Not open for further replies.

Deb Boyken

Former Member
How many (if any) children were there who were left orphaned after the Titanic? That is, who lost their parents on the ship, but survived themselves (as opposed to being safe at home)? And what happened to them afterwards? Were they adopted or what? Where did they go when the Carpathia docked? Brought home by distant family or servants, or what?

Thanks! You people are a wealth of information for my endless curiosity about the real people of Titanic!

Hi, Deb,
I've been working on a list of survivors to determine who was traveling with whom (other than the obvious) and paid particular attention to the children who survived. While most of the children had at least one surviving parent on board with them, one child had already lost her mother prior to sailing on the Titanic. Six-year-old Nina Harper was traveling with her father, renown evangelist Rev. John Harper, and her late mother's sister, Miss Jessie Leitch. Rev. Harper perished, leaving little Nina in her Aunt Jessie's care.
The Navratil boys were thought to be orphaned when their father placed them in the lifeboat and subsequently perished, but their mother was found in Italy.
Of course, Trevor Allison was also orphaned at the age of 11 mo. when his mother, father and 2-year old sister, Lorraine, perished on Titanic. Three servants of the family survived, and he was placed with relatives in Canada.
Anyone feel free to add comments.

Kyrila Scully
Arthur Karl Olsen was another orphan as was Johan Svensson. Both had previously lost their mothers and then lost their fathers on Titanic. Raised by relatives and friends (and a stepmother), both survived to live relatively long lives. Olsen married but divorced with no children and died in Florida. Johan Svensson changed his surname to Johnson and lived in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and California. He died in the Los Angeles area. Married three times, he has living descendants.
I wondered about those boys! I couldn't find any link to any adult for them and wondered who they might be traveling with. I hadn't yet gotten around to looking up their biographies here because I was concentrating on other information. So I thought maybe their parents had already died prior to boarding Titanic and they were traveling with relatives. I take it Arthur Olsen was traveling with Frithiof Madsen? They're the only ones in the same lifeboat with the same origin/destination. But I couldn't link Johan Svensson with anyone! Thanks for the heads up.
Small correction to Phil Gowan's post above. Johan Svensson's father was not on the Titanic, and naturally could not have been a victim. Johan, although just a younger teenager, was traveling alone, and survived largely due to the fact that he gained access to a lifeboat by looking so young!

Arthur Olsen was traveling with his father who did perish in the sinking. Interestingly, Frithiof Madsen, who was traveling with the Olsens and was a friend of Arthur's father (he lived with Karl Olsen's family in Trondheim, Norway), made it into lifeboat #13 with the young boy. It is unclear why Arthur's father did not join his son and Frithiof in the boat. Madsen took charge of young Arthur on the Carpathia, and delivered him to his stepmother in New York. Madsen remained in the United States and died in Brooklyn, New York, in 1972. Titanic author Per Kristian Sebak tracked him down during a research trip we took together several years ago. Arthur Olsen, as mentioned above, died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1975.

Hope this helps....

Mike, do you think the other Johan Svensson on the Titanic could have been Johan Cervan Svensson's grandfather? The elder Johan was also from Sweden and traveling to South Dakota. He was 74 years old, and he perished that night. I hadn't noticed him before we started talking about the boy on this thread.


Johan Svensson was aboard the Titanic with his son, Johan Ekstrom. Both men died in the sinking. Incidentally, Johan Svensson, at the age 74, is believed to have been the oldest Titanic passenger.

Young Johan Svensson was clearly aboard the Titanic alone, and was heading to his father in South Dakota. Other than the fact that the two men shared a similar name, hailed from the same country, and happened to going to South Dakota is the only similarity between them. Many of the third class passengers were from Sweden, and the majority of them were heading to the Midwest and the Dakotas.

For years, many thought that the two men might have been related but as details emerged about twenty years ago on both of them, it became evident that there was no family connection between the two.

In many of the interviews Johan Svensson gave through the years, he clearly stated that he struck out on his own following the collision, and made his way to the boat deck with other passengers. He stated that he was alone and could never understand how he, a young, poor immigrant, made it to a lifeboat while so many others lost their lives.

That's pretty much what my records show so I hope this will shed some light on the matter...


Lianne Christian

Former Member
Re: Trevor Allison. I read somewhere that poor Trevor died at the age of 15 from ptomaine poisoning and somewhere else that his relatives didn't take particularly good care of him being more interested in his inheritance than him. I don't know how true that is though.
Not open for further replies.