My mom forwarded me this article about my dad's cousin selling his small utility company and retiring. His name is Tom Pierce. There's a funny account in there about how he had to run around a pole to get a dog tangled up so he could do his work, but that's not why I'm posting this. I had to do a double-take while reading the article. It mentions Tom's great-grandfather's name as Edward Pierce. That struck me as strange, because there's no Edward Pierce in my ancestry in the last ten generations. But Tom Pierce is my dad's cousin, and this is that same Tom Pierce and not someone else with the same name. Then I remembered something. What could I have remembered that would have made it all make sense? There are several possible answers consistent with the information I've given, but only one of them is the right answer in this case.
Note: Family members are not allowed to answer (except by email). I want to see if anyone comes up with this on their own.