Encyclopedia Titanica

Dorothy Harder

Dorothy Harder
Dorothy Harder

Mrs George Achilles Harder (Dorothy Annan) was born in New York City on 4 July 1890.

She was the daughter of Eduard Annan, Jr (1867-1893) and Lizzie Maud Earle (1868-1891), both natives of New York.

Following the death of both her parents at a young age, Dorothy was raised by her paternal aunt Mrs Thomas Richardson (née Charlotte S. Annan, 1852-1923), appearing with her on the 1900 and 1910 censuses living in Manhattan, her address being 186 Fifth Avenue on the latter record. 

Dorothy HarderDorothy was married in New York to George Achilles Harder (b. 1886), a realtor, on 8 January 1912. Following a three-month-long honeymoon in Europe, the couple boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as first class passengers. They occupied cabin E-50 (ticket number 11765, which cost £55, 8s, 10d).

On the night of the sinking the couple appear to have been in their cabin at the time of the collision. Noting the thud as nothing that should otherwise perturb them, Mr Harder went to investigate anyway, following which he returned to his cabin to fetch his wife and the both headed topside.

The couple were rescued in lifeboat 5. According to George's grandson, Mr and Mrs Harder saved three things from the Titanic (apparently taken from the cabin and still owned by the family today): Mrs Harder's fur coat, a bottle of brandy, and a button hook for Mrs Harder's shoes.

Following their rescue, the couple were the subjects of a well-known photo taken on the Carpathia by Miss Bernice Palmer. The photograph shows them in discussion with another passenger (believed to be Sallie Beckwith).


The Harders were frequently asked to lecture about the Titanic disaster but they refused. Like so many other men who escaped, George Harder found the stigma of surviving the Titanic disaster difficult to live down.

Dorothy and her husband made their home in Manhattan and went on two have two daughters: Dorothy V (1913-1973, later Mrs Barclay Kountze Douglas) and Jean (1915-1991, later Mrs Clendenin James Ryan).

In 1916 she and her husband visited Asia, including China and Japan, returning home from Hong Kong aboard the Empress of Asia in December 1916. At that time their address was 43, 5th Avenue, Manhattan and Dorothy's passport, obtained that year, described her as standing at 5' 2", with blue-grey eyes, light-blonde hair, an oval face with a prominent chin and a high forehead.

Dorothy would live at 43, 5th Avenue in Manhattan for the rest of her life. Her last years were plagued with kidney complaints and she died at her New York apartment, 510 Park Avenue, on 1 December 1926 aged 36. She was later interred in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. 

© Michael A. Findlay, USA

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Dorothy Harder (née Annan)
Age: 21 years 9 months and 11 days (Female)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Married to George Achilles
Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 11765, £55 8s 10d
Cabin No. E50
Rescued (boat 5)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Wednesday 1st December 1926 aged 36 years
Cause of Death:
Buried: Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York, United States

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References and Sources

New York Herald, April 17, 1912
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 2 December 1926, Death Notice
State of New York Certificate of Death

Research Articles

Senan Molony Titanica! (2008) 12.45am - A Time to Go!
What time did the first lifeboat depart the Titanic?

Newspaper Articles

Brooklyn Daily Times (16 April 1912) Brooklynites are Lost as Titanic Sinks
Several Are Believed to Have Sunk With Ship
Brooklyn Daily Eagle (19 April 1912) HARDER BLAMES VESSEL'S SPEED
Dundee Evening Telegraph (30 April 1912) The Only Titanic Honeymoon Couple Saved
Mr and Mrs George A. Harder
Brooklyn Daily Eagle (2 December 1926) Death Notice (20)
New York Times (3 December 1926) Mrs. Dorothy A. Harder


Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1912) Mrs and Mrs Harder
(1912) Mr. and Mrs. Harder with Mrs hays
From 'Sinking of the Titanic'
(1922) Dorothy Harder in 1922
(1923) Dorothy Annan Harder

Documents and Certificates

(1926) Dorothy Harder (Death Certificate)
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Comment and discuss

  1. leonard schwartz

    leonard schwartz said:

    hi can anyone give me some info about the harders? mrs h was a beauitful women. lenny

  2. Brian Ahern

    Brian Ahern said:

    If anyone's interested in reading about George Harder's brother-in-law, click this link and scroll to page 353. Sylvester James McNamara was a prominent Brooklyn gynecologist and husband of Emilie Harder. Also, I hadn't noticed before that Dorothy's uncle was Brooklyn lawyer William N. Dykman. Cullen & Dykman remains a prestigious firm to this day.

  3. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams said:

    Brian, you never cease to amaze me! I'm constantly delighted by the information you supply on the lesser-known first-class passengers and their family connections. Keep 'em coming!

  4. Brian Ahern

    Brian Ahern said:

    aw, shucks But I have to confess, it was nothing more than reading the news articles under George and Dorothy's ET bios and googling the names I found there. I figured there couldn't be so many Sylvester James McNamaras! Reading up on the Harders is especially interesting for me because they lived in a place in which my own family lived in 1912. But, like so many, they fled Brooklyn for Manhattan and, by the time Dorothy died, were living on Park Avenue. I once dug up the wedding announcement of the Harders' daughter, Dorothy Annan Harder. It carried a... Read full post

  5. leonard schwartz

    leonard schwartz said:

    hi guys yep she was a looker.to bad she lived back them.she could have survived with a kidney transplant.thanks 4 responding. coonsanders

  6. Brian Ahern

    Brian Ahern said:

    I don't know much about kidneys or uremia, but I like to think modern medicine could have kept her from getting to the point where she even needed a transplant.

  7. leonard schwartz

    leonard schwartz said:

    hi well thats what she had and what she needed. coonsanders

  8. Brian Ahern

    Brian Ahern said:

    An interesting blurb taken from this site: DOCTOR ARRESTED FOR REFUSING TO PAY TWO FARES There was a lively row in the Coney Island police station yesterday afternoon, when Dr. Sylvester J. MC NAMARA, nephew of Police Captain MC NAMARA, was brought in under arrest on a charge of refusing to pay his second fare to Coney Island. The doctor, a man who had defended his refusal, a B.R.T. special policeman, and one of his friends, all... Read full post

  9. Michael Cundiff

    Michael Cundiff said:

    A New York actor, on Friday, January 9th, 2009, in Harwich, MA. Son of George Achilles Harder, a Titanic survivor, and Elizabeth Peebles Rhodes. Source: NY Times; 1/19/2009, p18, Op Subject Terms: OBITUARIES Michael Cundiff NV, USA

  10. KayJCO

    KayJCO said:

    I have just finished reading his testimony during the American hearing. I was sickened and disgusted to hear him describe those screaming in the water as hysterical people from steerage. In fact, he didn't describe them as "people from steerage" but simply as "steerage." He proceeded to describe those clinging to the stern as steerage who were like ostriches with their head in the sand. All of this he witnesses from his lifeboat. The same lifeboat that he felt shouldn't have been taken back to save lives because they were already crammed in and there wasn't room. It sickens me that the... Read full post

  11. Dave Gittins

    Dave Gittins said:

    Where did you get the bit about acting like ostriches? I can't see it in the transcript. Are you reading the transcript, or somebody's distortion of it?

  12. robert warren

    robert warren said:

    I just read the transcript of testimony. There is no mention of ostriches. As far as his response to noises of people in the water, he basically said the noise was so intense that you couldn't hear any specific cries for help.He even mentioned that they were on rafts. Its apparent that Harder never paid attention to how many boats the Titanic had or he wouldn't assumed people were on rafts.From his testimony it's also apparent that more passengers in the lifeboat did not want to go back either.Does that make all of them digusting too? Its hard to tell if you're not in that situation how any... Read full post

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Gavin Bell, UK
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