Stephen Hold

Stephen Hold

Stephen Hold was born in Porthoustock, Cornwall on 24 January 1868. 

He was the second of four children born to Stephen Hold (1835-1876), a Warrant Officer in the Royal Navy, and Anna Maria Connor (1845-1920) of St Mawes. 

He was brother to Henrietta (b. 1866, later Mrs Thomas Henry Anstey), Arthur Wallace (b. 1872) and Emma (b. 1875, later Mrs Frederick Pote Hooper). 

Stephen first appears on the 1871 census when he, his mother and sister Henrietta were living at Charlotte Terrace West in Stoke Damerel, Devon; his father was absent at the time was stationed near Malta; he died on 14 May 1876, leaving behind a widow and four children.

The family had moved to Devonport, Devon sometime prior to 1875 and appear on the 1881 census living at 7 Albert Road, a tobacconist and stationer's shop run by Hold's unmarried aunts Lavinia and Henrietta; Stephen was absent, having already commenced a career at a young age and on 22 February 1883 In Liverpool he was apprenticed into the Royal Navy.

Hold's movements over the following decades are difficult to ascertain; there are no further records for his naval service and when he shows up again in 1900 he was working as a sign painter and lodging at Third Street in San Francisco, California, claiming to have migrated to the States in 1875 but 1912 news reports state that he had been living in the USA for fifteen years. 

Described as a clerk, on 29 July 1909 Hold returned to Britain aboard Adriatic; during his prolonged stay he was married on 18 October 1909 to childhood acquaintance Margaret Annie Hill (b. 1883), a resident of St Keverne, Cornwall. His new wife accompanied him back to America aboard Teutonic on 17 November 1909. Stephen and Margaret settled in Sacramento, California, appearing there on the 1910 census when he was by then described as a garage chauffeur. He was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and had also been a president of the Order of the Sons of St George. He was employed as a chauffeur by a Captain W. H. Bradley since around 1908 and also drove an electric bus for the Hotel Sacramento.
Contemporary media reports that due to the illness of Mrs Hold or of a relative (sources differ as to who it was) back in England the Holds departed California in November 1911; they arrived in Southampton on 16 December 1911 aboard Olympic. For at least some of their time in England they stayed at 31 St Georges Terrace, Devonport, the home address of his sister Henrietta and her family and which was also the home of his mother. 

A card sent to his employer in April 1912 indicated that he and his wife were to arrive back in Sacramento shortly. Interestingly this card was posted in Liverpool which may indicate they were due to sail from that port but had their passage switched to Titanic due to the coal strikes. They embarked Titanic at Southampton and travelled second class under ticket number 26707, costing £26, 0s for them both.

Stephen Hold was lost in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified. He left $4000 in his will to his widow.

Margaret Hold later returned to England and remarried; she died in 1960. 


From the 1881 Census: Mother: Anna Maria born St Mawes, Cornwall 1845 (widow, aged 36 in 1881). Siblings: Henrietta Hold born St Keverne CWL (pupil teacher, aged 14 1881); Arthur W Hold born Devonport, Devon (scholar, aged 8); Emma Hold (aged 13).

References and Sources

Sacramento Union, 16 April 1912, Stephen Hold, who was with wife, was on the ill-fated Titanic

Newspaper Articles

Sacramento Star (16 April 1912) Received Cards Yesterday from Stephen Hold
The San Francisco Call (16 April 1912) RESIDENTS OF SACRAMENTO ON BOARD VESSEL
Stephen Hold and Wife and H. Klaber Passengers on the Titanic
San Francisco Examiner (16 April 1912) SACRAMENTO PAIR IN PASSENGER LIST
Postal card from Holds states they were to take the Titanic home
Western Morning News (18 April 1912) Titanic Disaster, Westcountry Passengers and Crew
Four persons on board well known at St. Keverne, Cornwall
West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser (25 April 1912) Titanic Relief Funds


Stephen Hold

Documents and Certificates

1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 Census (England)
General Register Office: Index of Births, Marriages and Deaths
(1912) Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths of Passengers and Seamen at Sea, National Archives, London; BT334/52 & 334/53


England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966
Hold Family Information
from Porthoustock in the parish of St Keverne
Names and Descriptions of British Passengers Embarked at the Port of Southampton, 10 April 1912, National Archives, London; BT 27/780B)
Search archive online

Comment and discuss

  1. Mike Herbold said:

    Sacramento, California passenger Stephen Hold was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and was past president of the Order of the Sons of St. George. The I.O.O.F. has Hall's everywhere and it's own website. Does anybody out there know anything about the Order of the Sons of St. George?

  2. Mike Herbold said:

    The Order of the Sons of St. George sounds like it has British connections. Are there no Britites out there that know of it? Help. Mike

  3. Florian B. Millare said:

    elo everyone, just found out on this website: http:). hope this would help

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Gavin Bell, UK
Steve Coombes, UK
Chris Dohany, USA
Homer Thiel, USA
Brian J. Ticehurst, UK
Geoff Whitfield, UK

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2018) Stephen Hold (ref: #457, last updated: 15th January 2018, accessed 31st July 2021 19:37:56 PM)

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