Encyclopedia Titanica

Elizabeth Catherine Brown

Elizabeth Catherine Brown
Elizabeth Catherine Brown

Mrs Elizabeth Catherine Brown (née Ford) was born around 1868 1 in the Cape Colony, South Africa. Her parents were Frank Edward Murray (b. around 1842 or 1846 in Cape Town, d. 1884) and Charlotta Hendrika (b. 1844 in Malmesbury, South Africa; nee Grief or Greeff; d. 21 September 1880) Ford. Her parents had married 9 January 1866 at Swartland, Morreesburg, in the Cape Province in the Dutch Reformed tradition. After the death of Charlotta Hendrika, her father married Engela Jacoba Wilhelmina du Toit (b. 1862) 10 January 1882 at Boshof, Free State, South Africa. Her father passed away 29 May 1884 at Potchefstroom, Transvaal, South Africa.

Elizabeth had four known brothers and sisters; Edward Stranson, b. February 1868 (later a gold miner, d. 11 June 1929) Hendrik Gabriel (b. 1869, d. 18 March 1953), Sarah Jane, b. 1870 (later Mrs. Louw d. 23 January 1931), and Johanna Catharina (d. 19 June 1972), albeit there may have been two additional siblings who died in infancy; Frank Murray, and Charlotta Hendrika.

She married widower Thomas William Solomon (listed as a storekeeper) on 11 August 1890 at St. Mary’s Church in Woodstock, Western Cape, South Africa, apparently in the Church of England tradition. They had two children; Edith Eileen, b. 1896, and Dorothy Beatrice, b. 1899 (d. 16 October 1906; diphtheria).

In 1906, the Brown family lived at Mountain View Hotel in Long Street, Cape Town.

Mr Brown later worked as a Hotelier, but it seems business had declined and they decided to move to America.

The family boarded the Titanic at Southampton as second class passengers (ticket number 29750 for £39).  Elizabeth, Edith and two other Ladies, occupied a four-berth cabin; Thomas was accommodated elsewhere.

After the collision with an iceberg, Thomas placed Elizabeth and Edith in lifeboat 14 and stepped back, smoking a cigar and awaiting his fate.

Mrs Brown and her daughter were rescued by the Carpathia. They stayed in New York for a while and then travelled on to Elizabeth's sister, Mrs. Acton, at 2400 9th Avenue in Seattle.  Soon after they returned to South Africa.

Mrs. Brown married a Mr. Parrott and moved to Salisbury, Rhodesia (today Harare, Zimbabwe), where she passed away on 29 June 1925, due to heart failure, purportedly aged 54.




  1. Her exact date of birth remains uncertain. At the time of their marriage she was 22, indicating a year of birth of 1867 or 1868, which would have made her about 58, but when she died her age was given as 54.

References and Sources

1912 Seattle City Directory

Research Articles

David Haisman Titanica! (2003) The Browns Prepare to Abandon Ship

Newspaper Articles

Unidentified Newspaper (10 April 1996) Oldest Titanic survivor plans visit to site
Ceremony will honor tragic sinking


Seattle Daily Times (1912) Elizabeth Catherine Brown

Documents and Certificates

(1912) Contract Ticket List, White Star Line (Southampton, Queenstown), National Archives, London; BT27/776,780


James Pellow with Dorothy Kendle (1995) A Lifetime on the Titanic. The Biography of Edith Haisman, Britains Oldest Survivor of the Titanic Disaster., Island Books. ISBN 1 898198 10 1
Judith Geller (1998) Titanic: Women and Children First, Haynes, ISBN 0393046664
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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Elizabeth Catherine Brown (née Ford)
Nationality: South African
Marital Status: Married to Thomas William Solomon Brown
Last Residence: in Cape Town, South Africa
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 29750, £39
Rescued (boat 14)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Cause of Death:

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