Miss Hildur Elisabeth Hirvonen1, known as Hildy, was born on 15 February 19102 in Dalsbruk (Taalintehdas in Finnish), Finland, then the Grand Duchy of Finland, an autonomous state of the Russian Empire.
She was the daughter and only child of Erik Aleksanteri (Eric Alexander) Hirvonen (b. 1886) and Helga Elisabeth Lindqvist (b. 1890), natives of Dalsbruk and Salo, respectively.
By 1912 Hildur lived in the predominantly Swedish-speaking town of Dalsbruk, the birthplace of her father Erik. Erik Hirvonen left Finland in late 1911 and travelled to the USA aboard the Lusitania—arriving in New York on 3 November 1911—destined for the home of a friend at Motheral Avenue in Monessen, Pennsylvania. Setting up home in Monessen, he garnered a position as a tin worker and saved enough money to send for his wife and child to join him.
Hildur and her mother boarded the Titanic at Southampton as third class passengers (ticket number 3101298 which cost £12, 5s, 9d). She was travelling to Monessen, Pennsylvania to join her father who lived at Motheral Avenue in that city. Besides her mother, she was travelling with her maternal uncle Eino Lindqvist and fellow-Finn August Abrahamsson. Whilst aboard her party became acquainted with the Finns Eirikk Jussila, the newlyweds Pekka and Elin Hakkarainen and the Panula family.
On the night of the sinking Eino Lindqvist placed his sister and niece into a lifeboat, probably lifeboat 15.
Her father Erik, whom the Daily Independent (20 April 1912) described as a screw boy at the American Sheet and Tinplate plant in Monessen, received word on 19 April 1912 that his wife and baby daughter were among the rescued from the Titanic and were then currently recuperating in hospital in New York. Having had no knowledge that they had been aboard that ship, he immediately hastened to New York to find them.
Hildur and her mother later arrived in Monessen where they spent the next two years; in April 1914 the family returned to Finland for a visit, returning to the USA in 1915 when they then settled in Syracuse, New York and from where her father worked for the Holcomb Steel Company. Hildur was later a graduate of Porter Junior High in Syracuse, after which she attended the Central City Business Institute in that city. In the 1920s she and her mother made another visit to Finland and at the time she was described as standing at 5’ 5” and having a fair complexion and with brown hair and blue eyes.
Hildur never married and remained with her parents, moving with them to a farm in Victory, Cayuga, New York in 1936, spending the last twenty years of her life there. Following a short battle with cancer she died on 12 April 1956 and was buried in Union Hill Cemetery in Cato, New York. Besides her parents she was survived by several aunts, uncles and cousins. Her mother died in 1961 and her father in 1964 and they are buried beside her