Thomas Garvey

Submitted by Devonna Edwards

Believed to be 120 years old when he died.

Mount Olivet Cemetery, on the corner of Mumford Road and Joseph Howe Drive, (former Dutch Village Road) can lay claim to having the oldest Canadian resident buried on its grounds. One hundred and twenty year old Thomas Garvey died in Halifax on January 21, 1914 at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. D. Holland who lived on Wright Avenue.

A native of County Kerry, Ireland, Thomas went to Boston as a lad (a young man age 17-24) during the War of 1812. He later moved to Nova Scotia and settled on a farm in West Ohio, Antigonish County. He never married and lived alone. His exact age is not positively known but Mr. Holland, who has been intimately acquainted with him for years, feels almost certain that he was 120 years old.

In 1887, twenty-seven years before his death, he worked for Mr. Holland in New Glasgow, being a very old man then. By early 1890, he was a common labourer, living as a lodger with William D. MacDonald in Lochaber. He was said to be a remarkable active man for his years which attracted much attention. On annual visits to Halifax he always stayed with Mr. Holland and his family, who took a kind interest in him. When he came to Halifax for a visit in 1914, he contracted a severe cold in drenching rain. Medical aid was secured at once but he grew worse and passed away.


His funeral took place at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Spring Garden Road. It states on his tombstone that he was 120 years old.