no image
Privacy Level: Open (White)

Isaac Cummings (bef. 1601 - bef. 1677)

Deacon Isaac Cummings aka Cummins, Commen, Comin
Born before in Easthorpe, Essex, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of
Husband of — married about 1628 in Essex or Suffolk, Englandmap [uncertain]
Descendants descendants
Died before at about age 76 in Topsfield, Essex, Massachusetts Bay Colonymap
Profile last modified | Created 28 Dec 2008
This page has been accessed 6,091 times.
The Puritan Great Migration.
Isaac Cummings migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640).
Join: Puritan Great Migration Project
Discuss: pgm



Origins and life in Massachusetts

"Izahk Comin" was baptised on 05 April 1601 in Easthorpe, Essex, England, the son of John Comin.[1][2] Isaac Cummings of Massachusetts Bay took two depositions on his date of birth, the first deposition dated March 27, 1666 says he was born in 1600/1601. The second deposition taken March 25, 1675 says he was born 1602/1603.[3]

He probably married about 1628 (birth of first child) in or near Mistley, England, to Anne who is believed to be the mother of all of their children. Her maiden name is not yet known.[3][4] She was not living when his will was made, May 8, 1677.[5]

Isaac was named in his father's will, (dated 8 November 1633 at Ipswich in Essex, and proved 24 April 1634) along with his brothers John and Abraham and sister Ursula. He and his brothers were named as executors. He received a substantial inheritance that would have made it quite possible for him to bring his wife Ann and their three children to Massachusetts, and to purchase land there.[6] He lived in Mistley, Essex, England from May 20, 1629 to February 22, 1634/35. He moved with his family to Watertown, Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635 where he received 35 acres of land which were part of the "Great Dividend". He also acquired land in Ipswich before July 25, 1638 and resided in Topsfield by April 1, 1652 where he was a juryman in 1675 and a moderator of the town meeting in 1676.[3] In 1666 he was constable, and his son Isaac was his deputy, and in a deposition he stated his age as 65. The same year he was assessed 4s. 7d. to pay the town's indebtedness. He was deacon of the church for many years.[7]

Children baptized at Mistley, Essex, England:[3]

Child born in America:

Death and legacy

Isaac died, probably in Topsfield, between 08 May 1677, when he wrote his will, and 22 May 1677 when his estate was inventoried.[5]

In his will, dated 08 May 1677 (8th of 3rd month), and proved 14 June 1677, Isaac Comins Senier named his son Isaac; son-in-law John Jewet; grandson Isaac, son of Isaac (to be paid at age 17); son-in-law John Pease; son John sole executor. Isaac Foster and Thomas Dorman to be overseers. Witnesses were John Poore Sr, Thomas Dorman, Isaac Foster. His estate was inventoried on 22 May 1677, testified by son John on 14 June, values his estate at £166, with debts of £19.[5][8] The full transcript of his will is below.

Land records

  • 1636, Isaac Cominges name is mentioned in Ipswich records in a grant to Phillip Challis, where Isaac's planting lot is said to be to the north of Challis's houselot on the south side of the river.[9]
  • 25 July 1636, Isaac Cummins was granted 35 acres in the fourth division, lot 6, in Watertown.[10]
  • 1636, Isaac Cominges name is mentioned in Ipswich records in a grant to Phillip Challis, where Isaac's planting lot is said to be to the north of Challis's houselot on the south side of the river.[11]
  • 09 April 1639, Isaac was mentioned in a grant to William Goodhue as having possession of a houselot formerly granted to Robert Cole, bought of Joseph Medcalf.[12] On 26 August 1639, "Isaack Comings of this towne, husbandman" sold seven acres to Andrew Hodges near the highway to Jeffries Neck.[13]
  • 28 February 1641/2, his name was entered on a lis of commoners in Ipswich "the last day of the last month 1641,"[14]
  • 03 October 1643, his name was mentioned in a grant to Mr Tutte, as adjoining Tutte's lands "provided that Thomas Emeberson and Isaac Cumings 40 acres their lands be first laid out there, in case Thomas Emberson be not else where accomodated, provided that theirs be laid out with in one month, else Mr Tuttle is at liberty to take his land first.[15]
  • 1644, a list of grants and possession of lands in Watertown listed him with two acres of meadow, in addition to the original 35 acres of upland.[10]
  • 22 February 1649/50, in notes of a general meeting in Ipswich mention a grant of Nathaniel Rogers on the south side of the river, near land of Isaac Comings to the northeast.[16]

Town appointments/positions

  • 07 February 1647/8, at a meeting of the Freemen in Ipswich, Isaac Commins was chosen as a surveyor for the ensuing year.[17]
  • 27 February 1648/9 in Ipswich, he and Simon Thompson were to judge an exchange of land between Thomas Bishop and William Story.[18]
  • 21 January 1649/50, it was ordered by the town of Ipswich than no one should transport out of the town any wood made of white oak taken from any of the town's commons under penalty of 20s for every ton of timber or 1000 boards transported. Isaac Comins and Mark Symonds were appointed to take notice of any offenders and to levy the forteitures.[19]


Will of Isaac Cummings Sr, dated 8 May 1677 Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts:[20]
The last will and testament of Isaac Comins Senier. I, being sencable of my approaching desolution, being at present weak in body yet perfect in my understanding, having by the grace of God bene helped to provid for my future state in another world: doe now in ordering of what God hath been pleased to bestow upon me of the blessings of this life, take care and order that, in the first place, my debts be duly paid. nextly I doe by this my last will and testament confirme to my son Isaac the ten acres of division land, on the south side of the great river, be it more or less: nextly, I do give unto my son, John Juet, ten pounds, part in Cattel & part in household goods: nextly, I doe will and bequeath to my grandson, Isaac, the son of my son Itsaac, one year old hefer, one little sow, the Indian corn which he hath planted for himself and the flax which he hath sown.
Item, I doe give unto him my chest 2d in bigness with the lock and key: item my history book with such books as are his own, viz. a bible and testament. item, I doe give him ten pounds to be paid at seventeen years of age in country pay. item, I doe give my son, John Pease, thirty pounds to be payd out of the stock of cattle and household goods as much as may be att present & the rest in two years. Item, I doe make my son John my sole executor and doe give unto him my house and lands, being forty acres, more or less, consisting of upland and meadow with all the privileges and emoluments thereof and apertainances thereunto belonging provided that this land shall stand bound in part and in wholl for the payment of these legacyes and in case the said legacyes shall not be payd according to my will, the land shall be sold and payment be made out of the price thereof and the remainder shall be to the executor. Item, my will further is that if any of these my children shall through discontent att what is done for them in this my will, cause trouble to arise to the executor that then there shall be nothing pay'd to him or them, but the legacy or legacyes willed to them shall return to and remain in the hands of the executor as his proper right. My desire further is that Isaac Foster and Thomas Dorman would take care that this my will be duly performed.
Dated this 8th day of the 3d mth 1677.
Witness the mark of Isaac Cummings.
John Poore Sr.
Thomas Dorman.
Isaac Foster.

Research notes

John Plummer in his "Isaac Cummings of Essex County, Massachusetts"[3] found records for an Isaack Commen (Variant spelling) who had children exactly matching those of the immigrant Isaac Cummings.

  • He was of Mistley, Essex, on the Suffolk border.
  • Henry Kimball who came on the Elizabeth in 1634 and settled in Watertown was also from Mistley in Essex, England.
  • Isaack Commen has no records in Mistley just before appearing in Watertown, Massachusetts.
  • The spelling Commen is in line with the American variations which include, among others, Comen.[3]
Event: Commoner of Ipswich on the last day of 1641
Occupation: Grandjuryman, deacon, freeman May 18, 1642
Occupation: Deacon, farmer, constable
Residence: 1652 1636 Watertown, 1641 Ipswich & 1652 Topsfield, MA
Event: AKA Isahk Commin on English records
Event: AKA Children's birth records show Isaack Commen
Event: Came to America October 1635 from Mistley, County Essex, England

"Isaac Cummings appears on a list of the 'Commoners' of Ipswich, Mass., on the last day of the year 1641. He is said to have had, as early as July 1638, a planting lot in 'Reedy Marsh,' and a house lot in town. An old record is quoted in Essex Co. Hist. & Gen. Register, to wit: 'Whereas Isaac Comings...Sold Andrew Hodges of this town all the said seven acres of land, more or less, lying near highway to Jeffries Neck, 1639, 26, (6).' The name appears on a list of Freemen in Watertown, 1642. In 1652, Samuel Symonds and his wife Martha sell him in consideration of ?30, 150 acres 'joining partly on Daniel Clark's land.' This Clark was an early settler of Topsfield. Mr. Samuel Todd, who married one of the Cummings descendants, and who had given much attention to this research, once wrote me: 'There is evidence that the first Isaac owned considerable land on the west side of Howlet's (then Winthrop's) brook, pretty near two miles N. W. of the old Cummings place on this side of the river.[21] One hundred acres lying on the westerly side and fifty acres on the easterly side, [22]

Disputed wife

Previously there was a second wife attached to this profile - Marie Margaret Kinsley. But this child died in infancy.

From Cutter's Historic Homes

"Isaac Cummings, the immigrant ancestor of David Cummings, was born in 1601. He appears in Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1641, in the list of commoners, and is said to have had a planting lot in the town as early as July, 1638. He was admitted a freeman in 1642; was a constable in 1666 with his son Isaac as his deputy; was elected deacon of the church in 1676, and was often moderator of the town meetings. His will was dated May 8, 1677. His children were: Ann, born 1629, married John Pease; John, born about 1630; Isaac, see forward; Elizabeth, married John Jewell."[20]

"Isaac Cummings was the first Cummings who emigrated from England and settled in this country. In a deposition made by him in March, 1666, he gave his age as sixty-five years, showing his birth to have been about 1601. His will shows his death to have occurred, per date of the instrument and filing of the inventory and probating of the will, between May 8 and May 22, 1677. The spelling of the name has been various in this country, but Cummings appears to be the standard form. We take no note of the numerous traditions tracing the connection back to a Scottish clan which flourished from 1080 to 1330, also to 1093, to the times of Malcolm III, also the name as taken from the town of Comines in France. These are treated in full in the different genealogies which have been published upon the subject of the family. In 1639 Isaac Cummings owned a house and lot in Ipswich village, and also possessed land being partly in Ipswich and partly in Tops- field. He was made a freeman in 1642, and at different periods bought more or less land. He was called Goodman, was chosen grand juryman in 1675, and was moderator of the town meeting in 1676, and deacon of the church in Topsfield for many years. When he arrived in this country he was for a brief period an inhabitant of Watertown. No mention remains of the name of his wife, and she was not living when his will was made."[20]


  1. Cummings, David Butler. Isaac1 Cummings (1601–1677) of Watertown, Ipswich, and Topsfield, Massachusetts, and His Ancestry, The New England Historical & Genealogical Register (NEHGS, Boston, Mass., 2011) Vol. 165, Pages 35-41, (Link by $ubscription.) citing Parish registers of Easthorpe, Essex, at the Essex Record Office, Colchester, D/386/1/1 [FHL 0,853,320].
  2. "England, Essex Parish Registers, 1538-1997," database, FamilySearch ( : 6 November 2017), Izahk Comin, 05 Apr 1601; citing Christening, Essex, England, United Kingdom, Essex Record Office, England; FHL microfilm 1,472,221.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Plummer, John, "English Notes on Isaac Cummings of Essex County. Massachusetts," The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-. (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2013.) NEHGR (April 1991) 145:239(Link by $ubscription.)
  4. Isaac Cummings Family Association, accessed 21 Nov 2015
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Dow, George Francis, The Probate records of Essex County, Massachusetts ( Salem, Mass. : Essex Institute, 1916) Vol. 3:135-7, citing docket #6705.
  6. Plumer, "English Notes on Isaac Cummings" NEHGR 145:37 citing Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of Canterbury, 30 Seager, PROB 11/165.
  7. Mooar, George. Cummings memorial, a genealogical history of the descendants of isaac cummings. New York: B.F. Cummings,1903. Page 1.
  8. Essex Co., Mass., Probate Records, file #6705, Isaac Comings, Topsfield 1677
  9. Schofield, George A., The Ancient Records of the Town of Ipswich: Vol. 1 - from 1634 to 1650 (Ipswich, Mass. : Chronicle motor press, 1899) (unpaginated) n28.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Watertown records : comprising the first and second books of town proceedings with the lands grants and possessions, also the proprietors' book and the first book and supplement of births and deaths and marriages (Watertown, Mass. : Fred G. Baker Pr., 1894) Lands, Grants and Possessions pages 5, 91.
  11. Schofield, George A., The Ancient Records of the Town of Ipswich: Vol. 1 - from 1634 to 1650 (Ipswich, Mass. : Chronicle motor press, 1899) (unpaginated) n28.
  12. Schofield, Ancient Records of Ipswich: Vol. 1, n58.
  13. Schofield, Ancient Records of Ipswich: Vol. 1, n64-65.
  14. Schofield, Ancient Records of Ipswich: Vol. 1, n97.
  15. Schofield, Ancient Records of Ipswich: Vol. 1, n106.
  16. Schofield, Ancient Records of Ipswich: Vol. 1, n137.
  17. Schofield, Ancient Records of Ipswich: Vol. 1, n125.
  18. Schofield, Ancient Records of Ipswich: Vol. 1, n132.
  19. Schofield, Ancient Records of Ipswich: Vol. 1, n136.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Cutter, William Richard.Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Familes of Middlesex County Massachusetts (Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1908) Vol. 2, Pages 797, 818.
  21. Mooar, George. Cummings memorial, a genealogical history of the descendants of isaac cummings. New York: B.F. Cummings,1903. Page 1.
  22. Clark, Marietta; Towne, Abbie; Cummings, W.F.; Dow, George Francis. "Isaac Cummings, of Topsfield, Mass., and Some of his Descendants," The Historical Collections of the Topsfield Historical Society Vol. 5:1-6
See also:

Sponsored Search

Is Isaac your ancestor? Please don't go away!
 star icon Login to collaborate or comment, or
 star icon contact private message private message private message private message a profile manager, or
 star icon ask our community of genealogists a question.
Sponsored Search by

DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Isaac by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 12

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
I've done a partial overhaul of Isaac's profile. There's still quite a bit of "dross" left towards the bottom. Late-night work may have produced some typos, if anyone is willing to edit for me it would be appreciated.

Cheers, Bobbie

posted by Bobbie (Madison) Hall
I just located online another version of the Albert Oren Cummins genealogy that I find easier to read. (Others' mileage will likely vary.) For anyone who wants to take a look, it can be found here:

posted by Carolyn Comings
Reference [2] on the list is blank. Is that supposed to be the same as Reference [1] <ref name=NEHGR145> ?
posted by Paul Gierszewski
Hearing no response regarding a source for the 2nd wife, "Marie Margaret Kinsley" I'm going to proceed to detach her; leaving appropriate notes on the profiles affected.

They could not have been married at Topsfield in 1632 because Isaac Cummings was married to Anne, and they did not migrate until 1635 (or there abouts).

Please indicate the source for the marriage to Marie Margaret (Kinsley) Cummings.

All the sources I have seen indicate only a wife named Ann (Unknown).

Thank you.

Since they received land grants at Watertown, Massachusetts in 1636 both Isaac and Anne are eligible to be in the Puritan Great Migration Project.

I added the project box.

Children of Isaac Sr. and Anne (ukn) Cummings were at least: John, Chr. 1630; Anne, Chr. 1634; Isaac, Chr. 1632; Probably was another Issac Chr. 1629. One Isaac died at age 3 in 1633, another was born in 1632 and lived to 1721 in Topsfield, Massachusetts.

Name Isaack Commen, Sex Male. Wife Anne. Son Isaack Commen. Name Isaack Commen, Christening. Event Date 17 Mar 1632. Event Place Mistley, Essex, England. Father's Name Isaack Commen. Mother's Name Anne.

Name Anne Commen, Female. Christening Date 22 Feb 1634. Christening Date 22 FEB 1634. Christening Place MISTLEY,ESSEX,ENGLAND. Father's Name Isaack Commen. Mother's Name Anne.

Name John Commen Male. Christening Date 09 May 1630. Event Place , Mistley, Essex, England. Father's Name Isaack Commen. Mother: Anne Commen.

England, Essex Parish Registers, 1538-1997," database, FamilySearch ( : 18 July 2017), Isaack Commen in entry for John Commen, 09 May 1630, Christening; citing , Mistley, Essex, England, Essex Record Office, England; FHL microfilm 560,909. Similar entries for children Anne and Issack.

posted by Clare Bromley III
Name Anne, Sex Female

Husband Isaack Commen Son John Commen Other information in the record of John Commen from England Births and Christenings Name John Commen Gender Male Christening Date 09 May 1630 Christening Date (Original) 09 MAY 1630 Christening Place MISTLEY,ESSEX,ENGLAND Father's Name Isaack Commen Mother's Name Anne Citation "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," database, FamilySearch ( : 11 February 2018, Anne in entry for John Commen, 09 May 1630); citing MISTLEY,ESSEX,ENGLAND, index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 560,909.

posted by Clare Bromley III
It appears that all FIVE children were the children of wife Ann. Is there any evidence for Isaac's 2nd marriage? I can't find any.
posted by Vic Watt
"The Great Migration Directory, Immigrants to New England, 1620-1640" by Robert Charles Anderson, FASG (2015) has Isaac Cummins arriving 1636. He could not have married 1632 in Topsfield, MA. NEHGR 145 (1991) says Isaac and wife Anne appear in Mistley parish registers from 20 May 1629 to 22 Feb 1634/5. This covers the baptisms of Isaac 20 May 1629 (buried 3 days later), John 9 May 1630, Isaac Jr 17 Mar 1632/3 and Anne 22 Feb 1634/5. This means that Anne (-----) Cummings is the mother of all 3.
posted by Fred Mulholland Jr