Barry's Relatively Speaking: Adventurous Spirit Still Lives

Posted on Sep 07, 2012

Barry's Relatively Speaking shares the personal experiences and stories of genealogists found in the Everton Genealogical Helper Magazine collection on Cary shares the following experience.

During Christmas holidays in 1976, three friends and myself made a twenty-five day tour of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. We arrived early in January at Manchu Pichuu, Peru. One morning I was sitting on one of the ceremonial

rocks and began to chat with the young fellow who had also chosen this place to warm up in the crisp, thin air. After awhile we got to the usual exchange that American tourists tend to engage in. I had said I wouldn't ask one other person where he was from, but I did. The fellow replied, "Texas. Where are you from?"

I told him, "Arkansas."

Then he said, "Oh, we have some people travelling with us from Arkansas. My sister married a guy from Arkansas."

I queried, "Where in Arkansas?"

The reply, "Wynne."

Astonished, I asked, "Who is it?"

The answer, "Dave Block."

This was almost unbelievable, but I continued, "If it is Dave Block, then it has to be Dave Block the third."

Again, my new friend said, "It is."

Dave Block and I are fifth cousins, but we had never met. We were both born in Wynne, but I grew up some fifteen miles away and as I wasn't really interested in genealogy as a high school student, never met the Blocks. Here we were some five thousand miles from where we were both born and met for the first time. He was in Peru to work on his doctoral dissertation on a Peruvian Indian tribe. I am in Colombia teaching and serving as Director of an American Sponsored Bilingual School.

Our common ancestor John Shaver was born in Pennsylvania in the 1750's, moved to Mecklenburg County, North Carolina about 1770, to Sumner County, Tennessee, in the 1790's and in the 1810's he moved to Arkansas where he died about 1835. I can't help but believe that this adventurous spirit of John Shaver still lives on in his two great - great - great - great grandsons that met in one of the most out of the way places of the world.

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