Woman is one of UK's only great-great-great grandmothers at 86

A family has become one of the few in Britain with six generations living at the same time – and a Scotland’s only great, great, great grandmother at 86.

The family ranges from the oldest member, Mary Marshall, 86, to the youngest member, Nyla Ferguson, who is only a few weeks old.

Mother of eight, Mary, who was born four years before the start of World War II, has 90 grandchildren.

The women are all on the same side of the family – and all but the new mother, Toni-Leigh, work or worked as caregivers for the NHS.

All of them gave birth to a child aged 18 or younger – which led to this oversized happy family – and live in or around Edinburgh, Scotland.

The head of the family, Mary, has eight children, including the eldest daughter, Rose.

Rose Thorburn, 68, has four children, including mother of three, Chyrel Borthwick, 50.

Chyrel gave birth to Carrie Dow, a mother of four, in 1986.

Carrie, 35, has four children, including new mom Toni-Leigh Aitken, 17.

And on May 25, 2021, Mary earned the title of Scotland’s only great, great, great grandmother with the birth of 6lb 14oz Nyla Ferguson.

Due to the size of her family, Mary from Edinburgh says that she will be forgiven for not buying each one of them a birthday and Christmas present, as she would spend “half the year with it”.

Mary said, “I’m a happy woman, to be honest with you. It’s great to have such a big family. There’s always someone there to take care of you. I’m incredibly happy.”

New mom Toni-Leigh, who gave birth to the newest member of the family last month, said, “When we found out I was pregnant we made a joke that we’d broken some kind of record.

“Then we started looking into it and it doesn’t look like anyone else has our family structure.

“It’s a little early to see any resemblance to your great, great, great grandmother, but it was love at first sight when they met!

“We don’t live more than 10-15 minutes away by car, so I’ll see you.

“We haven’t had a lot to do with the whole family since the pandemic, but when we do it’s great fun!

“With Nyla there are now 90 grandchildren, so it’s always pretty loud!”

Rose, 68, said, “It’s great when you have a new baby. I’m one of eight, so in some ways I’ve always had a big family.

“But we’re pretty big now! I have not heard of any other family of this size in Scotland.

“When we meet there is always fun and laughter. There is always someone there for you.”

The family is believed to be the only family in Scotland with six generations living at the same time.

According to the Guinness World Records, seven generations live in a single family.

Mary Marshall, 86, born June 1935

Rose Thorburn, 68, born October 1952

Chyrel Borthwick, 50, born July 1970

Carrie Dow, 35, born February 1986

Toni-Leigh Aitken, 17, born October 2003

Nyla Ferguson, born May 2021


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