John Bradley and Florence Cumings


Jorge Pena (Jorge)

I remember reading somewhere that John Thayer and Florence Cumings were brother and sister. This site does not say that. Is it true that they were even related?
Yes, they were most definitely related. I do not know for certain how (although I, myself, thought brother and sister, but who knows? They might be first cousins). You can tell, for later on, when Mrs Astor was to host a dinner for the Captain of the Carpathia, Arthur Henry Rostron, both Mrs Marian Thayer and Mrs Florence Cumings arrived, as they were both the most prominent of women on board of the Titanic. I know they are definitely related, but as to where, I could not say. I hope this helps you.
Dear Jeffrey and Jorge,

John B. Thayer and Florence Thayer Cumings (later Swain) were not brother and sister, nor were they related.

I knew Thayer Cumings, Florence's son, for several years and asked him this question one time. He replied that there was absolutely no connection between his mother and the Thayers of Philadelphia. If there was a connection, it was extremely distant.

Thayer Cumings was also surprised when I told him that his mother was a guest of Mrs. Astor shortly after the disaster. Along with Mrs. Thayer, Mrs. Cumings attended a luncheon at the Astor mansion in honor of Captain Rostron. Thayer Cumings never knew about this. He believed that since his mother dreaded the very mention of the disaster, she never spoke of it to her family.

Hope this helps.

Michael Findlay
Thank you truly for letting us know of this. The connection seemed "obvious", and thankfully I now know the truth to this answer. Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year, Michael!
I was just wondering if Mrs John B. Cumings, born Florence Thayer, was the sister of Mr John B. Thayer. She was born in Mass. and he in PA., but they have the same name and seemed to be travelling together. Mrs Thayer and Mrs Cumings were both in Boat No 4, and after the sinking they both attended a dinner hosted by Mrs Astor.

It seems rather a coincidence if there was no relationship.

OK so I have sort of answered my own question, but still need a little help.

John B. Thayer was the son of John B. Thayer and was therefore J. B. Thayer jr. Which of course makes Jack Thayer, John B. Thayer III, not infact jr., as he is often written as.

Obviousally this means Mrs J.B. Cumings and Mr J. B. Thayer can't be brother and sister as Mrs Cumings father was George A. Thayer but maybe they were cousins.

Surely they had to be related?

I've read elsewere that somebody thought that Jack Thayer and Florence Cummings were brother and sister this is incorrect,I think I'm right in saying that there was no relation between Florence Cummings and the John Borland Thayers but somebody else may be able to answer this question better than me
Thanks Ed,

Yeah I've had a look around since I posted that and it seems that they weren't closely related anyway. In JB's family tree there isn't a mention of a George A. Thayer, that I saw anyway.

It just seemed such a coincidence that she was friendly with the Thayers and then went to lunch after the tragedy with Mrs Astor and Mrs JB.

Oh well

Dear Nathan,

Thayer Cumings, the youngest son of John and Florence Cumings, told me that his family was of no relation to the John B. Thayer family of Philadelphia.

I hope this will help answer your question.

Michael Findlay
Thanks Michael,

I'd sort of thought this already, but conformation is good.

Mr. Philip Gowan,

Your name (and Michael Findlay's) was listed as a contributor to this passenger, is the reason I am directing this post to you.

Your contribution was to passengers Mr. John Bradley Cumings and Mrs. Florence Cumings of New York City.

My co-worker mentioned during our brief chat about Titanic, that his grandmother (and her husband) was a passenger aboard the Titanic.

His grandmother's name was Mrs. Mary Cummings and the husband's name was Mr. John Bradley Cummings. They were first class passengers from New York City. Mary survived.

The spellings are different, as you can see, and the wife's name is different as well. I confirmed with my co-worker the spelling and the name of his grandmother, and he assured me that the information he gave me was correct.

He also gave me the name of a book where their names were listed in the back as passengers. The name of that book is, "Titanic and Other Great Sea Disasters." I looked on Tennaro's site, and and the book did not surface. My co-worker said the book came out right after the sinking, so I can only assume the book is out of print and hard to find. I also looked through the 2nd and 3rd class passenger list on this site and did not find the Cummings listed.

My question to you is, could the Cummings be unfound passengers with the same last name as the other Cuming couple, only having a different last name spelling?


Teri Milch

P.S. Does anyone on or off the Board have this book or has anyone seen it in a library somewhere? My co-worker and I are anxious to know.
Teri, "The Sinking of the Titanic and Other Great Sea Disasters" was one of the books that came out in 1912 and is written by Marshall Logan. I checked Fiona's site on this and found that the full text can be downloaded at the project Gutenberg site at

Hope this helps.

Michael H. Standart
The passengers real names were Florence and John Bradley Cumings--no mistake in names or spelling of the surname. One question you might ask your co-worker (which he should definitely know if he is a grandson of the Titanic Cumings family)--is who his grandmother married as her second husband. The correct answer is Chester Odiorne Swain.

In the back of my mind I'm thinking there might have been a "Titanic imposter" in California that used the surname Cummings as well--but I haven't tried to keep up with the details of all the imposters (though I was recently astonished to discover that one person generally accepted as a survivor can't possibly be one--more later on this one after I've had time to investigate further).