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A Russian Woman gave Birth to 16 sets of Twins, 7 Triplets and 4 Quadruplets - Facts A Russian Woman gave Birth to 16 sets of Twins, 7 Triplets and 4 Quadruplets - Facts Hot

A Russian Woman gave Birth to 16 sets of Twins, 7 Triplets and 4 Quadruplets - Facts

Story:

In the 1700s there was a woman who birthed 69 children. She completely holds the record for most children born to one woman. In total, she had 16 sets of twins, 7 sets of triplets, and 4 sets of quadruplets! 

Out of the 69 children, 67 of them survived past their infancy. 

Other Versions

World's Most Prolific Mother (69 babies): Valentina Vassilyeva, set the record for most children birthed by a single woman. She gave birth to total of 69 children. She gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets and 4 sets of quadruplets between 1725 and 1765, in a total of 27 births. 67 of the 69 children born survived infancy. 

Hoax or Fact:

Not Determined.

Analysis:

The messages talk about a Russian woman who is claimed to have given birth to 16 sets of twins, 7 sets of triplets, and 4 sets of quadruplets - a total of 69 children in 27 births. This is addressed as fact by even Guinness book of world records, BUT there isn't enough evidence to validate this unbelievable story.

From Guinness Book of World Records

This story refers to Valentina Vassilyeva, the first wife of Feodor Vassilyev, a Russian peasant from Shuya. According to the Guinness book of world records, Valentina Vassilyeva holds record for:

Most set of Twins - Same Mother - 16 sets
Most set of Quadruplets born to the same mother - 4 sets
And is also the Most prolific mother ever, with:

4 x 4 = 16
7 x 3 = 21
16 x 2 = 32
--------------
27 births 69 children

It is also mentioned that Feodor Vassilyev had 18 children from his second wife:

6 x 2 = 12
2 x 3 = 6
------------
8 births 18 children

The Guinness book of world records stated there are numerous contemporaneous sources to suggest that this seemingly improbably and statistically unlikely story is true. However, there are also many sources that raise doubts about the authenticity of this story.

Authenticity Doubted

In a book called 'Quadruplets and Higher Multiple Births' by Marie M. Clay, this case of Feodor Vassilyev was discussed as 'a case of remarkable fecundity'. In 1933, Bell wrote an historical review about this story, quoting a contemporary account of this story in The Gentleman's Magazine (1783, 53, 753):

"In an original letter now before me, dated St Petersburg, Aug 13, 1782, O. S. Feodor Wassilief [sic], aged 75, a peasant, said to be now alive and in perfect health, in the Government of Moscow, has had–

By his first wife:

4 x 4 = 16
7 x 3 = 21
16 x 2 = 32
-------------
27 births 69 children

By his second wife:
6 x 2 = 12
2 x 3 = 6
------------
8 births 18 children

"In all, 35 births, 87 children, of which 84 are living and only three buried. . . The above relation, however astonishing, may be depended upon, as it came directly from an English merchant at St Petersburg to his relatives in England, who added that the peasant was to be introduced to the Empress."

Bell believed this story as improbable, also pointing at the many distortions of this story from time to time. Another definitive reference paper mentioned was that of Bashutski's 1834 volume Saint Petersburg Panorama:

"In the day of 27 February 1782, the list from Nikolskiy monastery came to Moscow containing the information that a peasant of the Shuya district, Feodor Vassilyev, married twice, had 87 children. His first wife in 27 confinements gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets. His second wife in eight confinements gave birth to six pairs of twins and two sets of triplets. F. Vassilyev was 75 at that time with 82 of his children alive."

The story was also talked about in Lancet (1878), referring to an investigation of French Academy of Sciences that attempted to verify this story. When a correspondent of the Imperial Academy of St Petersburg named M. Khanikoff was approached, he replied that all investigation was superfluous, that the members of the family in question still lived in Moscow and that they had been the object of favors from the Government.

In this historical review about Valentina Vassilyeva, Bell concluded saying that the evasion of proper investigation into the case at that time seems to have dealt a terminal blow to our chances of finding the true details of the extraordinary case.

To conclude, there is not enough evidence to validate this unbelievable story. The picture that comes with the story appears to be a symbolic one, not that of the family in question.

References:

Most set of Twins - Same Mother
Most set of Quadruplets born to the same mother
Most prolific mother ever
Feodor Vassilyev
Feodor Vassilyev - A case of remarkable fecundity

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A Russian Woman gave Birth to 16 sets of Twins, 7 Triplets and 4 Quadruplets - Facts

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