Some Pig!

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[1] did: Some Pig!


[1] E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1952).

About Jan Doerr

Jan Doerr received a B.A. degree in Sociology/Secondary Education from the University of New Hampshire, and spent a long career in the legal profession while researching her family history. She has recently written and published articles for’s Cognoscenti blog: “Labor of Love: Preserving a 226-Year-Old Family Home and Preparing to Let It Go” and “The Value of Family Heirlooms in a Digital Age.” Jan currently lives with her attorney husband in Augusta, Maine, where she serves two Siamese cats and spends all her retirement money propping up a really old house.

13 thoughts on “Some Pig!

  1. So. Are these the Church’s related to the John Alden line? If so you might be related to my daughter-in-law who has an Abagsil church as an ancestor. Mary Maher Boehnlein ph.D

    1. Hi! I have John/Priscilla Alden etc. in my family tree by marriage only, and no direct lineage. However, I have several Abigail Churches as cousins (no surprise!), and one as a 5th great aunt. As I said in the post, I’m everyone’s cousin, perhaps your daughter-in-law’s, too!

  2. Delightful, post, Jan! I love these kind of coincidences and your creative jargon-crafting (“BWP”) and wit (“Lineage and nomenclature of the pig is unknown.”) are unbeatable.

  3. My wife and I are 10th cousins probably 14 times over due to all the common ancestors coming from Amesbury Massachusetts. We had no idea we were related when we started dating. That was a fun post thank you.

    1. The two of you must be my multiple times cousins. Seven of the first settlers (on the Golgotha stone) were my maternal grandmother’s ancestors. One of them was my grandfather’s ancestors (most of his were from Newbury). I was looking for a summer place near the ocean and because of her connection in Amesbury bought a condo there. After I was there for a year I found out that that stone was directly across the street from my condo.

  4. your comment ‘before wrap around porch’ reminds me of a family home on Post Road in Cowesett, RI where three generations :Hammond, Burton, Hazard, lived circa 1840-1940’s. One picture circa 1875 shows the flat front with a ‘barn door’ then circa 1885 an elaborate wrap around porch is in place.

  5. Hi, Jan.
    I’m from Bar Harbor and live in Trenton now, my best friend from BH lived in Augusta until recently, and was a teacher there for decades, so many of the families to which you refer are familiar names to me, especially the Conys, one of whom the high school was named.
    My family has, like yours, been in the same area for generations. My former boss used to ask me frequently if I was cousins to everyone in BH. “Pretty nearly,” was always my response. It’s only in the last generation that people started to move away, and that’s what makes a small town or city so lovely, in my opinion.

  6. Serendipitous meetings of cousins are always fun. A few years ago, I was home visiting my mother and went to church with her. In his sermon, the minister mentioned his Newfoundland er grandmother. We got talking after the service, as I had spent 7 years living on The Rock and married a Newfoundlander. He said his mother was a Parsons from Harbour Grace; my mother-in-law was a Parsons, from Bonne Bay, but with roots in Harbour Grace. It turns out that he and my husband are 4th cousins.

  7. Such a fun read! For me, for obvious reasons, but likely for many. To scads more coincidences and good times– Some Pig, indeed!

  8. I joined another genealogy website, some years ago. A part of their website is all about being related to famous people. So as a lark, I decided to find as may famous cousins as I could. I didn’t keep a count, but I must be related to over 200 famous people who are descendants of first immigrants to the U.S. I was born and raised in southwestern Ontario, Canada, and some of my ancestors were loyal to King George (sorry about that) and removed to Canada after the end of the Revolutionary War. One of the families I descended from were the Baldwins, who came to America from Buckinghamshire, England, and that’s how I found out I was related to such famous people as Buzz Aldrin (we are 9th cousins), President George W Bush (13th cousins twice removed) and his wife Barbara Pierce (12th cousins once removed) AND Pres. & Mrs. Bush are 14th cousins once removed to each other! Another famous family I am related to are the Roosevelts: Pres. Franklin Roosevelt and I are 8th cousins once removed (he is descended from my ancestor Maria Vigne, a French immigrant, and her first husband, Jan Roos). Eleanor Roosevelt and I are also 8th cousins once removed (her descent is from the same Maria Vigne and her second husband Abraham Verplanck, a Dutch immigrant (Maria & Abraham are my 8th grandparents). AND Franklin and Eleanor are 8th cousins to each other. It was very interesting to read someone else’s experience with finding cousins through families you had no idea you were related to when you were young. Wonderful read!! from Rose Harvey, Delhi, Ontario Canada.

  9. I’ve never heard of Uncle Earle, and I’m with you, the grin is so endearing! Wish we had been introduced.

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