Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Would Also Leap to That Conclusion

Florence Beatrice Stevens, born on February 29, 1904, has celebrated only 25 birthdays. Could she be the oldest living person born on a leap year day? Beverly (Mass.) Historical Society & Museum director Stephen P. Hall was put on the case.

I had to give this question some thought, because whenever you assign any “superlative” to a person you want to be on a strong footing. But the more I thought about it, to be an older “leap-year day” baby you would have to be at least 108 years old, (a very small percentage of the population) and also be born on the 29th of February 1900. The odds of someone still alive in 2008 and being born on leap year day 108 years ago are astronomical. [Link]


Actually the odds of being born Feb 29, 1900 are more than astronomical. They are impossible. 1900 was not a leap year. To be older a person would need to be born Feb 29, 1896.


Good point! I had forgotten about the century-year exception (which itself has an exception). Microsoft also forgot about it.

Here's something I just learned: people born on February 29 are called "leaplings."


Thanks for catching that error. 2000 being a leap year I fell into the trap of 1900 also being a leap year. An old genealogist like me should have known better. But what about the other two possible superlatives. How many other people living today can claim a parent as a pre-Civil War slave and/or be a daughter of a Civil War solder? See orginal story link at:

Stephen P. Hall, Director
Beverly Historical Society & Museum


I guess grandmother is among a small population of the oldest living leaplings then. Her name is Jo Quiggins and she was born February 29th 1908.

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