LongeviQuest is pleased to announce the age validation of Alfonso María Rojas Perdomo at 110 years old. He is the first Colombian supercentenarian from the Department of Huila whose age has been validated. 

Alfonso was born on 31 May 1913 in Palermo, Huila, Colombia. 

His family was forced to relocate to the Vereda “La Primavera” in Santa Maria, Huila, to avoid the violent conflict between the liberal and conservative parties of the Colombian politics. There, he acquired rural land with his brother and focused on agricultural and livestock work. 

In April 1984, aged 71. (Photo courtesy of the family)
In April 1984, aged 71.
(Photo courtesy of the family)

Alfonso was married on 12 May 1951 to María Luz Dussán Mejía and had eight children with her. 

At age 110, he is in good health and remains lucid. He is currently residing in Santa Maria, Huila, Colombia. 

For more information, please visit Alfonso María Rojas Perdomo’s Directory Profile here. 

 

LongeviQuest is pleased to announce the age validation of Akino Ueda at 111 years old. She is a Japanese supercentenarian known as the oldest resident in Sumida Ward, Tokyo, Japan. 

Akino was born on 5 November 1912 in Japan. 

In September 2019, aged 106. (Source: Sumida Ward Public Relations)
In September 2019, aged 106. (Source: Sumida Ward Public Relations)

During her 110th birthday, it was reported that she was still able to eat some fluids and jellies by herself. In September 2023, Akino was recognized as the oldest living resident of Sumida Ward in Tokyo. Because of this, she was visited by the mayor of the ward. A bouquet of flowers and a congratulatory letter were sent to her family on her behalf as she is currently in a nursing home. 

For more information, please visit Akino Ueda’s Directory Profile here. 

LongeviQuest is pleased to announce the age validation of Aiko Ōkubo at 110 years old. She was a Japanese supercentenarian born on 28 January 1913 in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. 

In 1934, she was married to a technical civil engineering officer from the Ministry of Home Affairs (now the Home Ministry of Japan). She had four children with him. 

In 1938, the family travelled across the sea to live in Manchuria, Northeastern China, which was a puppet state of the Japanese empire. Aside from enduring extreme temperatures during winter, the family also had to endure too many hardships such as their 20 km walk to Dashiqiao. They even got bundled into a freight train going north wherein they jump off the train because they don’t know where they are going. After a long, perilous journey in China, the family managed to get into a boat bound for Japan. They arrived at Maizuru City, Kyoto Prefecture, in June 1946.

Aiko tried to return to her hometown in Mito but found it completely burned down. On the other hand, her husband’s family was safe and unharmed, and so he inherited his family’s construction business. 

In August 2014, aged 101. (Source: ibjcp.gr.jp)
In August 2014, aged 101.
(Source: ibjcp.gr.jp)

Aiko travelled around Japan to visit nursing homes and give talks about her experiences. She would also play her Nagoya harp for them. Aiko did this until she was 104 years old.  

Mrs. Ōkubo was proud that she was able to raise fine and well-rounded children despite the hardships that they had to go through in China. One became a university professor, the other became a doctor, and the third managed a private elderly care facility. 

 Mrs. Ōkubo passed away on 22 September 2023 in Mito City, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. 

For more information, please visit Aiko Ōkubo’s Directory Profile here. 

When we read in the news that a person has turned 110, we as supercentenarian researchers are naturally thrilled. But there is a need to have a critical mind from the very start because many supercentenarian claims turn out to be false, especially the older the person claims to be.

The reasons for age exaggeration are many; a person can exaggerate their age from a very young age as a result of having married young or having become a parent early, there are also examples of a person exaggerating their age to both get into service, but also to avoid it (Wilmoth & Lundström, 1996; Poulain, 2010). Some people claim to be older in order to start collecting their pension early and others exaggerate their ages later in life in order to be noted by their community and media as especially long-lived individuals. Age exaggeration can also come in the form of identity theft, wherein a person assumes the identity of a parent or older sibling for various reasons (Wilmoth & Lundström, 1996).

It must also be noted that age exaggeration can be accidental, such as a person being mistaken for someone else, which can result in a person being attributed a much longer lifespan than they have actually lived. One example of this is the case of Pierre Joubert (1701? – 1814) where a father and son with the same name were mistaken for one another, resulting in this duo being recognized as the only “validated” supercentenarian for quite some time (Charbonneau, 1990; Desjardins, 1999).

From time to time there will also be examples of age deflation, where a person claims to be younger than they actually are. These cases are often not discovered since few of them actually live to be supercentenarians. One such example is that of Emma Isbell (1859-1969), who claimed to have been born in October of 1860 and died in December 1969, allegedly aged 109. However, she was listed in the 1860 United States Census as being eight months old as of June 1, 1860, meaning that it wasn’t possible for her to have been born in October of that year. Thus, in all likelihood she was actually a supercentenarian, something which was also supported by other early-life documentation.

William Thoms, the pioneer of age validation. Photo courtesy of: The Victorian Web

Age validation of exceptional longevity really originated with William Thoms and his rules for age validation (Thoms, 1873). Over the next century and a half many researchers have attempted to find the “golden rule” for age validation, with many different criteria being proposed (Poulain, 2010; Skytthe & Jeune, 1995; Rosenwaike & Stone, 2003). These criteria have been utilized and adapted for various purposes, with a supercentenarian claim being categorized as having various degrees of validation depending on how thorough their documentation is.

At the most basic level there exists proof that this person exists or existed and claimed to be a supercentenarian. This proof can come in various forms, such as a newspaper report, an obituary or a death record (Skytthe & Jeune, 1995). The next level is reached when there exists some sort of documentation supporting the age claim. Generally, the earlier a document is issued, the better the reliability of it actually supporting the correct age of the person. However, one document is not sufficient if a supercentenarian should be considered to be a validated supercentenarian. For most supercentenarians that are validated by organizations specializing in age validation there exist several documents that are in accordance with the person being a supercentenarian (Jeune & Poulain, 2021).

Some records, however, can be unreliable, especially documents issued when a person was older or when the person themselves wasn’t the respondent. Census records are generally such records that can be used to validate a person’s age with a lower degree of certainty, but they have been proven to be very unreliable, especially for claimants from the United States, where an age can fluctuate by several years from census to census. In order to achieve a higher standard of validation, birth or baptismal records are needed since they will generally contain an actual date of birth, something which is unfortunately lacking in almost all censuses or marriage records.

Still, it shouldn’t be considered sufficient that there are potential document matches for a person that is or was an alleged supercentenarian. Without doing a proper background check it is still possible for inaccurate attributions of identity to occur: especially mistaking a person for their earlier-born sibling is something that has occurred more than once for supercentenarian researchers.

Such is the case of Shigechiyo Izumi (1865? – 1986), who for a long time was recognized as the oldest man of all time (Matsuzaki, 1987; Glenday, 2010). Research later indicated that his extreme age was caused by his name given to him as a necronym for a sibling that had been born 15 years before him, thus making him only 105 years old at the time of his death.

Newspaper coverage of Shigechiyo Izumi’s purported 120th birthday. Photo courtesy of: Newspapers.com

For some supercentenarians a validation with the highest degree of certainty will not be possible. In many areas birth registration was not compulsory when they were born, leading to them not having any birth record. And family bibles, if they existed in the first place, have sometimes been lost. Therefore, there is a need for age validation to also accommodate for these instances. If the documentation is in accordance with the person being a supercentenarian, they should be recognized as such, but it should be noted that the validation was approved with a lower degree of certainty.

To achieve a very high-level of validation, a full family reconstruction is necessary (Skytthe & Jeune, 1995; Poulain, 2010). When performing a family reconstruction, each family member that can be considered relevant is investigated in order to rule out identity-theft, accidental mix-ups, and other potential scenarios that could result in the person not actually being a supercentenarian. Each member is therefore researched, and their vital information is noted in order to paint a complete picture of a supercentenarian claimant’s biography. Often this information can be extracted from the claimant (Poulain, 2010) or their relatives. In other cases, this information can be traced from vital documents such as a death file.

The need for a claim to be objectively reviewed by more than just one researcher to eliminate bias has been addressed in various ways. LongeviQuest, for example, has a Global Validation Commission consisting of researchers that review the research that is presented to them and analyze a claim by how well it adheres to the validation standards that have been postulated by the organization.

To show how age validation works in practice, it should be noted that some countries have better documentation than others. The Nordic countries especially are among the best in the world with their system based in church records and a personal identity number that allows for a person and their family members to be traced throughout their life. This will usually easily rule out wrongful claims.

Carl Mattsson, Swedish supercentenarian, the day he became the oldest Swedish man ever. Photo taken 18 July 2019 by Helena Erlandsson.

One such example of a very high-level validated supercentenarian is Carl Mattsson (1908 – 2019) of Sweden who possesses over 30 documents supporting him being a supercentenarian. Still, even in a country such as Sweden issues can exist in ascertaining how old a person actually is. Mattsson claimed to have been born on March 7, 1908, something which is supported by all documents except for his earliest document, a christening record which states that he was born on March 9, 1908. This discrepancy is, however, minor and doesn’t change the fact that he was a supercentenarian. A full family reconstruction could be performed and confirmed his identity (Appendix 1).

In conclusion, age validation of supercentenarians can take many forms and can vary from being very unreliable to having a high standard of validation, which is something that all researchers should strive to achieve in order for their data to be as accurate as possible.

 

References

Charbonneau, H. (1990) La Rubrique du P.R.D.H.: Pierre Joubert a-t-il vécu 113 ans? Mémoires de la Société généalogique canadienne-française, 41, 45–48.

Desjardins, B. (1999). Validation of extreme longevity cases in the past: The French-Canadian experience. In Jeune, B. & Vaupel, J. W. (Eds.), Validation of exceptional longevity, Odense Monographs on Population Aging. Odense: Odense University Press.

Jeune, B., & Poulain, M. (2021). The First Supercentenarians in History, and Recent 115 + −Year-Old Supercentenarians. An Introduction to the Following Chapters. In H. Maier, J. Vaupel, & B. Jeune (Eds.). Exceptional Lifespans. Springer. Demographic Research Monographs. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-49970-9_14

Matsuzaki, T. (1987). Characteristic of centenarians. In Transactions of the General Assembly of the Japan Medical Congress.

Poulain, M. (2010). On the age validation of supercentenarians. In Maier, H., Jeune, B., Robine, J-M., & Vaupel, J. W. (Eds.). Supercentenarians. Springer. Demographic Research Monographs. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-11520-2_1

Rosenwaike, I., & Stone, L. F. (2003). Verification of the Ages of Supercentenarians in the United States: Results of a Matching Study. Demography, 40(4), 727–739. https://doi.org/10.2307/1515205

Skytthe, A., & Jeune, B. (1995). Danish centenarians after 1800. In Jeune, B., & Vaupel J.W. (Eds.), Exceptional longevity: From prehistory to the present, Odense Monographs on Population Aging. Odense: Odense University Press.

Thoms, W. J. (1873). Human longevity, its facts and its fictions. John Murray, London.

Wilmoth, J. R., & Lundström, H. (1996). Extreme longevity in five countries: Presentation of trends with special attention to issues of data quality. European Journal of Population, 12, 63–93. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01797166

 

 

Appendix 1 – Family tree reconstruction of Carl Mattsson (1908-2019)

Parents
Rutger Mattsson (11.10.1877 – 26.11.1943)
Agda Elisabet Berndtsdotter (7.12.1877 – 7.9.1961) m. 25 Oct 1906
Siblings
Bror Magnus (16.12.1906 – 7.6.1993)
Otto Ragnar (30.7.1909 – 18.10.1985)
Erik Valdemar (12.1.1912 – 24.11.2004)
Ingrid Maria Eriksson (9.4.1915 – 5.12.2007)
Sigrid Alfrida (12.10.1918 – 20.4.1919)
Spouses
Sonja Juleida Margareta Behrendt (22.8.1907 – 20.4.1990) m. 12 Nov 1932, d. 7 Nov 1955
Ella Birgit Viola Andersson (21.10.1929 – 27.3.2010) m. 16 May 1964
Children
Berit Irene (8.3.1939 – 23.3.1984)

 

LongeviQuest is saddened to report the passing of Andrée Guyon. She was born in the commune of Aize, Indre Department, Centre-Val de Loire Region, France on 6 June 1911. She passed away in Saint-Éliph, Eure-et-Loir Department, Centre-Val de Loire Region, France, on 25 November 2023, at the age of 112 years. Following her passing, Lucienne Moreau succeeded her as the oldest living resident of the Centre-Val de Loire Region. At the time of her death, Guyon was the third-oldest living person in France, behind Marie-Rose Tessier and Andrée Bertoletto. Her age has been validated by the European Supercentenarian Organisation (ESO).

On her wedding day in 1937. (Source: Geneanet)
On her wedding day in 1937.
(Source: Geneanet)

Guyon got married in 1937 and had two daughters. She moved to Saint-Éliph in 1941 and worked as a cook for a family in Champrond-en-Gâtine, while her husband managed the forestry estate. She continued to work as a cook until she was 99 and moved back to Saint-Éliph.

Aged 107. (Source: L'Action Républicaine)
Aged 107.
(Source: L’Action Républicaine)

In June 2011, she celebrated her 100th birthday with 80 family members. As a centenarian, she had six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. In the winter of 2015, Guyon underwent a leg amputation and required a wheelchair. However, she remained optimistic and attributed her longevity to good humor and hard work. At the age of 108, she was still interested in the news from France and around the world.

LongeviQuest is extending our deepest condolences to the bereaved family and friends of Mrs. Andrée Guyon.

LongeviQuest is pleased to announce the age validation of Shizuko Kiyuna of Japan at age 111. She was born in Chatan, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan on 10 June 1912. After graduating from school, she spent several years helping her parents cultivate sugar cane fields. She married at the age of 17 and had four children.

Kiyuna (second from the left) with her family in 1960, at the age of 48. (Source: Courtesy of the family)
Kiyuna (second from the left) with her family in 1960, at the age of 48.
(Source: Courtesy of the family)

While her husband was deployed to the Sino-Japanese War, Kiyuna remained in Okinawa. She patiently waited for his return while caring for their young children. She wrote a letter to her husband’s captain. Impressed by her letter, the captain took steps to enhance her husband’s standing within the military. Kiyuna’s family admired her strength and determination, recognizing her role in supporting her husband’s success behind the scenes during his military service. During World War II, her husband remained in Chatan Town as a civil servant. Even after the war, Kiyuna continued to support her husband in his role, managing household duties, raising their children, and maintaining a strong passion for farming. Her dedication to farming and her unwavering work ethic were so profound that she often found it difficult to take the time to attend parent-teacher conferences at her children’s schools.

Kiyuna opened a small general store called “Kiyuna Shōten” around 1957. She ran the store until she was 60 years old. After retiring, she built a house near the store. Kiyuna filled the front garden with orchids, azaleas, and other flowers while growing vegetables in the back garden. Even into her 90s, she continued to pursue various interests, including playing the Ryukyu koto and practicing calligraphy. Her calligraphy was praised for its beauty and featured on the cover of a history book about Shimoseido in Chatan Town. The book also acknowledged her establishment of Kiyuna Shōten as a significant part of the town’s history. Despite her age, Kiyuna maintained her appearance. She was always applying makeup, dressing elegantly, carrying a handbag, and walking to her son’s store every day. She instilled the importance of grooming in her granddaughters, gifting them with lipstick upon marriage or childbirth.

Kiyuna’s calligraphy on a history book about Shimoseido in Chatan Town

At the age of 98, Kiyuna moved into a nursing home due to a broken leg. She would return home for the Obon and New Year holidays until around the age of 103. Even at 106, she could still use her wheelchair independently and would make daily rounds to greet the other residents of the care home. At 111 years old, she has a healthy appetite and enjoys spending time with her fellow residents in the living room. In September 2020, she was reported as the 14th-oldest living person in Okinawa Prefecture.

On 4 July 2023, following the death of 114-year-old Ushi Makishi, she became the oldest living person in Chatan Town.

In September 2023, she was reported as the third-oldest living person in Okinawa Prefecture, behind an anonymous 114-year-old lady and Kikue Taira.

For more information, please view Shizuko Kiyuna’s Directory Profile here.

LongeviQuest is pleased to announce the age validation of Emma Galode of Canada at age 112. She was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada on 22 August 1882. At the age of 26, she got married, and the couple had 1 daughter. Galode spent most of her life in Hamilton, where she operated a variety store with her husband. They retired in 1948.

At the age of 107, Galode remained independent, even taking the bus on her own for grocery shopping. However, in August 1993, shortly before her 111th birthday, she moved into Hillsdale Manor nursing home in Oshawa, Ontario. Despite her advanced age, Galode continued to use a walker to move around the nursing home at the age of 112.

On her 110th birthday, holding a copy of her birth certificate. (Source: The Toronto Star)
On her 110th birthday, holding a copy of her birth certificate.
(Source: The Toronto Star)

Galode passed away of pneumonia at Whitby General Hospital in Whitby, Ontario, Canada, on 9 September 1994, at the age of 112 years, 18 days. At the time of death, she was the third-oldest living person in Canada behind Marie-Louise Meilleur and Mary Ann Rhodes.

LongeviQuest congratulates Emma Galode’s family on her posthumous recognition.

For more information, please view Galode’s Directory Profile here.

LongeviQuest is pleased to announce the age validation of Nobue Tanaka of Japan at age 110. She was born in Japan on 27 March 1912. In September 2021, she was reported as the oldest living person in Fukui Prefecture.

Nobue Tanaka passed away in Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture, Japan, on 17 February 2023, at the age of 110 years, 327 days.

LongeviQuest congratulates Nobue Tanaka’s family on her posthumous recognition.

For more information, please view Tanaka’s Directory Profile here.

LongeviQuest is pleased to announce the age validation of Fuyo Baba of Japan at age 111. She was born in  Japan on 10 January 1879. After graduating from a girl’s school in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, she married into a merchant family in Ishinomaki. The couple went on to have nine children.

At the age of 100.
At the age of 100.

On 18 October 1987, at the age of 108, she became the oldest living person in Miyagi Prefecture. As of 1990, she had 29 grandchildren, 48 great-grandchildren, and eight great-great-grandchildren.

Fuyo Baba passed away in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, on 16 February 1990, at the age of 111 years. At the time of death, she was the second-oldest person ever recorded in Miyagi Prefecture, only after Tome Horigome (1857–1968). She was also the third-oldest living person in Japan, behind Waka Shirahama and Rin Aoyagi.

LongeviQuest congratulates Fuyo Baba’s family on her posthumous recognition.

For more information, please view Baba’s Directory Profile here.

LongeviQuest is pleased to share that Masa Matsumoto turns 114 years old. She is a Japanese supercentenarian known as the oldest living person in Kanagawa Prefecture.  

Mrs. Matsumoto celebrated her 114th birthday on 29 November 2023 by meeting with her family. She received a stuffed bunny prepared by her great-grandchildren. At the celebration, she had several conversations with her family as she was feeling well and awake.

Masa Matsumoto at 114
Masa Matsumoto at 114

Mrs. Matsumoto even got excited at the news of seeing her granddaughter at the end of the year, as reported by her daughter. She exclaimed, “I’m so happy!” after hearing the news.  

Her family was also impressed by the 38 messages sent from all over the world congratulating Mrs. Matsumoto’s birthday celebration.

LongeviQuest Japan presented Mrs. Matsumoto with a plaque and a Phalaenopsis orchid.
LongeviQuest Japan presented Mrs. Matsumoto with a plaque and a Phalaenopsis orchid.

On 1 October 2023, LongeviQuest had the honor of visiting Mrs. Matsumoto to celebrate her longevity together with her family. At that time, LQ presented her with a plaque to certify her as the oldest living person in Kanagawa Prefecture. The plaque even came with a Phalaenopsis orchid which she remarked “It’s beautiful.”  

Masa Matsumoto was born on 29 November 1909 in Kōnan-cho, Kōka District (now part of the city of Kōka), Shiga Prefecture, Japan. She currently resides in a nursing home in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.  

LongeviQuest sends our warmest greetings for Mrs. Matsumoto’s 114th birthday celebration.   

For more information, please visit Masa Matsumoto’s Directory Profile here.