New England, including: Harriman, Colcord, Crocker, Coombs, Rackliffe,
Berry or McDonough

Updated Jan 2016

JAMES CUNNINGHAM was born 18 Oct 1823 in Belfast, Maine. He married AMANDA S. HARRIMAN who was born 23 Sep 1828 in Prospect Maine to Sea Capt. Lyman Harriman and wife Susan Partridge Harriman. James was a Ship's Carpenter.  Amanda Harriman had a brother named Dustin Reuben Harriman who taught at Annapolis Academy.  He is buried at Arlington Cemetery.* Note:  This is the branch of my family that is descended from Hannah Dustin.

* August 2013:  From kind reader Karen:  Dustin Harriman "did, indeed, live for many years in Annapolis, at the Naval Academy.  He was initially a merchant seaman, living in Maine, and enlisted in the US Navy while in Port Louis, Mauritius.  He had a long career in the Navy - retiring as Chief Quartermaster for the Academy Ships, the fleet of training ships which cadets sailed. After retirement, he (and wife Ella R. York, from Prospect, ME)  lived in Lynn, MA, with their daughter and son-in-law until his death in 1904.  He is not buried in Arlington National Cemetery - but in the Naval Cemetery in Chelsea, MA (in 1920 bodies from that Naval cemetery were moved to the adjacent town - Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, MA, near Boston).

Note:  Amanda's father was Capt. Lyman Harriman who was born in 1797 to Matthew Harriman and his wife Martha Page Harriman, and died January 4, 1848, about 2 years after Lyman's daughter Amanda was born.

See the Harriman line in greater detail, here:

Lyman's father Matthew from

(III) Matthew (2), eldest son of Matthew (1) and Elizabeth (Swan) Harriman, was born Jan. 26, 1673, and died Oct. 28, 1743, aged seventy. He lived on the Mill farm near Kingston line, and was a member of Lieutenant-Colonel Saltonstall's command, which was constantly armed, equipped and exercised. By order of the general court, Jan. 19, 1710, he, with others, was supplied with snow-shoes for use in military excursions in winter. He was a petitioner for a school house in the northwestern part of town, between Hoghill and Brickkiln bridge. Also a petitioner to settle fifty or sixty acres called Bare Meadow for use of the minister. He was a remonstrant against dividing the common lands, and agreed to take for his share about eight acres. At the time of settling the boundary between Massachusetts and New Hampshire in 1741, the line ran so as to place Matthew in New Hampshire.
He married, in 1700, Martha Page.
Children: Joseph, Stephen, Moses, Joshua, Nathaniel, Philip, Mehitable, Elizabeth, Mary and Lyman.

Lyman was 51 years old, but Amanda would live till she was 87. Lyman is buried at Ferry Cemetery or Harriman Cemetery (per findagrave) in Prospect, Waldo County, Maine.  His tombstone inscription is:

Capt. Lyman Harriman
Jan. 4, 1848
AE. 51 yrs

My dear Companion no!
We gladly let thee go,
Inn a beginning church above
Thou art crowned with life & love. 



James and Amanda Cunningham had three children:

1)  MELVIN CUNNINGHAM was born 1849 in Maine and grew up to become a "teamster" and to marry DELIA MARIA COLCORD who was born in 1863 in Maine.  They married in 1884.  Melvin and Delia had one daughter, Georgia Cunningham who married Ross Beckwith.  Melvin died young and Delia remarried and had another child, a son, by that marriage.

2)  DUSTIN B. CUNNINGHAM was born in 1852 in Maine.  Dustin was whittling with a knife as a child and whittled toward himself, lost control of his knife, cut his eye, and lost his eye! Dustin never married. He worked as an employee in a shoe shop. 

3)  HENRY BRIGHT CUNNINGHAM (SR.) was born on October 21 in 1855 in Belfast Maine.  At age 22, he married VANNIE HARRIMAN CROCKER on September 22 in 1877 Waldo County, Maine.  Vannie was born October 12, 1857 in Stockton Springs Maine.   When Vannie was 21, they had a daughter, ALVRA MEADE CUNNINGHAM, born 1879 in Searsport; died 1962 Connecticut. 

In 1880, Henry (age 24) and Vannie (21) lived in Middlesex Massachusetts where Henry worked in a shoe shop. Vannie's brother Charles Crocker (18) lived with them as did Henry's brother Dustin (27), both of whom worked with Henry at the shoe shop. Henry and Vannie's darling one year old daughter, "Allie", short for Alvra, kept her mom busy at home! 

On June 4, 1900, the Census was taken and listed Henry Bright Cunningham as head of the household at age 44 and married 22 years to Vannie, age 42. They had three children...all living. Ada Estes Cunningham, daughter, born 31 October 1886 and 14 years old and son, Henry Bright Cunningham, Jr., born August 13, 1891 and 8 years old lived with them. Alvra, their oldest daughter, was not living with them during this census. Henry Sr.'s mother, Amanda S. Cunningham was a resident in the household also, being 71 years old and born September 23, 1828. Amanda had three children and all are listed as living in 1900. Henry Sr.'s occupation is blurry, but appears to be some type of job at the shoe factory (joiner?). They all lived at 32 Union Street, Belfast, Maine.









Henry Sr. died July 18, 1907 of Pulmonary Tuberculosis. 

On the 21st of April, 1910, the Census shows that Henry Cunningham, Sr. has passed away. Vannie, now a widow, is the head of her household, at age 50. Her son, Henry Jr., lives with her and is 19 and single. Vannie's mother in law, Amanda Cunningham, is now 81 years of age and two of her three children are living (Dustin and Melvin Cunningham). Also living with her is daughter Ada Estes Cunningham Coombs who has married George Elwin Coombs 4 years prior (10/19/1906 Belfast Maine). Ada is 22 and George is 21 (born 1889;died 1962) ; they have no children as of the  census, but Ada is pregnant and will have a daughter, Henriella Coombs, on August 14, 1910 in Belfast. (Henriella will marry Robert E. Lane born 1899, have 2 sons, and she will live until  May 3, 1992 when she will pass away in Waterville Maine). Richard G. Lane, 2nd son of Henriella and Robert Lane was born 25 October 1935 and died March 15, 1991 in New Haven CT. Vannie and daughter Ada work as milliners in a shop; Henry Jr. works in sales in meat cutting; George Coombs works in a pants factory as a cutter. All were born in Maine to Maine parents. It is interesting to note that Charles, Mary and Hazel Coombs and William and Ella Combs live in the next two houses.

When my father knew Vannie she was a "Rackcliffe" and involved in the Rackcliffe Funeral Home business in Belfast Maine.  She had married Samuel Nichols Rackliffe of Belfast Maine on June 18, 1910 in Searsport.   Samuel was born on July 28, 1949 in Waldo County, Maine.  He died on 4 Oct 1918.

My father told me that Vannie used an expression of  "Don't do so", which he occasionally heard from her..."Don't do so, Bobby!"  Vannie died sometime after 1920 when she came down with pneumonia and died within three days!   For the full biography snippet, Click HERE.

♥ The picture to the left is a photograph taken by my father, Bob, of the original tintype which is only 2x3 or so.

On January 2, 1920, the Census shows that Vannie "Rackliffe" (widow) was living as Head of Household with her son, Henry Cunningham, Jr. at 11 Commercial Street in Belfast, Maine. She is now 63 and listed as a widow and her son Henry Cunningham is 29. Vannie owns her home. Henry works as a hotel clerk. Henry Jr was born Aug. 13, 1891 and died May 3, 1979 and is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery, Winterport ME. 

Henry Jr. married a Ruth A. Berry or McDonough of Winterport ME on or about November 20, 1923 in Winterport.   At age 26, Henry Jr. was enlisted as follows:

Name: Henry B. Cunningham  (JR)
Serial Number: 589928
Birth Place: Belfast, Maine
Age: 26 years
Residence: Belfast
Comment: Enl: NG Brunswick, June 4/17. Reported for Federal Serv: July 25/17. Pvt: Bglr Nov. 12/17; Mus 2 cl Nov. 25/18. Org: 10th Co CA Me NG (21 Co CA Portland) to June 12/18; Hq Co 72 Arty CAC to disch. Overseas: Aug. 6/18 to Mar. 13/19. Hon disch on demob: Mar. 25, 1919.
Roster of Maine in the Military Service of the U. S. and Allies in World War 1917-1919, Volumes I & II


1850 Census for Searsport, Waldo County, Maine, taken 24 July 1850; James and his wife Amanda are 31 and 21 respectively.  James is a Ship Carpenter.

1860 Census for Searsport, Waldo County, Maine, taken 15 June 1860; all born in Maine; James owned a home worth $1000 and had personal property worth $500.  All three children had been in school the previous year.  Next door is W. P. Cunningham family.  James is a ship's carpenter and W. P. is a joiner; W.P.'s son William is a farmer.

1870 Census for Searsport, Waldo County, Maine, taken 13 June 1870 by Thomas R. Merrithew; all born in Maine; James owned a home worth $1800 and had personal property worth $650.  All three children had been in school the previous year.

1880 Census for Searsport, Waldo County, Maine, taken 5th day of June 1880; James is now a farmer; his wife Amanda "keeps house".  Their son Melvin (29)  is a Teamster; son Duston (27) works in a shoe shop; GRANDDAUGHTER ALVRA M. CUNNINGHAM is one year old and living with James and Amanda and the two sons.  all were born in Maine. Note:  In the fourth house from James' is another Cunningham family:  Mary B. Cunningham age 68 who is keeping house; son James E. Cunningham who is 35 and farms; and daughter Susan B. Cunningham who is 37 and "at home".  Also in the Mary B. home is grandson George A. Bowen  who is 23 and farms.

The1880 Census for  Henry and Vannie Cunningham is located at Natick, Middlesex, Massachusetts (T9-0541 Pg 263A).  They list the following:

Henry CUNNINGHAM Self M Male W 24 ME Work In Shoe Shop ME ME
Vannie CUNNINGHAM Wife M Female W 21 ME Keeps House ME ME
Charles CROCKER Other S Male W 18 ME Works In Shoe Shop ME ME
Dustin CUNNINGHAM Other S Male W 27 ME Works In Shoe Shop ME ME
Allie CUNNINGHAM Dau S Female W 1 MA ME ME  (This is the same Alvra listed as living with grandparents above in 1880.

1900 Census for Belfast, Waldo County, Maine, taken 4th day of June; James is deceased.  Amanda is living with her son Henry Cunningham and his wife, Vannie.  Also living in the home are daughter Ada E. Cunningham, son Henry B. Cunningham, Jr.  They are residing at 32 Union Street, in Belfast.  Amanda had 3 children, all of whom are still living in 1900.  Vannie also had 3 children, all living.

1916 April 18:  Amanda S. Cunningham died in Belmont, Maine where she had been living for 7 months, having moved from Belfast.  Amanda died at age 87 1/2!  Nice.   Died of breast cancer? Sad.







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Click on each thumbnail photo below to see the  the full size picture:

Rackliffe Funeral Home in Belfast Maine

Waterville Maine
 early 1900s

Note:  Birth Certificate of Henry Bright Cunningham is signed by Ralph D. Southworth, City Clerk, my great grandfather.


Gaelic Name: MacCuinneagain


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