Encyclopedia Titanica

Johan George Reuchlin

Jonkheer Johan George Reuchlin was born on 6 December 1874 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, to Otto Reuchlin, a wine merchant (b. 18 June 1842 in Rotterdam, d. 15 November 1924 in Rotterdam) and Carolina Helena Schumacher (b. 18 November 1848 in Rotterdam; d. 30 January 1897 in Rotterdam). His parents had married 27 April 1871 at Kralingen, Netherlands (Kralingen merged with Rotterdam in 1895).

Johan George had least two known sisters; Maria Catharina Geertruida, born 10 January 1872 at Rotterdam, and Carolina Helena, b. 5 October 1885 (d. 1885) and two known brothers, Maarten, born 5 January 1873 at Rotterdam, and David Fredrik, b. 22 August 1878 at Rotterdam.

By a royal decree dated 3 December 1880, the Reuchlin children were allowed to use the title "Jonkheer" (for the male children) or "Jonkvrouw" (for the female children), which suggests a noble heritage.  The Reuchlin family belonged to the Reformed/Calvinist Church.

Johan George Reuchlin’s mother died in 1897 and his father then married Catharina Maria Schumacher (Carolina's sister, i. e. Johan George’s aunt) 8 June 1899 at Rotterdam.

Johan George Reuchlin married Agatha Maria Elink Schuurman in Rotterdam on 10 May 1905. They had three children: Henri, b. 6 July 1906, Carolina Helena, b.5 July 1908, and Maarten, b. 3 February 1911. The family lived at 53, Calandstraat, in Rotterdam.  Johan George Reuchlin was 5’6’’ tall, had black hair and brown eyes.

He boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as first class passenger carrying ticket number 19972. The ticket was complimentary because of his position with the Holland America Line which was part of the International Mercantile Marine, J. Pierpont Morgan's conglomerate that also owned the White Star Line.

Reuchlin was on the Titanic to evaluate the Olympic-class liners. The Holland America Line had ordered a large vessel from Harland & Wolff - the Statendam II which was already under construction in March 1912.

Bruce Ismay wrote a letter concerning Reuchlin's voyage on 21 March 1912 to the general director of the Holland Amerika Line:

March 21st., 1912

J.V. Wierdsma, Esq.,
Holland-America Line,

Dear Mr Wierdsma, I am obliged for your letter of the 20th. Inst., and shall be much interested to learn the result of your conversation with Mr Strasser in regard to the proposal to run a line of steamers from Rotterdam and Antwerp to the West Coast of North America through the Panama Canal. I note that Mr Reuchlin, Jr. expects to sail on the "Titanic" to New York on the 10th. April, and that he will book his passage through the Cockspur Street Office, and I will be very glad to see that he is allotted a comfortable room.

Believe me,

Yours very truly

Bruce Ismay.

Mr Reuchlin appears to have enjoyed the voyage. On April 14th he received and sent some telegrams:

(1) received from the Noordam at 2.25 pm
Mr Reuchlin 1st cabin passenger SS TITANIC
Had moderate wly. winds and fair weather no fog.
Wish you pleasant trip

(2) sent to Cape Race at 6.15 pm
Reuchlin Calandstraat 53 Rotterdam
Continuing smooth and fair Greetings

(3) sent to Caronia at 6.54 pm
Captain, Steamer Noordam
Thanks for message had fine weather no fog bon voyage

(4) received from Noordam via Caronia at 7.44 pm
Mr Reuchren (sic) 1st Cabins passenger SS Titanic
Had moderate westerly winds and fair weathe no fog wish you
pleasant trip

(5) sent to Noordam at 8.55 pm
Captain Steamer Noordam
Thanks for message had fine weather no fog bon voyage

Reuchlin died in the disaster apparently making no effort to save his own life. His family characterized him as a "very integer [sic] and good person, who did not insist on getting a seat in a lifeboat". On 18 April the director of the Holland Amerika Line in America, Mr C. Gips, awaited Mr Reuchlin at New York Harbour, not knowing that he had died in the sinking. The sad information was told to him by Bruce Ismay. Gips immediately sent a telegram to HAL, Rotterdam and a letter to Mr Reuchlins wife Agatha. She received a annual payment of hfl. 5000,-- from the Holland America Line.

Reuchlin's body, if recovered, was never identified.

His wife Agatha seems never to have remarried and passed away 18 August 1960 in Rotterdam, aged 80.


  1. The general director of the Holland Amerika Line, Jan Volkert Wierdsma, had been on the maiden voyage of the Olympic.

References and Sources

Wereldkroniek, 27 April, 1912 (Photo, Courtesy of Olivier Mendez, Association Française du Titanic)
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
John Booth & Sean Coughlan (1993) Titanic Signals of Disaster. White Star Publicatons, Westbury, Wiltshire. ISBN 0 9518190 1 1
Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260)
Edward P. De Groot (1996, 1998) Titanic. De Alk B.V.
Association Française du Titanic

Newspaper Articles

Evening Telegraph (23 April 1912) STEAMSHIP DIRECTOR A VICTIM
Search archive online

Comment and discuss

  1. Sonja van Rooijen

    I would like to know more about him, i'm from the netherlands and he's the only dutch guy on titanic so i'm interested, who can help me with more info about where he lived exactly etc. thanks already

  2. Peter Engberg-Klarström

    Sonja - there were other Dutch people on the ship. Hendrik Bolhuis in the a la carte restaurant and Wessel Adrianus van der Brugge who was a fireman, e.g. Peter

  3. Bob Godfrey

    Also, First Class passenger Alfred Nournay was born in Nijmegen, and Rene Harris' mother (maiden name Rachel Helzhein) was the daughter of Dutch immigrants. Sonja, this link will be of special interest:

  4. Bob Godfrey

    Do check Reuchlin's biography page here on ET, which gives his home address in 1912 as 53, Calandstraat, Rotterdam. He lived there with wife Agatha and children Henri (5), Carolina (3), and Maarten (1).

  5. Sonja van Rooijen

    thanks everyone for the information! i found out that there are still living relatives of reuchlin in the netherlands, in rotterdam.

  6. Vicki Logan

    Bob, Is there an English version of the website you listed? Thanks, Vicki Logan

  7. Sonja van Rooijen

    i found an translation website on the net, it might be usefull to translate the site for the not dutch speaking people around: you can translate dutch to english

Reply Watch Thread

Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Jonkh Johan George Reuchlin
Age: 37 years 4 months and 9 days (Male)
Nationality: Dutch
Last Residence: in Rotterdam, Netherlands
Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 19972
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Identified

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