Encyclopedia Titanica

On rooting about in a Swedish Titanic Family Tree

The search for geneaological data relating to the Palaeo-DNA Project


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Dr. Ryan Parr of Genesis Geonomics Inc. at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, and I have been involved in the 'LAST OF THE LOST', a TITANIC palaeo-DNA project, since the Fall of 1999. Dr. Parr is the Principal Investigator of the project. During this time, we have been looking intently at the family trees of the young male victims on board the TITANIC as we have considered the identity of the young male child recovered as Body No. 4 and buried in Fairview Lawn Cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as "An Unknown Child". On May 3, 2002 a
press release from Lakehead University announced that we had established that this male child was not the Swedish child, Gösta Leonard Pålsson, as the earliest records had assumed.

The data now indicates that the "unknown child" is less than one year old, perhaps only six months old. Thus our focus has shifted to male children who were under one year old at the time the TITANIC sank on April 15, 1912. We have been looking at the Danbom infant, Gilbert Sigvard Emanuel Danbom, who was born on November 16, 1911 and who was exactly 5 months old when he became the youngest male victim of the TITANIC tragedy. As well, we have been attempting to detail the Danbom/Brogren family tree in an attempt to locate direct maternal descendents of
the infant's mother, aunts, grandmother, or grandaunts.

The scouring of genealogical data sources has had a side benefit. It appears that the oft-cited marriage date given on the Encyclopedia Titanica website for Ernst Gilbert Danbom (1877-1912) and Anna Sigrid Maria Brogren (1884-1912) is incorrect, as is the commonly-used name "Anna" cited for his wife "Sigrid". The present website entry notes that "He [Ernst Gilbert Danbom] married to Anna on 30 November, 1912."

Data from the "Coroner's" files in Halifax, Nova Scotia

The body of Ernst Gilbert Danbom was recovered by the MACKAY-BENNETT as Body No. 197. The Halifax "Coroner's" first printed list has Danbom's personal effects tabulated as:

"CLOTHING - Black overcoat; dark suit; white pleated shirt; black boots.
EFFECTS - Wedding ring, marked "S. B. T. E. G. D., June 6, '10"; gold
watch and chain; knife; keys; opal and ruby ring; fountain pen; bracelet;
ladies watch and chain; knife; 3 memo books; solitaire diamond ring;
scissors; U. S. A. naturalization papers; cheque $1315.79, Security Bank,
Sioux City; pocketbook; jewel case; pin; $266.00 in notes; $30.00 in gold."

This entry is found in the first printed list of the White Star Line produced within about three days of the arrival of the cable ship MACKAY BENNETT at Coaling Jetty No. 4 within the naval Dockyard of Halifax at about 0930 on Tuesday, April 30, 1912. This list may be cited as:

[White Star Line.] 1912a. Record of Bodies and Effects (Passengers and Crew
S.S. "TITANIC") Recovered by Cable Steamer "Mackay-Bennett"
Including Bodies Buried At Sea And Bodies Delivered At Morgue In
Halifax, N.S. Details Compiled from Records of the "Mackay-Bennett".
Public Archives of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Manuscript Group
100, Volume 229, No. 3d, Accession 1976-191, circa Friday, May 3, dark
purple card covers, initial page entitled, Key to accompanying List
showing how Bodies have been disposed of:, probably printed in
Halifax, Nova Scotia, 76 pp., unpaged, Body No. 1 to 306 inclusive;
annotated in red ink below each body's data with burial permit and
cemetery data, and with two extra typed pages added, following a handannotated
page [p. 77] reading '205 permits issued 1912', for the MINIA,
MONTMAGNY and ALGERINE; Body Nos. 307 to 324 inclusive, Nos.
326 to 329 inclusive, and No. 330, respectively, titled on p. [78] 'BODIES
PICKED UP BY C.S. MINIA.' (typed), and on p. [79] 'BODIES PICKED
UP BY S.S. MONTMAGNY' (typed) and 'Body Picked up by
Newfoundland Steamer Algerine' (handwritten), respectively.

Very few TITANIC researchers have used the "Coroner's" materials at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia. The microfilms made in about 1974 of the collection, and sold by the Archives, are rather difficult to use in that the materials are not always ordered by Body No., and may not be chronologically ordered (microfilm reels 16,595 and 16,596). In later years after Garry Shutlak of the Archives re-ordered the collection by Body No., a second but somewhat poor quality microfilm copy was made by the Church of Latter Day Saints, which the Archives is not permitted to distribute.

Garry Shutlak and I have done a complete inventory of the so-called "Coroner's" files held at the Archives, and the entry for the nine items in the file for Body No. 197 reads:

Data from the "Coroner's" files in Halifax, Nova Scotia (cont.)

Inventory, Catalogue and Index
of the 'Coroner's' TITANIC Files
of Record Group 41, Coroner's and Medical Reports,
Series C, Halifax County Inquest Case Files
Volumes 75, 76 and 76A on TITANIC,
held at
Public Archives of Nova Scotia
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Alan Ruffman and Garry D. Shutlak
copyright © 2000, all rights reserved

Record Group 41, Series C, Volume 76

Body No. 197, Folder No. 197: E.[rnst] Gilbert Danbom
Embarked: Southampton Passenger: '3 third class tickets, No. 3 347080.'
Disposition of body: [The second White Star Line printed list dated May 13,
1912 notes that the body was 'Forwarded to Alfred Danbom, Stanton Ia.[sic = Iowa], May 3rd'.]

[1] Master copy of body and clothing description and inventory of personal effects. The handwritten annotation has 'checked' written vertically in the lefthand margin opposite the typed list of personal effects. The wedding ring engravings are changed from 'S.B. to E.Y.D.' to 'S.B. to E.G.D.' [S.B. is Sigrid Brogen]. The '$266 in notes, 36 dollars in gold' has been altered by a note reading '$276.00 notes instead of 266.00 30. in gold.'. Below the typed text on the left is:

'Ex'd' 'Address - Stanton. Iowa U.S.A.'
'Mr. Alfred Danbom '1st mentioned gold watch
Stanton Iowa U S.A.' & chain not in this bag.
R.A MacLeod [signed]
John H. Barnstead [signed]
N. Power [signed]'

[These three witnesses to the watch and chain not being present are Richard A. MacLeod, Deputy Prothonotary, John H. Barnstead, District Registrar, Births, Marriages and Deaths, and probably Nicholas Power Sr., an ex-policeman and listed in 1912 as a 'private detective'.]

[2] Letter of 'R.W. Beeson, Attorney-At-Law Red Oak, Iowa Rooms 1, 2 and 3 Hysham
Blk. North Side Square' dated May 24, 1912 to the Provincial Secretary enclosing the Letters of Administration of 'Ernest[sic] G. Danbom' and noting 'I had him Mr. Alfred Danbom [a brother, the administrator] write to the White Star Line at New York and they wrote to him, informing him that "when the value of the effects amounts to a sum exceeding $100.00, the property has been retained by the Provincial Secretary at Halifax. To obtain the effects, the executor or administrator of the estate of the passenger should send to the Provincial Secretary at Halifax a court certificate, showing his appointment together with a receipt in duplicate for all effects in the
hands of the Provincial Secretary recovered from the body."'. R.W. Beeson also requested instructions as to 'what is necessary to be done in order to get the effects, if any, that were found upon the person of Ernest G. Danbom.'

Data from the "Coroner's" files in Halifax, Nova Scotia (cont.)

[3] Certified copy of the Letters of Administration for 'Ernest G. Danbom' enclosed in the above letter, dated April 29, 1912 signed by J.M. Halbert, clerk of the District Court of State of Iowa, Montgomery County, Iowa, and certified on May 17, 1912 by the same J.M. Halbert.

[4] Deputy Provincial Secretary (DPS) to R.W. Beeson, dated May 30, 1912 indicating that the effects would be forwarded 'in a few days'.

[5] Unsigned 'Inventory of property found on the body of the late Ernest G. Danbom.' included in the above letter. This list details the contents of the jewel case as 'Case containing pearl sun buvet brooch and silver coinbrooch.' The 'naturalization Paper.' is detailed as 'Passport of the Department of State, Washington, No. 38477.'

[6] DPS to R.W. Beeson, dated June 12, 1912 noting that he is sending the effects and enclosing 'all the effects'. DPS notes that 'The inventory of the effects taken from the body of the late Ernest G. Danbom that was printed by the White Star Line [the first printed list circa May 3, 1912] mentions two watches, but there was only one watch, a lady's gold one, among the effects. The second watch mentioned must have been a repetition; at all events two watches were not delivered into the custody of this Department'.

[7] Money Receipt of the Canadian Express Co. at Halifax dated June 13, 1912 sending the personal effects to A. Danbom and valuing them at $1,500.00. [See June 21, 1912 letter of 'Royal Swedish Consul a.i. [E. Lindquist] of Montréal found in the Body No. 165 file wherein he thanks the Deputy Provincial Secretary for a list of the effects found on the body of Ernest G. Danbom.]

[8] Memo from LeB. Coleman of the Canadian Express Co. in Halifax to the Provincial Secretary dated July 3, 1912 stating that the delivery of Danbom's effects was made, and attaching the 'consignee's receipt for same'.

[9] Signed and witnessed Inventory of property stamped 'Council Bluffs, Iowa June 24, 1912'. Signed by 'Alfred Danbom administrator' and witnessed by 'L.W. Shubert' Surveyor of Customs -' and by 'W.A. MacVargan' [or MacTargan] Cashier Am Ex Co.'.


Thus according to item No. [1] in the corrected Halifax Coroner's files, the wedding band has "S.B. to E.G.D." - i.e. "[Anna] Sigrid [Maria] Brogren to Ernst Gilbert Danbom on June 6, 1910." It would appear that "Sigrid" was her commonlyused name, or at least it was her own choice of a first name at the age of almost 26 years when she married in 1910, rather than "Anna", and that the marriage occurred on June 6, 1910, not on November 30, 1910 as currently cited on the Encyclopedia Titanica website. The newly-married Danbom couple was in Sweden for 22 months before they headed back to the United States on the TITANIC. The marriage data of Ernst Gilbert Danbom and Sigrid Brogren was first cited by Claes-Göran Wetterholm in his 1988 book 'Titanic' published in Swedish, and repeated in the 1996 edition, as "30/11/1910 gifte han sig med Anna Sigrid Brogren ..." which translated into English is "30 November 1910 married to Anna Sigrid Brogren". Wetterholm then uses "Anna" throughout his book for "Sigrid", especially in his
Swedish third class compilation at the back of his volume. It would appear that if there is ever a new edition of Wetterholm's book, the Danbom marriage date should be changed to June 6, 1910, and her common first name perhaps should be "Sigrid" rather than "Anna". The absolute proof would be to find the couple's marriage certificate which should be in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., according to the Encyclopedia Titanica website, or possibly in Stanton, Iowa, which is something that I have not yet done. So perhaps I am open to error? One suspects that Ernst Gilbert Danbom and his wife may well have registered their marriage in their families' home parishes (pastorsexpeditionen) of Horn or Kisa in southern Östergötland lån during their year-long visit back to Sweden?

Encyclopedia Titanica. 2002 Third Class Passenger Ernst Gilbert Danbom.
accessed 17:17:54 April 2, 2002.
Wetterholm, Claes-Göran. 1988. TITANIC. First Edition, Båtdokumentationsgruppen
HB, Skårham, Sweden (in Swedish), 296 pp.; Second Edition, 1966, Bokförlaget
Rabén Prisma, Stockholm, Sweden (in Swedish), 320 pp.

Alan Ruffman
President, Geomarine Associates Ltd.
Coinvestigator, 'LAST OF THE LOST' TITANIC Palaeo-DNA Project
5112 Prince Street
P.O. Box 41, Station M
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada B3J 2L4
phone (902) 422-6482
fax (902) 477-5415
Copyright © Alan Ruffman 2002 all rights reserved
Submitted: May 10, 2002.
Corrected July 21, 2004

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2003) On rooting about in a Swedish Titanic Family Tree (Titanica!, ref: #1497, published 28 August 2003, generated 14th July 2024 08:58:59 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-dna-family-tree.html