Vermont Family with 23 Children

In 1872, The Burlington Free Press printed a story about a 98-year-old widow in Vermont who’d given birth to 23 children.

Marie Abert was born in Quebec in 1773 and married her late husband, Francois Peppin, at the age of 17. They left Canada for Vermont in 1838.

It was noticeable, in conversation with the old lady, that while her memory of the names and ages of her elder children was quite distinct, her recollection of the latter ones who have died grew indistinct, after the fifteenth or sixteenth, and the names of four she was unable to give us.

Here are the names of most of her children:

1. Francois
2. Antoine
3. Marie
4. Jean Baptise
5. Pierre
6. Joseph
7. Oliver
8. Pauline (twin)
9. Clemence (twin)
10. Julia
11. Andrew
12. Timothy
13. Hortense
14. Clemence
15. Zoe
16. “After Zoe came four children, two boys and two girls, all of whom died young.”
17. ?
18. ?
19. ?
20. Bruno
21. Paul
22. Seth
23. ? (boy)

Marie and Francois also had at least 99 grandchildren and 98 great-grandchildren.

Which of the 23 names — the ones that are known, anyway — is your favorite?

Source: “A Large Family.” New York Times 6 Jun. 1872.


2 thoughts on “Vermont Family with 23 Children

  1. Wow, she had so many kids that she couldn’t remember all of their names. And two named Clemence? Very interesting! That is a lot of kids and grandkids!

  2. The source article mentioned that both twins (Pauline + Clemence) had died, so my guess is that the 2nd Clemence just got the name of his deceased sibling.

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