© Bob Knuckle, Canada
Mrs William Rice (Margaret Norton) was born in Westmeath, Ireland 6 October 1872.
When she was 19 she married in Ireland to William Rice. Rice was to become a shipping clerk with the Grand Trunk Railway in Montréal. After the birth of their first child they moved to Montréal where George Hugh
1 was born on 30 November 1902. Their firstborn had choked to death on a dummy (pacifier) after they settled in Canada.
The family moved from Montréal in 1909 to Spokane, Washington, where William went to work for the Great Northern Railroad as a machinist. Their youngest son Eugene was born on 13 October 1909.
In 1910 William Rice was killed in a train accident; his widow collected a substantial insurance settlement and returned to County Athlone, Ireland with the boys. In 1912 she decided to move back to Spokane and the family (including her other sons Albert, Eric and Arthur) booked passage on the Titanic which they boarded at Queenstown (ticket number 382652 price: £29 2s 6d).
After the collision third class passenger Bertha Mulvihill saw Margaret Rice in the third class area holding Eugene with the rest of the children holding her skirt. The entire family perished.
Margaret's body was recovered (#12) by the MacKay Bennett.
NO. 12. - FEMALE. - ESTIMATED AGE 40. - HAIR. DARK.
CLOTHING - Black velvet coat; jacket and skirt; blue cardigan; black apron; black boots and stockings.
EFFECTS - Wedding ring; keeper, and another gold; locket and photo; one jet one bead Necklace; gold brooch in bag; £3 in gold; £4 in Irish notes; gold broach; plain gold wag earrings; charm round neck; B. V. M. ; false teeth in upper jaw; £10 note; box pills.
PROBABLY THIRD CLASS
12 Female - Height, 5 ft. 5 in.; Weight, 140 lbs.
She was identified as Catholic by her rosary and as Margaret Rice by her box of pills prescribed on April 9th 1912. She was buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia. There is speculation that her son Eugene may have been the "Unknown Child" hitherto identified as Gösta Pålsson, buried in Halifax.