Peninsula Genealogical Society

    Peninsula Genealogical Society - Door Co., WI

 McCUMBY Family

from Kristy McCUMBY HYLAND

updated 12 Jun 2010

The following MCCUMBY Family information regarding Samuel Thomas McCUMBY and family was sent to us by Kristy McCUMBY HYLAND by e-mail in April 2010. She had written to us after finding the cemetery that her great-grandfather Samuel was buried on our PGS Website: Town of Nasewaupee-Schumacher/Nasewaupee Town Cemetery where pictures of his stone had been taken in 2009.  She had been searching for his resting place for quite a while.


This page consists of pictures of Samuel and his second wife Mary "Mamie" MORTON McCUMBY and family,  his biography from an old conscripted biographies book (the name of which has not been found), his OBITUARY from the Door County Democrat, a letter from Eva McCUMBY PHILPOT to Sandra McCUMBY PEDIGO dated 27 May 1966, and parts of Kristy's family recollections from her e-mails. Further pictures of Samuel T. McCUMBY's Ship's Masters License and ship T. S. CHRISTIE that he sailed on were sent to us via e-mail from Kristy on 12 Jun 2010


Our thanks to Kristy for sharing this wonderful information on her family who resided in Sawyer in the Town of Sturgeon Bay for a number of years.


We hope you will enjoy this webpage which chronicles the life of a sailor on the Great Lakes and elsewhere and his family.  If you have any information to add or correct, please contact us at: [email protected] .

E-mail from Kristy McCUMBY HYLAND to PGS-5 Apr 2010:Thank you very much for posting the information on the Schumacher/Nasewaupee Cemetary on your website and the outstanding photos of the headstones.  I have been trying to find the burial location for my great-grandfather, Samuel Thomas McCumby for a long time.  From an obituary and some general family stories, he was supposed to have been buried in Sawyer, WI...but since I could no longer find the location of that town, my hopes of finding the exact location of his gravesite were low.  I was so happy to find what you had posted on the website - it means a lot!
Samuel Thomas McCumby's wife,  Mary Morton McCumby left Wisconsin and moved to Everett, Washington with their children shortly after Samuel's death in 1906.  Mary is buried in Snohomish, WA, next to their young daughter, Mamie, who was killed in a terrible accident in 1907.  Later on, their daughter, Faith McCumby was laid to rest next to her mother and younger sister.   I only discovered Ruth's existance a few years ago through some searches of the Wisconsin Birth and Death records. It is nice to know that she is next to her father in the cemetary there.  Samuel's sons; my grandfather and great-uncles are all buried in the Snohomish County/Everett, WA area, so it's been great to get this piece of the family puzzle as to where the final resting places for all the members of the family.
Kristy McCumby Hyland

2nd E-mail from Kristy McCUMBY HYLAND to PGS on 5 Apr 2010: I'd be happy to have you add my information to the Surname index on your site.  I've attached a transcribed copy that I made from the original newspaper clipping with Samuel T. McCumby's obituary.  I attached some family "history" from a letter from Samuel's eldest daughter, Eva McCumby Philpot  that you may be interested in.  I also included a transcribed biography that appeared in some books that the family had back in the 1950's, when my mother transcribed it...but...oops! no one wrote down the title/date of the book.  I think it was from one of the "vanity" type books written in the early 1900's about the local prominent residents in various areas of the country (a company would come in and include your biography in the book for your area and then sell copies to everyone in town). 
Anyway, Samuel T. McCumby was a pretty interesting relative to have - he lived in very difficult and interesting times, surviving the Civil War in North Carolina as a child, going to sea at the age of 14. He was romantic, marrying  his first wife, Nette Squire, on Valentine's Day. Yet, he faced a lot of tragedy, too, having her die from cholera and leaving him with two small children to raise after only 7 years of marriage.  He married my great-grandmother, Mary Morton McCumby about two years after Nettie died, and she helped raise his two children, as well as the four she had with Samuel.  No one in the family ever spoke about Ruth, the infant buried beside Samuel. I suspect it was very sad for the family, and my grandfather was only about three years old when she would have been born. 
Mary (Mamie) Morton McCumby moved to Everett, WA after several of her brothers and Ward McCumby moved there in the early 1900's as there were lots of jobs in the lumber mills/camps available there at that time.  Mary, her step-daughter Eva, son Alfred, daughter, Faith, son Sigsbee (actually Charles Sigsbee, my grandfather), and daughter Mamie (Mary) all left Wisconsin in the fall of 1906, and never returned there after Samuel Thomas McCumby's death.  Interestingly, in the 1910 census for Everett, WA, they still list Samuel Thomas McCumby on the form...though it was 4 years after the time we know he died...I guess he was still the "head of household" in their minds.
Now that I know where to go look for Samuel's grave, it's on my list of places to visit on my genealogy tour that I'm planning after I retire in the next year or so. So, when I visit the Green Bay area, I'll certainly try to drop by the Genealogical Society for a visit.
Thanks again for all your hard work in cataloging and photographing the site, and for making it available to those of us who live a ways away from our family's origins. 
Kristy McCumby Hyland



Kristy's 3rd E-mail regarding the McCUMBY Family is at the bottom of this webpage following the pictures, biography and letter.






Captain Samuel T. McCumby-Biography*


Capt. Samuel T. McCumby was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, August 1, 1856 and is a descendant of a family of soldiers and sailors of the fifth generation. He is a son of Jacob and Susan (Hewitt) McCumby, both natives of the same city, their ancestors having resided there during the old Colonial days. The great-grandfather, Reuben Hewitt, was a patriot of the Revolution, and near the close of the war was shot to death by a Tory. The grandfather, Jacob McCumby, fought through the Mexican war, and the Captain’s father and five brothers espoused the Confederate side of the Civil war, three of them being in Gen. R.E. Lee’s army. His father enlisted in the 20th North Carolina Regiment and participated in many of the great battles of that noted general. In 1865 his regiment was transferred to General Johnston’s army and Mr. McCumby was killed in action at Salisbury, N.C. Two of the brothers were pilots in charge of blockade runners -- Henry being on the Bermuda, with which he made many daring and successful runs, but was finally compelled to beach and burn her; while Lemuel was pilot of the noted blockade runner Tallahassee, which carried the Confederate flag through many dangers.


Capt. S.T. McCumby left school when he was fourteen years of age and went to sea, shipping in the British bark Mystic Tie, of London, and remained with her three years, making voyages to London, Liverpool, Brazil, Martinique, U.I., Australia, and returned to New York. He then joined the packet ship Richmond in the coasting trade until Sept. 1874, when he enlisted in the United States navy as an ordinary seaman, serving three years and seven months. He was first sent to the receiving ship Vermont, and after some training was assigned to the second-class frigate Richmond, which cruised on the north and south Pacific ocean. He was honorably discharged at Boston, in March, 1878, having been promoted during his term of serving to coxswain of the steam launch and second Captain of the foretop. Later in the spring of 1878 Captain McCumby came to the lakes, stopping first at Buffalo, then going to Toronto, where he shipped before the mast, in the Canadian schooner Jesse Scarf, transferring to the American schooner Knight Templar and Moonlight in the same season. Other vessels that he sailed on were the Belle Brown, Marengo, David Vance, Belle Hanscomb, Home, Ketcham, and as wheelsman in the Gurmmond line steamer Atlantic. He was mate of the schooners L.M. Mason and Merchant, the latter trading on Green Bay. For three seasons he was also mate of the wrecking tug Manarch, of Escanaba, and was concerned in the many rescues during that period, among them the crews of the schooners Marion Paige, and Clark I. Butts. It is proper to state here that while the Captain was in the navy, he was sent in charge of a small boat to the rescue of the crew of the British ship wrecked and going to pieces at Montevideo, for which he and his crew received a letter of thanks from the Hon. Richard Thompson, secretary of the navy, the letter being read on the quarter deck of the ship.

In the spring of 1891, Captain McCumby was appointed mate of the schooner Nellie, plying in the passenger trade between Escanaba and Chicago, finishing the season as mate of the schooner Belle Hanscomb. In 1892 he entered in the employ of the Hart Steamboat Company at Green Bay as mate of the Steamer C.W. Moore, transferring to the Fanny C. Hart the next season, and going with her to the World’s Fair at Chicago, closing that year as master of the O.B. Reed, taking her from Oshkosh to Toledo. The next two seasons he passed as mate of the Philetus Sawyer, and in the spring of 1896 was appointed master of the wrecking tug Albert J. Wright, of Sturgeon Bay. The following year he was pilot of the tugs Jesse Spaulding and M. A. Knapp on Lake Superior, and mate of the Philetus Sawyer, holding the last berth until Sept. 1898, when he was appointed master of the steamer New Baltimore, plying in the passenger trade between Escanaba, Fayette, Nahma and Garden Bay, and office he holds at this writing.

Socially he is a member of the beneficial order of the Royal Arcanum.


Captain McCumby was married to Miss Nettie Squire, of Ludington, Mich., in 1880, a daughter Eva, and a son Ward being born to them. In Jan. 1890, the Captain contracted a second marriage, the bride being Miss Mamie, daughter of Alfred and Polly Morton, of Escanaba, where she had taught school for many years. Their children are: Alfred, Faith, and Sigsbee, the youngest son being born shortly after the Maine was blown up by the Spaniards, and was named in honor of the commander of that war vessel. They reside at Sawyer, Wisconsin.


* Note from Kristy McCumby Hyland - This biography of Samuel Thomas McCumby was first transcribed by my mother in the 1950’s. I’ve copied it dutifully here, even with its unusual punctuation and phrasing style. Unfortunately, at the time it was transcribed, no one thought to write down the name of the book and its publisher. It seems that this came from some local history/biography book that contained biographies of people that lived around that areas of Green Bay/Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. It would be considered a “vanity-press” type of publication today - people paid the publisher a small fee to write the story/biography or buy the book with their biography printed in it. It appears that this biography was written after 1898 when my grandfather, Charles Sigsbee McCumby, was born and before 1900 when the youngest daughter Mamie was born.


BELOW: Family of Samuel Thomas McCumby, Circa 1907-08 after moving to Everett, Washington:  Eva, Faith, Alfred, Sigsbee, Ward, and Mary Morton McCumby.



BELOW: LEFT: [possibly Friends Church, Sturgeon Bay (Sawyer)]: Sunday school class of Mary (Mamie) McCUMBY (Born Feb. 14, 1902, Died July 1907 when her dress caught fire from fire crackers at a 4th of July celebration in Everett, Washington - First row, second girl from the left - RIGHT: Mary (Mamie) Mc CUMBY taken from Sunday School picture.



OBITUARY of Samuel T. McCUMBY from the Door County Democrat- 14 Jul 1906


Death of Capt. McCumby: A Well Known Lake Captain Passes Away

Operation Performed at Green Bay, But No Relief Could Be Secured.


    Captain Samuel T. McCumby who has resided in this part of the city for some time past and who was obliged to give up his position as mate on the steamer Christie, and return to his home two weeks ago last Wednesday, and who was subsequently taken to Green Bay, Died in the hospital at 2 o’clock last Sunday afternoon after having been operated on the day previous. The direct cause of his death was found to be cancer of the liver with which he has been ailing for several months, but has kept on had his work until obliged to quit by his weakened condition.

    About Ten years ago, Capt. McCumby met with an accident while working on the tug A.J. Wright, which resulted in the fracture of his right arm, since which time he has never had the use of it as it never properly healed, not withstanding this fact he has been an officer on many of the best steamers plying on the bay and lakes and has always been spoken of as a faithful and efficient navigator, and the many responsible positions he has held in years past bears evidence of this fact.

    Capt. McCumby was born of a family of soldiers and sailors and when but 14 years of age, he went to sea, shipping out on a British bark, in which he made three voyages, touching at London, Liverpool, Brazil, Martinique, and Australia. He then went to New York and sailed out on a packet ship until Sept. 1874, when he enlisted in the United States navy as an ordinary seaman, serving three years before being honorably discharged at Boston in March 1878, having been promoted to the position of cockswain and second captain.  In the spring of 1878 he came to the lakes where he shipped before the mast and by faithful service and good seamanship was soon sailing as mate, and he was employed by many of the best vessels on the lakes. Capt. McCumby was mate on the wrecking tug Monarch for three seasons and during that time was connected with many rescue operations, among them being the crews of the Marion Paige and Clark I. Butts.

    Since 1892 he has been mate and master on several of the large steamers plying on Green Bay and on Lakes Michigan and Superior, and for the past six years has been mate on the steamer S.T. Christie. Samuel T. McCumby was married to Miss Nettie Squire of Ludington, Mich. In 1880, a daughter, Miss Eva and a son Ward being born to them. In Jan. 1890, Capt. McCumby was again married, the bride being Mamie Morton of Escanaba, Mich. Their children are Alfred, Faith, Sigsbee, and Mamie. Capt. McCumby was a kind and loving husband and despite his crippled arm, that would have discouraged many other men, kept on at his chosen occupation and was able to provide well for his family.

    The funeral was held on Tuesday at the Friends church, Rev. Stanfield officiating, and many friends attended the services, thus showing the high esteem in which he was held by all who knew him as ell as to show their sympathy for the family bereft of a loving husband and kind father.

BELOW: Samuel T. McCUMBY's  2nd Masters License-dated 1902; sent to us by Kristy McCUMBY HYLAND on 12 Jun 2010

Below: Samuel T. McCUMBY aboard his ship: T. S. CHRISTIE-date: (maybe between 1902 and 1906)


Letter from Eva McCUMBY PHILPOT to Sandra McCUMBY PEDIGO-27 May 1966

Transcription of a hand-written letter from Eva McCumby Philpot to Sandra McCumby Pedigo. May 27, 1966.

Dear Sande,

I remember how interesting the accounts of those early days were to me as Grandma Morton told them. She married very young in Buffalo, NY. They moved to Northern Michigan during the Civil War. Grandfather always had teams and contracted work, the railroads were building in that area. She had her five boys to care for, the three girls and tow other boys were born in Michigan. The two boys born in Michigan died when they were small. She told me how frightened she was of the Indians at first. She was my stepmother’s mother, but she was a real grandmother to brother and me.

Grandma Morton is buried in Centralia, Washington, where she lived with her daughter, Dolly Lockwood. The eldest daughter was Mrs. Nellie Johnson.

Mamie (Mary) Morton, second daughter of Alfred and Polly Morton grew up in the family home at Escanaba, Mich. graduated from high school there, and then taught school at Fayette, Mich. and other schools in Delta County. She met and married Samuel Thomas McCumby. They moved to Sturgeon Bay where they lived until Capt. McCumby’s death in 1906, July8th.

Captain Samuel Thomas (Mac) McCumby was born in Wilmington , North Carolina, August 1, 1856. His folks were part of the Scotch(ish) settlement around the Cape Fear River. His mother was Susan Hewitt, also Scotish. Her brothers were pilots and ran the blockade during the war. His mother died during the war and his father, Jacob McCumby fell in battle at Salsbury, N.C. and was buried on the battlefield. He and his younger brothers, Robert and William lived with the grandparents until Samuel went to sea as a Cabin Boy, the younger two boys were adopted into good homes. William Cason and Robert Leitchfield (names may be spelled incorrectly, according to Eva).

Our great grandfather, Jacob McCumby served in the Mexican War. Our family held slaves.

After many voyages, Samuel enlisted in the Navy and finally came up to the Great Lakes, stayed on and became Master and Pilot for the chain of Great Lakes. He died in the hospital at Green Bay, Wisc. and is buried at West Sturgeon Bay (was formerly Sawyer, Wisc.) We, our family moved to Everett (Washington) in the fall of 1906.

I fear that I am not much help in your interesting task, but will be glad to help in any way I can.


Aunt Eva


3rd E-mail from Kristy McCUMBY HYLAND to PGS-6 Apr 2010: That would be wonderful if you do get a chance to put together a web page for him on your site. Yes, I do have one photo of Samuel Thomas (at least I'm pretty sure it is him).  I found a copy of it in the "Morton" family photos at my parents' house and I wasn't sure if it was one of the Morton cousins or who? (There are a number of photos from that branch of the family that were not identified in any way, and the people who might have known them are now long-gone.)  However, when I was visiting my 96 year-old "cousin", Janet Abel, (Samuel Thomas' eldest daughter Eva's, daughter). She had an identical photo to the one at my parent's house and she indicated that it was a photo of Samuel Thomas McCumby.  I was a little confused, as the photographer listed on the photo sleeve was located in Everett, WA, but Janet thought that the family had brought his picture with them when they left Wisconsin, and had copies made of it for the family members when they were in Everett. Janet passed away about three years ago, but I was very privileged to have talked with her a fair amount about family history after I moved here in 1999, as she was living just south of Salinas, about a two-hour drive from my home here in San Jose. Since her mother was the eldest child in the family and my grandfather was the youngest son, she learned a lot more of the family history than my grandfather did.
I have a wonderful photo of Mary Morton McCumby and her children, taken shortly after they arrived in Everett. I also have several of the boys and Eva (who was really beautiful)  I also have one of little Mamie McCumby's Sunday School class that is just adorable..
I mentioned that Mamie McCumby died in an accident shortly after the family moved to Everett, barely a year after her father, Samuel Thomas passed away.  She was burned to death when her dress caught on fire after a fire-cracker was thrown in her direction at a 4th of July celebration in 1907.  It was a tragedy that the family never forgot.
Samuel Thomas spent a lot of time going between Escanaba, MI (where his first wife Nettie was from) and several other cities around the Great Lakes region, so I have lots of places to visit in my future travels. 
I also want to get back to the Wilmington, NC area and do more research on Samuel's parents.  We've run into a massive brick wall for actual verification of the family stories (the information that I sent to you) and it will take some real digging in the local records.  Unfortunately, so many of them were damaged, lost, or destroyed during the Civil War in that area, it makes it much more challenging.  Also the last name "McCumby" was spelled differently then as the current spelling of the name was what Samuel Thomas adopted when he signed to sail on the British bark at the age of 14 - that was the way it was spelled on his seaman's papers.  We think it was Cumba, Cumbo, Cumbee or Combe...but haven't been able to find it exactly.  A number of the Scots that moved to that area dropped the "Mc" after a generation or two. But it does pop up every once in a while as McCumbee or McCumby in some records.   - The challenges of family research!
Best wishes and thanks,


Our Thanks to Kristy McCUMBY HYLAND for sharing her McCUMBY Family History with us on the PGS Website! 

If you have any additions and/or corrections please contact us at [email protected] .




PGS Page