By John Ensor •
Published: 13 Nov 2023 • 10:32
Ten members of the 12-strong Hernandez Perez family.
In the little town of Moya, on the island of Gran Canaria, the Hernandez-Perez family has achieved a record-breaking feat.
In September 2022, this extraordinary family set a new world record for the highest combined age of 12 living siblings, reaching an astounding total of 1,058 years and 249 days. This achievement surpasses the previous record by a significant 16 years, according to Guinness World Records.
The story begins with Modesto Hernandez and Martina Perez, whose marriage in Moya, Gran Canaria, led to the birth of their twelve children. These children, consisting of seven sons and five daughters, range in age from 76 to 98 years.
Jose Hernandez-Perez, the eldest, was born on December 30, 1924, marking the start of this record-breaking lineage. He was closely followed by his brother Alejandro on January 11 1926. Over the years, the family expanded with the addition of ten more siblings, including their first sister, Carmen, born in the summer of 1928.
This past summer, the siblings reunited in Moya to formally register their birth certificates before a notary, a step required to validate their world record. This record was officially recognised by Guinness World Records.
The family expressed their surprise at this achievement, saying, ‘We never thought we’d break a world record.’ This idea originated as a casual joke during a family gathering in June and evolved into a serious pursuit after they came across a newspaper article highlighting their unique longevity.
Beyond the pride and joy of setting a world record, the siblings view this accolade as a tribute to families in their city and the wider island, particularly those with eight or more siblings. They acknowledge the sacrifices made by these families in shaping modern society.
Their life in the mid-20th century was marked by the absence of modern conveniences. ‘Among the difficulties of the 30s, 40s and 50s, there was no technology, no public transport and very few doctors,’ the siblings recall.
They shared memories of walking miles for necessities, working in the fields, and participating in local community activities, highlighting a life of mutual aid and strong community bonds.
Their record surpassed the D’Cruz family from Pakistan, who previously held the record with a combined age of 1,042 years and 315 days as of December 2020
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
They probably survived as they had no local doctors pushing uneccessary pills.
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