Malvina Helen Cornell

Malvina Helen Cornell

Mrs Robert Clifford Cornell (Malvina Helen Lamson), 55, was born on 10 December 1856. Her husband was a son of George J. and Caroline Cornelia Cornell.

A resident of New York City, she boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a first class passenger (ticket number 11770, £25 14s 10d). She occupied cabin C-101.

Mrs Cornell was accompanied by her sisters Mrs Edward Dale Appleton and Mrs John Murray Brown. They were returning to America having attended a family funeral in England. During the voyage they were joined by Miss Edith Corse Evans who boarded at Cherbourg as well as Colonel Archibald Gracie who gallantly offered his services to the unaccompanied ladies.

Mrs Cornell was later rescued in lifeboat 2 with Mrs Appleton. They were eventually reunited with Mrs Brown on board the Carpathia and were surprised to meet their uncle and aunt Mr and Mrs Charles Marshall who were passengers on the vessel.

Robert Clifford Cornell, died in Bayside, Queens, New York on 7 November 1918. Mrs Cornell herself died in New York on 12 July 1941.

References and Sources

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Photo: Unidentified New York Newspaper

Newspaper Articles

Brooklyn Daily Times (16 April 1912) Brooklynites are Lost as Titanic Sinks
Several Are Believed to Have Sunk With Ship
Brooklyn Daily Times (17 April 1912) MRS. CORNELL SAVED?
Brooklyn Daily Times (17 April 1912) REJOICE TO HEAR OF MRS. CORNELL'S RESCUE
Brooklyn Daily Eagle (19 April 1912) ISMAY IN COMMAND SAYS MRS. APPLETON
Worcester Evening Gazette (20 April 1912) Still Playing As Water Creeps Up
New York Times (20 April 1912) WOMEN REVEALED AS HEROINES BY WRECK (2)
Boston Daily Globe (21 April 1912) GIRL WENT DOWN TO SAVE ANOTHER
Torquay Directory (24 April 1912) Mr. Julian's Companion
Bristol Times and Mirror (27 April 1912) GRAPHIC STORIES OF HEROISM


Malvina Cornell Gravestone
Brooklyn Daily Eagle (1912) Malvina Cornell
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Comment and discuss

  1. Leigh Anthony Ross said:

    I have a few questions about the three Lamson sisters, , that travelled on the Titanic; 1) Does anyone have any info on their parents, Charles Lamson and Elizabeth Marshall? Or any other members of the family (Not the Drummonds,... Read full post

  2. Jeffrey M. Kern said:

    Leigh, I think Edith Evans was related to Malvina Lamson Cornell, the latter being an aunt by marriage in some way. This information comes from Judith B. Geller's tribute to Edith Evans in her book, Titanic: Women and Children First. Miss Edith was very much an aficionado of genealogical studies, being a member (along with her mother, Angeline Burr Corse Evans, and her sister, Lena) of the Colonial Dames of America, a society whose membership extended only to women who could trace their roots back to New England's earliest days. I hope this little tidbit helps you in your studies.

  3. avatar

    Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Leigh - in the following article it says they were her aunts - I hope it helps - Best regards Brian (From The Bristol Times and Mirror, April 27th, 1912). GRAPHIC STORIES OF HEROISM The New York correspondent of the ''Daily Telegraph'' cables a special and graphic message regarding the heroism of some of the women in the wreck. According to this source of information: The heroism of Edith Evans, who gave up her own life that another might be saved, stand out conspicuously. Miss Evans was nearly 30 years old, and, independently well-to-do, she spent much of her time in travel. She was... Read full post

  4. avatar

    Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Leigh - I also found the answer to your 3. The year not the actual date: In 1894, Charlotte married Edward Dale Appleton, a noted New England book publisher from Massachusetts. The couple lived in New York City, and later in nearby Bayside, New York (located in a section of what is now known as Queens, New York today). The Appletons had no children. Cheers Brian

  5. avatar

    Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Leigh answer to your question 1 is just this little bit: Mrs. Edward Dale Appleton (Charlotte Lamson) was born in New York City in December, 1858 (although there were several dates reported for her birth), and was the daughter of Charles Lamson and Elizabeth Robertson Marshall. Her father, who was a former dry goods importer later became the senior partner of the shipping house of Charles H. Marshall & Co., the proprietors of the noted Black Ball Line of Liverpool packet-ships. Cheers Brian

  6. Leigh Anthony Ross said:

    Thank-you all so much Jeffrey, Brian and Mary. You have helped me greatly. Mary do you have a family tree for the Lamson family? As that is what I am attempting to create

  7. avatar

    Kyrila Scully said:

    Leigh, those were family trees that Mary provided you. The numbers given represent the generation. #1 would be the first name on the tree, #2 follows #1, etc. Names descend from #1. Kyrila

  8. Leigh Anthony Ross said:

    Kyrila, yes I know that they were family trees of the three sisters that were aboard the Titanic but there were more children of Charles and Elizabeth and I was wondering if Mary had a complete family tree of the entire Lamson family. Regards Leigh

  9. Mark Baber said:

    Charlotte Lamson and Edward Appleton were married in the Church of the Heavenly Rest in Manhattan on 12 December 1894. Source: The New York Times, 13 December 1894.

  10. David Huffaker said:

    I have nine children born to Charles Lamson and Elizabeth Robertson Marshall - the other six: 1. Fidelia Marshall Lamson 27 Jan 1848 - Paris, France 2. Elizabeth Marshall Lamson 12 Jan 1849 NYC md to Victor Arthur Wellington Drummond 3. Charles Marshall Lamson 30 sep 1850 NYC 4. Kathrine W. Lamson 5 Jul 1851 NYC md. Pedro de Florez 5. Caroline Lane Lamson 6. Malvina Helen Lamson 7. John Lamson 6 Jan 1858 NYC 8. Charlotte Lane Lamson 9. Frances Amelia Lamson 30 Sep 1861 NYC md Charles Guthrie. I have seen a couple of different birth dates but these seem to be... Read full post

  11. Mark Baber said:

    The New York Times' report of the Appleton-Lamson wedding now appears .

  12. Martin Williams said:

    In the hope that it may be of assistance to any present or future board members with a particular interest in the Lamson sisters, I would like to point out that Mike Ellingham, Brian Ahern and I have, over the past two months, swapped a considerable amount of Lamson family history on the 'Gilded Age' thread, under the sub-heading 'Rich People in Society'. There are too many individual posts to cut and paste onto this biographical link, where they perhaps rightly belong, but the information can still be readily accessed at the click of a mouse!

  13. Martin Williams said:

    Colonel Archibald Gracie proffered his services during the voyage to the bereaved Lamson sisters, Mrs Edward D. Appleton, Mrs Robert C. Cornell and Mrs J. Murray Brown. As a boy, Gracie had attended St. Paul's (the American Eton) with Mrs Cornell's husband and, being an indefatigable net-worker, he didn't hesitate to re-open the acquaintance aboard the 'Titanic'. As David Huffaker, Brian Ahern and Mike Ellingham have explored at some length, both here and elsewhere, the Lamson sisters were securely, if discreetly, placed in the upper echelons of New York Society. In addition, and in... Read full post

  14. Martin Williams said:

    Another of the Lamson sisters - the youngest, Frances - also had an interesting career. Six or seven years after the death of her first husband, Frederick Lehmann, she was remarried to Pittsburgh steel magnate Charles S. Guthrie. The wedding took place in October 1900 at the home of her sister, Malvina - her brother-in-law, Judge Robert C. Cornell, gave her away. The congregation was small, composed primarily of close friends and family, and the bride wore a subdued but tasteful ensemble of pale mauve crepe-de-chine with trimmings of yellow lace, a matching hat of velvet and tulle, and... Read full post

  15. Martin Williams said:

    On the biographical thread devoted to Marian Thayer, I recently supplied a link to the collection of the New York Historical Society. I've today discovered that the same collection houses a portrait miniature by Fernand Paillet, dated circa 1885, of Lady Drummond, the Lamson sister who died in the spring of 1912. Charlotte Appleton, Malvina Cornell and Caroline Brown were returning from her funeral in England aboard the Titanic. You'll need to type the word 'Lamson' into the search... Read full post

  16. Mark Baber said:

    the New York Historical Society. An aside of little consequence (except, I imagine, to the Society): Alone (as far as I know) among the city's various organizations and institutions, the Historical Society has retained the once-common hyphen in New-York. It's .

  17. Daniel S. Lamson said:

    Hello, Here is a photo of the Lamson sisters that I recently found in my grandfathers chest that was past down to me. This photo had not seen the light of day since at least 1961... Unfortunately there is no identification of any of the sisters in the photograph and which of these lovely ladies were on the titanic is a mystery. With Martin Williams’s link to the photo on one of the sisters can be ruled... Read full post

  18. Martin Williams said:

    Thanks so much for that, Daniel. It is fascinating to see this photograph of all the Lamson sisters together, looking for all the world like they've just wandered out of the pages of The Age of Innocence. As you've spotted yourself, the miniature of Elizabeth Drummond held by the New York Historical Society is clearly based on her appearance in your picture. Date-wise, I'd place it around 1885 - possibly a little earlier, not much later. Funnily enough, the fact that the girls are seated makes it difficult to be any more precise than that. The fashions of the late 1870s and early 1880s were... Read full post

  19. Brian Ahern said:

    I also have to thank you, Daniel, for sharing such a remarkable photo. Just for the fun of playing mix and match, I think the sister in the striped dress most resembles the photo I've seen of the middle-aged Caroline Brown. I'm not sure if I've ever seen a photo of Mrs Cornell; and I can't tell from the ET photo of Mrs Appleton which of these young ladies she is.

  20. Martin Williams said:

    No, I've never seen a photograph of Mrs Cornell either - well, not until Daniel kindly provided the one above, that is. It is a pity we can't be more certain which sister is which. Given that all the girls are wearing their hair up, it seems likely that even the youngest has passed the age of seventeen or eighteen and is now officially 'out'. I know how you detest her, Brian, but this picture irresistibly reminds me of Edith Wharton and her tales of Old New York. I wonder if she was known personally to the Lamson family? One way or another, I like these sisters very much. One has the... Read full post

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Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2015) Malvina Helen Cornell (ref: #80, last updated: 30th June 2015, accessed 23rd July 2021 05:11:08 AM)

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