Your comments about births coming a little later than usual in the mother's life sparked my interest. I descend from John and Mary (Sharp)Parks through Benjamin Parks, the father of Linchfield/Lensfield, whose son was Alfred Parks, my 2nd great-grandfather. Recently, while pulling my Parks data together, I was struck by a pattern of large numbers of births among two particular families and the longevity of those two mothers:Alfred's wife, Ary/Arie (Barnes)Parks (though not of Parks' bloodline)and her daughter, Amanda Hannah (Parks) Dobson, each gave birth to 17 children. Their last child being born when they were age 47 (Manda)and 43(Airie).Wow!I guess they were not going to be outdone by Mary (Sharp) Parks, being discussed in this message string, for whom 17 children are also reported; a record total of 51 children by these three "Parks" women!Mother and daughter, Airie and Amanda, lived to be 99 and98 years old!
On another matter, one of our most sacred family traditions has been that Amanda Hannah (above)lived to be 101 years old, and was reported as such in two separate obituaries. (The only time I saw her was at her funeral in January 1950, in Calhoun, Gordon, Co., GA.) However, it appears that "Manda's" age has been overstated. Her date of birth on her tombstone is “2-4-1850” (personally recorded by me), and were that accurate, she would have been 99 years and 11 months old upon her death.Census records, although also subject to error, are fairly consistent in reporting her age.Two particular censuses are worth a second look:1) The census sheet of 1860 reports that she is eight-years old, which appears correct, especially when the order in which the children are listed is considered valid; and, 2) The 1900 census asks for the birth date (month and year) of all household members in column 7, and that census reports “Feb 1852” as her date of birth and, in column 8, reports her age as “48” on her last birthday.Together, these two census records provide the most convincing evidence that my great-grandmother was 98 years old upon her death.