Henriette Yvois Yrois


A

Allison Jirsa

Guest
Hello everyone,

I have a quick question about a second class passenger, a young French woman named Henriette Yrois. Everything I've ever seen about her has said she died in the sinking, including the biography on ET. But on the new summary page, she's listed as a survivor. It says that she got to New York, but died on April 15, 1912.

Here's the link to that page: Henriette Yvois : Titanic Victim

Can anybody shed some light on this? Did she die in the water, or did she make it to the Carpathia only to die later? While I'm at it, has there ever been a decision on the correct spelling of her last name? Yrois or Yvois?

The reason for my question is that I'm writing a novel that takes place on the ship, and would like to make it as historically accurate as possible. I'm using Henriette and William Harbeck as secondary characters (my main characters are purely fictional), so I want to be sure whatever I say about them is correct, based on what information is available, which, in Henriette's case, isn't much. William's either, for that matter.

If anyone has any further information on these two, outside of what ET has, I'd be grateful for it. Even though my book is fiction, I'm researching as much as I can to keep the historical details accurate. Since I've chosen to place my main characters in second class, this isn't as easy as one might think. lol

Thank you in advance for any help!
Allison

[Moderator's Note: Link updated 3 May 2006. MAB]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
A

Allison Jirsa

Guest
Thanks! I figured it was something like that, but I wanted to be sure.

Allison
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,043
107
333
UK
Hallo, Allison, and welcome to ET. I can't offer any further information on these two passengers, but if you haven't already done so I urge you to read Lawrence Beesley's book (you'll find him linked from Henriette's biog page). This does contain a very brief reference (probably) to the couple in question but its main value is as an excellent account of the sinking and of life aboard in Second Class, written by a skilled and accurate observer who was actually there.
 
A

Allison Jirsa

Guest
Bob,

Yes, I've read Beesley's account, which is actually where I initially got the idea to use the couple. I've devoured every book I can get my hands on during my research, but those two just aren't mentioned anywhere else that I can find. I found a bio about Harbeck on an Colorado website, but it doesn't mention Henriette. It focused mostly on his career.

There's been some question as to their relationship, so until I find anything saying for certain otherwise, I'm writing them as being romantically involved. I do have another question, though: since they did not board as a married couple, would they have been placed in separate rooms? From what I've read, I'm thinking they would, which serves my purposes well, since I've made Henriette my heroine's roommate.

Allison
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
6,043
107
333
UK
Allison, you are quite right about the rooming arrangements - no way would an unmarried couple be allowed to officially share a cabin. But I'd say that the only safe way to include them in a work of fiction is to maintain the mystery surrounding their relationship. Other novels, notably Beryl Bainbridge's 'Every Man for Himself' have made use of real cast members in the Titanic drama, but only in cameo roles and safely within the boundaries of known behavioural and character traits.

Probably the best known real passenger in second Class is of course Lawrence Beesley himself, but there were a number of others who have been well documented, in particular the single ladies like Kate Buss, Winnie Troutt and Marion Wright, some of whom were travelling alone in double cabins (the ship wasn't booked to capacity). Judith Geller's book 'Titanic: Women and Children First' would be one good source for real background characters.
 
A

Allison Jirsa

Guest
Bob, thanks for the advice. I haven't read the Geller book yet, though it has been on my list of to-reads for a while now.

As for Henriette and William, I've gotten sort of attached to them by now (the first draft of my book is already completed), but I did make sure to leave them a bit mysterious. Although Henriette interacts with my main character, she doesn't discuss her realionship with William.

I did, though, place Kate Buss and Dr. Moraweck at the same table as my heroine. Again, though, aside from casual dinner conversation and the mention of her being engaged, I've left her as mostly background as well.

I do have a passing glimpse of Mr. Beesley at one point.
happy.gif
I couldn't resist that one. lol

Allison
 

tom blackburn

Member
Jul 1, 2004
35
0
156
I have searched the Titanic passenger lists and Henriette Yrois does not appear to be on the list. Is she listed as a different person with another name?

Mlle. Henriette Yrois [1], 24, from 5 Rue des Pyramides Paris, France, boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second class passenger, her ticket was #248747 (£13). It appears thet she travelled together with the film maker William H. Harbeck (ticket No. 248746). She may have been his mistress, but there may be a more innocent explanation [2]. It woulds appear that they were the couple observed playing cards for much of the journey by Lawrence Beesley.

"In the opposite corner are the young American kinematograph photographer and his young wife, evidently French, very fond of playing patience, which she is doing now, while he sits back in his chair watching the game and interposing from time to time with suggestions. I did not see them again."
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Jul 4, 2000
6,367
390
433
Hello, Tom---

Try "Yvois" rather than "Yrois."

Actually, scratch that suggestion. I read your message as referring to the ET passenger list, but since you've quoted her ET biography in your message, you seem to have found that already. If not the ET list, what lists are you referring to?

[Moderator's Note: This message and the one immediately above it, originally a separate thread, have been moved to this pre-existing thread addressing the same subject. MAB]
 

John Lamoreau

Member
May 21, 2004
140
0
181
I believe I have solved the puzzle over the spelling of Henriette YROIS, who was a second class passenger. There has been confusion over the spelling when a Brownie Harbeck sent a letter identifying the purse found in William Harbeck’s possession. Brownie stated the purse belonged to Henriette YVOIS.

Based on the handwriting of Brownie Harbeck I don't believe she ever thought the spelling of the last name of Henriette was "YVOIS". People have assumed she spelled it with a "V" rather than a "R". I have worked with older adults most of my life. Her handwriting appears to be that of an older person. Throughout her letter of August 31 her "R's" look like "V's", including in the words "Brownie", "Henriette" and Harbeck".

I am certain she spelled "YROIS" with an "R" but people have mistaken her "R" for a "V". Her handwriting is so shaky that in the White Star's response to her that they have apparently interpreted her "MRS" as "MR" and reply to her as "Brownie Harbeck, Esq." and "Dear Sir".

All of Brownie’s “R’s” in the letter look like “V’s”. Henriette’s last name was YROIS.
 

Trevor Powell

Member
Aug 22, 2005
213
0
181
Hi John, Thank you for the information. Actually, just after posting I located the archives which is why I deleted my inquiry. I found your article regarding the spelling of Yrois/Yvois to be a very likely candidate as to the confusion over the spelling. Good observation.
 
Feb 24, 2004
907
3
183
Hi, Trevor!

John and I have had a discussion over this. Please excuse me for hedging, but there's still no clear-cut answer.

The confusion re: Mlle. Yvois/Yrois' spelling seems to have originated with the Titanic's passenger list as it was printed in the newspapers following the disaster. There were many misspellings in those lists. Our lady in question was first identified as "Miss H. Yodis" - then as "Miss H. Yrois." William Harbeck was identified variously as "Herbeck" and "Hambeck," so I think you can see the problem.

The only definitive personal identification came from "Brownie Harbeck" on August 31, when she wrote her second (and last) letter to the Deputy Provincial Secretary in Halifax.

http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/cap/titanic/archives.asp?ID=46

"Brownie's" cursive style used a more stylized form of the letter "r," which just happens to be the same form I use. It can conceivably be mistaken for a "v" if the writer is a little sloppy. In this instance, though, there is a clear difference between her "r's" and her "v's," with the latter having a more rounded bottom. I find in my own case, when I'm writing in a hurry, that I don't fudge the bottom point of the "r," but rather the upswing into the next letter. On the basis of that, and the fact that the passenger lists were themselves flawed "interpretations" of various highly stylized cursive writings, I've always gone with "Yvois" as being the more "likely" spelling.

However, they're still both plausible spellings and, if better evidence were to surface, I'd be happy to stand corrected.

Roy
 

John Lamoreau

Member
May 21, 2004
140
0
181
Roy and Trevor, I posted my article before I met Roy. I had some others who were agreeing with me. But I will defer to Roy. His arguments make a lot of sense and I do not know of a more respected person concerning Harbeck. He is the pro on this subject. I am a self admitted rookie! Best wishes, John
 
Aug 28, 2012
4
0
31
According to a French genealogy site, Genealogies des Francais du Titanic, Henriette Virginie YVOIS, born 22 April 1889 to Marie Anna WILLEMS and Modeste Henry Theobad YVOIS, is a 2nd class passenger on Titanic. She has a brother, Rene Emile Henri YVOIS, born 19 March 1891.
 

Similar threads

Similar threads