Maria Mathilda Backström

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Maria Mathilda Backström (Gustafsson Smeds)

Also Known As: "from Ruotsinpyhtää/Strömfors Finland"
Birthdate: (68)
Birthplace: Svenskby, Strömfors, Finland
Death: June 30, 1947 (68)
Place of Burial: Abborfors, Kotka-Fredrikshamn, Kymenlaakso, Finland
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Karl Frerik Gustafsson and Maria Lovisa Gustafsson
Wife of Karl Alfred Backström
Mother of Alfhild Maria Backström
Sister of Emilia Sofia Gustafsson Smeds; Mathilda Gustafsson Smeds; Karl Viktor Gustafsson; Anders Vilhelm Gustafsson; Edla Kristina Gustafsson Smeds and 4 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Maria Mathilda Backström


  • Name: Mrs Maria Mathilda Backström (née Gustafsson)
  • Born: Sunday 28th July 1878
  • Age: 33 years
  • Last Residence: in Kejtala Finland
  • 3rd Class passenger
  • First Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
  • Ticket No. 3101278 , £15 17s
  • Destination: New York City New York United States
  • Rescued (boat D)
  • Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
  • Died: Monday 30th June 1947

Mrs Karl Alfred Backström (Maria Mathilda Gustafsson), 33, was born on July 28, 1878 the daughter of Karl Fredrik and Maria Lovisa Gustafsson at Smeds in Kejtala Village, Strömfors (Ruotsinpyhtää); near Lovisa, (southern Finland):

Book of Baptisms for Strömfors:

She lived in Kejtala.

Mathilda Backström had made a previous visit to the USA but had returned to Finland and, in 1911, married her childhood friend Karl Alfred Backström.

The follow year Karl, Mathilda (6 months pregnant) and her brothers Johan Birger Gustafsson and Anders Vilhelm Gustafsson travelled from Hangö to Hull on the Polaris. On 3 April Mathilda wrote a letter home saying that the trip had gone well thus far, one week later the party boarded the Titanic at Southampton.

On the night of the sink she was not keen to enter any lifeboat, but was pursuaded by her husband to enter one of the last ones (collapsible D) after he had promised to try to follow in the next one, she was trembeling because she only had nightdress and lifebelt on. Karl was however unable to find another boat and died when the ship went down, Mathilda's brothers also perished.

After her arrival in New York Mathilda was quartered in Union League Home together with Erna Andersson. Mathilda did not want to stay in USA and White Star paid the trip back home. May 9 she returned to Finland on FÅA's "Urania". In June she gave born to a daughter, Alfhild Maria. In the New York Evening Journal a photo of "Maria Bickstrom (sic) and her son" was published a few days after the arrival of the Carpathia, a misunderstanding as she had no son.

Maria Mathilda Backström died at Kejtala 30 June, 1947


  • Claes-Göran Wetterholm (1988, 1996, 1999) Titanic. Prisma, Stockholm. ISBN 91 518 3644 0


  • Leif Snellman, Finland

Travelling Companions (on same ticket)

  • Mr Karl Alfred Backström
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Maria Mathilda Backström's Timeline

July 28, 1878
Strömfors, Finland
June 1912
Age 33
June 30, 1947
Age 68
July 5, 1947
Age 68
Abborfors, Kotka-Fredrikshamn, Kymenlaakso, Finland