I think we are the only two Jeff Cunniff's in the U.S.I have seen your name several times in master lists of the Cunniff name. I called your home one evening, but no answer, and figured some day we might cross paths.
You ask about John P. Cunniff.Of this particular John Cunniff I don't have any knowledge.However, my grandfather was a John A. Cunniff, the son of Martin Cunniff born about 1848 in Glenamaddy, Co. Galway.
Martin left Ireland and journeyed to Oregon to met up with his older brother John and sister Mary.He came to Montana, worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad, eventually homesteading at Cunniff Basin (still on the map) when Montana was still a Territory. It is listed however as Cuniff.
Martin died in 1953 at 104 and is buried in the cemetery at Augusta, Montana (about 50 miles west of Great Falls, and 20 miles north of Cuniff Basin).
During the summer of 2000 my brother Greg and his wife, my wife and myself and my parents did a two week tour of Ireland.The last two days were spent in Belmullet, Co. Mayo and in Glenamaddy to see where my great grandparents were born.
Martin's wife Norah Lavelle was born in Belmullet and came to Butte, MT to work as a cook for the NP Railroad.There she met and married Martin.
The cemetery in Glenamaddy is filled with headstones for John Cunniffe, Martin Cunniffe lots of Ellen Cunniffe's and some spelled Cunniff.As best as I can research Cunniff is the orginal translation into English of the name meaning black hound.
In a conversation this past fall with a lady in an Irish store in Appleton, WI (our son goes to college in Green Bay) she said this was not uncommon.Families had disputes over land and other family matters.To dis- associate themselves from that part of the family they oftentimes changed the spelling of the their last name, thus Cunniffe, Conniff, Cunliffe, etc.
We had a great time on our trip and we all would like to return.Probably somewhere down the geneology line we are related.If not you have a GREAT name.
Give me a call sometime.I was born here in Great Falls in 1948 & graduated from the U. of Montana in 1970 in history.I have worked the past 19 years as a stockbroker with Dain Rauscher here in Great Falls.
My work number is 1-800-365-5033 and my home phone is 406-727-6267.An e-mail would also work.Hope to hear from you.