Cudmore: Amsterdam woman rescued from the Titanic


Monday, April 15, 1912 the Amsterdam Recorder reported, “There was much local interest aroused today in the mishap to the Titanic through the fact that an Amsterdam girl was numbered among the first class passengers.”

Born in 1877, Jane Anne Forby’s parents were Frank and Emmeline Hewitt Forby of 30 Chestnut Street.

Her father was a carpenter and health inspector.

Jane attended Amsterdam High School and worked as a stenographer. She moved to New York City in 1906 after marrying Frederick Hoyt, a partner in a lace importing firm, Yale graduate, yacht designer and popular yachtsman.

The couple spent their honeymoon on Hoyt’s yacht Isolde. The Hoyts went to Europe in December 1911 and toured the continent, visited Egypt and booked passage to return to New York on the Titanic’s maiden Atlantic voyage.

Frederick knew the captain, Edward John Smith, and the ship’s surgeon, Dr. William O’Loughlin. Jane felt the reversal of the ship’s engines in the middle of the night and “saw something white” going by.

Dr. O’Loughlin told the Hoyts to assemble on deck where lifeboats were being loaded following the collision with an iceberg. Jane was physically put on one of the last lifeboats that left the stricken ocean liner.

Donning a life vest Frederick went to a lower deck and jumped into the water. He was able to grab a piece of wreckage to stay afloat.

One version of what happened next was printed in a Liberty magazine article in 1932 written by Titanic survivor Rene Harris. The crew of the lifeboat Harris was in pulled a man from the water.

Jane Hoyt was a rower on the boat and said “Fred!” Fred responded by saying “Jane” and the couple were reunited.

A Paterson, New Jersey, newspaper had a more colorful version of the story, saying Jane threw her “long fur robe” over the rescued man and shrieked, “My God it’s my husband.”

Several hours later, the Cunard liner Carpathia picked up their lifeboat. Fred Hoyt’s brother Joseph was able to communicate with Fred and Jane using the White Star office wireless in New York City.

Frank Forby took the 7:02 a.m. train from Amsterdam to New York City April 18 to meet the Carpathia.

Jane Hoyt died at age 55 in 1932 in Long Beach, California.

Her husband later returned to New York and was living in Larchmont when he died at age 67 in 1940. They had no children.


A New York City area woman who survived the sinking of the Titanic felt compelled to write to President William Howard Taft to set the record straight.

Marie Grice Young died in 1959 at what was then Mount Loretto Nursing Home on Swart Hill Road in the town of Amsterdam at age 83. A native of Washington, D.C., Young was well-connected, having given music lessons to President Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter Ethel.

She was rescued on one of the first lifeboats to leave the Titanic. In her letter to Taft, Young denied a published report that she had conversed with Presidential aide Archibald Butt as the disaster unfolded.

Butt, who died that night, was the highly respected military attaché to both Presidents Roosevelt and Taft. Butt supposedly had asked Young to “remember (him) to all the folks back home.”

Young wrote, “The alleged interview is entirely an invention.” She added, “When I last saw Major Butt, he was walking on deck, with Mr. Clarence Moore, on Sunday afternoon.”

Young was living in New York City when she entered Mount Loretto. One relative listed in her obituary was a great niece in Loudonville.

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