Dear America Wiki
Dear America Wiki
This article is about an English orphan. For other uses, see Margaret.

"I hope that I can figure out some way to understand all of this. Why it happened, what could have prevented it, how to keep anything like this from ever taking place again. Most of all, I hope I can learn how to forgive myself for still being alive, when so many others are not."
—Margaret Ann[4]

Margaret Ann Ryan (née Brady; October 1898 – 1994) was the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Brady. She was from the East End of London. Her parents passed away months apart in 1907, leaving her and her elder brother William orphans. Her brother later emigrated to the United States. In 1912, Margaret Ann traveled on the RMS Titanic as a traveling companion.


Early life[]

Margaret Ann was born in October 1898[1] in the Wapping district of East End of London, England. Her father was from Ireland, making her part Irish.[2] In February 1907, Margaret Ann's father died an accident at the docks. Her mother passed away of illness some time later.[5] Margaret Ann and her older brother, William, stayed with a neighbor for a short time, before living on the streets for several months.

In December 1907, Margaret Ann became ill and William dropped her off at St. Abernathy's Orphanage for Girls in Whitechapel.[6] She had a hard time adjusting to the new environment for a few months until William began visiting her regularly. In 1910, William traveled to America on a cargo steamer to look for more work opportunities. He planned to save money for Margaret Ann to eventually join him there.


In late March 1912, Margaret Ann was presented with the opportunity to go to America as traveling companion. She went with Sister Catherine to meet the wealthy socialite, Evelyn Carstairs, whom was heading to America ahead of her husband. Mrs. Carstairs approved of Margaret Ann since her dog, Florence, had quickly taken to her. She sent a letter to William to hopefully notify him before her arrival. In preparation for the trip, she was fitted for an entire new wardrobe approved by Mrs. Carstairs. Before leaving, Margaret Ann gave mementoes to Sister Catherine and another orphan, Nora. On April 9, she went to Southampton with Mrs. Carstairs and boarded the RMS Titanic the following day.

On the first day, Margaret Ann became acquainted with her and Mrs. Carstairs' bedroom steward, Robert Merton. He often stopped to talk to her while going about his duties. She spent the next several days taking care of Florence, helping Mrs. Carstairs with various tasks, and exploring the first-class areas of the ship. On the night of April 14, Robert told Margaret Ann that passengers were required to put on the lifebelts and report to the boat deck. She hustled Mrs. Carstairs outside and insisted on taking Florence. Once the situation seemed serious, Margaret Ann and their acquaintance Mr. Hollings talked Mrs. Carstairs into getting onto one of the lifeboats with Florence.

Instead of waiting by the lifeboats, Margaret Ann went to look for Robert. She eventually found him alone. He made her realize that there were very few lifeboats on the ship and that they were likely to perish. He asked her for a kiss, which she obliged. Robert then told her to return to the lifeboat area before leaving. Margaret Ann met one of her and Mrs. Carstairs' dinner companions Thomas Prescott, whom helped her onto the last lifeboat. Shortly later, the Titanic sunk. Her lifeboat was saved several hours later by the RMS Carpathia. Margaret Ann reunited with Mrs. Carstairs on the Carpathia. On April 18, they finally arrived in New York where she was found by William.

Later life[]

Margaret Ann settled in Charlestown, Boston with William. She rarely spoke about her Titanic experience with others, though she did share her journal with William and Sister Catherine. Margaret Ann was never able to complete forgive herself for surviving. She graduated from high school and attended Wellesley College on a scholarship. After William was wounded during World War I, Margaret dropped out to nurse William and to work in order to support him. She never returned to college. In 1923, she met Stanley Ryan at a bookstore in Cambridge. They married in June of that year and were together for forty-four years. They had three children, named Dorothy, Harriet, and Robert.

Margaret Ann devoted much of her time to volunteering and served as the head of a halfway house for unwed mothers until retiring in 1965. She corresponded with Nora and Sister Catherine for several years, and eventually reunited with both of them. Margaret Ann returned to England only once in 1963 to attend Sister Catherine's funeral. In 1994, she died in her sleep at the age of ninety-five.

Personality and traits[]

Margaret Ann tended to say whatever came to mind, which sometimes got her into trouble. Her sense of humor, which leaned towards sarcasm, was not appreciated by most and regarded by some as "impudent." Sister Catherine often called her "Saucy Girl," though usually teasingly. Margaret Ann was intelligent, though she did not particularly enjoy school. She was familiar with poetry, which was likely her father's influence. Margaret Ann was able to quote poems by William Blake, Robert Browning, and John Keats. She also enjoyed reading novels and essays, such as those by Henry James and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Family tree[]

The Brady-Ryan Family Tree
Mr. Brady
(d. 1907)
Mrs. Brady
(d. 1907)
William Brady
(b. 1896)
Margaret Ann

Stanley Ryan
(d. 1967)
Dorothy Ryan
Harriet Ryan
Robert Ryan

Behind the scenes[]


Margaret Ann doll



See also[]

Dear America characters
Main characters

Remember "Mem" Whipple | Deliverance Trembley | Lozette Moreau | Catharine Logan | Prudence Emerson
Abigail Stewart | Lucinda Lawrence | María Rosalia de Milagros | Hattie Campbell | Mary Driscoll
Florence "Florrie" Mack Ryder | Susanna Fairchild | Clotee Henley | Amelia Martin | Emma Simpson
Sarah Nita | Phillis "Patsy" Frederick | Libby West | Priscilla "Pringle" Rose | Mary "Polly" Rodgers
Nannie Little Rose | Angeline Reddy | Sarah Jane Price | Teresa Viscardi | Anetka Kaminska
Zipporah Feldman | Minette "Minnie" Bonner | Angela Denoto | Margaret Ann Brady | Kathleen Bowen
Simone Spencer | Lydia Pierce | Nell "Nellie Lee" Love | Bess Brennan | Minerva "Minnie" Swift | Grace Edwards
Julie Weiss | Madeline Beck | Amber Billows | Piper Davis | Dawn "Dawnie Rae" Johnson | Molly Flaherty

Supporting characters

Antoinetta Viscardi | Leon Nasevich | Daniel Pierce | Erma Jean Love | Patrick Flaherty

Lists of characters by book

A Journey to the New World | I Walk in Dread | Look to the Hills | Standing in the Light
Love Thy Neighbor | The Winter of Red Snow | Cannons at Dawn | A Line in the Sand
Valley of the Moon | Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie | So Far from Home | All the Stars in the Sky
Seeds of Hope | A Picture of Freedom | A Light in the Storm | When Will This Cruel War Be Over?
The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow | I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly | The Great Railroad Race
Down the Rabbit Hole | Land of the Buffalo Bones | My Heart Is on the Ground | Behind the Masks
My Face to the Wind | West to a Land of Plenty | A Coal Miner's Bride | Dreams in the Golden Country
A City Tossed and Broken | Hear My Sorrow | Voyage on the Great Titanic | A Time for Courage
When Christmas Comes Again | Like the Willow Tree | Color Me Dark | Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Christmas After All | Survival in the Storm | One Eye Laughing, the Other Weeping
My Secret War | Early Sunday Morning | The Fences Between Us | With the Might of Angels
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

My Story characters
Main characters

Nebka | Hatshepsut "Asha" | Claudia | Bran | Tor Scaldbane | Jenkin Lloyd | Eva De Puebla
Elinor Valjean | Lady Jane Grey | Matilda "Tilly" Middleton | Catherine "Kitty" Lumsden | Thomas Hobbs
Remember "Mem" Whipple | Thomas Adamson | Alice Paynton | Susannah Makepeace | Ignatius Sancho
Euphemia Grant | Mary Wade | Elizabeth "Lizzie" Harvey | Isabelle | James Grant | Mary Prince | Bob Jenkins
Dick Maybury | Eliza Helsted | Phyllis McCormack | Lily Hicks | Michael Pope | Hanuman Singh | Clotee Henley
Will Reed | Edith Lorrimer | Jabulani | Sophia Duleep Singh | Florence Finch | Flora Bonnington | Dollie Baxter
Margaret Anne Brady | Jack Fairfax | Daphne "Daffy" Rowntree | Billy Stevens | Noor Inayat Khan
Eleanor Rhys Davies | Rebecca "Becky" Mortkowicz | Harry Woods | Princess Margaret | Sophie Ridel
Peter Rogers | Kitty Langley | Edith "Edie" Benson | Tim Jackson | Andrew "Andy" Pope | Paul Lelaud
Violet Debuchy

Supporting characters

Henry VII | Henry VIII | Catherine of Aragon | Anne Boleyn | Jane Seymour | Anne of Cleves
Catherine Howard | Catherine Parr | Edward VI | Mary I | Elizabeth II

Lists of characters by book

Pyramid of Secrets | Princess of Egypt | Pompeii | Roman Invasion | Viking Blood | Agincourt | My Tudor Queen
Anne Boleyn and Me | Lady Jane Grey | Bloody Tower | The Queen's Spies | Armada | Mayflower | Civil War
The Great Plague | Highway Girl | Ignatius Sancho | The '45 Rising | No Way Back | Transported
The Fall of the Blade | Trafalgar | Mary Prince | Waterloo | Dodger! | Mill Girl | The Hunger | The Crystal Palace
Crimea | Indian Mutiny | Slave Girl | The Sweep's Boy | Victorian Workhouse | Zulu War | Princess Sophia Duleep Singh
Factory Girl | Twentieth-Century Girl | Suffragette | Titanic | The Trenches | Flying Ace | Road to War
Noor-un-Nissa Inayat Khan | Berlin Olympics | Nowhere to Run | The Storm to Come | Battle of Britain
Wartime Princess | Sophie's Secret War | U-Boat Hunter | War Nurse | Blitz | Desert Danger | D-Day
Spy Smuggler | Codename Céline | London Stories

My Royal Story characters

Cleopatra VII | Beatrice Townhill | Elizabeth I | Mary, Queen of Scots | Marie Antoinette | Victoria | Anastasia

Lists of My Royal Story characters by book

Cleopatra | Henry VIII's Wives | Elizabeth | Mary, Queen of Scots | Marie Antoinette | Victoria | Anastasia

My True Story characters

Dora Thewlis | John "Jack" Cornwell | Joe Read | Susan | Vera

Lists of My True Story characters by book

Give Us the Vote! | Standing Alone | Hero at Dunkirk | What If They Find Us?