Janice Williams

About this Cunningham blog

Our branch of the Cunningham family came from Alabama to Texas in the 1840s, just after statehood. Captain James Cunningham and his wife Susannah (Tate) Cunningham raised 12 children on the very edge of civilization. Those 12 children gathered with their parents for a reunion with their own families in 1889 and began a tradition that we carry on each August. We continue to gather in a grove of pecan trees in Comanche County, Texas, and eat and visit and eat some more. Mothers and fathers have passed on the stories and the pictures to their children. Hand written documents turned into printed genealogies. It seems only natural that the stories now need to be on the communication device of the 21st century. Our complete family tree has been posted by various members of the extended family on rootsweb.com and ancestry.com, though they are not as complete as what the family records currently contain, with over 3000 entries and 100s of family names. If you think you are related to us or would like some information about an individual, please contact me at radiojanice@gmail.com. Family members and guests are welcome to read the entries and learn more about our family. If you have pictures or stories to share, I would love to hear from you.

  1. I respectfully request any help you can provide me. I am doing genealogical research on my wife’s ancestry. We live in Alabama but she is from Texas. Her grandfather was Paul Burton Cunningham born (14 Aug 1914) in Comanche, TX to Richard Tankley Cunningham (DOB 16 Jun 1881, Comanche, TX) and Allie Belle Odell (DOB 5 Apr 1887 in Comanche, TX). My difficulty is confirming the identity of Richard Tankley Cunningham’s father and determining the identity of his mother. This is a true mystery. Richard Tankley Cunningham lists John F. Cunningham as his father on his Social Security application. It is also listed as John F. Cunningham in In Richard T’s death certificate. In his Social Security application, John F. Cunningham of Comanche, TX lists Richard Tankley Cunningham as his child. Richard never identifies his mother and John never identifies a spouse. In every census, John F. is shown as single. In the various censuses, Richard Tankley lists “Texas” for “Father’s Place of Birth”. For “Mother’s Place of Birth”, he lists “United States of America”. All of this suggests that John F. never married Richard Tankley’s mother and Richard did not know her identity. The other dilemma is John F. Cunningham’s age when Richard T was born. There is a John F. Cunningham born in Comanche, TX on 18 Dec 1867 to Richard Tankersley Cunningham (DOB 26 Jan 1844 in Titus, TX) and Lutitia Wright (DOB 19 May 1847). Note the similarity in names between John F. Cunningham’s father (Richard Tankersley) and John F’s purported son (Richard Tankley). However, this would make John F. Cunningham just 14 years-old when Richard Tankley Cunningham was born in 1881. My wife’s mother (Charlotte Ann (Cunningham) Cline) is still living and believes her grandfather, Richard Tankley Cunningham, may have been an orphan raised by the Cunninghams. Would you have any info on this?

  2. Janice Williams…Regarding the article on Zimmarou…..Well, I remmber my grandmother Carrie Bell Cunningham Vaughan telling me that her sister Zimmarou sewed her wedding dress and wouldn’t let anyone help. Is this the same Zimmarou or another generation? I possess an original wedding photograph of Carrie Belle Cunningham and Nathan Wesley Vaughan…My paternal grandparents.

    • Glad you wrote — your Aunt Zimarou was the “other” Zimarou that was named after this Zimarou. They were of the same generation, but this one was one of Betty’s children so she was born long before other family members had even married. Your Zimarou was born 5 years after this one died, but I’m sure she was named in her memory. I would LOVE to see the picture of Carrie Belle and Nathan… if you can’t scan it, just shoot a picture of it for me! Thanks (I assume this is Rick?)

  3. I’m just wondering where you got your coffee cup? Love it.

    • I hope this email goes back to you….

      Thanks for reading the blog. I was at a Waffle House in Fort Worth for that photo, so it was one of their cups. I suppose they sell them somewhere! Thanks for noticing. I love that picture (brings back great memories of a New Year’s morning a few years ago).

      Take care,


      On Sat, Jun 25, 2016 at 7:48 PM, Texas Cunninghams wrote:


  4. Hi Janice,
    I just responded to you inquiry about my Cunningham Family which I mentioned in my review of Early San Angelo. I am sure that your Cunninghams and my Cunninghams were cousins. My grandfather, Claud Cunningham , his brother Dick and seven sisters were the children of Mose Cunningham (civil war veteran) and Armittie Caroline Marler. Mose, the son of Cleburn Cunningham and Mary Ann McKinsey was born in Blount County Tennessee. Cleburn was killed during the civil war by “bushwackers” because he opposed succession. Of course Blount County Tennessee and Alabama are close and I am sure the I will be able to fine the relationship. I am delighted you shared your website with me, thank you.

    • Thanks for the response Barbara! I figured if we were cousins it would have to come from way back. Even in Comanche (where we settled) there were 2 or 3 different unrelated Cunningham families. But, as I’m sure you saw, we are the Cunninghams that have the big reunion each August. This will be our 125th reunion so we are hoping for a big one again. In 1989 we had over 600 family members there and we had one of the big panoramic pictures made. It is something to see.

      I have never been to San Angelo for a visit and one day I want to come see Fort Concho and other sites that were important to my George Washington Cunningham (an uncle) who took his family out there. I just visited with an elderly cousin this weekend who is his great-granddaughter and she gave me many great photos and lots of information so I’m focusing on him right now.

      Thanks for the response and I hope you’ll stay in touch!


      (I am descended from William Henry Cunningham, son of Capt. James Cunningham. We have very little verified info on their family before him and I’m truly a poor researcher, so I haven’t expanded our knowledge.)

  5. Janice,
    Your blog, FB, and site are all so great! And such a great gift to the whole family.
    I know you do it because you love it, but thank you so very much for sharing your time and talents with us!
    xxoo, a

  6. Hi my name is Bethany L. Byrne, My mother is Beverly A. Vaughan, her father ( my grandfather) was David Wesley Vaughan. Son of ( my great grand mother) Carrie Bell Cunningham. I am very much interested in family history to share with my children. Will you please send me a web sight or information on where I can go to find out more. My husband and I are also interested in the annual family reunion. We would love to try to bring my mother to a reunion. Please forward me any information.
    Thank you so much,

    Bethany (Byrne) Van Gotum
    Waddell, Az

  7. You are asking for comments over and over, but you would get tired of hearing from me if I wrote something each time I read one of our family stories. I wish I could help you with Aunt Oat’s Kansas birth and why her mother was in Kansas with two small children when she had always before and afterwards lived in Texas. I remember seeing her many times, along with Uncle Oscar (is that right?) and Bill, at the reunion in Newburg each summer and in visits to their home in Cisco when I was a little girl. I was born in 1928. Bill was always one of my favorites of my dad’s first cousins. I think because she was single and always seemed younger and more interested in kids than the cousins who were married with children my age.

Please comment -- over and over again!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: