Name: Mrs. Mary Sophie Halaut Abraham (née Easu)
Born: Saturday 10th February 1894
Age: 18 years
Last Residence: in Ayn 'Arab Lebanon
3rd Class passenger
First Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 2657 , £7 4s 7d
Destination: Greensburg United States
Rescued (boat C)
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Saturday 11th December 1976
Cause of Death: Heart Failure / Disease
Buried: Westmoreland Memorial Park, Hempfield Township, PA
Mrs. Joseph Abraham (Mary Sophie Halaut Easu), 18, was born 10th February 1894, in Shwahed, Syria, the daughter of John Easu and Matian (?Marian) Abraham. She was married to Joseph Abraham (born 15th June 1887, died 2nd October 1952) and they lived in Westmoreland, Greensburg, Pennsylvania.
She was returning from visiting friends and family in Syria. She boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a third class passenger. She was rescued in collapsible C.
Mrs. Abraham's son Zackie Halaut was born 4th October 1913 he died in February 1975.
Sophie Abraham died in Greensburg, PA in 11th December 1976. She is buried in Westmoreland County Memorial Park, Greensburg.
YOUNG GREENSBURG WOMAN WAS PASSENGER ON ILL-FATED SHIP
Greensburg Herald Tribune
Monday 22 April 1912
"Oh, I feel bad, ver' bad, los' money, los' friend. When I stand up I see ship come again, when I shut my eyes. I see people go down, down, down--Oh ver' bad time." And, with the remembrance of it, Mrs. Sophie Abraham, 20? years old, shuddered and buried her face in the dark hair of her little niece who leaned against her knee. Mrs. Abraham was one of the few passengers rescued from the Titanic.
At the home of her brother, Samuel Easu, who keeps a store on South Main and Mount Pleasant streets, Mrs. Abraham told her story. Her husband, Joseph Abraham, a Syrian formerly employed at the Kelly and Jones works, but who is now working in Allentown, New York, is expected home to greet his wife today or tomorrow.
In a small living room back of Mr. Easu's store, the young woman, rescued after perilous adventures in the sea, sat. About her clustered friends and a number of members of the Syrian colony. Running her fingers through the soft hair of the two little children who stood at her knees, now and then picking them up as if she never could leave them go, and showering their faces with kisses, Sophie Abraham told her story. She wore a light blue dress, a skirt of blue satin, now faded, and about her hair was thrown a scarf of a darker blue, glittering with spangles.
She would have made a subject for a painting as she sat with the children at her knees, with her beautiful regular features, olive skin, and great dark eyes, now and then heavy with weariness, again tragic with the weight of her sorrows and the experiences through which she had passed.
By the aid of her brother who acted as interpreter, Sophie Abraham told of lying awake on her bed in the ship Titanic. Troubled by sleeplessness, Mrs. Abraham had lain down in her clothing, just as she had done several times previously.
All at once came the crash. Gesturing with her expressive hands, Mrs. Abraham illustrated how the great ship rocked and swayed, and how the half dressed people swarmed up on deck. Then she told of the orders from the officers to lower the lifeboats, how women were placed in the boats, how one by one they were filled and rowed away, and then finally, how she was picked up by a sailor and thrown into the sea, the sailor missing the lifeboat in his haste. Crowding around the railing she says were men, fighting for an opportunity to get to the remaining lifeboats. Officers commanded them to stand back and make way for the women and children. Good order was restored and after the first panic, men bravely lowered the women to safety.
When she came to the surface, after her plunge, Mrs. Abraham says, she was taken into a crowded lifeboat. A big wave upset it and all were in the water. Another lifeboat picked Mrs. Abraham up with two or three others from the overturned boat. Four sailors in her lifeboat rowed away from the side of the sinking ship. Finally they joined a group of lifeboats, and the little flotilla was fastened together with ropes to afford better protection to the damaged boats.
She watched the big ship with all the lights sinking lower and lower until all the lights were out. The sun was just above the surface of the sea the next morning when she was taken on the Carpathia, she said. All night the women in her boat, sat and shivered in the biting air. Her clothing was frozen to her body after her plunge into the ocean. No one thought of eating, as Mrs. Abraham said: "Everybody scared too much, everybody glad to save life, no think of eat."
In New York she was met by many men, she said, who questioned her if she had a place to go. "I can't remember much," she said, "I get sick. I stay in nice place two nights, lots to eat, good clothes, good bed. They say I stay Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, but I say, "No I go home, to my family." With a grave smile lighting up her beautiful eyes, Mrs. Abraham again showered the little ones with kisses as she went on to tell how one man gave her a ticket to Greensburg and another gave her $30.00 in money.
Mrs. Abraham arrived in Greensburg between 10 and 11 o'clock Sunday morning. None of her relatives knew of her coming, none of her relatives knew she had taken passage on the Titanic. When she descended from the train, she was dazed. Stolidly she stood on the platform, a package on her arm and a suitcase at her feet. Henry Coshey and Baggage man Carns assisted her to the station, and secured Mr. Coleman's taxicab, which Mr. Coleman quickly placed at her service. In a trice after she alighted at the store of her brother in South Main Street, Mrs. Abraham was surrounded by a sobbing, laughing swarm of relatives and friends. Hugging and kissing her by turns, the one Greensburg survivor of the Titanic was greeted. But the long ordeal and the great joy of meeting her people was too much for her and she collapsed in a faint on the pavement. All day Sunday she was too ill to talk much. Monday morning however, she felt better and tried to answer the countless questions put to her by friends. With eagerness she is awaiting the coming of her husband who was notified at once by telegram of her arrival.
Mrs. Abraham had just returned from a several months' visit to her native country. Never again, she says, will she return unless she can go by land.
That it is an ill wind that blows nobody any good was demonstrated here today day in the happy reunion of George Abraham, a Syrian, employed at the Fogelsville cement plant, and his wife Mary, aged 24, a survivor of the Titanic tragedy.
Abraham came to this country several years ago, and through industry has been prospering. Twice his wife crossed the ocean, only to be turned back by the immigration authorities. Determined to join her husband, she sailed a third time on the Titanic. She was a second-class passenger and was one of the women hurried into the lifeboats. From previous experience she was in great fear that she might again be turned back by the Ellis island inspectors, but found when the Carpathia came in that red tape had been suspended.
Mrs. Abraham lost all her belongings and $50 in the wreck, but got $30 from the fund raised for the relief of the Titanic survivors.
After being rescued, Mrs. Abraham saved the life of a Syrian who was shot in the arm by an officer and fell into the sea.
Sophie Halaut Abraham, 82, of South Greensburg, one of the last survivors of the Titanic, died Saturday, Dec. 11.
She was born on Feb. 10, 1894, in Shwahed, Syria, the daughter of the late John and Marian Abraham Easu. She was a member of St. Michael's Orthodox Church and the church's lady's guild.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph, and by a son, Zack Halaut in 1975.
Leah Aks Frand Philip Aks
Name: Mrs Leah Aks (née Rosen) Frank Philip Aks (son)
Born: Sunday 18th March 1894 Wednesday 7th June 1911
Age: 18 years 10 months and 8 days.
Last Residence: in London London England
3rd Class passenger
First Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 392091 , £9 7s
Destination: Norfolk Virginia United States
Rescued (boat 13)
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Thursday 22nd June 1967 Monday 15th July 1991
Mrs Sam Aks (Leah Rosen), 18, was born in Warsaw, Poland on 18 March 1894, the daughter of Morris Rosen, who in 1912 lived at 25 Brunswick Street, London.
She boarded the Titanic at Southampton with her baby son Frank Philip Aks (ticket number 392091, £9 7s). Leah and "Filly" had left their home in London for 195 Chapel Street, Norfolk, Virginia where Leah's Husband Samuel, a tailor, was waiting for them.
On the night of the sinking Leah Aks was forced up to the boat deck she found herself next to Madeleine Astor. Upon seeing the baby Mrs Astor removed her shawl and wrapped it around him. Not long after as Leah stood on the deck clutching her baby son he was suddenly torn away from her and tossed into lifeboat 11 which was being prepared for lowering, as she struggled to retrieve him she was restrained by crewmen who thought she was trying to rush the boat. Filly was caught by Elizabeth Nye who sat him on her lap, later she wrapped him in a steamer blanket to keep him warm . Meanwhile Leah, still in a state of shock, was pushed into lifeboat 13 next to Selena Rogers Cook.
After their rescue Leah and Selena were walking together on the deck of the Carpathia when an Italian woman (possibly Argene del Carlo) passed them holding a baby, Leah recognized Filly at once. She went to Captain Rostron and appealed to him to help her get her baby back, he took the two women to his room and asked each to provide proof of identity. Leah was able to describe a birthmark on Filly's chest and he was returned to her
She was so grateful to Captain Rostron of the Carpathia for her rescue that the following yearly giving birth to her only daughter she named her Sarah Carpathia Aks. But the nuns at the hospital when filling out her birth certificate put down Sarah Titanic Aks!
The bitter cold she had endured in the lifeboat while awaiting her rescue had permanently damaged her eardrums and she suffered from a partial loss of hearing for the rest of her life.
When Titanic departed on its first and last voyage from Southampton, England on Wednesday, April 10, 1912, 18-year-old Jewish immigrant Leah Aks and her 10-month-old son, Philip were on board.
Passover had concluded the day before. On sailing day, Leah was pleased to find that the third class was not completely booked; she and Philip had a cabin all to themselves.
Leah was born in Warsaw, Poland. In London, she had met Sam Aks, a tailor who was also from Warsaw. They were married there.
“In London he was barely making a living,” wrote Valery Bazarov, historian for the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, in a piece about the family for HIAS. “A cousin who lived in America visited him in London and told him that if he came to America he’d make money very quickly. So he came over, got a job and soon saved enough money to bring Mrs. Aks and the baby over.”
Sam settled in Norfolk, Va. and entered the scrap metal business. In Titanic: Women and Children First, author Judith B. Geller indicates that all the money Sam earned was used for Leah and “Filly’s” trip to join him. Their arrival in Norfolk would mark the first time Sam would meet his son.
Though Leah and Filly were booked onto an earlier ship, Bazarov explained that Leah’s mother convinced her to wait a week and travel on Titanic, considered the world’s safest liner.
Four days into their journey, after the ship struck an iceberg, Leah and Filly followed other third-class passengers to the bottom of the third-class staircase at the rear of the ship.
At 12:30 p.m., the crew permitted women and children in this group to make their way to the boat deck. When crew members saw that Leah and Filly couldn’t get through the crowd up the stairs, they carried the two. Leah and Filly made it to the boat deck, part of the first-class area of the ship. Madeline Astor, the young wife of millionaire John Jacob Astor, covered Filly’s head with her silk scarf.
According to Bazarov, a distraught man—who had been rebuffed by the crew when he attempted to get into a lifeboat—ran up to Leah and said, “I’ll show you women and children first!”
The man grabbed Filly and threw him overboard.
Leah searched the deck until someone urged or pushed her into lifeboat 13. She sat in the middle of the Atlantic with 63 others in number 13, a broken woman. Hours after Titanic went down and the cries for help from those dying in the water faded away, the liner Carpathia arrived at daybreak.
Leah searched the deck of Carpathia in vain for her baby. Despondent, she took to a mattress for two days. Titanic survivor Selena Cook urged Leah to come up on deck for air. When she did, she heard Filly’s cry.
Unknown to Leah, FFilly had fallen into lifeboat number 11, right into another woman’s arms. In Geller’s account, the woman is presumed to have been Italian immigrant Argene del Carlo. Her husband was not permitted to follow the pregnant Argene into the lifeboat.
“Argene shared her warmth with Filly through the long night,” Geller writes. “Toward morning she began to believe that God had sent this child to her as a replacement for Sebastino (her husband) and a brother for the child she carried in her womb.”
On the deck of Carpathia, the woman who had cared for Filly since Titanic sank refused to give Leah the child.
Leah appealed to the Carpathia’s captain, Arthur Roston, now put in the role of King Solomon.
In an e-mail interview with The Observer, Gilbert Binder, the husband of Leah’s late granddaughter, Rebecca, described what happened next.
Binder said that Filly was returned to Leah because “she identified him as a Jewish baby and he was circumcised. The (other) woman was Catholic and Italian and her male child would not have been circumcised.”
After their arrival in New York, Leah and Filly were taken to HIAS’ shelter and remained there until Frank could come for them.
Leah Aks gave birth to a baby girl nine months after arriving in this country and intended to name her Sara Carpathia,” in honor of the rescue ship, Binder explained. “The nuns at the hospital in Norfolk, Va. got confused and named the baby Sara Titanic Aks. I have a copy of her birth certificate.” Sara was Binder’s mother-in-law.
Leah lived until 1967; her son, Filly, until 1991.
Lillian Asplund Edvin Asplund