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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Irish, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Cummings family come from? What is the Scottish Cummings family crest and coat of arms? When did the Cummings family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Cummings family history?

The Dalriadan clans of ancient Scotland spawned the ancestors of the Cummings family. Their name comes from a Breton personal name. Cummings is a patronymic surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. This surname comes from a Breton personal name, which contained the first component, cam, which means bent or crooked. The name came to England with the Norman settlers after William the Conqueror's success at the Battle of Hastings. It was not long, however, before many members of the Cummings family became dissatisfied with William's rule. In rebellion, many of them fled north, into Scotland, where they were granted lands by King Malcolm Canmore. In Scotland, this family settled in the county of Northumberland, beginning in 1070.

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The medieval practice of spelling according to sound and repeated translation between Gaelic and English created many spelling variations of the same name. Cummings has been recorded as Cumin, Cumins, Cumine, Cummin, Cummins, Cummine, Comings, Comins, Commin and many more.

First found in Norfolk, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire in England, in the 12th and 13th centuries. Robert of Comyn (Comines,) a noble who accompanied William the Conqueror and was made Earl of Northumberland.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cummings research. Another 694 words(50 lines of text) covering the years 1124, 1133, 1153, 1258, 1263, 1264, 1275, 1286, 1289, 1296, 1302, and 1306 are included under the topic Early Cummings History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 70 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cummings Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Cummings family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 97 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Descendents of Dalriadan-Scottish families still populate many communities across North America. They are particularly common in Canada, since many went north as United Empire Loyalists at the time of the American War of Independence. Much later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the highland games and Clan societies that now dot North America sprang up, allowing many Scots to recover their lost national heritage. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Cummings, or a variant listed above:

Cummings Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Isaac Cummings, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1630
  • Samuel Cummings, who arrived in Maryland in 1663

Cummings Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Archibald Cummings, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1725-1726
  • Frances Cummings, who arrived in New England in 1733
  • Thomas Cummings, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773
  • John Cummings, who arrived in New York in 1774
  • Andrew Cummings, who landed in America in 1795

Cummings Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • George Cummings, aged 28, arrived in New York in 1800
  • Robert Cummings, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • Margaret Cummings, aged 50, arrived in Maine in 1812
  • Sussan Cummings, aged 32, landed in Massachusetts in 1812
  • James Cummings, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1817


Cummings Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Edward Cummings, who landed in Alabama in 1917

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  • Candy William Arthur Cummings (1848-1924), American baseball pitcher
  • Edward Estlin Cummings (1894-1962), American writer and painter
  • Maria Susanna Cummings (1827-1866), American writer
  • Homer Stillé Cummings (1870-1956), American lawyer, U.S. Attorney General (1933-39)
  • Pat Cummings (1956-2012), American NBA professional basketball player
  • Burton L. Cummings OC, OM (b. 1947), Canadian musician and songwriter, lead singer and frequent keyboardist for the Canadian rock band The Guess Who
  • David Cummings, British musician and scriptwriter
  • Bruce Frederick Cummings (1889-1917), English zoologist


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  • Ancestors and Descendants [including the Cummings Family] of James Comins by Lucia B. Comins.
  • The History and Genealogy of the Cummins (also Cummings) Family by Nora B. Cummins.
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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  3. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  7. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  11. ...

The Cummings Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cummings Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 24 November 2013 at 23:20.

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