Tandy Cunningham

Tandy is thought to be the son of John (first son of William) and a slave, and was given 365 acres of land by John.  This page contains all the information about Tandy that I have found. Hopefully, people can make connections with others researching his line.  If anyone has any information about Tandy that they can add, please email me and let me know, I would love to add it here.

    The records show that William Cunningham (1765-1823) owned thirteen slaves valued at $3750.00.  These colored people were not sold at the sale when William Cunningham died nor when his wife Nancy died seven years later.  I presume they were given to their children.  The colored families belonging to John, Gideon and Dabney are listed in the inventories of their estates - the other children lived until after 1865 when all colored people were freed.  Many of the colored families took the name Cunningham. 
    The names of the colored people in John Cunningham's (1796-1854) inventory were: Tandy, $1100; Gery, $1000; Juber, $1000; Sam, $1000; Herakyer, $600; John, $300; Maria, $800; Sam, $200; Winey, $300; Loucy, $700.  (John gave his first son, William (1822-1901), two slaves - Irwin and Josh). 
    The names of the colored people in Gideon Cunningham's (1798-1865) inventory were: Matilda (age 33), $450; Henry, $500; Julia $450; Sarah, $400; Phebe, $300; Perlina, $225; Linin, $150.
    The names of the colored people in Dabney Cunningham's (1806-1863) inventory were: Lige, $800; Cary, $300; Mary and child Hardy, $600; Albert, $900; Washington, $800; Clary, $350; Henry, $400; Clifton, $399; Charlotte, $300; Crunillus, $150; Walter Scott, $275; Martha Ann, $150; Irvin, $125.
    In July, 1955, I visited Maria, wife of George Cunningham.  She told me that her husband was a son of Tandy and Winey, named in the inventory of John Cunningham's estate.  John Cunningham willed a tract of land to Tandy and Winey.  They lived on the farm until their deaths.  Their descendants still own this land. 
(I am not sure if Winey was a nickname or slave name.  Census records show her name as Arsenia, and never list her as Winey)
    The colored families in Andrew Cunningham's (1804-1874) family were Alf and wife, Fannie, and their first children - and Brooks, a brother of Alf.  Andrew Cunningham bought these two brothers, Alf and Brooke, in Murray, KY.  Fannie lived to be very old.  I remember her.  Alf and Fannie's children were: Emma Lee, who married Jack Hopson; Will, who married Martha Major (they live in Murray); Sallie, who married Frank Petty: Sudie, who married Wilburn; Grover, who married Elvira Martin.  Most of these families moved to Calloway County.  Will and Martha (Major) Cunningham's children - Della, Henry, Odvie, Willie, H.L., Estell, and Udell - live in Calloway County.
    In James Cunningham's (1808-1888) family the slaves were Juba, Ki, George, and Tildy.
    William Cunningham (1800-1879) owned several slaves - Tilda, who helped with the housework and children, joined Hurricane Baptist Church and was a good church worker among the colored families in this section.  Kyah and Sam were the main slaves.
    Most colored families continued to live with their owners as hired hands.
(From The Cunningham Family, by Bertie Gingles, Copyright 1984 McClanahan Publishing House)
(my research notes and findings are in red)

    Today's Tandy Cunningham's include people of all walks of life or occupations, doctors, lawyers, teachers, bankers, farmers, scholars, military officers, laborers, blacksmiths and nurses.  While they are scattered among the 50 United States, their origin is in Trigg County.
    In the city of Cadiz, Kentucky, Tandy Cunningham, a descendant of Smith E. Cunningham, was married to Susa Darden of which 8 children were born.  They were S.E., Jr., Oliver, Lloyd, Perry, Tandy, Adolphus, Shirley and Susa Mae, the lone girl.  (This does not correspond to the census records I found.  They show Smith E (son of Tandy & Arsenia) is the one that married Susa, and had the children named above)
    Smith Cunningham, Sr., was born at Wolf Pen, about 3 miles from Cadiz, one of 10 children born to Tandy and Arsenia Cunningham.  Tandy Cunningham, according to Kentucky State Records, was born March 28, 1828 and died February 26, 1914.  He married Arsenia Daniels who was a slave from Virginia on November 20, 1856.  He worked as a slave foreman on the farm and at a a barrel slat factory at night for 25 cents a night.
    His father, unknown, as was the characteristic of not recording the father's name of a Mulatto child, is believed to be John Cunningham, a white farmer and son of William Cunningham who is believed to be the first Cunningham in Trigg County coming from Scotland and Virginia.
    Tandy Cunningham was the highest sold.  He was sold for $1001.00 and later gained his freedom and was given 365 acres of land which made the Cunningham's one of the largest property owners of Trigg County.  The family farm was located 2 miles southwest of Cadiz near Mershon's Bridge where presently 40 more or less acres are covered by Lake Barkley.
    One note of interest is, the Black School was on the family farm.  There are four generations of teachers.  Mattie Darden, who was known to have the most outstanding marching band, her daughter Susa who retired in 1946, and Susa's son and daughter, Lloyd and Susa Mae and Susa Mae's daughter, Phyllis.    
(From Trigg County Kentucky - The Past 100 Years 1885-1985 - Volume 1, by Trigg County Historical and Preservation Society, INC. Copyright 1986 Taylor Publishing Company)
(my research notes and findings are in red)

Will of John Cunningham - Will Book D, page 530, Trigg County, Kentucky
    In the name of God Amen - I John Cunningham of the county of Trigg Co., KY and the State of Kentucky being of sound mind and memory and calling to mind the uncertainty of life; do make and ordain this as and for my last Will and Testament, that is to say.  I will and bequeath unto my five following named children each the sum of seventy-five dollars in money or property to make them equal to my other children - this is to say - John, Mary Isabella, Edna, and Helen Cunningham.  I will and direct that my just debts shall be paid and after the payment of the above legacies and my debts, I will and bequeath unto my beloved wife Mary Cunningham for and during her natural life or widowhood all the residue of my estate real and personal and at her death it is my will and desire that my Executor herein after named shall sell for the best price to be had all my land, slaves, and other property that may be on hand and divide the proceeds amongst my then living children and their heirs of such of them as may die before that time leaving living children - Should my wife marry again, it is my will that she receive one third of my estate as though I had made no will and that my Executor is authorized and directed to dispose of that part of my estate not assigned her, as herein before directed and at her death to dispose of the dower property in the same way - I hereby appoint my friend James E. Thomson Executor of this my last Will and Testament hereby revoking all former will be my at anytime heretofore made - June 12th 1854.
(Signed) John Cunningham - Seal
Witnesses: James Cunningham
Starkie Thomas
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Trigg County
I Albert S. Dabney clerk of the county court for the county aforesaid, do certify that the foregoing last Will and Testament of John Cunningham deceased was on this day proven in open court according to law by the oaths of James Cunningham and Starkie Thomas the two subscribing witnesses thereto and the same was ordered to be recorded.  Whereupon said last Will and Testament together with the foregoing certificate hath been duly admitted to record in my office - given under my hand this 8th day of January 1855. 
A.S. Dabney, County Clerk.

(The will does not mention anything about Tandy.  It may be possible he gave the land to Tandy outright, before his death, and thus it is not in the will)

Photos, documents, etc.  Click image for full size view.

Tandy & Susan Darden

Sons of Smith & Susa:
left -- Oliver Cunningham
back left -- Smith Cunningham
front middle -- don't know,
back right -- don't know,
front right Shirley Cunningham
(if anyone can identify the other two men, please let me know)

1850 Slave Census
of John Cunningham

1860 Slave Census
of Mary Cunningham
(John's widow)

1870 Census
Tandy & Arsenia Cunningham
(some of the children are
listed in the household of
Cary Cunningham,
next door to Tandy)

1880 Census
Tandy & Arsenia

1900 Census
Tandy & Tena
(Tena was 2nd wife)
(also shows 2 servants
& nephew Felix Barns in house)

1910 Census
Tandy & Tena
Smith & Susa

1910 Census
George & Maria

1920 Census
Smith & Susa Cunningham
George & Marie Cunningham
(Smith & George were sons
of Tandy & Arsenia)

1930 Census
Smith & Susa Cunningham
George & Marie Cunningham

WWI Draft Registration
Smith Eldrige Cunningham


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