The Cunningham family has been very difficult to trace. Below is what I've found so far as well as some conjecture as to who they might have been.

Frank Cunningham and wife unknown had the following children:

Martha C. (Charlotte?) "Lottie" Cunningham was born about 1844 in Michigan, married John S. Norris (born 1859) and died at the home of Mr. Cunningham on April 19, 1919 in Bossburg, Stevens, Washington. (I saw somewhere that this was Frank Cunningham). She gave birth to 5 children but only 2 survived by the 1910 census. [This Frank could have been either her Father or her brother-probably the latter]

Edward Cunningham — There is an Edward Cunningham, age 13 living with George and Mary Mattison in Kalamo, Eaton, Michigan in the 1860 US Federal Census.

Mary Louisa Cunningham was born August 18, 1849 in Ceresco, Calhoun Cty, MI. She married Thomas B. Olin.

Frank Cunningham

Henry Cunningham

Lillie Cunningham

Family oral history tells us that she was orphaned young and was sent to live with a Mrs. Martin. We have a picture of Mrs. Martin, so it might very well be true. We were told that Mary's father was Frank Cunningham, I believe this was what she personally related to the family. There are pictures of her sisters, Lottie and Lillie Cunningham. There is a picture of a young man in a Civil War uniform who resembles Mary's son, Willard (see below). There are notes that a brother was killed in the war.

Mary's granddaughter, Lottie Gallager, was named after Lottie.

Mary named two of her sons Frank and Henry.

Lately, a DNA match has come up that links us to some of the descendants of an Andrew R. Cunningham. And this Andrew did have a daughter named Mary. However, he could have been an Uncle who adopted the children when their mother died (possibly in childbirth). He had a son named Andrew also.

According to the 1850 Michigan census, in the household of Andrew R. Cunningham (32) and his wife, Eliza M. (28) are Martha C. age 5, Edward, Age 3, Mary L. age 1, and a John Heart age 45. Martha "C" is Lottie as the age is about right. Our Mary L. Cunningham was born in 1849, so that date is correct for her also. Andrew Sr. was born in Kentucky.

With the information gathered above, I can not say definitely that Andrew R. Cunningham was her father, but I do believe that her parents were from Kentucky. The fact that Lottie lived with Frank Cunningham before her death, makes me think that when their mother died, the children were possibly given to their Uncle Andrew and that Frank Cunningham left his family. This is actually a common scenario. It would have been difficult to raise young children. It is not known why Mary was given to Mrs. Martin, but perhaps the addition of a couple children to the Andrew Cunningham household was too much for his wife Eliza. On the other hand, Frank Cunningham could have been her brother.



Mary Cunningham Olin

Lottie Norris, sister of Mary Cunningham Olin

Lottie Norris, sister of Mary Cunningham Olin



"United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 October 2015), Mary L Cunningham in household of Andrew R Cunningham, Bellevue, Eaton, Michigan, United States; citing family 124, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). Washington, Select Death Certificates, 1907-1960 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2014.

Original data: Washington, Death Certificates, 1907-1960. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Tacoma Ward 2, Pierce, Washington; Roll: T624_1663; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0225; FHL microfilm: 1375676

Year: 1860; Census Place: Kalamo, Eaton, Michigan; Roll: M653_542; Page: 834; Image: 338; Family History Library Film: 803542


Other sites of interest:

Olin Family Society

Olin Family Society Facebook Site

MacGillivray Clan Facebook Site

Spencer Historical and Genealogy Society (SHGS)

SGHS Facebook Site

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Last updated: 2/10/17