Fact check

The greatest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the wife of Feodor Vassilyev (b. 1707–c.1782), a peasant from Shuya, Russia. In 27 confinements she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets.

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Fake news claim: A photo viral on social media claims that “The record for most babies born to one woman is 69. Mrs. Vassilyeva from Russia gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets”

That the record for most babies born to one woman is 69. She gave birth to 16 sets of twins. She is Mrs. Vassilyeva, the first wife of Feodor Vassilyev, a peasant from Shuya, Russia.

Facts Check Verdict: Doubtful, but True, image misleading

News Verification: It is a bit doubtful,, but true that a Russian woman named Mrs. Vassilyeva, said to have the record of the highest number of children’s, however different image floating, showing her picture along with the children’s may not be true.

 What is the record for most babies born to one woman?

The greatest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the wife of Feodor Vassilyev (b. 1707–c.1782), a peasant from Shuya, Russia. In 27 confinements she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets. 

Feodor Vassilyev was a peasant from Shuya, Russia. His first wife is claimed to have lived to be 76 and, between 1725 and 1765, have had 69 children (16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets and 4 sets of quadruplets); 67 of them survived infancy with the loss of one set of twins: the record for most children born to a single woman. However, their name, date of birth, and date of death are all unknown.

Vassilyev also had 18 children with his second wife, who had 6 pairs of twins and 2 sets of triplets, making him a father of 87 children in total. Of his 87 children, at least 82 are said to have survived infancy.

Several published sources raised doubts as to the veracity of these claims. According to a 1933 article by Julia Bell[6] in Biometrika, a 1790 book by B. F. J. Hermann Statistische Schilderung von Rußland did provide the claims about Feodor Vassilyev's children but "with a caution". Bell also notes that the case was reported by The Lancet in an 1878 article about the study of twins.[7] The Lancet article states that the French Academy of Sciences attempted to verify the claims about Vassilyev's children and contacted "M. Khanikoff of the Imperial Academy of St Petersburg for advice as to the means they should pursue, but were told by him that all investigation was superfluous, that members of the family still lived in Moscow and that they had been the object of favors from the Government". Bell concludes that Vassilyev's case "must be regarded as under suspicion".

Similarly, Marie Clay in a 1998 book notes: "Sadly, this evasion of proper investigation seems, in retrospect, to have dealt a terminal blow to our chances of ever establishing the true detail of this extraordinary case".

As per Guinness world records, The greatest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the wife of Feodor Vassilyev (b. 1707–c.1782), a peasant from Shuya, Russia. In 27 confinements she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets.

Most prolific mother ever

The greatest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the wife of Feodor Vassilyev (b. 1707-c. 1782), a peasant from Shuya, Russia. In 27 confinements she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets.

If we assume her pregnancy of a total of 936 weeks. A year consists of 52 weeks, so if we divide the resulting numbers, we get 18 years. So, Mrs. Vassilyeva had to spend 18 entire years of her life with a belly bump. Sounds pretty challenging in itself, doesn’t it?




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