Titanic Passengers

Information regarding Titanic's passengers and Crew.



John and Nina Harper

John Harper was born on 29 May 1872 in Houston, Renfrewshire Scotland. He was the son of George Harper and Rachel Spears.

During his life, John was saved three times from drowning. As a two year old, he fell into water and had to be rescued by his mother, Rachel. He nearly drowned on two more occasions before his death.

John Harper became a Baptist minister. At a young age he would stand on the streets, pouring out his heart and soul preaching to others.

He married Annie Leckie Bell on 28th April 1903 in Blackfriars, Glasgow. Annie and John had waited 10 years to marry. Finally they were together.

On 1st January 1906, Annie gave birth to a daughter, Annie Jessie Harper. Eight Days later Annie Died from complications of childbirth. Her husband was at her side when she died.

John Harper was left heartbroken and he never remarried. For a while after her mother's death, baby Annie or "Nan" as she was known was cared for by her uncle George Harper and his wife Mary. She went back to live with her father when she was six months old.

In the winter of 1911, John went to the Moody Church in Chicago, United States to conduct several revival services. He was so loved and such as success that he was asked back again.

On April 10 1912, John Harper, his little daughter Nana and his niece, Jessie Leitch boarded the RMS Titanic in Southampton as second class passengers. On board Nan met seven year old Eva Hart. the two girls played together on the ship.

According to Jessie Leitch in an interview, she said that on the night of the sinking, she and John had been out on deck, when looking at the sun set in the sky he said "It will be beautiful in the morning" - He never got to see that morning.

THE MANITOBA MORNING FREE PRESS 1912

REV. John Harper
the rev john harper and his daughter, Nina, 6 years old, were on their way to chicago from London Eng. The minister who is a well known Evangelist conducted revival services at the Moody institute in chicago last winter, and had been re-called for another series of meeting. The daughter was listed among those saved, but the late despatches did not mention the minister.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR 19 4 1912

Six year old Nina Harper, daughter of the Rev. John Harper. the evangelist, who was lost, arrived on the Carpathia with her aunt, Miss Jessie Leitch. The child did not know that she would never see her father again.
"When we were awakened by the sound of the collision we were told to go on deck," Said Miss Leitch. "Doctor Harper picked up little nina and kissed her. I believe now her knew it was for the last time. But we did not know. We never saw him again. We were put in a boat. When the Carpathia picked us up we believed we would find Doctor Harper in one of the other lifeboats, but we found there were no lifeboats for the men, They were only for the women."

 

After John saw Nan and Jessie into a boat, It is said that he went up and down the decks, encouraging people to let the women, children and the unsaved into the lifeboats. It is also said that he, once in the water still tried to bring salvation to others in the sea. John Harper died a hero that night. He was a man of faith and never gave up in trying to help others to everlasting life, even when he himself was dying. 

 

Little Nan Harper and her cousin, Jessie went to Chicago. They had been met by one of the clergymen of the Moody Church. Apparently several people offered to adopt the sweet little girl and love her as their own, but She had a family in Scotland who loved her and wanted her home. Nan and Jessie went back to Scotland, although later than planned because Nan contracted Pink Eye, a contagious eye infection and so she was not allowed to sail.

Once back in Scotland, Nan was taken care of by her aunt and Uncle, Mary and George Harper. She grew up, married and died in 1985 in Scotland

 

Jessie Wills Leitch

Jessie Wills Leitch was born on 8 November 1880 in Linwood, Renfrewshire, Scotland. She was the daughter of John Leitch, and Jessie Gillespie Bell.

At the time of the 1881 census, the family lived at 43 Napier Street, Kilbarchan, Renfrew, Scotland.

Jessie's mother died on her fourth birthday, four days after giving birth to her younger brother, Alexander. Her father, John Leitch remarried in 1887, and shortly after this time, during the 1891 census, Jessie was living with her maternal grandparents.

In 1901, 20 year old Jessie was working as a shop assistant for her uncle David Bell, a watchmaker. She also lived with him, and her aunt, Annie Bell. David and Annie were siblings, Annie would later marry Rev. John Harper.

On April 10 1912, Jessie boarded the Titanic at Southampton. She was travelling with her uncle, John Harper and his daughter, Annie Jessie Harper. They were travelling to the Moody Church in Chicago. John had recently been there for three months, and he was so successful that he was asked back, for another three months.

Jessie, along with 6 year old Nan survived the sinking. John Harper died.

Here is a small Article which appeared in the Kansas City Star:

Six year old Nina Harper, daughter of the Rev. John Harper, the evangelist, who was lost, arrived on the Carpathia with her aunt, Miss Jessie Leitch. The child did not know that she would never see her father again.

"When we were awakened by the sound of the collison we were told to go on deck," said Miss Leitch. "Doctor Harper picked up little Nina and kissed her, I believe now he knew it was for the last time. But we did not know. We never saw him again. We were put in a boat. When the Carpathia picked us up we believed we would find Doctor Harper in one of the other Lifeboats, but we found there were no lifeboats for the men. They were only for the women.

Jessie Married Alexander Anderson on January 7 1925 in Linwood, Scotland. Alexander was a widowed estate agent

At some point, They both moved to Wales. When 67 year old Alexander died in 1928, Jessie was left a widow. She never remarried and died in Powys, Wales on 6 Feb 1963.

 

Family Information

Birth Certificate, for Jessie Wills Leitch

Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire Scotland.

 Name and Surname When and Where Born  Sex  Name and Occupation of Father. Name and Surname of Mother. Place and date of Marriage  Signiture and Qualification of Informant  When and where Registered 
 Jessie Wills Leitch

 November 8th 1880

1hr 15m Am

Linwood, Kilbarchan

 Female

John Leitch

Carter

Jessie Gillespie Leitch

Ms. Bell

31 April 1880

Kilbarchan 

 John Leitch

Father

Present

 November 23rd 1880

at Kilbarchan.

 

1881 Scotish Census, Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire, Scotland.

 Address Name  Relationship  Marital Status  Age  Occupation  Birthplace 
 Dwelling 43, Napier Street  John Leitch  Head  Married  22  Horse Driver  Linwood, Renfrew, Scotland
   Jessie Leitch Wife  Married   24  Drivers Wife  Govan, Lanark, Scotland
   Jessie Leitch Daughter  N/A 4 m    Linwood, Renfrewshire, Scotland. 

 

1891 Scottish Census

Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire

 Address Name  Relation  Marital Status  Age  Occupation  Birth place 
Langs Land  Richard Bell  Head  Married  65  ? Gardener  Isle of Bute? North Pew?
   Jessie Bell  Wife  Married  66    Perthsire, Enol
   David Bell  Son  Single  32  Watchmaker  Renfrewshire, Govan
 Annie Bell  Daughter  Single  24  Dress Maker  Renfrewshire, Govan
   Jessie Leitch  Visitor    10  Scholar  Renfrewshire, Kilbarchan

1891
Houston and Killellan
Renfrewshire
Scotland

Address Name  Relationship  Marital Status  Age  Occupation  Birthplace 
 Lyle Terrace  Rachel Harper Head    53  Housekeeper   Ireland
   Mary Harper Daur  Single  26  Cook  Houston, Renfrewshire 
   George Harper  Son Single  21 Mason   Houston, Renfrewshire 
   John Harper  Son Single  18   Packer in Carpet Work  Houston, Renfrewshire 
   Caroline Harper  Daur Single  13  Scholar   Houston, Renfrewshire 
   Hugh Morris  Visitor Single  26  Gardener   Largs, Ayr Shire

1901 Scottish Census

Bridge Of Weir,  Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire

 Address Name  Relationship Marital Status  Age  Occupation  Birth place 
 Langs Land David Bell  Head  Single  42   Watchmaker Lanarkshire, Glasgow 
   Annie Bell Sister  Single  35  Dress Maker  Lanarkshire, Glasgow 
   Jessie Leitch Niece  Single  20  Watch Maker's Shop Assistant  Renfrewshire, Linwood 

Sources and References

Daily Mirror Newspaper 1912

The Scotsman, 1912

1881 Scottish Census

1891 Scottish Census

1901 Scottish Census 559/B0 002/0B 004

Statutory Marriages 568/02 0001

Statutory Marriages 568/00 0012

568/01 008/01 002

The Kansas City Star 19 April 1912

* Picture - John and Nan Harper and Jessie Leitch - Daily Mirror 1912

* Picture -Jessie Leitch Daily Mirror 1912

 

 

 

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