Encyclopedia Titanica

Lucy Ridsdale

Miss Lucy Ridsdale was born on 20 March 1854 in York the daughter of James Ridsdale (born 23 July 1826) and Mary Theakstone (1827-1891).  She had four siblings : Mary (born June 1852), Martha (born 1858), Samuel (born 1862) and Ann (born 1866).  In 1871 she was working as a domestic servant in the home of a grocer at 16 Parliament Street, York.  By 1881 she had moved to Selborne Villa, Lewisham near London and worked as nurse to the family of a ribbon buyer. Ten year's later she was residing in a nurses' house in South Molton Street, Mayfair, London. In 1911 she is still a trained sick nurse but is now living with a family at Elm Place, South Kensington.

She boarded the Titanic at Southampton and travelled in second class, she shared a cabin with Mary Davis.

With all her possessions in the hold of the Titanic she was travelling to America where her sisters already lived, one in Marietta, Ohio, the other in Milwaukee. She would stay with her niece, Mrs J. E. Wickstrom, who lived in Marietta1, Ohio before moving on to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  It was not the first time she had travelled to America.  She visited her sister at Grand Avenue, Milwaukee in 1901 sailing on the SS Westernland departing from Liverpool on 17 July 1901 bound for Philadelphia.

After the collision Miss Ridsdale was helped to dress by her cabin-mate Mary Davis; being afflicted by a club-foot she struggled to get to the boat-deck, but was eventually able to get into a lifeboat (which one is unknown).

I saw officers and passengers manning the lifeboats and loading the women into them, and was soon helped into one myself.....It was cold and with the water in the boat we suffered greatly with cold. After a long time, seemingly many hours, we were picked up by the Carpathia.....''
(Marietta Daily Times, 24 April, 1912)

After the disaster she made a detailed claim for the loss of her personal effects to the value of $3146.

This list includes household and personal effects which the two ladies I am inclosing addresses from England - know I possessed...

This lady has known me for 20 yeas and can testify as to my having had a nursing home of my own at Harrogate, Yorkshire, England.2

I brought everything expecting to make my home here with my sisters in Marietta and Milwaukee... and here bringing my household effects as well as personal gifts from patients and  friends of 25 years nursing + heirlooms of family collecting of 100 years ago. Lucy Ridsdale.

She is listed in the 1930 and 1940 Federal censuses as an 'inmate' of an old people's home in Chicago.

She died, aged 91, in Chicago on 11 January 1946, she was buried at Oakwood cemetery on 14 January 1946 in a communal grave.


  1. Probably the step-daughter of her sister Mary Kemp (nee Ridsdale)
  2. Her claim against the White Star line suggested she had run a nursing home for many years before retiring but the censuses simply show her as an employee.

References and Sources

1861,1871,1881,1891,1911 Census
1930,1940 Federal Census
Judith Geller (1998) Titanic: Women and Children First. Haynes. ISBN 1 85260 594 4
Cleveland Plain Dealer (Ohio), 16 April 1912
Marietta Daily Times, 24 April 1912
Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947
National Archives Lucy Ridsdale and The Titanic
Search archive online

Comment and discuss

  1. Charles A. Burroughs

    Charles A. Burroughs

    I'm wondering whether Miss Lucy Ridsdale (not a very common name) might have been related to Rev. Benjamin Ridsdale who was a missionary to South Africa in the 1880's?

  2. Kelley Regester

    I am the Gt Gt Gt cousin of Lucy Ridsdale,she travelled second class on E-Deck and shared a cabin with Mary Davy,they got onto lifeboat 13. Although originally from Yorkshire,Lucy worked as a nurse in London then ran her own nursing home at 3 Quebec Street,London. She gave this up to join her sisters in the USA.

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Miss Lucy Ridsdale
Age: 58 years and 26 days (Female)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: in London, England
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 14258, £10 10s
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Buried: Oakwood Cemetery, Chicago, Illinois, United States, on Monday 14th January 1946

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