split image of marianne wallenberg with her grandchild

Marianne Wallenberg of Binghamton, New York, wasn’t your average grandmother. 

That’s because she welcomed her first beloved grandchild at 95 years and 81 days old, making her the oldest first-time grandmother.


Marianne was 35 years old when she gave birth to her daughter Katherine, and 39 when she had her son James. 

Of her two children, only James went on to welcome kids of his own, but not until a little later in life.

“Marianne married late in life,” said her son, James Wallenberg. 

Her daughter didn’t have children and I waited a long time before marrying. After trying for three years, I became successful with having children.


Her first grandchild, Joshua Fritz Wallenberg, was finally born at Sinai Hospital, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on 29 April 2008.

Her granddaughter Karina was born soon after.

James says Marianne was elated to become a grandmother and believed it was well worth the wait.

Because Marianne lived over five hours away from her children, she was unfortunately not able to see her grandchildren as often as she would have liked to. 


And when she would see her grandchildren, she had very limited energy to dedicate to them.

Some of James’s favourite memories of his mother include watching her feed her grandchildren and watching them play together. 

“Whenever she was with them, she was so proud and loving,” said James. 

When they were babies, she held them and fed them.


James decided to contact Guinness World Records before his first child turned one when he realized his mother could potentially hold a record title. 

“I told her in person that I would be submitting this and that most likely this would be a record,” he said. 

“Once the record was official, I gave her a copy.” 

James is proud that his mother got to meet his two children before she passed away in 2011 at 98 years old. 


He urges those wanting to submit for similar records to just “go for it.” 

“Having children any time as well as being a grandparent is a blessing,” said James. 

But having them late in life is a miracle.

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