Marie-Virginie Duhem

  • Full name: Marie-Virginie Duhem
  • Lifespan: 2.08.1866-25.04.1978
  • Age: 111 years, 266 days
  • Birthplace: Seclin, Nord, Hauts-de-France, France
  • Last residence: Wattignies, Nord, Hauts-de-France, France
  • Application date: N/A
  • Validation date:  N/A
  • Validation source: Guinness World Records/Jean-Marie Robine


Marie-Virginie Duhem was born Mollet on 2 August 1866 in Seclin, Nord, Hauts-de-France, France, the daughter of Charles Mollet (1827-1899) and Virginie Serrurier (1826-1907). She can remember 1870’s war: “I was very young, but I can remember well that at school, we made some lint for soldiers.” She sometimes visited Paris in her youth.

In 1885, Duhem met Jules Verne (a famous French science-fiction writer) in Lille’s station. “It’s my younger brother Victor who shew me Jules Verne sat on a bench while reading newspapers. We came next him and I began the conversation. Really, he was charming.” She tells about the Belle Epoque: “It was beautiful because it was simple… Nothing was as difficult as today.”

She married Hippolyte Duhem (1862-1939) on 24 June 1893 in Seclin; he was a chemical engineer. They had eight children, who had fifteen grandchildren. One of her daughters, Agnes Costemend [French: Agnès], lived to age 105, born on 1 December 1907 and deceased on 4 June 2013.

In 1972, aged 106, Duhem fell in the stairs, and was hospitalised during three weeks, but managed to recover.

On 21 January 1977, aged 110, Duhem received the Légion d’Honneur’s cross from Maurice Schumann. At this time, it as reported she was almost blind, so she listens the radio rather than watching television. She had also more than 500 descendants. When asked if she prefered the Belle Epoque or this time, she replied: “There’s a bit more liberty for children… Finally, it’s good.” When asked for the secret of her longevity, she was surpised, because she thinks there isn’t any secret. She died on 25 April 1978, in Wattignies, Nord, Hauts-de-France, France.

Longevity titles

Doyenne of France (N/A-25.04.1978)

First French Supercentarian

WORLD’S OLDEST LVING PERSON (02.12.1977-25.04.1978)


Marie-Virginie Duhem age was verified by Guinness World Records toghether with Jean-Marie Robine and validated by the GRG.

Marie-Virginie aged 110.

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