Destinee Wentworth, with Christopher: "It's heartwarming to have so many people who love him. To know he has the chance to know so many generations of his family is very special."


With the birth of Christopher Daniel Forrest on Feb. 4, Destinee Wentworth of Mesa welcomed the sixth living generation of her family into the world.

"I think the record is seven," Destinee said. "Don't think we'll make it that far."

The family made a point to get everyone together to take a picture as soon as possible after Destinee's first son was born. Barbra Culp, 90, lives in Tucson. Culp's daughter, Anita Ellsworth, 75, is in Pinal County. And her daughter, Barbra Spear, 56, and Spear's son, Eric Wentworth, 35, live in the Phoenix area.

"You always look for family characteristics," said Anita, the maternal great-great-grandmother of Christopher. "Right now he looks so much like his daddy, but that's OK."

For Destinee, introducing Christopher to his extended family only reflects the love she has been given by the family's multiple generations.

"It's heartwarming to me to have so many people who love him," she said. "To know that he has the chance to know so many generations of his family is very special."

The family has always been large, and with generations that often overlapped, many family titles such as cousin or niece or aunt often disappeared, Destinee said.

"For us family is just family," she said.

And knowing multiple generations is nothing new to Destinee.

"We've had five generations on both sides before," she said. "But never six. From what I understand, it's quite rare."

Growing up, she spent much of her time with her many grandmothers. That includes one memorable summer when she spent a week with her great-grandmother, Anita. Destinee insisted she have an entire dresser emptied to make room for her week's worth of clothing, Anita recalled.

"Destinee's always been sure of what she wants," Anita said. "She is always the family entertainer, always singing and dancing for us. I have it all on tape."

While many people grow up not knowing their grandparents and never meeting their great-grandparents, Wentworth feels especially blessed.

"It's such a great support system," she said.

It can't be ignored that Destinee is a teenage mother, something she isn't shy about addressing. Yet if she hadn't had a child so young, it's quite likely that so many generations of her family would not have met.

"I am not a statistic: I have never done drugs; I'm still with the father of my child; I'm a full-time student," she said.

Wentworth just finished up her second semester at Mesa Community College. She is working on her associate's degree in psychology, hoping to transfer to a four-year university to pursue a degree that would allow her to work with special-education children, she said.