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An Ancestor on the RMS Lusitania?


lusitaniaThe most famous ship to sink was the Titanic in April 1912. However, the second most famous was the RMS Lusitania on May 7, 1915 when it was hit by tornadoes from German submarines during World War One. There were 1,960 passengers / crew on that ship in its 202nd crossing of the Atlantic from New York City to Liverpool, England. After its sinking there were 1,197 people dead.

Online is the Lusitania Source with a listing of passengers and crew. Information provided is the full name, age, male/female, citizenship, which ship class they traveled, or the position served by a crew person.

Many on the alphabetic list are linked (marked in orange) to information about the individual, some even with a photograph. This is a fabulous resource of collected information and photos.

Lust-Henry AdamsMost of the information and photos were contributed by relatives. So besides having the information there is a contact of the contributor, who might turn out to be a cousin of yours.

Most of the passengers were of British citizenship but also many were Americans. Of the 139 U.S. citizens; 128 aboard the ship lost their lives. There were others from Australia and other European nations.

The most famous was Alfred G. Vanderbilt of the United States – son of Cornelius Vanderbilt Sr. who also died in the sinking.  lust-vanderbilt

The story of the Lusitania is fascinating. This large passenger ship made its maiden voyage September 1907. It crosses the Atlantic for several years. In 1914 due to the outbreak of war, transatlantic crossings were reduced to one a month. Between Saturday, May 1st and Friday, May 7th, in 1915, German submarines sank 23 merchant ships in the waters just south of Ireland, through which Lusitania was now sailing. News of these attacks never reached the Lusitania. It would be a U-20 German submarine near the south coast of Ireland that was in position and range about 2:10 pm on May 7th who fired the one gyroscopic torpedo to be fired which struck the ship. It sank within 18 minutes and just 11.5 miles from Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland.

So check the list of passengers and crew on the Lusitania Source and see if there are any matches to your family tree.

Photos: Sinking of the Lusitania, Henry Adams – Saloon 1st class passenger and Alfred G. Vanderbilt.

Related genealogy blogs:

Ships Carrying Immigrants

Ship Passengers to Philadelphia


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