Opinions on circumstantial evidence for two additional children of James and Jane Cunningham?

+1 vote
Cunningham-7651 | James Cunningham and his wife Jane are buried in Cedar View Cemetery near Ionia, Iowa.  The three census' of 1850, 1860 & 1870 show four children.  One named Hugh 1854 is in 1860, but not in 1870, which may mean he died before age 16.  In this cemetery are two boys, John B. 1851-1854 and James, H. 1862-1869.  Are John and James their sons?  And if so, then why is Hugh missing?  James & Jane lived near Ionia for many years and there is no Hugh in that county.  Any suggestions?
WikiTree profile: James Cunningham
in The Tree House by Steve Lake G2G5 (5.9k points)
If they died in childhood, do you need to make profiles for them?
That is precisely why I want to honor their short, tragic, forgotten lives with a profile.  If I don't, who will?  At least two histories say that James and Jane had three children.  Clearly Hugh, who may or may not have lived past age 16 was left out.  The gaps between Hugh and his siblings leave me wondering how many were lost.  Finding and connecting these three seems to me to also honor the secret grief of the parents.

The suggestion to search for Hugh as if he lived outside the home in 1870 and beyond is a good one.  James H and Hugh being the same person occurred to me.  I will create profiles with what I have and outline what is known, not known, other possibilities, etc. then rely on inspiration and collaboration to supply more info in their own time.

Thank you.

2 Answers

+3 votes
Have you tried looking for Hugh in 1870 without the family? We can never make assumptions about things like that based on current standards, especially where young men/boys are concerned. Many young men went to work on other farms or apprenticed to tradesmen in the 1880s at that age or younger.

I agree that the other two could be offspring but I would only use that as a jumping-off point for more research. Don't add them without more concrete evidence.
by Deb Durham G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
+3 votes
Maybe James H is Hugh?  That would require an incorrect year of birth at FindaGrave, which is not too unusual.  The Cunninghams' FaG memorials don't show headstone photos, and only have the bare minimum info.  Also, you might look for a map of Cedar View Cemetery.  If all four Cunninghams were buried together, they are probably related.
by Herbert Tardy G2G6 Pilot (571k points)

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