Babies on the Titanic


Peyton Jenkins

Hi everyone...

Lately I have been doing a lot of reading and study on the Titanic, and I keep coming across a lot of different numbers for the total survivors, everywhere from 705 to 712. I was curious to know how there could be such a broad fluctuation, but I think I have come to a pretty reasonable answer and just wanted others' opinions.

It seems to me that it must be that some people count the babies still in their mothers' wombs and others don't. Think about all the pregnant women who were saved (Madeleine Astor, of course, being the most prominent): Surely they can each count for two survivors, for if they had been lost, then their babies would never have been born. Similarily, there must be a higher number of lost lives counting pregnancies. So many, that nobody could ever possibly know the exact number, considering how there were probably women who did not yet know they were pregnant, and possibly some who were even impregnated on the Titanic itself.

Anyway, just wondering what the rest of you thought: Should pregnant women on the Titanic be counted as two?

(DISCLAIMER: By no means am I trying to spark an angry political debate... just looking for opinions)
Dec 2, 2000
Easley South Carolina
Part of the problem lies with the fact that passenger lists at the time were not always entirely accurate. They had to be put together fairly quickly and didn't always accurately reflect things like last minute cancellations, double entries, misspellings, claims of people sailing who didn't, etc. As passenger liners seldom ever came to greif, this wasn't always that big a deal. When one did...such as the Titanic...then sorting it all out could be a real mess.

You might want to buy or borrow a copy of "Who Sailed On Titanic" by Debbie Beavis. She does an excellant job of spelling out the problems. Your local library should be able to get it on interlibrary loan if it doesn't have a copy.
Dec 6, 2000
Hi Peyton,

Not counting any babies still in their mothers' wombs; there were 712 survivors. I think the problem with 705 was in adding the names, although having said that I understand that in addition to the 705, there was another list with another 6 names on it. You also have to remember that the telegraphic lists failed to include some names and had other survivors listed twice. Also many lists with end totals as to Lost and Saved fail when you add the individual names. You also have lists that mark passengers who were saved as lost and passengers who were lost as saved. Example the WS Passenger List as it appears in ANTR. We know 5 1st Class W&C were lost. Walter Lord confirmed that; but his Passenger List [uplifted from WS] has 11 marked as lost. - the 5 who died; plus 5 ladies maids who survived and Mr Goldschmidt who is listed as Mrs. - Given all of those sorts of problems you need to analyse all of the lists and informations to arrive at an answer. - You might want to look at my paper on this web-site.

I hope that helps,

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