Guinness Responds To “Oldest Woman” Slave Law Claims

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Recently we posted a story sourced from the U.K. Daily Mail, regarding the claims of Rebecca Lanier and her family that she is indeed, 119, making her the oldest woman in the world despite the fact she wasn’t recognized by Guinness.

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A representative from Guinness has responded to those claims in an email to this reporter:

1. Guinness never said anything about “slave laws,” that was a British tabloid media concoction.

2. Birth registration was not complete in the USA until 1933, for both white and black persons. Walter Breuning, 114, has no birth certificate…but he was located in other records including the 1900 census.

3. Guinness World Records has recognized, for example, daughter of slaves Gertrude Baines based on the 1900 census, among other records.

4. Ms. Lanier has not been located in the 1900 or 1910 censuses, but the 1920 census lists her as “14” and the 1930 census lists her as “24”. Thus, it appears that Ms. Lanier is 105 or 106. Unlike the 1900 census, which gives a month and year of birth, the 1920 and 1930 censuses do not give a month or year of birth, only an age.

5. There are white persons in Russia claiming to be as old as “130”, whether a claim is accepted depends on the status of the documents. In the below case, there is no original proof of birth, and the age of the oldest child (70) makes the case suspicious.

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