Edwina Troutt MacKenzie and Edith Brown Haisman both lived to the age of 100, and Ellen Shine Callaghan reportedly made it to 101 - although there is dispute concerning her date of birth. She may have been 98 when she died in 1993.
A few survivors came close to the century mark. Lily Potter, Agnes Sandstrom and Edith Russell almost hit the big number, as did Clara Hays, Frederick Dent Ray, Kate Buss Willis and a few others. Millvina Dean's mother lived until her late 90s as well.
The interesting thing about the four (possibly five) who made it to the age of 100 all passed away within the last few years. They say that one person in 10,000 makes it to the age of 100. Out of the 712 survivors, the fact that at least four made it proves that statistic wrong.
I would like to ask what nationalities and class these wonderful women were. I asked over on the "Mens" post and British had top billing. Next I would like to ask ahead of time in case none of them were American, who was the oldest American woman was. Thanks in advance! Colleen Collier
The oldest American woman was Marjorie Newell Robb at 103 years, and 1 day short of 4 months.
Mary Davis Wilburn, Edwina Troutt MacKenzie, Kate Buss Willis, and Eva Georgetta Light Dean (Burden)(who died at 96) were natives of England. Not given in the previous list was Kate Herman (Parsons) who lived to be 94 and was also from England. British native Winnifred Quick Van Tongerloo is now 97 (and a 1/2) years old and is the oldest living survivor.
Ellen Shine Callaghan (98 at the time of her death instead of 101 as sometimes given) was Irish as was Helen Mary Mockler (Sister Patricia) who died on her 95th birthday. Irish survivor Ann F. McGowan (Straube) is officially listed as having been 92 when she died but more likely she was 94, her birthdate being in dispute. Hannah Riordan Spollen was 92.
Edith Brown Haisman was a native of South Africa but her heritage was British.
Agnes Sandstrom was Swedish and Clara Hays, though born in the United States, was a Canadian citizen.
Also Elizabeth Ann Maidment Mellenger (died at 92) was English but a naturalized citizen of Canada.
Back to the Americans, besides Marjorie Newell Robb, Lily Alexenia Wilson Potter lived to be 98 years and 4 months, Edith Rosenbaum (Russell) may have been as old as 97 although her birthdate is in dispute. Gertrude Parsons Kimball was 95 and survivor Lillian Asplund (ethnic Swedish) is almost 95 now.
There are other women that lived to be well past 90 including Mrs. Eleanor Cassebeer (American)and at least one other British woman--but those details have not yet been made public. Actually in just a glance thru "the spreadsheet" there are quite a few who saw their 90th birthday.
This is probably more than you wanted to know Colleen, but for what its worth--
Hello Phil. WOW! The more information the better. This is fascinating reading to me, and in books I have it seems to just be brief mentionings if you are lucky. I can understand the need to keep their lives private, as well as their descendants, but it is one of my main curiosities.
I am also interested in the nationality of Mary Davis Wilburn.
You also satisfied another curiosity, if anyone had passed away on their birthday. I know it sounds odd to post it here, but the only person I have found to do the same not even relating to Titanic was Col. Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame. (shrug)
Thank you very much. Colleen
Is it true, would you say, that Edith Russell in the 1950-70s, when she was in such demand for interviews (a la Eva Hart in more recent years), was really the oldest living survivor? This was claimed in a 1968 TV interview with BBC-2 TV. I doubt it was strictly true, though she certainly was among the oldest active survivors at that time. If the 1877 birthdate for her is indeed true, she would have turned 90 in 1967. Was there any other survivor living at that time who was older?
In the late 60's Russell would definitely NOT have been the oldest survivor. Some of the others who were definitely older in 1968:
Fermina Oliva y Ocana born 12 Oct 1872
Genevieve Cassebeer born 29 Nov 1875
Kate Buss Willis born 28 Dec 1875
Florence Hughes Angle born 8 March 1876
Irene Harris born 15 June 1876
For obvious reasons, I won't now say where Mrs. Cassebeer fell out in the order of oldest, but Fermina Oliva y Ocana held the position until her death on May 28, 1969. Mrs. Angle died August 20, 1969 and Irene Harris died September 2, 1969. So either Kate Buss Willis or Mrs. Cassebeer took over the title at the time Miss Oliva y Ocana died . There did come a time, however, when, if the 1877 date holds, Edith would have been the oldest survivor. (Oh my gosh, I've admitted that Mrs. Cassebeer didn't live to be 102!).
I thought the "oldest survivor" mantra for Edith Russell was media hype. But wanted to be sure. Btw it doesn't look like she claimed this herself. It was mentioned in an intro about her. So far that's all I've gotten. The 1968 transcript I just ordered. I'm also ordering 2 more from 1965 and 1966. I'll share those with you as well. I wonder what she thought of being called the "oldest"? Being a proper vain ole gal, she probably wasn't too happy about being called the oldest anything!