My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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THOMAS B. CUMMINGS is one of the leading farmers of Caesar’s Creek Township, his home being six miles south of Xenia. His first purchase here was of fifty-five acres, for which he paid $15 per acre, and to which he has since added seven hundred acres, making one of the largest farms in the vicinity. It is well improved, carefully cultivated, and brings in an abundant income. Mr. Cummings was born February 6, 1814, in the northern part of Bucks County, Pa., in which his ancestors had lived for several generations. His parents, James and Mary (Barr) Cummings, were born there in 1781 and 1796, respectively, and reared a family of seven children, our subject being the first-born. The father was a substantial farmer, and a man of considerable prominence, serving as Justice of the Peace for nearly a quarter of a century, and three terms, or nine years, as Clerk of the Court. He belonged to the Masonic fraternity, was a Democrat in politics, and a Presbyterian in religion. He died in the spring of 1838, his wife having passed away the year before. He was a son of Robert and Margaret (Marshall) Cummings, of the same county, and a grandson of James Cummings, also of the Keystone State, who married a Miss Marshall, of Scotch origin.

The gentleman of whom we write was reared on a farm, and obtained a common-school education, afterward devoting himself to teaching for five years in his native State. In October, 1836, he and some neighbors journeyed in wagons as far west as Columbus, Ohio, when he took a stage and rode ten miles toward Xenia, to which place he continued his journey on foot, reaching it in advance of the stage, having made the entire trip from Columbus in thirty-six hours. For seven years he was engaged in teaching, although he also improved the farm which he had purchased upon first coming here. During three years of this time he taught constantly, but he subsequently abandoned the profession, and gave his time exclusively to farming. He has served both as Township Clerk and Justice, and is well-known as a liberal and public spirited citizen. He contributes generously toward all public improvements, and during the war was liberal in his donations for the benefit of the Union army. In politics he is an active Republican, and in religion a consistent member of the Reformed Church.

On April 27, 1837, Mr. Cummings was united in marriage with Miss Mary Boots, who was born in Caesar’s Creek Township, November 19, 1819. She was a daughter of Joseph and Catherine (Peterson) Boots, an estimable and Christian woman, and a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. She was mourned by many friends when removed by death, April 1, 1861. She was the mother of six children: Joseph B. is the eldest; Sarah Jane is the wife of William Conklin; James R., of Jennings County, Ind., served three years during the late war; Thomas J., who was in the service a year, died leaving three children — Frank, Allie, and Dillie; Mattie is the wife of Henry Long; John is the youngest son and child. On October 23, 1862, Mr. Cummings was again married, his bride being Martha, daughter of Ward and Margaret (Haines) McNair. She was born in Caesar’s Creek Township, and is a consistent member of the Reformed Church. This marriage has been childless.

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This family biography is one of the many biographies included in Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio published by Chapman Bros., in 1890. 

View additional Greene County, Ohio family biographies here: Greene County, Ohio Biographies

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