Ardella Alice Christie


Feb 11, 2019
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I'm sorry, I didn't know how else to enter into the discussion. I'm in need of information about my paternal great great grandmother. Her name was Ardella Alice Christie b. November 1868 in Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada. - d. April 15, 1912 on Titanic. Though she is not listed on the manifest. I'm looking for her grave so as to find definitive proof of what happened. Can anyone help? I would so appreciate it. Thanks. And if so, would it be too much trouble to send word also through my email? (just in case I can't locate this site again) I'm old school and not very computer literate. Thank you.
 
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SmileyGirl

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Hi Michele, I hope you get the info you need and I’m sorry about your ancestor.
 

Dave Gittins

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G'day, Michele!

I'm sorry to say that she is not on any passenger or crew list. These lists are quite accurate, having been checked for many years. I don't care what ancestry.com says, you simply have a family legend. Such things are common. Where I live, down under, we have two false crewmen, plus somebody of unknown status who allegedly died on Titanic. World wide, there must be hundreds of fictitious stories.

I suggest a search of local papers at around the time of her claimed death.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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There is no mention of Ardella Christie or Atwood on the Titanic passenger or crew list.

As she is your ancestor, can you find out where she was living at the time the Titanic sailed in her maiden voyage? Had she retained her Canadian citizenship or changed it after marriage? If she married a Mr Atwood, someone in your family might know about his details and that might help to work out how and why Ardella was in Europe at the time, which she would have to be to have the possibility of being a passenger on the Titanic.

One theoretical possibility is that she could have died on Monday 15th April 1912 elsewhere but as it was the same day as the Titanic sank, someone somewhere made a mistake and assumed that she was a passenger on board the ship.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Update: I did some research on the subject of this post. I contacted The Admiral Digby Museum as well as the archives of Nova Scotia and Halifax, the latter with a Titanic section. I got responses giving details of births, marriages and deaths in the area from the period mentioned by the OP. Thus far, no one has been able to dig up a Ardelia Alice Christie or Atwood born in Digby, Nova Scotia in 1868. Nor anyone with a name close to it and having a Titanic connection.
 
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Feb 11, 2019
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There is proof of her birth in North Digby on documents retained by familysearch.org. I've seen them. I was told by a historian that she was in Ireland visiting a relative and working as a maid or servant of some sort. Anyhow, thank you everyone for your help. You are probably right and it's only a legend. I do know, from a recorded document, that when one of her kids (either Chester Atwood or Bess Atwood, I forget which one) got married in December of 1912, that she was listed as where-abouts unknown. ...If that helps any.
Any further help would be appreciated.
Thank you.
 
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Arun Vajpey

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Thank you for renewing this thread; I had been very interested when you posted it at first but after receiving no positive response from Halifax or the Admiral Digby Museum, gave up and forgot about it. I should have been more persistent.

Following your post above, I checked too and found the following:


As you can see, Ardella Alice Christie WAS born in 1868 in Digby, Nova Scotia, she DID marry a George Atwood and had a few children. On this site, her date of death is merely stated as April 15th 1912, but the circumstances are not mentioned.

I then looked her up on the My Heritage site and came up with this:

https://www.myheritage.com/research...wood-born-christie-in-myheritage-family-trees

You can see that all details match with what you said and those in the familysearch site but in addition, it says here that she died on board the Titanic.

Same on the Ancestry com site: https://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/ardella-alice-christie-24-4l375j


I was not able to find her details on 'Find a Grave' site.

Of course, as of now her name does not appear on any passenger or crew list for the Titanic. I wonder if - as I conjectured earlier - she simply passed on on Monday 15th April 1912 and someone later added the Titanic connection by mistake? I am only a basic member of ancestry com but if you are a Prime member, you may be able to get more about her from that site from the link above.
 

Arun Vajpey

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Update: I contacted and received a reply from a man named Dennis Cutter who was listed as the primary source for Ardella Christie-Atwood's bio on the My Heritage site. He admitted that he did not know where that Titanic connection originated; he too did some checking and could not find any link. His opinion is also that it might have been some wishful thinking of a family member because of her date of death - Monday, 15th April 1912 - being the same as the one on which the Titanic went down.
 
Feb 11, 2019
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Thank you everyone for your help and all your responses. I still have yet to find any kind of obituary, or grave site, or even a death certificate, for that matter. A death cert would be ideal. Mystery though.
One thing that I find odd is that while her father, Jacob Purdy-Christie, was deceased by that date, her mother was not. Wouldn't she have been a part of any funeral processions that would have been made upon her own daughter's death? I believe she still resided in Canada, Nova Scotia, or something like that. Ardella came to America with her husband, George Gordon Atwood, and settled in Massachusetts. Her mother's maiden name, by the way, was Margaret Ann Copeland, b.1846.
...If anyone ever has any new information, I'd love to hear it. Again, thanks all!
 
Feb 11, 2019
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You know what? Come to think of it, there WAS an Alice Christy on board the Titanic, but she lived. So I wonder if in the beginning, that someone thought that was her. I do wonder how long it took before relatives knew if their people had survived or not. (This Alice Cristy was English, not Canadian or even American. Any thoughts anyone?
 
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Arun Vajpey

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You know what? Come to think of it, there WAS an Alice Christy on board the Titanic, but she lived.
Yes, there was an Alice Christy and what's more, she was headed for Montreal, Canada.

I think you have hit the proverbial nail on the head. Alice Christy, a genuine Second Class passenger on board Titanic, was travelling to Canada with her 2 daughters and all of them survived. Their lifeboat is uncertain but they eventually reached their destination safely.

Alice Christy was born in the 1860s while your Ardella Alice Christie was born in 1868. Christy was the passengers married name (she was a widow by 1912) while it was Ardella's maiden name. But both women were in their fifties, had a Canadian connection and Ardella Alice Christie, who had nothing to do with the Titanic, died, presumably of natural causes, on the same day as the ship went down. So, someone got the two women mixed-up somewhere along the line.

Well done in solving the problem and thanks for sharing it with us.

PS: I have updated Dennis Cutter with the information since he responded so quickly to my original query.
 
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