This is a strange word that is unusual to hear in today’s world. Throughout history, neither the Royal Spanish Academy nor genealogy experts favored a specific term for use in such cases. For this reason, there is an extensive list of options in which, in addition to those mentioned in the first paragraph, there is also “Quadgrandchild” (or Quad Grandfather). Emilia is one of the few people on this planet who can enjoy this title.
The family tree she leads, which is subsequently nourished by a large number of surnames, consists of 9 children, 37 grandchildren, 79 great-grandchildren, 43 great-great-grandchildren and 3 “Choznos”. “: Emma, Leyla and Giovanni. He met the three last week during his birthday party.
Emilia was born on September 11, 1922 in Goya, Corrientes, but did not live there long. For various reasons that he does not remember, his parents were unable to take care of his upbringing. Then she took her paternal grandmother, Tomasa Aguirre, who lived in Reconquista on the other side of the Paraná, to live and look after her.
-Have you always lived in Reconquista from then until now?
-I have always lived in the area. There were times in my life when I traveled to surrounding cities for work. I don’t remember this, but my own grandmother told me: The journey from Goya to Reconquista was by raft, crossing the Paraná from bank to bank. He hugged me tightly and carried me on his lap.
-What do you remember from your childhood?
-My grandmother’s upbringing, which undoubtedly made me who I am today. My grandmother shaped me as a person. He was on top of all the details and gave me the training I needed. He taught me values such as respect for my elders and gave me my greatest passion: knitting.
-What did your grandmother do? Did they both live alone?
-She was a housewife but had several children, my uncles, who were like my brothers. They took care of me, they protected me, I never had any problems with them. They also spoiled me, I was the smallest… And together we all worked to maintain the house.
-What have you been working on?
-There was a lot of agricultural activity and many of the young people in the area worked in the fields. I started harvesting cotton on the farm of a family, the Tejerina. It was a normal job with little physical demand. Although we spent many hours there, we started around 8am and stayed until it got dark. I met my boyfriend there when I was about 15 years old.
-Were you able to go to school?
-I only did it for a few years, but then I had to give it up and start working. I never learned to read or write.
“He asked my grandmother for permission.”
The young man who made Emilia fall in love was named Florencio Maciel and he was also from Santa Fe. Together they created this incredible family.
“Before we started our relationship, he asked my grandmother for permission to talk to me and she said yes. He only made one condition: that she would always look closely… We married a few months later. I was 15 “The same bosses, the Tejerina, took us to the ceremony, which took place in a nearby town called Manuel Molina,” Emilia remembers.
– You got married when you were 15, so very young. What were the first years of marriage like?
-For the first few years we lived together in my grandmother’s house. But then we moved out alone. Thanks to a loan that Cáritas gave us, we were able to get a piece of land and a house.
-And the children began to come.
-We had 9: Haided, Ismael, Natalio, Braulio, Imelda, Ademar, Lidia, Norma and Emilia. The first were born a few months after marriage.
-What kind of education did you want to give your children?
-That they received a good education. In fact, to this day I have neither learned to read nor write. I knew how important it would be to her future to be able to finish school. Then I taught them the same rules of behavior in the house that I had learned from my grandmother: eat well, don’t tell anyone…
Emilia prepares the snack in her kitchen
-What was life like in Argentina before? How do you remember this country?
-First of all, work. There was a lot of work. I spent many hours knitting back then. I made clothes for my children and many friends. It was a job, but also a great hobby. In fact, I remember when my husband bought me a knitting machine…it was one of the happiest days for me. I had a good life, my family always had work. We never went hungry: not when I was a child, not when I was a mother.
-What do you think are the big differences between Argentina 100 years ago and today?
-The peace with which you live. It used to be safer.
Over the years, Emilia’s family grew. His children gave him grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And so on, until the sixth generation appeared alive at the same time as the first “Chozno” was born.
“May you never lack mate,” say your granddaughters
Today, at the age of 100, Emilia enjoys impeccable health. “My legs just hurt a little, but that’s all,” he says.
He believes there is no “formula” for longevity. In fact, she almost never did any physical activity: “I didn’t like it, my sport was sewing, that was my passion,” she says. For her, the most important thing is “not to get any bad blood in difficult moments” and at the same time to always “keep calm.”
Your life today
-Is there a food that you point to and say, “It’s my favorite food”?
-I really like soup and locro.
-His granddaughters say that he cooked deliciously…
-Yes, but now I can’t cook anymore. They’re afraid I’ll burn (laughs). The food is brought to me by my daughter Norma, the youngest, who lives near my house.
-Mate, sweet or bitter?
-Both. I’m a bigger fan of bitter mate in the morning. But in the afternoon, when I have company, I drink sweet mate.
-What feelings does it make you feel to be a grandmother and head of a family in which six generations live at the same time?
-It gives me enormous pleasure. I am very happy and very happy for every generation. That’s what I feel.
Amadeo Enrique Vallejos, mayor of Reconquista, visited Emilia to congratulate her on her 100th birthday
-Do you remember the names of all your grandchildren, of all categories?
-And… I know and see some of them, especially the main grandchildren. But starting with the great-great-grandchildren, it’s a little harder for me to recognize them because I don’t see them often.
Such coincidences no longer exist in today’s world. That’s why it’s strange that other recent cases have also occurred in Argentina.
The birth of Ariana Jacqueline Premet in Córdoba in 2007 led to the creation of another sextet of generations living at the same time. His mother, Jorgelina García, was 19 years old at the time. The grandmother was just 38 years old and her great-grandmother was 54. The great-great-grandmother, in turn, was 71 years old and her mother was 90.
Last year, Esther Soria, originally from Casilda, Santa Fe, told LA NACION her story. Esther, who died in August 2022, had a total of 153 grandchildren: 42 grandchildren, 81 great-grandchildren, 33 great-great-grandchildren and two grandchildren. At 30 she was a grandmother and just 15 years later, at 45, she was a great-grandmother. She later had great-great-grandchildren until 2019, when one of them, Yanet, had Ian, the family’s first “cabin”. Apart from these, few other examples are known.
At the moment, the case of Emilia Maciel would be the case of the largest known family in Argentina in terms of the number of generations living at the same time. At least in the last 50 years, there has only been one family that has surpassed this mark. It was in 1989 when the American Augusta Bunge, at the age of 109, became the head of a family that lived seven generations at the same time. The Bunges still hold that record.