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Susan Adcox

Young Grandparents, Old Grandchildren

By January 31, 2012

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The average age of becoming a grandparent in the United States is 47. I was a couple of years younger when I became a grandparent, but not as young as Rifca Stanescu, who last year revealed that she had become a grandmother at the age of 23. She was 12 when she gave birth to daughter Maria, who gave birth at 11. Stanescu states that early marriage and reproduction is a part of the her Romani culture. On this side of the Atlantic, our interest in teen moms and family drama has supposedly spawned a reality show featuring grandmothers in their 30s, now in development.

If reading about very young grandparents is a turn-off, maybe you'd like to hear about some old grandchildren. I was amazed to read that two of John Tyler's grandchildren are still alive. That's President John Tyler, who served from 1841-45. His grandsons are in their 80s. Reproduction at a late age is responsible for their unusual status. The most prolific of our Presidents, Tyler had 15 children. Number 13 was Lyon Gardiner Tyler, born when Tyler was 63. Lyon was still having children in his 70s, making it possible for a pre-Civil War President to have surviving grandchildren.

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January 31, 2012 at 3:18 pm
(1) Grandma KC says:

WOW! I was barely ready to become a Mom at 23 let alone become a Grandma! I was 54 when Amara was born and I often feel like I am a bit older than most of the grandparent blogs I read. But I am young at heart! Gotta be to keep up with Amara!

January 31, 2012 at 4:53 pm
(2) Webgrandma says:

Wow that’s just mind-blowing to think of someone being a grandparent in their 20s. I thought I was young at 40! Who knew that I’m the average age for a grandparent now (47)!

That said, it’s a great time to be a young grandparent. We had a wonderful time this weekend playing legos on the floor with our 6-year-old and 4-year-old granddaughters.

January 31, 2012 at 6:22 pm
(3) grandma Shelley says:

Wow! I can’t imagine being a grandma in my twenties. I was 44 when I became a grandma. Interesting topic. I just wrote something along these lines regarding my father and his grandparents that will be published in March.

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