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Samuel Hawkins Cunningham

When my great-grandfather Elijah Cunningham married for the second time, he told the clerk that his parents were Samuel H. Cunningham and Mary E. Throgmorton. This was the first clue I had as to his parents. Research quickly turned up the couple in a damaged marriage record of Henry County, Tennessee, in 1839. I have held the record in my hands; someone has erased the groom's name completely, damaging the paper in the process, and has written in the name of Hawkins Callahan, in a hand different from the original record. I believe this to be the marriage record of Samuel and Mary Edith. They subsequently appear in the 1840 Federal Census of Henry County with no children, followed ten years later in the same county with children, and finally in 1860 in nearby Stewart County. No other records have been found despite decades of searching. From the Census, Samuel was born about 1816 in Tennessee. He very likely had an older brother Booker. It's possible that they had an even older brother named John, and that they all had a father named Robert, who appears in the 1820 Federal Census of Stewart County.
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