Miss Karen Marie Abelseth, was born on 14 September 1895 in Norway. She lived at Ørskog, Ålesund, Norway. Her siblings were Anna, Lisa, Bertha, Louise Nels and Lauritz. Anna, Lisa, and Bertha emigrated to the USA. The brothers remained in Norway.
Miss Abelseth was travelling with Olaus Abelseth (who, being a family friend, accompanied her but was no relation), Anna Salkjelsvik, Peter Søholt, Sigurd Hansen Moen and Adolf Humblen. They all set sail from Ålesund to Newcastle via Bergen and boarded the Titanic at Southampton as third class passengers. Karen's destination was Los Angeles, California where her sister Anna lived. She shared a cabin with Anna Salkjelsvik and some Swedish girls.
She slept through the collision but was woken up by Adolf Humblen. When she went out in the corridor the people had risen "and came dragging their trunks". She became very scared. Sigurd Moen had to hold on to her because she was shaking with fright. Up on deck she was escorted by Olaus, Moen and Søholt to a lifeboat (probably lifeboat 16). Moen said to her to be brave, all would be well in the end. Then the boat was lowered.
Karen was some time at St. Vincent Hospital before she was able to continue to Minneapolis.
Karen married to Harry S. Little and had two sons Norman and Francis and three daughters, Phyllis, Wanda and Iris. In 1956 she was living in Los Angeles. She died in Inglewood, California on 27 July 1969.
- Some sources erroneously list the name as Anna Karen Abelseth, possibly confusing her with Anna Salkjelsvik.
- Wetterholm (1988) suggests Olous Abelseth was a cousin. Per Kristian Sebak suggests he was not a relation but a family friend.
References and Sources
Inglewood Daily News (California), 28 July 1969, Death Notice
Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996, 1999) Titanic. Prisma, Stockholm. ISBN 91 518 3644 0
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
Names and Descriptions of Alien Passengers Embarked at the Port of Southampton, 10 April 1912 (PRO London, BT 27/780B).
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
United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912
Claes-Göran Wetterholm, Sweden
Arne Mjaland, Norway
Per Kristian Sebak, Norway
Leif Snellman, Finland
Articles and Stories
Chicago Daily News (1912)
Inglewood Daily News (1969)