The Historic Gloria Dei Preservation Corporation (HGDPC) was established to fund, support, and supervise the restoration, renovation, and ongoing maintenance of the Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church buildings, grounds, and graveyard so that future generations may share in this historic and architectural treasure.
Search Churchyard Records
As part of our churchyard research project, we are creating an interactive map to help visitors find their ancestors’ graves. This project is in its early stages, but you can see our progress by viewing our map.
We seek to restore the churchyard to an earlier point in history, increasing the historical accuracy of the environment, repair and preserve gravestones that have decayed due to extreme age, the ravages of an urban environment, and some very old damage caused by vandalism.
Our historians are writing biographical sketches on our “permanent residents.” Here you will learn about the people buried in our churchyard.
In 1865, Rhoda McCoy was buried in the Gloria Dei Churchyard. The message on her headstone — presumably left by her daughter Mary — simply says “my mother.” Mary was an only child and lived with her mother until Rhoda passed away. We can imagine that she and her mother were very close.
Lavinia Sheed never married and died at age 65 from rheumatism. She is buried near her father and several of her siblings in the Gloria Dei Churchyard.
This stone commemorates Bernard Ulrick Dahlgren, although his body no longer rests here. His remains, with those of his wife Martha and their infant son Washington, now lie in West Laurel Hill Cemetery.
Descendants of Isaac V. Culin trace their lineage to Johan van Cöln, an early European settler who arrived on the Delaware around 1662. For most of his adult life, Issac made his living as a tailor, residing and working in the neighborhood of Southwark.
Henry Bennett, age 39, died of a heart attack on Jan. 5, 1847, while on his job at an ice cream parlor on Queen Street. Bennett was a mariner by trade.
Born Feb. 24, 1752, Sophia Fisler was a younger unmarried sister of Hannah Collin. She lived with her sister and husband as a housekeeper and appears in church records as early as 1793.
Born in 1837, Lizzie Martin was only 20 years old at her death. She had probably caught the eye of many a young man, but remained unmarried at her death and was still living at home with her parents.
Nicholas Collin was the last remaining priest of the Swedish mission and the first priest of the new American Gloria Dei.
Jazz & Joe
The Alan Segal Quartet brings the finest samplings of Philadelphia Style Jazz to Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church the fourth Thursday of the month from 7:30 to 9:30pm.
The Alan Segal Quartet showcases some of the most accomplished jazz musicians in the Philadelphia area who specialize in Philadelphia Style Jazz. The group is comprised of Eddie Etkins on Saxophone, clarinet and flute, George Sinkler on piano, Leon Jordan Sr. on drums and Alan Segal on bass.