Pregnant passengers and unborn babies aboard Titanic

Millvina Dean, the eventual last living Titanic survivor, is well known as being the youngest passenger aboard Titanic’s maiden voyage, but also aboard the ship were a number of pregnant women with unborn babies.

By mid-January 1913, nine healthy babies had been born to Titanic survivor mothers. Sadly a further two babies died shortly after being born and another two were born stillborn. Up to at least two women who did not survive the sinking are also known to have been pregnant at the time.

Madeleine Talmage Astor was an 18 year old first class passenger traveling home with her husband John Jacob Astor whom she had married in September of the previous year and was the most wealthy person to sail aboard Titanic. Madeline was made a widow by the disaster. Their son John Jacob was born 4 months after the disaster, on 14th August 1912. John Jacob had a son and a daughter and lived until 26th June 1992.

Maria Mathilda Backström was a 33 year old third class passenger traveling from Finland to America with her husband and two brothers of hers. She survived by boarding the last lifeboat to be successfully lowered from the ship. Her husband and brothers were lost. Back home in Finland, she gave birth to Alfhild Maria in, it is said, June 1912.

Ethel Louisa Beane was a 22 year old second class passenger traveling to and moving to America from Britain with her husband Edward Beane. Both she and her husband survived the sinking in Lifeboat 9. It is said she gave birth to a stillborn baby on 13th January 1913.

Helen Walton Bishop was a 19 year old first class passenger returning home to America from her honeymoon with her husband Dickinson Bishop. Helen Bishop and her husband were both rescued in Lifeboat 7, the first lifeboat to be lowered away from the ship. Helen Bishop gave birth to their son Randall Bishop on 8th December 1912. Sadly Randall died two days after he was born.

Mary Emma Corey, aged 32, and Claire Karnes, aged 22, were second class passengers returning from Burma to their native America. Their husbands both worked for a petroleum company in Burma, and in Burma they were friends and neighbours. Emma Corey is known to have been returning home due to being pregnant; Claire Karnes may have also been so (it makes sense and it has been said that she was pregnant, but I’m unable to find a primary source – it could perhaps be possible she was just accompanying her friend). Their husbands stayed behind in Burma. Both Emma Corey and Claire Karnes were lost in the sinking of Titanic. They were two of only a few women not traveling in third class to not be saved.

Argene Del Carlo was a second class passenger traveling from Italy to America with her husband Sebastiano Del Carlo. Argene Del Carlo survived the sinking of Titanic but was made a widow. Back home in Italy, 7 months later, she gave birth to Maria Salvata Del Carlo on 14th November 1912. Maria Salvata married Guido Triboli, had two children, and lived until 31st October 2008. She appears to have given a number of Titanic related interviews in Italian in her later life, including on Italian television.

Juliette Marie Louise Laroche was a 22 year old second class passenger travelling from France to her husband’s native Haiti. She was accompanied aboard the ship by her husband Joseph

Philippe Lemercier Laroche, their 3 year old daughter Simonne and 1 year old daughter Louise. Juliette Laroche and her daughters were rescued. Her husband was lost. She travelled back to France after the disaster, and gave birth to Joseph LaRoche, Jr on 17th December 1912. Joseph LaRoche, Jr married, had children, and lived until 17th January 1987.

Mary Graham Carmichael Marvin was an 18 year old first class passenger traveling home to New York from her honeymoon with her husband Daniel Warner Marvin. Mary Marvin was rescued from Titanic in Lifeboat 10, but tragically her husband was lost when the ship sank. She gave birth to Mary Margaret Elizabeth Marvin on 21st October 1912. Mary Margaret Elizabeth Marvin married Wheaton Kittredge, and lived until 7th October 1993.

Adal Na?r Allah was a second class passenger making her way from Lebanon to the home in America of her recently married husband Niqula Khalil Na?r Allah. There is some confusion as to how old she was, but she was probably 17 years old. She survived the sinking but her husband was lost. She is said to have given birth to a son on 9th December 1912. Sadly their son died shortly after he was born.

Hannah O'Brien was a 27 year old third class passenger emigrating from Ireland to America with her husband Thomas O'Brien. Thomas O'Brien did not survive the sinking. Hannah O'Brien gave birth to Marion Columba O'Brien on 3rd September 1912. Marion O'Brien married William Hanlon and had three children, and lived until 4th July 1994.

Kate Florence Phillips was a 19 year old second class passenger traveling aboard Titanic to America from her home in Britain; she was accompanied aboard Titanic by Henry Samuel Morley who had been her employer, and they were now, with him having left his wife behind, traveling together under the name of Mr and Mrs Marshall. Henry Morley did not survive the Titanic disaster. Kate Phillips gave birth to Ellen Mary Phillips on 11th January 1913; known as Betty, she married Lawrence Farmer and had a son; after becoming a widow she later married Frederick Walker. Living until 2005, she gave Titanic related interviews and was happy to be involved with those interested in Titanic. Of course, we’re never likely to know exactly when Betty Walker was conceived, but as she seemed to be convinced of, it is possible she may have been conceived aboard Titanic.

Mary Eloise Hughes Smith was an 18 year old first class passenger traveling home to America from her honeymoon with her husband Lucian Philip Smith. Mary Smith was rescued in Lifeboat 6; her husband was not saved. She gave birth to Lucian Philip Smith on 29th November 1912; he married someone named Catherine and had two daughters. He lived until October 1971.

Ada Mary West was a 33 year old second class passenger emigrating from Britain to America with her husband Edwy Arthur West and daughters, 4 year old Constance Miriam West and 10 months old Barbara Joyce West. Ada West and her daughters were rescued. Her husband was not. Back home in Britain, she gave birth to a daughter, Edwyna Joan West, 5 months after the Titanic disaster, on 14th September 1912. Edwyna was married to Clarence Patrick Erskine-Lindop and lived until 1969.

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