The Cummings family descended from John Handock's sister, Lydia Handcock. (Their father was a Congregational minister).

Lydia fell in love with an Irish sea captain named Captain Asa Turner, who owned his own vessel. She married against her family's wishes and was disowned. Her husband took her to Castine, Maine to a nice, well furnished home. She had given birth to seven sons when the Revolutionary War took his vessel and the town they lived in. They watched their ship burn. The telescope, they watched it through is in the Oliver Historical Museum in Canyon City, Oregon.

They took what they could carry by ox team and moved to the northern part of Maine in to a log cabin. Lydia was brave through all this but cried when they had to saw the legs off the "highboy" to get it through the cabin doorway. Three daughters were born. She grieved to think her lovely daughters should be born and raised in a log cabin.

The second daughter, Carolyn D. Turner married Samuel Edwin Knox, Jr., an architect, whose father was a Baptist minister and a relative of General Knox. They had but one child, Harriet Marian Turner Knox, who later married Asa J. Cummings, (brother to Jim Cummings, a pioneer of Grant County, Oregon and very active in the Indian wars.)

Carolyn Turner Knox died when Harriet was a small child. Samuel Knox then married Sarah Evert. They had four children: Nettie, Ada, Everett, and Josephine.

Harriet and Asa Cummings had five sons: Edwin, William, Herbert, Ernest and Lloyd. Edwin never married.

William Otis married Gertrude Hall. They had eight children: Eva (Vogelpohl), Harlan died at age 14, Otis, Eulala (Conlee, Herbert), Harry, Robert, and two children that died in infancy, one of which was Otis's twin.

Ernest married Jessie Snyder. They had five children: Lloyd Earl, Florence (Jones), Charlotte (Valade), Harriet ("Hattie" Clark) and Orval.

Herbert married Edith Belshaw. They had six children: Hazel, died at 15 months, Rodney, Verda (Braga), Harold, Chester, Elsie ("Bub" Hayes). After Edith Cummings death, Herbert married Dora Throop Kuhn. They had one son, Val. Dora had a daughter, Violet Kuhn, by a previous marriage.

Lloyd Cummings died of diptheria at age 12.


In the 1880's Asa and Harriet Marion (Knox) Cummings moved to a ranch on the John Day River in Grant County. They settled next to "Ol' Jim Cummings" (Asa's brother) who was there during the "Bannock War" (1778) which he had been actively engaged in. (His home was burned by the Bannocks and Paiutes as he and his neighbor, Billy Stewart, watched from the spring above the house. The Indians shot at them. A bullet struck "Ol' Jim's" saddle horn, chipping off a piece of leather which bloodied his nose. Later in the day "Ol' Jim" and Billy encountered some Indians following up Cummings Creek, at which point each killed a separate Indian.) "Ol' Jim Cummings" probably had been at his place on the John Day River from the earliest settlement of the John Day Country, because "Cummings Creek" was no doubt named after him. Incidentally, the next creek east to run into the John Day River is Belshaw Creek. Later, Herbert Cummings married Edith Belshaw. Asa and Harriett had come from Maine (Augusta and Waterville). Harriett's father, Samuel Edward Knox (a retired architect from Maine) came to live with them on the ranch, and died there in 1906 at the age of eightyeight. He is a relative of Revolutionary War general Knox. The Knox's first go on record in the New World when Thomas Knox (likely from Scotland) received a grant of land in New Hamshire in 1652.

Harriett's mother was Carolyn Turner, the third daughter and last child of Lydia Hancock. Lydia married Asa Turner, an Irish Sea Captain who lost his ship to the British during the Revolutionary War.

The Cummings' line we know the least about at this time. They came from near or in Augusta, Maine. "Ol' Jim Cummings" seems to have started them west. (Asa, Harriett and their children, including Herbert Cummings.) Perhaps "Ol' Jim" was a "fortyniner" who later gravitated to the Canyon City gold strike of 1862, then pioneered a ranch on the John Day River at "Cummingsville", below Mt. Vernon, there to attract his relatives to Oregon.