69 Mrs. and Mr. Vassilyev (1st wife) Vassilyev and his first wife, hold the record for the most children a couple has parented. She gave birth to a total of 69 children – sixteen pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets – between 1725 and 1765, in a total of 27 births. 67 of the 69 children born were said to have survived infancy. Vassilyev also had six sets of twins and two sets of triplets with a second wife, for another 18 children in eight births; he fathered a total of 87 children.
62 Mr. and Mrs. Gravata A Tuscan woman named Gravata gave birth to a total of 62 live children.
57 Mrs. and Mr. Yakov Kirillov The first wife of peasant Yakov Kirillov from the village of Vvedensky, Russia, gave birth to 57 children in a total of 21 births. She had four sets of quadruplets, seven sets of triplets and ten sets of twins. All of the children were alive in 1755, when Kirillov, aged 60, was presented at court.:6 As with the Vassilyev case, the truth of these claims has not been established, and is highly improbable.
53 Barbara and Adam Stratzmann It is claimed that Barbara Stratzmann (c. 1448 – 1503) of Bönnigheim, Germany, gave birth to 53 children (38 sons and 15 daughters) in a total of 29 births by 1498. She had one set of septuplets, one set of sextuplets, four sets of triplets and five sets of twins. Nineteen of the children were stillborn, the eldest surviving was eight years old in 1498. As with the Vassilyev and Kirillov cases above, the survival of any one of the offspring of the alleged multiple births is questionable, as is the likelihood of so many multiple births in an era before fertility drugs.
52 Maddalena Granata Maddalena Granata (born 1839) of the City of Nocera, Italy, who married at age 28, had given birth to 52 living and dead children, 49 being males, by 1886. Dr. de Sanctis, of Nocera, stated that she had 15 sets of triplets.:14
42 Elizabeth and John Mott Elizabeth Mott of Monks Kirby, Warwickshire, married in 1676 and produced 42 live-born children. She died in 1720.:13
41 Alice Hookes According to the inscription on a gravestone in Conway Church cemetery, Gwynedd, North Wales, Nicholas Hookes (died 1637) was the 41st child of his mother Alice Hookes, but there were no further details.:13
39 Elizabeth and William Greenhill Thomas Greenhill was the last child of 39 by his mother Elizabeth (1615–1681) and William Greenhill. The family consisted of 7 sons and 32 daughters. Not only is this a large number of live newborns, but is unusual in that all but one pair of twins were single births.
35 Mrs. and Mr. Harrison Mrs. Harrison, the wife of an undertaker residing in Vere Street, London, gave birth to her 35th child by one husband in 1736.
33 Mary and John Jonas Mary Jonas (1814–1899) gave birth to 33 children, including 15 sets of boy–girl twins. All were christened, but few achieved adulthood. Ten children were still alive when their father John died in 1892.
32 Moddie and Perccell Oliver Mrs. Moddile M. Oliver, aged 50, wife of a Lumberton, North Carolina, sharecropper, was expecting her 33rd child in 1959. At that time, 22 of her children were alive.
32 Maria Addolorata Casalini Mrs. Casalini (born 1929) of Brindisi, Italy, married at 17 and gave birth to her 32nd child on November 11, 1970. She had two sets of quadruplets, one of triplets, one of twins and nineteen single births. Only 15 children survived.
32 Madalena and Raimundo Carnauba Madalena Carnauba of Ceilândia, Brazil married at 13 and gave birth to 32 children: 24 sons and 8 daughters.
32 Maria Benita Olivera Mrs. Olivera (born 1939) of San Juan, Argentina, gave birth to her 32nd child on 31 January 1989. All children were believed to be alive at that time. She was married twice, and had a set of triplets (born when she was 13) and two sets of twins. 30 Rebecca Town Mrs. Town (1807–1851) of Keighley, Yorkshire, had 30 children, but only one reached age 3.
29 Anna Theresia Pleyl She was the first wife of Martin Pleyel (see fathers), a schoolmaster from Ruppersthal in Lower Austria in the 18th century. Their 24th child was composer Ignaz Pleyel (b. 1757).
28 Mabel Murphy Mrs. Murphy (born 1898) of Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh, N. Ireland was reported to have produced 28 children (12 stillborn) in 32 years of marriage by December 1949, but this claim has not been fully substantiated.
27 Glendora Pope Mrs. Pope, the wife of an Idaho carpenter, gave birth to her 27th child in June 1939, at the age of 45. At that time, 14 children were living. All were single births.
27 Marie-Elise (née Chamberland) and Heliodore Cyr Marie-Elise Chamberland and Heliodore Cyr married in 1928 and had 27 children by 1959, all single births. 19 of them survived to adulthood. Mr. Cyr, a potato farmer from Saint-François-de-Madawaska, New Brunswick, appeared on the TV show I’ve Got A Secret three times – after the births of his 25th, 26th and 27th children.
25 Lapa Piagenti and Giacomo di Benincasa Their 23rd child was Saint Catherine of Siena.
25 Ada Watson Mrs. Watson (1886–1974) of Cambridge gave birth to 25 children, including three sets of twins, during the period 1904–1931. All of the children attained majority.
24 Kathleen Scott Mrs. Scott (b. 4 July 1914) of Dublin gave birth to her 24th child on 9 August 1958. Twenty of her children were still alive in 1990.
24 Marcella S. (née Mills) Big Crow and James M. Big Crow Sr. Marcella Mills-Big Crow (1924–1989) of Pine Ridge, South Dakota had 24 children, including eight pairs of twins. Five children died in infancy.
23 Christine of Mecklenburg-Güstrow and Louis Christian, Count of Stolberg-Gedern The great-great-great-grandmother of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom had 23 children in 19 pregnancies between 1684 and 1705 (including four sets of twins); 11 of them survived to adulthood.
23 Queen Darejan and King Heraclius II of Georgia They had a total of 23 children, 13 of whom lived to adulthood.
23 Tabatha Marcum and Silas Mainord Married in 1811, they lived in Overton County, Tennessee and produced 23 children. One of their daughters, Syreana, later became the mother of 17.
23 Grace Bagnato Grace Bagnato and her husband had 23 children; 9 of them were conceived in order to compete for a bequest by a Toronto eccentric, in what became known as the Great Stork Derby.
23 Irene and Charles DeMello Irene DeMello of Tiverton, Rhode Island gave birth to her 23rd child in February 1958 at the age of 40 in her 25 years of marriage. There were no multiple births. Seventeen of the children were alive, the eldest being 23.
23 Mary and Sylvester Hemsing Mary Hemsing (1913-2014) of Rolling Hills, Alberta, Canada, gave birth to 11 boys and 12 girls, one of whom was stillborn.
22 Ursula and de:Franz Adolf Dietrich von Ingelheim The German Count Franz Adolf Dietrich von Ingelheim (1659–1742) of Mainz and his wife Ursula (1668–1730) had 22 children between 1683 and 1712.
22 Emily FitzGerald Emily FitzGerald, Duchess of Leinster and her first husband James FitzGerald, 1st Duke of Leinster had nineteen children born between 1748 and 1773. Later she married her children’s tutor William Ogilvie; they had three children, who were born between years 1775 and 1778.
22 Marie Massicotte and Philippe Dontigny These children were born between 1888 and 1915 at Champlain, Québec; 14 of them died in infancy. There were no multiple births.
22 Mrs. and Mr. Hostetter Roy Hostetter, a 46-year-old Pennsylvania miner, and his wife, aged 42, announced the birth of their 22nd child in May 1941.
22 Charlotte and Marlon Story Charlotte Story of Bakersfield, California, gave birth to her 22nd child in July 1946. All but two of the other 21 children, including four sets of twins, were alive. Marion and Charlotte Story participated in You Bet Your Life in 1950.
22 Mrs. Dick Renata Mrs. Dick Renata, a Maori, of Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, gave birth to her 22nd child in November 1948. Fourteen of her children survived, including the second born, who was 21 at the time she gave birth to the 22nd, and was himself a father.
22 Madeleine and Marce Devaud Madeleine Devaud, wife of a village dairyman of La Gorre, western France, gave birth to her 22nd child, a boy, in March 1952, at the age of 42. The Devaud couple, married for 24 years, had 13 girls and seven boys. Two other children died in infancy.
22 Mabel Constable Mrs. Constable (born 1920), of Long Itchington, Warwicks, gave birth to 22 children, including a set of triplets and two sets of twins.
22 Margaret McNaught Mrs. McNaught (born 1923), of Balsall Heath, Birmingham, gave birth to 22 children, 12 boys (2 of them died in infancy) and 10 girls, all single births.
22 Lucille and Alvin Miller Mrs. Miller gave birth to her first child at age 17; her last child was born when she was 43. All 22 children lived to adulthood. The family also took in several foster children.
22 Effie (née Estes) and Charles Dickey From Clinton, Maine, Mrs. Dickey gave birth to 22 children. All of them lived to adulthood until her oldest child died in 1913, a year before te family reunion.
22 Unidentified Romani woman A 38-year-old Romani woman of Lom, Bulgaria, gave birth to her 22nd child in March 1998. She and her husband had no jobs. 17 children lived with them and five were in orphanages.
21 Olivia (née Whitmore) and Arthur Guinness Guinness was an Irish brewer. Only ten of their children lived to adulthood.
21 Ann Clark Skerrett and Jeremiah Lear Their 20th child was English artist, illustrator, musician, author and poet Edward Lear (born 1812).
21 Teodora (née Lopez) and Raymundo Olivas Born in 1809 in Los Angeles, Raymundo Olivas met his future wife, Teodora Lopez, in Santa Barbara. They were married in 1832, and together they had 21 children – 13 boys and eight girls. In 1841 Raymundo built the Olivas Adobe, an important part of Ventura city’s cultural heritage.
21 Josephine & Michael Salzo Sr. The 21 children included the first known surviving set of quadruplets in New Haven, Connecticut; triplets; and two sets of twins.
21 Anna and Henry Crocker 18 of their children lived to adulthood.
21 Mrs. and Mr. Albert Cunningham The couple from Iron Mountain, Michigan, welcomed their 21st child in September 1930 after 27 years of marriage. Seventeen of their children were alive.
21 Mary Chaloner Hale The wife of General John Hale (1728–1806), Mary Hale (1743–1803, born Mary Chaloner in Guisborough, Yorkshire, England) bore 21 offspring between the years of 1764 and 1789, including her first child, John Hale.
21 Elizabeth Hudson Mrs. Hudson, of London, the wife of a paint sprayer, gave birth to her 21st child in February 1955, at the age of 45. Sixteen of the children were alive.
21 Edith Hill Mrs. Hill, of Leicester, England, the wife of a postman, gave birth to her 21st child in December 1960, at the age of 46. Her eldest son was 30 by that time and she already had grandchildren. Two of her children died in infancy; the others were nine boys and ten girls.
21 Mary and Wara Tengu The Maori couple from Hamilton, New Zealand, welcomed their 21st child in January 1968; the mother was then 42 years old. They already had five grandchildren.
21 Aliza and Meir Ben-Haroush Aliza Ben-Haroush of Haifa gave birth to her 21st child in July 1969 at the age of 46 and became the most prolific mother in Israel.
21 Unidentified Indian woman Not much is known about this case except that a woman from Assam gave birth to her 21st child in 1970.
21 Leonora and Yanosh Nameni Leonora Nameni, of Ostritsa, Hertsa Raion, Chernivtsi Oblast, gave birth to her 21st child in October 2013, at the age of 44, becoming the most prolific mother in Ukraine. Leonora and Yanosh are followers of the Apostolic Christian Church (Nazarene) and do not practice birth control. The Nameni family has 11 sons and 10 daughters, including two sets of twins.
21 Sebastiana Maria da Conceicao Sebastiana Maria da Conceicao, aged 51, gave birth to her 21st child in the city of Aracaju, Brazil, in May 2015. The boy joined the family of 10 brothers and 10 sisters, of whom 18 were alive.