Genealogical statistics are interesting: How many records are currently in your genealogical database? (103,036). Which individual lived the longest, assuming the birth and death dates are correct? (Elizabeth Waters, age 113). What is the highest number of children in any one family? (20). What are some of the strangest family names found? (Preserved Fish and Grizzel Spratt). And finally, which surname appears most often in your family tree? (Congdon).
The Congdon surname appears 2142 times; of these individuals, 1132 are male and 1009 female. The earliest appearance was in 1610 and the most recent in 1992. Interestingly, the closest relationship between me and any of these 2142 individuals is third cousin 8 times removed; no direct ancestors are named Congdon.
Our Congdon connection begins with Ann Gifford, my 2nd cousin 9 times removed (her great-grandfather was my 10G-grandfather), who was born in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, on June 5, 1715. At age 16 she married William Congdon, then twenty years old, and the couple had fourteen children between 1733 and 1755. In October 1755 William died, leaving Ann to raise their children on her own. She lived another 40 years, dying February 3, 1795 in North Kingstown.
Somewhat unusually, it appears that most of the 14 3rd cousins 8 times removed lived to adulthood. The next to youngest, Yelverton, lived only 8 months, but a number of others lived into their 80s and 90s. For a few, images of their headstones can be found on the Find-a-Grave website, and traces of their history can be found in Rhode Island and elsewhere.