What is the World’s Oldest Family’s Secret to Longevity?

August 02, 2017

1,059. That is the number you get when you add up all the ages of the Donnelly siblings. Over a millennium of years between them!

The Donnelly siblings, all 13 of them, are from County Armagh, Ireland and recently received a Guinness World Record for World’s Oldest Family. The family says that the combination of their hard work on their farm, eating homegrown apples, and no alcohol is part of the reason why they all have lived long lives.

But the real reason? Porridge. The youngest of the group, 70-year-old Leo, is adamant that their family’s strict adherence to porridge is their secret to their longevity. A bowl for breakfast and a bowl right before bed every day and night.

Eating porridge was a habit started by their father that he passed along to his children that they now still do to this day. Their favorite ingredient to add to their porridge is a scoop of apple jam.

The 13 Donnelly siblings 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).

There used to be 16 Donnelly siblings but three have since died, with the most recent being Leo’s twin, Austin, who died earlier this year. The Donnellys were recognized by Guinness for their world record in July.

Porridge! Who would have thought!