Arthur and Mary Cummiskey

of County Monaghan, Ireland

Arthur and Mary Cummiskey and family came from County Monaghan, Ireland...
at some point in time around 1830. For some reason, Arthur decided to change his name to Richard after arriving in the United States. According to a well known genealogist, Theo McMahon of Monaghan, Ireland, Richard was not a common name in Ireland at this time especially among Catholics. Mr McMahon has copies of documents listing Arthur Cumiskey, including the "Tithe Applotment Book of 1829". (Note: Cummiskey was spelled differently depending on who was the record keeper; it was also spelled Comeskey in some of the records.) This document shows an Arthur and Patrick Cumiskey of Cumry, parish of Aughnamullen, as tenants of 5 acres of land. There also was a Patrick Cumiskey Jr. listed with 10 acres of land. It is difficult to determine the actual relationship of these three at the present time, but they all left County Monaghan within a few years of each other. In addition, I have visited this area, and it is a simple crossroads village. Certainly they were all very closely related. More than likely, Patrick and Arthur were brothers. The fact that both Patrick and Arthur are listed on the same 5 acre plot shows how difficult it was to pay the rent on their land.

To learn more about the lifestyle of this area, before the Cummiskey's left Ireland, click here. Flax Farmers

The Cummiskey's were engaged in the production of flax. Not a bunch of potato farmers you might ask? These were pre-famine times. The Catholics in Ireland were being severely persecuted at this point in history. The Protestant majority owned most of the land and kept increasing rents on land parcels. This made it increasingly unbearable for the common land tenants to make any profit. The production of flax was hard work, but everybody in the entire family could help. There was a ready market for the linen that they produced, which gave them enough income to save up and move to America.

I have confirmed that Arthur is buried in St. Basil's cemetery in Dushore, PA next to Mary Cummiskey. Arthur's stone shows his birth in 1783 and his death in 1859. Mary's stone shows her birth in 1792 and her death in 1876. The inscription on Arthur's stone is very weathered and difficult to read. However, I was able to make out most of the writing. Mary's stone is in much better condition. There is also another old Cummiskey headstone next to these that belongs to the infant son of Richard Cummiskey, Arthur and Mary's oldest son.
The following is what I believe that the stones read:
Arthur's stone Mary's stone Peter's stone
This is erected to the memory of MARY Peter S.
by his four sons J & R & P & J., Arthur Cummiskey Richard & Catherine
A native of Ireland, Co. A native of May 23, 1863
Monaghan, Parish of Parish Aughnamullen Aged 6 yrs.
Aughnamullen Co. Monaghan
Who departed this life Ireland
June 29, 1859 Died Dec. 5, 1876
Aged 76 years Aged 84 years
May his soul rest in peace May her soul rest in peace,
Amen Amen

According to Settlers XXVI: John Kinsley's Irish Settlement: 1830-1986, "Richard and Mary Cummiskey came to the United States from County Aughamullen, Monaghan, Ireland in 1828."

The four son's of Arthur and Mary whose initials are listed on Arthur's headstone were:
John (1808-1883) Richard C. (1817-1894)
Patrick (1819-1887) & James (1821-?)