vowed to support Queen Margaret, daughter of Alexander III in her title to the crown. At her death he became a competitor for the crown of Scotland, "as the son and heir of John, who was son and heir of Donald, King of Scotland". The son of the Lord, called, in turn, the Red Cumin, as the last Lord of Badenoch of the surname of Cumin.
In 1335 a number of the Cumin clan was slain in the feudal battle of Culbleau, in Glenwick, where a stone now marks the spot.
The badge of the clan, in Gaelic, was "Lus Mhic Cuiminn", in English, The Cummin Plant.
Another TRADITION runs: Comines - Comynges - Comyns - Comings - Cumyn -Cumings - Cummings; "a family which rose to great power and eminence in Scotland and England. The name was taken from the town of Comines near Lille, on the frontier between France and Belguim.
In 1445 one branch of the family gave birth, in the old chateau, to the historian, Phillipe di Comines. Another branch followed William of Normandy to the conquest of England.
In the year 1069, Robert of Comines, or Comyn, with 700 horse from William the Conqueror, seized Durham and held it 48 hours, but the people rose up against him and he perished in the flames at the burning of the Bishop's Palace.
His nephew, William, became Chancellor of Scotland in 1133. The Chancellor's nephew, Richard, inherited the English possessions of the family and married the Countess of Athol, grand-daughter of Donald Bane, King of Scots, and his son, William, in 1210, became Earl of Buchan by marrying the Celtic heiress of North Eardom.
By this marriage he became the father of Elexander, Earl of Buchan, who married the daughter of Roger-de quenci, Earl of Winchester.
By other marriages the family obtained the Earldom of Angus and Athol, so that by the middle of the 13th century there were in Scotland on Lord, four Earls, and thirty-two belted Knights by the name of Comyns.
Within 70 years this great house was entirely overthrown, there were none left of them, save those who took refuge in the "Monks of Deer", a monastery founded in 1219 by William Cumyns, Earl of Buchan.
John Cumyns, son of the Earl of Badenoch, who was in 1291 an unsuccessful competitor for the crown, was a descendant of Donald Bane, king of the old Celtic dynasty. John Cumyns, Earl of Buchan, was defeated by Bruce in a pitched battle in 1306.
Such of the Cumyns as escaped the sword found refuge with their wives and children in England, where, although they were so poor as to be dependent upon the bounty of the English Court, they married into the best families, so that their blood circulated through the nobles in other kingdoms and descendants of Henry IV.
The Earl of Shrewsbury was the representative of the Lord of Badenoch, who was at the head of the race."
Another TRADITION from an educated American who spent much time in Rome, "The Cummings family is a very old family; as far as can be gathered, the family lived in Lombardy, northern Italy during, and prior to the fourth century, it then came over the Alps, and settled in Provence, and then went to the Gironde country in the southern part of France, and thence to the north of France, on the borders of Belgium, where was founded the town of Commines, where lived Phillip of Commines, whom Hallan called the father of Ancient History, thence they went to Scotland and England and Ireland.
An educated native of Rome insists that the original family of Commines was a family once well known in Lombardy, that he had traced them to France, and it is a fact established by ancient history that they were a strong family during the great’ Hearth' war, which lasted for many years, and that Earl do Cumminges was perhaps the principal factor in bringing on and continuing the war. History tells us they went to England about the time of the invasion by William the Conqueror," etc.
Although these traditions are given as such, it will be noticed that they carry many indications of having been compiled by fertile brains from the many historical books extant.
I too well recollect of my grandfather, who was born in 1768, caressing me, in my childhood and calling me "a little Scotchman," and a large majority of the traditions, and circumstantial evidence, strongly indicate that we are of Scotch descent. From what I have learned in the six years of my researches of the Cummings records, I have formed the opinion that Isaac came to America from England, but that he was of Scotch origin, though all my efforts to make a connection with his ancestors have been futile.
In the second tradition given is a mention of the historian "Phillipe de Comins", and there was published in Paris in 1552 a French work on a man of that name, at the close, or end, of which are many genealogical Comines trees, and I have made considerable effort to obtain a coy of the book, but it being out of print, have not been able to secure one. Also, some 150 or more years ago there was published in England a Commins genealogy, but that is also out of print.
From the book Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire, by Ezra S. Stearns, assisted by William F. Whitcher and Edward E. Parker, published by the Lewis Publishing Company of New York & Chicago in 1908.
"The origin of the Cummings family is uncertain; the name was taken from the town of Comines, near Lille, on the frontier between France and Belgium. Various traditions account for earlier origin of the family, but all of them are entitled to no more credit than mere traditions. The name has been variously spelled Comines, Comynges, Comyns, Comings, Comyn, Cumings and Cummings. Tradition states that the emigrant ancestor of this family descended from "Red Cumin" of Badenoch in the southeastern district of Iverness-shire, a wild mountainous country presenting wide stretches of bleak moorland. Here the clan flourished from 1080 to 1330, and then began to decline. According to the Chronicle of Melrose, the first of the name who immigrated permanently, was slain with Malcom III, at Alnwick, in 1093, leaving two sons, John and William. From John, all the Cumins in Scotland are said to be descended. Sir John, the Red Cumin of Comyn, was the first Lord of Badenoch, and in 1240 was an ambassador from Alexander II to Louis IX of France. His son John, called the Black Lord of Badenoch, was not inferior to any subject in Scotland for wealth and power, and was one of those who vowed to support Queen Margaret, daughter of Alexander III in her title to the crown. At her death he became a competitor for the crown of Scotland. "As a son and heir of John who was son and heir of Donald, King of Scotland." The son of this Lord, called, in turn, the Red Cumin, was the last Lord of Badenoch of the surname of Cumin.
In 1335 a number of the Cumin clan were slain in the feudal battle of Calbleau, in Glenwick, where a stone now marks the spot. The badge of the clan, in Gaelic, was "Lus Nhic Cuiminn," in English, the Cummin plant.
Various spellings of Isaac Cumming's name in the records include: CUMMINGS, COMINGS, CUMMENS, CUMMINS or with a single 'm', with, or without the 's', and COMYNS. Both of the above books talk about the spelling of the name having taken on various forms over time. The Mooar book mentions that SOME OF THE FAMILIES HAVE RETAINED THE SPELLING OF COMINGS, as if this is the original spelling in this country.
For record keeping purposes, I have used the spelling of CUMMINGS, since it seems to correspond with published works, and most of the descendants have used this spelling. There are several exceptions that I have made for the spelling - These are the same lines that have different spellings in the Mooar book or some other book:
1. The first is for Samuel COMINGS (Samuel, John III, John II, John I, Isaac) and his descendants. The Mooar book uses this spelling for his descendants. The History of Cornish New Hampshire refers to him with the spelling of COMINGS, and his children are also listed with this spelling. It seems to be at this point that this spelling was adapted by most of his descendants. Since this is our own family line, I want to try to determine at which point in time this spelling became the accepted spelling. -- NOTE that per the History of Cornish, NH, Daniel Morris Comings, his grandson the son of Warren, changed the spelling of his name to CUMMINGS.
2. The second is for Daniel CUMMINS (Jacob, Joseph, John, Isaac, Isaac) and his descendants. The Mooar book uses this spelling for his descendants. -- It should be noted that this is the line of A. O. CUMMINS, who arbitrarily used the 'Cummings' spelling in his own book, even for his own line! NOTE that A.O. Cummins used the 'Cummings' spelling so consistently throughout that even when a daughter would give a first or middle name of 'Comings' or 'Cummins' to a child, A.O. Cummins would print this first or middle name as 'Cummings', while Mooar would use the actual spelling!
3. The third is for Free COMINGS (Jacob, Joseph, John, Isaac, Isaac) and his descendants. The Mooar book also uses this spelling for all of his descendants.
4. The fourth is for David COMINGS (David, Ephraim, Thomas, John, Isaac) and his descendants. According the History of Cornish, NH, this line also spelled their name 'Comings'.