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Surnames on the Titanic


The Titanic was a famous ship that sank on its maiden voyage in April 1912. The ship was carrying over 2,200 passengers and crew, many of whom lost their lives in the tragedy. Among those onboard were people from different walks of life, including prominent figures, immigrants, and families. In this blog, we will explore some of the surnames of those who were on the Titanic.



The Titanic – one of the world’s most famous ships.


Some of the most popular surnames on the Titanic


  1. Smith – This surname is the most common among the crew members of the Titanic. It is believed that there were at least 23 crew members with the last name Smith on the ship.
  2. Brown – The Brown family had four members on the Titanic, including Molly Brown, who was famously known as the “Unsinkable Molly Brown” due to her survival and heroic actions during the sinking.
  3. Astor – John Jacob Astor IV was a prominent businessman and investor who was onboard the Titanic. He tragically lost his life in the sinking.
  4. Allison – The Allison family had four members on the ship, including a young child named Trevor. Tragically, only one family member survived the disaster.
  5. Harper – The Harper family had five members on the Titanic, including a mother and her four children. All of them lost their lives in the tragedy.
  6. Hichens – Robert Hichens was a crew member on the Titanic who famously manned one of the lifeboats and survived the sinking.
  7. Ismay – J. Bruce Ismay was the chairman of the White Star Line, the company that owned the Titanic. He survived the sinking but faced criticism for his actions during the disaster.
  8. Ryerson – The Ryerson family had four members onboard the Titanic, including a young girl named Emily. Tragically, only one family member survived.
  9. Thayer – The Thayer family had five members on the Titanic, including a young boy named Jack. Tragically, only one family member survived.
  10. Widener – The Widener family had three members on the Titanic, including George Dunton Widener, a wealthy businessman and art collector who lost his life in the sinking.


Why did the Titanic sink?


The Titanic sank because it hit an iceberg on the night of April 14. The ship was traveling from Southampton, England, to New York City, USA, on its maiden voyage, and was considered to be unsinkable due to its advanced design and safety features. However, when the Titanic struck the iceberg, the impact caused a series of holes in the ship’s hull, which allowed water to flood in and eventually caused the ship to sink.

There were several contributing factors that led to the disaster, including the ship’s high speed, the lack of binoculars for the lookout crew, and the failure to respond quickly to the iceberg warning. Additionally, the ship did not have enough lifeboats for all of its passengers and crew, which resulted in many people losing their lives.

The sinking of the Titanic was a tragedy that led to significant improvements in ship safety regulations, such as the requirement for ships to carry enough lifeboats for all passengers and crew, and the establishment of an international ice patrol to warn ships of potential iceberg dangers.


Was there a fire the Titanic?


Yes, there was a coal fire burning in one of the Titanic’s bunkers for several days before the ship even left Southampton, England, on its maiden voyage. The fire was discovered in coal bunker No. 10, which was located next to one of the ship’s boiler rooms. The fire was caused by spontaneous combustion of coal, a relatively common occurrence on steamships of that era.

The Titanic’s crew attempted to extinguish the fire by shoveling coal out of the bunker, but the fire was difficult to access and could not be fully put out. As a result, the crew decided to let the fire burn out on its own. The heat from the fire weakened the bulkhead (a wall that separates different sections of the ship) that separated the coal bunker from one of the ship’s compartments, which may have contributed to the speed at which the ship sank after hitting the iceberg.

It is debated whether the fire contributed to the sinking of the Titanic, as some historians argue that the weakened bulkhead may have allowed water to flood the compartment more quickly after the iceberg impact. However, others argue that the damage caused by the iceberg was sufficient to cause the sinking, regardless of the fire.

Famous people on the Titanic


There were many well known passengers on the Titanic

There were many well known passengers on the Titanic


There were several famous people on board the Titanic, including:

  1. John Jacob Astor IV – a wealthy businessman and real estate investor who was one of the richest men in the world at the time.
  2. Benjamin Guggenheim – another wealthy businessman and heir to the Guggenheim family fortune.
  3. Isidor Straus – co-owner of Macy’s department store, along with his wife Ida.
  4. Archibald Butt – a military aide to President Taft, he was returning to the United States after serving as ambassador to Mexico.


These are just a few examples of the famous people on board the Titanic, but there were many others, including prominent politicians, authors, and musicians.



The iconic silhouette of Titanic

The iconic silhouette of Titanic


These are just a few of the surnames of the passengers and crew on the Titanic. Each of them had a unique story and a connection to the tragedy that has been remembered for over a century. Why not read our other blog ‘Was anyone with your surname on the Titanic?’. You may be able to find out if your own name was on board, and if so, it will be featured on our coat of arms and surname history scroll.

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