Oldest African-American siblings share 324 years of history

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Maggie Mae Thornton Renfro, a 114-year-old from Louisiana, lived by herself until she was 106 years old. Then adopted daughter Mattie Ellis moved in, helping with day to day chores like cooking breakfast.

“Grits, sausage and coffee every morning, that’s what she likes, every morning,” said Ellis.

The centenarian is in relatively good health, having only three minor surgeries in her entire life, and taking just five medicines a day. She can still do things like feed herself, amazing family members and the Guinness Book of World Records.

“I never would have thought she would be breaking records, but she is,” said Ellis.

“We knew going into this that Maggie held the distinction of being the 4th oldest person in the nation, and the 7th oldest person in the world. And just recently we learned that she is the oldest African-American in the nation and her three sisters, they are the oldest African-American siblings in the nation, so that’s a nice distinction to have,” said Chris Broussard.

Those siblings are 103 year old Rosie Lee Thornton Warren and 107 year old Carrie Lee Thornton Miller. Add Renfro’s 114 years, and you have 324 years of history.

Minden, Louisiana’s Board of Cultural Crossroads chairman Chris Broussard has been documenting the Thorton sisters’ lives.

“We spent the entire day with them and realized how strong their family unit is, and how strong their faith is, and it was real obvious at the end of the day that their longevity is really due to their strong family and faith,” said Broussard.

“I’m living for my God. I’m living because God loves me and I love him and I love everybody that wants everybody to love me,” Maggie Mae said.