My Great Grandmother was Annie Cumming. She was one of eight children. Annie’s father was William Henry Cumming and he was a stone mason. He travelled throughout Lanark, Ayr, Midlothian and Wigtown plying his trade. The family finally settled in the Glasgow area some time after 1873.
William Henry Cumming and Jemima Grey were married in Stranraer Wigtownshire on 10 April 1866. William’s parents were Henry Cumming and Rachel Hamilton. Jemima’s parents were William Grey and Sarah McCubbin. Jemima had been born and raised in Leswalt Wigtownshire and was one of seven children.
William Henry Cumming was born in Hillsborough County Down Ireland circa 1839. The first time we find him in Scotland is on the 1861 Scottish census. He is in the house of his sister Mary Thursby.
Mary is 32, married and born in Ireland. George Thursby, Mary’s husband, is 29, born in Ireland and a porter. They have four children William H Thursby aged 9, Hugh aged 7, Margaret A aged 2 and Thomas aged 1. They are all born in Stranraer.
William Henry Cumming is 21, unmarried and a gardener. He is listed as brother in law. There is also a Rachel Cumming aged 5, born in Stranraer and she is listed as niece. The household also has a boarder James and his last name looks like Burden. James is 29, a porter and born in Ireland.
No birth record has been found for Rachel Cumming. A birth record has been found for Thomas Thursby and his mother’s maiden name is Cumming.
Mary Thursby died 27 February 1888 at 1 Hanover Street Stranraer Wigtown. Her parents are listed as Henry Cumming and Rachel Hamilton both deceased.
William, Jemima and family are found in the 1871 Scottish census in Mary Hill at the Garrioch Barracks where William was working. Also in this census William’s sister Rachel is found living with the family. In 1881 they are in Govan Lanark but William’s sister is no longer with the family. In 1891 and 1901 they are in Cathcart Renfrew. The children are Rachel, Jemima, William, Elizabeth, Anne, Mary and John. Mary was known as Pollie.
Rachel married William Moodie. Jemima married William Stewart Thomson. William died in infancy. Pollie (Mary) married James Thompson. Anne married Frederick Campbell and Elizabeth married William Linn.
It was discovered on Elizabeth’s marriage record in 1903 that William Henry was deceased so this provided a space of time to search for his death record since he was on the 1901 Scotland census. William Henry Cumming died 5 January 1903 at 7:30 pm at 347 Langside Road in Crosshill Glasgow. He was 66 years of age and his son John Cumming was the informant.
John was a mystery as he was not found in the birth registrations for a long time. He was with the family in the 1891 and 1901 Scotland census and was the informant on his father’s death registration. John was born on 1 August 1884 in Govanhill Glasgow. Nothing has been found regarding John since the time of his father’s death. Family lore suggests he died in New Jersey USA around 1905. There is a John Cumming arriving at Ellis Island in 1904 on his way to Brooklyn but no information has been found to corroborate this story yet.
Jemima Grey Cumming died on 22 November 1917 in Cathcart Glasgow. She died at 11:00 pm at 57 Battlefield Ave. Frederick Campbell was the informant.
My Grandmother always said that her Grandfather had a pig farm. She can remember Annie saying that Jemima used to wash the pigs in buttermilk in preparation for going to market. Jemima Grey Cumming may have washed pigs but those pigs were the property of her father’s neighbour and not her husband. Family stories can be a little bit like the game Telephone where you whisper a phrase into someone’s ear and it is passed down the line and the last person has to say out loud what they heard. It is rarely the same phrase that started the game.
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