1940s Family with 24 Kids – Largest Family in U.S.?

In 1946, the National Father’s Day Committee declared 63-year-old New Yorker George N. Davis the father with the largest family in the United States.

largest family 1940s

The Davis family of New York, 1946

Whether or not his family really was “the largest family in the United States” at that time I don’t know, but I can tell you that he had a total of 24 children (though only 20 were still living in 1946). He had seven with his first wife, Lillian, and the rest with his second wife, Anna.

Here are the names of all 24, in alphabetical order:

  1. Alice
  2. Anna
  3. Arthur
  4. Beulah
  5. Blanche
  6. Brayton
  7. Clark
  8. Charles (died in infancy)
  9. Derwood
  10. Emma Jean
  11. Geneva
  12. George
  13. Irving
  14. Isaac (died in infancy)
  15. Isaac
  16. Joyce Mae (died in infancy)
  17. Laura (died as an adult)
  18. Lena
  19. Lovisa
  20. Raymond
  21. Rupert
  22. Viva
  23. Wallace
  24. Winrick

According to the 1920 Census, he also had a stepdaughter named Ella.

Out of the 24 names on the list, which girl and boy names do you like best?

Source: George N. Davis, Father of the Year

P.S. Here’s a short newsreel movie [vid] about the family.

3 Responses to 1940s Family with 24 Kids – Largest Family in U.S.?

  1. That’s a very eclectic list. Brayton sounds surprisingly modern, while Beulah and Derwood are about as “out” as any name could be. Lovisa and Rupert make me wonder if there was a German influence there. My favorites are Isaac and Geneva.

  2. It is fairly eclectic, isn’t it? Though I think the most interesting large family sibset I’ve seen from the early 20th-c. so far is probably this Georgia family with 16 children — Fezzan, Quaver, etc. A bit tamer are the names in this Wisconsin family (22 children) and this Maine family (18 children).

  3. Wow, great naming skills. I love seeing old sib-set lists like this! My favorites are Alice, Arthur, Clark, Geneva and Rupert.

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