Guide to the Collection
This collection consists of the papers of Henry Winchester Cunningham and Mary May (Hayward) Cunningham, including correspondence, notes, genealogical material, a collection of historical documents, and printed matter.
Henry Winchester Cunningham (1860-1930) was the son of James Henry and Lucinda Stearns (Winchester) Cunningham. He attended Roxbury Latin School and graduated from Harvard College in 1882. In 1889, he married Mary May Hayward (1863-1929), daughter of Isaac Davenport Hayward and Mary Vose Hayward of Milton, Mass. The couple had no children.
Mary May Cunningham inherited the Wakefield Estate in Milton after her mother's death in 1901. She initially held the property with her half-brother George Griswold Hayward, Isaac Davenport Hayward's son by his first wife, and her brother Roland Hayward, the child of his second wife. George sold his inheritance to his half-brother and sister in 1902, and Roland bequeathed his share to his sister when he died in 1906. Henry and Mary Cunningham split their time between households in Boston and Milton, using the Mansion House in Milton as their summer estate.
When Mary May Cunningham died in 1929, she divided her property between her cousin Henry P. Binney (1863-1940) and her nephew Griswold S. Hayward. Henry Binney was the son of her father's sister Josephine and her husband Henry Binney (1838-1878). Griswold was the surviving son of her half-brother George Griswold Hayward.
Henry W. Cunningham was deeply interested in the study of New England history and genealogy. He was active in the management of local historical societies and served for many years as corresponding secretary of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Henry died in 1930.
Graham, Shelby, Annie Rotner, and Claire Dempsey. "Biographies of Wakefield Property Owners." Mary M .B. Wakefield Charitable Trust: History and Background, June 2007. October 2006.
Graham, Shelby, Annie Rotner, and Claire Dempsey. "Title History of the Wakefield Property, Milton, MA." Mary M. B. Wakefield Charitable Trust: History and Background, June 2007. October 2006.
The Cunningham family collection consists of the papers of Henry Winchester Cunningham (1860-1930) and Mary May (Hayward) Cunningham (1863-1929). Included are personal papers of Henry W. Cunningham documenting his work with the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Harvard College (Class of 1882), the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and other organizations; papers related to his estate and to family property in Manchester and Milton, Mass.; notes, correspondence, printed matter, and other genealogical material on the Binney, Cunningham, Davenport, Hayward, May, and related families; and a number of historical items collected by Henry. Among the genealogical papers is a diary of merchant, farmer, and state senator Elijah Vose, 1831-1836. Among the historical items are diaries of Samuel Checkley, John Kneeland, and John Price; single letters by Thomas Pownall, Jeffery Amherst, Jonathan Belcher, and Jared Sparks; papers related to the firm West & Blake; and papers related to the smallpox vaccination in Milton, Mass.
The collection also contains a recipe book and estate papers of Mary May Cunningham, as well as printed material on the history of Milton, some ancestors and relations of the Cunninghams, and other historical and genealogical subjects.
On deposit from the Mary M. B. Wakefield Charitable Trust, September 2011.
The Henry P. Binney family papers, Cunningham family papers, Davenport family papers, Joseph H. Hayward family papers, and Mary M. B. Wakefield papers originally formed one large collection at the Wakefield Estate in Milton, Mass. Before the papers were deposited at the MHS, they were separated into these five separate but closely related collections.
Detailed Description of the Collection
I. Henry W. Cunningham papers, 1735-1951
A. Personal papers, 1882-1930
This subseries contains Henry W. Cunningham's personal correspondence; papers of various organizations with which he was involved; papers related to Cunningham family properties in Manchester and Milton, Mass.; and estate papers.
Organizational papers, 1882-1913
Included are letters, notes, and clippings related to the club, acquisitions, members, and lectures.
Included are notes, lists, and correspondence related primarily to dinners of the society, as well as to membership and other matters.
Included are letters, notes, printed matter, financial material, and other papers related to Cunningham's work as secretary of the Harvard Class of 1882, including papers related to the Harvard commencement of 1907, at which Cunningham served as chief marshal, as well as an 1882 pencil sketch of Cunningham by his classmate William Winthrop Kent (1860-1955).
Included are notes of meetings, minutes, and a biography of late president Alfred S. Woodworth.
Included are notes, printed matter, and correspondence.
Property and estate papers, 1902-1930
Included is correspondence with tenants and contractors, bills and receipts, tax and utility records, notes, printed matter, and other papers related to the Cunningham house and property in Manchester.
Included are letters, notes, accounts, tax and utility records, bills and receipts, printed matter, specifications for work, agreements, returns, maps, and other papers related to the Cunningham house and property in Milton.
Included is Henry W. Cunningham's will, a copy of his birth certificate, printed obituaries, and appraisals of his estate.
Miscellaneous notes and writings, 1916-1917
Included are writings and sketches related to James Edward Alexander's expedition to Africa in 1836-1837, as well as a translation about French history.
B. Genealogical papers, 1823-1951
Arranged alphabetically by family.
This subseries contains genealogical papers on the Cunningham family and other families to which they are related, collected by Henry W. Cunningham. Due to the interrelated nature of the material, there is a some overlap of subject matter across sections.
Included are writings, correspondence, typescript copies of correspondence, and printed matter.
Included are letters, notes, papers concerning the Cunningham coat of arms, and clippings, as well as some original documents related to Horace, Andrew, John, and Helen Cunningham, 1823-1873.
Included are notes on deeds and property owned by the Davenports, a detailed family history covering five generations of the family, a pencil sketch, and miscellaneous notes and papers.
Included are notes about the history of the Goddard family in Brookline, Mass.
The Hayward family genealogical papers consist primarily of notes by Henry W. Cunningham, but also include a significant amount of correspondence with Mabel Hope Kingsbury (1927-1930), as well as letters of Walter C. Belcher, Marion S. Arnold, Huldah E. Henshaw, and others; clippings and other printed matter; poems; a book of pedigree diagrams of the related families filled out by Cunningham; extracts of Hayward family deeds; material on the Henshaw family connection; property maps; a detailed family history; papers related to the Hayward coat of arms; and typescript copies of letters by family members.
Included is a detailed history of the Henshaw family and a typescript biography of Lemuel Shaw.
Included is a detailed history of the May family, typescript copies of correspondence, and a Samuel May family tree.
Included are genealogical notes, a cutslip autograph and diary of Elijah Vose, and a printed obituary of Judge Henry Vose. The diary, kept at Dorchester, Mass. from 1831-1836, describes Elijah Vose's farming and gardening, work with the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the First Church in Dorchester, and service as a Massachusetts state senator. Accompanying the diary is a note by A. P. Everett describing its discovery and leaving it to Henry W. Cunningham.
Included is a detailed history of the Williams family.
Included are letters and notes about the Winchester family and their coat of arms.
C. Historical collection, 1735-1914
This subseries consists of original historical documents collected by Cunningham.
Published as Diary of the Rev. Samuel Checkley, 1735 (Cambridge, Mass.: J. Wilson and Son, 1909). The printed pamphlet is located in Series III (Printed material).
Signed by Edward Grant, Nathaniel Glover, and Thomas Hancock.
Included are notes by Cunningham about Kneeland and the journal.
Included are accounts, receipts, correspondence, promissory notes, and other financial papers related to the business of West & Blake. Among the individuals and companies represented are Andrew Cunningham, Daniel Mallory & Co., Edmund Baylies, Davis B. Lawler & Co., David West, John West, Lincoln Edmands, and James S. Lovell. Included is correspondence between John West and Andrew Cunningham.
Included are letters, resolutions, certifications of inoculation, reports, and other papers. Among the individuals represented are Thomas Welsh, Amos Holbrook, Oliver Houghton, Stephen Horton, Benjamin Russell, and Isaac Davenport. Also included is a letter from Charles E. Goodspeed to Cunningham about the papers, 31 July 1914.
John Price was the town clerk of Manchester, Mass. Included are clippings about the item, 1909.
Included is a letter from James C. Carter to Cunningham, 15 May 1901, as well as obituaries of Carter (1905) and notes.
Included is correspondence of Henry W. Cunningham about Bates, 1901.
II. Mary May Cunningham papers, 1920-1929
Included are Mary May (Hayward) Cunningham's will, a copy of her birth certificate, printed obituaries, and the appraisal of her estate.
III. Printed material, 1805-1948
Arranged alphabetically by author.
This series consists primarily of printed pamphlets on genealogical and historical subjects, both owned and written by Henry W. Cunningham. Also included are a few books and miscellaneous clippings.
Included is material on Dr. Lemuel Hayward.
The original manuscript diary is located in Series I.C. (Historical collection).
Included is a letter from Otis G. Hammond to Henry W. Cunningham.
Included is a letter from Lawrence Park to Henry W. Cunningham.
Abigail Alden Leonard was Henry W. Cunningham's great-great-grandmother.
Included are clippings, notes, correspondence, and maps.
Cunningham family papers, on deposit from the Mary M. B. Wakefield Charitable Trust, Massachusetts Historical Society.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.
Materials Removed from the Collection
Photographs from this collection have been removed to the MHS Photo Archives.