Mrs Mary Eliza Compton

Mrs Alexander Taylor Compton was born as Mary Eliza Ingersoll in Westchester, New York on 7 August 1847.

She was the daughter of Lorin Ingersoll (1813-1889), a tin manufacturer, and Rebecca Ely Halsey (1819-1890). Both her parents hailed from New York and she had six known siblings: James Harrison (b. 1840), Moses Ely (b. 1842), William (b. 1844), Sarah Maria (b. 1849), John Ely (b. 1856) and Laura J. (b. 1858).

She first appears on the 1850 census living in West Farms, Westchester, New York with her parents and siblings but by the time of the 1860 census she was living with her family in Morrisania, Westchester.

She was married to Alexander Taylor Compton (b. 17 May 1842 in Newark, New Jersey), the son of John and Sarah Jane Compton. He worked as a lawyer in both New York and his native New Jersey.

She and her husband appeared on the 1870 census living with her parents in New York. They went on to have three children: Lorin Ingersoll (1870-1872), Sara "Sadie" Rebecca (b. 1872) and Alexander Taylor Jr (b. 1874). The family would appear on the 1880 census living in New York and on the 1885 census living in East Orange, New Jersey.

Alexander Taylor Compton died on 30 January 1902 and his remaining family later settled in Lakewood, New Jersey.

Together with her son Alexander and daughter Sara, she boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a first class passenger (joint ticket number PC 17756, £83, 3s, 2d). Mrs Compton occupied cabin E-45.

Mary and Sara were rescued in lifeboat 14 but her son Alexander was lost. Following their arrival in New York aboard the Carpathia Mrs Compton and her daughter stayed at the Murray Hill Hotel in New York and was she was reportedly devastated at the loss of her son. She later related that when she said goodbye to him on the boat deck as she entered a lifeboat that that would be the last time she saw him.

Following the sinking, Mrs Compton continued to travel the world but made New York City her home base. She continued to spend her summers in Lakewood, New Jersey and died on died 4 December 1930. She is buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Newark, New Jersey.

Compton Grave
Courtesy of Michael A. Findlay, USA



Compton Family Plot - Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Newark, New Jersey

Articles and Stories

Asbury Park Evening Press (1912) 
Asbury Park Evening Press (1912) 
Newark Evening News (1912) 
New York Herald (1912) 
Newark Evening News (1912) 

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Gavin Bell, UK
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Craig Stringer, UK
Geoff Whitfield, UK

References and Sources

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

(2019) Mary Eliza Compton Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #77, updated 22nd November 2019 23:51:29 PM)