Encyclopedia Titanica

Alma Cornelia Pålsson

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Left Alma Pålsson
Photos © Lars-Inge Glad

Mrs Nils Pålsson (Alma Cornelia Berglund), 29, was born on August 3, 1882 in Velinge, Sweden the daughter of Maria Berglund (neé Nilsson) and Anders Berglund (1). Alma had four brothers: Oskar Albert, Hilding Waldemar, Axel Ferdinand and Gustav Gabriel Berglund (2).

Alma was married to Nils Pålsson (3) who worked as a miner in Gruvan, Bjuv, Skåne, Sweden. Following a major strike Nils tired of mining and because the only professions available in Bjuv were miner, brickworker and farm hand he decided to emigrate. On 10 June 1910 he received his emigration certificate and travelled to Chicago. Having gained employment as a tram conductor Nils set about saving enough money for his family to join him. He lived at 938 Townsend Street, Chicago. Also living in Chicago were two of Alma's brothers: Olof (?Oskar) Berglund on 2304 North Spring St. and Axel Berglund, 1725 Kimball Ave.

Eventually enough money had been raised and Alma and her four children Torburg, Paul, Stina, and Gösta left Gruvan for Southampton, travelling via Malmö and Copenhagen.

On board the Titanic Alma got to know August Wennerström. When the ship was sinking it took a long time to prepare the four children and Alma came too late for the lifeboats. She met Wennerström on the Boat Deck near collapsible A. Wennerström tried to hold on to two of the children as she had asked him to but when water came up them Wennerström lost his grip and both disappeared.

Mrs Pålsson and the children boarded the Titanic at Southampton. They all perished in the sinking. Nils clung to the hope that stories about a rescued boy might refer to one of his children. He spent much money and time looking in vain for the boy but eventually Mr Pålsson was informed at the Chicago offices of the White Star line that his family was among the missing.

 

Image
Nils Pålsson
(Photo © Lars-Inge Glad)

Paulson looked pale and ill when he leaned hungry eyed over the desk and asked in broken English if his wife or children had been accounted for. Chief Clerk Ivar Holmstrom scanned his list of third class passengers saved. He failed to find there any of the names enumerated by Paulson. "Perhaps they did not sail," he suggested hopefully. Then he looked over the list of those who sailed third class on the Titanic...The process of elimination was now complete. "Your family was on the boat, but none of them are accounted for," said Clerk Holmstrom.

The man on the other side of the counter was assisted to a seat. His face and hands were bathed in cold water before he became fully conscious. He was finally assisted to the street by Gust Johnson, a friend who arrived with him. Paulson's grief was the most acute of any who visited the offices of the White Star, but his loss was the greatest. His whole family had been wiped out.

Alma's body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett:

NO. 206 - FEMALE - ESTIMATED AGE, 30 - FAIR HAIR

CLOTHING - Brown Coat; green cardigan; dark shirt; brown skirt under; boots; no stockings.

EFFECTS - Wedding ring; brass keeper; mouth organ; purse and two coins; a letter; 65 kroner; had four children with her; letter from husband, Neil Paulsson, 94 Townsend St, Chicago.

THIRD CLASS TICKET No. 349909 (5 TICKETS) - NAME - ALMA PAULSON

She was buried in Fairview cemetary in Halifax on 8 May 1912.

Grave
Left: Alma Pålsson's grave)
Photo © Fredric Nilsson, Sweden

The Mansion House Fund paid 875.52 Kr (£48) to Alma's mother. Damages of 1366:50 Kr (£75) were paid to mother on 26 May 1914.

Nils remained in the USA. In the late 1920s he was joined in USA by Axell Tollof Kvist (a relative of Alma's, born: April 14 1896) from Gruvan, Bjuv. Kvist was to send for his wife to join him in America but he never made contact again. Nils died in 1962.

Notes

  1. Maria Berglund (neé Nilsson), born on 22 December 1859 in Fleninge, Sweden.  Anders Berglund (born 7 August 1852 also in Fleninge).
  2. Oskar (?Olof) Albert Berglund (18 January 1881 in Velinge, Sweden), Hilding Waldemar Berglund (born 2 March 1884 in Velinge, Sweden)
  3. Axel Ferdinand Berglund (born 15 March 1886 in Velinge, Sweden), Gustav Gabriel Berglund (born 8 February 1898 in Bjuv, Sweden).
  4. In America Nils changed his name to Nels Paulsson.

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Alma Cornelia Pålsson (née Berglund)
Age: 29 years 8 months and 12 days (Female)
Nationality: Swedish
Marital Status: Married to Nils Pålsson
Last Residence: in Bjuv, Skåne, Sweden
Occupation: Housewife
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 349909, £21 1s 6d
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body recovered by: Mackay-Bennett (No. 206)
Buried: Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on Wednesday 8th May 1912

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References and Sources

Chicago Daily Tribune (Illinois), 20 April 1912
Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996) Titanic
White Star Line (1912.) Record of Bodies and Effects (Passengers and Crew S.S. "Titanic") Recovered by Cable Steamer "MacKay Bennett" Including Bodies Buried at Sea and Bodies Delivered at Morgue in Halifax, N.S. Public Archives of Nova Scotia, Halifax, N.S., Manuscript Group 100, Vol. 229, No. 3d, Accession 1976-191, 76 pp., unpaged. (#206)

Newspaper Articles

Chicago American (21 April 1912) Loses Family by Wreck

Images

Grave of Alma Cornelia PÃ¥lsson
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Comment and discuss

  1. Miranda Martin

    Miranda Martin said:

    I'm looking for photos of the Pålsson children. I know there is one of Stina and her parents, and one of Gösta, but are there any of Torborg and Paul, or others of the two youngest ones? Please answer me. Miranda

  2. Melinda Laura Varju

    Melinda Laura Varju said:

    Not that I know of and I've wondered this same thing.

  3. Miranda Martin

    Miranda Martin said:

    I think there could have been photos of the others because lots of families took photos before they left. For example, the Panula family took a photo of their three youngest children just before they left. Maybe the Pålssons did the same, but the photos were lost somehow. It would be interesting to know if Nils Pålsson had other children, or if there were any other descendants. Maybe they might have photos. Miranda

  4. Melinda Laura Varju

    Melinda Laura Varju said:

    Hi Miranda, You said the Panulas family took a photo of the three youngest children before they left. Can I see that picture? I love to see how these little children looked who so suddenly perished this terrible disaster. About the Palsson family, the picture says "Nils, Alma, with Stina before Nils left for Chicago." I think Stina is the oldest child/daughter, not Torborg. Why would the other children be excluded on the photo? Plus, when Nils left for Chicago, Gosta was the smallest child. This makes Stina older than Torborg. I bet there are pictures of those children somewhere, or at... Read full post

  5. Miranda Martin

    Miranda Martin said:

    There wasn't a picture of all three Panula children but one photo of each. Sorry I don't know how to post a picture. Can you tell me? I don't understand why Stina should be older than Torborg. I have thought sometimes that the girl in the photo could be Torborg, and since the child looks about one year old, Paul wasn't born yet.

  6. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber said:

    I don't know how to post a picture. Can you tell me? Sure, Miranda. Below the space at the bottom of this page where you'd compose a new message, there's a button labeled "Insert Image/Document." Click on that button and follow the instructions on the pop-up page that will appear, and the image should appear in your message once it's posted.

  7. Miranda Martin

    Miranda Martin said:

    I think nearly every one has a picture of Eino Panula. I you don't, I will post it here. The photo is of Juha Panula.

    attachment
  8. Miranda Martin

    Miranda Martin said:

    In August Wennerström's biography, it says that "as the Titanic went down he met Alma Pålsson and her children. He tried to hold on to two of the children, but lost them when they came into the water." Which children did he hold onto? And why didn't he hold on tighter??? Miranda

  9. Hildur Panula-Heinonen

    Hildur Panula-Heinonen said:

    It is very hard to hold on to a small screaming, probably kicking and squirming around child. Not to mention the water that is against you. I have located a mistake with one of the pics i sent up. The picture that was of Jaakko Panula, is not of him. It was off his cousin who has the exact same name--Jaakko Panula. My bad. I do have a few more pics of them and of the other children. I shall post them in a while. As for the child in the pic with Alma and Nils, i believe it is Stina, and Alma is pregnant in it with her next child. She looks a few months along.

  10. Miranda Martin

    Miranda Martin said:

    Thanks for answering, Hildur. Yes, I should've remembered that it is very hard to hold on to a child that doesn't want you to hold it. I'm still wondering why the other Pålsson children aren't in that photo...

  11. Hildur Panula-Heinonen

    Hildur Panula-Heinonen said:

    Does anyone know if Nils knew his wife's body was found? I would imagine no, or else he would have maybe claimed it.

  12. karen buckley

    karen buckley said:

    Nils Palsson was my great great uncle. He remarried and his second wife was Tina. I believe they had a little girl, but other than that I have no more information.

  13. Hildur Panula-Heinonen

    Hildur Panula-Heinonen said:

    Karen, you say Nils remarried and had a daughter? Do you have any details? Like information on the marriage, wife and child?

  14. Hildur Panula-Heinonen

    Hildur Panula-Heinonen said:

    I found this photo (not too clear) of Alma, holding Gosta, and in the foreground (seperate attached pic), Torborg and Paul.

    attachment
  15. Holly Peterson

    Holly Peterson said:

    Wow, great job Hildur! That's the first picture I've ever seen of the two elder Palsson children. Is this picture from a Titanic museum somewhere?

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Credits

Homer Thiel, USA Fredric Nilsson, Sweden Lars-Inge Glad, Sweden (grandson of Axell Kvist)