Here at Family Grows on Trees, we love stories like this…
Gertrude Baines, the world’s oldest living person, has celebrated her 115th birthday today with a big cake.
She was also officially recognised as the world’s oldest person by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Ms Baines – who was born in 1894 in Shellman, Georgia – received a letter from US President Barack Obama, who took time out from his busy schedule to wish her a happy birthday.
The 115-year-old says she owes her “longevity to the Lord, that she never did drink, she never did smoke and she never did fool around”.
Ms Baines made the local news in November when she cast her ballot for Mr Obama in the presidential election, saying she backed him “because he’s for the coloured”.
She said she never thought she would live to see a black man become president.
Ms Baines’ ascension to the top spot came after the death of a Portuguese woman, Maria de Jesus, who was also 115.
Finding record breaking ancestors can be fascinating, especially as there is always a great deal of respect afforded to the over 100 year old club. Reaching this milestone and celebrating it is nothing new. In North London at the St Pancras Cemetery in East Finchley, a grave was erected by the St Pancras Burial Board in honour of some of their residents who reached the milestones of a century and above, before they died. They were, as follows:
Ann Bowtell – age 104 (died in 1895)
William James – age 104 (died in 1895)
Sarah Wright – age 101 (died in 1902)
Sarah Lamb – age 106 (died in 1907)
Joseph White – age 100 (died in 1909), and
Mary Ann Fullbrook – age 101 (died in 1924)
Do you have ancestors who reached this milestone? We can find out!