Mrs Anna Abelson

Russian Titanic Survivor

Mrs Anna Abelson was born as Anna Nantes Jacobson in Odessa, Ukraine (then part of the Russian Empire) on 14 September 1887.1

Few details about Mrs Abelson's early background are certain; she is known to have had at least two siblings, a brother and sister, and may have been living in Paris for much of her adult life up until 1912.

Anna, an "expert dressmaker", was married to Samuel Abelson (b. circa 1882), a Russian-born bookkeeper. They had no children. 

The Abelsons purchased ticket number P/PP 3381 which cost £24. Their destination was New York, where a brother of Mr Abelson's lived. On their way to America they stayed at Paris, where a brother of Mrs Abelson lived in Rue Marcadet 68.They boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as second class passengers. 

Mrs Abelson survived the sinking, some placing her in lifeboat 10; her husband was among the lost.

Coming off the Carpathia Mrs Abelson was described as standing at 5' 4" and with brown hair and brown eyes; her last address was stated as that of her brother Wizosky at Rue Marcadet 68 in Paris. She was destined for her home of her brother-in-law Mr Abelson in New York.
After her rescue, as the Carpathia steamed to New York, Mrs Abelson attempted to send a Marconigram to the address of her brother in Paris. The message, however was never transmitted, because the operators could not cope with the number of telegrams:

Jacobson rue Marcadet 68 Paris
Sauvé - Carpathia (Saved - Carpathia)

Mrs Abelson was helped by the Hebrew Shelter and Emmigrant Aid Society, 229 East Broadway, in New York as the Red Cross noted:

Husband drowned, wife rescued. There are no children. He was a bookkeeper, 30 years of age. His wife, 28 years of age, is an expert dressmaker. She is living with her husband's brother in New York City. The wife suffered temporary disability due to exposure, but is now able to support herself by her trade. The property loss was more than 4,000 dollars. She received from relief sources other than the Red Cross, 1,928.69 dollars (250 dollars)

It appears that Mrs Abelson made her home in Manhattan but later braved the ocean again and returned to Paris for a visit. She re-entered the USA on 3 August 1914, having departed from Boulogne aboard the Rotterdam. Still described as a housewife, she gave her point of contact as a sister, A. Jacobson at an address in Paris, her previous visit to New York as in 1912, place of birth as Odessa and her destination address as her home at 720 West 181st Street, New York City. She would later make further visits to Paris in the 1920s and late 1930s.2

Following obtaining a marriage certificate on 6 July 1920, Anna was remarried to Edward Douglas Bolton (b. 27 July 1887), a New York-born lawyer and veteran of WWI whom she had met in 1912 not long after landing in New York. 

The couple, who remained childless, lived for many years at different spots in New York; their 1925 address was in the Bronx and by 1940 they were residing in Greenburgh, Westchester. They retired to Florida in the late 1960s, eventually settling in New Smyrna Beach at 85 Linda Road.

In July 1970, for the couple's golden wedding anniversary, the Orlando Sentinel tracked them down; Mrs Bolton still found the memories of the Titanic disaster too painful to discuss although did manage to perhaps over-egg her couture past and state she was a leading New York dressmaker in 1912.

Anna Bolton died on 18 January 1972 and was buried in Daytona Memorial Park, Florida. Her widower did not survive long past her and he died on 7 December 1972.


  1. Date of birth given on grave stone. 
  2. On 7 September 1923 she returned to New York aboard Nieuw Amsterdam, her address being stated as 2287 Loring Place, New York. On 8 June 1939 she returned to New York aboard the George Washington, her address being listed as 166 Hartsdale Road, Hartsdale, New York.

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Anna Abelson with her second husband Edward Bolton
The Orlando Sentinel  (1970) 

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Mr and Mrs Abelson (1 post)

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Trevor Baxter, UK
Gavin Bell, UK
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
Hermann Söldner, Germany

References and Sources

Michael A. Findlay (1998) Revised Passenger List in Judith Geller Titanic: Women and Children First. Haynes. ISBN 1 85260 594 4
John Booth & Sean Coughlan (1993) Titanic Signals of Disaster. White Star Publicatons, Westbury, Wiltshire. ISBN 0 9518190 1 1
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260)
United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912
Find a Grave - Friends of Cedar Lawn Cemetery (46552914)
The Orlando Sentinel, 7 July 1970, Titanic survivor finds peace in NSB
The Orlando Sentinel, 12 July 1970, Memory Still Painfu
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2019) Anna Abelson Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #326, updated 18th June 2019 17:10:22 PM)