Gerontology Wiki
Zeng Zhangshi
Zeng Zhangshi
Birth: 13 February 1900
Dalian, Liaoning, Qing dynasty (now China)
Death: December 2014
Benxi, Liaoning, China
Age: 114 years, 287-317 days
Country: ChinaCHN

Zeng Zhangshi [Chinese: 曾张氏; also translated as Ceng Zhangshi] (15 October 1898/13 February 1900 – December 2014) was a Chinese supercentenarian whose age is currently unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG).


Early Life

Zeng Zhangshi claimed to have been born on 15 October 1898 (someone claimed 13 February 1900) in Zhuanghe, Dalian, Liaoning, Qing dynasty (now China). Married at age 20, she had seven children.

During the Manchukuo period, Zeng and her husband worked very hard. They were tenants in an apartment block. Eating rice floor was a crime at the time, but sewing clothes was also one; that's why Zeng woke up at 3 a.m. to wove at moonlight. One of her daughters got infected with cholera, but the family hadn't much money to pay a treatment, and she died after 56 days of illness. One of her sons stole an onion to the landlord, but was bitten by the dogs, and died one or two days after returning to house. Another child starved to death. The four other children survived.

Zeng was 50 years old when the south of Liaoning Province was liberated in 1948. Two years after, her two surviving sons went working in Benxi, and were followed by the family. There, her husband became a sanitation worker.

During the Korean War, it was a cold winter, and Zeng gathered wood to make fire. She found a 37-year-old man injured by a shell, and took care of it for three or four monthes. The man's wife was angered to have Zeng in the house, and the man's family never said her "thank you", but she never complained about it.

In 1953, Zeng's family moved in a house in the valley's hills. The neighbours had a bedridden woman, but his son drew a cart all the year, so he couldn't take care of her. Zeng decided to take the woman at home, and took care of her during four years.

Zeng's house was taken away during a flood in 1960. However, this didn't prevent Zeng from helping poor people, and her husband shouted after her for that.

Later Life

At the age of 95, Zeng was hospitalized because of bleeding. However, she was out of the bed to help elderly people to dress up. A man of the same ward than her died, and she adviced his daughter (who was crying) to go back home and call the corpse.

Zeng's husband died at age 98. At the age of 103, Zeng underwent a surgery because of uterine fibroids, although she said: "You don't take surgery, touch me why?" In 2006, she had a fall, then cerebral thrombosis, and became bedridden since then.

In 2012, Zeng was reported to be the oldest living person in Liaoning province. Zeng's hearing was reported to have deteriorated a bit. She had about 70 descendants (including great-grandchildren). One of her daughter was aged 85, and said that her mother lacked a longevity secret; but if there's one, it's her calm attitude. She never beat someone, never angered or complained, and promoted good actions.

In October 2014, Zeng was reported to be the second-oldest living Han person, after Xie Yungui. At the time, she was also listed her as the tenth-oldest living person in China, after Alimihan Seyiti, Dirajemhan Sulitan, Turupu Aimeti, Tian Longyu, Dalanwan, Huang Niyi, Fu Suqing, Xie Yungui and Luo Nichang.

Zeng died in December 2014 in Benxi, Liaoning, China, at the age of 116 years, 46-76 days (or 114 years, 287-317 days). Strangely, some sources list her alive as of September 2018, but it seems to be a copy-paste from 2014 data.

Potential Longevity Records

If validated, Zhangshi would have been the second-oldest living person in Asia, after Misao Okawa. She would also have been either the third-oldest living person in the world after Misao Okawa and Gertrude Weaver, or the seventh-one.