In September 2023, LongeviQuest’s Global Validation Commission conducted a review of the documentation for the former world’s oldest living person titleholder, Mrs. Johanna Booysen of South Africa. After reviewing the documentation submitted by Jimmy Lindberg, the Commission concluded that the validation was inaccurate.
Booysen was born in Heidelberg, Gauteng, South Africa. Her claimed date of birth was 17 January 1857. She passed away on 16 June 1968, at the claimed age of 111 years, 151 days. Around the time of her death, her age was validated, and she was included in the 1970 edition of the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest living person.
For decades after her passing, it was widely believed that she assumed the title of the world’s oldest living person on March 21, 1968, following the death of the 111-year-old British man, John Mosley Turner. However, in May 2023, LongeviQuest validated the age of 113-year-old Narcissus “Narcissa” Rickman from North Carolina, USA, who had passed away in October 1968. Since she was born before both Turner and Booysen and outlived them both, she was posthumously recognized as the world’s oldest living person of that time, thus reclaiming the title that Booysen had held for over 50 years.
However, with the discovery of new documentation this year, it has come to light that Booysen was not even a supercentenarian, let alone one of the oldest living people in the world. Her actual date of birth was determined to be January 17, 1867, based on details from her baptismal record. This makes her precisely ten years younger than her previously validated age.