Major Alfred George Cunningham

Male 1855 - 1909  (54 years)


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  • Name Alfred George Cunningham  [1
    Title Major 
    Born 28 Jan 1855 
    Gender Male 
    Died 25 Mar 1909  Dawson, Yukon, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • From: David (Milton Michael) Cunningham - davidc@staff.ednet.ns.ca

      Tuesday, April 02, 2002

      Dear Genealogy Buffs:

      While helping my daughter to prepare a report on one of her ancestors (Major Alfred George Cunningham), I came across a genealogy site that included your names. It appears that the “Major” was one of your ancestors. He is my great grandfather and, obviously, my daughter’s great great grandfather.

      I thought, since you have gone to the trouble of working on a family tree, that you might like a little more information on the Major.

      I notice that you have the Major’s death year as 1908 when in fact it is 1909. I have copies of 2 Yukon newspapers dated March 1909 that offer accounts of the Major’s death and funeral, which was one of the largest seen to that date in Dawson City. I also found a death notice from a local mortuary which has 1909 (March 25) as the year of death.

      My great granfather was indeed married twice: His first marriage was to Annie Anderson and his second to Dorothy Belcher who added 4 children to his brood: Marguerite, Earl, Mary and Winnie.

      Earl Dawson Belcher Cunningham, born Nov. 24, 1898 was my grandfather. He died relatively young in the early 1930’s from pneumonia when my father, Gerald Foster Cunningham (b July 28, 1927, d Jan. 3, 1992) was just 3 or 4 years old. Earl’s wife, Emma (Morash) subsequently remarried. My father and his brother, Alfred George (still living) had a very close relationship with their stepfather, the kindly, Milton Bellew.

      Major Cunningham was a highly respected citizen of Dawson City. He worked as an agent for companies wishing to provide services to the hordes who had been attracted North by the Klondike Gold Rush. He was a journalist for the Yukon World News for three years and that newspaper’s account of his death speaks very highly of his work as a journalist. The Major may well have worked for the Federal Customs Agency as well. The family tried its hand at panning for gold as well but obviously did not strike it very rich because I’m going to work each day. If any of you are hording my share of the family gold, I’d be glad to take it off your hands any time.

      The title Major is a military one. Captain Alfred George Cunningham led one of the regiments who defeated Louis Riel at Batoche in 1855 after which he was promoted to the rank of Major.

      I’ll cite some of my references below. I do have a copy of a photo of the family panning for gold, copies of newspaper accounts of the Major’s death and funeral, and a copy of a letter written by Marguerite to Mary in 1973 recalling some of their life in Dawson City. We also own a copy of the book written in 1929 by Leonard Cunningham entitled: “The Cunningham Family of Antigonish, Nova Scotia”.

      References:
      1. Cunningham, Leonard. The Cunningham Family of Antigonish Nova Scotia. Halifax: The Ross Print Ltd, 1929
      2. Dawson Daily News, Friday, March 26, 1909
      3. Yukon World News, March 27, 1909
      4. Dawson Daily News, Monday, March 29, 1909
      Death Records from Green's Mortuary: http://www.gold-rush.org/pan/funerals.htm
      Letter from my great aunt Marguerite to her sister Mary dated April 7, 1973.
      I hope the above information proves interesting and informative for you.

      Sincerely,
      David (Milton Michael) Cunningham
      Halifax, Nova Scotia
      cc Michael Kelly MKelly9392@aol.com
      Terry Murphy tmurphy@auracom.com
      Joe Travis pitravis@sbcglobal.net
      Linc Haymaker & Joe Travis Genealogy-Irish@lthome.com
      Larry Mills pepsifreek@socal.rr.com
      Hugh A. Zorger worldconnect@ourancestry.com
    Person ID I01846  Irish
    Last Modified 3 Jan 2008 

    Father Edward Irish Cunningham,   b. 29 May 1808, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 Mar 1887, Guysborough, Nova Scotia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 78 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Catherine Wilde,   d. 25 Nov 1887, New York City, New York Co., NY Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 7 Jun 1832 
    Family ID F1004  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Dorothy Belcher 
    Children 
     1. Marguerite Cunningham
     2. Mary Cunningham
     3. Winnie Cunningham
    +4. Earl Dawson Belcher Cunningham,   b. 24 Nov 1898,   d. 1930  (Age 31 years)
    Family ID F1010  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Annie Anderson 
    Married 12 Jul 1881 
    Family ID F1011  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsDied - 25 Mar 1909 - Dawson, Yukon, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S007121] Paul Randall.