1. When were the Carlson Septuplets born?
  2. Are they the only septs in the world?
  3. How can I tell them apart?
  4. How do they feel about their initials?
  5. What is the Carlsons' house like?
  6. Where did the Septs go to school?
  7. Is this all true?
FAQ: The Carlson Septuplets

I've created this page out of my own notes about the Septuplets' lives for any of you who are interested in these background details of their lives. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contribute them!


  1. When were the Carlson Septuplets born?
  2. The Carlson Septuplets were born on July 12, 1982 in Detroit, Michigan. If you'd like more specific times then that, here you go. I'll even throw in birth weights for you.

    A Melissa Courtney 7:33   2 lbs, 15 oz
    B Michelle Carmen 7:35   2 lbs, 7 oz
    C Meredith Cecile 7:36   2 lbs, 13 oz
    D Mary Colleen 7:38   2 lbs, 1 oz
    E Molly Claire 7:38 2 lbs, 3 oz
    F Monica Celeste 7:39 2 lbs, 9 oz
    G Megan Carol 7:41 2 lbs, 0 oz


  3. Are they the only septuplets in the world?
  4. For most of their lives they've been the only set of septuplets in the world. (As they are identical, they were not the result of fertility drugs. Read the articles for more on this.) In 1995, when the Septs were in seventh grade, another set of septuplets was born, but only four of them survived. Then in 2002, when they were in their second year of college, another set was born with all seven surviving. Both of the sets born after the Carlsons were all fraternal and conceived with the aid of fertility drugs.

    Both of these births were emotional experiences for the Septs, which I hope to explore in a future story, so I won't go into it here. In any case, in all the stories published so far, the Carlson Septs are the only septuplets in the world.


  5. Is there some way to tell the Carlson Septuplets apart? They all look alike to me!
  6. Indeed there is. Everyone has trouble when they first meet them, but if you take the time to get to know them, you'll probably find it easy to tell them apart as their styles are really quite different. Also, if you're interested in drawing us a picture (and yes, we'd be thrilled and honored to see your drawings! Do e-mail us about it!) then this will be especially helpful.

    First, look at their hair. All of the Septs have medium-brown hair and bangs, though Melissa's and Meredith's are longer and brush more to the side. Beyond that, the Septs have pretty much stuck to their individual favorite hairstyles through middle school and high school, feeling like they had established their individual appearances. (After being in college for a while, some of them did change some things. What I'll describe here are their middle and high school styles unless otherwise noted.) Of course, the Septs don't always code themselves by hairstyles, so if that starting point fails, you can also look at how they're dressed.

    For any artists out there, I should note that Robin and Peter were concerned that all the attention on their daughters' appearances would make the girls into objects, so they raised them with a strong sense of modesty. Most of the Septs (except Melissa; more on that in a minute) keep this up now that they're older, so the one request they have for anyone cool enough to draw them is not to put them in low cut tops, bare midriffs, that sort of thing.

    Now here's a run-down on each girl's appearance.

    Mary's hair is the longest, reaching down to the middle of her back. Sometimes she pulls it back, especially if it's warm. (She's not very good at braiding her own hair, but Megan and Melissa like to ask if they can braid it for her). Mary's style is a little wacky. She likes T-shirts with fun prints of characters or souvenirs of things she's done, that sort of thing. She wears turtlenecks or mandarin collars often, sometimes layering them with her t-shirts. Though she's often content to wear something boring but comfy, sometimes she'll surprise you with a dramatic set of stripes or something bold or shiny. She dislikes make-up very much, and hasn't pierced her ears.

    Molly's hair is also long, though shorter than Mary's. She has a very unique sense of style that almost defies specific descriptions. Though she's certainly not trendy, she does put things together well. She likes darker colors like purple or maroon or navy. Whether it's a beanie or a beret or her favorite baseball cap turned backward, she nearly always has a hat on her head. It's said by those outside the family that Mary and Molly are virtually impossible to tell apart, except for Molly's great love of hats. She also likes vests and jackets, and (low-rise) boots or leather sneakers in place of athletic shoes. No pierced ears or make-up for Molly, either.

    Meredith generally keeps her hair a little shorter than Molly's, and has always liked using barrettes and clips and sticks and such. Meredith got more into fashion later in high school and college, but not in a "current style" way. She loves bold and unusual clothing. Anything from long sweeping plaid skirts and big necklaces to flared khakis and a velvety shirt are good for her. Vintage clothing she especially likes. She even tried having dreadlocks toward the end of her senior year of college, though that wasn't for very long. (When she cut them off and ended up with a boyish cut after college graduation, it was the first time any other Sept ever had hair shorter than Michelle's, but it's grown out again by now.) Meredith has pierced ears. She occasionally wears make-up, though nothing too colorful.

    Monica's hair is medium-long. She loves pigtails; that's always been her "trademark", like Molly with her hats. She also loves overalls. Of course she doesn't always wear pigtails and overalls; some people say it's impossible to tell her apart from Molly or Mary if she doesn't, but it's usually safe to guess that the one in the brightest, most vivid colors is Monica. She pretty much does not wear make-up; the artist in her likes to play with colors and sparklies, but she never takes the stuff seriously, so if she's supposed to look nice, or even normal, she avoids it. Otherwise she might put sparkles on her cheeks or paint her nails blue or something. Her ears are pierced and her earrings are allmost all colorful, cute shapes.

    Melissa's hair is also medium-long. She likes to twist it up in a big butterfly clip or a high ponytail, or do various other things to style it. Her bangs are the longer than the others' and fall into her eyes unless she clips them to the side. Melissa has always made her mark by being trendy and rebellious. (Whether that's an oxymoron or not depends on which of the Septs you ask.) She's tried highlights twice; once red and once blonde. She certainly won't mind if you draw her with a bare midriff. Her clothes often have designer labels, and she likes to wear whatever's in style. She has pierced ears (two holes on the left side) and always wears jewelry; chokers are a favorite, as is anything flashy. She also likes flashy make-up.

    Megan's hair is shortish compared to most of the others, reaching just past her shoulders. Sometimes she wears headbands or scarves. She likes earthy, muted colors, or pastels. Her favorite color is red, but when she wears it, it's likely toned down. She likes sweaters, corduroys, and is one of the few Septs who will wear a skirt without being forced. She doesn't really like to wear jeans. Some people say she looks the nicest in an old-fashioned sort of way. Her ears are pierced, but she doesn't wear earrings too often; if she does, they're usually small studs. She doesn't wear make-up. It's not that noticeable, but Megan is also a little smaller than the others.

    Michelle is the only Sept with really short hair, cut just below her chin. Between cuts it might almost reach her shoulders, but she never lets it get longer than that. She is often seen in team jerseys and jackets and other such active-wear, but when she wants to look less like she just got done with a game, she can be quite fashionable. She's not a tomboy; her favorite color is pink, and she sometimes asks Melissa's fashion advice. She wears moderate make-up on special occasions; she doesn't really like the stuff, but she's said she wants to prove that she can do "un-sweaty" too. She got her ears pierced when she was younger, but wore earrings so rarely that they closed up and she didn't get them pierced again. She also particularly likes cargo pants.


  7. How do the Septs feel about all having the same initials?
  8. Some people suspect that some or all of them wish to some degree that they had different intials, but it's a rare occasion when you'll hear any of the Septs say so. They have been heard to complain if it causes confusion— "What's my log-in on the school computer if it's supposed to be last name then first initial? We can't all be carlsonm!"—but for the most part, they won't say much about this. They all are very close to their parents and think they did a fantastic job raising them. Even if they think their parents made mistakes, all they'll tell you is that no one else has had to raise the world's only septuplets, so no one had better judge them. They also will tell you that their mom and dad were thinking of a lot of different names that started with M, and they might have ended up picking 4 or 5 "M" names even without any intentional initial matching. They'll cite a family they've heard of that has 13 kids whose names all start with L, including some names that are just plain weird, and that at least with only seven, it doesn't sound quite so forced like that. They'll cite families who name their kids with all Bible names or all seasonal names and say at least they don't have themed names, or rhyming names, or alphabetical names. They'll likely dwell on the alphabeticl name thing the longest, all agreeing that they're glad that they can't be so easily put in alphabetical order.

    Some people take this quick defensiveness as evidence that they really do wish they all had separate initials. This might be true. Then again, it might also be that they're used to it and honestly don't think about it or mind it much. All I can say is good luck to you if you try to ask them.

    For the author's perspective on this, check the Site Info FAQ, too.


  9. What's the Carlsons' house like? How many bedrooms do they have?
  10. The Carlson family lives in a house that was purchased for them by the Michigan government shortly after their birth, in the small suburb of Westfield, Michigan. It's in a nicely-kept neighborhood, as you might given the people who can afford large houses. (The Carlsons have always felt a little weird about this; their family is certainly not rich, but their neighbors are lawyers and doctors and executives from Detroit's "Big Three" automobile companies. "They're rich and unknown; we're poor and famous," said Monica once about their neighborhood. The Carlsons certainly aren't poor except by comparison to their neighborhoods, though; they've had a lot of help over the years.)

    The first floor of the Carlsons' house has a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen in the front, and bathroom, a family room, a sunroom, and a small computer room in the back. There's also a back porch and patio and a big green backyard with trees around the edges. The basement is finished, with a big laundry room, an open space with a big old squashy couch and chairs and ottomans, and another computer workstation.

    Upstairs, there are four bedrooms. The master bedroom is Robin and Peter's, with a walk-in closet and its own connected bath. Michelle and Melissa share the bedroom that looks out on the front yard. This is connected by a two-sink bathroom to Monica and Megan's room, which looks out on the side of the house. The biggest of the three bedrooms would be quite spacious for two kids, but is slightly cramped with three: that's Mary, Meredith, and Molly's room. They have a bunkbed and a regular bed, and the three of them have rotated who gets which one, switching once or twice a year. (It used to be that they all wanted the top bunk; then they all got kind of sick of having to climb up there.) There's another bathroom upstairs that the three of them use. You can imagine that shower schedules were strict when all the Septs had to be to high school by 7:25 and Robin and Peter had to get to work!


  11. Where did the Septs go to school?
  12. For kindergarten through the fourth grade, the Septs were divided between three small private schools in and near Westfield. Their parents decided to do this both to protect them from excessive public attention and to give them more individual experiences.

    The roommates were also schoolmates. Mary, Meredith, and Molly went to Westfield Montessori Center, which had a total of 75 students. Michelle and Melissa went to private Protestant-affiliated K-8 school in their neighborhood called New Horizons School, with 102 students. Megan and Monica went to an independent elementary school called Amandine Academy, with 123 students. All seven went to school together for the first time in fifth grade at one of Westfield's public schools, Pennington Elementary, where they were divided between the four fifth grade classes. They went to Redcove Middle School from sixth to eighth grade and Westfield High School from ninth through twelfth.

    They graduated high school in 2000. After that, Monica, Megan, and Mary went to three different small liberal arts schools in Michigan. Michelle went to the University of Michigan. Melissa bounced around between public universities within Michigan before finally ending up at Michigan State University. Meredith went to a small liberal arts college in Ohio, while Molly went to the University of Chicago.


  13. Wait a second...is this all true?
  14. You came directly to this page through a search engine, didn't you? Good call on not believing everything you read immediately on the Internet. This is indeed fictional. It's a story for entertainment and certainly not intended to mislead anyone. So don't cite the information on this page on your school report! Follow the link "Home" after this paragraph to find out just what this all is.