Missed the boat


Michelle Witt

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Mar 20, 2009
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I am researching my great-grandfather, who moved from Finland to the States. Family legend has it that he was supposed to be on the Titanic, but fog caused a missed land connection and, hence, he missed the boat. I have confirmed that he left Liverpool on 12 April aboard the SS Victorian to Halifax, NS.
I have learned from your site that there are no definitive lists of ticketed passengers who didn't board the Titanic. Short of finding some long-lost box with the 97 year old ticket, does anyone have ideas as to where I can look for confirmation that he planned to be on the Titanic?
My son and I are going with his class to see the Titanic exhibit at the Milwaukee Museum and this information would really help to make the experience pop to life for him. It would also answer our family's question if this story is true.
Many thanks.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Unless you can find a copy of the contract ticket list with his name on it or the actual ticket, I believe you'll find your bridges here are pretty well burned.

Don't be too surprised if the family legend turns out to be exactly that. Such legends are all over the place and if every one of them was true, you would think White Star was selling more tickets then there were beds on the ship.
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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Surely if he intended to go to Halifax he would not have tried to go on Titanic.

Have you proof that he soon went on to the USA?
 

Michelle Witt

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Mar 20, 2009
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I have found Hjalmar Harju on 'List or Manifest of Alien Passengers' (A US Gov't form), which is how I learned that he was on the Victorian, which had left on the 12th. It lists his destination as Redgranite, WI, which is a very small town (still to this day). There are a number of other US-bound passengers listed, the majority of whom were headed to WI, Minnesota, or Upper Michigan, where there has been a fair Scandinavian population. One date I can see penciled in within the form is 20 April, which I believe is when they made Halifax. I can't find any other date on the form to confirm when the Canadian/US crossing took place.

I may have some additional help in weeding out the 'possibilities' of his story. He was traveling with a male companion of the same age who was also headed to Redgranite, since they were sponsored by the same person in the US. I can also do some searching based on his name.
I just wonder how they could have afforded to purchase another ticket so soon after learning their original (Titanic) ticket was not usable...

I am not positive, but I may have found my great-grandmother's name on the Victorian manifest as well. Perhaps they met on the boat! Such questions, but such a fun search!
 

Derek Jackson

Member
Mar 23, 2009
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Hey Michelle

I just sent you a private message ; I may have found some information on your great grandfather from the Canadian Archives!

DJ - a long time lurker and fan of ET and genealogy enthusiast
 

Arun Vajpey

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Apr 21, 2009
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I have read that American businessmen and friends Al Woods and Walter Moore cancelled their return trip to USA on the Titanic because of business engagements in London; 3 years later, the same two men were supposedly booked to travel on the Lusitania on the Cunard liner's fateful 202nd voyage but cancelled in the last minute due to the German warnings.

To me it sounds like one of those Francis 'Lucky' Tower stories. Does anyone know if this Woods / Moore story has a factual basis?
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
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Dec 29, 2000
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John, if you click on Arun's name, you'll see that he has not visited this board since June 2009, and is therefore unlikely to see or answer your question, but you'll also see a link through which you can PM him with your question.
 
Dec 15, 2011
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No word yet from Arun, Mark. I did try the personal link. In our case, my mother had a very specific story about how her father (and Al Woods) were called back to London to continue discussions about a new Broadway show that Woods was going to produce- and did- a famous show whose name I have forgotten- (my mom passed away in May 2010 along with too many of these recollections)...anyway, it would be great to know what Arun read as I have scanned Google and the NYT archives with no mention of this event.