Jakob Birnbaum

Scott Lichtman

Former Member
An ancestor of mine, Jakob Birnbaum, was a first class passenger on the Titanic who did not survive the accident. My family has been telling me he was onboard for some time, but this is the only web site I have found that lists him as a passenger - perhaps he bought a ticket at the last minute. While I'm attempting to get more information from my family, knowledge as this point is very scarce and I'm hoping to find anyone else who might on the off-chance have related information. This would include other good sites with biographies of passengers, or someone who might have ancestors that roomed near Birnbaum (I know this is a stretch!) Many thanks, Scott Lichtman

Scott Lichtman
San Francisco


While surfing through your wonderful web site, I came across a first-class passenger named Jakob Birnbaum. Because he has the same last name as me, I am intrigued as to who he is and what his story is. I was wondering where I could look for more information on this passenger. I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you. I'd also just like to add that this is the best Titanic website I have found. It doesn't completely focus on the new movie, which I greatly appreciate. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was definitely a great movie, but I'm more interested in the real stories of real passengers.

Brookline, MA
I'm trying to learn more about San Francisco resident and diamond merchant, Jakob Birnbaum. What was his San Francisco address? What was the name and address of his store or business? Who settled his affairs in San Francisco? Would also like to contact ET contributor and relative, Scott Lichtman.

Mike Herbold
Thanks, Michael. I've got that issue, but it doesn't list a San Francisco address. I received the SF business address offline but am still looking for a San Francisco home address.
Here's an obituary and photograph on Jakob Birnbaum, a San Francisco resident at the time of the disaster, and I believe in his biography (on this ET site) he is described as an orthodox Jew. There is also a thread on this site about "Jewish Passengers."
Here's a photograph of the obituary for Jakob Birnbaum, which appeared in the San Francisco Examiner on April 19, 1912:



Birnbaum was a diamond broker. Interestingly, I read on this site that a person's body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett with diamonds sewn into his coat. I'm wondering who that was. Apparently, it was not Birnbaum.
Hi Jan,

Thanks for the Birnbaum link.

The diamonds that you mentioned were found upon the body of Austin van Billiard, a third-class passenger enroute to North Wales, Pennsylvania. Van Billiard, a diamond prospector, died with his two sons in the sinking.

I hope this helps.

Mike Findlay

Rolf Vonk

Former Member
Hi there,

Jan, this is the first time I see a picture of Jakob Birnbaum. Interesting, as he had Belgian and Dutch connections. Thank you very much!


Ben Holme

Hi Jan,

Many thanks for the link. I'm delighted to finally to see a picture of Jakob Birnbaum. I'm being truly spoiled this week. Photographs and additional infromation regarding many of the passengers are being sent to me from some exceedingly generous descendants. Senan Molony's book "The Irish Aboard Titanic" came through the post yesterday. I have been engrossed in reading it into the wee hours! It has certainly been revelations aplenty on the Titanic front this week for me. Keep then coming!

Best Regards,