The Oldest Man in the World is a Newfoundlander


June 18, 2013

James Foster McCoubrey "The oldest man in the world."
James Foster McCoubrey
“The oldest man in the world.”

James Foster McCoubrey originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland is 111 years old and became the oldest man in the world upon the death of a 116-year-old man in Japan last week.

McCoubrey was born in St. John’s on September 13, 1901.  He was baptized at St. Mary the Virgin Church, St. John’s on September 29, 1901.

The baptismal register identifies his father as George Andrew McCoubrey  and his mother as Jennie Isobel (Chafe). The family lived on Water Street.

On May 23, 1904, McCoubrey lost his father, the second engineer on the Virginia Lake, a coastal mail streamer running from St. John’s to St. Anthony. His father obituary reads that  “he was ill for about three months of pneumonia caused by a heavy cold.”

George A. McCoubrey left to mourn his wife Jennie and two children James and Charles.   He is buried in the Old Anglican cemetery on the shores of Quidi Vidi Lake in a family plot.

James moved with his mother and brother Charles to Halifax, Nova Scotia shortly following the death of his father.

The family later relocated to Cambridge, Massachusetts. The state  of Massachusetts is known to most Newfoundlanders as the ‘Boston States’ and one of the favored destinations for Newfoundlanders in the early 1900’s seeking work.  It is likely that that James and his family would be joining family already established in the Boston area. The  1915 Commonwealth of Boston census  reports that 13,269 residents of the Boston area claimed Newfoundland as their place of birth.

McCoubrey married in 1929 and worked as a motorcycle insurance salesman. Then he got into the stove burner business until he retired at the age of 62.

Mr. McCoubrey has one daughter, Mrs. Patricia Salveson. He currently lives in Walnut Creek, California in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Mr. McCoubrey is a member of an exclusive club known as the “Supercentenarians” His membership in the club was verified by the Gerontology Research Group. Founded in 1990,  the GRG  are physicians, scientists, and engineers dedicated to the quest to slow and ultimately reverse human aging within the next 20 years. The group is the world authority on validating Supercentenarians, persons 110 years old or older.

Mr. McCoubrey will have to keep an eye to the Guinness World Book curse. The Japanese gentleman (Kimura) who has moved on at age 116 is just the latest to die after being picked by Guinness as the world’s oldest person.

Significant Events in 1901, the year that James Foster McCoubrey was born in Newfoundland.

January 1, 1901:   The world celebrates the beginning of the 20th century.

January 1 The birth of Pentecostalism at a prayer meeting at Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas.

January 22 Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom dies at age 81.

Jan 10th – Oil discovered in Texas

January 28 – Baseball’s American League declares itself a Major League

February 6 – First public telephones at railway stations in Paris.

Safety Razor , King C. Gillette and William Emerson Nickerson found the American Safety Razor Company to begin mass producing Safety Razors.

April 25 – New York State becomes the first to require automobile license plates.

May 23rd – Ottawa Mint Act receives Royal Assent

Jun 2nd – Benjamin Adams arrested for playing golf on Sunday (NY)

Jun 24th – 1st exhibition by Pablo Picasso, 19, opens in Paris

August 30 – Hubert Cecil Booth patents an electric vacuum cleaner in the United Kingdom.

October 2 – The British Royal Navy’s first submarine.

Oct 12th – Theodore Roosevelt renames “Executive Mansion,” “The White House”

November 25 – Auguste Deter is first examined by German psychiatrist Dr Alois Alzheimer, leading to a diagnosis of the condition that will carry Alzheimer’s name.[3]

December 10 – The first Nobel Prize ceremony is held in Stockholm on the fifth anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.

December 12 – Guglielmo Marconi receives the first trans-Atlantic radio signal, sent from  England to Newfoundland.

Recommended Archival Collection: The Rooms Provincial Archives:  Marriage, Baptismal Registers. St. Mary the Virgin Parish, St. John’s.

Recommended Website:  GRG: Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers dedicated to the quest to slow and ultimately reverse human aging.