About Cabin numbers


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Jul 9, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>I cannot understand how such a company (White Star Line seems to be very famous at that time in luxury journeys) did not keep a passengers' list in its offices, in Southampton, Cherbourg, Paris, or somewhere else. Is there really no archives about such an important thing???<<

For the company, so long as the voyage passed without incident, there really wouldn't be much of any reason to do so. Passenger lists were primarily for the sake of making sure the customs and immigration authorities could keep track of who was entering into the country.

There would be some major problems with keeping an accurate list in any event. Airlines have the same problem in that the people who book a seat (A cabin/berth on a ship) don't always show up. As a consequence, the only final definative list would be the one compiled by the Purser's Office once the ship had left the final port of embarkation. In the Titanic's case, this list went to the bottom with the rest of the ship and this caused quite a few headaches when it came to putting together a list that was accurate.(If Lester Mitcham is reading this, he can offer a better overview of the problems then I can. He knows the ground.)

In the context of this particular conversation, it helps to know that the authorities didn't really care if a passenger slept in the most palatial suite the ship had or down in one of the cargo holds with the freight and the rats, and had no reason to be. Cabin allocations are of interest to historians, but not immigration authorities. They were interested in whether or not a named person was actually on board.
 
Jul 20, 2000
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Richard,

>>I cannot understand how such a company (White Star Line seems to be very famous at that time in luxury journeys) did not keep a passengers' list in its offices, in Southampton, Cherbourg, Paris, or somewhere else. Is there really no archives about such an important thing???<<

The closest Lists we have to what you ask about are those that were used for Titanic's Certificates for Clearance and as I discussed in my paper: THE STATISTICS OF THE DISASTER - February 2001, while we have Lists for Southampton and for Queenstown, they contain errors.

If you go to: http://www.archives.gov/research/index.html and type Titanic into the box at the top right hand corner it will take you to: NARA - Genealogists/Family Historians - Survivors of the Titanic who were taken aboard the ... - which is a partial List of Survivors. - It is my understanding that Lists identical in detail to these would have been complied onboard Titanic and handed in when she arrived. - If you look at: http://www.ellisislandrecords.org/ you will find similar records for passengers who arrived in New York. - For some reason it seems that you can now only view the right-hand pages. - I have no idea how to get to the left-hand/name pages.

If you look at: A THOROUGH ANALYSIS OF THE “CAVE LIST” by Daniel Klistorner - April 2004 you will see that it is likely that the Cave List - 3rd Proof was probably a "baggage list". - The purser likely had a "Final List" if for no other purpose than being able to locate passengers if the need arose, but there would seen to be no point in keeping any such list after the voyage was completed.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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All,

It would seem that reasonably detailed passenger lists (with cabin allocations) were kept by on-shore offices, however these have been lost over time, and most likely during the merger of Cunard with White Star Line if not earlier.

We know of several reports where family members contact WSL to find out if neighbouring passengers survived or where their loved ones were berthed. Hugh Rood's cabin A32 was published in the newspapers after his wife found out which cabins he had. Anne Isham's relatives found out that she was in C49 and contacted Col. Gracie (C51) and I assume they would have contacted Marechal from C47 as well.

White Star Line must have been getting this information from somewhere. I don't think they relied on the "Cave List", I'm sure the offices in London (if nowhere else) had passenger lists with cabin allocations. I don't know how long these lists were normally kept, but given the outcome of Titanic's voyage they would have been retained at least for some time.

Daniel.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Hallo, Matthew, and welcome to ET. Wright's cabin, which he shared with the baggage master, was on the port side of F deck, opposite the Turkish bath. Crew cabins were not numbered.
 
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