Many people want a big family and think it’s a huge accomplishment to be able to have one. The Zanger family in Chicago had similar hopes, and judging by how big their family is, they have really gone above and beyond.
Let’s look at the big family and what they’ve just done that’s really important.
Leo and Ruth Zanger love their 100 grandchildren like they are their own. They recently celebrated the birth of Jaxton Leo, who is their 100th grandchild and 46th great-grandchild. Their grandson Austin and his wife Ashleigh brought a new member into the family.
Even though the family is very big, they are still very close. Most of them live close to each other in the Quincy, Illinois, area and make sure to get together on holidays and other special occasions all year long.
When a lot of people get together, it’s a big deal. To feed everyone, they have to rent out the church hall and order ten turkeys or about fifty pounds of ham.
Everyone knows what they are responsible for at family gatherings, and they always go off without a hitch. The family makes sure that everyone brings food, and when it’s their turn, everyone tries to do better than the last person.
When Ruth and Leo got married, they might not have known that their family would grow to be so big. They make jokes about being able to “start our own town!”
Leo is very happy about their good luck. “The good Lord just kept sending them,” he said. Ruth said, “There’s always room for one more” when asked if they thought their family would get bigger.
The couple has been together for almost 60 years, and between 1956 and 1984, they had 12 children. Their oldest daughter Linda is 58 years old now, and their youngest son Joe is 31. In 1984, when Joe was born, he already had 10 older nieces and nephews.
In 1975, his oldest sister Linda and her husband Kenny Hardin had a daughter named Jeannine. The family then got 9 new grandchildren, all of whom are a little older than Joe. All of them are close in age, which helps them get along great!
With such a big family, there has to be someone who looks after the little things. Donna, Ruth and Leo’s daughter, is the unofficial family historian. She is in charge of keeping track of all the important dates and information. She is in charge of telling everyone when the family needs to get together.
She says, “Other family members always say, ‘Since you already have all of their phone numbers, can you just text or call them to let them know about the event?'”
When a person marries into a family, they may feel overwhelmed at first by how much they need to remember to know everyone’s name and how they are related to each other.
Ashleigh just had the 100th grandchild in her family. She says she feels “a little extra special.” She said that Donna and her husband’s mom figured out when she was 3 months pregnant that her baby would be the 100th grandchild.
Many members of the family work in the same business, which shows how close they are. Daniel Zanger, the father of Austin and the grandfather of little Jaxton, says, “There’s a Zanger in almost every field.”
Daniel says that his family has always been close, and that when he was a child, he learned how important family is. He said he hopes that his grandchildren and great-grandchildren will learn the same family values he did.
Even though it’s important to get together for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. On special days like birthdays and anniversaries, the family also makes sure to get together.
Even though they have a big family, they are still very close. This is a very unique family.
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