18 October 2010

Sixty-Nine Children???

 Provo Daily Herald 7 October 1970 p.29

"Montemiletto, Italy (UPI) - It was a day Vito Sarro observed with a shrug and a toast.

His wife, Rosa gave birth to their 26th child and one of his daughters gave birth to her first child.

"Of course, I celebrated a little, " Sarro said.  "But after all, this is not the first time for me."

It may not be the last either.  "I want six more children," said 48-year old Mrs. Sarro.  "Maybe more.  I'm still young."

The Sarros named the latest addition Gianni.  It was the same Sarro's oldest daughter gave her son.

Only 14 of the Sarro children are still alive.  All but four of them live at home and range in age between 18 and three, not counting Gianni.

Sarro, a World War II pensioner who farms near this town 30 miles inland from Naples, married the former Rosa Pizzano in 1939.

One year later, their first child, Giuseppe, was born.  He is still living in Montemiletto and has three children.

Asked how he could afford to raise so many children, Sarro replied:  "Well, I'm not rich, but I'm not all that poor either."

The government helped.  Under family assistance laws, the state pays an average of $91.50 a month for each child until it reaches 18.  The state also pays Mrs. Sarro another $6.65 a month until each of her children reaches the age of 18.

Mrs. Sarro is unlikely to break the unofficial record for Italian motherhood.  A Naples woman gave birth to 33 children before World War II.

The world record, according to the Guinness Book of World  Records is 69 children born to a Russian woman in the last century."


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