Mrs Wadi'ah Nakid (née Muawwad)

Mrs Sa'īd Antūn Nakid (Wadi'ah Muawwad) was born in Ihdin, Zaghartā, Lebanon on 18 November 1892.

She was the daughter of Mikhā'īl  Muawwad and his wife and she had three known siblings: Buddy, James and Michael.

She was married at a young age to Sa'īd Antūn Nakid (b. 1891) from the same village. Their first child Mariayam was born around the Spring of 1911.

Her mother-in-law Cattur Habīb Nakid lived in Waterbury, Connecticut and it was decided that she, her husband Sa'īd and their young daughter would also settle there. To reach their destination they boarded Titanic at Cherbourg as third class passengers (ticket number 2653 which had cost £15, 14s, 10d).

Mr Nakid later recounted the family's experiences in The Waterbury Republican on 25 April 1912.

"The first I knew that the boat was in danger was when one of the officers came running thru (sic) the steerage and told us to go on deck as fast as we could, as the ship was sinking. My wife and I had been sleeping soundly and did not feel any jar. We could see by the slope of the floor that the boat was going down and not waiting to put on any more clothes we rushed up to the deck with the baby. We had to go up three stories before we came to where the boats were. At that time the bow of the boat was way down in the water and the stern was sticking up at a slant, way out of the water... The boat we got into was one of the last to leave the ship and it left in such a hurry that there were only about twenty on board. Six of these were men to row the boat and there was one other man.

The sailors saw my wife who had only her nightgown on, and me with the baby, and motioned for her to take a seat in the boat. She did so. I helped her over the side of the boat and was going to get in with her when one of the sailors pushed me back and motioned for me to stay behind. I pointed to the baby and he took it away from me and gave it to my wife. The baby started to cry and reached out her hands to me, but even then the sailors would not let me get in. Just then I saw another boat nearby being loaded preparatory to going in the water. It was nearly full of women when I saw a man try to get in. The sailors held him back but he managed to break thru (sic) them and jumped into the boat. When he stood up a sailor pulled out a reveolved and shot him. The man's body tumbled over the side of the boat and that was the last I saw of him.

I saw it would not be well to take a chance like that and waited. The baby pleaded with the sailors to let me get into the boat but they would not allow it. There was plenty of room there for more., and as there were no more women to get in, I determined to take a chance. . As the boat was being lowered I jumped into it and fell flat on my face. The women covered me over with their skirts and I laid there. There had been so much confusion in casting off that the sailors did not see me jump and of course did not see me afterwards...

Upon arrival in New York Wadi'ah, her husband and daughter were taken care of in St Vincent's Hospital and was also given clothing and money ($62.30). Her mother-in-law, who had been unaware that her son and his family were travelling aboard Titanic, hastened to New York to meet them.

Wadi'ah and her family settled in Waterbury, Connecticut, Anglicising their surname to "Nackid" and she becoming known as Mary. Further tragedy was to strike when their daughter Mariayam died on 30 July 1912 as a result of meningitis. She was the first person among the 712 Titanic survivors to die.

In America Mary and her husband added five children to their family: Thomas (1913-1962), John A. (1917-1966), Catherine (1921-1954), Anthony Thomas (1923-2001) and Frederick R. (1926-1988). By 1920, at the time of the census, the family were residents of 52 Bridge Street in Waterbury. She would become a widow on 30 December 1926 when Sa'īd died aged just 35. Their youngest child Frederick had just been born months earlier on 8 May. She was not remarried.

The 1930 census shows Mrs Nackid and her children residing at 149 East Liberty Street, Waterbury. By 1940 she was living with her children at 524 Baldwin Street, Waterbury. Her sons John and Thomas were by now, like their father before them, working in the brass trade.

Mary Nackid spent her final days living at 184 Meredith Road in Waterbury. She died in St Mary's Hospital on 23 January 1963 following a protracted illness and was buried with her husband in Calvary Cemetery in Waterbury. Having outlived three children, at the time of her death she was survived by three sons: John, Anthony and Frederick. Two brothers, Buddy and James, were still living in Lebanon whilst her brother Michael was residing in Argentina. Her last surviving child, Anthony, died in Waterbury on 25 February 2001 and she still has a large number of descendants living in the Waterbury area.

Courtesy of Michael A. Findlay, USA

Gavin Bell
Michael A. Findlay
Phillip Gowan

References and Sources
Waterbury Republican, 25 April 1912: Tells How He Saved His Life
Waterbury Republican, 27 January 1963, Obituary
Waterbury Republican 24 January 1963, p.8
Connecticut State Department of Health - Certificate of Death Death Certificate
Leila Salloum Elias (2011) The Dream and Then the Nightmare: The Syrians who Boarded the Titanic, the Story of the Arabic-speaking Passengers.


Photograph of the Nakid Family




Articles and Stories

Mrs. Mary (Mowad) Nackid

Waterbury Republican  (1963) 


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