Miss Ann Elizabeth Isham

Is there a certainty as to how Miss Isham perished in the disaster? I recall from a source that she had a dog with her aboard the ship, possibly a St Bernard or Great Dane. According to an old 1912 newspaper article from the London Daily Sketch, there was a woman on the Titanic who was found floating a few feet away from her dog when a lifeboat came back to see whom they could pick up from the icy sea.

As for Miss Edith Evans, how did she die? Where was she and what was she doing when Colonel Archibald Gracie approached her near the end and found her to be ‘perfectly calm’?

If anyone has an answer to these questions that have long flummoxed me, I thank you dearly.
Miss Evans had been in Paris visting her cousins.
Her aunt by marriage Mrs Clifford Cornell(Malvina) and Malvina's two sisters Mrs JM Brown(Caroline) and Mrs Appleton (Charlotte) were on the ship. Col. Gracie had taken responsibility for the ladies. Edith and Caroline were separted from the other 2 ladies. They found themselves at boat D. The boat was almost full so Edith said to Caroline "go first you have children waiting for you at home." She helped Mrs Brown over the rail and then someone shouted "lower away"

Edith had given up her seat for Caroline in the boat. She was very calm and simply stood on deck looking out at sea.
"She was very calm and simply stood on deck looking out at sea."

That was all that I needed to know. Did you learn this information from Judith B. Geller's book, Titanic: Women and Children First? And, of course, the Encyclopaedia Titanica's general information on Miss Evans. I thank you again for your help.

The fate of this mysterious lady has intrigued everybody. What happened to her? A member of a prominent family, 50-year-old Ann Isham, nicknamed "Lizzie," probably knew others in first class aboard Titanic but no one - at least no one who survived - remembered meeting or seeing her. Even old Col. Gracie (bless his snoopy heart) whose cabin was next to hers, never noticed her coming and going from her room.

According to Col. Gracie, Ann "Lizzie" Isham:

"...is the only one of whom no survivor, so far as I can learn, is able to give any information whatsoever as to where she was or what she did on that fateful Sunday night..."

Don Lynch, in contact with her family some years ago, reported that no correspondence connected with Lizzie's death had been preserved by her loved ones. Very odd, in my opinion.

With such a dearth of information, one's imagination is permitted to run riot. Did she really board the Titanic at Cherbourg? Her ticket was used but do we know if it was really Lizzie who used it?

Did she come to some harm early in the voyage - perhaps dying in her cabin - but was never discovered by her steward/stewardess?

Did she really survive but chose to remain anonymous a la Rose "Dawson"? (Cameron detractors will hate me for that one!)

Or was Lizzie Isham just a shy person who didn't socialize much and so was never noticed by anyone, even on the night of April 14-15? Still, where WAS she while the lifeboats were going away? Was she just lost in the crowd on deck, one face among many, or did she remain in her room asleep till it was too late?

What do you all think?


Isham ae

PS) Her photographs (reproduced in the THS journal, Spring '91), reveal a who seems quiet, even bashful. I might also say, from examining the picture of her with her family (circa 1905), that she looks to be significantly overweight. This surely would have posed health problems if in the next 6 or 7 years she gained still more weight.
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If Col. Gracie never saw her, how did he know that her cabin was next door? For that matter, how did he even know she was aboard? This is spooky.

According to Gracie in his book, Lizzy Isham's relatives contacted him after discovering - I assume through the White Star Line - that his cabin was near her's. Her family was hoping for closure by learning something about Lizzy's last days and thought Gracie may have met her.

He said it hurt him to have to reply to them that he had never met his neighbor but felt sure that she had not been locked in her cabin, as they had feared. They sent a picture of Lizzie to Gracie but he said he never saw her at any time.

It is a sad and odd tale. What happened to that poor lady, I guess will never be known. For myself, I can't help but wonder that something weird happened to her.


This is a newspaper story I found in the book "Titanic Extra". No names are given, but it concerns a steward who went to one of the first cabin passengers - a woman - and told her to dress and put on her life preserver. She laughed "if that little bump is all that has happened, I'll stay right here" "Madam, replied the steward, "My orders are to tell you to dress and put on a life preserver". "My orders to myself are to get back into bed and go to sleep again" said the woman and she did. She paid for it with her life.

As with a lot of the newspaper stories of that time, it's hard to know whether or not to believe this, but it may be a clue. If you are interested, I can look up the exact source for you.

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Thanks Carole,

Does the article give the name of the steward or mention any other details? I have the feeling that many people must have had the reaction that this woman did but soon thought better of it!

Hi Carole,

That's interesting information. Ann Isham's bedroom steward would have been Cullen, same as Col. Gracie's, next door. As Cullen was one of the relativley few 1st class bedroom stewards who survived, it seems possible that the steward in question was Cullen, and that the lady to whom he was referring was indeed Miss Isham.

However, if this was merely a passing steward, rather than her actual bedroom steward, the story seems less plausible.

If Cullen ever wrote an account, I would be surprised if he didn't mention Miss Isham.

Randy and Ben,

This story appeared in the New York Herald of April 19, 1912 on page 2. It was part of an article by May Birkhead, a Carpathia passenger who interviewed survivors. She said that the story was told to her by a steward, but did not mention any names. The quote I gave you before was all that was said.

The words that caught my eye were that she was a first class passenger and that she paid with her life. The steward seemed to be talking about a woman who was alone. Mrs. Allison and Mrs. Straus were with their husbands, and Edith Evans was with her friends and Archibald Gracie, so she is the only one left.

Another thing - she knew Emily Ryerson, and even though Mrs. Ryerson rarely left her room, I wonder if she ever saw or spoke with Miss Isham.
True enough, Tracy, but as you well know, the human capacity for self-deception is boundless. The expression of disbelief this woman made to the steward was all too common that night.

Michael H. Standart
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You'd think that the ever increasing list of the ship would have opened this woman's eyes...

Hello Tracy...perhaps it did...after it was too late to do any good...sadly

Regrets and regards,

I think you have hit upon as much of a clue to Ann Isham's fate as we may ever have. Poor lady.