Unaccounted for survivors


Apr 27, 2003
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Hello Bob and Mary - I was holding back as I was, and still am confused by the different 'facts'.
I am most interested in the memorial and had it down as a 'maybe' some years ago but again I was never ever able to prove anything.
Below is my print out on Mr. Nichols you may glean something from it?
Best regards

Brian
Nichols, Arthur D. Lived at 43 Suffolk Avenue, Shirley, Southampton. Occupation - Steward. 34 years old. (Born in Warwick).
(From: Mansion House Titanic Relief Fund Booklet, March 1913)
Number 530. Nichols, Jessie Agnes, sister. Nichols, Edith Louisa, widow. Both class F dependents.
(From the Minute Book of the White Star Company).
The White Star Company had a Committee meeting on 23rd July 1912 at 10 Winter Street, Liverpool at 11.55am. Present Mr. J. Bruce Ismay (in the chair) and others. During the meeting it was announced that the following cases were reported together with amounts paid into Court:
A. D. Nichols - Third Class Steward - Wages £3 15 0d - Dependants - Mother and Sister - £288.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Well, Brian, you have the name Arthur for the steward and that's a big step in the right direction. Also I've now checked the birth registry for Camberwell and there's a Jessie Agnes Nichols born in 1876. She's the only possible match for the Jessie in Mary's family, and has the same full name given for Arthur Nichols' sister in the records of the Relief Fund. But I think we still need a final clincher. I'll keep looking!
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Be wary with the census; sometime middle names or initials are recorded, sometimes they aren't.

There is also a very good chance that the 1911 census may be released in 2009. Check the UK National Archives website for more information on this. They will do a search for you now, but it costs a fair bit and they need specific information about a person.
 
Oct 3, 2007
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Edith certainly became firmly middle-class. Owned her own property, tied cottages etc. It seems unlikely she would have taken up with a 'bit of rough'. Family was always under the impression that he was doing a runner. Edith never went to Southampton, I believe, as she was and remained in the pub trade in London.

It just seems improbable that he would have worked his passage, but facts are facts. Any chance that his (passenger)details could have been somehow merged with A D Nichols in the confusion following the sinking?

Clutching at straws here. Interesting about 1911 census being early. Will investigate that.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Mary, you could try finding Nichols family members on the GenesReunited website. I just did a quick search and there are two members who have an Arthur Nichols (born 1866 in Camberwell) in their family trees. You might need to subscribe to make contact, but it doesn't cost much and you might get just the info you're looking for. Or maybe not! Some members have compiled very detailed family histories, but others have little more than lists of names and dates.
 
Oct 3, 2007
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Bob, you must be psychic! Just got in touch with with a descendant of one of Arthur's sisters through Genes. However, other than saying his father had told him Arthur had gone down on the Titanic, he has less information than I do.

It's interesting, though, that I now have 4 completely different and unrelated sources all saying that Arthur went down on the ship.

Over the weekend I'll put a message out asking if anyone can do a lookup of the 1911 Kellys in Southampton to see who's at that address. Sometimes it works!

I do love a mystery.....I think!
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Hi Mary,
You could try writing to Southampton City Council asking if they still have street indexes, electoral registers, or whatever for that period. Hopefully it was kept, and not destroyed by war or negligence.
Some councils are pretty good at preserving housing registers ... and some, not so.

Good luck!

Paul
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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I've already checked the Kelly's directory listings and the householder's name is not Nichols, but that's to be expected as Arthur was probably in lodgings. Have you tried local newspaper archives? I'd look at the location where Edith was living and running her business rather than Southampton.
 
Oct 3, 2007
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Whoosh - you're fast! I've tried Erith & Belvedere (Edith's patch) newspapers but no mention. Maybe as he was from Camberwell it's more likely to be there. That'll have to be yet another project for me!
 

Allan Nichols

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Nov 20, 2007
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Hello Mary, Bob and Brian. I was very interested to see your postings regarding A.D. Nichols (3rd class steward), and Arthur Nichols. The same Arthur Nichols (born to George and Louisa Nichols in 1866), was my grandfather's brother. My grandfather was Frank Nichols, who is shown on the 1901 Census. My father confirms that my grandfather told him Arthur perished on the Titanic. My father thought Arthur might have been a passenger, but he doesn't recall anything more. I've been researching Arthur for a while, and I obtained his marriage certificate to Edith Cannell from the GRO recently. It shows that he was a "Dairyman" in 1907. I've attached an image below.

I noticed on the Particulars of Engagement for the Titanic crew that A.D. Nichols previously served on the Olympic. I had requested a copy of the Olympic Particulars of Engagement (BT100/249) for 1912 from the National Archives, but was told it was too big to copy. I know there are documents for all previous sailings as well, so it might be a big research project. However, do you know if these documents are easy to access? I had thought it would be interesting to see whether there was an A.D. Nichols, or similar entry, for the Olympic - to compare birthplace/age etc. Would this be useful?

The info you provided on the Titanic Relief Fund was very interesting. One thing I noticed which seemed odd is that it states money was paid out to Arthur's mother and sister, and yet the information just above that section shows that only his widow and sister were dependents. Could this be a typo in that document (i.e. Arthur's mother's first name was Louisa, and Edith's middle name was also Louisa)?
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Marriage Certificate - Arthur Nichols
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Jan 21, 2009
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I have read the above with interest. I found the Nichols grave in Nunhead Cemetery referred to above some years ago. What a mystery. I have looked at the marriage certificate provided by Allan Nichols. Couple of things jump out concerning Arthur's father. 1. He had been dead a number of years and is not shown as deceased. His occupation has been elevated somewhat to Leather Merchant!! He was in fact a currier and at best in his career a leather warehouseman. His wife is shown with no occupation although she was a Licensed Victualler.
 
Jan 21, 2009
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1911 Census

I have found an Arthur D Nichols on the above.

He was a boarder at 1 Briton Street, Southampton, age 35, a Ship's steward, born in Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire.

This looks to me like the chap that went down on the Titanic.

Note that he was single, so why would a pension be paid to a widow?

I think the only way forward is to find Arthur Nichols of Nunhead on the same census. This I have failed to do and I can't find Edith either with the name Cannell or Nichols?

Any thoughts, ideas, anybody??
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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The information on a census form was provided by the householder, and where this included transients like boarders there was often a good deal of guesswork. The landlord might well have assumed that any of his/her boarders living alone were single. In those days the separation of a married couple was regarded as a rather shameful situation, and neither party would be inclined to tell strangers 'their business'.
 
Jan 21, 2009
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Hi Bob

Yes, I agree the census was completed by head of household. However, I think there are too many differences between Arthur D Nichols and Arthur Nichols. i.e. middle name, age, place of birth and marital status.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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It's a while since this was last under discussion and I've forgotten most of the details, but if I remember right the problem here was that there were too many differences for these two men to be one and the same, yet too many coincidences for them not to be the same.
smile.gif
 
Jan 21, 2009
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I may have found Edith Cannell on the 1911 census. Living at 121 Hampstead Road, St Pancras, age 41, Pawnbrokers housekeeper, born Hatfield, Herts. Marital status Widow?

Age and place of birth are correct.

One of her daughters Edith V Cannell is a pupil at Royal Masonic School for Girls in Wandsworth.
 
Jan 21, 2009
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Hi again Bob

Yes that's right. Arthur Nichols is commemorated on a headstone in Nunhead Cemetery as going down on the Titanic. It is a family grave so we know that he came from Nunhead and who other members of family were.

A D Nichols actually died on the Titanic but his details are completely different.

I am beginning to wonder if this is a case of mistaken/stolen identity?

I think the only way to prove once and for all that they are two different people is to find them both on one of the censuses?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Yes, and ideally with one of them still living with Edith! But so far the 1911 census hasn't been very helpful - maybe because the returns online so far don't cover the whole country.

If Edith was separated from her husband it's highly likely she would have called herself a widow, especially since that was her former status.