Who is the oldest person in your tree that you have met?

+24 votes
One of the things I love about genealogy is connecting with the past.  I have a picture of Pamela Heaven/Priday [[Heaven-72|Pamela  (Heaven) Priday (1813-1908)]] holding my great-aunt.  Pamela was born in 1813 (or 1806) and my great-aunt, her great-grandaughter, was born in 1900.

The earliest person that I remember actually meeting was my great-great-aunt Nellie ([[Allison-6701|Nellie Serena (Allison) Nunn (1885-1979)]]) She visited my grandfather in about 1977 and I remember thinking how old and wrinkled she was - she would have been about 92. She told me about her mother Arabella (Granny Belle in the family) who could run upstairs faster than anyone, even when well into her eighties.

Who is the earliest person you have met?
WikiTree profile: Nellie Nunn
in The Tree House by Nigel Redford G2G4 (4.4k points)
leon j Roberge sr...….85 AND STILL ACTIVE

we just lost our 100 yr old  MARY FROM TORRINGTON.CONN

My Grandma Jones.  She died 2 weeks before her 101st birthday.
I love this question as I feel I was truly blessed to have had and known my Great Grandfather Archibald McNay. He was a great story teller when we were kids, he always help my interest as he told stories of all the places he lived. He was in my life right up until I graduated from High School, I was 18 and he was 98. His love of life and traveling inspired me to travel myself and visit places all around our great country.
The oldest person I have met was my g.aunt Lissa.  My grandmother's eldest sister.  Born Sarah Ulissa Holliday in June 1873 she lived just across the road from grandma and every time we stayed (several times a year) the first thing she said to us was "go and say hello to Aunt Lissa".  She died in 1970 age 96 when I was 23.
My great-grandmother, Ramona Davila Davila de Maldonado, born in 1877.  Also my grand father, Ramon Valentin Ruiz, who was born in1900 and lived to 99.  Both were wonderful people
I met my great grandparents, with Will Brogdon being the one born the furtherest back, in history. He was born William David Houston Brogdon, in 1882, and died in 1961. I remember being a child, and he pointed out a rose blooming on a bush at the end of the porch. He said," The last rose of Summer!"
The earliest person I've met would be my paternal grandfather, Ettore Corbellani, who lived in the same block as us until he passed away at age 93 (1902-1996). I remember when the Halley Comet came back in 1986 that he told me that he had seen it as a child (in 1910) and he remembered people said it was going to crash into the planet that night. So he and his brother were somewhat scared, but his mother send them to bed and told them "Tomorrow we'll know."
I met 3 of my grandparents before I was 5. My paternal grandfather was adopted by the Clancy family and his name was Frank or Francis H Clancy born in 1871 in Forestport, Oneida, NY. I don’t remember much for him except being told to be quiet and seeing him in his casket when he died. Grandma Clancy born Maud Miller in 1872  I remember as a good cook. I stayed with her for a while in 1948, about two weeks, my family used to drive to her home every Sunday for dinner from (Oneonta, NY to Utica, NY) and she taught me to crochet.

My Maternal grandfather was born in 1877, and my visual memory is his holding my hand as we crossed  the RR tracks to buy an ice cream cone when I was about 4 yrs old, mainly of his mustache.

I have also memories of a great aunt, who I visited when young, she was born 1869. There is uncertainty of her name, but we called her Aunt Miney and her husband Uncle Oney and they were the Finnegans. I’ve since learned he was her 2nd husband -Owen. And she was Mina Miller, my maternal grandmother’s sister.

Of course I am 88 now, so it makes difference
My Grandfather, Henry Hunt (my dads dad) born 6/23/1876.
He was an awesome Grandfather.

88 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer
My maternal grandfather was born in 1852. He was 102 when I was born and died when I was three. I have faint memories of him. I think it is remarkable that I sat on the lap (my grandfather) of a person who sat on the laps (his maternal grandparents) of people who were born in the 1780's.
by Mary Lay-Stephenson G2G1 (1.1k points)
selected by Kevin Sadaj
+18 votes
I have a very short history. In my direct line it would be my father. My Grandfathers died 26 and 2 years before I was born and my Grandmothers died 32 and 14 years before I was born. So doing genealogy has helped me to get to know my family and what they did and what the were like.

For those of you building your histories, make sure you add those personal notes for the generations to come to understand what these people where like.
by Richard Devlin G2G6 Pilot (438k points)
That's really good advice about writing these things down.
Though, I was lucky enough to meet 3 of my biological grandparents, and remember 2, my dad's mom passed in 1961. I did get to meet his stepmother twice. My family was very disjointed growing up and it wasn't until recently, that I began reaching out and connecting with many cousins. Most of whom were shocked (or freaked out) that I knew as much about them as I did. I 100% agree though, we must document our experiences, life's too short, leave a story for those that follow.
+14 votes
It's a tie. My maternal grandfather (1914) and my paternal grandmother (1910) both lived to age 89. I grew up with my grandfather and so knew him well. I only met my grandmother a few times, so I was very lucky. In fact, I met her when I was 17 years old. At the time of our meeting she presented me with a baby doll that she had purchased at the time of my birth and saved all those years to give to me. Throughout the years her daughters would ask for the doll, to give to their own daughters, but she refused.

I have a Facebook cousin (1928) who is currently 92 years of age and going strong. I can always count on him to comment on all of my posts. His little brother (1930) is also still living. They are my first cousins, once removed.
by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (681k points)
+15 votes

I was blessed to know all of my grandparents. My paternal grandfather was born the earliest, in 1879. He was followed by my maternal grandfather in 1881, my maternal grandmother in 1885, and my paternal grandmother in 1891. Through them I learned a lot about what life was like in the late 1800s and forward.

by Robin Shaules G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
Robin, you are so sweet to realize the importance of grandparents. Glad.you had them in your life.
Thanks Alexis. Yes, they were all with me well into my life and I knew them all well.  I can't imagine what my life would have been like without their influence.
+15 votes
The oldest person in my family tree whom I still knew personally was my paternal grandmother, who died in 1985 shortly before her 92nd birthday.

The second oldest was the father of my paternal grandfather (my great-grandfather), who died in 1963 at the age of almost 89.
by Dieter Lewerenz G2G Astronaut (2.6m points)
+14 votes
When my first child was born my grandmother took us to show off to her aunts born in the 1870s. They were our daughter's great great great aunts. Both elderly and widowed they wore full length skirts and lots of lace at the neck.
by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Pilot (301k points)
+17 votes
My great nana Elsie May Mimms (Mimms-73). Born 16th July 1913, died earlier this year aged 106. An incredible woman that I have spoken about a few times on here.

The next oldest would be Ernest William Smith (Smith-163327), another great-grandparent, born 12th March 1915, died 23rd November 2003. I can't say I have any recollection of meeting him, but he died when I was a one year old, was at my christening, and I've been told before that he held me and sang to me when I was a baby.

My other great-grandparents were all dead by the time I was born. Perhaps 1913 and 1915 don't sound particularly impressive to many people on here, but as someone who could very possibly be the youngest genealogist here at 18 years old, I don't think there are many people my age who got to know people born in those years (especially properly, like I did my great nana).
by Anonymous Dowding G2G6 Mach 3 (32.5k points)
+17 votes
For me it was my maternal grandfather born in 1888 and died in 1994, a few months before his 106th birthday. He always lived three blocks down the street from us. I also knew all of his siblings born from 1877 to 1896, who all lived into their late 90's.

The next is my mother born in 1918. She is still alive and active in her community at 102.
by Karen Raichle G2G6 Mach 8 (80.5k points)
+10 votes
That's a toss up between my grandfather who died in 2017 at the age of 94 and my great-aunt on my dad's side who is still alive and kicking at the age of 97. Gonna have to go with the great-aunt. =D
by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (609k points)
+11 votes

I met my great-grandfather DeBaun Van Aken who was born in 1863 and died in 1957.  I cannot claim to remember him, but I do recall a family excursion after his funeral to pick up a couple of items from his household.

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
+9 votes

I am the youngest cousin with 15 year + age difference.  

I met all my grandparents . The oldest was my maternal grandfather Frederick

by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
+10 votes

Hannah Bloomfield (Wood) Toy I met her at the age of seven in 1960. She would have been 88.

Alma Olive (Toy) Judd, her daughter and my paternal grandmother. Last saw her in 1993. She was 93 at the time.

by Rob Judd G2G6 Pilot (101k points)
+14 votes

Granddad was born about 1873. He was about 87 when he showed up at our door for a several month visit. When asked how he got from Florida to Central New York, he said that he hitchhiked.

by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (498k points)
The story of his journey would be quite something!
+11 votes
The oldest person i personally know was my paternal grandmother. She was born in 1902 and died in 1997 two days before christmas at 97 years old.
by Jennifer Robins G2G6 Pilot (167k points)
+18 votes

When I was small, I visited my great grandmother Mari (Winkler) Deitel (about 1860 - 1952) often.  I loved to go to her house, where I was fascinated with a chair in her kitchen.  It was hinged and could transform into a ladder and had about 20 coats of paint - all the different colors showed in the spots where it was chipped.  I never tired of playing with that chair.

One of her four daughters (all that I thought existed until I discovered 10 more children a couple of years ago) lived with her and I also knew my other three great aunts very well (my grandmother - her fourth daughter) died when I was four and I have no memory of her).

A few years ago, I was telling my husband about that magic chair and looked it up on the internet, where I discovered that it is called a Franklin library chair (after Benjamin Franklin, who designed the first of that type).  He surprised me that Christmas by making me one that he designed, which I now call "my great grandmother's chair", although of course, that's only in my own mind.

by Gaile Connolly G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
I think 1860 is the oldest date so far!

I can match this--almost, with a certain birth date of 31 October 1867 for my maternal great Aunt Ella (profile Baker-8802 includes small-town newspaper photo with article "Aunt Ella doesn't think 93 is old." taken the day before her 93rd birthday.She died 18 June 1962 in her 95th year.

As the headline indicates many folks in town called her "Aunt Ella". She lived a block from where I grew up so I visited her with my mother over the years.

Her husband had died in 1906, leaving 4 young daughters for her to raise; one of them, also an early widow, lived with her in later years in what had been the home of her parents and eldest brother, all of whom she cared for while raising her children.

My recollection of her, rocking gently in her rocking chair was the personification of calm, a wrinkled version of my "Pop-Pop", her 20 yr. younger brother.

Marj, the "about 1860" isn't a guess.  I have seven sources in her profile, admittedly none of them primary, that show her birth year as:

  • 1858 in marriage record, immigration record and 1930 census
  • 1859 in 1905 census
  • 1860 in 1925 census (selected average for a guess)
  • 1861 in 1920 census
  • 1862 in 1915 census

Gaile, As you ascertained I took the usual meaning of "about" (with a date) in your description of your great grandmother's birth. Since 1858 is cited in 3 sources, why not use that along with your further explanation in notes. I did say "almost"smiley.

+10 votes
I'm a bit younger than some (not all!) Wikitreers, so I didn't get to meet anyone born in the 19th century, or if I did, it was when I was a toddler and I have no memory of it.

I do remember my maternal grandfather, who was born in 1905. That seems positively ancient now in 2020. He was missing a finger, and I remember asking him what happened to it. He told me he stuck his hand in a dark hole and a rat bit it off! As he told everyone a different story, I don't think that's actually what happened. I think he told me that to keep little me from sticking my pudgy baby fingers in dark holes. It worked -- I was definitely too scared to do anything that would result in a rat biting off my finger!
by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (256k points)
+11 votes
Probably my grandfather when he was in his early 90s.

He died when he was 95.

My uncle died when he was 100 years old, but the last time I saw him was when he would have been in his 80s..
by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+12 votes
I was very lucky to have known both my paternal great-grandmothers (big gram and little gram). They were born 1873 and 1882 respectively and died in the 1950s. Though I barely older than a toddler, I remember both clearly.
by Jay Wickham G2G6 (7.0k points)
+11 votes

The oldest person in my tree that I have met was my paternal aunt, Lula Mae (Buch) Reed.

She lived 97 years, 2 months and 4 days.

01 Jan 1918 – 05 Mar 2015

by Tommy Buch G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
+11 votes

I was born in 1968. At my christening attended my great grandfather Hugo who was born in 1885.

The earliest born family members I really can remember are my other great grandparents Ernst (1890-1975) and Signe (1893-1985).

And my oldest living relative that I knew, was my maternal grandmother who died in 2016 when she was 99 and a half.

by Maria Lundholm G2G6 Pilot (183k points)

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