Some families can be incredibly large, but it’s hard to fathom a family bigger than the Zanger clan from Illinois.
Leo and Ruth Zanger, married for an impressive 66 years, proudly boast a staggering 100 grandkids. Yes, you read that right, a hundred grandkids! The sheer number of offspring has pushed their picture frames to the limit, with walls struggling to contain the abundance of cherished memories.
Their journey to reaching a century of grandchildren was a thrilling one. After years of anticipation, their 100th grandchild, Jaxton Leo Zanger, was born in 2015. It became a delightful race among their children to determine who would bring the grandkid tally to 99, as they eagerly awaited the milestone.
Now, it’s worth noting that not all of the Zanger kids are technically “grandchildren.” Some of them are great-grandchildren, but with such an extraordinary number, the distinction between generations becomes less significant. In fact, Jaxton, the aforementioned 100th grandchild, is actually their 46th great-grandchild. The question of who’s keeping track of it all lingers in the air.
If I were one of the grandparents, I might struggle to remember everyone’s names. When you have a whopping 53 grandchildren alone, it’s understandable that things can get a bit blurry. But hey, who’s counting?
Now, here’s where it gets even crazier. Although 53 grandchildren and 46 great-grandchildren add up to 99, there’s still one more member to account for. That special one happens to be a great, great-grandchild. It’s mind-boggling how this family tree keeps expanding, isn’t it?
It all began when Leo and Ruth welcomed 12 children of their own into the world—a number that already exceeds most people’s expectations. Remarkably, their eldest child, now over 60, already had children before their youngest sibling was even born. Talk about an uncle who came into this world as a newborn!
Naturally, family gatherings for the Zangers are nothing short of extraordinary. They often have to rent out a church building to accommodate the massive clan, as no ordinary venue can hold them all. As Donna Lane, one of Leo and Ruth’s daughters, puts it, “When we get together, it’s big. It’s really big.” Luckily, with such a large family, pooling resources for these occasions is never an issue. Boring or empty dinner nights are a rarity for the Zangers.
With hundreds of relatives scattered across different states, organizing such gatherings would be a logistical nightmare. Thankfully, most of the family resides in Illinois, sparing them the challenge of inviting everyone from afar. Imagine trying to coordinate dinners with an extended family of that magnitude residing in different states! Leo acknowledges that the Zanger family probably won’t stop at 100 grandchildren, remarking that “there are a lot of young families yet that are just getting started.” He even humorously suggests that they might be able to establish their own town—an idea that doesn’t seem entirely far-fetched.
Undoubtedly, any future addition to the Zanger family will be in for a remarkable surprise upon their arrival. In the meantime, birthdays, Christmas celebrations, Thanksgiving feasts, and New Year’s gatherings are guaranteed to be anything but dull in the Zanger household.