Information on a NONpassenger

  • Thread starter Robert M. Himmelsbach
  • Start date

Robert M. Himmelsbach

I'm seeking help on getting some information on someone who allegedly was almost a Titanic Passenger, Miss Anne Thompson, aka Mrs Anne Thompson Chew, aka Mrs. Benjamin Chew. (1880-1950)
Here's the story: My partner, Sandy, is working part-time as a guide at Cliveden, the Chew Faamily mansion (and site of the Revolutionary War Battle of Germantown)here in the Germantown
neighborhood of Philadelphia.
According to the chew family legend, Ms A.T. Chew was scheduled to be a passenger on the Titanic, but one of her trunks failed to arrive in time for loading, and she wouldn't leave without it, so she wound up changing her plans and re-booked to sail on a later-leaving ship from Southampton. (Good thing, she didn't have her first child 'til 1913!)
The curators at Cliveden even have the trunk! I quote from the catelogue: "Louis Vuitton Travelling Trunk, ca. 1900, canvas, leather, wood & brass. "C.B. Thompson" stencilled on both ends refers to Caroline Blish Thompson, mother of Anne Thompson Chew and therefore mother-in-law to Benjamin Chew (1878-1938). The Louis Vuitton company opened in 1854, and George Vuitton's two chief inventions were the five tumbler lock (1890) and his signature canvas (1896), both of which appear on this trunk."
Here's the problem: if the story can be verified, they have an item with an interesting provenance; if not, it's an old piece of luggage!
I've been asked to put the question to the ET message board: How would they go about verifying Ms. Thompson Chew's story. Likely she would have been a first class ticket holder (and possibly have known the Cardezas - they were practically neighbors and of the same social class!), so are there extant passenger records of ticket holders and how could they be consulted? (No hope I'll get a trip to England out of this, but some lucky curator...)
I understand from discussion in some other threads that such records may exist, I just don't know where to start pointing them, and how one gains access to such.

So how do we prove that the old gal was a pre-survivor, or was just blowing smoke to the grandkids?
Any help would be appreciated.

Brian Meister


There are two things that leap out of your
post at me, though I am at a loss as to how to
fit them all together.
First is the reference you made to this
Mrs Chew being from Germantown and perhaps
knowing Mrs Cardeza. Travelling on the
Titanic with Mrs Cardeza was her maid, Miss
Anna Ward. Anna's mother was a Mrs John Chew,
and her Christian name was Annie.
Secondly, is the reference to a Caroline
Blish Thompson. This may intertwine with
a mining family aboard the Lusitania named
Elbridge Blish Thompson and his wife
Maude Robinson Thompson who supposedly
re-married to a NewJersey gentleman after
Mr Blish Thompson was lost in the Lusitania
Total confusion, I know. But interesting
because geographically, you are in close
proximity to both stories.
Let me know how this turns out!