The MyHeritage blog asked a question on its December 5th post. What is the largest number of grandchildren to a couple in your family tree?
I took a gander at my tree to see what I could find. I decided not to go too far back. On many of my distant lines I’ve yet to input all the siblings of my ancestors. Instead, I focused on the prolific Pacheco’s. I knew that my Grandfather had somewhere around 50 cousins who made it to adulthood. If you counted those who died young, the number of grandchildren to Jacintho Pacheco and Ana Jacinta de Melo was pretty big.
At first, I looked at their children of Antonio (m. Alexandrinha Jose) and Jose (m. Francisca Bonita and Maria de Nunes da Souza). Coincidentally, they both had 46 grandchildren. Not even close to record breaking.
It dawned on me that with 7 of their 8 children having children that Jacintho and Ana’s grandchildren would probably top the list. As my Mom’s cousin, Ted, once told me “They didn’t have television. What else did they have to do at night?”
Here’s the count of the grandchildren of Theodoro Pacheco and Ana Jacinta de Melo:
Antonio and Alexandrinha de Jose 11
Manoel and Jacinta Rosa Moniz 13
Jose and Francisca Bonita 4
Jose and Maria de Nunes da Souza 9
Joao and Joana Gonsalves Cardoza 8
Francisco and Alexandria de Caires 10
Marie and Joaquim “John Cosma” Jacinto 9
Theodoro and Maria de Braga (my line) 6
The total comes to 70! Phew, that’s a lot of grandchildren. And, those are only the ones I found proof of! Who knows if there were any other babies that did not get recorded in the official record books. The award goes to Manoel and Jacinta for knocking out 13 of the grandchildren.
Unfortunately, Jacinto never lived to see any of them. He died before 1882 when Ana packed up the kids and left the Azores for Hawaii. 30 of the grandchildren were born after Ana died in 1902 in Kilauea, Kauai, HI.
It’s striking to see how times have changed. My own parents have 4 grandchildren. People today aren’t all that thrilled with having 8 or more children anymore. I don’t blame them!
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com