The D’Cruz siblings, whose ages range from 75 to 97 years, recently set a new Guinness World Record for the highest combined age, 1042 years and 315 days.
The idea of setting a Guinness record was first mentioned among the D’Cruz family members during a reunion in 2018. 75-year-old Genia, the youngest of the 12 siblings, recalls one of her nephews going “This is amazing. I’m going to write Guinness,” after seeing the family together. They all laughed it off as a joke, but two years later, on December 15, Guinness actually called to let them know that they had been recognized as having the highest combined age of any siblings in the world, 1042 years and 315 days.
“It doesn’t seem real, I always think of Guinness records as the tallest or shortest person or something like that,” Genia, who lives in London, said. “It was a surprise they even count this, but it’s exciting. I’m grateful to have all these siblings still alive.”
The D’Cruz family were all born in Karachi, Pakistan, but over the years they have spread out across Canada, the United States and Switzerland. However, they try to remain as close as possible, getting together at least three times a year on major holidays. However, 2020 was different, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so they just used Zoom to stay in touch. Every day, at 11 a.m (London time), all 12 family members sign onto the video conference to discuss their day.
“Since we started doing Zoom, we’ve got so much closer,” 80-year-old Teresa said.
The siblings’ father, Michael died when Genia was only a-year-and-a-half, and ever since then, their goal in life was to survive. That’s exactly what they did, but no one actually believe they’d be honored by Guinness Records for it.
“There were 12 kids in 22 years in my family and my father died when I was one-and-a-half. My mother had all of us to look after. I don’t know how she did it, but we managed,” Genia told the London Free Press. “We were very poor, there was no life insurance in Pakistan.”
The D’Cruz’s names and birth dates are: Doreen (September 3, 1923), Patrick (September 30, 1925), Genevieve (July 4, 1927), Joyce (March 2, 1929), Ronnie (August 24, 1930), Beryl (August 26, 1932), Joe (June 1, 1934), Francesca (September 17, 1936), Althea (July 27, 1938), Teresa (June 9, 1940), Rosemarie (March 30, 1943), and Eugenia (October 24, 1945).