In Good Countenance #4 — Samuel Cummings

Cummings Samuel mug

Third great-grandfather Samuel Cummings, father to Amanda Jane (Cummings) Palmer, in an undated portrait.

Samuel Cummings | Johnson Family History

All right, back to giving love to the Johnson side in what will be a Vintage Visages Double Feature.

Please pick your jaws up from the floor.

Actually, the fact we have some well-preserved portraits of our third great-grandparents is pretty fortunate. Today, I’ll tell you a little about Samuel Cummings, father to Great-Great Grandma Amanda Jane (Cummings) Palmer; after the usual two day’s wait, you’ll get a bit more about his wife, Margaret (Thomas) Cummings.

I say “a little” because in my four-year genealogy binge, I haven’t spent nearly as much time on my grandma Erma (Johnson) Foutz’s branch as I have the Foutzes and Leys and Weibles.

Some of that is due to the sheer mystery that surrounded the Foutzes for so long — literally, nobody alive today knew much of anything about our roots. And so I began digging there. And some, too, is due to the volumes of stuff out there about the Leys and Weibles — it was simply irresistible to keep from sharing.

So, there’s work to be done on the Johnsons; among the key questions, who did third great-grandfather Thomas Johnson (lost in the Civil War) descend from? But I digress.

I should note that the endeavor to uncover our shared history in this line is not one I undertake alone. Cousin Sarah Fitzgerald — a frequent reader and commenter in this space — as well as other keepers of family lore, established and newly-discovered, frequently surprise with their factoids and findings. These pictures come from such connections. What little I know about them, I blame solely on me.

Farming Heritage in Harrison County, Ohio; New Life in Osage, Kansas

Samuel Cummings was born Sept. 29, 1819, probably in Harrison County, Ohio. I have no information on his parents, and searches on and come up empty.

We can easily trace his whereabouts in Ohio, though, from the late 1840s on.

Land records show a Samuel Cummings who in April 1837 applied and paid for 39.47 acres from the Zanesville, Ohio land office. But this Samuel Cummings was from Belmont County — likely not our guy, and at 17, pretty young (especially with no established parents) to be buying land.

He marries Margaret Thomas on March 25, 1847, probably in Harrison County. I’ve found no records to substantiate that date, so it’s likely been passed on from family sources.

The censuses of 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 record Samuel and Margaret and their growing family living in Harrison County, Ohio. For the first 20 years of their marriage, they make their home in Rumley Township, where Samuel works as a farmer.

His Civil War draft record indicates he was drafted at age 42 and then exempted from service at Camp Zanesville in October 1862.

By 1870, the family is living in North Township, Harrison County, and Samuel is now employed as a grocer. The 1880 census finds the family living in Scio with Samuel employed as a teamster. By now, my great-great-grandmother Amanda Jane has married and moved from home.

The 1880 census clearly lists Samuel’s birthplace as Ohio, with both of his parents hailing from Pennsylvania.

After 1880, Samuel and Margaret make their own move. The entire family, save for Amanda Jane, moves westward. Their children now include Thomas (born 1849), Ann Elizabeth (1850), William H (1855), Matilda Lillie (1857), Mary (1859), Rezin (1864) and John (1867).

Samuel and Margaret make their home in Osage, probably with daughter Ann Elizabeth, while the rest of their children spread out — in Kansas City, Topeka and Peterton, with Mary reportedly ending her days in Colorado, and William eventually residing in Los Angeles.

Samuel precedes his wife in death, passing away Feb. 15, 1892. He is buried at Osage City Cemetery.



Cummings Samuel Margaret Osage City Cem Kansas

Third great-grandparents Samuel and Margaret (Thomas) Cummings are buried, along with their son, John, in Osage City Cemetery, Osage, Kansas. Thanks to contributor Bonnie Waters for this photo.

Categories: Foutz, Johnson, quickie post | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “In Good Countenance #4 — Samuel Cummings

  1. Whitney

    He certainly had an awesome beard… do you think he looks a bit like my dad (Bob Foutz)?

    • Ha. Bob Foutz is your dad? ;-D They would look EXACTLY alike if Uncle Bob grew a beard!

      (Just kidding. Kind of.)

      Hi, Whitney! How’s the wedding planning going?

  2. If I did my math right, Samual was 61 years old when he moved to Kansas. It’s awesome that he (and his family) were ready for another adventure further west.

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