A retired Scottish woman became a great-grandmother with six generations still alive in her family at the same time.
This woman, Mary Marshall, is 86 and has 90 great-grandchildren, children, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
Marshall, a mother of eight from Edinburgh, has been one of the UK’s single largest families with a span of six generations.
They range from the oldest member of the family, Mary, to the youngest, Nyla Ferguson, who is just three weeks old.
All the mothers belong to the same family – and all but the new mother, Toni-Lee Aitken, work or have worked as a caregiver.
They all gave birth to their first child at 18 years of age or slightly younger. They live in or around Edinburgh.
The head of the family, Mary, bore eight children, including the eldest daughter, Rose.
Rose Thorburn, now 68, has four children, including 50-year-old Sheryl Burthwick, who has three children.
Cheryl gave birth to her daughter, Carrie Dow, in 1986, who in turn became the mother of four.
Carrie, 35, has four children, including new mother Toni-Lee, 17.
On May 25, Mary acquired the title of great-grandmother to the children of her great-grandchildren with the birth of the child, Nyla Ferguson, and she is the only one to bear this title in Scotland.
Because of the size of her family, Mary says everyone forgives her for not buying a birthday or Christmas gift for each family member because she’ll spend “half of the year doing it”.
“Honestly, I’m a lucky woman,” Mary says. “It’s great to have a big family. There’s always someone who cares about you. I’m so happy.”
“When we found out I was pregnant, we joked about it and joked about breaking some kind of record,” says new mum Tony-Lee, who gave birth to the newest member of the family last month.
“Then we started looking at it and no one else seemed to have our family makeup,” she says.
“It is still too early to see any resemblance between her and her great-grandmother, but they were in love at first sight when they met,” she says.
“We live 10-15 minutes’ drive from each other so we see each other constantly,” says Toni-Lee.
She adds that family meetings are always “very noisy”.
Rose, 68, says: “It is a wonderful feeling to have a new baby.” I’m one of eight sons and so I’ve always had a big family in a sense.”
“But now we are a very big family,” Rose says. “I’ve never heard of any other family of this size in Scotland.”
She concludes, “Whenever we get together, you always find fun and laughter. There is always someone who cares about you.”
This family is believed to be the only family in Scotland with six generations surviving at the same time.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest number of generations alive in a single family was seven.