Encyclopedia Titanica

Israel Nesson

Mr Israel Nesson (Nejnii?) was born around 1885 in Bogopol, Balta, Ukraine, then part of the Russian Empire. Other details about his early life or family background remain uncertain.

He had first come to the USA around 1903 where he spent several years before returning to Ukraine around 1908. There he was married to Elisheva Kolker1 but they remained childless and soon made plans to travel to America together.

An electrician by trade, Nesson boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second class passenger (ticket number 244368 which cost £13) and was travelling to Boston, Massachusetts, giving his last permanent address as London. It is presumed his wife was to follow him once he had settled in America. 

Israel Nesson died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

From the Red Cross files: 336. (Russian) The husband, an electrician, 26 years of age, who had lived in this country two years, was drowned. He had gone to Russia to be married. Immediately before his intended sailing, he was taken ill and compelled to remain while his bride came on to Boston to the husband's brother. He sailed on the Titanic and was lost. The wife, 21 years of age, speaks no English. She has a brother in this country with whom she is making her home. He has a large family and cannot care for her without compensation. The widow assists him in his store through the day and attends school at night, where she is studying English. A definite plan for her future must wait until she acquires the language and learns something of the ways of this country. She was given $150 by this Committee at the time of the disaster for emergency expenses. From other American relief funds she has received $978.69, which is being paid to her at the rate of $25 a month. This Committee has placed a fund in trust with the local Charity Organization Society to be used in its discretion for permanent rehabilitation. ($1,650)

His widow possibly died in 1919.


  1. Her name was given as Sonia in the claim she later made

Documents and Certificates

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912, National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279]).
Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage, PRO London, BT 100/259-260
(1912) Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths of Passengers and Seamen at Sea, National Archives, London; BT334/52 & 334/53
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Comment and discuss

  1. Jeff Nesson

    Israel Nesson was a 2nd class passenger from Russia who perished on the Titanic. Since Nesson was a name made up in America, I am interested in trying to find out if he had been to America and had returned to Russia. Does anyone know how to find out his relatives, etc. Thanks Another Nesson

  2. Kyrila Scully

    Hi, Jeff, Have you tried I found eleven generations of my family that way and it didn't cost me anything. All the information I have is that Israel Nesson listed his residence as Boston, MA and was 26 when he perished. It is possible that he was traveling to America for the first time and had a sponsor or relatives waiting for him in Boston. Or it could be as you suggested. Kyrila Scully

  3. Kolker Alexander

    Hi ! I am searching descandents of Mr.Israel Nesson. Possible the origin surname Mr. Nesson was Negshny.He was married to Sheiva(Shiva) Kolker. Israel Nesson perished on the Titanic and after this his wife married to his brother Daniel. Best Regards Alexander (Message edited by kolal on March 27, 2002)

  4. DavidJon

    I saw your reply from all those years ago re Israel Nesson but how can his wife have married his brother? That isn't allowed in Jewish law, only in Biblical times you had the levirate marriage where a brother died childless. If he had no children, then his brother would have had to perform the chalitza ceremony to enable the widow to remarry.

  5. Jeff Nesson

    Still trying to figure out where my name came from. Using Ancestry.com, I found my grandfather's marriage certificate from NYC. He lists his parents name as Nesson on the form. However, as far as my father remembers, his grandparents never made it to America. However, there were Nesson's in Massachusetts as early as 1870's. Haven't been able to trace them back to Russia. Also, haven't figured out how Israel fits into the family tree yet.

  6. Kolker Alexander

    Israel Nesson origin surname was Nejnii. He was born in Bogopol,Balta district ,Podolia,Russian Empire. He emigrated to US about 1903-1904 , came back to Russia in 1908 and married to Elisheva Kolker,the sister my great-grandfather. They should have come US... Read full post

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr Israel Nesson
Born: circa.1886
Age: 26 years (Male)
Nationality: Ukrainian Russian
Religion: Jewish
Marital Status: Married to Elisheva Kolker
Last Residence: in London, England
Occupation: Electrician
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 244368, £13
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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