History Stories

Philadelphia's Ancient Mariners

Philadelphia’s Ancient Mariners

This issue of FOUNDERS Magazine is devoted to several early sea captains and their families who are buried in our churchyard. We hope you will enjoy the stories of the individuals and families resting here, how they lived and died, and how they contributed to the fabric of American life.

Reverend Simes

Reverend Snyder Binns Simes And His Wife Eleanor

The Rectorship of Mr. Simes holds a unique place in the record of the Gloria Dei Church’s ministry. During his long tenure, the congregation grew, developed and prospered. He was the spiritual guide of more than a generation of affectionate parishioners.

Catharine Marett And Her Family

Before her death in 1998, Catharine Marett donated the bulk of her life savings toward the 300th anniversary historic restoration project at Gloria Dei Church. Thanks to her generous endowment, the congregation was spared from financial ruin.

Sampson Harvey, Sea Captain And Patriot

Sampson Harvey was born in Cornwall, England, on March 14, 1731. He was master of a number of merchant vessels in the 1760s and often sailed to the West Indies.

Martha Stewart

The Stewarts Of Carpenters’ Hall

Members of the Stewart family, buried in the churchyard of Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’ Church), had a long relationship with another important Philadelphia landmark—Carpenters’ Hall.

Cushing

Caleb Cushing And Family

Caleb Cushing’s sea passages took him across the Atlantic as well as to the West Indies. His family traces its lineage in America back to Matthew Cushing, who had emigrated from England to Massachusetts in 1638.

Rhoda McCoy

In 1865, Rhoda McCoy, almost 90 years old, was buried in the Gloria Dei Churchyard. Rhoda must have had a strong constitution — she died of “old age” rather than an ailment or disease.

Bernard Dahlgren

Bernard Dahlgren

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.

Isaac V. Culin

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.

Marker 69

Henry Bennett

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.

Sophia Fisler

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.

Lizzie Martin

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.

Reverend Nicholas Collin

Reverend Nicholas Collin

Nicholas Collin was the last remaining priest of the Swedish mission and the first priest of the new American Gloria Dei.

Fall 2018

This inaugural issue of HGDPC Magazine brings together the many wonderful articles written about Old Swedes’ for QVNA Magazine. These stories highlight our fascinating history and will introduce you to the master planning process we engaged in through a grant from the Community Design Collaborative.

James Peale

James Peale, Artist

Best known as a portrait miniaturist and fruit still-life painter, James Peale (1749-1831) also made oil portraits, history paintings, and landscapes.

William Irvine, Brigadier General, U.S. Congressman

William Irvine (1741-1804) graduated from Dublin University, became a physician, and served as a surgeon in the British Navy before immigrating to Pennsylvania in 1763. He resumed practicing medicine and was a Delegate to Pennsylvania’s anti-Stamp Act conventions in 1764 and 1766. Irvine also took part in Pennsylvania’s conventions held to consider independence in 1774 and 1775.

A portrait of Jacob Jackson.

Jacob Jackson: A Navy Man In The War Of 1812

Jacob Jackson, whose body rests near those of his wife Catharine and several of their children, was a U.S. Navy veteran of the War of 1812. He was an active supporter of Gloria Dei (Old Swedes’) Church, elected as a member of the vestry in 1842.