Thomas Caplis

   = Isabella McGrellis



I received the following E-Mail from Sheila S. Hollis ( on 8 March 1997:-


The web site is a treasure; I stumbled across it in my late night ramblings on the web. My name is Isabella Sheila Slocum Hollis and my mother's name is Emily Caplis Slocum. She is the daughter of Tom Caplis, deceased in 1961. I adored him; he emigrated from Bird Hill around Tipperary in the 1916 era and ended up in Philadelphia where he married my grandmother Isabella McGrellis from Cumberclaudy, around Derry.

My grandfather may have been related to some Philadelphia Irish who were in the creamery business. In any event, he contracted tuberculosis and he,, on a stretcher, my grandmother and my mother, a small infant headed to Colorado in about 1921-22. My grandparents were married in Philadelphia at Our Lady of Victory (I think). My grandfather did survive, and I am the only grandchild. I am aware that there are at least a few Caplis names still in Tipperary and one in the London area. Also, there is a Caplis in Louisiana. You likely have all of this material but ...just in case it is.

I would like the opportunity to learn more about the family background and would be pleased to aid your endeavor if the material becomes available. I practice law in Washington, DC and my e-mail at home is You are doing the Lord's work and I really enjoyed the chance to get this info to you !




I received another E-Mail from Sheila on 13 April 1997 in which she advised the following details about her Caplis connections:-.

Sheila said that her grandfather "Tommy", was a fun loving, tiny man who was a former step dancer in Tipperary. The Black and Tans apparently assassinated several of his relatives and the remainder fled. He landed in Philadelphia and married Bella, Sheila's grandmother. Sheila said that he could have been cast by Hollywood as the classic Irishman. Red-headed, bright clear transparently blue eyes and aultra white skin. He was an exceptionally generous and hardworking man, giving care to the shutins and the ill elderly. He took Sheila with him when she was a tiny girl on his "rounds" in Denver to bring books, give haircuts, and visit with his pals.

He died when Sheila was 12 years old. He had a brother, John, who lived in New Jersey, who had one son, also named John. He also had two sisters, one of whom had a son, named Dan Boland, who was a coach at West Point in the 1950-60 period. He was married to Margaret. They had no children.

Sheila is the only grandchild of Tom Francis Caplis. He was a great friend to a little girl who was basically growing up without a father. Sheila's father, unfortunately, despite the fact that he had a Ph.D in neuroanatomy, was ill with severe thyroid disease and Parkinson's and died shortly after her grandfather Tom.

Sheila's mother still lives with her and according to Sheila, she is outrageously Irish in looks, tastes and demeanor. She is at Mass every day and at 77 years old has just begun an advanced cartooning class offered in DC by the US government. She is brilliant, quixotic and loved by just about everyone. Sheila's mother and Sheila's daughter, now 28, have travelled the world together, including to Australia, Ayers Rock, Cairns, Alice Spring, Red Desert and on to Fiji and New Zealand. They both enjoyed it immensely and want to get back.


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This Page first produced on 8 March 1997

This Page last updated on 13 March 2005