Mr Abraham Joseph Hyman was born within the Russian Empire in 1878. He came to England as a young man, possibly fleeing the pogroms of Eastern Europe at the time, and eventually settled within Manchester's thriving Jewish community.
He was married in 1902 to Esther Levy (b. 1880), a native of Manchester, and by 1911 the couple had five children: Julius (b. 1903), Ann (b. 1904), Lilian (b. 1906), Morris (b. 1907) and Ena (b. 1909) and they were living at 45 Stocks Street, Cheetham, Manchester, he being described as a storekeeper.
Abraham boarded the Titanic in Southampton as a third class passenger (ticket number 3470 which cost £7, 17s, 9d) on 10 April 1912 and he was travelling alone to Springfield, Massachusetts where he had a brother, Harry. He was listed as picture frame maker.
He later described his escape in collapsible C:
"...The forward deck was jammed with the people, all of them pushing and clawing and fighting, and so I walked forward and stepped over the end of the boat that was being got ready and sat down,” he told The New York Times. “Nobody disturbed me, and then a line of men gathered along the side and only opened when a woman or a child came forward. When a man tried to get through, he would be pushed back...”
Reaching America aboard Carpathia Abraham was met by his brother and granted several interviews to local newspapers. His wife refused to cross the Atlantic to join him and Abraham also had reservations about making the crossing again. His time spent in New York, however, with its diverse ethnicities and religions and their associated stores inspired Abraham pursue an enterprise back in England.
He eventually returned to Manchester where he opened a Kosher deli and grocery store, J. A. Hyman Ltd on Waterloo Road. Locals referred to Abraham as the "Titanic Man" and the store became known as Titanics. The store is still in operation today and still within the Hyman family.
He and his wife had a further two children, Jonas (b. 1913) and Rachel (b. 1915) and later settled at 230 Waterloo Road, Cheetham and it was whilst living here that Abraham was widowed when his wife Esther died on 14 September 1927 aged 46.
Abraham was remarried on 29 June 1929 in New Kahal Chassidim Synagogue to widow Esther Libbert, née Rosengrass (b. 1886) of 385 Waterloo Road, Cheetham. Esther was a native of Cheetham, Manchester and was married in 1909 to Abraham Libbert (1886-1921), a jeweller, and the couple had one son and one daughter, Jack and Fanny.
Abraham and his new wife were living in Southport, Lancashire when Abraham was again widowed on 9 June 1951. He later resettled in Manchester at 25 Crumpsall Lane and he died on 6 March 1956 in The Victoria Memorial Jewish Hospital in Manchester.
References and Sources
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
Everett, Marshall, ed. Nearer My God to Thee: The Story of the Wreck of the Titanic. Chicago: L.H. Walter, 1912.
New York Times, April 19, 1912, p. 8
J.A.Hyman (Titanics) website: www.titanics.co.uk accessed 17 August 2011
General Register Office : UK Registration of Death : Joseph A Hyman 1/1956 10e/16
Gavin Bell, UK
Maurice Cowan, UK
Mark Ellis, USA
Tad Fitch, USA
Colleen Fuller, USA
Hermann Söldner, Germany