Janice Williams

Tombstone Tuesday: Thomas J. Cunningham

In Aaron, Gravestones, Second generation, Tombstone Tuesday on October 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm


It’s high time I unearth this blog and relay some information a before it gets lost by time. Last week I “inherited” a car load of Cunningham and Holmsley information. Two huge boxes of papers and letters and notes and genealogies along with photos, big and small. Even 4 pages of the Comanche Chief from 1903 under glass and framed. Yes, I want to share it all with you.

But, because my attention deficit disorder is telling me I need to show you everything, I’m trying to tame it down to something simple. Something that didn’t even arrive in those big boxes. This is just a tidbit to get me back in the habit.

Thomas J. Cunningham was the ninth child of Aaron Cunningham and his wife Minerva. Aaron was married twice and Minerva was his first wife. Tom was the ninth child, but only the sixth that lived beyond age 2. He was born when his grandparents, Capt. James and Susannah, were still in their mid-60s.

Tom’s mother, Minerva, died when he was just 21 months old. He had 5 older brothers and sisters, from “Susa” at 19 and just married, down to 4-year-old Bertie.

Amanda Jane Henson became a widow when she was just 28. She had two small children and was pregnant with a third. She married again at age 31 to 48-year-old widower, Aaron Cunningham. He had 6 children, 5 still at home. She had 3. Together they had 5 more. A couple of his children were in their teens, but all in all, Amanda cooked for and raised 14 children in their yours, mine, and ours household.

So little Tom Cunningham grew up with Amanda Jane Cunningham as his mother. Most everything I know about him is from his obituary in the Comanche Chief June 23, 1939.


Tom had three children who are all deceased now. While some of his descendants are still on our Cunningham mailing list, I don’t think any have been to the reunion in many years. The name Tom has been carried on for three more generations, not as Jr., III, and IV, but as Thomas Rogers Cunningham (after Tom’s wife Catherine Rogers’ family), Thomas Cunningham (with no middle name), and Thomas Ryan Cunningham.

Thanks to GenLady from findagrave.com for the photo of Tom Cunningham’s grave in the Oakwood Cemetery in Comanche.

  1. So interesting Janice. Good job.

  2. Great read Janice! What a treasure chest for you to share and enjoy! Look forward to hearing what you find!

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