Question of the Week: Who in your family lived the longest?

+16 votes

Who lived the longest?Who in your family lived the longest?

I have a great-uncle who lived to 107!

P.S. To help with this, Jamie Nelson added a feature to her ancestor stats app. Click here to see which ancestor of yours lived the longest.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
edited by Eowyn Walker

Apparently my 7th great-grandfather, Marten Janse van Alstyne lived to be 110! Didn't know I was Dutch until I found this lineage :) 

My husband’s uncle, Kenneth Dill, lived several months past is 100th birthday party.
that's an easy one for me: my grandmother  Drika Willems.

She was 100 years and a month when she died in 2002. I loved to talk with her about her life especially the periods during the two world wars. Stories about smugglers, cattle illnesses, emancipation of the farmers, how to evade german controllers etc. etc.

Hopefully me. Time will tell.

My grandmother Zelda Prinsky Brandt was 101 when she died.

My great aunt Johnnie O (Aunt Cosie) Ogden lived to be over 109 years old. 1890 - 2000.
My mother, Maxine Jeffrey, 103 years.  Three months after a hot-air balloon trip!  Up, up and away, a beautiful, generous musician.
Katherine, I'm sad to say that the 110-year lifespan for Marten Janse Van Alstyne probably is incorrect. There is reason to believe that two different men from different generations of the family have been conflated. However, that lifespan is not impossible. My husband's great-grandmother (not my ancestor) lived to 110.

Mary Ann Stillwell 100.

Not excited about the average lifespan of 69 years.

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Thank you,
My great grandfather William Sherman Fruits lived to be the oldest at 90.
Thank you for this cool AP My Father Ronald Charles Goss lived the longest in my family 99yrs.  I notice his ancestors [i.e from his Great Grandparents and the ones further back lived to an older age than many of their counterparts.]  not always a blessing in England - no work and needing care those days for many it was the Workhouse..

Comfort (Curtis) Seymour (1718 - 1819).

I seem to recall that I did a profile for a former enslaved person who was more than 115 years old. He was interviewed in the newspaper at something like 106 years old and I was shocked when I discovered how much longer he lived.

My 4th great grandmother apparently got to 106.

The second oldest I'm aware of is one of my Great Grandmothers, she was 89 or 90. We aren't sure on her birth year.

My Grandmother and her Sister are looking likely to outlive her though. 

57 Answers

+8 votes

The app says it was my paternal Grandma (93 years), but it's only checking ancestors and the question asks "family" .. so the oldest known in my family was my second cousin twice removed Maggie Gordon Vernon "Margaret" Murphy née Stewart who lived to 105 years.  surprise

My regret is that I never got to meet her, but one day I hope to meet her family.

(I seem to recall doing a profile of someone who lived past 100 years, but can't recall if it was 101 or 107, or 105.  He was a collateral rellie (married in to the family), so the name hasn't stuck in my mind the way Maggie's does.)

by Melanie Paul G2G6 Pilot (244k points)
+10 votes

That would be my great-aunt Lillie Elizabeth Sims Wright, who died on 26 August 2017 at the age of 104. The closest runner-up is my 7th great-uncle Samuel ("Old Sam") Pottenger, Jr who was born in 1718 and died in 1820 at the age of 102.

by C Handy G2G6 Mach 8 (86.1k points)
+7 votes

James Ford Sr.

102 years old.

2 of my great-grandmothers lived into their 90s and I met them both, though those memories are vague indeed. I recall them both asking "now, who are you?" At age 5 or 6, I wasn't sure how to answer that!

by W Counsil G2G6 Mach 2 (22.7k points)
My aunt lived to 106 Marie Lacenaire .
+10 votes
Don't know yet!
by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Pilot (237k points)

Are you planning to become the longest-living family member? laugh

At 92, I already am the longest known living ancestor - by 20 years !!
+10 votes
My great-grandmother Mary L. Perry lived to be 97. I have a photo of her STANDING in her garden 3 days before her death. Came over from N. Ireland at six months old. Oldest child. Eight brothers and one sister who was born after Mary’s first child.
+9 votes
My aunt (Dad's youngest sister) will be 101 in July (2019) and is still going strong!!

In my husband's family one of his aunts lived to be 102 and a half. She was one of our favorites!!
by Virginia Fields G2G6 Pilot (388k points)
Must add to this answer from 2019. My aunt will be 102 in a few days - still going strong!! I hope I have a lot of those genes.
+9 votes
Amazing longevity in my husbands family.  His father is close to 95 and still in great health.  His great-grandfather James Alexander Long (and father's namesake) lived to be 106.  The progenitor of this Virginia Long family line, Ware Long lived to be 116.  Must be genetic.

The humor of this family being name Long is not lost on me.
by Caryl Ruckert G2G6 Pilot (186k points)

Hey Caryl!  I have a long-lived Long, too.   His first name was Short.  wink

All the best,


+7 votes

Elva Mae (Martin) Schell, my paternal grandmother.  Grandma died just short of 102 years old.  One particular line of her ancestors shows unusual longevity that goes all the way back to William Galloway "Indian Billy" Ice (1730-1826), who lived to be 96.

by Michael Schell G2G6 Mach 1 (17.3k points)
+6 votes
My Uncle Eric died just last month having just passed his 100th birthday!!
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (792k points)
But if you want my direct ancestors, then my grandfather H Roy Thompson was the longest lived ancestor. He died at age 95 years.
+10 votes

Too soon to tell ... lots and lots of people in my family haven't made it to the finish line yet. 

But so far, the record holder is my great aunt Isabel McRae. In 2016 she passed away at a whopping 107 years old.  

by Alex Stronach G2G6 Pilot (273k points)
+9 votes

My second great grandfather, Seth Marvin I, lived to be 105 He served in the American Revolutionary War, and he was considered the oldest voter in the United States when at the age of 105 he deposited his vote in Conneaut Township, Crawford Co., PA for Lincoln and Johnson on Election Day. 

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (231k points)
+7 votes
My grandparents had an amazingly high lifespan, averaging 92 years. The oldest of them was my paternal grandmother Alma Olive (Toy) Judd who lived to 95.
by Rob Judd G2G6 Mach 7 (72.8k points)
Rob, my husband’s maternal family is like your family, and I believe there is a lot to good genetics. You very likely will have a good long life.
+8 votes

The app says my 4th great-grandmother, Theotiste Huard lived the longest (100 years), but her birth year is an estimate (1766). 

I know for a fact that my 4th great-grandfather, Benjamin Darby U.E.L. lived to be 99 years, 9 months. His son-in-law, Robert Ellis, recorded in his daybook,"Old Mr. Benm. Darby died this morning Sunday 5 o'clock aged 99 years 9 months". I count him as my oldest!

by Dawn Ellis G2G6 Mach 8 (83.7k points)
edited by Dawn Ellis
How do you add links???
+8 votes

[[Harris-29139 | Leonard R. Harris]]
My third great grandfather,[  Leonard Harris], born in 1792 in Wilkes County Georgia, and died 1895 in Pike County Georgia. He served in the War of 1812, and heeded the call to arms by the Confederacy in 1761 at age 69.  The Confederacy retired him in January of 1862 in Virginia due to mobility issues, and he made his way back to Georgia.

An article was published in the Pike County Journal, Zebulon, Pike, Georgia in 1892 stating he was 105:

"Perhaps the oldest citizen in this county was in Zebulon last Tuesday. We refer to Uncle Leonard Harris who is 105 years old and a remarkably hale and hearty old gentleman. Uncle Leonard has been physically active on his feet for more than a century and yet his step is more elastic than that of many men who have attained their three score years and ten."

His Discharge Certificate and Confederate pension application shows he was born 1792.

by Brenda Breland Shaffer G2G2 (2.6k points)
edited by Brenda Breland Shaffer
+7 votes

My oldest ancestor so far was Catherine (Morgan) Myott age 110. The next was Ambrose Greenburg Trusty who was up to a possible 103. I already knew this but I love the app! I bookmarked it so I can check it every so often smiley

by Mindy Silva G2G6 Pilot (417k points)
+7 votes
One of my ancestors was Lemuel Cook, a Revolutionary War soldier who lived to be 106.  That's the oldest I know of.

I have a great aunt alive right now who will be 103 next month.
by Matt Scheich G2G1 (1.7k points)
Matt, what a great ancestor. I looked at Lemuel on the DAR site and on Wikipedia, and I thought it was certainly interesting that he is consider the last surviving soldier that was in the American Revolutionary War.   Also, having a living 103 old great aunt is remarkable.
+7 votes

The app tells me that it was my gg grandmother Mary Anne Caroline (Turner) Stevens. She was born in India in 1841, and spent much of her life there, but died in Devon, UK, in 1933, aged 92. She had six children all of whom survived well into adulthood, but she outlived four of them. Mary (known as Minnie) was the wife of Sir Charles Cecil Stevens of the Indian Civil Service who was, apparently, responsible for the first hydro-electric power station in India!

Her mother-in-law, my ggg grandmother Deborah Hannah (Blomfield) Stevens missed out on the record by just one year, dying in 1908, aged 91. Born in Norfolk, the daughter of a dissenting minister, she had been a missionary's wife, living in Tahiti, New Zealand, and Tasmania, before coming back to the UK, where she lived in Honiton, Devon, until her death. And she had ten children, all but one (her first-born) surviving into adulthood.

Two redoubtable women... in this day and age I wonder what they would have done and been? 

by Sally Douglas G2G6 Mach 3 (32.8k points)
+5 votes

My 5th great-grandmother is said to have lived to 104.

(I hope that is correct :-)

by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (519k points)
+5 votes
That would be my Great Auntie Em - Emily Wilson, born Emily Mosson. She was born October 22, 1877 and died January 4, 1980. Auntie Em lived to be 103.
by Linda Hockley G2G6 Mach 1 (12k points)
+5 votes
What a cool app! William Wilson Sudberry-103 years old and his wife-Ona Rudd Sudberry-99! Thank you for doing this!
by Trina Gragg Fincher G2G3 (3.1k points)

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