Encyclopedia Titanica

Catherine Elizabeth Crosby

Catherine Elizabeth Crosby
Catherine Elizabeth Crosby

Catherine Elizabeth Halstead was born 26 October 1847 in Waterloo, New York, the daughter of J. Y. Halstead and his wife (née Cook).

In 1912 Catherine Crosby lived at 474 Marshall Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She boarded the Titanic at Southampton with her husband Captain Edward Gifford Crosby and daughter Harriette. Her son Fred did not travel with them. Captain and Mrs Crosby occupied cabin B-22, Harriette was in B-26.

On Sunday, 14 April Catherine was awakened by a sort of 'thump' some time after that her husband left to get information. He reproted to his wife and daughter that the ship was badly damaged, he then left,they did not see him again. Catherine and her daughter quickly dressed and went up on deck where they got into a lifeboat forward on the starboard side.

"My husband did not come back again after he left me and I don't know what became of him, except that his body was found and brought back to Milwaukee for burial."

Later, she testified at the U S Senate Hearings that there were absolutely no lights or provisions in the lifeboats, nothing but oars. Also, after her boat was rowed some distance from the Titanic, she heard explosions and then cries of people in the water - "...and then we knew the steamer had gone down because her lights went out." Suffering from the cold, one of the officers put a sail around her to keep her warm.

Catherine Elizabeth Crosby (née Halstead) died on 29 July 1920 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her body was buried with her husband in the Fairview Mausoleum, Milwaukee. In 1997 she, her husband and daughter were reinterred, together, at Graceland Cemetery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Catherine Elizabeth Crosby (née Halstead)
Age: 64 years 5 months and 19 days (Female)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Married to Edward Gifford
Last Residence: at 474 Marshall Street Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 5735, £71
Cabin No. B22
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Thursday 29th July 1920 aged 72 years
Cause of Death:
Buried: Graceland Cemetery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Linked Biographies

Page Options

Watch this page

Improve this Biography

If you have any corrections or something to add please  get in touch

Newspaper Articles

Chicago American (18 April 1912) AWAIT NEWS IN DETROIT
The Day Book (23 April 1912) Captain Smith Host at Hilarious Dinner Party
Chicago Record-Herald (23 April 1912) Mrs. Crosby of Milwaukee, on Way Home, Tells of Excitement in Lowering Boats


Milwaukee Journal (1912) Catherine Crosby

Documents and Certificates

(1912) Contract Ticket List, White Star Line (Southampton, Queenstown), National Archives, London; BT27/776,780
(1920) Catherine Elizabeth Crosby (Death Certificate)


(1912) Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic, Titanic Inquiry Project
Titanic Commutator (1999) , Titanic Historical Society, Vol. 22, No. 2
Search archive online

Comment and discuss

  1. Mike

    Mike said:

    Colonel Gracie's book lists Mrs. Crosby as escaping in boat 5. Recent research into Elmer Taylor's account seems to indicate that the Crosbys were with him and his wife in boat 7. In that case, how could Officer Pitman (definitely in boat 5) have wrapped a sail around Mrs. Crosby to keep her from freezing (according to Walter Lord)? Or is that something he could have accomplished while the two boats were tied together?

  2. Mike Poirier

    Mike Poirier said:

    Where does Taylor's account say he was definitely in boat 7? No one else from boat 7 mentions them in their accounts. From what I understand Elmer Taylor jumped into 5 right before it was lowered.

  3. Mike

    Mike said:

    My source is item 3 under "Notes From the Lifeboat Lists", where it is stated people were "put into" Mr. Taylor's boat, rather than "taken out" of it, thus indicating boat 7 rather than boat 5. Mr. Pitman transferred four(?) people from boat 5 to boat 7 to even things out (Mrs. Dodge wanted to leave anyway). Any ideas?

  4. Peter Engberg-Klarström

    Peter Engberg-Klarström said:

    The Crosbys entered a lifeboat with Mr and Mrs Taylor. Mr Taylor stated in a lengthy interview quoted in the Atlantic Daily Bulletin that he left in an early boat, into which four or five people were put. Mrs Crosby also said she was in either the first or the second boat that left the ship. Mr Taylor also gave a few other references to boat 7 in the article mentioned above. With the Taylors and the Crosbys, there were indeed 28 people in that boat (Col Gracie thought Robert Daniel was in that boat, but Mr Daniel was mentioned as one of the passengers in No 3 by one of the ladies in that... Read full post

  5. Peter Engberg-Klarström

    Peter Engberg-Klarström said:

    Officer Pitman never mentioned this as far as I know; Mrs Crosby said in her account that 'an officer' gave her a sail to keep her from the cold. On the other hand, Mrs Crosby said there were two officers in her boat, and I have a feeling she thought the two lookouts in her boat, i e Hogg and Jewell, counted as officers.

  6. Michael Findlay

    Michael Findlay said:

    Hi Peter and Mike, After reading Elmer Taylor's memoirs again, I believe that the Taylors and Crosbys were in boat #7. While Taylor never remembered the boat number, he did mention that the passengers who were transferred were "taken into" his boat, not "taken out." For years, I always had the group in #5 (largely due to Mrs. Crosby's account and Colonel Gracie's detective work.) Many passengers in boat #7 remember that there were twenty-eight people in the boat. This number could not be reached until the four passengers were transferred from boat #5. Mr. and Mrs. Bishop, as well as... Read full post

  7. Mike

    Mike said:

    Thanx for the replies. The Crosbys being in boat 7, the first boat away, would fit in better with Captain Crosby's determination to get them off the ship (as recounted by Lord in "A Night to Remember") than waiting for the second boat, #5.

  8. Trent Pheifer

    Trent Pheifer said:

    Hey everyone I have a quick question, Were these two born on the same day and in the same year? I was looking through my stuff and noticed it, I was wondering if I had just miscopied it somewhere or if it was true. Thanks for any help you can provide me! -Trent

  9. Phillip Gowan

    Phillip Gowan said:

    Hey Trent, Edward G. Crosby was born in Rochester, New York on February 18, 1842. Mrs. Crosby was born in Waterloo, New York on October 26, 1847. Hope all is well with you- Phil

  10. Trent Pheifer

    Trent Pheifer said:

    Hey Phil, Thanks for clearing that up. It seemed impossible for them to be born on the same day same year! I have another question for you, With all the dates that you have regarding passengers and the ship, how do you keep it all organized? Is there a program that you can buy that makes it easier to find specific events, and jump from day to day? I was just wondering, b/c the dates I have been collecting are adding up, 30 pages now, and it is getting hard to find certain dates and go through the data on the computer. Thanks again for all the help! -Trent

  11. Phillip Gowan

    Phillip Gowan said:

    Hi Trent, I have all that information inserted into an EXCEL spreadsheet and I do a criteria search on it when I'm looking for a specific name, place or date. It took me a long time to create the spreadsheet but it is easily maintained and now I just go into randomly and add or correct anything I need to. Besides the alphabetical spreadsheet, I've also created a few others that rank things like oldest to youngest, order of the survivor deaths, etc. I've not done one to capture the information in a calendar type arrangement like you're doing, but I'd think just a plain excel spreadsheet... Read full post

  12. Trent Pheifer

    Trent Pheifer said:

    Sounds good, if I'm ever down that way I'll give you a call! Thanks for the tip on the EXEL form, I have mine in Lotus right now so maybe I will transfer it to EXEL so that I can search through the info more easily. It's great to hear that you enjoy the calendar, it makes all the work worth it!! I was doing the math and once I hopefully find everyone's birthday the calendar will be over will be about 100 pages! Yikes lol. Still got a lot of work! Thanks again for all the help! -Trent

  13. elizabeth anne

    elizabeth anne said:

    Does anyone have any information about Harriet R Crosby?I would really like some, and anything helps.

  14. Andrew Maheux

    Andrew Maheux said:

    Elizabeth, If you havent all ready, check her biography. There is some info on her in the book "Titanic The Great Lakes Connection" My best, Andrew M.

 Reply  Watch Thread


Pat Cook, USA
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Phillip Gowan, USA
John B. Pludeman
Michael Poirier, USA
Mark R. Rickq