Encyclopedia Titanica

Margaret Fleming

Maid to Mrs Thayer

Miss Margaret Fleming was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 31 January 1870.

She was the daughter of Irish immigrants, David Fleming (b. 1833), a labourer, and his wife Margaret, née Farrell (b. 1838), who had come to the USA in the late 1850s1.

Her five known siblings were: Marcella (1858-1939, later Mrs John Patrick Hennessy), Thomas (b. 1860), Mary Magdeline (1864-1932), Kate (b. 1866) and Lizzie (b. 1874). The family appear on the 1870 and 1880 census records living in Philadelphia.

Margaret, known as Maggie, appeared on the 1910 census residing with her employers the Thayers at Haverford, Lower Merion, Pennsylvania and she had been in their employ since November 1904. 

She boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a first class passenger (ticket number 17421 which cost £110, 17s, 8d), travelling with her employers the Thayers and their son Jack following a trip to Europe.

On the night of the sinking Margaret and Mrs Thayer were directed to lifeboat 4 which had been lowered flush with A-deck promenade. Goodbyes were exchanged with Mr Thayer and son Jack at the top of the grand staircase on A-deck and the two ladies went to A-deck promenade where they waited to board lifeboat 4. The windows separating the passengers and the lifeboat had not been opened and the crowd of prominent ladies and their maids waiting to board were shuffled back and forth between the boat deck and the promenade deck, much to the annoyance of Mrs Thayer. Mr Thayer and his son had been under the impression that both ladies had long since departed until Chief Second Steward George Dodd told them that she was still aboard. He them took them to her. Mrs Thayer and Margaret eventually left the ship at 1.55 am.

Margaret survived the sinking, along with Mrs Thayer and her son Jack. John Borland Thayer Sr was among the lost. After they disembarked from the Carpathia in New York, Margaret, Marian and Jack made their way to Jersey City, New Jersey where they boarded a private train back to Haverford.

Following the Titanic disaster, Margaret remained in the service of Mrs Thayer for the rest of her life and she was never married. She appeared on the 1920 through 1940 census records still resident in Haverford, Pennsylvania, by the time of the later census aged 70, still in the employ of Mrs Thayer, and continued to travel the world with her employer. One voyage in February 1914 was aboard the Lusitania and another in March 1925 has her travelling westbound aboard the Mauretania following a trip to Europe and North Africa. Her passport describes her as standing at 5' 9", with blue eyes, white hair and of fair complexion.

Margaret Fleming

Margaret Fleming in 1924

Margaret died in Bryn Mawr Hospital following complications with colon cancer on 24 August 1941 aged 71; the informant at the time of her death was Marian Thayer. Her death certificate states she was buried in the Old Cathedral Cemetery, Philadelphia on 26 August 1941. 


  1. Affidavits contained within Margaret's passport application state that her father had come to the USA in 1861. The family were already present on US soil by the time of the 1860 census and her eldest sibling Marcella had been born in Pennsylvania in 1858.


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Comment and discuss

  1. sydney

    in the 6th paragraph, the second till last sentence it should be, "He then took him to them."

  2. erica (2882)

    this was the most interesting article that I have ever read! it was awesome!

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Miss Margaret Fleming
Age: 42 years 2 months and 15 days (Female)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Single
Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 17421, £110 17s 8d
Rescued (boat 4)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Sunday 24th August 1941 aged 71 years
Buried: Old Cathedral Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States on Tuesday 26th August 1941

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