Encyclopedia Titanica

Frans Olof Carlsson

Swedish seaman travelling First Class to New York

Frans Olof Carlsson

Mr Frans Olof Carlsson, 33, was born 29 September 1878 in Glava, Arvika, Värmland County, Sweden.

His father was the late Karl Magnus Nilsson, a skipper and farmer born 18 September 1835 in Glava parish, Värmland, and his mother Karolina (nee Magnusdotter; born 2 April 1833 in Glava.1 His occupation was noted as 'mate sailing vessel' and he was said to have come to the USA in 1902.  He had a sister and an aunt in Arvika, Sweden and a half-sister in Brooklyn, Mrs Caroline Carlsson. 

In April 1912 he was to join the American Line's St Louis but because of the coal strike the ship was stuck in Southampton so the company gave him a first class ticket back to New York on Titanic.

Carlsson died in the sinking, his body, if recovered, was never identified. Land that he owned in Elmhurst, Long Island went to his heirs.

''In an attempt to clear up the estate of Frank Olaf Carlson, who perished in the Titanic disaster of 14 April last, Public Administrator Randolph White of Queens County, from his office in Jamaica is sending enquiries to banks in Manhattan and Brooklyn to get at trace of Carlson's various accounts.; Adminstrator White having learned that he had accounts in several financial institutions.

Before shipping on the Titanic, Carlson had been third officer on the steamship St. Louis of the American Line. Carlson had friends in Elmhurst, where he is said to have owned some property. They have found mortgages and a deed belonging to the dead man, personal effects worth about $3,000 and a bankbook showing that he had an account in the Seamen's Savings Bank. He is also believed to have had accounts in the Emigrants industrial Bank and the National Bank. In the latter institution, it is said that a portion of his father's estate, amounting to about $10,000 was deposited to his credit last March. Administrator White is also seeking to trace a sister of the dead man, who is said to live in Europe, and a stepsister who is believed to be in Manhattan.'' - The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 29 July 1912, p. 7

Carlsson Memoiral

Memorial to Frans Olof Carlsson
(Courtesy of Peter Engberg)


  1. His parents had married 3 April 1875. His mother had died in 1888 and Karl Magnus had married again; his second wife was, remarkably, also Karolina Magnusdotter (b. 12 October 1851 in Arvika). The second marriage took place 17 November 1888. Frans had four siblings; Anna Lisa, born 18 May 1875, and Kristina Antonia, born 4 February 1889. A brother, Karl Vilhelm, was born 6 April 1891, and Maria Sofia, b. 22 May 1895. The younger siblings were born in Karl Magnus' second marriage. In 1890, the family employed a maid, Kajsa Eriksdotter, aged 51. In 1910, he lived at 321 50th Street in New York City, as a boarder with an Anna Lupman, a widow of German ancestry aged 60.

References and Sources

Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996, 1999) Titanic. Prisma, Stockholm. ISBN 91 518 3644 0
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Comment and discuss

  1. Rolf Vonk

    Rolf Vonk

    Hello, Is it true that Mr. Carlson boarded Titanic? He is mentioned on the ET passenger list, but I've heard some contradictory stories about this. I thought Mr. Carlson planned to embark Titanic in Cherbourg. He didn't took the Train Transatlantique from Paris, but went to Cherbourg with his own car. He had some car trouble and came late for boarding: Titanic was allready on her way to Queenstown. His name appeared on the list of lost. Therefor his family tried many times to get his name of that list, but from some reason it was mentioned many times again. Hope someone could help me, ... Read full post

  2. Peter Engberg-Klarström

    Dear Rollie, Frans Olov Carlsson was indeed a Titanic passenger. He was going to America to be a ship's officer on one of the American Line's ships. He was 33 years of age, and was from Värmland, a province in the west of Sweden. There is a memorial plaque in his parish church. The Frank Carlson who had an American family was probably one of the numerous people who later claimed they were going to sail on the Titanic but didn't Best regards, Peter Engberg-Klarström

  3. Rolf Vonk

    Rolf Vonk

    Hi Peter, Thank you very much for this information. Now I know there were two Carlsons. One from Sweden and one from America. Greetings Rollie

  4. Norman Olsen

    Rollie, Your information about Mr Carlson possibly missing the Titanic at Cherbourg coincides with information I have about a male passenger who had car trouble and missed the ship at Southampton. His family spent the next sixty five years trying to prove he did not die on Titanic. I don't recall his name, but I'll look it up and get back with you. Norm Olsen

  5. Rolf Vonk

    Rolf Vonk

    Hi Norm, I'm looking forward to that information

  6. Norman Olsen

    Rollie, Just to let you know, I'm looking through the books. As soon as I find it I'll let you know. Just wanted to keep in touch so you didn't think I forgot. Norm

  7. Rolf Vonk

    Rolf Vonk

    Hello Norm, I'll stay patience... Greetings Rollie!

  8. Norman Olsen

    Rollie, Norm Olsen here. You were right on Carlson. He was going to Cherbourg to board Titanic. He is Frank Carlson, an American visiting France, and hoping to catch the Titanic for home. His car broke down and as we say "he missed the boat". His name remained on the passenger list and when he didn't show on the Carpathia, he was listed as a casualty. Sixty years later his family was still trying to correct the error. Imagine if he passed away during that time, which I believe he did, the legal problems of his will. Somehow I had Southampton as the port he was boarding at. Oh well. ... Read full post

  9. Norman Olsen

    Rollie, I forgot to post the reference to my informaton on Mr Carlson. This comes from Walter Lord's The Night Lives On, page 36, first paragraph. Norm

  10. Rolf Vonk

    Rolf Vonk

    Hi Norm, Thanks for the information. So there was a Mr Carlson who "missed the boat". The one who was on board is another Carlson. I believe that our Mr Carlson was a second officer of some ship. But I don't know which ship. Happy New Year to you too

  11. Lester Mitcham

    Hi Rollie and Norm, Rollie, The info on Carlsson on this site says: he was first mate on the liner St. Louis. Norm, I see you have two separate discussion going on this subject; but now understand that the person with the car was Walter Lord's Frank Carlson? Perhaps you could ask Phil to combine the two Carlson discussions as one. Lester

  12. Norman Olsen

    Rollie, Norm Olsen again. I just looked over the ET passenger list of Carlssons. Mr. Frans Carlsson lived in New York and was First Mate on the American Lines liner SS St. Louis which had to be laid up due to the coal strike. The company gave him a first class ticket on RMS Titanic to get home to New York. He boarded at Southampton and died in the sinking. Then there are two other Carlssons listed, all who boarded at Southampton and died in the sinking. One that stood out to me was Mr August Sigfrid Carlsson, who is believed to have died in the sinking, but was not declared dead until 8... Read full post

  13. Rolf Vonk

    Rolf Vonk

    Hi Norm, I don't think that A.S Carlsson is the man who missed the boat. A Dutch source says it was Mr Frank Olof Carlson who had car trouble. But that name is also strange. It could be possible that there was a Mr Frank Olof Carlson, but I wonder if that name is a kind of wrong interpretation of Mr Frans Olof Carlsson who indeed boarded the Titanic and is listed on the passenger list. Is it so that the whole story about that "due car trouble boat missed Carslon" is untrue because of this? I think Walter Lord is very confusing. He told about several other people (like a Mr Belford)... Read full post

  14. Alexandra Koeberer-Larson

    I am a descendent of this first class passenger. I currently live in Ohio. My relation is through my maternal grandmother born in Sweden. Just interested in locating other family members.

  15. Lester Mitcham

    Hello Alexandra, Lots of luck with your search. It is only recently that I learned that Captain Carlsson had been a passenger. In The Night Lives On Walter Lord said (11.3 k) That was before I heard of Captain Frans Carlsson: first mate on the liner St Louis stuck in Southampton because of the coal strike and concluded that he and Frank Carlson "traveller" were not one and the same person and that the White Star Passenger List... Read full post

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Frans Olof Carlsson
Age: 33 years 6 months and 16 days (Male)
Nationality: Swedish
Marital Status: Single
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 695, £5
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Identified

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