Cummings One Name Study

+9 votes

Nothing too fancy, but I figured it was about time I let people know it was there.

My primary motivation for starting the Cummings one name study was a brick wall in my own geneology - see William Cummings (abt. 1760 - abt. 1810) - and my current goal is to organize the diaspora (of sorts) by their common immigrant ancestor.

I haven't really figured out or found a way to really organize family trees who have not left United Kingdom countries yet so if you have any suggestions or tips feel free to comment! I also have not really dug into researching and doing a write up of the origins of the family name, but that is also something I would like to include eventually in this one name study. My current understanding is that the name came to what is now known as the United Kingdom with the Norman conquest.

Even if you don't want to participate long term, if you feel so inclined, let me know about anyone you find who should be part of this name study either by leaving their info here or by tagging them for the study.

Category: Cummings Name Study

:Shows up in general name study and I can sort it

Category: (state or country), Cummings Name Study

:I use this on the oldest person in any tree I am researching but have not found an immigrant ancestor for.

Category: Lineage Originators, Cummings Name Study

:I use this on the profiles of people who have moved from one country to another in their lifetime.

Category: (person's name) Lineage, Cummings Name Study

:I use this on the profiles of decendents of immigrants aka lineage originators.

Concrit of pretty much any kind is welcome.


WikiTree profile: Space:Cummings_Name_Study
in The Tree House by Elizabeth Cummings G2G2 (2.4k points)
John "Paddy" Cummins (1810) Tipperary-----Looking for information. He came to the US and married in Illinois 1844 to Mary "Polly" Harryman.  One of their children was Mary Jane b. 1845? He died September 19, 1890 in Missouri.   He was said to have crossed "the big pond" multiple times and was quite deaf due to working around ship's cannons. It has been super hard to find him! Any help is appreciated. Thanks so much!

5 Answers

+5 votes

This very interesting Scottish surname is probably Norman-Breton in origin. It was introduced initially into England, by the followers of William the Conqueror at or after the battle of Hastings in 1066...

Read more:

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.2m points)

Also, this is interesting as to the surname:

+3 votes
+3 votes

With respect to the Cummings name origin; according to 'A Dictionary of Surnames' by Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges, Oxford University Press, The name Cummings is a patronymic variant form of Cumming. The name origin is (according to the Dictionary) English, Scots and Irish (Norman): from a Breton personal name derived from the element cam​ bent, crooked (compare with Cameron, Campbell). Was frequent in Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire in the 12th and 13th century as a result of Breton immigration. The Scottish and Irish families bearing the name and its variants are all apparently descended from a companion of William the Conqueror who came from the area of Rouen in northern France, where Breton influence was strong. According to another theory it is a habitation name from Comines near Lille, northern France, but there is no evidence in favour of this, and no early forms have been found.

Variants (of Cumming) are: Cuming, Cum(m)ine, Cummin, Commin, Comyn, Commane, Cummane, Cowman.

Patronymic variants are: English: Cum(m)in(g)s, Com(m)ings, Cummins, Com(m)ins (mainly Irish), Commons. Gaelic: Mac Coimin.

My maternal grandmother was a Cummins, but one of her ancestor's name was changed to Cummings when he returned from military duty in India.

I hadn't intended to conduct a one-name study for the name. A search for all births in the Find My Past World database produced 43,261 Cummings and 21,600 Cummins! I'm happy to add all my Cummins and Cummings to your study.

Best of luck with your project.

Peter Hudson

by Pete Hudson G2G4 (4.2k points)
+3 votes

Considering your point about organizing family trees where individuals have not emigrated out of the British Isles, the only way I can think of doing this is to use reconstructed trees starting with the latest descendant found in the UK (or Ireland) and working back; but, considering that there are 34,785 births found in the UK Find My Past database, this would be an enormous task! Again, using Find My Past, there are 15,077 individual births between 1967 and 2007, these could be used to reconstruct trees for selected individuals, maybe based on counties, or places within counties.

​Just a thought, if it doesn't help it may spark a better idea in your mind!
A point about all the databases in on-line search sites, relating to the UK at least, they contain multiple records for individuals, so the overall count is somewhat less, though this applies to a much lesser extent after 1837.
Best wishes
Peter Hudson
by Pete Hudson G2G4 (4.2k points)
+3 votes


William Cummings, b. @1772 (perhaps in Ireland), lived in Nova Scotia for a few years,then married on 24 Jul 1814 in Îles de la Madeleine, Quebec, Canada.  He worked as a pecheur -- fisherman -- as recorded in the 1832 Census for Lower Canada.  His children included Marie, Francois, and Jacque Cummings.  He married Sophia Paine. 

I'd appreciate any help you can provide.  He has descendants in Canada and -- perhaps -- the United States.  Other spellings of his surname include Commons.  I've also seen his mother's name listed as "Anastasia Goff".

by Janine Barber G2G6 Pilot (172k points)
For sure, I shall look into it.

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