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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 21 April 2021

Did an Irish woman live to be 134?

Mary Murphy claimed to have been born in 1770.

CEM45996_1401231435 Source: Find A Grave

IN AUGUST 1904, an Irish woman named Mary Murphy died in Meadville, Pennsylvania – after claiming to be a whopping 134 years old.

Her story was reported in a number of different newspapers, with Murphy previously telling a report that she was born in 1770 on Christmas Day in Dublin:

mary murphy 134 A story in the Arizona Republican Source: Library of Congress

Her death was also reported in the Los Angeles Herald;

mary murphy 2

But was her story true?

It’s unlikely.

One amateur geneaologist said that she checked vital records and cemetery records, which proved that Murphy was “more like 104 years old” – still a grand age to have reached.

US census records from 1870 show that a Mary B Murphy of Meadville was born in 1800 in Ireland, which could be the same woman. She was one of a number of Mary Murphys from Ireland born that year who were settled in Pennsylvania.

Considering her long life, perhaps we can forgive Mary Murphy if she did embellish her story somewhat. But until we know the exact truth, it would be nice to think that it was possible to live to such a great age…

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