Purchased tickets but never boarded


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Kathye Shuman

Guest
I am trying to solve a family mystery. According to my grandmother's memoirs, her father, John Anderson, had purchased tickets for the Titanic for his family, but, because of his father's death, did not take the trip. However, when the family returned to San Francisco several months later most people were startled to see them because it had been reported that they had been lost on the Titanic.
Is there any record of "missed the boat" passengers? Or perhaps a very early "unverified" passenger list? I'm not sure where the friends in San Francisco got their report--but I assume that it was from a newspaper of some sort.

None of the web sites I have visited have any listings of this Anderson family. I know that my grandmother would not have included the story in her book if she hadn't heard it from her father and sisters (my grandmother was only an infant--but her sisters were in their teens at the time of the disaster.

I'd love to be able to really document this event. Any suggestions?

Kathye
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Kathy, you might want to try clicking on Unlisted Passengers and Crew for what's on ET about this.

While some very dedicated researchers might be looking into this, I don't know if there's really that much more out there on this subject. In 1912, the concern was finding out who in fact sailed on the ship and who among them had lived as opposed to those who died.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
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Kathy, every Tom, Dick and Harriet was supposedly on Titanic or intending to be on it. I must stress the need to find documentation. Start by doing as Michael suggested. You probably won't find anything.

Then start to check the story through the public records. See if you can document the date of the death of John Anderson's father. If that fits the story, you at least would know if the tale could be true. Often the best way of tracing people is to start with the known (that's you) and work back towards the unknown. This can be very hard. I suspect that in the US such records are held by states or maybe even at county level. Get expert local advice on this.

You don't say how or where John Anderson entered the US or if he was already a US citizen. Records of immigrants are held at Ellis Island and can be searched. http://www.ellisisland.org

Most major newspapers of the time exist on micro film at major libraries. Some of the best are indexed. Searching them is the devil's own job, but it may turn up something.

There are quite a number of genealogy sites on the Internet and you might just get lucky if some relative has been working on your relations.

Good hunting!
 
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Kathye Shuman

Guest
Thanks gang. Thanks for the suggestions. I'm going to go back and reread grandma's book for some more clues--unfortunately, she wasn't really thorough with dates. Maybe a large university has microfilm of old San Francisco paper. (unfortunately, I'm in the mountains of NC, not on the west coast)

My great grandfather had been in and out of the US several times since his first emigration in the mid 1880's. John Anderson was well known in San Francisco at the time as a builder of Victorian style row houses. His name would have been recognizable in parts of San Francisco.
(BTW,although these houses were built as "low-cost" housing after the 1906 earthquake, the ones that remain now are selling for over 1 million dollars each.)

My best guess is that he told friends in San Francisco before he left that he had Titanic tickets and then cancelled them upon arriving in Sweden and finding out his father had died. This would have removed him from possible passenger lists, but the friends in San Francisco would not have known of the change in plans (no instant communication in those days), and would therefore assume that they had perished.

If anyone else has any more search idea, I'd love to hear them. Stories like this are fun to have in memoirs, but it's even nicer to know if they are really true. Since no one who actually heard the stories is still alive, hunting is the only way.

Thanks,
Kathye
 
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charmaine louise morris

Guest
i have a similar question. my great grandmothers friend mrs thornhill bought a ticket to sail on titanic she boarded all her belongings on titanic but missed her connection to southampton so she missed the titanic by a few minutes and watched her sail away. is there anywere i can find information on her please help.
 
Jul 12, 2003
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Charmaine...I posted some suggestions to you and Kathye on another thread...but I can help you or give you clues where to search for your family tree...I've been doing genealogy for years...Dave mentioned Ellis Island...I've found many of my ancestors manifests there...but only those who arrived at Ellis Island...if John came in at one of the other 5 major ports or 3 minor ports, you can check the port city newspapers where ship arrivals are listed...but that can be difficult if you don't know the arrival date or the ship's name...Ellis Island is a free site, but you just need to register a user name (www.ellisislandrecords.org). There are tons of other vital records you can obtain. Plus there are genealogical message boards you can join (they work similar the TE) where you might run into someone working on John's line. Anyway, I will be happy to help. I've learned a lot about places to search for information.

Regarding Ellis Island...there is another site that is a bizillion times easier to search ship manifests for Ellis Island...someone indexed all the info in an easier format (www.jewishgen.org/databases/eidb/ellis.html). I find this site a breeze. It does take you to the Ellis Island site eventually but pinpointing a name is easier on the second site I mentioned).
 
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Lori Robinson

Guest
Charmaine,
My mother told me the same story about my great grandfather - that he had purchased a ticket for the Titanic, missed his connection into Southampton, and arrived just in time to see her sail away.

I have been trying to find his name on some kind of preliminary passenger list to verify my mother's story, but so far have not found anything. Have you had any luck yet?
 
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charmaine louise morris

Guest
no lori i havnt had any luck so far on tracing her have you?
 
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charmaine louise morris

Guest
lori do u mind me asking wat was your great grandfathers name?
 
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Lori Robinson

Guest
Charmaine - My great grandfather's name was Mark Whitehead. Do you think they may have been on the same train? It seems likely - because really, how many other trains would have been late enough to miss the Titanic? I've heard there were only 55 people who had tickets to the Titanic & never got on, so maybe a lot of them were on the same train.
 
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charmaine louise morris

Guest
i think maybe lori your right do you know what class your great grandfather was traveling in? does that 55 include the famous six that got drunk in the pub and missed titanic? i have found 5 other passengers on the cabin locations that did not board but your great grandfather was not one of them or my great grandmothers friend
 

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