Mrs Fanny Maria Kelly

According to the Carpathia manifest of Titanic survivors, Fanny Kelly, was a 45 year old widow born in Wandsworth, London, with a sister, a Mrs. Hamilton, staying at 31 Bedford Place, London, which was a boarding house near Russell Square. Mrs. Kelly was going to visit her son Richard at 68 West 71th Street, New York City.

Under the first name Florence, she had bought ticket number 223596 for £13 10 s and boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second class passenger.  She shared a cabin with Hilda Slayter.

Mrs Kelly survived the sinking. She was rescued by the Carpathia, (possibly in lifeboat 9 or 13). On the Carpathia she sent a telegram to her sister in London on 18 April at 6.32 pm:

Hamilton 32 Bedford Place London
saved cable Dick lost adress

According to the 1913 The Emergency and Relief booklet by the American Red Cross (recipient number 236), Mrs. Fanny Kelly returned to England, possibly arriving in Southampton, September 22, 1912 (Majestic passenger manifest listing a Mrs. Fanny Kelly, age 47).

Although there has been some uncertainty about which Fanny Kelly sailed on the Titanic, it seems certain she was Fanny Maria Kelly (nee Tozer).

Fanny Maria Tozer was born in Battersea, Wandsworth District, London in late 1863.  Although her birth records are unavailable, her approximate date of birth and birth location are based on the birth certificates of her nearest aged siblings, as well as, the 1871 and 1881 UK census records. 

She married Richard Henry Kelly, a diamond merchant, in early 1883 and her son, Richard Charles Kelly, was born a few months later.  At this time, Fanny seems to have used the first name Nellie.  Nellie Kelly's marriage certificate, her son's birth certificate and the 1891 UK census record are consistent with Nellie actually being Fanny. 

In the 1901 (UK Census), the now widowed Fanny Maria Kelly, age 35, was running a boarding house on Upper Bedford Place near Russell Square, London.  By 1911 (UK Census), Fanny, age 47, was working at a boarding house about a block to the west of Upper Bedford Place and being visited by her son, Richard.  Richard Charles Kelly returned to New York, arriving on March 8, 1912 (Oceanic passenger manifest giving a UK contact of an uncle, Mr. Hamilton).  

Based on various census, birth and marriage records, Fanny Maria Kelly's sister, the Mrs. Hamilton mentioned above, was Mary Louisa Hamilton of Southsea, England (1911 UK census). 

Fanny Maria Kelly, age 56, died on March 1, 1920 at 32 Bloomsbury Street, London of "Diabetes 8 years duration" (UK death certificate), suggesting that Fanny was possibly an undiagnosed diabetic when she boarded the Titanic.  Her gravesite has not been located.

In a 2000 Encyclopedia Titanica discussion thread, it was suggested that the unknown woman photographed with Hilda Slayter and Laurence Beesley aboard the Carpathia was Hilda's cabin mate, Fanny Kelly.  An attempt was made to confirm this suggestion by trying to locate any living descendants of Fanny Maria Kelly. 


Richard Charles Kelly married M. Dorothy E. Curtis of Bexleyheath, Kent, England in August 1920, and emigrated to New South Wales, Australia where he died in 1948.  There is no available evidence of children,  However, Mary Louisa Hamilton's son, Kyrie Claude Hamilton, also emigrated to Australia and his descendants have confirmed that multiple great aunt Fanny Maria Kelly was on the Titanic.


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Alan Hustak, Canada
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Charles Caldwell, USA

References and Sources

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
John Booth & Sean Coughlan (1993) Titanic Signals of Disaster. White Star Publications, Westbury, Wiltshire. ISBN 0 9518190 1 1
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
The Emergency and Relief booklet by the American Red Cross
United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912
British Census
GRO Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2020) Fanny Maria Kelly Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #478, updated 14th January 2020 13:04:51 PM)