Some families can get pretty big. But we don’t think you’ll ever meet an Illinois family that’s bigger than this one.
Because this family has so many grandchildren, there isn’t much room on the walls of their house for picture frames.
Leo and Ruth Zanger have been married for 66 years and have 100 grandchildren between them. They live in the state of Illinois.
Yes, 100 grandkids. It looks like there are a lot of kids to keep track of, so we don’t blame you for giving that header a second look when you saw it.
After waiting for years, their 100th grandchild finally came into the world in 2015.
When they found out they had 99 grandchildren, it became a competition to see which of their children would give birth to grandchild number 99.
In a strict sense, you can’t call all of the children “grandchildren.” Some of them are even great-grandchildren. But when you’ve been around for so long and have so many under your belt, the difference isn’t as important.
Jaxton Leo Zanger is the name of the 100th child. On the family tree, he is the 46th great-grandchild.
Because of this, the question of who is keeping track comes up naturally.
If one of us was a grandparent, we might forget the names of some people. We might do that, to be honest.
At least none of our children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren can blame us for that.
In other words, how many people do you know who have a total of 53 grandchildren?
But when you add up the 53 grandchildren and 46 great-grandchildren, you only get 99. What about the other one? So, this person is a “great-great-grandchild.” Yeah, it keeps getting crazier, doesn’t it?
When Leo and Ruth had their own family of twelve children, everything changed.
Already, that is a lot more than most people ever think they will have. We can see why they want a big family, though.
When they had children, their oldest child was 27 years older than their youngest.
Their oldest child, who is now over 60 years old, had his own children before his younger brother or sister was born. So, when the youngest child was born, he was already an uncle.
Isn’t it weird how all of that works?
Getting the whole family together is, of course, a very special thing to do.
Most of the time, they have to rent out a church because it’s the only place big enough for everyone.
When we get together, it’s big. It’s really big.
said Donna Lane, one of Leo and Ruth’s daughters
Since there are so many of them, it won’t be hard to get everyone in the family to help.
The Zangers won’t have to worry too often about having a boring or lonely dinner.
There are a lot of people — a lot of kids — but that’s what it’s all about. We always have a really good time.
People would be hard to get together for the event if they lived in different states. We are very happy to hear that most of the family still lives in Illinois. Imagine having a family dinner and having to send out invitations to hundreds of relatives who live all over the country.
Leo says that their family probably won’t stop having kids when they are 100 years old.
I expect there will be more. It wouldn’t surprise me any because there are a lot of young families there yet that are just getting started.
He makes fun of the situation by saying that their clan “could start their own town.”
We don’t doubt him one bit.
When that child is born in the future, it will definitely be a big surprise.
In the meantime, important holidays like birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s are always fun for the Zangers.