Martta Maria Hiltunen

Martta Hiltunen

Miss Martta Maria Hiltunen was born in Kuopio, Finland on 7 February 1894, the daughter of Pekka Hiltunen (b. 1860) and Iida Muinonen (b. 1864).

Martta and her family had lived for some years in Kontiolahti, Utra where she was educated. On 21 March 1912 she was issued with a passport which entitled her to work in the USA for five years. She was travelling to the USA with Anna Hämäläinen and her infant son Wiljo who were residents of Detroit, Michigan. Martta would act as their housekeeper whilst in America.

Martta left Finland from Hanko on 3 April 1912 aboard the steamer Polaris. She boarded Titanic at Southampton on 10 April 1912 as a second class passenger (ticket number 250650 which cost £13) and may have shared a cabin with the Hämäläinens.

On the night of the sinking Anna Hämäläinen entrusted Martta with her suitcase during the evacuation. Martta accompanied Mrs Hämäläinen and her son to the upper decks but did not join them in a lifeboat, the reason for which is unknown. 

Martha was there just a little while before we left,' said Mrs. Hamlin (sic), but there was a crowd and so much excitement that we became separated....

Martta Hiltunen died in the sinking and her body, if recovered, was never identified.

References and Sources

Detroit Free Press, 21 April 1912

Research Articles

Peter Engberg-Klarström Titanica! (2018) Lost Ladies
Who were they and why did they die?
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Comment and discuss

  1. cjpoulios said:

    I was curious as to how a single 18 year old woman from Finland was able to travel Second Class on the Titanic. Nearly all the other Finnish passengers were in Third Class. Was there money in Marta's family? I also read that, like airplanes today, some people were fortunate enough to be bumped up to a higher class for the same lower price due to some sort of technicality. Did this happen with Marta? Like Ann Isham in First Class, Marta is shrouded in mystery when compared to the eleven other Second Class women who perished. Not much is really known about her except that she was making her way... Read full post

  2. avatar

    Arun Vajpey said:

    I realise that with the confusion among the passengers/crew plus limited lifeboat spaces available, there could be any number of reasons why a particular person did not survive, but some seem rather more mysterious than others. One such is Finnish 2nd Class passenger Marta Hiltunen. She accompanied friend Anna Hamalainen & her child onto the port side of the boat deck and was in the vicinity of Boat #4 just as it was being filled. It appears that Anna handed her handbag to Marta as she boarded the lifeboat with her baby, expecting Marta to follow. But when the boat was being lowered, Anna saw... Read full post

  3. Gianni Yrois said:

    hello arun , yes the poor little marta. She was very frightened when the panic started. After Mrs. Hamalainen boarded the lifeboat 4 she was too frighten to board. She was like Elin Braf. Elin reached the boatdeck together with Mrs. Johnson and two children. Mrs. Johnson and her daughter Eleanor jumped in Boat 15. Elin was holding the son of Mrs. Johnson but she cant move. She was standing there like a stone, around her crying people and panic only panic. Mrs. Johnson wanted her son because the boat started to be lowered and finally some one took the little boy out from Elin and... Read full post

  4. avatar

    Arun Vajpey said:

    Thanks Gianni, particularly for the photo. When you want to think of someone in the circumstances in which Marta found herself in, it helps to put a face to the person. You could be right - Marta could simply have been too frightened to get into the lifeboat amidsct the panicking crowds and not knowing the language. But I imagine for an 18-year old travelling to America for a new life the survival instinct will be very strong, especially considering that Marta herself was travelling alone and would not have lost anyone close had she got into a lifeboat. I find it very hard to imagine... Read full post

  5. Gianni Yrois said:

    hello arun, soory that i respond late but iam all days at school and have many exames in the last weeks and the teacher get angry when i make only titanic research when i have to do my homeworks. Marta was officaly last seen by Mrs. Hamalainen when Boat 4 was lowered. When Boat 4 left, three women stay behind, Mrs. Sara Chapman, Miss Marta Hiltunen and possibly Miss Edith Evans. There was much panic i guess when boat d was lowered but she was not there when it happened she was away. Maybe she went not to her cabin but in a saloon or something like that. What i can say 100 % sure is... Read full post

  6. annika said:

    hän oli meidän sukulainen Mu isomummon serkku

  7. Tiffiny Ferguson said:

    Marta was an assistant or maid to the family.

  8. atlantic 11561 said:

    But she was never identified as ever being in the employ of any of the First Class families. Furthermore, she left Finland on her own, rather than in the company of her employers, as all servants did.

  9. avatar

    Arun Vajpey said:

    Utra, Finland. Where is it now? I am trying to get more information about second class Titanic victim Marta Hiltunen who is listed as being from Utra in Finland on this and many other sites. The trouble is that I have not been able to find any place called Utra in even in large scale Finnish maps. But today I found an article about the Finns on the Titanic by Peter Bjorkfors and in it Marta Hiltunen is being listed as being from the Kontiolahti. Kontiolahti is a sparsely populated municipality in the North Karelia region of Finland, which has a border with Russia. This is in the southeastern... Read full post

  10. avatar

    Arun Vajpey said:

    Further to my research on Marta Hiltunen, I cannot find any source on her cabin allocation. Considering that she was a single woman but (possibly) travelling with Anna Hamalainen and the latter's son Viljo, can anyone conjecture where Marta's cabin might have been located? Marta, Anna and Viljo were in the vicinity of Lifeboat #4 and the other two got places on it but poor Marta could not. She presumably was not there when Collapsible D was being loaded some 10 minutes later. But that might not tell us much about which cabin she came from.

  11. avatar

    Antiscamp said:

    Utra is in the town of Joensuu in eastern Finland, nowadays Utra is part of the town of Joensuu, but at Martta's time it was probably a little village. There's even a road in Joensuu named "Utrantie" (Utra Street). Hämäläinen was from Kiihtelysvaara, which is also quite near to Joensuu.

  12. cjpoulios said:

    At the time of the sinking, Finland was still a part of the Russian Empire. In effect, Marta was a subject of Czar Nicholas II. I find it interesting that an 18 year old Finnish immigrant was able to travel in Second Class as opposed to the usual Third Class. I wonder how Marta was able to afford the higher fare.

  13. avatar

    Arun Vajpey said:

    From what I have learned, her travelling companion Ana Hamalainen paid at least part of Martta's fare. Ana already had a husband living near Detroit, Michigan and was travelling to join him with her baby son Wiljo. From what I have heard from various Finnish and other Scandinavian sources, Martta had agreed to stay with the Hamalainen's for a year and work as a housekeeper while Ana and her son settled in before the former made her own way in America. Also, having a travelling companion for the duration of the voyage - which included a not too comfortable crossing from Finland to Newcastle on... Read full post

  14. avatar

    Arun Vajpey said:

    I just discovered that Viljo Hamalainen, the 13-month old baby who travelled with his mother Anna Hamalainen and Martta Hiltunen, died of an illness in March 1914, 2 weeks after his 3rd birthday. His parents divorced within a few years and both eventually remarried.

  15. avatar

    Arun Vajpey said:

    (PEK) for the past couple of days and he makes a very convincing case as to why Anna Hamalainen, her baby son Wiljo and Martta Hiltunen were near Lifeboat #10 and not Lifeboat #4 as has long been presumed - both lifeboats were lowered at the same time of 01:50 am that night. Anna and Wiljo were rescued on the boat while Martta remained on the deck and was lost. Having believed for a very long time that this scene was near Lifeboat #4, I was unconvinced by PEK's argument at first but now I increasingly believe... Read full post

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Gavin Bell, UK
Peter Engbeg, Sweden
Claes-Goeroan Wetterholm, Sweden
Leif Snellman

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2018) Martta Maria Hiltunen (ref: #451, last updated: 16th January 2018, accessed 27th July 2021 17:07:01 PM)

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