Encyclopedia Titanica

Hilda Maria Hellström

Hilda Hellstrom
Hilda Hellstrom aged 22.
Photo taken at the studio of O. Sundberg, Borlänge, Sweden
(Courtesy Ellen Larson Centko) 

Miss Hilda Maria Hellström, 22, was born December 7, 1889, the daughter of August Hellström and Carolina Hellström (née Johnson). She had two brothers and two sisters. Until 1912 Hilda lived in Stora Tuna, Borlänge, Sweden with her parents.

Hilda Hellström had been planning her journey to America for a long time but had to postpone it when her mother became ill and she had to keep house for her father. When her mother died, in March 1912, a sister took care of her father and Hilda could finally go. She booked her passage through the White Star agent in Gothenburg (Carl Eriksson). She was initially meant to travel on the Adriatic but was transferred on account of the coal strike. She boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third-class passenger and occupied Cabin 135 far aft on D-Deck with other single women. Her destination was the home of her widowed aunt Johanna Erikson, 1032 Florence Ave. Evanston Illinois.

Passenger ticket number 1323 issued by the White Star Line's, Gothenburg Agency
(Courtesy Ellen Larson Centko) 

Inspection card for Immigrants and Steerage Passengers
(Courtesy Ellen Larson Centko) 

Baggage Claim ticket number 2929 from the White Star Line
(Courtesy Ellen Larson Centko)

  • "I was a 3rd Class passenger aboard the Titanic, and we were cramped for space in the lower berth... I was always curious about just what the rest of the ship was like, I was drawn to the sound of orchestral music coming from above, I made my way, up through the second class level, past men in a room, smoking and playing cards..I found my way up to the main ballroom to find myself in the presence of wonderful music playing, and I remained there, unseen by anyone".
    Account related to Ellen Larson Centko

Hilda had not yet got into bed when she heard the collision, she went on deck but could see no disturbance so returned to her room. When she was back in her cabin she felt uneasy and decided to go back up on deck. Someone there grabbed her and guided her to a lifeboat. She was able to get into one of the last boats (possibly collapsible C) with fellow Swede Velin Öhman. Hilda recalled that Velin produced a bottle of brandy and the two women shared it to calm their shattered nerves.

In a letter home, she wrote about the arrival to New York on the Carpathia that she was "broke, pale and skinny, we were stowed in like pigs on Carpathia." In New York, she was brought to the Lutheran Emigrant Home. The Women's Relief Committee in New York gave her $25.

After surviving the sinking she had such a terror of water that she never again travelled to Sweden or saw her Swedish relatives.

Hilda married John Edward Larson on 7 December 1915, in Waukegan. They had a daughter Ellen3. The family lived at 1870 Green Bay Road, Highland Park, Chicago, IL. But a few weeks before she died Hilda moved to Streator, IL to be with her daughter Ellen.

Hilda Maria Larson (née Hellström) died at her daughter's home on 16 March 1962 aged 72.


  1. Caroline or Carolina Johnson (b.?, d. March 1912, Sweden); August Hellström (b.?, d. 1936, Swede
  2. John Edward Larson (b. October 1860, Goteborg, Sweden, d. February 24, 1948, Highland Park, Il. USA)
  3. Anthony and Ellen Centko (née Larson) live in Streator, Il.

References and Sources

Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996, 1999) Titanic. Prisma, Stockholm. ISBN 91 518 3644 0
Streator Times Press (Illinois), March 16, 1962, p. 5
Unknown Newspaper (Evanston, Illinois), April 15, 1943
State of Illinois - Medical Certificate of Death #19978

Newspaper Articles



Racine Journal Times (1912) Scandinavian Survivors
St Louis Post-Dispatch (1912) Titanic Survivors in New York

Documents and Certificates

Search archive online


Joe Centko, USA
Ellen Larson Centko, USA (daughter of Hilda Hellström)
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Phillip Gowan, USA
Leif Snellman, Finland
Claes-Göran Wetterholm, Sweden

Comment and discuss

  1. David Anderson

    David Anderson

    Today (2/14/98) I received a letter from a distant cousin of mine, Arne Karlsson, who lives in Falun Sweden. We share common ancestors who lived in Stora Tuna. I thought that with the increased interest in the Titanic, the following might be of interest to this list! He writes: '1912 departed a first cousin of my father with the greatest ship in the world, Titanic. More about her life can you read in the added obituary. She travelled of course to her aunt...' Obituary in the newspaper Borlänge Tidning 1962.: 'Titanic passenger from Domnarvet dead in Amerika' 'Message has come that Mrs.... Read full post

  2. Xmissxxmary92

    my great grandma (:

  3. Chrissfiore

    My niece Haley received this person as her "passenger aboard the Titanic" when we visited this exhibit this past week. Haley's name is actually Haley Helstrom. Too much of a coincidence huh?

  4. Aspell home

    Hilda is the aunt (mothers sister) of my husbands grandfather. Hilda sent a watch to her sisters son (grandpa) from her new homeland, that we now have in our home. Amazing story.

  5. Laura E

    How interesting to hear of other relatives! My father's adoptive father was a relative to some degree, as well

  6. Centko

    Relative to the Centko family. My great grandmother was Rose Centko, Streator Illinois

  7. Kjell Johansson

    Hi Laura! Are you possible relative to Ericson family emigrated to Chicago 1893? The family consisted of William (Bill), John, Hannah, Fred, Signe, Oscar, Sigfrid. All were cousins of Hilda Hellström (Larson) and her daughter Ellen Larson (Centko) Greetings Kjell

  8. Claire (4315)

    Hilda was my great grandmother. I was born and lived in Streator Illinois area my whole life along with my family and her daughter (my grandmother). This history is fascinating to me and I am pleased to see so many people connect here.

  9. Mike Colclough

    See my comment above yours...

  10. Malte

    Maybe since you're a relative to Hilda you can contact Titanic Honor And Glory, They're making a game about titanic and will probably include Hilda. Maybe you can be the voice actor for her. They want accurate authentic voices and they also probably soon or later want to know what she sounded like. For example a relative to molly brown is gonna do her voice.

  11. George (5113)

    My grandma was Francis Centko. See lived a few doors down on Sterling St. from Rose. I do remember Ellen and her husband Tony. They were my great Aunt and Uncle.

  12. Kjell Johansson

    Hi Hilda was my father's cousin. I am very interested in getting in touch with relatives of Hilda, especially in US. Please contact me on

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Miss Hilda Maria Hellström
Age: 22 years 4 months and 8 days (Female)
Nationality: Swedish
Last Residence: in Stora Tuna, Sweden
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 7548, £8 19s 3d
Cabin No. [D] O135
Rescued (boat C)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Friday 16th March 1962 aged 72 years
Cause of Death:
Buried: Memorial Park, Skokie, Illinois, United States

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