Geert Adriaans Boomgaard
Geert Adriaans Boomgaard
Geert Adriaans Boomgaard at the age of 110.
Birth: 21 September 1788
Groningen, The Netherlands
Death: 3 February 1899
Groningen, The Netherlands
Age: 110 years, 135 days
Country: NED FlagNED

Geert Adriaans Boomgaard (21 September 1788 – 3 February 1899) is accepted by most demographic scholars as the first verified supercentenarian case on record,[1] although some people view him as the second supercentenarian; his fellow countryman Thomas Peters (1745?–1857) allegedly lived to 111 years, 354 days, yet this claim has not been validated. Since there is evidence that Boomgaard served as a soldier in Napoleon's Grande Armée,[2] he may have in fact been the oldest military veteran ever for several decades (the oldest military veteran ever is the Puerto Rican man Emiliano Mercado del Toro who lived to 115 years, 156 days).


Boomgaard was born in Groningen, The Netherlands, where he also died. His father was a boat captain, and civil records show he followed the same career,[3] yet only after he had returned from his position as a soldier in the 33rd Light Infantry Regiment in Napoleon's Grande Armée; he had even fought for Napoleon in Russia. On 4 March 1818, aged 29, Boomgaard married Stijntje Bus,[4] who died on 24 March 1830 at age 33 a month after their eighth child had been born. Almost a year later, on 21 March 1831, Boomgaard married Grietje Abels Jonker and had 4 more children.[5] Grietje died on 18 May 1864 at the age of 71. Boomgaard outlived all of his twelve children; his last surviving child, Jansje Hinderika, died in May 1885 at the age of 57.

Towards the end of his life, Boomgaard became well-known for his age; the portraits made on the occasion of his 100th and 107th birthdays[6] were popular throughout the country; even Princess Emma, Queen Regent at the time, had received a copy of one of the portraits.[7]

Geert Adriaans Boomgaard died at the age of 110 years, 135 days on 3 February 1899.[8] His record-setting age was surpassed by Margaret Ann Neve on 30 September 1902; his record as the oldest verified man ever was surpassed only 64 years later, on 28 October 1966, by John Mosley Turner of The United Kingdom who lived to be 111 years, 280 days, a year and 145 days more than Mr. Boomgaard's record. (However, it should be noted that pending case Robert Alexander Early of the United States, who lived to the age of 111 years, 1 day, would have surpassed Mr. Boomgaard's record on 21 February 1960 if his age was true.)


- Apparently, Geert Adriaans Boomgaard moved houses a lot in his adult life; his children's birth certificates note no fewer than five different addresses where he lived.[9]

- Mr. Boomgaard was quite the stubborn man; while living in the "Jacob en Anna Gasthuis" (a retirement home for the elderly), he once was not happy with the food he received there - rice, imported from the then Dutch colony Indonesia. When Mr. Boomgaard got his way and received potatoes, yet still complained about those, he was reprimanded for his behaviour, despite being well in his 90s.[10]