Janice Williams

Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

Joseph Jackson Cunningham

In Genealogy records, Joseph Jackson Cunningham, Original 12 Cunninghams on July 4, 2011 at 4:16 am

As I get this blog started, I want to put the focus on individuals and families within the Cunningham family. There are so many interesting people to choose from. There are many great photos that have been gathered and distributed throughout the family. I may not be able to give credit to who contributed these wonderful photos, but I am forever grateful.

As I begin to do this, I am struck by all that I don’t know, so forgive me for what research has not been done on this family. I look forward to getting more information as people discover this blog and let me learn from you.


Born Feb. 11, 1852 in Comanche County, Texas.

Married to George Etta Montgomery on September 8, 1873 in Comanche County, Texas.

Married Nannie Chancellor on March 3, 1887 in Comanche County, Texas.

Died September 30, 1918 in near Proctor in Comanche County, Texas.

Buried in the Albin Cemetery, Comanche County, Texas.

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We’ll start with the information that our cousin Alma Meadows Cox gave to us 90 years ago:


Born Feb. 11, 1852. Married Sept. 6, 1875, George Etta Montgomery. Died Sept. 30, 1918. Lived all of his life in Comanche County. When he married he established the home in which he lived until he died, only a few miles from the old homestead. In Hog Creek fight. (See notes.)

We will get to her notes one of these days.

Mrs. Cox calls her George Etta Montgomery in the section under Joseph’s name, but she has GEORGIA ETTA MONTGOMERY listed as her name next to his in the heading. In an early census she was called “Etty” and in a census when she was 21 she was “Georgia.” Georgia was, according to the Cox book, “Born June 3, 1858, died Sept. 8, 1883.” She is buried in the Albin Cemetery and her gravestone has “George Etta (wife of J.J. Cunningham)” and has her death date on September 7, 1883.

George was only 15 years old when she married. She was only 25 when she died, presumably from complications of delivery of her fourth child, George, who was born 4 days before she died. She left Joe with this newborn and his 3 older brothers, the oldest, Fush, was just about to turn 7. Poor Joe was just 32 when she died.

I can’t know how Joe managed to raise those 4 children at the time. All of his brothers and sisters had small children of their own by then, but perhaps his mother, who was about 64 at the time, stepped in to help.

After 3 years and 6 months had passed since George Etta died, Joe was now 35 and he married the just-almost-20-year-old Nannie Chancellor. Together they added 11 more children to the family over the next 12 years with one set of twins in the bunch, but 3 dying in infancy. Mrs. Cox lists Nannie’s birthdate as May 10, 1869, but the 1900 census lists her as 33 and has her birth in May of 1867. Her gravestone confirms it also as May 10, 1867. She died November 23, 1921 and is also buried in the Albin Cemetery.

Joseph Jackson Cunningham had more children than any of his 11 brothers and sisters. With his 2 wives, he fathered 14 children. By my count in our family records, he had 32 grandchildren, 82 great-grandchildren, 127 great-great-grandchildren, and, so far, 37 3xgreat-grandchildren. Interestingly, in just a quick look through the files, I think there may only be one male left in the family with the Cunningham last name, but I don’t know if he has any children or not. There are many familiar family names in this line, though. From Armentrout to McNew to Smith and Bentley. Many of the Joseph Jackson line attend the reunion. I do believe, too, that Velda Samuels is the only person in the family that attends the reunion that is a grandchild of one of the original 12 Cunninghams. She is Joseph Jackson’s granddaughter and is the child of his youngest son Earl Clements. Of course there are older members of the family that are active in the reunion, but they fall at least one generation later.