The World’s Most Prolific Families

I come from a large family.  My parents have 8 children (of which I’m the oldest), and my father additionally has 5 older children from previous marriages and relationships – making me the oldest of 8 and the 6th of 13.  Me and my 12 siblings have 4 mothers.  We range in age from 50 (soon to be 51) to 2 (soon to be 3).  I myself am 20.  (My oldest nephews and nieces are older than me – the oldest was 12 at my birth; I became a great-uncle at 10 or 11, and my 3 youngest brothers are younger than our father’s great-granddaughter.)

By all means, we’re a large family; but frankly, we pale in comparison with some of the many examples of large families throughout history.  Some of which make even my jaw drop.  Here’s Wikipedia’s incomplete list:

Female and monogamous couples

This section lists females who gave birth to at least 20 children. Numbers in bold and italics are likely to be inexact, some of them having been recorded before the 19th century. Due to the fact that females bear the children and therefore cannot reproduce as often as males, their records are often shared with or exceeded by their partners.

No. of children Mother/couple Notes
69 Mrs. and Mr. Feodor Vassilyev (1st wife)[1] Vassilyev and his first wife are alleged to hold the record for the most children a couple has parented. She gave birth to a total of 69 children – sixteen pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets – between 1725 and 1765, a total of 27 births. 67 of the 69 children were said to have survived infancy. Allegedly Vassilyev also had six sets of twins and two sets of triplets with a second wife, for another 18 children in eight births; he fathered a total of 87 children. The claim is disputed.
62 Mr. and Mrs. Gravata A Tuscan woman named Gravata gave birth to a total of 62 live children.
57 Mrs. and Mr. Yakov Kirillov The first wife of peasant Yakov Kirillov from the village of Vvedensky, Russia, gave birth to 57 children in a total of 21 births. She had four sets of quadruplets, seven sets of triplets and ten sets of twins. All of the children were alive in 1755, when Kirillov, aged 60, was presented at court.[2]:6 As with the Vassilyev case, the truth of these claims has not been established, and is highly improbable.
53 Barbara and Adam Stratzmann It is claimed that Barbara Stratzmann (c. 1448 – 1503) of Bönnigheim, Germany, gave birth to 53 children (38 sons and 15 daughters) in a total of 29 births by 1498. She had one set of septuplets, one set of sextuplets, four sets of triplets and five sets of twins. Nineteen of the children were stillborn, the eldest surviving was eight years old in 1498.[3] As with the Vassilyev and Kirillov cases above, the survival of any one of the offspring of the alleged multiple births is questionable, as is the likelihood of so many multiple births in an era before fertility drugs.
52 Maddalena Granata Maddalena Granata (born 1839) of the City of Nocera, Italy, who married at age 28, had given birth to 52 living and dead children, 49 being males, by 1886. Dr. de Sanctis, of Nocera, stated that she had 15 sets of triplets.[4][5]:14
42 Elizabeth and John Mott Elizabeth Mott of Monks Kirby, Warwickshire, married in 1676 and produced 42 live-born children. She died in 1720.[5]:13
41 Alice Hookes According to the inscription on a gravestone in Conway Church cemetery, Gwynedd, North Wales, Nicholas Hookes (died 1637) was the 41st child of his mother Alice Hookes, but there were no further details.[5]:13
39 Elizabeth and William Greenhill Thomas Greenhill was the last child of 39 by his mother Elizabeth (1615–1681) and William Greenhill. The family consisted of 7 sons and 32 daughters. Not only is this a large number of live newborns, but is unusual in that all but one pair of twins were single births.
38 Mariam Nabatanzi Babirye As of April 2017, 37-year-old Nabatanzi, living in a village in the Mukono District of Uganda, had 38 children, all but one of whom she had delivered from home (her then 4-month-old had required a delivery by caesarean section). Married at 12, she had given birth to 9 children, by three pregnancies, by age 17. Nabatanzi’s doctors point to her genetic predisposition to hyper-ovulate, and only two of her children were single births; the remainder arrived as six sets of twins, four sets of triplets and three sets of quadruplets. Ten of these are girls and the rest are boys.[6]
35 Mrs. and Mr. Harrison Mrs. Harrison, the wife of an undertaker residing in Vere Street, London, gave birth to her 35th child by one husband in 1736.[7]
33 Mary and John Jonas Mary Jonas (1814–1899) gave birth to 33 children, including 15 sets of boy–girl twins.[8] All were christened, but few reached adulthood. Ten children were still alive when their father John died in 1892.[9]
32 Moddie and Perccell Oliver Mrs. Moddile M. Oliver, aged 50, wife of a Lumberton, North Carolina, sharecropper, was expecting her 33rd child in 1959. At that time, 22 of her children were alive.[10]
32 Maria Addolorata Casalini Mrs. Casalini (born 1929) of Brindisi, Italy, married at 17 and gave birth to her 32nd child on November 11, 1970. She had two sets of quadruplets, one of triplets, one of twins and nineteen single births. Only 15 children survived.[11]
32 Madalena and Raimundo Carnauba Madalena Carnauba of Ceilândia, Brazil married at 13 and gave birth to 32 children: 24 sons and 8 daughters.[12]
32 Maria Benita Olivera Mrs. Olivera (born 1939) of San Juan, Argentina, gave birth to her 32nd child on 31 January 1989. All children were believed to be alive at that time.[13] She was married twice, and had a set of triplets (born when she was 13) and two sets of twins.[14]
30 Rebecca Town Mrs. Town (1807–1851) of Keighley, Yorkshire, had 30 children, but only one reached age 3.[5]
29 Anna Theresia Pleyl She was the first wife of Martin Pleyel (see fathers), a schoolmaster from Ruppersthal in Lower Austria in the 18th century.[15] Their 24th child was composer Ignaz Pleyel (b. 1757).[16]
28 Griffith and Elizabeth Johnson Elizabeth G Johnson was born in 1732 in Montgomery, Maryland. She married Griffith Johnson on February 16, 1766, in Annapolis, Maryland. They had 28 children in 31 years. She died on January 30, 1790, in Oldtown, Maryland, at the age of 58, and was buried there.[17]
28 Mabel Murphy Mrs. Murphy (born 1898) of Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh, N. Ireland was reported to have produced 28 children (12 stillborn) in 32 years of marriage by December 1949, but this claim has not been fully substantiated.[18]
27 Glendora Pope Mrs. Pope, the wife of an Idaho carpenter, gave birth to her 27th child in June 1939, at the age of 45. At that time, 14 children were living. All were single births.[19]
27 Marie-Elise (née Chamberland) and Heliodore Cyr Marie-Elise Chamberland and Heliodore Cyr married in 1928 and had 27 children by 1959, all single births. 19 of them survived to adulthood.[20] Mr. Cyr, a potato farmer from Saint-François-de-Madawaska, New Brunswick,[21] appeared on the TV show I’ve Got A Secret three times – after the births of his 25th, 26th and 27th children.[22]
25 Wéber Andrásné Szirotek Teréz Mrs. Wéber (b. 30 Sep 1855) of Csömör, Hungary gave birth to 25 children between 1872 and 1899. She was awarded with silver medal in 20 Aug 1930 on the ‘Magyar anyák nemzeti ünnepe’ (Hungarian Mothers National Day).[23][24][25]
25 Lapa Piagenti and Giacomo di Benincasa Their 23rd child was Saint Catherine of Siena.[26]
25 Ada Watson Mrs. Watson (1886–1974) of Cambridge gave birth to 25 children, including three sets of twins, during the period 1904–1931. All of the children attained majority.[5]
24 Kathleen Scott Mrs. Scott (b. 4 July 1914) of Dublin gave birth to her 24th child on 9 August 1958. Twenty of her children were still alive in 1990.[13]
24 Marcella S. (née Mills) Big Crow and James M. Big Crow Sr. Marcella Mills-Big Crow (1924–1989) of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, had 24 children, including eight pairs of twins. Five children died in infancy.[27]
23 Christine of Mecklenburg-Güstrow and Louis Christian, Count of Stolberg-Gedern The great-great-great-grandmother of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom had 23 children in 19 pregnancies between 1684 and 1705 (including four sets of twins); 11 of them survived to adulthood.[28][29]
23 Queen Darejan and King Heraclius II of Georgia They had a total of 23 children, 13 of whom lived to adulthood.[30]
23 Tabatha Marcum and Silas Mainord Married in 1811, they lived in Overton County, Tennessee and produced 23 children. One of their daughters, Syreana, later became the mother of 17.[31]
23 Grace Bagnato Grace Bagnato and her husband had 23 children; 9 of them were conceived in order to compete for a bequest by a Toronto eccentric, in what became known as the Great Stork Derby.[32]
23 Irene and Charles DeMello Irene DeMello of Tiverton, Rhode Island, gave birth to her 23rd child in February 1958 at the age of 40 in her 25 years of marriage. There were no multiple births. Seventeen of the children were alive, the eldest being 23.[33]
23 Mary and Sylvester Hemsing Mary Hemsing (1913-2014) of Rolling Hills, Alberta, Canada, gave birth to 11 boys and 12 girls, one of whom was stillborn.[34]
22 Ursula and Franz Adolf Dietrich von Ingelheim The German Count Franz Adolf Dietrich von Ingelheim (1659–1742) of Mainz and his wife Ursula (1668–1730) had 22 children between 1683 and 1712.[35]
22 Emily FitzGerald Emily FitzGerald, Duchess of Leinster and her first husband James FitzGerald, 1st Duke of Leinster, had nineteen children born between 1748 and 1773. Later she married her children’s tutor William Ogilvie; they had three children, who were born between years 1775 and 1778.[36]
22 Marie Massicotte and Philippe Dontigny These children were born between 1888 and 1915 at Champlain, Québec; 14 of them died in infancy. There were no multiple births.[37]
22 Mrs. and Mr. Hostetter Roy Hostetter, a 46-year-old Pennsylvania miner, and his wife, aged 42, announced the birth of their 22nd child in May 1941.[38]
22 Charlotte and Marlon Story Charlotte Story of Bakersfield, California, gave birth to her 22nd child in July 1946. All but two of the other 21 children, including four sets of twins, were alive.[39] Marion and Charlotte Story participated in You Bet Your Life in 1950.
22 Mrs. Dick Renata Mrs. Dick Renata, a Maori, of Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, gave birth to her 22nd child in November 1948. Fourteen of her children survived, including the second born, who was 21 at the time she gave birth to the 22nd, and was himself a father.[40]
22 Madeleine and Marce Devaud Madeleine Devaud, wife of a village dairyman of La Gorre, western France, gave birth to her 22nd child, a boy, in March 1952, at the age of 42. The Devaud couple, married for 24 years, had 13 girls and seven boys. Two other children died in infancy.[41][42]
22 Mabel Constable Mrs. Constable (born 1920), of Long Itchington, Warwicks, gave birth to 22 children, including a set of triplets and two sets of twins.[43]
22 Margaret McNaught Mrs. McNaught (born 1923), of Balsall Heath, Birmingham, gave birth to 22 children, 12 boys (2 of them died in infancy) and 10 girls, all single births.[5]
22 Lucille and Alvin Miller Mrs. Miller gave birth to her first child at age 17; her last child was born when she was 43. All 22 children lived to adulthood. The family also took in several foster children.
22 Effie (née Estes) and Charles Dickey From Clinton, Maine, Mrs. Dickey gave birth to 22 children, all single births. All of them lived to adulthood, 18 of them living into their 70s,80s and 90s,(the others died at ages 30, 58, 60 and 67).[44]
22 Bridget Brown (née Fagan) and Patrick Brown From Dublin, Ireland. Fifteen sons and seven daughters; thirteen survived infancy. The twelfth child was disabled writer Christy Brown.
22 Unidentified Romani woman A 38-year-old Romani woman of Lom, Bulgaria, gave birth to her 22nd child in March 1998. She and her husband had no jobs. 17 children lived with them and five were in orphanages.[45]
22 Alice (née Spencer) & John Jennings Jennings was a MP of St. Albans before the English Civil War. He names 3 of these children in his will, dated 1642, and his wife’s will names 7 of them, dated 1663. Their granddaughter was Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough.[46]
21 Olivia (née Whitmore) and Arthur Guinness Guinness was an Irish brewer. Only ten of their children lived to adulthood.[47]
21 Ann Clark Skerrett and Jeremiah Lear Their 20th child was English artist, illustrator, musician, author and poet Edward Lear (born 1812).[48]
21 Teodora (née Lopez) and Raymundo Olivas Born in 1809 in Los Angeles, Raymundo Olivas met his future wife, Teodora Lopez, in Santa Barbara. They were married in 1832, and together they had 21 children – 13 boys and eight girls. In 1841 Raymundo built the Olivas Adobe, an important part of Ventura city‘s cultural heritage.[49]
21 Josephine & Michael Salzo Sr. The 21 children included the first known surviving set of quadruplets in New Haven, Connecticut; triplets; and two sets of twins.[50]
21 Anna and Henry Crocker 18 of their children lived to adulthood.[51]
21 Mrs. and Mr. Albert Cunningham The couple from Iron Mountain, Michigan, welcomed their 21st child in September 1930 after 27 years of marriage. Seventeen of their children were alive.[52]
21 Mary Chaloner Hale The wife of General John Hale (1728–1806), Mary Hale (1743–1803, born Mary Chaloner in Guisborough, Yorkshire, England) bore 21 offspring between the years of 1764 and 1789, including her first child, John Hale.[53]
21 Elizabeth Hudson Mrs. Hudson, of London, the wife of a paint sprayer, gave birth to her 21st child in February 1955, at the age of 45. Sixteen of the children were alive.[54]
21 Edith Hill Mrs. Hill, of Leicester, England, the wife of a postman, gave birth to her 21st child in December 1960, at the age of 46. Her eldest son was 30 by that time and she already had grandchildren. Two of her children died in infancy; the others were nine boys and ten girls.[55]
21 Mary and Wara Tengu The Maori couple from Hamilton, New Zealand, welcomed their 21st child in January 1968; the mother was then 42 years old. They already had five grandchildren.[56]
21 Aliza and Meir Ben-Haroush Aliza Ben-Haroush of Haifa gave birth to her 21st child in July 1969 at the age of 46 and became the most prolific mother in Israel.[57]
21 Unidentified Indian woman Not much is known about this case except that a woman from Assam gave birth to her 21st child in 1970.[58][59]
21 Leonora and Yanosh Nameni Leonora Nameni, of Ostritsa, Hertsa Raion, Chernivtsi Oblast, gave birth to her 21st child in October 2013, at the age of 44, becoming the most prolific mother in Ukraine. Leonora and Yanosh are followers of the Apostolic Christian Church (Nazarene) and do not practice birth control. The Nameni family has 11 sons and 10 daughters, including two sets of twins.[60]
21 Sebastiana Maria da Conceicao Sebastiana Maria da Conceicao, aged 51, gave birth to her 21st child in the city of Aracaju, Brazil, in May 2015. The boy joined the family of 10 brothers and 10 sisters, of whom 18 were alive.[61]
21 Noel and Sue Radford Suzanne (Sue) Radford – born 22 March 1975 (age 43), of Morecambe, UK gave birth to her 21st child in 2018. Her eldest son (Christopher) was 29 at that time. The Radfords had 11 sons, 10 daughters, and had 4 grandchildren as of 2018.
20 Elizabeth and William Dunn Atwick, Yorkshire, UK William Dunn and his wife Elizabeth nee Marson of Atwick, Yorkshire, England were married on 7 Feb 1774. They had 20 children born between 1774 and 1798, no multiple births, but two children were stillborn. The Atwick Baptism Records state that Ann born 1798 and baptised on 28 October 1798 was ‘their 20th child’. On their son Benjamin’s baptism in 1797 the record states that he was their ’19th child 17 of which were baptised and 2 stillborn in the space of 23 years’.
20 Jane (née Purdon) and Adam Loftus. The Archbishop of Armagh, and later of Dublin, and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, Adam Loftus, had 20 children with his wife Jane between c. 1559 and 1590,[62] twelve of whom survived to adulthood.[63]
20 Catherine Marion de Druy and Antoine Arnauld Famous French lawyer Antoine Arnauld had 20 children with his wife Catherine Marion de Druy between 1588 and 1612, ten of whom survived to adulthood.[64]
20 Elizabeth Carleton Elizabeth Carleton, daughter of Sir Dudley Carleton, had one child, daughter Elizabeth, with her first husband Thomas Barker, and 19 children with her second husband Giles Vanbrugh, 12 of whom survived infancy, including English architect and dramatist John Vanbrugh (1664 – 1726) and Commodore Governor of Newfoundland Philip Vanbrugh (c. 1681 – 1753).[65][66]
20 Marie Elisabeth of Eggenberg and Ferdinand Joseph Ferdinand Joseph had 20 children with his wife Marie Elisabeth of Eggenberg between 1657 and 1685 (all single births), of whom only five survived to adulthood.[67]
20 Anne Margrethe Rossing and Peder Horrebow Danish astronomer Peder Horrebow and his wife Anne Margrethe Rossing had a total of 20 children.[68] One of their sons, Christian Horrebow, born 1718, continued his father’s work.
20 Barbe Arnault and Antoine Monneron Barbe Arnault and Antoine Monneron had 20 children between 1733 and 1758 (all single births), 12 of whom survived infancy.[69] Their sons became well known Monneron brothers.
20 Rosgen (née Fuld) and Hayum Lowenstein Rosgen and Hayum Lowenstein of Langendernbach, Germany, had 20 children, 19 of whom survived to adulthood. The youngest child was born in 1860.[70]
20 Marie Verrault and Pierre Edouard Cauchon Born between 1853 and 1882 at Château-Richer, Québec, Canada, sixteen of the children died in infancy, and one as a young adult. There were no multiple births.[37]
20 Florestine Piché and Gaspard Beaupré Florestine Piché and Gaspard Beaupré had 20 children; the eldest of them was famous giant Édouard Beaupré, born in 1881 in Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan.[71]
20 Emma Catherine Padgett and Addison Bidwell Millard Addison Millard (1843-1898) and Emma Padgett (1849-1919) married in 1865 in Urbana, Maryland, and had 20 children, the last of whom was born in 1890. Six died in infancy. The family moved to Virginia in 1893, where they ran Colvin Run Mill for more than 50 years.[72]
20 Elise Steinmann and Leonhard Hauser The couple had 20 children, seven of whom died as infants. Elise Steinmann (1848-1928) and Leonhard Hauser (1842-1915) were both born in Switzerland. they immigrated to the US in 1882, and settled in Greenwood (now Greenfield) near Rockford, Minnesota. 13 of their children were born in Switzerland, and seven in the US.[73]
20 Ella and James Lee Townsend Ella and James Lee Townsend, sharecroppers from Montgomery County, Mississippi, had a total of 20 children. The youngest of them was American voting rights activist, civil rights leader, and philanthropist Fannie Lou Hamer, born in 1917.[74]
20 Gertrude Louisa Rowe Goodley and George Thomas Jolley Gertrude and George married in 1905 and had 20 children between 1906 and 1932, when Gertrude was aged 46. The family were from the Tolaga Bay area on New Zealand’s North Island.[citation needed]. Issue 227 of the Gisborne Photo News carried a report in 1973 about a reunion of 140 of their descendants and noted that they had 215 direct descendants at that time.[75]
20 Mary and John Fullerton Mary and John Fullerton from County Donegal, Ireland, had 20 children, the eldest of whom was Eddie Fullerton, born in 1935.[76]
20 Mrs. and Mr. Rexford Oakley Mrs. Oakley, aged 54, from Scranton, Pennsylvania, gave birth to her 20th child in December 1954. 18 of the children, including the newborn, were alive.[77]
20 Zola Inez (née Sutterfield) and Harvey Auston Smith Mrs. Smith (born September 1, 1910) gave birth to her 20th child in Mountain View, Arkansas, in May 1956, at the age of 45. She and her husband, married for 29 years, had 14 sons and six daughters, all single births. Three sons died in infancy. By April 1973 they had 35 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
20 Rose Alma and Roland Letendre The couple had 20 children; the youngest died as a result of birth injury. All the children were born in Drummondville, Quebec.[78] Rose Alma died at age 100 in 2018.[79]
20 Mrs. and Mr. Edward Bitter Mrs. Bitter, aged 40, the wife of a bricklayer, from Covington, Kentucky, gave birth to her 20th child in January 1958. Four of their children, including a set of twins, were dead. The other 16 were 10 boys and six girls; the oldest of them was 24.[80]
20 Dolores and Prosper Grenier Dolores Grenier, aged 43, of Waterville, Maine, gave birth to her 20th child in April 1961. During 26 years of marriage she gave birth to 12 sons and eight daughters, including three sets of twins. Two daughters have died.[81]
20 Eldora and James Parnell Eldora Parnell, aged 42, of Bakersfield, California, gave birth to her 20th child in November 1966, after 27 years of marriage.[82]
20 The mother of Maria Goncales Moreira Not much is known about this case except the fact that she had ten sets of twins. Her daughter also had ten sets of twins (see below).[83]
20 Maria Goncales Moreira Mrs. Moreira of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, gave birth to her tenth set of twins (identical boys) on July 3, 1984. Her other twins were 16 girls and two boys. She delivered the first at age 13. Her mother also had ten sets of twins.[83]
20 Jessie Campbell Mrs. Campbell (born 1946) of Struan, Isle of Skye, Scotland, gave birth to her 20th child on 22 January 1990.[84]
20 Julianna and Ernő Lukács Julianna Lukács and her husband, a Hungarian farmer, have six sons and fourteen daughters. They live in Tolna, Hungary, in a mansion farming on 3,336 acres (1,350 ha). The first child was born in 1966 and the last in 1991.[85]
20 Valentina and Anatoliy Khromykh Valentina Khromykh from Lev-Tolstovsky District, Lipetsk Oblast, Russia, gave birth to 20 children, 11 boys and 9 girls. As of May 2015, 15 of the children were alive (two died in infancy and other three at the ages of 12, 28 and 32), the oldest child was 46 and the youngest was 22. Also by May 2015, Valentina was 64, she had been married to Anatoliy Khromykh for 46 years, and they already had ten grandchildren.[86]
20 Elizabeth and Joseph Mattingly From Nelson County, Kentucky, Mrs. Mattingly gave birth to twenty children, all of whom lived to adulthood.
20 Elena and Alexander Shishkin Elena Shishkina (born 1958) of Voronezh Oblast, Russia, gave birth to her 20th child in April 2003, becoming the most prolific mother in Russia; her eldest son was 24 at that time. The Shishkins have 9 sons and 11 daughters, and had 20 grandchildren by November 2012.[87]
20 Marie and Antonín Kludský Marie (1832-1909) and Antonín Kludský (1826-1895) from Bohemia were parents of 20 boys and ancestors of the famous cirque family Kludský.[88]


This section lists men who have parented at least 25 or more children, usually with many different women. Men who have parented large numbers of children through medical sperm donation are difficult to record. Numbers in italics are inexact, particularly of rulers of antiquity.

No. of children Father Notes
867 + Moulay Ismail ibn Sharif Monarch of Morocco who had a harem of 500 women, and registered 525 boy births and 342 girls. In total an observation was made of 1042 children, then eventually after his death a total of 1171.
300–600+ Bertold P. Wiesner This scientist used his own sperm to impregnate customers between 1943 (?) and 1964+. He is the father of Eva Ibbotson via a marital relationship with her mother, separate from his clinical work, as well as two children by Dr Mary Barton.
365–382 Augustus II the Strong[citation needed] Augustus was Elector of Saxony, king of Poland. With his wife Christiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth he had one son, Augustus III of Poland. He had numerous children with his mistresses, but only 11 were recognized, one of whom is Maurice de Saxe French Marchal-General office France, the great-grandfather of George Sand.
up to 300 Paul Elden Kingston Paul Kingston is the leader of the Latter Day Church of Christ, also known as the Kingston Clan or The Order in Utah.[89]
210 King Sobhuza II King of Swaziland, lived 1899–1982, is thought to have had 70 wives.
177 Sultan Ibrahim Njoya He was King of Bamum in Cameroon, lived 1860–1933, and is thought to have had ‘around 600’ wives. He was said to have had 149 children by December 1915.[90]
170+ Mohammed Bello Abubakar Mohammed Bello Abubakar (1924-2017) of Nigeria married 86 women and had 170 children with them before being arrested in 2008 for polygamy for having more than four wives,[91] though he was released later in 2008.
162+ Ramesses II Egyptian pharaoh; see list of children of Ramesses II
160+ Ancentus Ogwella Akukujulama This Kenyan polygamist, known as ‘Danger’, lived 1916–2010; he married ‘more than 100 times’ and had fathered ‘at least 160 children’.[92] An unsubstantiated article from the East African Standard claimed he had 210 children: 104 daughters and 106 sons, by some 130 wives.[93]
158 Jack Kigongo Kigongo lived in Kateerea, Uganda, 1909–2014; he had 27 wives, and when he died aged 109, had around 501 grandchildren.[94]
153 Don Reynaldo A Costa Rican business magnate who is said to have fathered 153 children between 1950-2005.
150 Joe Donor As of July 2018, a 47-year-old man using the pseudonym Joe Donor claimed to have fathered up to 150 children by using a Facebook page to connect with women looking for free sperm, generally by having sex with “Joe” rather than through costly artificial insemination (though some customers do prefer syringes of his sperm).[95] At the time of a 2014 interview on the television newsmagazine 20/20, Joe had already claimed 30+ successful childbirths from having sex with 100 different women requesting his free-sperm-via-intercourse offer.[96]
150 Anonymous sperm donor As of September 2011, an American sperm donor was found to have produced at least 150 children.[97] This was the inspiration for the 2011 Canadian film Starbuck and its 2013 American remake Delivery Man.
149 Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII, the last Nizam of Hyderabad He is reported to have had 149 children.
145+ Winston Blackmore Leader of the Mormon fundamentalist sect called the Blackmore/Bountiful Community,[98] he fathered children through as many as 25 wives.[99][100]
144 Miên Định, Prince of Thọ Xuân Son of Minh Mang, fathered 144 children, including 78 sons and 66 daughters.[101]
142 Emperor Minh Mạng He is reported to have fathered 142 children from 400 wives.[101]
128 Misheck Doctor Nyandoro Nyandoro, a Zimbabwean man living in Chipinge, currently has 15 wives and 128 children.[102]
120 Bodawpaya King of Burma, fathered 62 sons and 58 daughters
117 John Robert Dunn John Robert Dunn (1834–1895), a South African hunter and trader, was already married when he became an adviser to the Zulu king Cetshwayo, who granted him land, cattle, a chieftainship and two Zulu brides. He married 46 more Zulu women and fathered 33 sons and 46 daughters.
106–115 Saud of Saudi Arabia King Saud, son of Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia, lived 1902–1969. According to one source he had 52 sons and about 54 daughters from ‘a wider range of women’ than his father (who had 22 wives);[103] however, another source credited him with 115.[104]
114 Matteo Valles One of America’s most well known sperm donors. Although he is retired now, at age 25 he is estimated to have 114 children. This initially came to light due to starring on ABC’s The Bachelorette Season 15.[105]
114 Miên Trinh, Prince of Tuy Lý Another son of Minh Mang, fathered 77 sons and 37 daughters.[101]
114 Ed Houben Houben was Europe’s most prolific sperm donor. He advocates the use of natural methods.[106]
110 Mindon Min King of Burma, fathered 110 children.
108+ Fath-Ali Shah Qajar The second Shah of the Qajar dynasty of Iran, Fath-Ali (1772–1834) had 48 daughters and 60 sons ‘who survived infancy’, as a result of the 160+ marriages by which he had consolidated his control over the country. Many of his descendants went on to become prominent figures.[107]
106+ John Daniel Kingston A member of a fundamentalist Mormon group, Kingston had 106 children by 14 wives as of 2004.[108]
≤100 Augustus John The Welsh painter is widely reported to have fathered ‘up to 100 children’, mostly outside marriage, although some believe that this figure is greatly exaggerated.[109]
90-100 Matt Donor As of March 2019, a 37-year old using the pseudonym Matt Donor claimed to have fathered between 90 to 100 children, mostly in his home state of Oklahoma. Using Facebook, Known Donor Registry, and Just A Baby, he connects with women/couples looking for free sperm, “donating” his sperm via sex or using at-home artificial insemination kits.
94 Ziona Leader of the religious sect Pu Chana páwl, in the Mizoram state of India, has 94 children with 39 wives, as well as 33 grandchildren, and has, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the world’s largest family.
49–89 Goel Ratzon Ratzon is a Jewish cult leader and Messiah claimant, born in 1951; in 2010 he reportedly had ’21 wives’, with whom he had fathered 49 children (CNN data), or ‘more than 30 wives’ and 89 children (Time magazine data). These statistics came to light when he was charged with enslavement and rape.[110][111]
87 Feodor Vassilyev Feodor Vassilyev, a peasant from Shuya, Russia, had 69 children with his first wife and 18 with his second. At least 82 of his children survived infancy.[112]
86 Trần Viết Chu A peasant from Hải Lăng, Quảng Trị (Vietnam), he had 86 children with 12 wives.[113]
82 Mongkut (Rama IV) King Mongkut, Thailand‘s fourth monarch, had 32 wives and concubines during his lifetime who produced at least 82 children,[114] one of whom was Chulalongkorn. See list of children of Mongkut.
82 Jan Karbaat Dutch fertility doctor who used his own seed to impregnate patients. He has 11 children from his marriage, 22 donor children which were DNA-matched before his death, and an additional 49 children which were DNA-matched via sibling DNA matching after his death.[115]
77 Chulalongkorn (Rama V) King Chulalongkorn, Thailand’s fifth monarch, had 92 consorts during his lifetime who produced 77 children,[114] of whom 33 were sons and 44 were daughters. See list of children of Chulalongkorn
75 Tokugawa Ienari Shogun Ienari, 11th shōgun of Tokugawa Shogunate he had 75 children from 900 Women. He is father of Tokugawa Ieyoshi
75 Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia King Abdulaziz, the first monarch of Saudi Arabia, lived 1876–1953; he had 45 recorded sons and about 30 daughters from 22 wives and concubines. By 2001 he had 2,500–3,500 direct descendants.[103] See descendants of Ibn Saud.
75 Screamin’ Jay Hawkins Hawkins, a rock and roll singer, had 57 confirmed children, possibly as many as 75.[116]
75 Cecil Byran Jacobson This fertility doctor was suspected of fathering as many as 75 children by impregnating patients with his own sperm.[citation needed] During trial 15 children were confirmed his through DNA.[117]
74 Ben Seisler Seisler, who spent three years donating sperm to a Virginia sperm bank to offset law-school expenses, recently learned that his donations had produced 74 children.[118]
73 Buddha Loetla Nabhalai (Rama II) King Buddha Loetla Nabhalai, Thailand‘s second monarch, had 73 children with 40 women.[114]
72 Emperor Huizong of Song Emperor Huizong of Song, Emperor of the Song Dynasty, fathered 38 sons and 34 daughters from 148 wives.
72 Mehtar Aman ul-Mulk Aman ul-Mulk, ruler of Chitral, now part of Pakistan (1821-1892), is known as the Lot Mitar or Great Mehtar. He had 72 children, as reported in Tribes of the Hindoo Koosh by Biddulph.
65 Heber C. Kimball First Counselor of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he fathered children through 17 of his 43 wives.[citation needed]
65 Rulon Jeffs President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, he fathered children, including Warren Jeffs, with as many as 75 wives.[119]
64 John W Hess Lived 1824 to 1903 and was the President of the Davis Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1894. Fathered 64 children with 7 wives as noted in his autobiography.[120] His obituary indicated 65 children.[121]
64 Thiệu Trị Emperor of Vietnam, he fathered children through 24 wives.[122]
61 Norodom of Cambodia King of Cambodia, he fathered 61 sons and daughters with 47 wives.
61 Kashemsanta Sobhaga Thai royal, son of Mongkut, fathered 39 sons and 22 daughters.
60 Warren Jeffs President of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, he fathered children through as many as 70 wives.[119]
59 Emperor Xuanzong of Tang Emperor Xuanzong of Tang, Emperor of the Tang Dynasty, fathered 30 sons and 29 daughters with numerous wives.
58 Thado Minsaw Prince of Burma, fathered 32 sons and 26 daughters
58 Pinklao Thai royal, Front Palace
70 “Louis”, a Dutch sperm donor A Dutch man born 1949/50 in the Netherlands to a Dutch mother and Surinamese father and raised in Suriname, Louis is a pseudonym. He donated between the 1982 and 2002 at three clinics, far exceeding the current limit of 25 donations. 70 live births are confirmed, of whom he has met 40 since 2011, but he estimates 200 in total; he doubts another estimate as high as 1000.[123]
57 Brigham Young President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he fathered children through 16 of his 55 wives.[citation needed]
56 John Doyle Lee Utah pioneer and early leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he had 18 wives and 56 children.[124]
55 Kangxi Emperor A Chinese emperor of the Qing dynasty who lived 1654–1722, he fathered 35 sons and 20 daughters from numerous wives and concubines.[citation needed]
55 Peregrine Sessions A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a son of Patty Bartlett Sessions, he had 55 children with eight wives.
54+ Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden This Yemeni emigrant to Saudi Arabia married 22 times and fathered at least 54 children.[125] Osama bin Laden is believed to have been his 17th son.
54 Merril Jessop Bishop and one-time de facto leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he fathered 54 children with his first six wives.[126]
52 Wongsa Dhiraj Snid Thai royal, son of Rama II of Siam
52 Salem Juma’a Salem Juma’a from United Arab Emirates fathered 52 children through 12 wives. By November 2009 he was approximately 75 years old and 1ten of his children were dead. The other 42 were 21 sons and 21 daughters aged from 13 to 38 years old.[127]
51 Nangklao (Rama III) King Nangklao, Thailand‘s third monarch, had 51 children with 37 women.[114]
50 Qin Shi Huang First Emperor of the Qin dynasty and founding emperor of China. Fathered around 50 children with numerous concubines.
50 Luiz Costa Oliveira A Brazilian from Rio Grande do Norte State, he has 50 children from three women (wife, sister-in-law, mother-in-law).[128]
50 Dr. Donald L. Cline, MD An American fertility doctor from Indiana University School Of Medicine who used his own sperm more than 50 times to impregnate customers since the 1970s. DNA has been shown to link 8 siblings so far.[129][130]
50 Jean-Bédel Bokassa Dictator of the Central African Republic, he lived 1921–1996, ad had 17 wives.[citation needed]
48 Joseph F. Smith Sixth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), he fathered 48 children with six wives (though his first wife, Levira Smith, never bore children).[131]
48 Devawongse Varoprakar Thai royal, son of Mongkut, fathered 48 sons and daughters.
48 Svasti Sobhana Thai royal, son of Mongkut, fathered 48 sons and daughters.
46 Joe Jessop As of February 2010 Jessop was 88. He lived in Short Creek, Utah, alongside a community of at least 6,000 followers of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He fathered 46 children with five wives and had 239 grandchildren.[132]
46 Marriner W. Merrill A Mormon and the great grandfather of Todd Christensen, he fathered 46 children with six out of his eight wives.
45 Orson Pratt Orson Pratt (Sr.), polymath, and an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, lived 1811–1881; he fathered 45 children through his ten wives.[citation needed]
30–45 Idi Amin Dictator of Uganda, he lived 1925–2003, and had 17 wives.[citation needed]
44 Jesse N. Smith Jesse Nathaniel Smith, a Mormon pioneer, church leader, colonizer, politician, frontiersman, and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, fathered 44 children through his five wives.[133]
43 Danish sperm donor This Danish man, fathered at least 43 children through 14 distinct IVF clinics in ten separate countries. At least five children sired by him were passed a genetic disorder. The man was permitted to carry on donating sperm, despite Danish national rules restricting donations to 25.[134]
43 Yang Sen A Chinese general and politician who fathered 43 sons and daughters with at least 12 wives.[135]
43 Maha Sura Singhanat Thai royal, younger brother of Rama I, fathered 43 sons and daughters.
43 Philip IV of Spain He fathered 13 legitimate children through his two wives and is said to have at least 30 illegitimate children with different women of all conditions.[136]
43 William ap Hywel ap Iorweth[137] A man by the name of William ap Howel ap Jorwerth, he lived in north Wales, U.K. around the year 1580. William married three times, and had forty three children; by the first wife he had twenty two children, and before his death he had over three hundred descendants.[138]
42 Hongwu Emperor First Emperor of the Ming dynasty. Fathered 26 sons and 16 daughters with numerous wives.
42 Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I) King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, Thailand‘s first monarch, had 42 children from 28 women.[114]
42 Lorenzo Snow President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he fathered children through his nine wives.[citation needed]
42 Joseph Kony Joseph Kony, the Ugandan leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), has 42 children [139] with 88 spouses.
41 Friedrich von Kahlbutz A minor Prussian nobleman who lived 1651–1702, he fathered 11 children by his wife, and 30 by peasant women in his domain.[140] His mummy is preserved in a church in Neustadt in Brandenburg.
41 Aston “Family Man” Barrett Aston Francis Barrett (born 22 November 1946), often called “Family Man” or “Fams” for short, is a Jamaican musician and Rastafarian. His nickname came about before he had any children of his own. Aston foresaw his role as a band leader and started to call himself “Family Man”. He has fathered 41 children since.[141]
41 Muhammad Yusaf Muhammad Yousaf of Sargodha, Pakistan, had at least 41 children from seven wives.[142]
41 Emperor Gaozu of Tang Emperor Gaozu of Tang, Emperor of the Tang dynasty, fathered 41 children with numerous wives.
40 Maha Senanurak Thai royal, son of Rama I, fathered 40 sons and daughters.
40 Emperor Daizong of Tang Emperor of the Tang dynasty, fathered 20 sons and 20 daughters from numerous wives.
40 Hsinbyushin King of Burma, fathered 20 sons and 20 daughters
39+ Emperor Wu of Jin Sima Yan, founder of China’s Jin dynasty, had 26 sons and at least 13 daughters. Details are here.
38 Emperor Xianzong of Tang Emperor of the Tang Dynasty. Fathered a total of 20 sons and 18 daughters from numerous wives.
38 Qian Liu Emperor of the Wuyue Kingdom. Fathered at least 38 sons and an uncertain number of daughters.
38 Martin Pleyel Martin Pleyel was a schoolmaster from Ruppersthal in Lower Austria in the 18th century. He had 29 children with his first wife, Anna Theresia Pleyel. Their 24th child was composer Ignaz Pleyel (b. 1757).[16] He had another nine children with his second wife, Maria Anna Pleyel.[15]
38 Ramon Revilla A Filipino actor and former senator, he fathered children through 16 different women.[143] Claims to have fathered up to 72 children.
37 Damrong Rajanubhab Thai royal, son of Mongkut, fathered 37 sons and daughters.
37 Robert Gardner Robert Gardner Jr., a Scottish-born Mormon pioneer, had 37 children with 4 wives.
36 Emperor Shunzong of Tang Emperor of Tang Dynasty. Fathered 23 sons and 13 daughters from numerous wives.
36 Tharrawaddy Min King of Burma, fathered 18 sons and 18 daughters
35+ King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia The former King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, born in 1924, he fathered at least 35 children, by thirteen wives.[144]
35 Emperor Taizong of Tang Emperor Taizong of Tang, Second Emperor of Tang Dynasty. Fathered 14 sons and 21 daughters from numerous wives. Considered one of the greatest Chinese Emperors, having conquered an Empire up to 12,400,000 squared km in size.
35 Horace Martin Alexander Alexander was a Mormon, a corporal in the Mormon Battalion, and was friendly with Joseph Smith. He had thirty-five children with four wives, from 1836 until at least 1871.
35 Narathip Praphanphong Thai royal, son of Mongkut, fathered 21 sons and 14 daughters
35 Kanaung Mintha Prince of Burma, fathered 20 sons and 15 daughters
35 Anurak Devesh Thai royal, Rear Palace
34 John Taylor President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he fathered children through his seven wives.[citation needed]
34 Taejo of Goryeo Founding as well as first king of Goryeo, he fathered 34 children (25 sons & 9 daughters) through 32 consorts (6 queens & 26 concubines).
33 Wilford Woodruff President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he fathered children through his five (possibly six) wives.[citation needed]
33+ Dillion “Dillon” Asher Asher was the keeper of the first toll-gate in Kentucky, near Pineville. He fathered at least 33 children with four women between 1804 and 1845.[citation needed]
33 Dr. Jan Muhammad Jan Muhammad is from Quetta, Pakistan. He has 14 sons and 19 daughters.[142]
32 Yuan Shikai An important Chinese general and politician, he fathered 32 children (17 sons and 15 daughters) through his wife and nine concubines.[145]
32 Gia Long Emperor of Vietnam, he fathered 32 children.[146]
32 Albert Emund Barlow A follower of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints living in Utah, he was arrested for polygamy at age 52 in 1955.[147] He was said to have fathered 32 children by his three wives.
32 Mr. Catra Brazilian funk carioca singer, fathered 32 children with 3 wives.[148]
32 Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Saudi royal, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia
31+ Cao Cao Cao Cao had 25 sons (including Cao Pi, founder of China’s Wei dynasty) and at least six daughters. Details are here.
31 Prince Fushimi Kuniie Japanese royalty, fathered 17 sons and 14 daughters with ten wives.
31 Benjamin Clark A cousin of the explorer William Clark, he fathered 31 children by his two wives; seven of them died in infancy.[149]
30+ Jonas Savimbi An Angolan politician and guerrilla leader, he lived 1934–2002, and had fathered 29–31 children by 1999; his number of wives is not recorded.[150]
30+ Omar Bongo President of Gabon, he lived 1935–2009; his number of wives is not recorded.[citation needed]
30 Taksin, King of Thonburi Taksin, the King of the Thonburi Kingdom, had 21 sons and nine daughters.[151]
30 Kashemsri Subhayok Thai royal, son of Mongkut, fathered 18 sons and 12 daughters
30 Miles Park Romney A Mormon and great-grandfather of Mitt Romney, he fathered 30 children with five wives;[152] he married the last in 1890, just before the 1890 Manifesto.
30 Tom Green A Mormon fundamentalist, he fathered children through ten women.[153]
30 Fally Diallo Senegalese Imam El Hadji Fally Diallo has, up to 2014, fathered 30 children with three wives. He campaigns against family planning in Senegal, claiming that it is his God-given duty to multiply.[154]
29 Sisowath of Cambodia Sisowath of Cambodia, King of Cambodia, fathered 29 sons and daughters.
Henry I of England Henry I of England, King of England, had 16 daughters and 11 sons, but only 3 of the children were legitimate
28 Emperor Zhaozong of Tang Emperor Zhaozong of Tang, penultimate Emperor of the Tang dynasty fathered 17 sons and 11 daughters from numerous wives. He was the father of Emperor Ai of Tang.
28 Mohamed Ali Waranle Waranle is a Somali business who lives in Mogadishu, Somalia. One of the richest men in the country, he had three wives, the first wife has 11 children, the second has 10 and the third one gave birth to 7 children.[155]
28 Wichaichan Thai royal, Front Palace
28 Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu The reigning king of the Zulu nation has six wives and 28 children (as of 2018).
28 Peter Ellenstein Ellenstein is an American actor who has fathered a confirmed 28 children through sperm donation. In January 2019, Ellenstein and 19 of the children appeared on an episode of Inside Edition.
27 Qianlong Emperor The Qianlong Emperor, Emperor of the Qing dynasty, fathered 17 sons and 10 daughters from 38 wives.
26 Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair King of Connacht and High King of Ireland who had 26 children by 6 known wives.
26 Prince Noppawong Thai royal, eldest son of Mongkut, fathered 26 children
25 Edward Hess Hess was an innkeeper from Safe Harbor, Pennsylvania, who also owned a shad fishery. One of the richest men in the area, he had four children with his first wife Elizabeth Ann Shenk, 17 with his second wife Mary Ann Lewis, and four with his third wife Catherine Rankin, who was 37 years his junior.[155]
25 Robert I, Duke of Parma The last sovereign Duke of Parma and Piacenza, he had 25 children from two marriages, 13 with his first wife Princess Maria Pia of Bourbon-Two Sicilies and 12 from his second wife Infanta Maria Antonia of Portugal. 21 lived to adulthood, but six of his children from his first marriage suffered from developmental disabilities.

With regards to Mariam Nabatanzi Babirye, who is listed with 38 children: she actually birthed 44, although 6 have died.

Of course, it’s not complete; my ancestors Philippe and Marguerite de Carteret (nee Harleston) of Jersey (the Channel Island) had 21 children together.  King Priam of Troy  had at least 86 children, and Pharaoh Ramesses II of Egypt between 88 and 103.  King Rehoboam of Judah had 88.

(Can you imagine having 100+ siblings?  Or aunts and uncles?  Imagine all the cousins!)

62 thoughts on “The World’s Most Prolific Families

        1. Or the man in India with 39 wives, 94 children, 33 grandchildren, and 14 daughters-in-law…at least that was a few years ago. I can only imagine how much he has now. And they all live in the same house.

          Liked by 2 people

                1. What do you mean? Mum and Dad only have..ohhhh, right I get what it sounded like. Oops. Correction – what I meant: in the years that me and my siblings were born, only one child was born that year.

                  Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s