Encyclopedia Titanica

Joseph Abraham Hyman : Titanic Survivor

Joseph Abraham Hyman
Joseph Abraham Hyman

Mr Joseph Abraham Hyman was born within the Russian Empire on 15 February (probably 1881). He came to England as a young man, possibly fleeing the pogroms of Eastern Europe at the time, and eventually settled within Manchester's thriving Jewish community.

He was married in 1902 to Esther Levy (b. 1880), a native of Manchester, and by 1911 the couple had five children: Julius (b. 1903), Ann (b. 1904), Lilian (b. 1906), Morris (b. 1907) and Ena (b. 1909) and they were living at 45 Stocks Street, Cheetham, Manchester, he was described as a storekeeper.

Abraham boarded the Titanic in Southampton as a third-class passenger (ticket number 3470 which cost £7, 17s, 9d) on 10 April 1912 and he was travelling alone to Springfield, Massachusetts where he had a brother, Harry. He was listed as a picture frame maker.

He later described his escape (probably in #13):

"...The forward deck was jammed with the people, all of them pushing and clawing and fighting, and so I walked forward and stepped over the end of the boat that was being got ready and sat down,” he told The New York Times. “Nobody disturbed me, and then a line of men gathered along the side and only opened when a woman or a child came forward. When a man tried to get through, he would be pushed back...”

Reaching America aboard Carpathia Abraham was met by his brother and granted several interviews to local newspapers. His wife refused to cross the Atlantic to join him and Abraham also had reservations about making the crossing again. His time spent in New York, however, with its diverse ethnicities and religions and their associated stores inspired Abraham pursue an enterprise back in England.

He eventually returned to Manchester where he opened a Kosher deli and grocery store, J. A. Hyman Ltd on Waterloo Road. Locals referred to Abraham as the "Titanic Man" and the store became known as Titanics and remained in business until 2016.

He and his wife had a further two children, Jonas (b. 1913) and Rachel (b. 1915) and later settled at 230 Waterloo Road, Cheetham and it was whilst living here that Abraham was widowed when his wife Esther died on 14 September 1927 aged 46.

Abraham was remarried on 29 June 1929 in New Kahal Chassidim Synagogue to widow Esther Libbert, née Rosengrass (b. 1886) of 385 Waterloo Road, Cheetham. Esther was a native of Cheetham, Manchester and was married in 1909 to Abraham Libbert (1886-1921), a jeweller, and the couple had one son and one daughter, Jack and Fanny.

Abraham and his new wife were living in Southport, Lancashire when Abraham was again widowed on 9 June 1951. He later resettled in Manchester at 25 Crumpsall Lane and he died on 6 March 1956 in The Victoria Memorial Jewish Hospital in Manchester.  

He is buried in North Manchester Blackley Jewish cemetery, Manchester, England (section G, plot 172). 

Joseph Abraham Hyman Grave
(Courtesy of Trevor Baxter)

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Joseph Abraham Hyman
Age: 31 years 2 months (Male)
Nationality: Russian English
Religion: Jewish
Marital Status: Married to Esther Levy
Last Residence: in Manchester, England
Occupation: Framer
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 3470, £7 17s 9d
Rescued (boat 13)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912

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References and Sources

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Everett, Marshall, ed. Nearer My God to Thee: The Story of the Wreck of the Titanic. Chicago: L.H. Walter, 1912.
New York Times, April 19, 1912, p. 8
J.A.Hyman (Titanics) website: www.titanics.co.uk accessed 17 August 2011
General Register Office : UK Registration of Death : Joseph A Hyman 1/1956 10e/16
He survived the Titanic shipwreck, and became a Manchester legend
‘Titanics’ kosher deli, founded by ship survivor, goes under
Titanic survivor's tale lives on in Manchester deli
Search archive online

Comment and discuss

  1. Michael Wolf

    Michael Wolf said:

    My great uncle was third class Abraham Hyman who was not mentioned in this info. I was at the exibit and presented articles showing Abraham manning the oar in lifeboat 14. Thought you would like the update. My family was proud of him as this was the only lifeboat to go back to rescue others. Michael Wolf Ft. Myers, Florida

  2. Richard Hyman

    Richard Hyman said:

    Joseph Abraham Hyman, came back to the UK in 1913 and set up a small business called J.A.Hyman ltd. His "fame" soon spread and people when they saw him used to call out "look its the man from "Titanic" The name stuck and the business became known as Titanics. 4 Generations on, the business is still going strong and is run by Josephs Great Grandson Richard. More information can be found on our website

  3. Shimon

    Shimon said:

    You write: "What became of Mr Hyman after the disaster is unclear.". I just read at: about Mr Hyman setting up a delicatessen on his return to England. >>>>> J.A.Hyman (Titanics) from Manchester was established in 1913 by Joseph Abraham Hyman who survived the 1912 Titanic sinking. While in America, he saw a deli and decided he would come back to England and set up his own version. He become a bit of a local celebrity following his return as people knew him as the man who survived the Titanic and hence the Titanic name become associated with his business.

  4. Harry Kersh

    Harry Kersh said:

    After being rescued Abraham returned to Manchester UK and set up a business - called (ironically) TITANICS - it was a delicatessen store and is still trading today and owned by his descendent family and they display some memorobilia instore.

  5. David (232)

    David (232) said:

    What happened to Abraham Hyman is that he started a kosher food company JA HYMANS (TITANICS) LTD in Manchester which still exists today and is run by his family. He died in 1956. Please add. If you want to verify the facts, just check their website. His date of death I got from speaking to his son who is probably dead by now.

  6. Mick Molloy

    Mick Molloy said:

    Is this the same family that has the shop on Waterloo Road Cheetham Hill Manchester?

  7. Richardcanin

    Richardcanin said:

    My (late) first cousin, Alan Marcuson was married to Abraham Joseph Hyman's daughter, Lilian. who died  probably in the 1980's.Richard Canin     Solihull, West Midlands

  8. Ellen (1198)

    Ellen (1198) said:

    Lillian was my mother's first cousin.  Abe was going to Springfield Mass to see my grandfather Harry Hayman(Hyman.  He changed it on this side of the ocean).  I met Lilly when I was about 6.  She stayed with my parents some time in between when Abe died and Harry died 1955/1956.  Lilly gave me an English penny.  I was hooked.  I always dreamed of visiting.  I finally did in 1969.  Alan and Lilly took very good care of me when I stayed with them.  Alan called me cheeky.  I was 19.  I also stayed with Rae, Lilly's sister, in Scotland.  I have been in touch with Rae's son... Read full post

  9. Richard Chapman

    Richard Chapman said:

    Hi Was Abraham related to a Joseph Hyman, a clothier in Manchester ?. I believe Joseph was born in 1820 in Plymouth, Devon. His son Samuel was married to a Sister of my Aunt.Regards

  10. Euan McKendrick

    Euan McKendrick said:

    For anyone interested the business Abraham started in Manchester UK grew to three shops still owned by the family and used the name Titanics, trading on the interest in the tragedy. Unfortunately they went into recievership last year (2016).

  11. Arun Vajpey

    Arun Vajpey said:

    Does anyone have a link to all (or at least most) of the 'several' post-disaster interviews that Abraham Hyman is supposed to have given? I would like to know more about the circumstances surrounding his rescue, if possible. The speculation that he was saved on Lifeboat #13 comes from his 27th May 1912 interview with the Springfield Republican in which he stated that "another lifeboat almost came down on top of us", which is very suggestive of the events around #13 and #15. Still, his other statements do not appear to match; on his ET bio here, there is one from an... Read full post

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