USA’s oldest woman celebrates 116th birthday on July 4th

Photo Courtesy: KLRT/CBS News)

Photo Courtesy: KLRT/CBS News)

CAMDEN, Ark. (KLRT/CBS) –  A south Arkansas woman celebrated her 116th birthday Friday  with cake, a party and a new title – she’s now officially the oldest confirmed living American and second-oldest person in the world, the Gerontology Research Group said.

Gertrude Weaver spent her birthday at home at Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation in Camden, about a hundred miles southwest of Little Rock. This year’s festivities included the new award from the Gerontology Research Group, which analyzed U.S. Census records to determine that Weaver is the oldest living American, rather than 115-year-old Jeralean Talley, who was born in 1899.

The research group, which consults with the Guinness Book of World Records, found that the 1900 Census listed Weaver as 2 years old – putting her birthday in 1898, said Robert Young, the research group’s database administrator and senior consultant for Guinness.

That makes Weaver the second-oldest person in the world behind 116-year-old Misao Okawa of Japan and the 11th oldest person of all time.

Weaver cited three factors for her longevity: “Trusting in the Lord, hard work and loving everybody.”