Holmesburg native becomes great-great-great-grandmother

A 104-year-old Holmesburg native recently became the oldest of six generations.

A family photo from 1926 shows Esther and extended family at their home on Emerson Street in Holmesburg. Esther was one of the youngest family members then. PHOTO COURTESY OF SHERRY NELSON

Many people dream of meeting their grandchild or even great-grandchild, but lifelong Northeast resident Esther Lyons has been particularly lucky. The oldest living of six generations, the 104-year-old recently saw the birth of her great-great-great-grandchild.

Lyons was born and raised in Holmesburg and hasn’t moved far from the neighborhood in over a century, said her granddaughter Sherry Nelson, who lives in Lansdale. Esther was excited about the news, if a little perplexed.

“Even she is getting confused about how many descendants she has,” Sherry said with a laugh.

The answer is 27, to be exact. She has two children, five grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, eight great-great-grandchildren and one newly born great-great-great-grandchild.

Laila was born Dec. 22 in Texas, where half of the family lives. The other half stays in the Northeast Philadelphia area.

What’s Esther’s secret to a long life?

“She always eats healthy,” Sherry said. She grew up in a family that immigrated from Biccari in southern Italy and they always grew their own vegetables.

May she spread her wisdom to many more great-great-great-grandchildren.

Esther Lyons