I have said for years that I’m everyone’s cousin. Living where I do, among descendants of families who have been here as long, or almost as long, as mine, it’s easy to imagine how I can be related to so many people; six degrees of separation can be more than a social connection!
Indeed, a few months ago, Son met His Lady, which in itself is wonderful. Then came her family to Augusta to walk around a few of Augusta’s cemeteries in search of her family’s gravestones, and Serendipity walked along. They found their Stone family plots but noticed at the end of a row the name “Stone” on the same headstone as “Cony” and wondered what the connection might be. The question came to me: did I know who these people were? Answer: Charles Otis Cony married Mary Ann Stone; they are my great-great-grandparents.
[In] a combined effort of discussion of known family history, online research, and “aha!” moments, we discovered that we share a common ancestor more than five generations ago…
Wonder of wonders, in a combined effort of discussion of known family history, online research, and “aha!” moments, we discovered that we share a common ancestor more than five generations ago (Warren Stone, 1776-1857). Son and His Lady are sixth cousins, while her mother and I are fifth cousins. More cousins appeared, and Thanksgiving was a gathering of all these cousins for the first time, along with cousins’ friends, godparents, and a very personable cinnamon-cheek conure (parrot) named Cricket, not to mention a few antisocial turtles.
I have a newly found family of cousins, a really wonderful group! No DNA testing required to find them, just a bit of “coincidence.”
So what’s the title and old photo about?
The gentleman in the photo is my first cousin twice removed, Earle Church (1884-1978). He and my grandfather, Rex Church, were first cousins only a year apart in age; their fathers were brothers. Earle and Rex both lost their fathers when they were young: George died when Earle was only six, while Rex’s father Ambrose died six years later when Rex was twelve. The cousins lived close by each other and spent some happy times together (not so much for the pig; the chase must have been hilarious!). Even though Earle died in 1978, I don’t remember meeting him, and I wish I had. Love that grin on the man!
This photo is one of my favorites, one of the few that I have of Earle, as well as a great image of my grandparents’ house BWP (Before Wraparound Porch), and presumably taken by my grandfather, perhaps in the early 1900s.
Lineage and nomenclature of the pig is unknown. It just makes me want to proclaim as Charlotte did: Some Pig!
 E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1952).