The Definitive Passenger Lists


Ian Allan Publishing - 2002

The search for the definitive passenger list of the Titanic has consumed researchers for 90 years. Lists marketed under various names invariably prove to be compilations drawn from several sources, often perpetuating earlier inaccuracies and with no citations whatsoever. Numerous lists of passengers' names were compiled before, during and after the tragedy, by shipping lines and government departments on both sides of the Atlantic. These documents are now scattered throughout archives in the UK, the USA and Canada, with most now being withdrawn from public access for safekeeping. Debbie Beavis has, for many years, being analysing these records. Drawing upon her researches she is able to demonstrate the reliability or otherwise of these documents whose accuracy has never before been fully examined. The information gleaned by comparing British and US passenger records is astounding. In this book the author demonstrates that any two entries for the same person were often far from identical and that any attempt to arrive at a complete list of passengers was futile. For many passengers not only was there contradictory evidence of their personal details and fate that night, but similar documentary confusion as to whether they even sailed at all. For those researching their emigrant ancestors, this book introduces valuable new sources. It provides a new insight into the transportation not only of passengers on board the Titanic but of all emigrants passing through British ports in the decade leading up to the outbreak of World War 1. Never before has such comprehensive research been available in one place. The documentary evidence gleaned from the Titanic and other contemporary but rarely used shipping records along with photographs, diaries and other contemporary ephemera will raise awareness of the story behind passenger travel on board some of Edwardian Britain's finest liners.