When Titanic survivor, Elizabeth Dowdell Fierer, attended the New York City premiere of "A Night to Remember" in February, 1959, she stated that she was still in contact with the young girl girl she cared for on the Titanic - and subsequently, saved. She stated that "I still correspond with the young girl I rescued from the Titanic, though she is now Mrs. Vera Hanson and lives in London."
Miss Virginia Ethel Emanuel,5 , probably born in USA, was Opera singer Estelle Emanuele's daughter. Estelle's father, Samuel Weill was American, from New York, wasn't he? It's strange for me little Virginia travelled without any relative, only with Miss Dowdell. ET claim: "her step-father had deserted her and her mother". Who was Virginia's father? Did he live in 1912? In Jersey Journal I read that Miss Dowdell was called Virginia's mother. Why? Virginia later married Mr. Hansen. Does anybody know something about him? Please help me!
Delia, Morning - Here is all I have on poor little Virginia: EMANUEL, MISS ETHEL VIRGINIA. (Child). Saved in Lifeboat number 13. Home address: c/o Miss Martin, Savoy Hotel, London, UK. Going to her grandparents in New York City. She had been deserted by her step-father. Being looked after by Miss Elizabeth Dowdell. Insurance claim number B158. Property: $547.75 claim filed by her grandfather Samuel J. Weill. Her parents were actors and could not spare the time to look after her so they sent her to her grandparents. (From The Emergency and Relief booklet by the American Red Cross, 1913). No. 135. (American). Girl, 6 years old, deserted by step-father, was saved by her nurse, on trip to her grandparents in New York. Needed new supply of clothing. ($100). Miss Virginia Ethel Emmanuel, 5, boarded the Titanic at Southampton with her Nurse Miss Elizabeth Dowdell who was escorting her to her grandparents home in New York, NY. Her step-father had deserted her and her mother who was, according the New York American, the Opera singer Estelle Emanuele An insurance claim (number B158) for property worth $547.75 was filed by her grandfather Samuel J. Weill.
I hope that it helps? Best regards Brian J. Ticehurst Southampton UK.
Hi Delia The 1901 census online for the UK lists a 38 year old Samuel Weill ( Germany united states subject) living in Hornsey in Middlesex. It says he is "a manager...supplies." Maybe this is your man? Emma
Delia, Ethel's mother was probably under contract to complete an engagement or series of engagements in England, and intended to return to New York a few months later. The reason usually stated for Ethel's early return is that her mother was not able to look after her due to work commitments, but bearing in mind that the child had a fulltime nursemaid I suspect the move was due rather to the sudden change in Estelle's financial circumstances, and that Miss Dowdell's employment would have been terminated after the child was delivered to her grandparents in New York. Ethel died in 1972.
Hi all! I'd like thank for your replies. Bob, do you think that young Miss Emanuel was called Ethel, not Virginia? Is any child of her still alive? I read in other thread in ET that she died as Vera Hansen. Why did she change her first name? I think Estelle Emanuel had probably serious financial problems (because her daughter traveled third class). Did Virginia whenever discuss about Titanic?
Miss Emanuel's name certainly is confusing. Newspaper interviews in 1912 had the nurse referring to her charge variously as Ethel or Virginia. One journalist described her as Miss Dowdell's daughter and called her Esther! Amy Stanley, who shared the same cabin, referred to her as Elizabeth, which was in fact the nurse's name. Her grandparents, when interviewed in New York, called her Virginia. I believe her given name was Ethel Virginia, but informally her middle name was preferred. In formal documents, like the passenger list, she is Ethel. As for 'Vera', well maybe the poor kid was so confused by then she settled the issue by coming up with a name of her own choice!
Does anyone know if Ethel had any memories of the sinking and if so what did they do that night and during the voyage? Im gathering info for a possible book and am looking for the un-told stories from Titanic. Im aware their lifeboat was almost crushed by that carrying 5yr old Lillian Asplund (no. 15) but is there any other memories from the voyage. Eg. strolls on the deck, where she ate (were 3rd class kids allowed in the 3rd class dining room??) and also did Miss Dowdell die? Thanks, Matt.
Matt, Ethel/Virginia didn't have much to say about the Titanic, but Elizabeth Dowdell certainly did - see her bio on ET for a collection of long newspaper interviews. Unfortunately either Elizabeth or the journalists were clearly very inventive, so the information contained therein is not very reliable. She did survive the sinking, of course, and died in New York in 1962.
Certainly the children ate in the main dining rooms. In First Class, children were segregated from the adults at meal times (as was customary at that level of society), but in Third Class I should think the families ate together, as they did at home.