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Janie Riley is an avid genealogist with a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. She and her husband head to Salt Lake City Utah to research Janie's elusive 4th great-grandmother. But her search into the past leads her to a dark secret. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present before disaster strikes? Available now on Amazon.com and the CreateSpace eStore

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LUSITANIA, SUNK BY GERMANS
LOSS OF LIFE HIGH IN HUNDREDS

LUSITANIA, SUNK BY GERMANS LOSS OF LIFE HIGH IN HUNDREDS


MAY 8, 1915, Page 1 UNDAUNTED BY NEWS, BRITISH LINER SAILS TRANSYLVANIA'S CAPTAIN SAYS HE WOULD LIKE TO MEET SUBMARINE WON'T FLY U. S. FLAG

NEW YORK, MAY 7, 1915 - The British Steamer Transylvania of the Anchor Line sailed late today for Liverpool a few hours after the news of the Lusitania's sinking had been received. The Transylvania's cabins were crowded. There were ?79 passengers aboard and others who wanted to go, according to go, according to the line, could not be accommodated for lack of room. Capt. John BLACK, who was recently transferred to the Transylvania from the British Auxiliary Cruiser Columbia, commanded the ship. "I have been hunting for a submarine ever since this war began." was his comment on the Lusitania. "I only hope I see one on this trip and that she comes close enough for me to ram her." "Do you expect to fly the American flag when you reach the war zone?" he was asked "No, sir. I'll take my ship in port with the flag of England flying or not at all." he replied. Of the Transylvania passengers 1?? were in the first cabins, ??? in the second and 4?4 in steerage. Almost half the passengers are from Canada. There was little nervousness apparent among the passengers, all of whom had heard of the Lusitania's fate. Twelve last minute cancellations were reported. This, it was said, was not an unusual number. Four of those who cancelled their passage, officials said, did so because of illness.

==================================================================== MAY 9, 1915

FULLY SCORE PITTSBURGHERS ON LUSITANIA REPORTS OF DISASTER TO STEAMSHIP CAUSE WIDESPREAD ANXIETY HERE CROWDS AT AGENCIES EARLY BULLETINS AROUSE FEARS OF ANOTHER TITANTIC CATASTROPHE FIRST HOPE SOON CHECKED

The memory of the terrible scenes on board the Titantic last night brought terror to scours of Pittsburghers when they learned that their friends and relatives among the score of passengers from this district on board the Lusitania might be among the hundreds reported drowned.

No complete death lists could be secured. The bulletin stating that hundreds had perished came hot on the heels of dispatches that all had been saved. PITTSBURGHERS ON SHIP

A partial list of people from the Pittsburgh district on board follows: KELLY, Miss Margaret, 8 Meginn Street Mrs. Margaret A. ANDERSON, 1423 Liverpool Street Francis J. LUCUS, 4501 Forbes Street Michael WARD, 3349 Milwaukee Avenue Charles MARTIN, 23 Boquet Street Thomas MULLER Phillip THOMPSON J. C. BROWN, McKeesport William TINKER, McKeesport James O'REILLY, East Liverpool, OH Mr. and Mrs. Thomas BROWNLIE, 13 Sampson Street Mrs. Herbert OWENS, Ellewood City Reginald OWENS, age 8, Ellewood City Ronald OWENS, age 11, Ellewood City Mrs. Jeanette MOSES, Swissville Avenue, Wilkensburg Miss Winifred KILAWEE, North Side MANY CALL AT AGENCIES From the first reports of the disaster began to arrive early in the afternoon until they closed their doors in the evening (continued on page 6)

GERMAN ATTACHÉ CALLS SINKING JUSTIFIED ACT

NEW YORK, MAY 8, 1915 - Capt. Frans von PAPAN military Attache of the German Embassy, is quoted to the New York World, this morning as making the following statement regarding the sinking of the Lusitania. It is absolutely criminal for the Cunard Company to carry and for the British government to allow the ---- ----- neutral passengers in a ship transporting explosives and ammunitions to be used by Great Britain. "The ship's manifest will show that she carried a large amount of steric acid and other explosive materials. They certainly were not intended for peaceful uses. They were to be used against Germany and Germany had to defend herself against them. The best way was to destroy the ship and with destruction was amply justified under the rules of war."

PITTSBURGH GAZETTE TIMES, SUNDAY, MAY 9, 1915 LIFE LOSS PLACED AT NEARLY 1,200 PITTSBURGH DISTRICT AMONG RESCUED

SUNDAY, MAY 9, 1915, First Section Page One: SHELLS FROM PITTSBURGH REPORTED ON LUSITANIA It was reported in Pittsburgh yesterday that $65,000 worth of shells manufactured by the Westinghouse Company were in hold of the Lusitania when the ship was torpedoed. E. M. HERR, president of the Westinghouse Company, stated last night that if any shells made by his company were aboard the Lusitania he knew nothing of it. He said: "Our company has manufactured no shrapnel shells. We have made ordinary shells, however, but have no means of knowing where they are destined for or in what manner they arrive, as we sell them to an ordnance company in Washington, and deliver them on cars."

SUNDAY, MAY 9, 1915, First Section Page One: CAN'T RAISE LINER; LIES 240 FEET DOWN QUEENSTOWN, MAY 8, 1915 - The Lusitania cannot be possibly raised, according to the statement of the marine superintendent of the Conard Line this afternoon. She sank in 240 feet of water.

SUNDAY, MAY 9, 1915, First Section Page One: $7,500,000 INSURANCE CARRIED BY LUSITANIA NEW YORK, MAY 8, 1915 - Insurance on the Lusitania. It was said today amounted to $7,500,000. The vessel was valued, in round figures, at $10,000,000. The worth of the cargo she carried was reckoned today at $735,000. It is understood the line carried one-third of the insurance, the remainder being divided among Lloyds and other underwriters. About one-half the insurance upon the cargo was taken by local underwriters and the rest by Lloyds. The cargo rate, influenced by the theory that the fast liner was too speedy to be caught by a torpedo, was 1 per cent, much lower than the customary transatlantic rate at this time. The Lusitania carried 250 bags of mail. She had no spec[ial ?] aboard. On her manifest the largest single item was listed as "cartridges and ammunition, 4,200 cases, $152,400. The next item in value was a consignment of furs, valued at $119,000 for Liverpool. The cartridges and ammunition cases were consigned to London. Miscellaneous items included sheet brass, copper wire, and various manufactured goods. The vessel carried hundreds of tons of beef, bacon, and many thousand pounds of butter, cheese, and lard.

SUNDAY, MAY 9, 1915, First Section Page One: LUSITANIA PASSENGERS WARNED, GERMAN GOVERNMENT DECLARES BERLIN (VIA WIRELESS TO LONDON) MAY 9, 1915 The following official communication was issued tonight: "The Cunard Liner Lusitania was yesterday torpedoed by a German submarine and sank. "The Lusitania was naturally armed with guns, as were recently most of the English mercantile steamers. Moreover, as is well known here, she had large quantities of war material in her cargo. "Her owners, therefore, knew to what danger the passengers were exposed. They alone bear all the responsibility for what has happened. "Germany, on her part, left nothing undone to repeatedly and strongly warn them. The Imperial Ambassador in Washington even went so far as to make a public warning, so as to draw attention to this danger. The English press sneered then at the warning and relied on the protection of the British fleet to safeguard Atlantic traffic."

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, May 9, 1915, Section one Page one PASSENGERS' OWN FAULT, SAYS GERMAN PAPER SAILED ON LUSITANIA AT OWN RISK, SAYS COLOGNE GAZETTE AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND, MAY 8, 1915 (VIA LONDON) - A dispatch from Cologne quotes the Cologne Gazette on the Lusitania incident as follows: "There is no German living who will not regret this incident and pity the travelers drowned. They, however, are responsible for their own ruin since they trusted themselves to a vessel which, it was well known, would pass through waters Germany had announced were the scene of submarine warfare. If many Americans and some Americans of high position, suffered by the destruction of the Lusitania, we are doubly sorry but it was their own fault. LONDON, MAY 8, 1915 The Exchange Telegraph Company has received a dispatch from Berlin, by way of Amsterdam which reads: "Hundreds of telegrams of congratulations are being sent to Admiral von TIRPITS, the German minister of marine, on the sinking of the Lusitania, which is considered by the Germans to be an answer to the destruction off the Falkland Islands of the German squadron under the command of Admiral von SPEE. "The news of the loss of the Lusitania only became generally known to the public this morning. It was received with mixed expressions of amazement and enthusiasm. The newspapers praise the pluck and daring of the submarine crew.

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, May 9, 1915, Section one Page one RED CROSS STARTS WORK WASHINGTON MAY 8, 1915 Miss Madel T. BOARDMAN, chairman of the relief board, American Red Cross, announced tonight that the Red Cross would be glad to receive contributions to a fund for relief of destitute survivors of the Lusitania and families of the victims.

May 9, 1915, Page 1 U. S. CONSUL IN GERMANY DISAPPEARS LONDON, MAY 8, 1915 - E. Kilbourne FOOTE, American vice consul at Chemmitz, Saxony, is missing according to an announcement made here today by the Central News. This organization says Mr. FOOTE left his post a month ago for America. Nothing has been heard from him since, and it is thought that he has been stopped by the German authorities. Mr. FOOTE is a native of Ohio. The State Department has no record of a leave of absence having been granted to Vice Counsul FOOTE, without which officials say, it would be most unusual for him to leave Germany. The department has had no word of FOOTE for some time but was much interested in the report of his disappearance..

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, May 9, 1915, Section one Page one GERMANS AND AUSTRIANS FLEE; ITALY'S WAR FLEET PREPARED GENEVA SWITZERLAND MAY 8, 1915 (VIA PARIS) The Tribune publishes a dispatch from Rome saying the Italian government has decided, owing to the recent uprising in Tripoli, to notify Turkey that it considered void the treaty of Lausanne. Such a notification, the Tribune says, would amount to a declaration of war. Passenger trains from Italy are crowded with Germans and Austrians. A number of German correspondents from Milan and Turin have arrived at Lugano. After the uprising of rebels near Misza, Tripoli, last month, it was reported from Rome that the insurgents were being led by Turks. PARIS, MAY 8, 1915 A Rome dispatch to the Matin says: "The Duke of the ABRUZZI, who in case of war, will take command of the Italian battle fleet, has arrived at the Italian Capital, where he conferred with the minister of marine and chief of the naval general staff. "The family of the German ambassador to the Vatican has left for Germany, as well as several officials of the Austrian and German Embassies to the Quirinal, who took with them cases filled with documents."

MAY 9, 1915, First Section Page One: SEARCH FOR BODIES GOES ON BUT RESCUE BOATS ARE ALL IN LONDON, FIRST SHOCK OF DISASTER OVER, AWAITS CAPT. TURNER'S STORY OF HOW HIS SHIP WENT DOWN -- SURVIVORS TELL OF HORROR ON SINKING CUNARDER. OFFICERS WERE CAUTIOUS ON ENTERING DANGER ZONE

LONDON MAY 8, 1915; The latest information obtainable indicates that 1,198 men, women, and children perished in the destruction of the Lusitania by a German submarine. About 115 were Americans. This death list will be added to, because some of the survivors in the hospitals at Queenstown are not expected to survive the shock of their experiences. The names of 73 survivors of the 118 Americans aboard the Lusitania had been reported at midnight when the task of comparing lists was suspended until tomorrow. Consul Frost at Queenstown said that there was virtually no hope that more would be found alive. The body of Charles FROHMAN has been identified in the temporary morgue at the Queenstown Town Hall and it is practically certain that among the other well-known persons to perish were Alfred Gwynne VANDERBILT, Charles KLEIN, the playwright: Justus Miles FORMAN, author and playwright, and Mr. and Mrs. Elbert HUBBARD. It has been impossible to find these bodies among the 200 in Queenstown, but word from every point of the Irish coast fails to bring any reassuring tidings.

RESCUE VESSELS HAVE REPORTED It is now definitely established that there were 1,900 persons aboard the ship when the German submarine smashed two torpedoes into her starboard side, literally tearing two great sections of her hull in pieces. Practically all of the survivors are in Queenstown. The Storm Cock took 160 of them there late last night; the Cock and the Indian Empire, armed trawlers, carried 200 more; the Flying Fish brought 100, the torpedo boats and steamers, fishermen, motor boats and tugs accounted for the balance, some of whom went to the concentration point by way of Kinsale and the other Irish Ports.

IRISH ARE QUICK TO RESPOND There is no doubt the Irish seaport has opened its heart to the sufferers by the appalling calamity. Not only have all the hotels turned over quarters to whomsoever may ask, but private citizens, from fishermen to gentry, have been as quick to respond. Surgeons and physicians from as far as Dublin summoned are able to commandeer any residence for a hospital, and they have a hundred volunteer nurses to aid them. Not only the clothing establishments have generously turned over any article of clothing needed, but the private citizens have done the same. The hysterical, shivering, stunned men and women who came in during last night were in sore need of all this. Many had been hours in the water when they were picked up. Nearly all of them had discarded everything possible to keep them afloat. Women came wrapped in blankets, several had men's clothing on, nearly all were shoeless, and a great many without stockings. Such of these as were not sent to the hospitals were at once clothes and have tried to forget a little the horrors of yesterday.

KEEP UP SEARCH FOR BODIES There is no doubt that the Admiralty, the Cunard Line and all local authorities are doing everything possible to ascertain the truth. Admiral COCKS, in charge of the Department of the Navy for the district, has turned every available craft under his command to search for bodies or to locate survivors, if by chance any are in a fishing village unknown to the public. Representatives of Mr. VANDERBILT have arranged for a fleet of tugs to search for his body, while their agents ashore are visiting every point where he possibly could have been taken alive. Friends and relatives of other men, Mrs. KLEIN, wife of the playwright, friends of Mr. FORMAN, and of the HUBBARDS, have sent cablegrams urging individuals to spare no expense to ascertain the truth. It is safe to say that this afternoon - Continued on Page Seven, Fourth Section- from Cape Clear to Waterford on the north every inlet, fishing village, little port or large port, was searched. The 30 hours that have elapsed since the big Cunarder was sent to the bottom without warning with her nearly 2,000 non-combatants, has only served to increase the terrible anger of the country over the deed which has exceeded an outrage. There are no hysterical outbursts, no overt acts.

AWAIT CAPT. TURNER'S STORY The newspapers are making every effort to treat the situation with restraint. The conversations in the street, in the clubs, in the public meeting places, is quiet but it is none the less intense. It is safe to say that when Parliament convenes on Monday there will be some expression -- there is bound to be, and in all likelihood some definite announcement from the government. In the meantime the country can only await news. All attention seems now to be centered upon one man who will soon tell what he knows, and that man is Capt. TURNER, of the lost liner, lying ill at the Imperial Hotel, after three hours in the water. Capt. TURNER will be able to tell definitely what happened for he was on the bridge when the first torpedo struck, having taken his post there as the big ship swung in toward the Irish Sea and the danger zone. His physicians have refused to permit him to make any public statement and he will withhold it for the official inquiry which is to begin tomorrow. It will be ascertained from him what warning he had of the German determination to sink his ship, what precautions he took, what precautions, if any, the Admiralty took to guard him, when the submarine was first sighted, what was done then, what chance his ship had, what was done to save passengers. Only TURNER and his first and second officers are alive of the men of the bridge. The officers of the engine room perished almost to a man and only a few of the stokers are living.

VESSEL TOOK PRECAUTIONS This much is fairly well established from the statement of survivors: The Lusitania took precautions as she came into the danger zone, just what they were cannot be learned in detail. The lifeboats, both to starboard and bow, were swung out ready to be lowered, the water-tight bulkheads and compartments were closed, and a course near to the coast was taken in order that in case of being struck there would be a chance to run for the shoal waters. The speed of the ship at 2 o'clock yesterday afternoon was around 16 or 18 knots, nearly all she was capable of under the conditions of her hull. There were double watches of lookouts forward, aft and on the bridge. While all was outwardly calm, the officers and crew were under the strongest tension. Nothing of this was known to the passengers. The excitement which was shown by the passengers of all classes when the ship entered the danger zone in the early morning had been lulled by the brightness of the day, the relative calm of the water which permitted even landsmen to see a great distance without espying a single suspicious object. Laughing at their own fears they went below for luncheon at 1:30, the 2:00 first-class passengers joking about the underseas boats, the women nervously expressing their belief that nothing could touch them.

STRUCK BY TWO TORPEDOES There were all below at 2 o'clock except a very few on the upper decks when a lookout on the bridge caught the reflection of the slender-hooded rod of a periscope on the starboard side, about 1,000 yards distant. The submarine then was on the forward quarter, moving slowly towards them, and when this was reported quickly before the clang of the bridge engine room telegraph could register the call for "full speed" ahead, other lookouts picked up the white froth, telling of a speeding torpedo. One was caught in an instant and another was seen just to the rear of it. There was hardly more time, for that whitened streak crashed into the hull of the ship and heavy as she was, the big ship lurched under the force of an explosion that simply tore a great section of plates into twisted steel ribbons. There was hardly time for the stricken ship to right herself before the second streak landed, just at a point abaft the main engine room and again the great ship lurched, swung and settled back. All this came as quickly almost as a man can clap his hands. There was no time for a shout or a cry of alarm. The passengers sat at the table, the crew at their quarters could only sway forward, whiten and spring up speechless. It is likely there was a third explosion, but this is not settled definitely. Some of the survivors have reported such a thing, but it cannot be told whether this was the blowing up of explosives in the cargo or a nest of boilers. There was something, for the Lusitania, big as she was, powerful as she was, was nothing more than a sieve of steel on the waters. Capt. TURNER on the bridge, after giving hurried orders for full speed, had ordered the ship turned towards the headlands of Ireland, so near to them, but at that very instant the engines ceased to act. Everything run by steam of electricity or any other power aboard the Lusitania, was dead. The ship itself, starting a long swing from her course, dropped her boats into the water, and began to slow down. Straightway as the water rushed through the great breach made by the torpedoes came the list steeper and steeper to the starboard until walking on the deck was well-nigh impossible. Above all and penetrating everything came the acid of the torpedoes. Those below decks, caught in passageways and cabins, suddenly found themselves choked and suffocating. Survivors have told of seeing women and children drop on the decks to roll to the rail unconscious as the breathed the fumes into their lungs.

CREW BEHAVES WELL The elevators, of course, were out of service, and it was a rush up the companionway stairs through the wide doors. Those that turned up the sloping decks toward the port side were almost certainly doomed; those who came to starboard, the side of the list, had a bare chance. The Lusitania had lifeboat accommodations for 2,604 persons, counting lifeboats on both sides and rafts slung amidships, but almost every boat to the port side was forever useless from the start. Only those boats on the port side were available. There were about 20 of them in all and under the most favorable circumstances capable of carrying 1,000 persons. But that would mean several hours to disembark, deliberate action, absolute coolness and a flat, calm sea. There was not more than 15 or 20 minutes to save who could be saved. There was no panic. It would not be fair to call it that under the circumstances. The trained crew took stations, boats were manned and the women called for first, but nothing could prevent a rush of these women with the little children for the nearest thing that offered safety. That is why, as some tell in Queenstown, several of the boats, probably four, upset on the davits, why one or two, overladen and untrimmed, capsized in the water. Men of the crew and passengers helped all they could but it was not within reach of human possibility to do it without accident. Other men and women, too, went to the lifebelts which were hurriedly distributed by the crew. That saved almost as many as the boats. Mothers jumped with children in their arms. In the morgue at Queenstown tonight there lies a woman who still clasps in her arms, her baby.

MANY WOMEN IN MORGUE She must have lived a little while after she jumped, supported by her lifebelt, but it goes without saying that the terrible chill of the water soon took the life of the baby. There are two little girls encircled with lifebelts, dead, there also. The water killed them. There are so many women, some of them young, pretty, all of whom perished. They were not drowned until after numbed and delirious they ceased to struggle. It is said that the small boats of the Lusitania stuck to the spot and picked up as many as they could, but it was beyond all power to save the hundreds who must have been struggling after the ship went down. Many of these went down with the suction of the huge bulk as it dropped to the bottom, 240 feet below the surface, but they came up unconscious. The rescue work is already known. From every port of the coast the telegraphed cry of distress galvanized into action the skipper and crew of every available boat. The naval authorities disregarding all patrol regulations, sent every boat. The fishermen, the trawlers, armed and unarmed, the motorboats of Cork and Queenstown, a passing Greek steamship, made for the spot. There was nothing for them to do but to pick up a few of the hardiest men and two women. Mrs. PAPPADOPOULOS of Athens and Lady MACKWORTH, both alive. The Greek woman, whose husband succumbed to the shock of the water, is an expert swimmer and kept alive. Lady MACKWORTH, daughter of D. A. THOMAS, the Welsh coal man, fainted after a time but her nose and mouth were above water and she was picked up. Capt. TURNER was picked up then or a little later. He had remained on the bridge and went down with his ship. He was picked up by the Storm Cock. It did not take much more than two hours for the gathered fleet of rescuers to pick up all those living, and then they turned for their home ports -- the greater part of them proceeding to Queenstown. A cabin steward of the Lusitania today gave the following account of the sinking of the vessel: "The passengers, a large number of whom were seriously injured by the explosion of the torpedoes and by splinters from the wreckage, were all at luncheon. The weather was beautifully clear and calm. We were going at about 16 knots and were seven or eight miles south the Galley Head when we were struck by one torpedo and, in a minute or two afterward, by two more. "The first explosion staggered us and the others finished us, shattering the gigantic ship. "It was a terrible sight, but the passengers were surprisingly cool. Nearly all the first-class passengers were drowned. Most of those saved were second and third-class passengers.

I suggest using the Trial Access on Ancestry.com

Online Searchable Death Indexes

Birth, Marriage & Death Certificates!

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We're all anxious to find our ancestors - and find them fast! These records may help you find a brick-wall ancestor easily and from the comfort of your computer chair.

Try a Find Death Records on Ancestors at RestTrial Access on Ancestry.com Ancestry has more genealogy records than any site on the net and they often have free trials and special promotions.
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If you have a transcription or a photo of death records (cemetery listings, funeral cards, death cards, coffin plates, church records etc) help build this database by submitting your death records

***You must delete the word REMOVE in my email address before sending to me or it won't work. So the real address is ancestorsatrest followed by the @ then the last bit gmail.com Sorry but spammers make this roundabout method of emailing necessary!***

Coffin plates often contain birth and death dates, and sometimes the place of birth or the occupation of a deceased person.

While not technically a true vital record, coffin plates can be seen as a substitute for vital records or at the least a good clue. In the case of people who died before civil registration it might be one of the few written records genealogists will find in their hunt for that brick wall ancestor!

If you want to know more about what things qualify as a true Vital Records there is a good article at the Olive Tree.

Remember when searching for Coffin Plates on the net they are sometimes referred to as Coffin Plaques, Casket plates or Casket Plaques.

death Record on coffin plate
 

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