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110 and counting: Timmonsville woman lives to see sixth generation of her family

August 23, 2018

DARLINGTON, S.C. – The family of Isadora Perkins Byrd has much to celebrate these days.

First, Byrd had her 110th birthday on Wednesday afternoon at the Oak Haven Nursing Home in Darlington. The family celebrated Saturday.

Byrd is not able to speak anymore.

However, her daughter, the 86-year old Catherine Freeman, said she was proud to see her mother still living at age 110.

“A lot of people don’t think she’s that old,” Freeman said.

Freeman said her mother’s favorite activities, before she lost her voice, were to sing and to talk about her family. Her favorite song is “Jesus loves me.” Byrd also was involved in her church, Mount Zion United Methodist Church, until she left Timmonsville to go to a nursing home.

A favorite memory shared with the family was that Byrd is the oldest of five children. As such, she was responsible for corralling the others.

Freeman added that her mother had gotten married at age 15, having run away to do so.

Her husband died in the 1980s. After that, Byrd continued to live in Timmonsville with one of her sons, then with Freeman, before moving to nursing facilities in Hartsville, Florence and now Darlington. Byrd worked on the family farm until she became disabled.

Byrd had four children, including a set of twins. Freeman is the baby of the family as well as Byrd’s only daughter. She also has several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

Second, on June 12, the family celebrated the birth of Byrd’s great-great-great-granddaughter, Nivea Antrum, the sixth generation of the family to be alive in 2018.