Personal Effects



I was just reading about the recovered bodies and personal effects (of the people who didn't survive), what eventually happened to the items found? Particularly with unidentified bodies? I'm thinking of some of the jewelry in particular. Are things in a museum of sorts or were items confiscated by people or auctioned?

naomi stewart

last year i visited the Titanic exhibition at the Florida International Museum in St.Petersburg, while there, i saw a lot of various pieces of jewellery and personal belongings, one i remember well was a diamond encrusted bracelett with the letter 'E' made out of the diamonds, this obviously belonged to a women/girl in first/second class and you would have expected someone to claim it/identify whose it was, but no one ever has. Anyway my point is that a lot of belongings, especially jewellery does go to museums if left unclaimed.

Tracey McIntire

As far as the jewelry featured in the Titanic Exhibition (which I saw in Boston)is concerned, that was not taken from recovered bodies, but salvaged from the wreck site by RMS Titanic Inc. When the bodies were brought back to Halifax, Nova Scotia by the Mackay-Bennett and other ships, the personal effects were placed in canvas bags with numbers corresponding to the numbers given the bodies. What happened to these if the body was not claimed, I don't know. Perhaps they are stored in an archive at Halifax? I don't believe they were ever sold to any museum since that would constitute grave-robbing. Perhaps they were just buried with the bodies? I would be most interested if anyone could shed some light on this.


Sep 27, 2010
I think that the plans for the titanic should have been WAY better! Think about it there was TOO many people and so little boats! I think they should of thought of safety before ignoring the Iceberg warnings! What was the RMS Titanics job? DA to get them to New York SAFELY! I agree to speed but to ignore the calls? How stupead! Don't get me wrong but I think that it was great for the captain to spead! What a great thing to get to New York early! Well thats it! It SUNK!

Rick Gibbs (Rgibbs)

Does anyone know where the original books of the Titanic Relief Fund are located. It probably contained the addresses of next-of-kin.

I am searching for any descendants of John Frederick Clarke.

Rick Gibbs
Aug 13, 2005
Does anyone know what was the disposition of the personal effects of the unidentified bodies recovered?

[Moderator's Note: This message, originally posted as a separate thread under a different topic, has been moved to this pre-existing thread addressing the same subject. MAB]

Ben Lemmon

Oct 9, 2009
I have a question about the personal effects of any passenger while the ship was still above water. Were any bags whatsoever allowed on the lifeboats? I recall a scene in Cameron's Titanic where there were some passengers with luggage. The seaman in charge of their boat (whether it be an officer or not) swiftly threw their luggage into the ocean. I can understand if there were rather bulky items that were being tossed into the sea. However, would it have been the same if the passengers had, say, a leather briefcase and a woman's purse? Would they have also been tossed into the ocean, or would the passengers have been allowed to keep them? As always, any information would be appreciated. (Is that turning into a cliche?)
Dec 5, 2008
I remember that scene - it was Lightoller, once again being made into an a-hole.

As for your question, I would imagine yes for purses and small such things, but a brief case and something larger I wouldn't bet on. It would likely depend on the officer loading the boat, how far along the sinking was and how much room was available, etc.

I know an officer was unwilling to allow a women to keep her large dog. Whether she was finally allowed or not I do not recall, but if they were unwilling to allow living animals, I doubt something like a suitcase would be acceptable.

I do know, however, that Edith Rosenbaum retrieved a prized stuffed pig which played music, so obviously some personal items were allowed. Again, I imagine it depended on size, time, officer and boat.

Not much, but I hope it helps!

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