Twelve siblings from the small Faroese village Rituvik have set a new world record for being the oldest group of siblings in the world. The Guinness Book of Records currently lists a group of Italian siblings as being the oldest in the world, but it turns out that the Faroese siblings exceed the Italian siblings by a total of 200 years.
It is now clear that the world's oldest group of siblings lives in the Faroe Islands. The twelve Olsen siblings, who are all alive and well, range in age from 74 to 91. Added together, their individual ages reach a total of 1,000 years.
The siblings recently celebrated their joint 1,000-year birthday in a small Faroese village, Rituvik in Eysturoy, which is the home town of the large and long-lived family of siblings. The children of the siblings organised the big celebration, which was attended by 220 of their 260 family members.
At the gathering, the family talked about both the good and bad times in their family history. One life-changing event in the family history was when the father of the siblings died in the Second World War, leaving their mother alone to raise all 12 children.
Although the death of their father was a tragic loss for the family, the family also benefited from the war years since the oldest brothers were able to take up work transporting fish from Iceland to the United Kingdom.
'Because the route between Iceland and the United Kingdom was endangered with mines, there was a lot of money to gain from shipping during this time', explains the youngest sibling, Arne Kartin Olsen, who is 74 years old.
The family never had a lot of money, but according to the youngest brother, they were the happiest family in the village.
'We were alone with our mother, and this gave us a unique sense of unity', he says.
Arne Kartin Olsen says that he and his siblings plan to get their joint age in the Guinness Book of Records. By doing so, they will break the existing record set by a group of Italian siblings by an impressive 200 years.