Tuesday, May 1, 2012

No Word from Halifax Regarding Roebling and Blackwell

Trenton Evening Times, May 1, 1912-

"No Word from Halifax" [1]

On April 30, 1912 the steamer Mackay-Bennett arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, after spending two weeks recovering bodies of Titanic's victims from the sea.  On May 1st the Trenton Evening Times reported a lack of news from Karl Roebling, who had gone to Halifax in hopes of identifying Washington Roebling and Stephen Blackwell.  The Times also noted that both Roebling and Blackwell were not listed among the identified victims, and the presumption was that their bodies were not recovered. [2]

Several days earlier, on April 28, 1912, the Times reported on a wireless communication from the Mackay-Bennett to Halifax noting that an "A. Doeble" was among the identified victims.  The similarity of the name to that of Washington A. Roebling II briefly gave hope that Roebling might be among those positively identified by the Mackay-Bennett.  An absence of further news presumes that Doeble and Roebling were not the same person. 

An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, also dated May 1, 1912, tells in some detail about the Mackay-Bennett's recovery mission, including some of the methods by which victims were (tentatively) identified. In fact a victim that had previously been reported to be that of Philadelphian George Widener, based on papers found on the person, was later identified as his valet when Widener's son identified the man's watch and was consulted on other physical characteristics of the body.  [3]


[1] [2]  "No Word from Halifax," Trenton Evening Times, 1 May 1912, pg. 1.  Online. GenealogyBank : http://www.genealogybank.com. Accessed 29 Apr 2012.

[3]  "190 of Titanic Dead are Brought to Halifax; 116 Buried in the Atlantic," Philadelphia Inquirer, 1 May 1912, pg. 1.  Online. GenealogyBank : http://www.genealogybank.com. Accessed 29 Apr 2012.

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