Amy Stanley's father, Thomas James Stanley, was born in Nether Worton, Oxfordshire c.1849 but by 1861, when Thomas was 12, he, his parents (John Stanley, 60, and Rebecca Stanley, 43) and Mary A. Stanley (his 11 year old sister) had moved to the nearby Hamlet of Leadwell where they ran a grocers' shop (also licenced for the sale of beer!).
In 1881 Thomas (32) and Mary (31) still lived in Leadwell where Thomas ran a public house and Mary was a housekeeper.
In the autumn of 1882 Thomas was married to Eliza Agnes Margetts of Deddington, Oxfordshire.
Eliza Agnes Margetts was baptised in her home village of Deddington, Oxfordshire, on January 31, 1861. She was the daughter of sometime wine-merchant, innkeeper and grocer Henry Margetts and his wife Eliza. Between 1850 and 1870 Henry and Eliza had around 12 children, at least three of whom died as children.
The newlywed Thomas and Eliza Stanley remained in Leadwell until after the birth of their third child (c.1887).
The 1891 census shows Thomas and Eliza to be living in Green Road, Wolvercote, a village north of Oxford. Thomas was working as a Farm Sherriff (a kind of foreman), and they had 5 children John H. (7), Harry O. (5), William S. (4), Alfred Margetts (1, born August 9, 1889) and their only daughter Amy Zillah Elsie Stanley (3). A sixth child Walter Fredrick Stanley was born on April 7, 1894.
Amy Zillah Elsie Stanley was born on (?) 4 January 1888. She was baptised at the church in Barford St. Michael, Oxfordshire on March 16 1888. Barford St. Michael (or Great Barford is a village about 2 miles W.N.W. of Deddington situatd on the river Swere.
As she grew up Amy probably helped in the family grocery on Green Road (they sold butter, bacon and cheese). Eventually however, she became a dressmaker working in the nearby city of Oxford. Later she left home to go into domestic service in Wallingford, Oxfordshire.
Photo: Oxford Illustrated Journal.
In 1912, when Amy was 24, she prepared to move to New Haven, CT, USA to become a children's maid. She purchased a third class ticket through Thomas Cook & Son, Ludgate Circus, London and left Wallingford in April of that year to join the Titanic at Southampton. According to contemporary newspaper reports, she would have made the journey earlier but for the coal strike, by which she was delayed.
|My two cabin mates were a Nurse and an 11 year old [sic] child, her name was Elizabeth. The child was alone, because her parents were still in Europe and she was going home to America.|
Amy's cabin mates were almost certainly Elizabeth Dowdell (30) and Virginia Ethel Emanuel (5).
Amy survived the sinking having escaped in Collapsible C and completed the journey to New York on board the rescue ship Carpathia. During the journey the Carpathia 's wireless operator accepted the following Marconigram, however it was nover tramsmitted due to lack of time:
| To: Mrs Stanley, Wolvercote, Oxford.
''Saved Carpathia.- Amy''.
Whilst on board the Carpathia Amy also made a happy discovery:
|I found Elizabeth and the Nurse I roomed with on the Titanic, I was so glad they survived the trauma.|
After her arrival Amy wrote to her parents:
Dear Father and Mother,
Amy Stanley after her arrival in America (© Jessica Tanner).
Amy later expanded on her meeting with Rosa Abbott:
|We were very close since we were on the Titanic together. And her stateroom had been near mine. I was the only one that she could talk to about her sons because I knew them myself. She told me that she would get [sic] in the lifeboat if there hadn't been so many people around. So she and her sons kept together. She was thankful that [the] three of them had stayed with her on that piece of wreckage. The youngest went first then the other son went. She grew numb and cold and couldn't remember when she got on the Carpathia. There was a piece of cork in her hair and I managed to get a comb and it took a long time but finally we got it out.|
Amy was give $200 by the American Red Cross (Entry no.431) and she travelled on to New Haven to start her new life.
Amy married Eugene Sheldon Tanner Sr. on November 1, 1918 in Brooklyn, NY. Through connections with the family she worked for in New Haven Amy managed to get Eugene an early honorable discharge from the Navy so they could be married.
On July 22, 1921 (in North Attleboro, MA) Amy gave birth to Alfred Stanley Tanner Sr. (died 30 September 1993 in Warwick, R.I). A second son, Eugene Sheldon Tanner Jr. was born in Providence, RI on August 8, 1926.
Amy Tanner (née Stanley) died on April 21, 1955 in Providence, RI and was buried at Oakland Cemetery, Cranston, R.I. on 25 April 1955.
|Mrs EUGENE S. TANNER
Private funeral services for Mrs Amy E. Tanner, 66, of 60 Eliza St., will be held Monday at 2 P.M. at the Bailey-Shippee Funeral Home, 417 Plainfield St. Burial will be in Oakland Cemetery, Cranston.
Mrs Tanner, wife of Eugene S. Tanner, died Thursday at Rhode Island Hospital after a short illness.
Born in Oxford, England, Jan. 4, 1889 [sic], a daughter of Mr and Mrs Thomas Stanley, she had been a resident of Providence 38 years. She was a communicant of the Church of the Messiah, Episcopal.
Mrs Tanner was a survivor of the Titanic disaster.
Besides her husband, survivors are two sons, Alfred S. of Cranston and Eugene S. Tanner, Jr. of Warwick, and three grandchildren.
Arthur Merchant, USA
Jessica Tanner, USA (great grandaughter)
Brian Ticehurst, UK
Jackson's Oxford Illustrated Journal, 24 April 1912, p.3
Oxford Chronicle - Bucks & Berks Gazette, 19 April, p.7; 26, p.7; May 10, p.10; 17 pp.7,9
State Of Rhode Island And Providence Plantations Certificate Of Death
British Census 1891 (Oxford)
British Census 1861, 1881 (Deddington & Woodstock)
Parish Registers for the parishes of Barford St. Michael; St. Peter's church, Wolvercote
American Red Cross (1913) Emergency and Relief Booklet (#431)
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