Back in May, The Inquisitr reported about Jeralean Talley of Michigan becoming the oldest living person in the United States when she turned 115. Barely two months later, we have news coming in from Arkansas about a woman who, at 116 years old, has pipped Jeralean Talley to second place. Meet Gertrude Weaver, the oldest person currently living in the United States.
According to Yahoo News, the fact that Gertrude Weaver was the oldest living woman in the U.S. was confirmed by the Gerontology Research Group. This was the same group that had conferred the title of America’s oldest living person to Jeralean Talley earlier this year. The research group analyzed census records to determine Weaver’s correct age. According to the 1900 U.S. Census records, Gertrude Weaver was then listed as a 2-year-old — making her 116 years old as of today — just a year senior to Jeralean Talley. This has been verified and confirmed by Robert Young, the research group’s database administrator and senior consultant for Guinness.
Gertrude Weaver was born in 1898, as opposed to Jeralean Talley who was born in 1899. With this, Gertrude Weaver also becomes the second oldest known person living on the planet as of now. In first place is Japanese citizen Misao Okawa, who also turned 116 earlier this year.
According to KWTX, Gertrude Weaver was born on July 4, 1898 and she celebrated her 116th birthday at Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation in Camden, situated about 100 miles southwest of Little Rock. The celebration also included a function where the Gerontology Research Group conferred her with a new award. Gertrude Weaver is now listed as the 11th oldest person of all time.
“Normally, 116 would be old enough to be the world’s oldest person. There’s kind of heavy competition at the moment,” said Robert Young.
According to Yahoo, Gertrude Weaver was born in southwest Arkansas, not far from the Texas Border. She married in 1915 and had four children. Except for a 93-year-old son, Joe Weaver, all the others have died. The Gerontology Research Group also used the marriage certificate issued to Gertrude Weaver to determine her age. In the marriage certificate, she is listed as being 17 years old. That said, there is still no confirmation about Gertrude Weaver’s actual date of birth since she doesn’t seem to have a birth record. She celebrates her birthday on July 4 every year.
As for her health, people close to Gertrude Weaver reveal that while her health has started to decline a little, though she is still capable of standing on her feet and getting around.
When asked about the secreted to her longevity, this is what Gertrude Weaver had to say:
“You have to follow God. Don’t follow anyone else. Be obedient and follow the laws and don’t worry about anything. I’ve followed him for many, many years and I ain’t tired.”
[Image Via Danny Johnston, Camden ARK News]