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Harold Hill family is one of only four in the country with six living generations

PUBLISHED: 17:09 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:11 01 August 2019

From  top left: Holly Thornton with her son, Tony, Tony's great grandmother Maureen, his grandmother Lisa and baby Arlo, the yougest family member on her lap. Picture: Holly Thornton.

From top left: Holly Thornton with her son, Tony, Tony's great grandmother Maureen, his grandmother Lisa and baby Arlo, the yougest family member on her lap. Picture: Holly Thornton.

Holly Thornton

A Harold Hill family is one of just four in the entire UK to have six generations still living.

Joyce and her husband Frederick in the war. Picture: Holly Thornton.Joyce and her husband Frederick in the war. Picture: Holly Thornton.

The incredible achievement was reached with the birth of nine-month-old Arlo, who is the great-great-great grandson of Joyce Porter, 98, from Hornchurch, who was born back in 1921.

Joyce, who now lives in care home, is the family's great-great-great grandmother.

Her daughter Maureen Wickett is now 77 years old, her daughter Lisa Leach is 55 and mother to Holly Thornton who is 36.

Holly also has a son, Tony Thornton, born in 2002 who had his now nine month-old son, Arlo Thornton-McKay, at the age of 16.

And their family is about to get even bigger, as Holly is currently pregnant with twin girls, due in December, making her unborn twins aunties to their nine-month-old nephew.

The close knit family are proud of the way they have stuck together through thick and thin, and said that they were grateful to have so many family members to count on.

Maureen, aged 17 in the 60s. Picture: Holly Thornton.Maureen, aged 17 in the 60s. Picture: Holly Thornton.

Maureen, who now lives out in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, explained: "I'm amazed and so proud of all my children and offspring.

"Through all the trauma that my family faces from time to time they are resilient and always get through, I love them all so much and without reservation."

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Holly said the biggest storm the family has weathered in recent times was losing Maureen's husband William, Holly's grandad, who sadly died at the young age of 52 of a brain tumour.

"That was hard as he was so young and my nan's rock, she was with him from the age of 14 and the whole family adored him so it took the whole family to come together and support each other."

Tony, 17, who is a trainee mechanic, said: "It's crazy I have such a big family, I didn't even realise six generations was so rare."

William, Maureen's husband in his youth. Picture: Holly Thornton.William, Maureen's husband in his youth. Picture: Holly Thornton.

Joyce was a young adult in the Second World War and had Maureen at the age of 20 as the fight against the Nazis was still raging.

Holly commented: "It makes me think how different things must be now for Arlo growing up to how it must have been for my great Nan, Joyce."

"Having such a big family keeps me poor!" said Lisa.

The families spanning six generations came to light in 2017, with the first family being discovered in January of that year.

The Hanson family live in Bradford, Yorkshire, and their eldest member was 102.

Very shortly after the family came together to publicise the event, that same month a family from Grimsby in Lincolnshire came forward, with their eldest member aged 96 and later in March another family joined the six-generation club.

Tony, now 17 with his 9 month-old son, Arlo. Picture: Holly Thornton.Tony, now 17 with his 9 month-old son, Arlo. Picture: Holly Thornton.

According to Guinness World Records, the most generations alive in a single family has been the seven generations of the Bunge family who were alive in the USA back in 1989 - their oldest member Augusta was 109 and her great-great-great-great grandson was born on January 21 that year.

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