Titanic Passengers

Information regarding Titanic's passengers and Crew.

"Isidor Straus was among them, also with Mrs. Straus, who refused to leave her husband behind when she had the opportunity to save herself." - The Alaska Citizen, 20 May 1912

Isidor Straus was born 6 February 1845 in Otterberg, Rhenish, Palatine. His father, Lazarus Straus found that, after the political reaction in 1848, his native Bavaria was unsympathetic to his democratic views, and so in 1852, he made his way to America. He settled in Georgia, and in 1853 moved to Talbotton, where he ran a general store. A Year later he was able to bring his family from Germany to America. In September of 1854, he was joined by his wife Sara (who was also his first cousin.) and his children, Isidor, aged nine, Hermina, aged seven, Nathan, who was six, and Oscar, a lad of three and a half years.

1860 United States Federal Census

Talbotton, Tabot, Georgia

Lazarus Straus
Bavaria, Germany
Sara Straus

Bavaria, Germany
Isidor Straus
Bavaria, Germany
Hermina Straus

Bavaria, Germany
Nathan Straus

Bavaria, Germany
Oscar Straus

Bavaria, Germany

The Straus children were trained in Judaism by their father, who was a lover of the traditions of Jewish life.
Isidor attended Collinsworth Institute and prepared for the West Point Military Academy, however due the Civil war, he did not enter.
When the civil war came, Isidor and his brother Nathan, started to help with the running of the store. The boys were very creative, for example, because of the war, face powder had become scarce, and so they would roll talcum powder into balls, and sell that instead of face powder.
During the Civil War, the Straus family moved to Columbus, Georgia. By the end of the war, the family were left poor.
In 1865, They moved to New York, where Lazarus was able to earn enough money to pay off his creditors. He then established the firm "Lazarus Straus & SOn" who dealt in pottery and glassware.

United States Federal Census, New York

Birth place
Lazarus Straus
Crockery Dealer
Sarah Straus

Isadore Straus
Crockery Dealer
Nathan Straus
Clerk in Store
Oscar Straus
At School

In 1871, Isidor married Ida Rosalie Blun, also a native of Germany.

New York City Marriages, 1600s-1800s 

Name:      Ida Blun
Marriage Date:     1871
Marriage Place:     Manhattan, New York, New York

Ida Blun was born 9 February1849 in  Worms, Germany. She later came to America with her family. Together they had seven children, Jesse, Clarence,Percy, Sara, Minnie, Herbert and Vivian.

The following table shows Ida and her family in the 1860 Census.

Ward 16, District 2, New York, New York,

Birth Place
Nathan Blun
Mina Blun

Amanda Blun

Elias Blun
Louis Blun

Augusta Blun

Ida Blun

Morritz Blun

Abraham Blun


By 1874, the firm has rented the basement of the famous Macy store for a crockery department. In that same year, Isidor and his Nathan became partners in the Macy firm, and in 1887, they were the sole owners of the business.
The magnificent growth of this enterprise was down to the executive ability of Isidor, and the daring vision of Nathan.

1880 United States Census, New York, New York.

Birth Place
Birth Place
Birth Place
Isidor Straus
Importer of China
Ida Straus

Jesse Straus
Attending School
New York
Percy Straus

New York
Sarah Straus

New York
Minnie Straus

New York

In June, 1890, Isidor was a member of the committee of fifty New York importers, who went to Washington to protest against the McKinley bill. Mr. Carlisle, who was then a senator, declared that the speech made by Isidor Straus was the best made by an opponent of the McKinley Bill.
In 1892, he became a partner in Abraham & Straus, a dry goods firm in Brooklyn. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, president of the Pottery & Glassware Board of Trade, a director in the Hanover National Bank and the New York County National Bank, Vice President of the Birbeck investment, Savings & Loan company, and a member of the Manhattan, Reform, Commonwealth, Nineteenth Century and Free Trade Clubs.
Isidor was also elected as a Democrat to the Fifty-Third Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Ashbel P. Fitch and served from 30th January 1894, to 3rd March 1895.
In 1900, Isidor and Nathan moved their firm R.H Macy & Co. from 204 Sixth Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets to Broadway and 34th Street.
In November of 1905, Isidor received a letter from Andrew Carnegie. attached to the letter was a check for $10,000 for the relief of the Jews in RUssia. ( Isidor had been raising money for the Russian Jews who were being massacred.)
The letter read:
"I am only too glad to send you the enclosed as a contribution to the fund for the relief of your co-religionists in Russia. The terrible crimes being committed there are such as might lead one to lose faith in humanity, had not the history of the past shown as scenes equally demoniac.
"Do not be discouraged, however, under the law of evolution we must steadily, though slowly, march upward and finally reach the true conception of the brotherhood of man."

1910 United States Census, Manhattan, New York

Isidor Straus
Ida Straus

In April 1912, Mr. and Mrs. Straus boarded the new steamer, RMS Titanic.

On the night of the sinking, Mrs. Straus ordered her maid, Ellen Bird to enter one of the lifeboats. Mrs. Straus, however refused to leave without her husband, and he would not leave until every woman and child was off the ship, and so together they died.

The Syracuse Herald 19 April 1912

Mrs. Straus Refused to Go.

"As the officers were loading the women of the first cabin list into the boats, they came to Mrs. Isidor Straus, the elderly wife of the noted philanthropist. She started to get into a boat but held back, waiting for her husband to follow. Mr. Straus tenderly took her in his arms, bade her farewell and explained that he must abide by the inexorable rule of the sea which says women and children must be saved first.
"If you do not go, I do not go," explained the devoted wife. She clung to her husbands arm and, despite his efforts and the efforts of officers to persuade her to get into the boat, she refused. The devoted couple went to death together."

The loss of the thoughtful and gentle Isidor in the sinking of the Titanic affected many people, as did the death of his kind and loving wife:

The Gettysburg Times, 27 April 1912


Merchant's Wife Included in Their Lamenting.

Sixty thousand Jews in Jerusalem are fasting and mourning for Isidor Straus and Mrs. Straus, who went down with the ill fated liner Titanic.
According to a message from Jerusalem during their recent stay in that city, Mrs. Straus visited the Ghetto, and later told her husband of the misery and squalor she had witnessed.
She suggested that something be done for the relief of the miserable: Where upon Mr. Straus immediately responded: "Establish a soup Kitchen at once."
He then sent a letter to the Jewish authorities guaranteeing $10,000 annually for three years to support the kitchen. Since then between 500 and 600 persons have been fed daily through his charity."

Ida's body was never recovered, Isidor's, however was. His body was taken to Halifax and from there was transported by train to New York where he was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, New York.

The courage of Mrs. Straus, left an impression on many women. On 21 September, 1912, Mrs. Jane Stone had her letter published in several newspapers. it read:

Mrs. Isidor Straus.

"Every day we hear of some new form of memorial either to Mrs. Isidor Straus, to her husband or to both of them, And there can't be memorials too many. But I think...Well, I think that Mrs. Straus deserves a memorial bigger than any yet suggested. I think her death - and her life should be commemorated by the women of the earth, women of every class, every creed, every nation. Mrs Straus' courage was the courage of a woman, of a wife. Her action sprang from the primary instinct of woman-kind, which is love for a man. It was the eternal feminine, the eternal woman in her, that made her go down to death as she did. It is the eternal woman in us that should raise the most fitting memorial to her. - Jane Stone. "


Death of Mr. and Mrs, Straus
With their minds filled with the last actions of brave men such as these, there was one scene, pathetic beyond all others which seems to have remained uppermost with not one, but many survivors. It was the deaths of Mr. and Mrs Isidor Straus. The sight of the devoted couple disappearing beneath the waves together, hand in hand. After Mrs. Straus had refused to yield to the entreaties of her husband to leave him, was one that few could describe to the reporters without emotion, though they had carried it vividly away with them. The strauses had mingled with those on board the ship very much, and their fellow passengers had had many oppertunities in the days that preceded the tragedy to witness their devotion. Apparently in that awful scene which those looking back from the boats had impressed upon their minds, this couple stood out most conspicuously.
While the stories regarding the others who died then differ somewhat those regarding the strauses all seem to agree, showing the accuracy with which the impression had been made. many of those who told this story had been close to the Strauses while the work of launching the boats was in progress. Everyone of them agree that during this scene Mr. Straus was strangley calm and remained so until the end. In only one small respect do the stories differ as to what then occured.
According to Mrs. J Murray Brown, who had been playing bridge with Mr. and Mrs. Straus, Mrs. Straus did actually get into one of the boats, but when she founf that Mr. Straus would not follow her, she stepped out again. other accounts are that Mrs. Straus from the first refused to step in a boat without Mr. Straus and that the latter, after trying tof orce her into one for a minute, then gave it up. This scene, harrowing inits details is described by H. F Stephenson, an attache of the Swedish embassy, who stoof by this particular boat and who only a minute before had seen Colonel Astor part with his wife.

"During the Excitement I heard some one say "Mrs Straus, you must go" Turning arounf, I saw the Strauses standing together. The men were talking to Mrs. Straus, 'No, no, I will not go"' She cried to her husband. 'I cannot leave you' Then someone said 'You both can go. There's room for both' 'As long as there is a woman on this vessel,' said Mr. Straus, 'I will not leave, they are the first who must be looked after, when they are safe, then come the men. But not until all the women are in the boats will I put my foot in a lifeboat.'
'You are an old man, Mr. Straus' somebody said.
'I am not too old to sacrifice myself for a woman.' was his reply.
The struggled which ensued when Mr. Straus tried to force his wife into the boat is a picture which I shall never forget. It was more than pitiful. Mrs. Straus stuck to the end for she, I learned, went down with her husband when the Titanic sank."
Others who saw this scene, among them Colonel Gracie and R.W Daniel, remember that the Strauses stood hand in hand while this was going on...
... Hugh Wollner said that once a sailor actually seized Mrs. Straus, but she held out her hands towards her husband, and then clung to the rail to stop herself being put in the boat. When She was let go of, she stood by her husband and tightened her grip on his arm, and patted it, smiled at him and then at the other passengers.
Helen Dick remembered that while her boat was being lowered, she could clearly see Mr. and Mrs. Straus.."We could plainly see Mr. and Mrs. Straus standing near the rail with their arms around each other. The lights of the Titanic were all burning and the band was playing. To me, the most affecting episode of the whole disaster was that final glimpse of this elderly couple, hand in hand, awaiting the end together."

Biography by Beata. 1 December 2006.

Straus Obituary

STRAUS - At a special meeting of the Executive committee of the Educational Alliance, held on Friday, April 19, 1912, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
After days of keenest anxiety, the Directors of the Educational Alliance have been forced to realize the awful tragedy that has taken off their revered President, ISIDOR STRAUS. Words are imadequate to express their profound grief or to convey the deep sense of the bereavement and personal loss felt by each of them.
The nobility that characterized ISIDOR STRAUS was exemplified to the close of his life. His true manhood, which was reflected in all he did, was never better shown than in his last moments.
Throughout life he was actuated by a profound love of humanity which was the mainspring of all his actions. It was true devotion to his fellow-man that prompted his active, earnest, thoughtful and intelligent interest, not only in public affairs but in the charitable educational, social, and philanthropic work of the community in which he was a factor and of which he was an ornament of whom generations may well be proud.
A leading citezen, a patriot, a generous friend, and ardent lover of his fello-man, early in life he took the time that others might have employed in the pursuit of wordly advantages to do good among his people and in his country.
It was this personal and human interest that prometed his early identification with the work of the Educational Alliance, of which institution he was the president for upward of twenty years, and to which he gave generously, not merely in material ways but of his time and of himself.
He was fortunate in a wife responsive to all his noble and philanthropic impulses, with whom he advised and who sympathetically as well as ably co-operated with him in carrying out his plans for the public welfare,
As he lived for his family and the community, making sacrifices for both, so he died with noble heroism that others might be saved. The true devotion of husband to wife and wife to husband was so marked that not the housr of death could seperate her from him she loved so well.
The Educational Alliance, together with the entire community, is poorer by the loss of ISIDOR STRAUS and IDA STRAUS, and richer because of their lives. Their example of high character and devotion will be remembered longer than the period of those who knew them.
The Directors of the Educational Alliance extend their deepest sympathy to the family of the late Isidor Straus in the double bereavement they have suffered. To them may strength and fortitude be given to bear their heavy sorrow. May the sweet memories of many years under the influence of these two noble lives sustain them in their affliction
Samuel Greenbaum
First Vice President
Bernard M.L Ernst. Secretary.

Straus Family Tree

1. Lazarus Straus b 28 April 1809 in Rheinland, Pfalz, Germany. d 14 Jan 1898 in New York.
+ Sara Straus Born: 14 Jan 1823 in Otterberg,Germany Died: 21 Jul 1876 in New York,New York
2 Karoline Straus b 1838
2. Isidor Straus b 6 Feb 1845 in Otterberg, Rhenish, Bayern, Germany d 15 April 1912
+ Rosalie Ida Blun b 9 Feb 1849 in Worms, Rheinhessen, Hessen, Germany d 15 April 1912
3. Jesse Isidor Straus b 25 June 1872 in New York, New York
+ Irma Nathan b 1874
4. Son Straus b 1896 d 1896
4. Beatrice Nathan Straus b 17 September 1897 d 31 August 1967
4. Jesse Isidor Straus b 13 Jan 1900
4. Robert Straus b 22 October 1905
4. Son Straus b 28 Feb 1913 d 28 Feb 1913
3. Clarence Elias Straus b 27 August 1874 in New York, New York d 16 August 1876
3.Percy Selden Straus b 24 June 1876 in New York, New York
+ Edith Abraham b 30 April 1882 d 7 Feb 1957
4. Ralph Isidor Straus b 11 October 1903 d 5 Feb 1996
4. Percy Selden Straus b 17 September 1906
3. Sara Straus b 16 May 1878 in New York, New York d 10 April 1960
+ Alfred Fabian Hess b 19 October 1875 d 5 December 1933
4. Eleanor Straus Hess b 5 April 1906
3. Minnie Straus b 19 Feb 1880 in New York, New York d 1940
+ Richard Weil b 1876 d 1918
4. Evelyn Straus Weil b 19 Sep 1906
4. Richard Weil b 1907
3. Nathan Straus b 2 Nov 1881 in New York, New York d 6 April 1933
+ Therese Kuhn b 20 July 1884
4. infant girl Straus (twin) b 5 April 1908 d 5 April 1908
4. infant girl Straus (twin) b 5 April 1908 d 5 April 1908
4. Edward Kuhn Straus b 12 November 1909
4. Oliver Herbert Straus b 5 May 1914
3. Vivian Straus b 29 August 1886 in New York, New York d 1974
+ Herbert A Scheftel b 1875 d 1914
4. Herbert A Scheftel b 14 November 1907
4. Stuart Scheftel b 1910
2. Hermina Straus b 16 June 1846 in in Otterberg, Rhenish, Bayern, Germany
2. Nathan Straus b 1848 in Otterberg, Rhenish, Bayern, Germany d 1931
+ Lina Gutherz
3. Nathan Straus b 27 May 1889
3. Hugh Grant Straus b 1890
3. Sara Straus
3. ROland Straus
2. Oscar Soloman Straus b 23 Dec 1850 d 3 May 1926
+ Sara Lavanburg b 3 Jun 1861 d 1945
3. Mildred Straus b 23 December 1882
3. Aline Straus b 13 November 1883
3. Roger William Straus b 14 December 1891 d 1957
+ Gladys Eleanor Guggenhein b 15 Aug 1895
4. Oscar Soloman Straus b 1905
4. Roger William Straus b 3 Jan 1917 d 25 May 2004
4. Florence Guggenheim Straus

Blun Family Tree

1 Nathan BLUN b: 10 MAR 1815 d: 29 NOV 1879
+ Mindel (Wilhelmine) FREUDENBERG b: 20 OCT 1814 d: NOV 1868
2 Amanda BLUN b: 1839
2 Elias N. BLUN b: 1842 d: 1878
+ Sophie OULMAN
2 Louis BLUN b: 11 SEP 1843 d: 15 JUN 1927
+ Jenny LEVY b: 8 OCT 1854 d: 1926
3 Edwin BLUN b: BEF 1877
+ Alice SIDENBERG b: 12 OCT 1884 d: NOV 1979
4 George Edwin BLUN b: 11 MAY 1907
3 Elsa BLUN b 19 Jan 1879
3 Spencer BLUN b 9 Oct 1880
2 Augusta Carolina Blun 3 Jul 1845 d 12 Jul 1905
+ Emanuel EISING b 19 Jun 1836
3 Matilda EISING
3 Harry EISING
3 Edwin Blun EISING b 2 Dec 1869
3 Louis EISING
3 Wilhemina EISING
3 Eugene EISING
3 Alice EISING
2 Ida ROsalie BLUN b 9 Feb 1849 d 15 April 1912
+ Isidor STRAUS b 6 Feb 1845 d 15 April 1912
3 Jesse Isidor STRAUS b 25 Jun 1872 d 4 Oct 1896
4 Infant son STRAUS b 1896 d 1896
4 Beatirce Nathan STRAUS b 27 Seo 1897
4 Hesse Isidor STRAUS b 13 Jan 1900
4 RObert STRAUS b 22 Oct 1905
3 Clarence STRAUS b 24 Jun 1876
3 Percy Selden STRAUS b 24 Jun 1876
3 Sara STRAUS b 16 May 1878 d 10 APril 1960
+ Alfred Fabian HESS
3 Minnie STRAUS b 19 Feb 1880 d 1940
+ Richard WEIL
3 Herbert STRAUS b 2 November 1881 d 6 APril 1933
+ Therese KUHN
3 Vivian STRAUS b 29 Aug 1886 d 1967
2 Morits BLUN b 1850
2 Abraham BLUN b 1853

General Family Information

New York Times
21 November 1895 - Marriages

Straus - Nathan

Miss Irma Nathan, daughter of Max Nathan of 33 East Seventy-second Street, and Jesse Straus, eldest son of ex-congressman Isidor Straus, were married at 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon at the brides home.
Prod, Felix Adler officiated.
The parlors of the house were elaborately decorated with American Beauty roses, White roses, lillies of the valley, and chrysanthemums. The young couple stood under a floral canopy.
In the bridal procession were twelve charming young girls, dressed in dainty pink and white costumes and wearing pituresque, wide-brimmed hats.
The bride, who is tall and statel and beautiful, wore a white satin dress, with appliquw lace. Her sister, Miss Elsie Nathan acted as bridesmaid.
The ushers were Lee Kohns, P.S Straus, S. Feichner, H. Gans, A Hochstader, A. Leaman, G. Beer, A Lazaar, G Goldsmith, A. Rindskopf, and S. Wolfe.
After the wedding a dinner and reception were given and Delmonico's. Among those present were Postmaster General William L. WIlson, ex-Mayor, Hugh J. Grant, Mr. and Mrs. F Rothschild, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Straus, Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Straus, E. EIsing, Mr. and Mrs. Morris Stettheimer, Mr. and Mrs. Otto Loeb, Miss Loeb, Miss Edith Stein, Mr. and Mrs. Marcus Stein, and Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Nathan.

New York Times
Marriages 13 October 1904

Miss Sara Straus Weds
Daughter of Isidor Straus Becomes Wife
of Dr. Alfred Hess

The marriage of Miss Sara Straus, daughter of Isiodr Straus, and Dr. Alfred Hess was solemnized at the Straus country home, The sunnyside, at South ELberon, at noon today. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Dr. Schulman of New York.
A special train of several Pullman coaches with about 200 guests from New York arrived at Elberon station at 11:43 o'clock.
The bride was attended by her sister, Miss Minnie Straus, who acted as maid of honor, and the following bridesmaids: Miss Vivian Straus, Miss Irene Straus, cousins of the bride; Miss Ruth Hess, and Miss Meyer.
The flower girls were Beatrice N. Straus and Jane Elkus.
Dr. Edwin beer of New York was best man. The ushers were Abraham I. Elkus, Dr. Eugene Hicsing, Jesse I. Straus, Percy S. Straus, Dr. RIchard Weil, RIchard Leo, Edward Nearsulmer, Arthur H. Hahlo and Herbert N. Straus.
The ceremony was performed under an arch made of orchids and lillies of valley. The decorations were in green, palms, and cut flowers. The bride was attired in an imported silk robe over chiffon and lace. Her going away gown was a dark green tailor made suit, with hat to correspond.
Following the wedding ceremony there was a reception and wedding breakfast.
Dr. Hess, the bridegroom, is the son of Selmer Hess, the New York publisher, who has a country seat on the Rumson Road.
He is taking a special course in medicine in Europe and will take his bride abroad and resume his studies.

New York Times
Marriages 31 May 1905

Straus - Weil

Isidor Straus's Summer Home the Scene of His Daughter's Marriage.

Elberon, N.J  May 30._ Miss Minnie Straus, daughter of Isidor Straus of New York, was married at noon to-day to Dr. Richard Weil, also of New York City. The ceremony was performed at SUnnyside, the summer home of the Strauses, in Ocean Avensue. The Rev, Dr. Schulman of New York officiated. Nearly 200 relatives and invited guests were present.
The marriage ceremony took place in the great hall of the Straus villa, which resembled a rose garden. The bride was given away by her father. The maid of honor was Miss Vivian Straus, and Dr. Edward Beer was best man.
A wedding breakfast followed the ceremony. The place where Dr. and Mrs. Weil will spend their honeymoon was kept secret from the guests.

New York Times
18 Jan 1907


Herbert Adolph Scheftel was married to Miss Vivian Straus, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Isidor Straus, a 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon, at Sherry's, by the Rev. Dr. Schulman. The ceremony was followed by a large reception from 5 to 7 o'clock, which was attended by more than three hundred guests.
The bride, who was given in marriage by her father, wore a severly plain white satin empire gown with yoke and sleeves of point lace, and a long tuile veil. Her bouquet was made of gardenias, white orchids and lillies of the valley. She was attended by Miss Rhoda Seligman as maid of Honor. The latter was attired in a trailing princess robe of pale blue crepe de chine, topped by a blue plumed picture hat. She carried a large muff of mauve orchids. There were also five little flower girls, nieces of the bride, in snowy lace trimmed frocks. Mr. Scheftel's best man was his brother Walter Scheftel. There were a dozen ushers.

15 April 1914


East side Children Honor Memory of Mr. and Mrs. Isidor Straus

On the eve of the seconf aniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, in which Mr. and Mrs. Isidor Straus perished, 1000 children, mostly publicj school boys and girls, gathered last night Hamilton Fish Park under the auspices of the East Side Protective Association to honor the memory of the two firends of the east side children.
Several speeches were made and the evening closed with the sounding of "taps" by the bugles of the police boys of the association.

Sources and References

American Jewish Yearbook
America's Successful Men of Affairs: An Encyclopedia of Contemporaneous Biography,Volume I, Lazarus Straus
page 630
Altoona Mirror -13 November 1905
Colorado Springs Gazette  28 Apr 1912
Coshocton Daily Age  2 May 1912
Evening Post  21 Sep 1912
Where They're Buried
New York Times
United States Federal Census
New York Marriages