Annotated obituary: Mrs. Maria Daly Shea (1910)


Annotated obituary: Mrs. Maria Daly Shea (1910)


Obituary for Mrs. Maria Daly Shea that was published on April 10, 1910, in the Catholic Standard Times. Annotations were written in Fr. Francis Tourscher's handwriting.


Martin I. J. Griffin and annotated by Fr. Francis Tourscher








Kindly allow me to make a record of the death, on March 25, of Mrs. Maria Daly Shea, or 53053 Belfield avenue, Germantown. Born April 12, 1829, in County Tyrone, Ireland, she was brought to this country when three years old. In early youth she became a member of the household of Thomas Lloyd, who had been a captain in the Revolutionary War, was the father of American shorthand reporting and reporter of the first House of Representatives of the United States. The social and religious position of the Lloyd family in the Catholic life of our city in the early days of the Church in Philadelphia was a commanding one. The papers and manuscripts of Mr. Lloyd, who died in 1827, were of great historical value concerning Church and public affairs. Miss Maria Daly received the best education possible for a Catholic young woman of seventy years ago. She was a pupil of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart when they occupied the residence at Eighteenth and Summer streets, since the home of Bishop Kendrick and Neumann and Archbishop Wood and Ryan. Later she completed the course at Eden Hall. With a mind thus well trained she absorbed and retained the fund of historical knowledge possessed by the three daughters of Thomas Lloyd, and, as their heir, the family papers and the records of Mr. Lloyd became hers. Of the facts relating to the Catholic Church in Philadelphia, as to the priests and people, no one I ever knew possessed the knowledge of Mrs. Shea. Indeed, the traditions fostered and embodied in the Lloyd family had come to her from Revolutionary days. All these were cherished by a mind keen for the days of the past, so that Mrs. Shea was indeed a marvel in this important sphere.
I had known her for thirty years. Usually I have placed but little reliance upon the recollections of aged persons giving recitals of the past. At times they have been helpful in giving light or color to facts I had knowledge of. But Mrs. Shea was really wonderful in her accuracy of information given me. She had the documents to prove her statements. She delighted in often examining many records she possessed; but alas! At times destroyed too many. But that is a trait of all aged. Papers of precious historical value—mere scraps at times—are considered valueless for future years. We all destroy and then others lament.
In the historical work I may have done in telling of the Church in this city Mrs. Shea at times was most helpful. She loved to be so to all, especially to Very Rev. Thomas C. Middleton, O.S.A., of Villanova, and to myself. We raped abundantly of the stores of knowledge she possessed. I knew no other who linked the days of a century—the very foundation days almost of the Church in our city—with the present. She was intensely Catholic, not only by faith, but by history. It is due to her memory that a tribute—though feeble—appear in the columns of the official paper of the Church in this city. She is worthy of memory’s honor. The funeral services took place in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Germantown; the internment at St. Denis’ Haverford. May she rest in peace. Respectfully,
Martin I.J. Griffin.
Philadelphia, April 10, 1911

[Note written in the handwr]ting of Fr. Francis E. Tourscher, O.S.A.} Brother Philip Shea was at Villanova in 1846, professed Sept. 8, 1852—Died Feb. 21, 1856. Brother Philip was Mrs. Maria Shea’s brother-in-law. Patrick Shea, Brother Philip’s brother, died October 7, 1896—aged 73 years—Buried at St. Denis'


Martin I. J. Griffin and annotated by Fr. Francis Tourscher, “Annotated obituary: Mrs. Maria Daly Shea (1910),” The Rooted Project , accessed May 21, 2024,

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