Maija Emelia Abrahamintytar Panula

Mrs Juha Panula (Maija Emelia Abrahamintytar Ojala Ketola), 41, was born on 1 December, 1870, the daughter Susanna Maria Taavettintytar Norrkiilunen and Aaprahami Aaprahaminpoika (Abraham) Ojala Ketola. She had five siblings: Liisa, Anna, Juho Heikki, Emma, Sanna Kaisa and Aaprahami Ojala Ketola.

Maria Panula was married to Mr Juha (John) Juhonpoika Panula on 14 February 1892.  They would have eight children in total:

She first came to America in 1893, changed her name to Maria Emelia Panula and settled in Michigan but in 1910 had returned to live in Ylihärmä, Western Finland.

Later they decided the family should emigrate to America and, in February 1912, Maria sold their farm to her brother-in-law for 6500 Fmk. ($1243/£256) She carried most of the money with her, as well as 400 Fmk ($76/£15 15s) in cash. Her husband was living in Coal Centre, Pittsburg. Maria paid 163 Fmk ($31/£6 9s) for the tickets including train to Coal Centre.

She boarded the Titanic at Southampton with her five children: Ernesti Arvid, Jaako Arnold, Juha Niilo, Urho Abraham and Eino Viljami (William). Travelling with them was their neighbour's daughter Sanni Riihivuori who was (possibly) going to become their maid in America.

On the Titanic Ernesti and Jaakko were, as unmarried men, berthed towards the bow of the ship. Maria and her 3 younger sons shared a cabin in the stern with Anna Turja. Turja later told, that one of the older boys had come from the bow and woken them. He had then said that they must hurry to rise because the ship was sinking, otherwise they would "travel to the bottom of the ocean."

Later, in the confusion, Maria lost some of the boys. Anna Turja later met her on deck where she broke down. "She was crying and said that one of her children had drowned back in Finland and should they now drown all here?"

None of the family survived, but Juha Panula had to wait a week for confirmation that they had travelled on the Titanic. He was waiting at his new-repaired home in Coal Center when he got the final news on 21 April 21. He later visited Anna Turja a few times at her home in Ashtabula, Ohio.

The bodies of Maria and her children were never found.

The Mansion House Fund paid £50 to Juha and £50 to Maria's mother. In addition 2527.07 Fmk ($483/£100) was paid to Juha in compensation for the loss of his entire family. This sum was later divided between him and Maria's mother, who had declined a legacy but not compensation. Juha Panula protested because, according to him, he had paid all the tickets and his mother in law had paid nothing. But according to documents £100 was paid and had to be shared equally.

References and Sources

Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996) Titanic, Rabén, Stockholm.

Newspaper Articles

The Daily Notes (22 April 1912) Charleroi Man Loses Family
John Panula Had Home Ready for Wife and Children
The Charleroi Mail (23 April 1912) Mrs. Hirvonen Tells Story of Harrowing Scenes in Latest Great Ocean Disaster.


(2011) Maria Panula Wedding Photograph
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Comment and discuss

Eino Viljami Panula (21 posts)
Jaakko Arnold Panula (9 posts)
Picture of Maria Panula (4 posts)
Maria Panula Wedding Photograph (2 posts)
Maija Emelia Abrahamintytar Panula (1 post)
Ernesti Arvid Panula (1 post)
Juha Niilo Panula (1 post)
Urho Abraham Panula (1 post)


Leif Snellman, Helsinki, Finland
Hildur Panula-Heinonen

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2011) Maija Emelia Abrahamintytar Panula (ref: #1113, last updated: 18th September 2011, accessed 19th September 2021 20:58:58 PM)

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