21    Jun 20127 comments

Your family tree: Long-living relatives

Besse Cooper is an American supercentenarian (a person more than 110 years old) and is the oldest living person today.

She is 115, and was born on August 26, 1896.

Can you imagine what changes Besse has witnessed in her lifetime? She has lived through 20 US presidents, world wars, global economic crises, men on the moon, space travel and universe-changing technological innovation.

What's her secret to longevity? She says it is minding her own business and not eating junk food! View a short video about Besse below.

We'd also like to hear from our readers about longevity. Who lived the longest in your family tree? Did your longest-lived relatives share their secrets for life? Let us know in the comments.

22    Apr 20111 comment

Supercentenarians: Some of the World’s Oldest Family Members

For those of us researching our ancestry back to nearly a century ago, it’s easy to forget that there are still some who remember these times first-hand.

When Walter Breuning, then the world’s oldest man, died last week at the age of 114, it was a timely reminder of this. He could tell stories about times before the First World War, such as when he lied about his age to get a job on the Great Northern Railway at 16, working seven days a week and earning $90 a month – “a lot of money at that time.”
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