Side by Side: Mary & Benjamin Rice
In the past, it was not so unusual for cousins to marry, especially when several brothers or sisters came early to America and then moved to neighboring towns in later generations. Arranged marriages may have been about land alliances or who was going to take care of aged family members.
Benjamin and Mary's gravestones are side by side in the old Common Cemetery and this is where I first noticed the differences in the height of the gravestones. It may not look like much but if one gravestone is going to be larger, it is usually the husband. When I took a close look at these gravestones, I was surprised that she died first.
That's the thing about old gravestones, it is not always easy to tell if they are replica/replacements or when they were placed there.
Most folks cringe when I mention that first cousins did marry. Did you?