Alan Turing is my cousin!

Today I was researching some family history and I made a bizarre discovery. My family is related to Alan Turing the famous computer genius, widely regarded as one of the ‘fathers’ of artificial intelligence and most famous for cracking the Enigma Code.

Can you see the family resemblance?

Sporting prowess clearly runs in the family.

We are fourth cousins once removed both descended from Thomas (of Arran Hill) STONEY Turing’s great, great, great grandfather, my (and my five brothers and sisters) great, great, great, great grandfather.

Thomas Stoney, born almost 269 years ago to the day (b. July 20, 1748) married for the first time to Ruth Falkiner of Borrisokane, Co. Tipperary, Ireland on May 6, 1773. Thomas and Ruth had 17 children (can you believe that).

Their eldest, George (of Kyle Park) Stoney (b. April 28, 1774), married Marianne Smith and let the family down badly, bearing only one child, Thomas George Stoney (b. May 29, 1808). Thomas then married Anna Henrietta Waller on September 12, 1829 and they had eight children, the sixth of whom was Edward Waller Stoney (b. February 10, 1844 in Borrisokane, Ireland). Edward’s first marriage July 7, 1875) was to Sarah Crawford and he a Sarah had a very modest four children. Their third child, Ethel Sara Stoney (b. November 18, 1881 in Madras, India) married one Julius Mathison Turing on October 1, 1907. Ethel and Julius are Alan Turing’s parents and the rest, as they say, is history.

Ethel Sara Turing (nee Stoney) showing a more than passing family resemblance.

Ethel Sara Turing (nee Stoney) in her old age. She died in 1976 aged 95. The women in my family tend to live a long time.

It’s relatively straightforward to track my family connection back to Bigoe Armstrong Stoney (b. in 1833 in Borrisokane, Tipperary, Ireland), who is my great, great grandfather and was the first of the Irish Stoney’s to journey to Australia – I’m assuming not against his will. However, the connection from Bigoe to the man who appears to be my common ancestor with Mr. Turing – Thomas (of Arran Hill) Stoney – is murkier.

It seems, from the excellent research done by Alex B. Stoney to update the original version of Some Old Annals of the Stoney Family (pub. 1879 by Major F.S. Stoney, R.A.), that the most likely scenario is that Bigoe was the son of Thomas (of Arran Hills) Stoney’s illegitimate daughter Eliza Stoney (b. 1810), who married her cousin Thomas Johnston Stoney in 1833. (Cue jokes about inbreeding now.)

Alex also concludes from his research that Eliza Stoney – the illegitimate daughter of Thomas and the mother of Bigoe Stoney – is the same Eliza Stoney who was transported to Tasmania in 1841 for a term of seven years, after being found guilty of larceny in the County of King’s in Tullamore, Ireland.

I would go a step further than Alex has and suggest that it is quite likely that Bigoe – who eventually died in Ballarat on April 20, 1878 – left Ireland and travelled to Australia to be with his mother, Eliza.

Families obviously disperse and gene pools get diluted but it was a fascinating to discover that my family has a direct ancestral connection with such a famous historical figure. Clearly the maths genius only passed through a certain part of the family tree.

A young Alan with his mum and dressed in a pretty cute little sailor suit.


2 thoughts on “Alan Turing is my cousin!

  1. Hi Tim,
    I came across your page while researching what turns out to be your branch of my family tree! My Great-Grandad would have been a 4th cousin of Alan Turing – we discovered this connection a few years ago too. I came across your blog/page while working on Eliza Stoney’s story. I’m descended from Thomas J and his wife Eliza Going – they are my 5xGreat-Grandparents. If Thomas J. was really Bigoe’s father then that means you would be my Gran’s 4th cousin, and I’m your 4th cousin twice removed!

    1. Hi Caroline,
      That sounds fascinating. Apologies, I’ve only just come across your post. I will have a look back through the family tree… so who is your Great-Grandad? And your Gran? I can send you the page from the finally history book that was written by a relative of mine that talks about the connection to Alan Turing through his mum, Eliza Stoney. I’ve always meant to get a hold of the book she wrote about her son. Apparently it’s a good read.
      Keep in touch and send me an email address where I can contact you and I’ll forward a copy of anything I’ve got about the family links;.

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