html> John H. and Margaret Jack Cunningham of Mercer County, Illinois
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John Hays and Margaret Jack Cunningham

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Note: There were other Cunningham families in Mercer County.

John Hays and Margaret Jack Cunningham came early to Mercer County . We believe Margaret Jack to be the daughter of William Jack who was boating up the River in 1835 when his wife became ill with cholera. They stopped off in Mercer County where the wife and a son died and were buried in New Boston and Davis Cemeteries respectively, being among the earliest burials there. John Hays Cunningham married Margaret Jack on 1/19/1826 in Fayette County, Indiana. They had at least two children, and possibly more, born in Fayette County, and more born in Mercer County.

John and Margaret are found in the 1850 Census in Mercer County in Township 13N Range 4W (future Abington Township): #107 John H. Cunningham, 49, farmer, born Pa; Margaret, 44, born Pa; James, 20, born In; Mary, 15, born In; Jenette, 13, born Ill; Clementine (Kate), 7, born Il; Anne (Jane), 5, born Il. We find no public land records for the Cunninghams in Mercer County.

John and Margaret are found in the 1860 Census in Mercer County in Millersburg Township: #2524 John H. Cunningham, 59, farmer, born SC; Margaret, 54, born Pa; Kate Cunningham, 17, born Il; Jane Cunningham, 15, born Il. In 1870 they are in Duncan Township near married children. They are living alone in Duncan Township in 1880.

Susana Cunningham Pullen

- Daughter Susana Cunningham married Elias Pullen on 5/18/1845 in Mercer County. They are found in 1850 in Township 14N Range 5 W (future New Boston Township): Elias Pullen, 33, farmer, born Va; Susan, 22, born In; Mornilva, 3, Il; Mary Jenette, 2, Il. More on this family can be found on the Pullen page.

James R. and Maria Noble Cunningham

- Son James R. Cunningham married Elizabeth Mariah Noble, daughter of Joseph and Eleanor Lemon Noble, on 9/24/1856 in Mercer County.

James and Maria are found in 1860 in New Boston Township, hence the inclusion of the Cunningham family on this Web Site. #1657 James R. Cunningham, 30, farmer, born Indiana; Maria, 25, born Il; Clayton, 3, born Il; Harry, 3/12, born Il. In 1861 they moved to Poweshiek County, Iowa.

The Standard Atlas of Poweshiek County, Iowa, contains a short history of James R. Cunningham - Jefferson Twp-pg 963. “Farmer and stock-raiser, section 10, P. O. Belle Plaine, Benton County. Was born July 25, 1829 in Fayette county, Indiana, and when quite young accompanied his parents to Mercer county, Illinois, where, after finishing his education, he engaged in various employments till he came to Iowa. In 1861 he located where he now lives and owns 240 acres of well improved and stocked land. Mr. C. was married, September 24, 1856, in Mercer county, Illinois, to Miss R. E. Noble [error - Mariah Noble], a resident and native of Mercer county, Illinois, aged twenty-one. They have nine children: Clayton (aged twenty-three years; married and lives in this township), Harry E. (aged twenty years), Freddie O. (aged seventeen years), Joseph E. (aged fifteen years), James W. (aged twelve years), Mary R. (aged ten years), Bertie H. (aged seven years), Inez (aged three years), Frank Marvin (aged one year).”

The 1880 census in Poweshiek County, Iowa, verifies the list of children: J. R. Cunningham, 50, In, father born NC, mother born Va; Maria E. Cunningham, 44, born Il, father born Ky, mother born Ohio; Harry E. Cunningham, laborer, 20, born Il; Fred O. Cunningham, laborer, 17, born Ia; Joseph E. Cunningham, 15, born Ia; James W. Cunningham, 12, born Ia; Mary, 10, born Ia; Bertie, 7, Ia; Alice [Alice Inez?], 4, Ia; Frank, 1, Ia. Nearby is son Clayton: C. R. Cunningham, 23, farmer, born Il; Jessie E., wife, 17, born Iowa, father born Iowa, mother born Vermont.

Mary Cunningham Lloyd

- Daughter Mary married Lucius Lloyd, son of Benijah and Elizabeth Dunn Lloyd, on 1/14/1857 in Mercer County. They are found in Duncan Township in 1870: #158 Lucius Lloyd, 37, farmer, born Pa; Mary, 34, born In; Effy, 11, Il; Willie, 5, Il; Eve Anna, 2, In. They are living next door to Mary’s parents.

In 1880 they are still in Duncan Township and still near Mary’s parents: Lucius Loyd, 47, born Pa, father born Can, mother born Pa; Mary Loyd, 44, Pa, father SC, mother Pa; William Loyd, 15, Il; Evana Loyd, 12, Il; Jane Currie, servant, 15, born Il, father Ky, mother Il.

Jenette Cunningham Willits

- Daughter Jennette married Van Horn Willits, son of Dudley and Mary Roby Willits. Jennette was born 10/24/1837 and died 10/8/1921. Van Horn Willits was born 7/4/1831 and died 2/11/1919. Both are buried in New Boston Cemetery. We were able to place Susana Cunningham in this family as she named a child Jennette after her sister.

Van Horn and Jennette Cunningham Willits had children: Eva M., b abt 1858; Harry, b 3/22/1861; Cynthia, b abt 1864; Otto H, b abt 1867; Aenta, b abt 1871, Vida, b abt 1875. We have not yet checked the 1900 census for additional children.

Van Horn and Jenette are found in New Boston Township in 1860: Van, 27, farmer, born In; Jennette, 22, Il; Eva, 2, Il. Sister Kate Cunningham, 17, is working for them as a domestic.

Van Horn and Jenette are in Mercer Township in 1870: #120 Vanhorn Willits, 38, farmer, born In; Gennett, 31, Il; Eva, 12, Il, Harry, 9, Il; Cynthia, 6, Il, Otto, 3, Il.

They are in New Boston Township in 1880: Vanhorn Willets, 47, In, parents born Ky; Nettie, 43, Il, father born SC, mother born Oh; Eva M., 21, Il; Harry, 18, Il; Cynthia, 15, Il; Oto, 13, Il; Aenta, 9, Il; Vida, 5, Il.

The 1976 History of Mercer County tells us that son Harry was born 3/22/1861 and died 10/6/1941 in Muscatine County, Iowa. He married Kate Conaty, 1890, in Toulon, Illinois. He is buried in New Boston Cemetery.

Kate Cunningham

- Daughter Kate Cunningham was working as a domestic for her sister Jennette Willits in 1860. If her name was really Clementine as suggested in the 1850 census, she apparently never used the name. Her marriage record is as Kate E. Cunningham. She was married on 5/30/1861 to John I. Crouse in Mercer County. He is not found in the 1860 census in Mercer. They are not found in 1870 in Mercer County. We have no further information on them.

Jane Cunningham Goddard

- Daughter Jane married Charles Goddard, son of John and Marcy Goddard, on 9/22/1867 in Mercer County. (we will be adding a Goddard page as they lived in New Boston Township.) They are living next door to her parents in the 1870 census in Duncan Township: #160 Charles Goddard, 30, farmer, born NJ; Jennie, 23, born Il.

Jane apparently died before 1880 as Charles Goddard is still found close to the senior Cunninghams in 1880 but with a different wife: Charles Goddard, 42, born NJ, parents born NJ; Olivia Goddard, wife, 27, FL, father born NY, mother born GA; John Goddard, 9, born Il, parents born NJ. Charles Goddard married Olivia E. Pattison, daughter of Henry and Josephine Pattison, on 3/16/1879 in Mercer County. (1870 census gives her birthplace as Louisiana, not Florida.) John Goddard is thus the son of Charles and Jane Cunningham Goddard. We will check cemetery records for Jane's death date as she may have died in childbirth.