LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Using newly analyzed Census records, researchers have confirmed that a south Arkansas woman is now the oldest living American and second-oldest person in the world.
Gertrude Weaver is celebrating her 116th birthday Friday at her Camden nursing home. At the festivities this week, the Gerontology Research Group named Weaver the oldest living American, supplanting 115-year-old Jeralean Talley, who was born in 1899.
The research group, which consults for the Guinness Book of World Records, says the 1900 Census listed Weaver as 2 years old -- putting her birthday in 1898. Although no birth record exists for Weaver, she celebrates her birthday each year on July 4.
Robert Young, Guinness' senior consultant for gerontology, says Weaver is the second-oldest confirmed person in the world, behind 116-year-old Misao Okawa of Japan.