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.
LongeviQuest is delighted to announce the age validation of the first supercentenarian from South Africa, Johanna Adonis, at age 111 years old. Upon this validation, she became the first validated and undisputed supercentenarian to have died in Africa.
Johanna Adonis was born on 5 August 1907 in Greyton, Western Cape, South Africa, where she grew up on a farm. At the age of 14 years old, she dropped out of school and then looked after her father’s sheep.
When she was 16 years old, she moved to Cape Town to work as a domestic worker in Sea Point. Five years later, she married Edward Adonis, at the age of 21. They initially resided on Hope Street in Cape Town before moving to Athlone a year later. The couple did not have children of their own, but Johanna actively helped in raising her sister’s 14 children.
She lived independently after his husband passed away in 1959 up until she was 92 years old. Her family then decided that it might be dangerous for her to live alone so they moved her to her niece’s residence in Belgravia Estate. She was one of the six founding members of St George’s Church’s Anglican Women’s Fellowship.
In May 2018, she was relocated to a nursing home at Nerina Place, Bishop Lavis, Cape Town, after suffering a stroke. Since then, she had her hearing and vision deteriorated while also dealing with hypertension.
Johanna Adonis passed away on 1 February 2019 in Cape Town, Western Cape, Southern Africa. At the time of her death, she was 111 years old and the first validated supercentenarian to die in the continent of Africa.
For more information, please view Johanna Adonis’ Directory Profile here.