Genealogie Bos

This is my English-language Genealogy & Ancestry Blog.
(Mijn Nederlandstalige blog is

15 Jul 2013

Madness Monday - A woman with 69 children - or not?!

Feodor Vassilyev (±1707-1782) was a peasant from Shuya, Russia. His 1st wife (her name may have been Valentina) sets the record for most children birthed by a single woman. She gave birth to a total of 69 children. How did she do that? Well, she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets and 4 sets of quadruplets in the period 1725-1765 in a total of 27 births. An astounding 67 of the 69 children born are said to have survived infancy.

The French Academy of Sciences attempted to verify the claims about Vassilyev's children and contacted "M. Khanikoff of the Imperial Academy of St Petersburg for advice as to the means they should pursue, but were told by him that all investigation was superfluous, that members of the family still lived in Moscow and that they had been the object of favours from the Government". In the 1930s Julia Bell concluded that Vassilyev's case "must be regarded as under suspicion". Too good a story to be true?!

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