Children On The Titanic


Shawn Stoner

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Feb 21, 2007
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Does anyone know what would be the age range for the children on the Titanic o be considered children? Is it if they are over 18 they are considered adults, is it 16 and up are considered adults, twelve and under considered children? Please can anyone help? Thank You !!!
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hello Shawn,

Under age 12. Age 12 and upwards were counted as adults.

That information is taken from Titanic's Certificates for Clearance.

I hope that helps,
Lester
 
Nov 11, 2005
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i know that being said that the children were only children if they were under 12, but i have seen written a few times when "men" who are over 12 aer written as "Master", why was there so much confusion with listings like this?
 

Bob Godfrey

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There are other threads in which these niceties are explained in much more detail, but basically people were no longer considered to be children when they left school and started work at the age of 12 or 13. The law, however, still offered them certain protections as vulnerable 'young people' until they reached the age of 16. It was not until the age of 21 that they gained all of the legal rights of adult citizens, but most young lads were proud to consider themselves men on their 16th birthday. In everyday parlance, if an employer for instance was said to have a workforce of several men and several boys, the 'men' would generally be those over 16.
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Nov 11, 2005
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Oh, that makes more sense, but it kind of confuses a lot of people on the "who are children" "who are men" thing, seeing as the children's age could pass 12 and 13, before being listed as man. How do you think the Titanic was counting who was man, and who was boy? There were 12/13 year old's listed as boys and men.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nobody would have seriously considered a 12 year old boy to be man, or a 12 year old girl a woman. The ticket pricing policy needs to be considered rather in terms of simple economics. A very young child could be expected to share a berth with another child or with a parent, and to use the dining room only at special sittings arranged for children, or in 3rd class to sit on his mother's lap. And in either case not to eat much! But at some point the child will be big enough to need a berth of his or her own, and will take up space in the dining room at regular sittings and probably eat as much as (if not more than!) the parents. It then costs the shipping line no less to transport that child across the Atlantic than it would for an adult, so understandably they were charged the same fare.
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Mick Molloy

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Nov 29, 2002
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"Under age 12. Age 12 and upwards were counted as adults. That information is taken from Titanic's Certificates for Clearance."

Lester posted this on April 7th 2007.

Question 1: Did children travel at a reduced fare?

Question 2: The person I am interested in was at least 14 years old, looks like she would have been seen as an adult. Am I right for the cost of the fare?

Thanks

Mick
 
Nov 11, 2005
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If i recall, children travelled at a reduced fair, like half of what is was for an adult, and infant (under 1 year old) would be free. I am not positive on this, but i think it is right.
As for the fourteen year old, she would be accounted a a single woman, paying adult fair.
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hello Mick,

From a First Class Fare Rate booklet:
"Two Children, each under ten years, One Full Fare. Infants under One Year £2 [= $10 US].
Children: - Meals for children are served in the Saloon at special hours, before other passengers. Children are not entitled to seats at the regular sittings in the Saloon, unless a full fare in paid."

From a Second Class Fare Rate booklet [except for the amount of the Infant fare I understand the same applied to 3rd Class]:
"Children of one year and under 12, half fare each; Infants under 12 months $7.50 each. The right is reserved to charge full fare for one child occupying a whole berth, one fare being charged for two children under 12 occupying one berth. No westbound tickets will be issued for children under 16 years unless accompanied by or coming to join parent or parents."

You do not say who the passenger is, [which would help], but yes an adult fare would have been paid. You can compare her fare with other fares.
 

Bob Godfrey

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A little off-topic here, but WSL's ticket pricing policy for children was rather odd in the generation before Titanic (1890s). Back then, infants under 12 months traveled free of any charge in 'Saloon' Class, but were charged at 1 guinea (£1 1s) in steerage. And whilst children aged under 12 qualified for half fare in the Saloon, in steerage full fares were payable for children aged 8 or more. So a mother traveling with several young children could find that it cost very little more to go Saloon (ie 1st) Class than steerage. Especially if she was a little creative when declaring their ages, as many parents were!
 

Mick Molloy

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Nov 29, 2002
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Thanks for all the replies. A fourteen year old would pay the adult fare.

Lester, the traveller I am interested is Anna McGowan, one of the Addergoole
Fourteen. Her age is given as 14, 15 and 17 years. I am trying to verify her
actual age. Got to asking myself, if she could have attracted a child fare,
because she was 14, would this not have been done. She had an adult ticket.
Our memorial in Addergoole states that she was 14 years old. Her death
details, census material in USA, and her own accounts later in life point to
her being 14-15 years. Other material here in Ireland points to her being 17
years old. Have not being able to trace birth certificate, she was born in
Scranton, Pennsylvania. Does anyone know how I might trace this?

Mick
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hello Bob,

Most interesting.

Hope you are keeping well and not finding your winter too cold. I wish I could send you some of our sunshine.
With my best wishes.
Regards,
Lester
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hello Mick,

Annie's fare compares with those paid by other Irish adults. You can check this for yourself by looking here: https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/manifest.php?q=18

In his book: The Irish Aboard Titanic, Senan gives her age as 17. That is also the age given on the NARA Carpathia Lists which were complied on the Carpathia based on informations given by the survivors.

Lester
 

Bob Godfrey

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I'm very well, thanks, Lester. I could certainly use a little extra sunshine right now, but where I live it's rarely cold enough for snow. Our winters are getting milder and our summers hotter, so global warming isn't all bad! :)
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Hello Mick,

You wrote: "Information from USA gives her an age when the ship sank of 14 years" - Is that the1930 Census? - As I noted the NARA Carpathia Lists have her age as 17. That is also her age as recorded by the American Red Cross. A birth date of 5 July 1897 would make her 14 when she sailed on the Titanic and 32 in March 1930.

If she was born 5 July 1895, then she would have been 16.

Your wrote: "Information from Ireland gives her an age when the ship sank of 17 years". - What information? - The 1901 Census? - You say: "Senan ......... . I think he was probably swayed by the 1901 Census, but I could be wrong." - I thought the Census was done as at 31 March 1901. If Annie was 7 at the time then surely she would have been born 5 July 1893, which would make her 18 when she sailed on the Titanic. - Her age as shown on the Queenstown Boarding List.

It seems to me that the 1901 Census age is incorrect. If she was 17 in April 1912 surely she would have been born 5 July 1894 and only been 6 in March 1901?

Lester
 

Brian Ahern

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Dec 19, 2002
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For what it's worth, it was VERY common for ladies to fudge their ages when reentering the USA. I've looked up my various relatives' travels on ellisisland.org, and my great-grandmother and her daughters were continually shaving years off their ages. Tracking Titanic passengers in the years after the sinking shows that many of them were prone to doing the same thing. So, clearly, it was easy to get away with.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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According to the Mormons' International Genealogy Index, which is generally based on State and Church registries of births, marriages and deaths, Annie was born at Scranton on 5 July 1894. That would make her 17 in April 1912. And at the time of the 1901 Irish census she would have been 6, but only a few weeks short of her 7th birthday. After studying thousands of census returns I know that many parents didn't pay attention to the heading 'age at last birthday' and gave instead the age at nearest birthday for young children, which in Annie's case would have been 7. With the same sort of reasoning, Annie herself when buying her ticket could have declared her age as 18 when she was in fact 17 but almost 18. We know of course that she told the American Red Cross she was 17. In a 1912 article about the Mayo contingent in the Chicago Evening World Annie is listed as 'a girl of sixteen'. Most of the information in the article appears to have been supplied by Annie Kelly, so perhaps 'sixteen' was her estimate of her friend's age.

None of this, of course fits in with Annie's own recollection in later life of being 15 on board the Titanic or, according to her own family, of having been born in July 1897 which would have made her 14 (going on 15). I'm quite prepared to believe that Annie's recollection of her age at the time of a particular event long ago could be rather vague, but could the info on her death certificate be wrong? Most certainly yes. I have my own grandmother's birth certificate, which shows her to have been several years older than the age recorded on her death cert. In my experience, a birth certificate is the only reliable means of assessing a person's age at any future date. And in my opinion, the weight of evidence available so far is in favour of Annie being 17 when she boarded the Titanic. To be sure about this, Mick, you need to get a copy of her birth certificate, which shouldn't be difficult. I'd also contact Senan, who might have further information from Irish records. Certainly I'd look at the 1911 census.

Lester, please pass the Panadol!
 

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