Robert Joseph Landry, Jr. – 87 years, 11 months, 24 days
If you read my post last week, you’ll know that this is a continuation of that one. Again I will be discussing the longevity of my ancestors. I looked through six generations (up to 4X great grandparents) and figured out as closely as I could the exact age they were at their death. The most interesting thing I noticed was that both of my parents were in the top 10 for longevity. I definitely got to benefit from that.
Last week the focus was on my mom’s side, so this week the focus is on my dad. The amazing thing is that my dad outlived most of my other ancestors. Only three ancestors outlived him. When I was younger, I would have never agreed with anyone if they would have suggested that that would happen. Both of his parents died from heart issues, and he had heart issues for a while.
He’s like Nadal in the tennis world. Everyone said that his aggressive style of tennis would take an early toll on his body and he wouldn’t last long. He ended up having one of the longest careers of elite tennis players and has set many records. My dad may not have set any world records, but I have been told that he is a legend!
The two longest-lived ancestors were on my mom’s side of the family. The longest-lived ancestor from his side of the family made it the age of 90. So she lived a year longer than he did. That was accomplished by Marie Magdelena Babin, who lived two hundred years earlier. She lived from 1725 to 1814, and Daddy lived from 1929 to 2017. She was born in Acadie, married Augustin Landry around 1752 (my parents married in 1952), and ended up in Louisiana after being exiled by the English during the Grand Derangement. What tales she could have told.
I find it interesting that the three ancestors who outlived all the rest did it against the odds. All three of them survived events that took the lives of many of their contemporaries. And they weren’t just any old event. They each had an Event with a Capital Letter. Like I mentioned last week, Samuel Charles Phenice (the oldest) survived being injured during the Civil War. That was a war with many casualties. The next oldest was Edward McGrath who was from Ireland. And he wasn’t just an immigrant from Ireland, he survived the Irish Potato Famine. That happened during the 1840s and about a million people perished from the Great Hunger. Edward and his wife Ettadosia brought their children to the United States and settled in Massachusetts. And now we see that one of those long-lived ancestors was a survivor of the Great Expulsion of the Acadians. We are all descendants of survivors, and these were the long-lived ones.
On the other end of the spectrum were a few ancestors who lived only long enough to produce one offspring. Most of my ancestors had large families. That was true for both sides of my family. And likewise each side of the family had a short-lived ancestor that only produced one offspring. I’ll start with the runner up. Can an ancestor who lived the shortest amount of time be considered the winner? Hey, at least we are talking about him all these years later. The winner and the runner up both lived about 200 years ago. They were alive at the same time as Marie Magdelena Babin Landry. The runner up was on my mom’s side of the family. Peter Hine was her great great great grandfather. He died on July 22, 1819, at the age of 24 years, 8 months, 12 days. He died from consumption less than two months before the birth of his son. He never knew his only child.
The winner of the Shortest Lived Ancestor goes to Simon Hebert. He died on April 17, 1802, at the age of 24 years, 6 months. It was a close contest – only two months separated the two. The main difference between the two is that Simon was able to meet his only child. Marie Carmelite Hebert was born two months before her father died. Simon’s wife Marie Martha Hernandez would go on to marry a second time and have more children. But she did not live very long herself. In fact, she had the third-shortest lifespan of my ancestors. She died on Dec. 22, 1814, at the age of 33 years, 11 months, 9 days. So they are definitely the couple with the fewest years when looking at their combined ages.
In fact, I’ve outlived their combined age of 58 years and some months. I’ve outlived almost forty of my ancestors. I mentioned Augustin Landry earlier. He lived 62 years and some days. I’m a few months older than that. His great granddaughter Emma Landry Patureau (my great great grandmother) died in 1892 at the age of 62 years, 2 months, 14 days. She is the most recent of my ancestors that I have outlived. My sister Karen outlived our ancestor Pierre Bruneteau who lived to the age of 63. She did not outlive his daughter Celeste Bruneteau Landry who lived to 63 years, 5 months, 29 days. Karen lived to 63 years, 5 months, 6 days. My brother Al has outlived Karen and Celeste. He will soon outlive Henry Keys (63 years, 10 months, 24 days). My brother Rob has gone on to further outlive nine more of our ancestors, including our Pee Paw – Robert Joseph Landry, Sr. (64 years, 7 months, 19 days)
I plan to touch on this topic again in the future. Possibly in 10 months, 25 days. But who’s really counting?