LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A south Arkansas woman celebrated her 116th birthday Friday with cake, a party and a new title – she’s now officially the oldest confirmed living American and second-oldest person in the world, the Gerontology Research Group said.

Gertrude Weaver spent her birthday at home at Silver Oaks Health and Rehabilitation in Camden. This year’s festivities included the new award from the Gerontology Research Group, which analyzed U.S. Census records to determine that Weaver is the oldest living American.

The research group, which consults with the Guinness Book of World Records, found that the 1900 Census listed Weaver as 2 years old – putting her birthday in 1898. That makes Weaver the second-oldest person in the world behind 116-year-old Misao Okawa of Japan.

Weaver was married in 1915. She and her husband had four children, all of whom have died except for a 93-year-old son.

Weaver cited three factors for her longevity: “Trusting in the Lord, hard work and loving everybody.”

“You have to follow God. Don’t follow anyone else,” she told the Camden News this week. “Be obedient and follow the laws and don’t worry about anything. I’ve followed him for many, many years and I ain’t tired.”