Mr Ṭannūs Ḥannā Mu'awwad Ṭannūs

Mr Ṭannūs Ḥannā Mu'awwad Ṭannūs was born in Tuḥūm, Lebanon around 1896.

He was the son of Ḥannā Ṭannūs Mu'awwad (b. 1877) but the identity of his mother is not clear (née Dāhir). His father had emigrated to the USA not long after his birth and made his home in Columbus, Ohio and became a naturalised US citizen in 1902, changing his name to John Thomas. He worked as a clothing salesman as well as working for the Princess Theatre for a number of years and accumulating a fortune, losing considerable portion of his wealth when banks he had invested in had folded. His uncle Joseph also emigrated to Columbus and operated a dry goods store whilst his uncle Shaheen lived in Owen Sound, Ontario.

In February 1911 Ṭannūs' father made plans to return to Lebanon to fetch him with the intent of bringing him to the USA to have him complete his education and eventually enter Ohio State University. During his father's visit his mother fell pregnant and presented him with a brother, Yūsuf (b. 1912).

For his journey to the USA Ṭannūs and his father boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as third class passengers (he on ticket number 2684 which had cost £7, 4s, 6d). Also travelling with them were several relatives: Jirjis Yūsuf Abī Sa'b (Gerios Youseff), Shanīnah Shāhīn Abī S’ab Wihbah, Ṭannūs Dāhir (his uncle) and Bannūrah Ayyūb-Dāhir.

On the night of the sinking Ṭannūs and his father are believed to have been in their cabin asleep only to be awakened by the impact. They gathered with their other relatives in the communal areas of the ship. Bannūrah Ayyūb-Dāhir recalled that the teenage Ṭannūs became separated from them. His father went off in search for him, descending down a staircase only for young Ṭannūs to appear coming up another stair; Bannūrah explained to the young man that his father was searching for him and told him where he had gone: Ṭannūs set off in search for his father and Bannūrah and the others in her party never saw them again.

Father and son were lost in the sinking and their bodies, if recovered, were never identified.


Comment and discuss

  1. Degaulle said:

    He is from Thoum Batroun and not from Syria

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Gavin Bell, UK
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Leila Salloum Elias, USA

References and Sources

Elias, Leila Saloum (2011) The Dream and then the Nightmare: the Syrians who boarded the Titanic; Atlas, 2011. ISBN 978-9933-9086-1-4
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2017) Ṭannūs Ḥannā Mu'awwad Ṭannūs (ref: #1255, last updated: 10th August 2017, accessed 30th October 2020 01:48:44 AM)