A lot of people dream of having a big family and consider it a major achievement to be able to have one. The Zanger family from Chicago had similar hopes and seeing the size of their brood, the family has truly gone above and beyond!
Let’s look over the big family and their latest major achievement!
Leo and Ruth Zanger are doting grandparents, to not just a few but 100 grandchildren! They recently celebrated the birth of Jaxton Leo, their 46th great-grandchild, and 100th grandchild in total! The newest addition to the clan was made by their grandson Austin and his wife Ashleigh.
While the family is huge, it is still very much close-knit. In fact, most of them live near one another in the Quincy, Illinois area and make sure to gather together on special occasions throughout the year.
Whenever everyone gathers together, it is a big event. They have to rent out the hall at the local church and order ten turkeys or about fifty pounds of ham to feed everyone!
The family gatherings are done very efficiently, everyone knows what they are in charge of and they always go off without a hitch. The family makes sure everyone takes turns in supplying the food, and of course, everyone during their turn tries to outdo one another as well!
Perhaps when Ruth and Leo wed they had no idea their family would grow quite so big! They joke about how it is enough to “start our own town!”
Leo is incredibly happy at their good fortune, he commented, “The good Lord just kept sending them.” And whether they expected their clan to grow further, Ruth said, “There’s always room for one more.”
The couple has been together for almost 60 years and had 12 children in the years from 1956 to 1984. Their oldest daughter Linda is now 58 years old, while their youngest child Joe is now 31 years old. When Joe was born in 1984, he already had 10 nieces and nephews older than him!
His eldest niece Jeannine was born to his oldest sister Linda and her husband Kenny Hardin in 1975. After that, the family welcomed 9 new grandchildren who are all a little older than Joe. The small age gap between all of them helps them get along splendidly!
With such a big family, of course, there needs to be a person who takes care of details. Ruth and Leo’s daughter Donna acts as the family’s unofficial historians and is charged with keeping track of all the dates and information which is important. When the family is charged with getting together, she is in charge of letting everyone know.
She says, “[Other family members] always say ‘Since you already have all of the phone numbers, can you just text or call them and let them know about whatever the event is?’”
Anyone who marries into the family can initially feel overwhelmed at the amount of information they need to memorize in order to remember everyone’s name and relation to one another.
Ashleigh who gave birth to the 100th grandchild in the family admits she feels a little “a little extra special.” She revealed that it was Donna and her husband’s mom who figured out that her baby would be the 100th grandchild when she was 3 months pregnant.
The family is very close and a lot of them even work together in the same business. Daniel Zanger, Austin’s father, and little Jaxton’s grandfather says that “there’s a Zanger in just about every field.”
Daniel says the family has always been close and he was taught the importance of family while growing up. He said he hopes the same family values he was taught are taught to the grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the family.
While getting together for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day is important. The family makes sure to also get together on other occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.