Deceased man leaves behind family of 300+

Associated Press

Published Aug 22, 2002 HEIR23

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- When looking through the papers of Riley Toney Jr. after he died, family members found they had more relatives than they knew about - at least 307.

Toney, who died Sunday at 94, left behind three little black books chronicling the birthdays and wedding dates of his nine living children, 47 grandchildren, 110 great-grandchildren, 106 great-great-grandchildren and 35 great-great-great-grandchildren.

``We didn't know that until we found some of his papers,'' said granddaughter Cynthia Toney Cotton, 38.

In the part of Huntsville where Toney lived, people knew his family for its size, funeral home worker Celeste Gilmore said Wednesday.

``The church they're having the funeral at will basically fit the family alone,'' said Gilmore. ``No one else will be able to get in.''

Toney, a Navy veteran of World War II, went into a hospital with pneumonia and died after developing a blood clot in his leg. He and his wife would have celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary in October.