Person:Rachel Cummings (2)

Rachel Cummings
b.Abt 1751
  • H.  Eleazer Reed (add)
  • WRachel CummingsAbt 1751 - 1838
m. 1 Jan 1771
  1. Rachel Reed1770 - Bef 1838
  2. Rhoda Reed1771 -
  3. Caleb Reed1775 -
  4. Leonard Reed1777 - 1778
  5. Rebecca Reed1779 -
  6. Betty Reed1781 - 1789
Facts and Events
Name Rachel Cummings
Gender Female
Birth[1] Abt 1751
Marriage 1 Jan 1771 Dunstable, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United Statesto Eleazer Reed (add)
Will[4] 23 Jan 1818
Alt Death[2][3] 28 Feb 1828 Dunstable, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Death[1] 1 Feb 1838 Dunstable, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States
Probate[4] 22 Feb 1838

There are problems with the two death dates. First, they are remarkable for being so far apart. One would hope another clue could rule out one or the other, but nothing is apparent.

If Rachel d. 1828 age 87, she was born about 1741 and was about 8 years older than Eleazer.

If Rachel d. 1838 age 87, she was born about 1751 and was a more appropriate age.

If the Cummings Memorial is correct in its supposition of her parents, then she was born about 1752. This supposition and birth date (1 Jan 1752) is also reported by the Farwell Family.

The gravestone in Find A Grave seems to unmistakably say 1828. The History of Dunstable, by Elias Nason, published in 1877, gives the inscription at saying 1828. The published vital records of Dunstable, from 1913, do reference a gravestone, but do not indicate it saying anything other than 1838. But this is probably their error. Regardless, 28 Feb 1838 is clearly an impossible death date, as Jonas French declined to be executor on 22 Feb 1838, indicating she had already died by then. So, it would seem that 1828 was intended, and not just the stone-cutter's error?

Besides age at death considerations, which support 1838, town records give her death as 1 Feb 1838, and the fact that her will wasn't probated until then suggests some validity for that alternative. For now, the gravestone will have to remain an unsolved mystery.

  1. 1.0 1.1 Dunstable, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States. Vital Records of Dunstable, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849. (Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute, 1913)
    p. 227.

    READ, Rachel, wid. Elazer, [died] Feb. 1, 1838. [a. 87 y. in pencil; Feb. 28. GR2]
    [Birth about 1751. GR2=Central Cemetery.]

  2. Mooar, George. The Cummings Memorial: A genealogical history of the descendants of Isaac Cummings, an early settler of Topsfield, Massachusetts. (New York: B.F. Cummings, 1903)
    p. 21.

    Eleazer Read m. 1 Jan 1771 Rachel Cummings. "May have been the Reachel, daughter of Leonard and Jane of Londonderry, one of three children whose guardian was Joel Parkhurst, of Dunstable." She d. 8 Feb 1828 [sic, this is probably a typo, no matter which death date is correct].

  3. Find A Grave: Central Cemetery, Dunstable, Mass., in Find A Grave
    Rachel Cummings Read.

    In memory of
    wife of
    Mr. Eleazar Read,
    who died
    Feb. 28, 1828.
    Aet. 87.

  4. 4.0 4.1 FHL film 0421500, in Massachusetts. Probate Court (Middlesex County). Probate records, 1648-1924. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1964-1967)
    Case 18591 "Rachel Read 1838".

    23 Jan 1818 ("Eight Hundred and Eighteen"): Will of "Rachel Read of Dunstable ... widow", mentions "Caleb Read my only son", "my youngest dafter Rebecah Pratt", "Prudence Bood my Grand dafter", "Bodwell Blood my Grand dafter", "Betsey Blood my Grand Dafter", "Rebecah Pratt my Grand dafter", my dafter Rhoda Blood". "Jonas French of Dunstable ... my trusty friend" executor.
    22 Feb 1838: Jonas French refused to serve.
    [no other documents in file]