Did You Know?
Feodor Vassilyev and his first wife, whose name is unknown, 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, in a total of 27 births.
Feodor Vassilyev (c. 1707– 1782) was a peasant from Shuya, Russia. His first wife is claimed to have lived to be 76 and, between 1725 and 1765, have had 69 children (16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets and 4 sets of quadruplets); 67 of them survived infancy with the loss of one set of twins - the record for most children born to a single woman. However her name, date of birth, and date of death, are all unknown.
Vassilyev also had 18 children with his second wife, who had 6 pairs of twins and 2 sets of triplets, making him a father of 87 children in total. Of his 87 children, at least 82 are said to have survived infancy.
The data about Vassilyev's children are included in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The first published account about Feodor Vassilyev's children appeared in a 1783 issue of The Gentleman's Magazine (Vol. 53 p. 753, London, 1783) and states that the information "however astonishing, may be depended upon, as it came directly from an English merchant in St Petersburg to his relatives in England, who added that the peasant was to be introduced to the Empress". The same numbers were given in Ivan Nikitich Boltin's 1788 commentary on Russian history and in an 1834 book by Alexander Pavlovich Bashutskiy, Saint Petersburg Panorama.