Encyclopedia Titanica

Alice Frances Christy

Mrs Frederick Alexander Christy was born as Frances Alice Jones in 1860 in Woolwich, Kent, England.

She was the daughter of a Welsh father, William Charles Jones (1824-1898), a tailor from Wrexham, and an English mother, Elizabeth Fanny O'Neill (1832-1894), who hailed from Woolwich and who were married in Kent in 1851. She had ten known siblings: William Charles (b. 1852), Edward John (b. 1853), James Horace (b. 1855), Joseph Henry (b. 1857), Edgar Ernest (b. 1863), Lewis Frederick (b. 1864), Elizabeth Amy (b. 1866), George Walter (b. 1868), Annie Mary (b. 1870) and Cecilia Elizabeth (b. 1876).

She first appeared on the 1861 census as a 1-year-old infant living with her family at an unspecified address in Bexley, Kent. The family were in the same vicinity by the time of the 1871 and 1881 census records but Alice was not listed with them.

Alice went out to work at a very young age and the 1871 census shows her as a servant to a doctor and his family at 219 Burrage Road, Plumstead, Kent. She would continue a career in the medical field; she was listed as an attendant in Peckham House Lunatic Asylum, Camberwell, London on the 1881 census.

She was married to Moreno Cohen (b. 1856) in London in 1885 and went on to have three children: Jaques Moise (b. 1885), Juli Rachel (b. 1887) and Amy Frances (b. 1888).

Moreno Cohen passed away on 8 February 1890. The 1891 census shows Alice, her three children and her brother Walter living at 206 Albany Road, Peckham, London and she was described as a grocer. Later to support her children Alice worked as a nurse and is listed as such on the 1901 census when she was living at an address in Haslemere, Surrey. Seemingly unable to provide for her children, her two daughters were listed on the 1901 census as inmates at an infant orphan asylum  in Wanstead, Essex.

She was remarried to Frederick Alexander Christy (b. 1846) on 27 September 1902 in St Barnabas Church, Dulwich. Frederick was born in Westminster, London in 1846 as Frederick Alexander Christ, the 'y' being added in later years. He was the son of surgical instrument maker Charles Julius Christ and his wife Mary Ann and grew up in London, becoming an importer of textile spinning machines. He was married but was a widower by the time he appeared on the 1901 census. Little else is known about him.

The marriage between Alice and Christy lasted only briefly when, on 6 September 1903 Frederick died only weeks shy of his first wedding anniversary. His effects, valued at £55422, 13s were administered to a solicitor named Eugène Carder and a man named Frederick Anthony Velasco, an optician, whose family Fred boarded with for some time at 16 Dents Road in Wandsworth, London. 

Alice boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second class passenger (ticket number 237789 which cost £30) together with her daughters Juli and Amy and the latter's husband Sydney Jacobsohn. They was travelling to Montréal, Québec. The ladies were not unfamiliar with travel: on 3 May 1907 the trio left England bound for Montréal aboard the Empress of Ireland, another ill-fated ship.

Mrs Alice Christy and her daughters survived the sinking. They were rescued by the Carpathia but in which lifeboat is unknown

On the Carpathia she sent a telegram to France:

17 April, 7.9 am
Limousin 32 rue Luislegrand Paris
Sydney missing not definite news yet

The party, consisting of Alice and Juli Christy and Amy Jacobsohn, returned to England on board the Megantic on 11 May 1912.

It is not certain if Mrs Christy ever sailed the seas again and she was fated to outlive her son Moise and her daughter Juli. She later lived in Bournemouth, Dorset at 55 Bath Hill Court and she died there on 7 July 1939 aged 79.

Her son Moise worked as an electrical engineer and settled in Vancouver and was married to Hattie Alberta Mackay (b. 1886). The couple had two sons: John (b. 1913) and Robert Frederick (b. 1916). Moise died in an accident at work in 1918 when he was electrocuted and his wife passed away in 1926 following surgery, leaving their sons to be raised by extended family. Young Robert Christy later became a prominent and much noted theoretical physicist and astrophysicist. During WWII he became an American citizen and was one of the scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project, the research and development venture that produced the first atomic weapons. He died in Pasadena, California on 3 October 2012 aged 96.

References and Sources

United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912.
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])
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port Of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia) - National Archives, NWCTB 85 T715 Vol 4183
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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Alice Frances Christy (née Jones)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married
Last Residence: in London, England
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 237789, £30
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912

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