Baxter Family Question


Leslie Hung

Hi Everyone:

I am new to the Encyclopedia Titanica, although I have been interested in the Titanic most of my life.

I recently got the book: Titanic An Illustrated History with Text by Don Lynch. I had just started leafing through it and mostly just reading photo captions. My biggest interest in Titanic are the stories of the people on board. I have always had another book, The Tragic Story of the Empress of Ireland and other Great Sea Disasters, by Logan Marshall and published in 1914. I believe it is what was intended for mass market publication because you know no one had tv and people have always loved disaster stories... heh.

This book has a list of survivors and a roll of the dead from First and Second class. It seems that Third class didn't count. When one is reading the book, it is full of stories of how the noble people in first class were so brave and good and the rabble in third were behaving very badly. Sort of the opposite of how stories are told now. The pendulum swings.

Anyway, I was going through the Illustrated History and looking at the pictures and looking up who survived and who didn't... On page 57 there is a photo labelled "Mrs. Baxter, a wealthy widow..." and "her daughter, Helene," The photo spread mentioned that the family had Suite B 58-60 and that Mrs. Baxter's unmarried son, Quig had the other room. So I looked them up in my list...

I realize the 1914 book is probably filled with errors. I don't know how long it took them to sort out all of the problems afterwards, not to mention to get them accurately published. The survivor list is not in totally correct alphabetical order.

Anyway, in the list of survivors of First Class, it lists Mrs. James Baxter. As I have only looked at the pictures and have not yet read the text, I don't know Helene's married name, so I couldn't look her up, but the question I have is about Quigg. (The spelling in the modern book is one g and in the 1914 book, 2.)

In the roll of the dead for First Class, it lists: "Baxter, Mr. and Mrs. Quigg"!

So I was wondering if anyone knows: 1. Is that just a clerical error? 2. Was Quigg married? 3. Did they assume he was married and have a body that was identified as Mrs. Baxter erroneously? or and here is the conclusion I immediately leapt to because after all, I needs must get some exercise... 4. Did Quigg bring a girlfriend and list her as Mrs. Baxter?

(If there are any descendants of the Baxter family, I apologize if I have offended: It is difficult for me to put myself in that position, plus, personally, if my ancestors were doing any of that, I wouldn't care who knew... But then there are a lot of bastards in my family... (in all senses...) And this is just the way I am, I tend to make light of almost everything. Hope no one minds and at least a few share my sense of humour... sigh. But no insult is intended.

As you’ve speculated, the 1914 book would probably not be completely reliable. It was hurriedly compiled from newspaper stories which, to meet deadlines, were themselves hurriedly compiled.

There is a book specifically about Titanic’s Canadian passengers by Alan Hustak that you may want to consult and also a book called "Titanic: Women and Children First" by Judith Geller. Both of these accounts spell Baxter’s name as "Quigg."

Your hunch about Quigg Baxter having a girlfriend aboard is correct. She was Berthe Mayne, a nightclub singer under the name "Mme. de Villiers" (which she changed later to "Belle Vielly").

Hello Leslie,

Welcome aboard from one Canadian to another! Just to add to Randy's post, both Ouigg Baxter's and Bertha Mayne's biographies are right here on this site:

If you can get a hold of Alan Hustak's book, there is a great photo in it of Quigg in his hockey uniform.

Whereabouts in Canada, are you?

Best wishes,

Hello Leslie,

You also asked what Helene's surname was. She was Mrs Frederick Douglas.