Encyclopedia Titanica

Neshan Krekorian

Neshan Krekorian
Neshan Krekorian

Mr Neshan Krekorian, 25, was born 12 May 1886,1 in the village of Keghi, in what was then Turkish occupied Armenia.2 He was a Christian, and after Turkish Muslims renewed an ongoing vendetta against Christians, Krekorian and several of his compatriots, Mampré ZakarianArsen Siraganian, Haroutioun Zakarian and David Vartanian decided to flee the country and emigrate to Canada. He was heading for the home of Mr Paul Martin, 108 Princess Street, Hamilton, Ontario.

One source (AH) suggests that Krekorian did not have a ticket on Titanic, and had to bribe a travel agent in Marseilles to get aboard, although the contract ticket list indicates that he held ticket number 2654 which cost £7, 4s, 7d. Either way, he boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a third class passenger . Krekorian later complained about being "cooped up like a chicken" in their third class cabin (E-57 on F-Deck).

On the evening of April 14, Krekorian played cards, and around 11 o'clock kicked off his shoes and crawled into his bunk with his clothes on. He felt a draught and noticed his porthole was open. When he went to close it, he noticed ice floes in the water. "Even though it was the first time in my life I had seen icebergs, I didn't think much of it because they were barely noticeable," he said later.

Neshan Krekorian
"The Armenian who arrived in Brantford Thursday and who escaped from the Titanic in women's clothes."Brantford Daily Expositor, 27 April 1912

Once the iceberg hit, Krekorian managed to make his way up to A-Deck just as lifeboat 10 was being jerked down the Port side, ran down the deck, made a leap for it, and landed in the boat. Able Seaman Frank Evans later testified that Krekorian "deliberately jumped in and saved himself." Some sources state he escaped dressed as a womoan, this is most likely typical of the prejudice shown towards some 'foreigners' that survived. 

Krekorian survived, but caught pneumonia. He was hospitalized in New York, and when he finally made it to his destination in Brantford, Ontario, was in hospital again for a couple of weeks.

In 1918 he moved to St. Catherines, Ontario, he married Persape Vartanian (1898-1985)3 on 12 July 1924, and they had three children: Alice (1925-2016), George Dennis (1926-2014) and Angeline (1930-2021).

Krekorian worked all his life on a General Motors Automobile Assembly line.

The Titanic was his first and only time on a ship. Whenever he went anywhere near a large body of water, his daughter said, "his face betrayed his thoughts, He would gaze at the water, and instantly you knew he was reliving that night."

He died in St. Catherine's on 21 May 1978 aged 92, and is buried at Victoria Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. His widow Persape died in 1985.

Notes

1. The death certificate gives date of birth as 1 December 1886.
2. The location of Keghi, Armenia is unclear but there is a hint in the "List Or Manifest Of Alien Passengers..." held at the National Archives in New York, the entry of David Vartanian gives his residence as "Oror, Township of Keghje, Prov. Ezroom, Turkish Asia". Prov. Ezroom was, and remains Prov. Erzurum, Turkey. The spelling of the township at the time varies (Keghi, Keghje, Kighi) but today is Kigi, Prov. Bingöl, Turkey. In the eastern Part of Turkey there is a region called Turkish Armenia, today and then. Not to be confused with Armenia, a former part of Russia in 1912. That means Krekorian was a Turkish Armenian, living in the region of Armenia divided by Russia and Turkey (HS).
3. In the "List Or Manifest Of Alien Passengers..." Krekorian is listed as "Nishan Krikorian", 27 years of age and married. The name of his wife is given as "Dilbar Arokian Krikorian". It is possible that this was a mistake as it was always believed to have been single when he arrived in America. One possible explanation is that he gave his mother's name but it was recorded by the immigration official as his wife. Then again, it is possible that he was indeed married and left his wife behind and subsequently married to Persape Vartanian (apparently no relation to David Vartanian [AS]).
In the same list his nationality is given as "Turkish" and his residence as "Abosknak". Like his birthplace, Abosknak is also difficult to trace, it may be Akkonak, Prov. Mus nr. Erzurum (HS).

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Neshan Krekorian
Age: 25 years 11 months and 3 days (Male)
Nationality: Armenian Turkish
Religion: Christian
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: in Abosknak, Turkey
Occupation: General Labourer
Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 2654, £7 4s 7d
Cabin No. [F] E57
Rescued (boat 10)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Sunday 21st May 1978 aged 92 years
Cause of Death:

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References and Sources

Province of Ontario Office of The Registrar-General Statement of Death
Andrees Handatlas (World Atlas), Germany

Newspaper Articles

The Times (13 May 1912) Some Armenian Victims
Steve Archer Calgary Herald (16 April 1971) Titanic survivor wants to forget

Documents and Certificates

(1978) Neshan Krekorian (Death Certificate)

Miscellaneous

List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia), National Archives, New York; NWCTB-85-T715-Vol. 4183.

Bibliography

Alan Hustak (1999) Titanic: The Canadian Story, Véhicule Press. ISBN 1 55065 113 7
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Acknowledgements

Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Phillip Gowan, USA
Alan Hustak, Canada
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Alice Solomonian