Mr Borak ( Hannah

Mr Borak Hannah [1], 20, was born on 10th April, 1885. He was an unmarried farm labourer from Hardin [2], Lebanon. He left his parents Mr and Mrs Coula Hannah [3] at Hardin.

He boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a third class passenger. To reach his destination of Port Huron, Michigan, he bought ticket No. 2663 for £7 4s 7d.

He was rescued in lifeboat 15.

He arrived in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on the same train as Thelma Thomas and her son, Essed, a few days after the Carpathia arrived back in New York. The Wilkes-Barre paper printed a large interview with Borak and Mrs Thomas. Borak stated that he was going to head to Port Huron, Michigan after staying in Wilkes-Barre for awhile visiting family and friends. His destination was ultimately to the home of a Mr Hassey at 1119 11th Avenue, Port Huron, Michigan.

On July 16, 1912 he was married to Miss Elizabeth Hassey [4]. He changed his name to Bert Johns [5] and lived the rest of his life in Michigan.

According to his obituary he worked in factories for a while before opening a fruit store in Marlette. He later returned to Port Huron where he opened a fruit store on Quay street. Later he ran a tavern.

He died on 2nd February, 1952.

Michael A. Findlay, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
Hermann Söldner, Germany

1. Alternative spellings abound. The "List or Manifest ..." lists him as "Barak Hannah", "Marriages, Births, Deaths ..."lists him as "Hanna Moubarak", 25 and dead. Other spellings include "Hanna Assi Barah" where "Assi" is presumably a corruption of "Hassey" (see note 3), Various spellings of forename: e.g. "Barak", "Hamah" and "Hanne", as well as the Anglicized versions of his name, sometime "John" e.g. "John Borak" or "John Barek", sometimes "Bert", which was, presumably his adopted name in America. Note also the various alternative surnames including "Moubarch", "Mourbarek", "Borek" and "Johns". The variations occur because: the Arabic language is read right to left which likely caused confusion among immigration and other officials; because most of the Lebanese passengers spoke no English and were unable to write and because the names were later anglicized.
2. The French spelling is Hardîne, the correct spelling is
3. Death certificate gives the father's name as "Simon Johns" and the mother's name as "Rose Johns".
4. His widow, Elizabeth Hassey Johns, was born 2nd January, 1893 and died in Marine City, Michigan in November of 1981. She was presumably related to Mr Hassey whose home was stated as Borak's initial destination upon his arrival in America.
5. Other sources say "John Borak" but the death certificate records "Bert Johns".
References and Sources
Port Huron Times Herald, 3rd February, 1952, Obituary
Michigan Department of Health Certificate of Death
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Michael A. Findlay (1998) Revised Passenger List in Judith Geller Titanic: Women and Children First. Haynes. ISBN 1 85260 594 4
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port Of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia) - National Archives, NWCTB 85 T715 Vol 4183
Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260)

Articles and Stories


Newark Star  (1912) 



Port Huron Times Herald  (1952) 


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