The Lamson Sisters

Dec 20, 2003
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I have a few questions about the three Lamson sisters, Mrs. Charlotte Appleton, Mrs. Caroline Brown and Mrs. Malvina Cornell, that travelled on the Titanic;

1) Does anyone have any info on their parents, Charles Lamson and Elizabeth Marshall? Or any other members of the family (Not the Drummonds, as I have a lot of info on them)?

2) Does anyone know if or how Miss Edith Corse Evans is related to them?

3) Does anyone know when and where Edward and Charlotte got married?

I think that's it for now. Thanks to anyone you can help
 
Jul 19, 2003
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Leigh,

I think Edith Evans was related to Malvina Lamson Cornell, the latter being an aunt by marriage in some way. This information comes from Judith B. Geller's tribute to Edith Evans in her book, Titanic: Women and Children First. Miss Edith was very much an aficionado of genealogical studies, being a member (along with her mother, Angeline Burr Corse Evans, and her sister, Lena) of the Colonial Dames of America, a society whose membership extended only to women who could trace their roots back to New England's earliest days.

I hope this little tidbit helps you in your studies.
 
Apr 27, 2003
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Leigh - in the following article it says they were her aunts - I hope it helps - Best regards Brian

(From The Bristol Times and Mirror, April 27th, 1912).
GRAPHIC STORIES OF HEROISM
The New York correspondent of the ''Daily Telegraph'' cables a special and graphic message regarding the heroism of some of the women in the wreck. According to this source of information: The heroism of Edith Evans, who gave up her own life that another might be saved, stand out conspicuously. Miss Evans was nearly 30 years old, and, independently well-to-do, she spent much of her time in travel. She was a passenger on the Titanic, travelling with her aunts, Mrs. Cornell, Mrs. Appleton, and Mrs. Brown. The signal came for
the women and children to go, and Mrs. Cornell and Mrs. Appleton secured seats in one of the lifeboats. Mrs. Morgan and Miss Evans sought another. It was one of the last boats to go. They found places, but as the boat was about to be lowered it was seen to be overcrowded. one person would have to get out, Miss Evans arose, although her aunt put out a restraining hand, announcing she would go. ''I must be the one to go,'' declared the young woman. ''You stay: you have children at home, I have nobody,'' She jumped out and the lifeboat was lowered. That was the last seen of her. Mrs. Brown thereafter showed a spirit which made her volunteer to leave the boat. There were only three men in the boat, and but one of them could row. Mrs. Brown, who was reared on the water, immediately picked up the heavy sweeps and began to pull. In the boat, which carried Mrs. Cornell and Mrs. Appleton, there were places for seventeen more than were carried. This boat, too, was undermanned, and two of the ladies at once took their places at the oars.
 
Apr 27, 2003
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Leigh - I also found the answer to your 3. The year not the actual date:

In 1894, Charlotte married Edward Dale Appleton, a noted New England book publisher from Massachusetts. The couple lived in New York City, and later in nearby Bayside, New York (located in a section of what is now known as Queens, New York today). The Appletons had no children.

Cheers Brian
 
Apr 27, 2003
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Leigh answer to your question 1 is just this little bit:
Mrs. Edward Dale Appleton (Charlotte Lamson) was born in New York City in December, 1858 (although there were several dates reported for her birth), and was the daughter of Charles Lamson and Elizabeth Robertson Marshall. Her father, who was a former dry goods importer later became the senior partner of the shipping house of Charles H. Marshall & Co., the proprietors of the noted Black Ball Line of Liverpool packet-ships.

Cheers Brian
 
Dec 20, 2003
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Thank-you all so much Jeffrey, Brian and Mary. You have helped me greatly. Mary do you have a family tree for the Lamson family? As that is what I am attempting to create
 

Kyrila Scully

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Leigh, those were family trees that Mary provided you. The numbers given represent the generation. #1 would be the first name on the tree, #2 follows #1, etc. Names descend from #1.

Kyrila
 
Dec 20, 2003
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Kyrila, yes I know that they were family trees of the three sisters that were aboard the Titanic but there were more children of Charles and Elizabeth and I was wondering if Mary had a complete family tree of the entire Lamson family.

Regards Leigh
 

Mark Baber

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Charlotte Lamson and Edward Appleton were married in the Church of the Heavenly Rest in Manhattan on 12 December 1894. Source: The New York Times, 13 December 1894.
 
Nov 27, 2005
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I have nine children born to Charles Lamson and Elizabeth Robertson Marshall - the other six:
1. Fidelia Marshall Lamson 27 Jan 1848 - Paris, France
2. Elizabeth Marshall Lamson 12 Jan 1849 NYC md to Victor Arthur Wellington Drummond
3. Charles Marshall Lamson
30 sep 1850 NYC
4. Kathrine W. Lamson 5 Jul 1851 NYC md. Pedro de Florez
5. Caroline Lane Lamson
6. Malvina Helen Lamson
7. John Lamson 6 Jan 1858 NYC
8. Charlotte Lane Lamson
9. Frances Amelia Lamson 30 Sep 1861 NYC
md Charles Guthrie.

I have seen a couple of different birth dates but these seem to be backed up by the census records.
 
Mar 20, 2007
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In the hope that it may be of assistance to any present or future board members with a particular interest in the Lamson sisters, I would like to point out that Mike Ellingham, Brian Ahern and I have, over the past two months, swapped a considerable amount of Lamson family history on the 'Gilded Age' thread, under the sub-heading 'Rich People in Society'. There are too many individual posts to cut and paste onto this biographical link, where they perhaps rightly belong, but the information can still be readily accessed at the click of a mouse!
 
Mar 20, 2007
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Colonel Archibald Gracie proffered his services during the voyage to the bereaved Lamson sisters, Mrs Edward D. Appleton, Mrs Robert C. Cornell and Mrs J. Murray Brown. As a boy, Gracie had attended St. Paul's (the American Eton) with Mrs Cornell's husband and, being an indefatigable net-worker, he didn't hesitate to re-open the acquaintance aboard the 'Titanic'.

As David Huffaker, Brian Ahern and Mike Ellingham have explored at some length, both here and elsewhere, the Lamson sisters were securely, if discreetly, placed in the upper echelons of New York Society. In addition, and in common with many other first-class passengers, they also maintained family connections with the European elite. In the case of Mrs Brown, Mrs Appleton and Mrs Cornell, their sister, Elizabeth Marshall Lamson, had married Victor Arthur Wellington Drummond, an English diplomat, whom she had met whilst he was posted as Secretary to the British Legation in Washington. Their wedding, according to 'The New York Times' of 16 April, 1882, was 'crowded with the fashionable people of New York' (including Caroline Astor, the Stuyvesant Fishes and the Cornelius Vanderbilts) and her younger sisters Katherine and Charlotte - the latter of whom would become Mrs Edward Appleton - acted as bridesmaids. Lord Cadogan's son, Henry, was best man. The groom hailed from a wealthy dynasty of English bankers, who had established Drummond's of Charing Cross, and who oversaw the finances of many members of the aristocracy. Their success in business was no doubt aided by the fact that Victor's mother was Lady Elizabeth Frederica Manners, a daughter of the 5th Duke of Rutland. Connections with the ducal family were kept up into the next generation - the 1871 Census had Victor's brother (Elizabeth Lamson's future brother-in-law) Cecil staying at the Rutland family seat, Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, together with a very select house-party, which included the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince and Princess Francis of Teck (Queen Mary's parents), the Duke and Duchess of St Albans and no less than four sets of earls and countesses: Shrewsbury, Ferres, Rosslyn and Wharncliffe. In addition, Victor's sister married the 9th Earl of Scarborough, making the 10th Earl Elizabeth's nephew by marriage.

During a prestigious diplomatic career on the Continent (most helpfully out-lined by Mike Ellingham on the 'Rich People in Society' thread), Victor was knighted, becoming Sir Victor and his wife Lady Drummond. He died around 1908 - oddly, Peerage.com, the most comprehensive website of English aristocratic genealogy, does not list Sir Victor as Cecil Drummond's brother but he undoubtedly was. Following her husband's death, the widowed Lady Drummond moved from Munich to Paris, where she resided on the Avenue Victor Hugo. She was not to live much longer herself - in late March, 1912, she died in France, with Charlotte Appleton, Caroline Brown and Katherine de Florez (the latter herself based in Paris) at her side. Sadly, Malvina Cornell was still en route from the States and so did not arrive in time to say a final farewell to her older sister. Lady Drummond's funeral took place at the family seat, Cadlands, in Hampshire, and the three Lamson sisters subsequently made the short journey from there to Southampton, where they boarded the 'Titanic' for the journey home...
 
Mar 20, 2007
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Another of the Lamson sisters - the youngest, Frances - also had an interesting career. Six or seven years after the death of her first husband, Frederick Lehmann, she was remarried to Pittsburgh steel magnate Charles S. Guthrie. The wedding took place in October 1900 at the home of her sister, Malvina - her brother-in-law, Judge Robert C. Cornell, gave her away. The congregation was small, composed primarily of close friends and family, and the bride wore a subdued but tasteful ensemble of pale mauve crepe-de-chine with trimmings of yellow lace, a matching hat of velvet and tulle, and discreet pearl jewellery. According to the Society columns, the union between Guthrie and Mrs Lehmann had been the subject of rumour for some time; he had been a business associate of the late Mr Lehmann, whilst she had made an independent living as a successful house furnisher and decorator. Sadly, the marriage was not to last long: by 1906, Frances - aged only forty-five - had been widowed for a second time, and by the spring of 1911, she was living in Paris, close to her sisters, Elizabeth Drummond and Katherine de Florez. It was here, in her house on the rue de l'Universitie, that she hosted a glittering 'musicale', attended by (among others) Lady Drummond, Mrs Stanford White (J. Clinch Smith's sister), Ambassador Bacon (who cancelled his passage on the 'Titanic' at the last minute), Mrs Marshall Field and Mrs Harry Payne Whitney. However, despite spending a considerable amount of time on the Continent, Frances kept up a country house in the States, Meadow Court, overlooking Long Island Sound. Embowered by flowers, and set in landscaped grounds designed by architect Frederick Olmstead, the mansion (built in 1902) was in the Mediterranean style and provided a fitting venue for weekend parties and dances. Indeed, in 1912, 'American Homes and Gardens' magazine stated that:

“There are few homes in America more attractively situated than the property of Mrs. Charles S. Guthrie, in New London, CT. This is the embodiment of the ideas of what a house should be.”￾

Presumably, Meadow Court would have been visited regularly by Mrs Appleton, Mrs Cornell and Mrs Brown, as it stayed in Mrs Guthrie's possession until 1925. It was subsequently converted to a hotel, the Lighthouse Inn, which it remains to this day.
 
Mar 20, 2007
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On the biographical thread devoted to Marian Thayer, I recently supplied a link to the collection of the New York Historical Society. I've today discovered that the same collection houses a portrait miniature by Fernand Paillet, dated circa 1885, of Lady Drummond, the Lamson sister who died in the spring of 1912. Charlotte Appleton, Malvina Cornell and Caroline Brown were returning from her funeral in England aboard the Titanic.

http://emuseum.nyhistory.org/code/emuseum.asp

You'll need to type the word 'Lamson' into the search engine to pull up the image of her. In doing so, you'll also find a bust of Lady Drummond's elder sister, Fidelia Lamson Hoffman, which was modelled by her daughter, the famous sculptress, Malvina Hoffman. There was evidently a strong family resemblance between all the Lamson siblings.

Lastly, here's a link to the website of the Lighthouse Inn in Connecticut, which was once the elegant country house, 'Meadow Court', of yet another Lamson sister, the youngest, Frances Guthrie, who was not on the Titanic with her siblings:

http://www.lighthouseinn-ct.com/lighthousepages/history.html
 

Mark Baber

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the New York Historical Society.

An aside of little consequence (except, I imagine, to the Society): Alone (as far as I know) among the city's various organizations and institutions, the Historical Society has retained the once-common hyphen in New-York. It's The New-York Historical Society.
 
Nov 11, 2008
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http://i642.photobucket.com/albums/uu148/dlamson_album/lamsongirls.jpg

Hello,

Here is a photo of the Lamson sisters that I recently found in my grandfathers chest that was past down to me. This photo had not seen the light of day since at least 1961...

Unfortunately there is no identification of any of the sisters in the photograph and which of these lovely ladies were on the titanic is a mystery.

With Martin Williams’s link to the photo on emuseum.nyhistory.org one of the sisters can be ruled out. The woman sitting at the 7:00 position is Elizabeth (Lady Drummond). As for which ones were the Lamson sisters that were on the Titanic is anyone's guess.
 
Mar 20, 2007
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Thanks so much for that, Daniel. It is fascinating to see this photograph of all the Lamson sisters together, looking for all the world like they've just wandered out of the pages of The Age of Innocence. As you've spotted yourself, the miniature of Elizabeth Drummond held by the New York Historical Society is clearly based on her appearance in your picture. Date-wise, I'd place it around 1885 - possibly a little earlier, not much later. Funnily enough, the fact that the girls are seated makes it difficult to be any more precise than that. The fashions of the late 1870s and early 1880s were very distinctive, with numerous variants on the bustle skirt, but these are not really discernable here.

Myself, I think it likely that the photograph was taken to mark Elizabeth's marriage to the English diplomat Victor Drummond in 1882. This was an important Society event of that year (see one of my posts above) and her younger sister Charlotte, who would become Mrs Edward D. Appleton of Titanic fame, was one of her bridesmaids. With Elizabeth shortly to depart for Europe with her groom, it seems probable that the family wished to have an image of all the siblings together - it being by no means certain that they would ever meet again.
 

Brian Ahern

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Dec 19, 2002
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I also have to thank you, Daniel, for sharing such a remarkable photo. Just for the fun of playing mix and match, I think the sister in the striped dress most resembles the photo I've seen of the middle-aged Caroline Brown. I'm not sure if I've ever seen a photo of Mrs Cornell; and I can't tell from the ET photo of Mrs Appleton which of these young ladies she is.
https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-biography/charlotte-appleton.html
 
Mar 20, 2007
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No, I've never seen a photograph of Mrs Cornell either - well, not until Daniel kindly provided the one above, that is. It is a pity we can't be more certain which sister is which. Given that all the girls are wearing their hair up, it seems likely that even the youngest has passed the age of seventeen or eighteen and is now officially 'out'. I know how you detest her, Brian, but this picture irresistibly reminds me of Edith Wharton and her tales of Old New York. I wonder if she was known personally to the Lamson family?

One way or another, I like these sisters very much. One has the impression that, in spite of the distances separating them, and the demands made by their husbands and children, they retained close and affectionate ties throughout their lives. It would be fascinating to know what was going on 'behind the scenes' in the wake of the Titanic disaster. Presumably, a flurry of frantic letter-writing and telegram-sending took place between their numerous relatives and offspring scattered across Europe and America.