Samuel Herman

Samuel Herman

Samuel Herman was born in Galhampton, Somerset, England in the Spring of 1862.

He was the son of George Herman (1825-1904), an agricultural labourer, and Sarah Biggin (1835-1906), both Somerset natives who had married in 1854. His known siblings were: James (b. 1854), Anna (b. 1857), Emily (b. 1865), Elizabeth (b. 1868), George (b. 1871) and Sarah (b. 1875).

Samuel appears on the 1871 census living with his family at an unspecified address in Galhampton. His neighbours at the time were a family called the Lavers who it could be surmised would be related to his future wife. By the time of the 1881 census Samuel and his family were still residing in Galhampton and he was described as an agricultural labourer. He would later work as a butcher.

He was married in early 1887 to Jane Laver (b. 1861), a Somerset resident, and the couple had only two children, twin girls Kate and Alice who were born on 6 December 1887. The family appear on the 1891 and 1901 censuses living at 4 Abbey Cottages, Castle Cary, Somerset and on the 1911 census at Smallways, Galhampton, Castle Cary where by now Samuel was described as a farmer. For several years Samuel was the proprietor of the Britannia Hotel in Castle Cary. One of his employees, a 14-year-old George Sweet, later became a surrogate son to the Hermans.

Although a financially comfortable family, the past year had saw a slump in their fortunes in England and it was decided that they would emigrate. Originally booked aboard a different ship, they cancelled their voyage to allow more time to prepare. Mr Herman, his wife and daughters and George Sweet boarded the Titanic at Southampton as second class passengers (ticket number 220845 which cost £65) and were bound for his brother-in-law Arthur Laver who was living in Bernardsville, New Jersey where he worked as a steward of the Somerset Hill Country Club.

On the night of the sinking Mrs Herman and her daughters were in bed when the collision occurred but reported not much of a shock. Mr Herman, who had been on deck, returned to the cabin and told her not to fear and to stay in bed as it was bitterly cold. He went to investigate and soon returned, ordering his wife and daughters to dress. He escorted his wife and daughters to the boat deck where he saw them off in one of the aft starboard lifeboats. He and George Sweet remained behind.

Samuel Herman, alongside George Sweet, was lost in the sinking and their bodies, if recovered, were never identified.

His estate, worth £266, 6s, 4d, was administered to his widow and brother-in-law Charles Laver on 7 September 1912.


  1. A sister-in-law lived at Packstone, Dairnsmouth(?), England.

References and Sources

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260

Research Articles

Michael A. Findlay Voyage (2005) The Herman Family

Newspaper Articles

Newark Evening News (19 April 1912) JERSEY DEATH ROLL DETAILS
Newark Evening News (20 April 1912) SAY LIFEBOAT COULD HAVE HELD TEN MORE
Newark Evening News (24 April 1912) Tells of Her Financial Loss
Newark Star (25 April 1912) Jersey Woman Lost Fortune on Titanic
Bernardsville News (26 April 1912) SURVIVORS OF THE GREAT DISASTER
New York Times (16 January 1937) MRS. JANE L. HERMAN


(1900) Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Herman and daughters Alice and Kate
Bernardsville News (1912) Samuel Herman
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Comment and discuss

  1. Mmcrane said:

    Samuel's sisters were: Anna (1857), Emily (1865), Elizabeth (1868) and Sarah (1875). He also had a brother James (1854) whose wife was Mary Ann.

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Gavin Bell, UK
Steve Coombes, UK
Hermann Söldner, Germany

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2018) Samuel Herman (ref: #443, last updated: 28th September 2018, accessed 24th July 2021 03:34:09 AM)

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