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Kimberly Powell

The Passengers of the Titanic

By April 15, 2007

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It's been 95 years since the majestic steamliner RMS Titanic hit an iceberg and sank between the icy waters of the North Atlantic in the wee hours of April 15, 1912. More than 1,500 passengers died aboard the ill-fated White Star Line Ship. To coincide with the anniversary, the Web site AncestorsonBoard.com has posted transcripts and digitized images of the original handwritten passenger lists on their Web site, where they will be available for free viewing for a limited time. Prior to this, these records were only available via supervised viewing at the National Archives in Kew, London. Registration is required. As I've mentioned before, AncestorsonBoard currently includes digitized images of UK outbound passenger lists from 1890 - 1919, with plans to eventually add all available outbound lists to 1960.

The Titanic passenger list records the names, port of departure, occupation, nationality, age, class of travel, destination and country of intended residence. The 34-page list consists of two parts: a list of passengers who boarded the ship at Southampton, England on April 10, 1912, and a second list for passengers who boarded at Queenstown, Ireland, on April 11, 1912. While these lists are complete, they do not represent the true and final list of passengers who sailed aboard the Titanic. The passengers who boarded the ship at Cherbourg, France, for example, are not detailed on this list. Nor were the crew on board the vessel. There are also individuals included on the lists who purchased tickets, but did not actually board the ship. These passengers can generally be identified through notations on the passenger list, however.

The only true list of passengers on board the Titanic when it left port for the last time would have been compiled via head count by the ship's staff after leaving dock, which means that the only completely accurate passenger manifest went down with the Titanic.

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