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Editor's note: this article is seriously out-of-date with some sections. Use with caution, particularly for the lists of recent claims.




Longevity claims are claims to extreme longevity (usually 115 or older) that either cannot be verified or for whom only some evidence is available. The issue of just what constitutes a "longevity claim" has been problematic. By its broadest definition, a "longevity claim" is "any claim to longevity". However, for the purpose of scientific standardization (analogous to "meterological winter"), the definition of "longevity claim" must be defined in such a way that it can be useful as a category. The scientific definition limits claims to those that are of such an extreme age that the likelihood of the claim being true, prima facie, is improbable, but not impossible. Currently, this definition works best with the range of 115 (1-2% chance of being true) to 130 (the approximate theoretical maximum human lifespan). 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. For claims to 130+ (beyond the range of statistical scientific possibility), please see longevity myths.

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 31 October 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 Susie was at least 115, and it's still possible that she was in fact 116 - assuming that the person claiming to be Susie Gibson is the woman born in 1889 or 1890. 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, 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.

Main article: List of living longevity claims

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. If a case has not been brought up to date in the last two years, it is moved to the "limbo" list (a one-year window is used for validated cases; the issue here is tracking alternative claims, not providing statistical information). Note: The current oldest verified living person is Nabi Tajima of Japan, who is currently 117 years old.

Name Claimed birth Alleged age Sex Country of Residence Last Known Update
Cliceria Gomez-Morales 20 Sep 1885?

132 years, 83 days

F MEX FlagMEX 28 Apr 2007[1]
Sadiq Sawut[2] 9 Aug 1887?

130 years, 125 days

M CHI FlagCHN 7 Oct 2008
Clara MacLeash 1 Jan 1890?

127 years, 345 days

F JAM FlagJAM
Magomed Labazanov[3] 1 May 1890?

127 years, 225 days

M RUS FlagRUS 5 May 2008
Maikup Zhan[4] 15 Jun 1890?

127 years, 180 days

F CHI FlagCHN 7 Oct 2008
Ana Maria Perez Gonzalez[5] 22 Jun 1890?

127 years, 173 days

F MEX FlagMEX
Baji Safaorva 3 Jul 1890?

127 years, 162 days

F AZE FlagAZE
Amai Cering[6] 16 Mar 1891?

126 years, 271 days

F CHI FlagCHN
Sostenes Martínez[7] 22 Apr 1891?

126 years, 234 days

M MEX FlagMEX
Elias Athanasiades 14 May 1891?

126 years, 212 days

M TUR FlagTURGRE FlagGRE
Lu Zijian[8] 15 Oct 1893?

124 years, 58 days

M CHI FlagCHN
Tatekulu Wilhem Shinima Niilenge[9] 6 Apr 1894?

123 years, 250 days

M NAM FlagNAM 11 Jan 2008
He Wenzhang[10] 9 Apr 1894?

123 years, 247 days

M CHI FlagCHN 7 Oct 2008
Tǎnase Tǎnase 15 Oct 1894?

123 years, 58 days

M ROM FlagROU 15 Jul 2007[11]

Limbo cases (no updates within at least two years)

Name Claimed birth Alleged age Sex Country of Residence Last Known Update
Feime Hassanova 14 April 1879?

138 years, 242 days

F BUL FlagBUL April 1999[12]
Noninji Elizabeth Bete 21 May 1886?

131 years, 205 days

F ZAF FlagZAF Dec 2005
Goshada Tsallaeva 15 Nov 1886?

131 years, 27 days

F RUS FlagRUS July 2006[13][14]
Józef Piotrowski 7 Sept 1887?

130 years, 96 days

M POL FlagPOL 8 Sep 2005
Amelia Costa dos Santos 15 May 1888?

129 years, 211 days

F BRA FlagBRA April 2005
LaJean Smith 23 June 1889?

128 years, 172 days

F USA FlagUSA June 2006[15]
Marfa Salaikijskaja 10 Sept 1889?

128 years, 93 days

F LIT FlagLTU Sept 2004
Floripes Luzia Damasio 13 Dec 1889?

127 years, 364 days

F BRA FlagBRA 2005[16]
Pa Igboezu Asoegwu 20 April 1890?

127 years, 236 days

M NGA FlagNGA April 2006[16]
Khabibamal Khamitova 1 July 1890?

127 years, 164 days

F RUS FlagRUS July 2006[17]
Ángel Alberto Rengifo Cerquera 31 Dec 1891?

125 years, 346 days

M COL FlagCOL 22 Aug 2006[18]
Carmen Catrileo Hualla 18 July 1892?

125 years, 147 days

F CHL FlagCHL 1 Feb 2005[19]
Elizabeth Johnson 25 Dec 1892?

124 years, 352 days

F USA FlagUSA Dec 2005[20]
Ellen Spencer 3 Jan 1893?

124 years, 343 days

F JAM FlagJAM 22 Jan 2006[21]

Longevity claims of the past (115+)

Note: only claims with a claimed birth and death date, and an age between 115 and 130 are included. Claims above 130 are considered to be longevity myths. Disproven claims should also be listed in the debunked cases page. This list here represents the 'grey' area of cases on the cusp of believability. Cases which are likely to be true still have to be added here as long as they're unverified.

Name Sex Claimed birth date Death date Claimed age Country
Ali Ben Mohamed El Amri M 5 Oct 1880? fl. 30 Sep 2010 129 years, 360 days+ TUN FlagTUN
Maria do Carmo Geronimo F 5 Mar 1871? 14 Jul 2000 129 years, 101 days BRA FlagBRA
Mary Ewen F 5 May 1878? 10 Apr 2007 128 years, 340 days JAM FlagJAM
Elizabeth Israel F 27 Jan 1875? 14 Oct 2003 128 years, 260 days DMA FlagDMA
Jose del Rosario Serrano M 5 Mar 1881? 24 Apr 2009 128 years, 50 days COL FlagCOL
Swami Kalyan Dev M 26 Jun 1876? 12 Jul 2004 128 years, 16 days IND Flag IND
William Johnson M 8 May 1881? c.15 May 2009 128 years, c.7 days USA FlagUSA
Luo Meizhen F 9 Jul 1885? 9 Jun 2013 127 years, 335 days CHI FlagCHN
Juana Bautista de la Candelaria Rodriguez F 2 Feb 1885? 24 Dec 2012 127 years, 326 days CUB FlagCUB
Halim Solmaz M 1 Jul 1884? 29 Mar 2012 127 years, 272 days TUR FlagTUR
Tshinyelo Dora Muzila F 4 May 1880? 14 Jan 2008 127 years, 255 days ZAF FlagZAF
Benito Martínez Abrogán M 19 Jun 1880? 11 Oct 2006 126 years, 114 days HAI FlagHAI CUB FlagCUB
Jackson Pollard M 15 Dec 1869? 25 Oct 1995 125 years, 314 days USA FlagUSA
Juan Ramos M 24 Jun 1880? 24 Jan 2006 125 years, 214 days CUB FlagCUBUSA FlagUSA
Aberewa Grace F 16 Aug 1878? 18 Jan 2004 125 years, 155 days GHA FlagGHA
Alberta Davis F 24 Dec 1881? 27 Jan 2007 125 years, 34 days USA FlagUSA
Anna Visser F 25 Dec 1878? 8 Jan 2004 125 years, 14 days NAM FlagNAM
Augusta Watts F 15 Aug 1876? 9 Jul 2001 124 years, 328 days USA FlagUSA
Maria Etelvina dos Santos F 15 Jul 1878? 8 Mar 2003 124 years, 236 days BRA FlagBRA
Armando Frid M 24 May 1866? 28 Jul 1990 124 years, 65 days ARG FlagARG
Ana Martinha da Silva F 27 Aug 1880? 27 Jul 2004 123 years, 337 days BRA FlagBRA
Arthur Reed F 28 Jun 1860? 15 Apr 1984 123 years, 292 days USA FlagUSA
Hava Rexha F 22 Aug 1880? 8 Nov 2003 123 years, 78 days ALB FlagALB
Mark Thrash M 25 Dec 1820? 17 Dec 1943 122 years, 357 days USA FlagUSA
Oberia Coffin F 1 Dec 1883? 18 Oct 2006 122 years, 321 days USA FlagUSA
Dora Jacobs F 6 May 1880? 19 Jan 2003 122 years, 258 days ZAF FlagZAF
Mamie Evans F 2 Jul 1872? 15 Jan 1995 122 years, 197 days USA FlagUSA
David Peterson M 22 Nov 1850? 31 May 1973 122 years, 190 days USA FlagUSA
Sarah Hoover F 25 Jun 1874? 15 Dec 1996 122 years, 173 days USA FlagUSA
Lich Nguyen M 4 Dec 1876? 11 Dec 1998 122 years, 7 days VIE FlagVIE USA FlagUSA
Mary Ducksworth F 4 Jun 1861? 19 Apr 1983 121 years, 319 days USA FlagUSA
William DuBerry M 7 Feb 1870? 14 Nov 1991 121 years, 279 days USA FlagUSA
Fred Greenwell M 26 Jan 1880? 22 Jan 2001 120 years, 362 days USA FlagUSA
Joseph Brunner M 26 Nov 1706? 19 Nov 1827 120 years, 358 days GER FlagGER
Atidje Starkova F 12 May 1875? 24 Jan 1996 120 years, 257 days BUL FlagBUL
Pearl Gartrell F 1 Apr 1888? 23 Nov 2008 120 years, 243 days USA FlagUSA
Du Pinhua F 22 Apr 1886? 11 Dec 2006 120 years, 233 days CHI FlagCHN
Tatzumbia Dupea F 26 Jul 1849? 26 Feb 1970 120 years, 217 days USA FlagUSA
Ruperto Hernández F 13 Jun 1887? 10 Aug 2007 120 years, 58 days NIC FlagNIC
Li Cairong F 12 Nov 1885? 9 May 2005 119 years, 178 days CHI FlagCHN
Emma Bodie Begay F 3 Nov 1887 6 Apr 2007 119 years, 154 days USA FlagUSA
Józef Buszyło M 7 Oct 1887 8 Mar 2007 119 years, 152 days POL FlagPOL
Hanna Barysevich F 18 May 1888 23 Feb 2007 118 years, 281 days BLR FlagBLR
Rose Peters F 21 Feb 1883 26 Sep 2001 118 years, 217 days DMA FlagDMA
Felicie Cormier F 9 Nov 1879 14 Apr 1998 118 years, 156 days USA FlagUSA
Alberto Yoip M 12 May 1886 23 Jul 2004 118 years, 72 days CUB FlagCUB
Daniel Campbell M 12 Dec 1725 12 Dec 1843 118 years, 0 days UK Flag UK USA FlagUSA
Effie McLean F 20 Jan 1726 11 Dec 1843 117 years, 325 days USA FlagUSA
Varvara Semennikova F 10 May 1890 9 Mar 2008 117 years, 304 days RUS FlagRUS
Dominga Pantoja Nique F 11 May 1889 14 Feb 2007 117 years, 279 days PER FlagPER
Maria Andersson F 24 Dec 1828 24 Aug 1946 117 years, 243 days FIN FlagFIN
Maria Juana Martinez F 7 May 1898 20 Dec 2015 117 years, 227 days ARG FlagARG
Li Ada F 11 Apr 1889 24 Sep 2006 117 years, 166 days CHI FlagCHN
Katie Bruce F 11 Mar 1890 16 Jul 2007 117 years, 127 days USA FlagUSA
Andrew Hatch M 7 Oct 1898 18 Jan 2016 117 years, 103 days USA FlagUSA
Luke Blackwell M 5 May 1876 10 Jun 1993 117 years, 36 days USA FlagUSA
Nellie Chee F 15 Oct 1889 14 Nov 2006 117 years, 30 days USA FlagUSA
Maria Domingas Vaz de Lima F 15 Aug 1899? 4 Sept 2016 117 years, 20 days BRA FlagBRA
María Díaz Cortés F 4 Jan 1892? 15 Jan 2009 117 years, 11 days ESP FlagESP
Sebastiana de Lourdes Silva F 3 May 1895 1 Apr 2012 116 years, 334 days BRA FlagBRA
Agora Rafte F 13 Mar 1890 9 Jan 2007 116 years, 300 days GRE FlagGREROM FlagROU
Amanda Aguilar F 3 May 1890 14 Feb 2007 116 years, 287 days NIC FlagNIC
Nils Ohrberg M 10 Jan 1700 12 Oct 1816 116 years, 276 days SWE FlagSWE
Hryhoriy Nestor M 15 Mar 1891 14 Dec 2007 116 years, 274 days UKR FlagUKR
Francisca Simao F 9 Jan 1901 8 Oct 2017 116 years, 272 days BRA FlagBRA
Ying Lou Huang F 15 May 1898 28 Jan 2015 116 years, 258 days CHI FlagCHNUSA FlagUSA
Anisio Rodrigues Alves M 30 Dec 1892 16 Aug 2009 116 years, 229 days BRA FlagBRA
Marianna Ostrowska F 5 Aug 1897 Jan 2014 116 years, c.149 days POL FlagPOL
Clementina Rodríguez Quiros F 13 Nov 1891 23 Mar 2008 116 years, 131 days PAN FlagPAN
Minnie Lee Nave F 15 Aug 1890 21 Nov 2006 116 years, 98 days USA FlagUSA
Carrie White F 18 Nov 1874 14 Feb 1991 116 years, 88 days USA FlagUSA
Ciriaca Zapata F 23 Sep 1898 Dec 2014 116 years, c.69 days COL FlagCOL
Dora Meyers F 14 Jul 1816 11 Sep 1932 116 years, 59 days GER FlagGERUSA FlagUSA
Kamato Hongo F 16 Sep 1887 31 Oct 2003 116 years, 45 days JAP FlagJPN
Bartola Cornelio F 10 Jul 1898 18 Aug 2014 116 years, 39 days DOM FlagDOM
Paweł Parniak M 27 Feb 1890 27 Mar 2006 116 years, 28 days POL FlagPOL
Willie Shoulders M 25 Dec 1897 7 Jan 2014 116 years, 13 days USA FlagUSA
Manuel Carrasco Rodriguez M 4 Oct 1898 26 Aug 2014 115 years, 326 days PAN FlagPAN
Leodegaria Cavalcanti F 17 Nov 1899 21 Aug 2015 115 years, 277 days BRA FlagBRA
Sadie Caver F 1 Apr 1888 21 Nov 2003 115 years, 234 days USA FlagUSA
Mary Sullivan F 1 Jun 1722 20 Dec 1837 115 years, 202 days USA FlagUSA
Rosa Lumpkin F 17 Jul 1876 23 Dec 1991 115 years, 159 days USA FlagUSA
Katharine Reusch F 21 Feb 1835 28 Jul 1950 115 years, 157 days BRA FlagBRA
Maria Strelnikova F 15 Mar 1890 3 May 2005 115 years, 49 days RUS FlagRUS
Katie Hatton F 18 Dec 1876 24 Jan 1992 115 years, 37 days USA FlagUSA

Incomplete Cases

Here are claims which are incomplete e.g Either missing an exact birthdate or deathdate.

Name Claimed birth Death Alleged age Sex Country (birth/death, if different from each other)
Katrina Cuaresma Sapal[22] 1875? 10 June 2004[23] 129? years F PHL FlagPHL
Leah Lesczynski[24] 1768? December 1892 124 years F USA FlagUSA
Zeyneb Mammadova[25] 1886? September 2008 122 years F AZE FlagAZE
Annibal Camoux 1638? 1759 121 years M FRA FlagFRA
Maria Shakwei Chepkemoi[26] 1885 August 2004 119 years F KEN FlagKEN
Anton Adner[27][28] 1704/1705? 15 March 1822 117 years M GER FlagGER
Franz Josef Eder[29] 1794? 5 May 1911 116 years M GER FlagGER
Daniel Wanjau[30] 1889? August 2004 115 years M KEN FlagKEN

References

  1. News story; still living as of 28 April 2007
  2. "Sadiq Sawut". 
  3. News report on Magomed Labazanov at claimed age 118
  4. "Maikup Zhan". 
  5. El Universal, Cumple 118 Años
  6. Oldest Tibetan celebrates 117th birthday
  7. MILENIO.COM » Cumplió 116 años Sóstenes Martínez, el hombre más longevo del mundo
  8. "Lu Zijian". http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/8O7ZRsXvOz6G_-MWXPGcPYmNvHlf7ta17FgPQvGPZ_THm4j6O8b3gep3A6OPyXJQgTDapkiZ5mSNBOBKnV67/SupercentenarianLuZijian_ChineseDailyNews20070901.pdf. 
  9. Namibia: World's Oldest Man is 113 Years And Namibian
  10. "He Wenzhang". 
  11. [1]
  12. Bulgarian female possibly oldest person in the world
  13. Report on Goshada Tsallaeva's claimed 120th birthday in 2006 Invalid language code.
  14. News Report on Goshada Tsallaeva's claimed 120th birthday in 2006 Template:Ru icon
  15. News report on Lajean Smith's claimed 117th birthday
  16. 16.0 16.1 Gerontology Research Group: World's Oldest Claimants
  17. Report on the claimed 116th birthday of Khabibamal Khamitova
  18. Article mentioning Angel Alberto Rengifo Cerquera
  19. [2]
  20. Report on Elizabeth Johnson's claimed 113th birthday
  21. http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/html/20060121T200000-0500_97062_OBS_IMPRESSIVE__.asp
  22. World's oldest living woman in Sarangani?
  23. World’s oldest – 129-yr-old Sarangani Muslim princess–dies
  24. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9505E3DA1F31E033A2575BC2A9649D94639ED7CF
  25. http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=88952
  26. [3]
  27. http://www.berchtesgadener-anzeiger.de/includes/mehr.php?id=2224
  28. Bayerische Staatszeitung
  29. Guinness World Records - German - Home Page
  30. [4]

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 [5].
  • Lists and further discussion of cases may be found at [6] or [7].

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