Encyclopedia Titanica

Anthony Abbing

Anthony Abbing
Anthony Abbing

Anthony Abbing was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on 11 May 1870. He was the son of Gerhard Heinrich Abbing and his wife Catharina Ising who were both German immigrants. Anthony was the eldest of six children. 1

Gerhard Abbing died when his children were young and Catharina had to find work as a washerwoman until the children were old enough to support themselves. The family lived in St Bernard, a subdivision of Cincinnati. Anthony became a blacksmith 2 and in about 1908 the still unmarried 38 year old accepted contract work in South Africa and remained there for three years. He was returning to Cincinnati and boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third-class passenger (ticket number C.A. 5547, £7 11s). 3

Since there seems to be absolutely no mention of him in anyone's testimony or in subsequent accounts of the sinking, it would be fair to assume that he was among the many who may have remained locked down in steerage, never having had a chance to save himself. His body, if recovered, was never identified.

After Anthony was lost in the sinking, his mother and siblings filed for administration on his estate in Hamilton County, Ohio (extract). 4

Later, his mother gathered her surviving children for a family portrait, in case she lost another child unexpectedly. Catharina Abbing died in 1917 at the age of 73.

Seated left to right: Mary A. Abbing, Catharina Abbing, Louise Abbing. Standing: John J. Abbing, Katherine Abbing, Bernard G. Abbing
(Photos courtesy of Besse Family and Mark Church)

Anthony is remembered on a headstone in St Mary Catholic Cemetery, St Bernard, Cincinnati, Ohio (section 30, lot 164).

Abbing Memorial
(Courtesy of Trevor Baxter)


  1. Mary (1873-1934) and Louise (1874-1952), both spinsters, owned a dry-goods store in Cincinnati. Katherine (1876-1957), married first to John McNally and later to Frank Glatting, left three children, all now deceased. This family lived in Covington, Kentucky. John J. (1879-1934) had a brief, childless marriage and lived in Cincinnati. Bernard G. (1882-1963) married Mary Mayme Bracker and had four children (only one of them, Mary Louise Besse, is still living). Bernard lived out his life in Louisville, Kentucky.
  2. i. Names and Descriptions of Alien Passengers Embarked at the Port of Southampton, 10 April 1912 (PRO London, BT 27/780B).
    ii Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260)
  3. Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
  4. The State Of Ohio Probate Court (No. 71588)

References and Sources

Probate Report

Documents and Certificates

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Trevor Baxter, UK
Gavin Bell, UK
Nichole Gray-Besse, USA
Mary Louise (Abbing) Besse, USA
Mark Church, USA
Catherine (Besse) Elzey, USA 
Phillip Gowan, USA
Nichole Gray-Besse, USA

Comment and discuss

  1. Donna (1736)

    It's so sad that some people had to be locked down in steerage and didn't even have a chance..

  2. Mary (4943)

    this is strange. I clicked on Anthony Abbing's name @ random & discovered his family lived in St Bernard around the same time my Grandfather's family was living there. If he is buried in St Mary's cemetery (as are my Greatgrandparents) then Abbings must of gone to St Clement's as did my Greatgrandma. So now I'm wondering if the 2 families knew each other. ps to the editor: we have neighborhoods here, not subdivisions. St Bernard is a neighborhood of Cincinnati

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Anthony Abbing
Age: 41 years 11 months and 4 days (Male)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: Blacksmith
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 5547, £7 11s
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Identified

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