Mr Jirjis Yūsuf Abī Sa'b (Georges/Gerios Youseff) was born in Tuḥūm, Lebanon around 1867.
Little is known about his early life or background but he was married to Martā Fāris Antūn Khalīfah and had six children, four sons and two daughters aged between 1 and 15.
In the 1890s Jirjis spent a few years living in America where he saved enough money to return to Lebanon and his family. His cousin Shanīnah Shāhīn Abī S’ab Wihbah also returned to Tuḥūm in 1911 to nurse her ill son and it was perhaps her arrival and eventual decision to return to the USA that compelled Jirjis to do the same.
He boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a third class passenger (ticket number 2685 which had cost £7, 4s, 6d) together with his cousins Shanīnah Wihbah, Ḥannā Ṭannūs Mu'awwad and his son Ṭannūs Ṭannūs, Ṭannūs Dāhir and Bannūrah Ayyūb-Dāhir. He and Ṭannūs Dāhir were travelling to Youngstown, Ohio to gain work in the steel mills.
On the night of the sinking Jirjis escorted his two female relatives Shanīnah and Bannūrah to one of the last lifeboats being launched before stepping back into the crowd.
Jirjis Yūsuf died in the sinking and his body was later recovered (#312) and buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 10 May 1912. His widow and children later benefited from the Titanic Relief Fund.
© Bill Fowler, Canada
References and SourcesRecord of Bodies and Effects (#312)
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260)
Record of Bodies and Effects: Passengers and Crew, S.S. Titanic (Public Archives of Nova Scotia)
Elias, Leila Saloum (2011) The Dream and then the Nightmare: the Syrians who boarded the Titanic; Atlas, 2011. ISBN 978-9933-9086-1-4