Encyclopedia Titanica

Fridtjof Arne Madsen

Mr Fridtjof Arne Madsen, 24, was born 17 March 1888, at Kristiansfeldtsgaten 27 in Trondhjem, Norway the son of Fridthjof Christian, a tram conductor b. 14 June 1866 at Trondhjem, and Anna Emilie (nee Larsdatter; b. 14 October 1866 at Trondhjem) Madsen.

His siblings were Karl, b. 16 January 1890 (a sailor), Magnhild, b. 22 May 1892, Lilli, b. 17 December 1894, Aase, b. 6 September 1900, Torbjørn, b. 8 June 1906, Mildrid, b. 27 March 1903, and Åsmund, b. 9 March 1910.  All of his siblings were born in Trondhjem or Strinden.  Three of the children died of tuberculosis.

Fridtjof lived from around 1898 with Karl Olsen's parents and family in Trondhjem.  The Madsen family was most likely split up because of the very poor living conditions they had been living under in the city of Trondheim.

In 1910, he lived at 1 Bersvendtsveien in Trondheim, where Arthur Olsen, aged 8, also lived; his family lived at Ny Aasvei 27a in Trondhjem at the time.

Fridtjof attended navigation school and later got his ship's officer's certificate.

Fridtjof Madsen jr. was a sailor, living in Trøndelag, Trondheim, Norway. He was travelling from Trondheim to Brooklyn, New York to sign on as second mate on a Norwegian ship although his stated destination was the home of his half-brother Louis Larsen, 112 Summit Street, Brooklyn, New York. He travelled together with Carl and Arthur Olsen.

Karl Olsen and his son Artur travelled with him via Newcastle. He boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third class passenger (ticket number C 17369, £7 2s 10d).

After the collision, he reached the boat deck together with the Olsens and he had Charlie place Artur into a lifeboat. According to Artur, Fridtjof Madsen was later picked up from the water by his boat, but boat 13 is known not to have picked up any swimmers.

Red Cross files: No. 288. (Norwegian) Sailor, 24 years of age, coming to attend a navigation school, injured. ($100).

In America Fridtjof changed his name to Fred Matson. He later worked as a carpenter at Brooklyn harbour. He married Louise Stokke and they had one child George who was born in 1915.

In 1952 Fred visited Trondheim for the first time since the Titanic disaster. The main paper in Trondheim, Adresseavisen, wrote about the visit, but Fred wouldn't talk much about the Titanic, neither with his family, nor the press.

Fred and Louise lived the rest of their lives in Brooklyn, but spent most summers in Florida.

Fred Matson (Fridtjof Arne Madsen) died on 23 January 1972. Three days later he was buried at Greenwood Cemetery Brooklyn, New York. Louise Stokke Matson, died in Brooklyn, New York in December of 1980, shortly after her 91st birthday.


  1. On some lists his name is spelled Frithiof.

References and Sources

City of New York Certificate of Death
Per Kristian Sebak (1998) Titanic: 31 Norske Skjebner, Genesis Publishers
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
Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996, 1999) Titanic. Prisma, Stockholm. ISBN 91 518 3644 0

Documents and Certificates

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Comment and discuss

  1. Vincent Matson

    I am Vincent P Matson, son of Vincent T Matson along with Tom & Kristine. I'm proud to have a great great grandfather who survived the Titanic.

  2. Erik Thoresen

    I am proud too. Fred was my grandmothers brother from Trondheim Norway. Erik T.

  3. Kristine Matson

    Im Vincent and Tom Matson's sister Kristine. Great great grand daughter of Fridtof (Fred). I am also very proud of our heritage and hope to be able to travel to Norway one day . Unfortunately both my brothers, along with our father Vincent T Matson have all passed away. We do have a half brother out there Ive never met. The Matson name lives on ❤

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Fridtjof Arne Madsen
Age: 24 years and 29 days (Male)
Nationality: Norwegian
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: in Trondheim, Norway
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 17369, £7 2s 10d
Rescued (boat 13)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Sunday 23rd January 1972 aged 83 years
Cause of Death:
Buried: Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York, United States on Wednesday 26th January 1972

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