Baby number 134 on the way for 'Doncaster's biggest family'

Proud great, great grandma Eileen Long reckons she’s got Doncaster’s biggest family.

By David Kessen
Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 8:10 am

And the former cleaner at Hill Top School in Edlington could have a case, with over 130 in her dynasty, across five generations!

Eileen, aged 86, had 12 children, with 10 of them still surviving, ranging from eldest son Michael, who will be 70 in April, to youngest daughter Jeanette, aged 55.

Then, next generation down, she has 40 grandchildren, ranging in age from 48-year-old Wayne Mallett to youngest Taylor Long, aged eight.

Eileen Long, pictured with some of her grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. Picture: NDFP-18-01-20 Long 3-NMSY

She has 79 great grandchildren as the fourth generation of the family, ranging from 22-year-old Amy Long to 18 month old Reene Long.

And in the fifth generation she has four great, great grandchildren, aged from two years to three months, and is looking forward to the birth of her fifth great great grandchild in April, taking the grand total up to 135 family members including Eileen.

Eileen, whose Waterford-born husband, Michael, a former miner at Yorkshire Main Colliery, died 11 years ago aged 80, loves having a big family, and prides herself on remembering all those birthdays.

She worked several jobs when she was bringing her children up, including potato and pea picking as well as her cleaning job.

Five generations. Eileen, pictured with daughter Sheila Long, grandaughter Zoe Shephard, great grandaughter Amy Long and great-great grandson Jack-James Brierley, 17 months. Picture: NDFP-18-01-20 Long 1-NMSY

“We’re used to being a big family, and I love them all.” she said. “But it is hard to keep track of what everyone’s up to.

“I’ve had about 20 birthday cards to do this month.

“I think we could be Doncaster’s biggest family.”

She said she usually has a stock of cards ready to send, but her daughters will sometimes pick them up for her as well.”

Five generations. Eileen pictured with daughter Jeanette Long, grandaughter Kelly Bint, great grandaughter Rebecca Bint and great great grandaughter Iyla-Rose Worsfold, one. Picture: NDFP-18-01-20 Long 2-NMSY

But Eileen admits her home in Edlington is not big enough for full scale family gatherings – and when they are planned they hire out the Yorkshire Main Miners’ Welfare Club, just down the road.

Some of the relatives come together in minibuses.

Daughters Mary and Jeanette agree she’s a wonderful grandmother, great grandmother and great great grandmother.

Jeanette said: “Mum’s house is a real hub – there is always one of us popping in here. She takes it all in her stride and makes sure everyone behaves themselves.”

Eileen pictured with some of her grandchildren. Picture: NDFP-18-01-20 Long 4-NMSY
Eileen pictured with some of her great grandchildren and great great grandchildren. Picture: NDFP-18-01-20 Long 5-NMSY