Steenkamp family celebrates five living generations of women at once

    Martha Steenkamp met her great-great-granddaughter recently. In this photo, there are five generations of Steenkamp women: Martha Steenkamp (seated), her daughter, Ester Steenkamp (top right), her granddaughter, Cariena van Deventer, nee Steenkamp (top left), her great-granddaughter, Venessa Janse van Vuuren, nee van Deventer (kneeling) and her great-great-granddaughter, Danica Janse van Vuuren in her arms.

    THE likelihood of five living generations in one family is considerably rare, but not impossible.

    The Steenkamp family is literally living proof of this, boasting five generations of women currently alive and well.

    Martha Steenkamp was born on July 22, 1919. To put it into perspective, 1919 was the same year that Nat King Cole was born, the same year that the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean took place by air and the very same year that Nobel Prize winning chemist, Emil Fischer (born 1852), committed suicide. All of these events happened 98 years ago and this year, Martha Steenkamp will celebrate her 98th birthday.

    Recently, the five generations of Steenkamp women gathered for the weekend at the retirement home where Martha currently resides in Vryheid, where Martha was introduced to the fifth generation of Steenkamp, her great-great-granddaughter, Danica Janse van Vuuren.

    Martha Steenkamp met her great-great-granddaughter recently. In this photo, there are five generations of Steenkamp women: Martha Steenkamp (seated), her daughter, Ester Steenkamp (top right), her granddaughter, Cariena van Deventer, nee Steenkamp (top left), her great-granddaughter, Venessa Janse van Vuuren, nee van Deventer (kneeling) and her great-great-granddaughter, Danica Janse van Vuuren in her arms.

    ‘Ouma Martha’, as she is affectionately known, gave birth to her daughter, Ester Steenkamp on February 6, 1945, at the age of 25. In 1966, on May 24, Ester gave birth to Martha’s first granddaughter, Cariena van Deventer (Steenkamp), who gave birth to Martha’s first great-granddaughter, Venessa Janse van Vuuren (van Deventer) on December 29, 1985. The youngest in the line, little Danica Janse van Vuuren was born on November 4, 2016. That makes the age gap between the oldest and the youngest living Steenkamp women 35 535 days or 97 years, three months and 13 days.

    According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most generations alive in a single family has been seven.

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