The Donnellys, the world’s oldest family, have just under 1,200 years of life between them.
The farming family from rural County Armagh, Ireland, recently received a Guinness World Record for being the oldest 13 living siblings alive. They received the gong while making BBC documentary, “The World’s Oldest Family.”
The family attributed their record-breaking lives to a combination of hard work on the family land, playing Galic football, eating plenty of homegrown apples, and refraining from alcohol.
But there’s another secret the Donnellys swear by. In a recent interview about the Donnelly’s upbringing, 70-year-old Leo, the youngest of the clan, told The Telegraph that he is convinced that their longevity is down to one ritual in particular – eating porridge twice a day.
“The key is that you need to get your oats at night,” Leo said. “We’ve always followed Daddy’s habit of that nice warm bite before sleep. Porridge at around 10.p.m., then again for breakfast at 7.a.m. Cooked oats, milk, a spot of apple jam on top.”
- Pip & Nut
The siblings’ mother Ellen Donnelly originally gave birth to 16 children but three have since died, the most recent of whom was 70-year-old Austin, Leo’s twin. Austin was the sibling to initiate the search to find out if they really were the oldest group of siblings in the world.
The 13 siblings who survive the Donnelly family are: Sean (92), Maureen (91), Eileen (89), Peter (86), Mairead (85), Rose (84), Tony (82), Terry (80), Seamus (79), Brian (75), Kathleen (74), Colm (72), and Leo (70).
“We are all as healthy as when we were 50, 60, and some of us even 20 years old,” Maureen said in the BBC documentary. “We haven’t changed, we don’t change, we’re in the land of youth.”
The Donnellys won their Guinness World Record in July 2017.