Useful links:
IGI Family Search
National Burial Index

Woodward Family Tree
by Graham Woodward
Woodward photo banner
Home Origin of name Family members Family Tree Related families Places they lived
Family Member Missed the Sinking of the Titanic

My grandmother, Catherine Baker (nee Outram), had a lucky escape when she declined an offer to go to America on the ill-fated liner, Titanic.

Picture of Catherine Outram As a teenager, Catherine went into service, first working in the kitchens of a large house in Burton on Trent, then later as an under housekeeper at Crakemarsh Hall, Derbyshire, owned by Charles Tyrell Cavendish and his wife, Lady Anne Cavendish.

In 1906, Charles Cavendish's son, Tyrell William Cavendish, married an American, Julia Florence Siegal, the daughter of Henry Siegal, a millionaire merchant from New York. Henry owned the Seigal-Cooper Department Store on Lower 6th Avenue, New York, and was said to be worth about $10 million in 1900. After the wedding Tyrell and Julia lived at Little Onn Hall, Church Eaton, Staffordshire. They had two sons, Henry and Geoffrey Cavendish.

In late 1911, the couple decided to visit Julia's father in America, and booked a passage on the maiden voyage of the Titanic, the flag ship of the White Star Line and the largest and most luxurious passenger liner at the time. Their son Geoffrey took ill soon after they made the booking, so the children's berths were cancelled and they stayed in England with their grandparents. Julia Cavendish asked my grandmother, Catherine Outram, to go to America with her as her personal maid, but Catherine declined. Mr and Mrs Cavendish boarded the ship at Southampton, England, on 10 April 1912 with Nellie Barber, an agency maid. According to the records they travelled first class in cabin C46 - the tickets cost £78 (£6,100 today).

After the ship struck an iceberg at 23.40 on Sunday 14 April 1912, Julia Cavendish and Nellie Barber climbed into lifeboat No.6, and were later rescued by the RMS Carpathia, but Tyrell Cavendish stayed onboard the Titanic and drowned. His body was recovered by the ship MacKay Bennett and he was cremated at North Bergen, New Jersey on 4 May 1912, aged 36 years. Julia Cavendish bought her husband's ashes back to England where they were buried at Golders Green, London. In 1932 she returned to Crakemarsh Hall near Uttoxeter, Staffordshire and died there in 1963, aged 77 years.

What was ironic was that although Catherine had agreed to marry Harry Baker, when she turned up at his mother's house in Horninglow Street, Burton, suitcase in hand and now without a job, she found to her horror that he had married Gladys Birch instead. Apparently she and Harry had a 'fling' and Gladys said she was pregnant. Harry was forced to marry her. In the face of this news, and for reasons unbeknown to anyone, Catherine agreed to marry Harry's brother, Fred Baker instead. They were married on Christmas Day, 1911.

If Catherine had sailed on the Titanic its quite likely that she would have survived, but no-one knows for sure.

Picture of newspaper announcing Titanics sinking
Compiled by Graham Woodward, Nottingham, England (UK).