Russian woman may dispute 'oldest known person' title with US citizen

The title of the oldest person living on Earth, which has recently been given to 114-year-old US citizen Edna Parker, is likely to be awarded to a woman from Russia. A resident of the Yakutia republic, Varvara Semennikova, turned 117 in May of 2007. Her birth date has been confirmed with archive documents, Interfax news agency reports.

An employee of the National Archive of the Republic of Yakutia, Natalia Baisheva, managed to find the document to prove Varvara Semennikova’s age (her maiden name was Diakonova). The register of births of the Bulunskaya Church contains a record dated May 10, 1890 about the birth of a girl named Varvara. The father’s name is mentioned as Konstantin Stefanov-Diakonov.

Varvara Semennikova was born to a nomadic family. When a young girl, she was dealing with deer farming and hunting. The woman brought up four children which she adopted.

Varvara does not complain of health at her age of 117. The woman has preserved a remarkable memory, although she cannot see and hear very well now. She can tell hundreds of stories about her life, express her own point of view on a variety of issues. The amazing woman still works as a housewife, she makes gowns, high fur boots and does sewing.

“Native people of Yakutia are remarkable for their longevity. Many facts can be found in historical documents of the first half of the 19th century to prove it. Yakutia ranked third in the USSR on the number of long-living individuals according to the population census conducted in 1959,” a spokesperson for the National Archive of Yakutia said.


Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov