Mrs Marian Meanwell

Mrs Thomas Hilton Meanwell (Marian Ogden) was born in Ramsbottom, Lancashire, England on 7 December 1849 as Mary Ann Ogden. She was baptised on 24 March 1850 in Manchester Cathedral.

She was the daughter of John Henry Ogden (b. 1825), a professor of music, and Ann Armstrong (b. 1825) who had married in Prestwich on 17 September 1849. Little is known about her early life and she appears to have been an only child.

There is no trace of the family on the 1851 census but by the time of the 1861 census Marian and her mother are lodgers at an address in Chorlton, Lancashire. The whereabouts of her father is unknown and, likewise, the fate of both her parents is unclear. She was married in Bradford, Yorkshire in early 1870 to Thomas Hilton Meanwell (b. 1849), a draper's assistant who hailed from Coningsby, Lincolnshire and the couple had four children, all born in Bradford: Walter Ogden (b. 1870) and twin girls Annie Elizabeth (1872-1874) and Margaret Ann (b. 1872). Another unidentified child was lost in infancy.

Marian, her husband and first child appeared on the 1871 census living at 10a Tempest (?) Place in Bradford. Her marriage seemingly collapsed and by the time of the 1881 census she and her husband were living apart and claiming to be widowers, Marian at 7 Crapston Street, Bradford and Thomas at an address in his native Lincolnshire. Whilst her daughter Margaret was living with her in Bradford, her son Walter was listed at the home of his paternal grandparents John and Sarah Meanwell in Tattersall, Lincolnshire.

Thomas Meanwell later cohabited with a woman named Mary Jane Forman (b. 1860 in Kirmington, Lancashire) but they unmarried. They had three children (two sons and one daughter), the first of whom was born in 1882, and they settled in Manchester.

Marian continued to work as a milliner and dressmaker and moved to London, appearing on the 1901 census living at 473 Kings Road, Chelsea. The 1911 census shows her living alone at 60 Walterton Road, Paddington.

She boarded the Titanic in Southampton as a third class passenger (ticket number 392087 which cost £8, 1s) and was destined for New York City where her daughter Margaret lived. Margaret had recently been widowed and left with two small children. 

Marian Meanwell died in the sinking and her body, if recovered, was never identified.

Her probate report lists her as Marian Costin, formerly Meanwell and her estate, worth £100, was administered to Edward Eli Costin of 46 Edbroo Road, Eling Avenue, Paddington, London on 27 November 1912. Edward Eli Costin (b. 1848) was a widowed carpenter originally from Kingham, Buckinghamshire. How long the relationship between Marian and Costin lasted is unknown.

Thomas Hilton Meanwell, her first husband, was eventually married to Mary Jane Forman in 1918. He passed away six months later in 1919 aged 69.



Marion Ogden Meanwell
Marian Meanwell

Articles and Stories

Whitehaven News (1912) 

Comment and discuss

  1. Marjorie June Jamieson said:

    Hi,I have just found out,that a "Marian Meanwell" was a passenger on the illfated "Titanic"My maiden name was Meanwell,and I believe I could be related to her somewhere,and would like any information,on her and her family,please

  2. Bob Godfrey said:

    Hallo, Marjorie, and welcome to ET. Meanwell is not a very common name but I fear the chances of being related on that basis alone are not strong unless you know of another connection? Here, however, is some info on the lady in question: 'Marion' Meanwell's name has become better known recently following the recovery and exhibition of her alligator-skin handbag and contents from the wreck site. It's an interesting reflection of the social climate of the time that the lady who described herself as a widow called Marion or Marian was actually separated from her husband by distance rather... Read full post

  3. avatar

    Brian J. Ticehurst said:

    Marjorie and Bob, Here is a couple more items about Mrs. M I have just posted them on the main obit. Meanwell, Mrs. Marian nee Ogden. Missing. Milliner. Aged 63 years. (From the Whitehaven News, of Thursday, May 2nd, 1912). MILLOM'S CONNECTION WITH THE TITANIC DISASTER THE widespread effects of the Titanic disaster is evidenced by the fact that Mrs. Beck of Cambridge Street, Millom, (Cumberland) had a relative aboard the ill-fated vessel. Mrs. Meanwell, first cousin of Mrs. Beck, who was proceeding on the Titanic to join her daughter in America. She had often crossed... Read full post

  4. Marjorie June Jamieson said:

    Hi,Brian and Bob,sorry its taken me a few days to get back to you,I'm learning the computer,a bit late in life,anyway I had to wait for my son to show me how to answer your notes,thank you both ever so much,the reason I thought Mary Ann Meanwell was a distant relation,was because,our Father always told us that all the "Meanwells" were related.I believe it came from the Danes when they invaded England,I do have others helping me to do our Family Tree,My Father's Father came from England,at the end of the 1880s,and settled in Queensland Australia,then went on to New South Wales,where I live.If... Read full post

  5. Iain Stuart Yardley said:

    Relatives of Marion Meanwell have been visiting the Artefacts Exhibition in Manchester to see belongings of their ancestor on display. Interesting to note that at the time of sailing, Marion had only £3 in the bank.

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Gavin Bell, UK
Patricia Chopra

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2015) Marian Meanwell (ref: #1023, last updated: 9th June 2015, accessed 30th September 2020 14:43:18 PM)