Guinness declares 102-year-old Scottish sisters as world’s oldest living twins
It's Nov. 15, 1909. Mark Twain is still alive. William Howard Taft has recently replaced Teddy Roosevelt as president. And, across the pond, on a farm in Scotland, Edith Ritchie and Evelyn "Evie" Middleton are born.
More than 102 years later, the twin sisters are still alive and well -- and have claimed the mantle of the oldest living twins on Earth, Guinness World Records declared on Tuesday.
The sisters, who live quietly at the Bonnyton House care home in Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, now find themselves at the center of the international spotlight after setting the memorable milestone.
The sisters shared with Guinness their three-pronged secret for longevity: "Simple living, hard work and a good husband."
Their approach to life was established early on. The sisters, born with the last name Rennie, worked on farms before finding those good husbands.
Evelyn got hitched to William Middleton, and they had four children, 12 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.
Her sister Edith tied the knot with Nathaniel Ritchie, and the couple had four children, nine grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, and three-great-great grandchildren.
Until Tuesday, Lily Millward and Ena Pugh, also of the United Kingdom, were considered the oldest twins. They were born less than two months after Edith and Evelyn, on Jan. 4, 1910. Evelyn and Edith proved their longevity by providing Guinness with a birth certificate and other documentation.
Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday put their remarkable journey into perspective.
"Edith and Evelyn are a remarkable pair - when they were born, the likes of Mark Twain and Florence Nightingale were still alive, and we had yet to conquer the South Pole," Glenday said.
A breathtaking century of history swirled around them, but the sisters have never left the United Kingdom. The rest of the world, however, has finally come to them.
"They're not just the oldest in the U.K., they hold the world title. They've clearly benefitted from good genes, and a solid life-long friendship that only twins can truly understand," Glenday said.