Longevity claims

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Longevity claims are claims to extreme longevity (usually 110 or older) that either cannot be verified or for whom only some evidence is available. Longevity claims differ from existing verified supercentenarian cases, and also from longevity myths in that either some evidence exists, the case has not been proven false, and/or the claim was not constructed as a result of a longevity myth, which tends to focus on the "village elder" concept, "fountain of youth" concept, nationalist mythology, racial mythology, patriarchal mythology, etc. One test of this is the idea, put forth by William Thoms in the 1870s, of the 100th birthday test: is there evidence of the person claiming to be age 100 some 10 or more years prior to their claim? This test does not prove a person's age (indeed, Susie Brunson passed this test, but later was shown to have exaggerated her age well before this time). However, this test does separate the typical pension-claim longevity exaggeration (which tends to run to about age 115 up to 125) and the "myth of longevity" claim, whereby a spontaneous claim is made that a certain village elder is "150" or "167." E.g.: Bir Narayan Chaudhuri may have claimed to be 141 years old in 1998, but there was no evidence of a 100th birthday party 41 years earlier.

Problems with the documentation process

In the transitional period of record-keeping, records tend to exist for the wealthy and upper-middle classes, but are often spotty and non-existent for the poor. In the United States, birth registration did not begin in Mississippi until 1912 and was not universal until 1933. Hence, there is the problem of many cases whereby no actual birth record exists. Since some were recorded in the census, however, there may be obtainable evidence that tends to support the age claim. Sometimes, however, a single year may be off. In the case of Susie Gibson, for example, the family (and Susie herself) claimed her to be born on October 31, 1889, but no birth document has (yet) been located. The earliest record available, the 1900 census, lists her as born in October 1890. Hence, since the 1900 census is a proximate record (not written in 1890), it can be said that there is a near-certainty that Susie was at least 115, and it's still possible that she was in fact 116. In a similar, related case, inconsistent records suggested that Maggie Barnes was at least 115, but possibly a year older. Documentarians tend to 'err on the side of caution'. Thus, Ms. Barnes claimed to be 117, and was at least 115, but could have been 116.

In some cases a person may just miss the standards required for acceptance. For example, Rosa Williams of College Park, Georgia died in January 2001, allegedly born in May 1886. The 1910 census listed her as 22, suggesting she was born in May 1887 or May 1888. Hence, we cannot be certain of her age, but some evidence exists to support the claim. This type of case is said to be "partially validated", although she was at least 112, so a supercentenarian regardless.

In another type of case, the only records that exist are late-life documents. Because age inflation often occurs in adulthood (to avoid military service; to apply for a pension early, or because the government began record-keeping during their mid-lifetime), unverified claims also exist. Unverified claims are less likely to be true (because the records are written later), but are still possible. However, because demographic mortality tables show ages above 130 to be extremely unlikely to be true (on the order of trillions to one odds), it would be best to assume that unverified claims to age 130 and above are automatically false, and hence best served by longevity myths. The purpose of longevity claims, then, is to serve as an inventory for the grey area between validated (certainly true cases) and mythical (cases improbable in the extreme that nonetheless may be accepted as valid under non-scientific discourses, such as religion). For example, Hanna Barysevich of Belarus, who claimed to have been 118, can neither be verified nor debunked, and the age claim was within the realm of possibility (the maximum proven age being 122). Hence, her case was a longevity claim.

Lists of longevity claims

The below lists are meant to show the present and past range of longevity claims, in the grey area between verified and impossible. The lists should be viewed as a spectrum, with the lower ages being more likely to be true and the higher ages less likely to be true.

These lists also serve the purpose of showing the wide range of distribution of extreme claims, which refutes the contention that such claims are particular to only certain "longevity villages". The lists also help to dispel the notion that one claimant should be accepted (without records) while ignoring all the other claims out there (which would also have to be accepted if records weren't required). Finally, because a few of the claims may be true but records do not exist or have not been found, the lists serve the third purpose of categorizing those grey area cases (such as the one of Maria Strelnikova of Russia) that could be true, but have not (yet) been proven as such.

Partially-validated cases (presumed to be living)

These cases have some evidence of validity, but do not meet the criteria for full validation. F.e.: the person may be listed in the 1930 census or Social Security Death Index (in the U.S.).

Name Claimed birth Alleged age Residence
Richard Washington April 13, 1893 126 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Darlington, South Carolina, Flag usa.gif United States
Virginia Call January 4, 1894 126 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Illinois, Flag usa.gif United States

Recent claims with no records (presumed to be living)

These cases have no publicly available early-life records to support them, but have been made in the press. At the very least, the person should have a claimed year, month and day of birth to be listed here. Claims that don't should be listed in the article about longevity myths. Only claims of at least 113 are included here. Note: the current oldest verified living person is Edna Parker from the United States.

Name Claimed birth Alleged age Residence
Moloko Temo July 4, 1874 145 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data South Africa
Habib Miyan 22 May, 1878 141 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data India
Maria Olivia da Silva 28 February, 1880 140 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Brazil
Tsunyelo Dora Muzila 4 May, 1880 139 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data South Africa
Du Pinhua 22 April, 1886 133 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Flag of the People Republic of China China
Alberto Yoip 12 May, 1886 133 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Cuba
Noninji Elizabeth Bete 21 May, 1886 133 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data South Africa
Ida Stewart 5 November, 1886 133 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Jamaica
Józef Piotrowski (organist) 7 September, 1887 132 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Poland
Józef Buszyło[1][2] 7 October, 1887 132 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Poland
Pearl Gartrell 1 April, 1888 132 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Florida, Flag usa.gif United States
Amelia Costa dos Santos 15 May, 1888 131 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Brazil
LaJean Smith 23 June, 1889 130 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Arkansas, Flag usa.gif United States
Floripes Luzia Damasio 13 December, 1889 130 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Brazil
Clara MacLeash 1 January, 1890 130 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Jamaica
Pa Igboezu Asoegwu 20 April, 1890 129 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Flag of Nigeria Nigeria
Varvara Semennikova 10 May, 1890 129 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Flag of Russia Russia
Khabibamal Khamitova 1 July, 1890 129 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Flag of Russia Russia
Baji Safaorva 3 July, 1890 129 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. File:Flag of Azerbaijan.svg Azerbaijan
Manuel Alvarez 15 September, 1890 129 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Cuba
Hryhoriy Nestor 15 March, 1891 129 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Ukraine
Sostenes Martinez[3] 22 April, 1891 128 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Mexico
Elias Athanasiades 14 May, 1891 128 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Greece (born in Flag of Turkey Turkey)
Clementina Rodriguez Quiros 13 November, 1891 128 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Panama
Angel Alberto Rengifo Cerqura 31 December, 1891 128 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Colombia
Rebecca Lanier 24 March, 1892 128 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Ohio, Flag usa.gif United States
Carmen Catrileo Hualla 18 July, 1892 127 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Chile
Marie Ribet Davis 10 December, 1892 127 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Cuba
Elizabeth Johnson 25 December, 1892 127 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Mississippi, Flag usa.gif United States
Ellen Spencer 3 January, 1893 127 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Template:Country data Jamaica
Lu Zijian[4] 15 October, 1893 126 years, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". Expression error: Unexpected < operator. Flag of the People Republic of China China

Limbo cases (no updates within at least two years)

Name Claimed birth Residence Notes
Feime Hassanoba April 1879? Template:Country data Bulgaria Last known to be living in April 1999 at the alleged age of 120.
Goshada Tsallaeva 15 November, 1886? Flag of Russia Russia Last known to be living in November 2002 at the alleged age of 116.
Marfa Salaikijskaja 10 September, 1889? Vilnius, Template:Country data Lithuania Celebrated her 115th birthday in Sept. 2004, no updates since then.
Maria Strelnikova 14 March, 1890? Flag of Russia Russia 115th birthday story in March 2005, no updates since then.

Longevity claims of the past (116+)

Note: only claims with a claimed birth and death date, and an age between 115 and 130 are included. For this article, claims above 130 are considered to be longevity myths. Disproven claims should also be listed in longevity myths. This list here represents the 'grey' area of cases on the cusp of believability.

Name Claimed birth Death Alleged age Country
Maria Do Carmo Geronimo[5] March 5, 1871? July 14, 2000 129 years 101 days Template:Country data Brazil
Mary Ewen[6] May 5 1878? April 10 2007 128 years 340 days Template:Country data Jamaica
Cruz Hernández May 3, 1878? March 8, 2007 128 years 309 days Template:Country data El Salvador
Elizabeth Israel January 27 1875? October 14 2003 128 years 260 days Template:Country data Dominica
Swami Kalyan Dev June 26 1876? July 12, 2004 128 years 16 days Template:Country data India
Benito Martínez Abrogán June 19 1880? October 11 2006 126 years 114 days Template:Country data Haiti/Template:Country data Cuba
Jackson Pollard[7] Dec 15 1869? Oct 25 1995 125 Georgia Flag usa.gif United States
Juan Ramos June 24 1880? Jan 24 2006 125 years 214 days Template:Country data Cuba-Template:Country data USA
Abewara Grace Aug 16 1878? Jan 18 2004 125 years 155 days Template:Country data Ghana
Alberta Davis Dec 24 1881? Jan 27 2007 125 years 34 days Georgia Flag usa.gif United States
Anna Visser Dec 25 1878? Jan 8 2004 125 years 14 days Template:Country data Namibia
Augusta Watts Aug 15 1876? July 9 2001 124 years 328 days Florida Flag usa.gif United States
Maria Etelvina dos Santos July 15 1878? Mar 8 2003 124 years 236 days Template:Country data Brazil
Armando Frid May 24 1866? July 28 1990 124 years 65 days Template:Country data Argentina
Ana Martinha da Silva Aug 27 1880? July 27 2004 123 years 337 days Template:Country data Brazil
Arthur Reed[8] June 28 1860? Apr 15 1984 123 years 292 days South Carolina Flag usa.gif United States
Hava Rexha Aug 14 1880? Nov 8 2003 123 years 86 days Template:Country data Albania
Mark Thrash[9] Dec 25 1820? Dec 17 1943 122 years 357 days South Carolina Flag usa.gif United States
Oberia Coffin Dec 1 1883? Oct 18 2006 122 years 321 days Texas Flag usa.gif United States
Dora Jacobs May 6 1880? Jan 19 2003 122 years 258 days Template:Country data South Africa
Mamie Evans July 2, 1872? Jan 15 1995 122 years 197 days North Carolina Flag usa.gif United States
David Peterson Nov 22 1850? May 31 1973 122 years 190 days Texas Flag usa.gif United States
Sarah Hoover June 25 1874? Dec 15 1996 122 years 173 days Texas Flag usa.gif United States
Lich Nguyen Dec 4 1876? Dec 11 1998 122 years 7 days Template:Country data Vietnam/Flag usa.gif United States (died USA)
Mary Duckworth June 4 1861? Apr 19 1983 121 years 319 days Mississippi Flag usa.gif United States
William DuBerry Feb 7 1870? Nov 14 1991 121 years 279 days South Carolina Flag usa.gif United States
Annibal Camoux 1638? 1759 121 years Flag of France France
Fred Greenwell Jan 26 1880? Jan 22 2001 120 years 362 days Tennessee Flag usa.gif United States
Atidje Starkova May 12 1875? Jan 24 1996 120 years 257 days Template:Country data Bulgaria
Ruperto Hernandez[10] 13 June, 1887? August 10, 2007 120 years 58 days Template:Country data Nicaragua
Li Cairong Nov 12 1885? May 10 2005 119 years 178 days Flag of the People Republic of China China
Emma Bodie Begay Nov 3 1887? April 6 2007 119 years 154 days Gallup, New Mexico Flag usa.gif United States
Hanna Barysevich May 18 1888? Feb 23 2007 118 years 281 days Template:Country data Belarus
Dominga Pantoja Nique[11] May 11 1889? Feb 14 2007 117 years 279 days Template:Country data Peru
Maria Andersson Dec 24 1828? Aug 24 1946 117 years 243 days Template:Country data Finland
Li Ada Apr 11 1889? Sept 27? 2006 117 169? Flag of the People Republic of China China
Katie Bruce[12] Mar 11 1890? July 16 2007 117 years 127 days Mississippi/Missouri Flag usa.gif United States
Nellie Chee[13] Oct 15 1889? Nov 14 2006 117 years 30 days New Mexico Flag usa.gif United States
Anton Adner[14][15] 1705? 1822 117 years Bavaria, Template:Country data Germany
Amanda Aguilar[16] May 3 1890? Feb 14 2007 116 years 287 days Template:Country data Nicaragua
Nils Ohrberg Jan 10 1700? Oct 12 1816 116 years 276 days Template:Country data Sweden
Minnie Lee Nave Aug 15 1890? Nov 21 2006 116 years 98 days Mississippi (USA)Flag usa.gif United States
Paweł Parniak Feb 27 1890? Mar 27 2006 116 years 28 days Template:Country data Poland
Franz Josef Eder[17] 1794? May 05 1911 116 years Template:Country data Germany

False and exaggerated claims (living)

These are claims that have been shown to be exaggerated:

  • Rosa Brown of Pleasantville, New Jersey alleged to be born Mar 15, 1890; now said born in 1901

References

External links

  • The idea of the demographic transition of longevity claims can be found in books published by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research at [2].
  • Lists and further discussion of cases may be found at [3] or [4].

no:Verdens eldste personer


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