Miss Catherine McCarthy

Miss Catherine "Kate" McCarthy was born in Ballygorteen 1, Co Tipperary, Ireland around 1887 2.

She was the daughter of Patrick McCarthy (b. 1841), a farmer, and Mary Boyle and she had four known siblings: Patrick (b. 1879), John (b. 1880), Johanna (b. 1882) and Michael (b. 1884).

Her mother had died prior to 1901. When Kate and her family appear on the 1911 census they are living at house 10, Ballygorteen, Killadriffe, Tipperary and she was described as an unmarried farmer's daughter.

Deciding to join a sister in Guttenburg, New Jersey, Kate boarded the Titanic at Queenstown as a third class passenger (ticket number 383123 which cost her £7, 15s) and she roomed with two other Tipperary girls, Kate Connolly and Katie Peters.

On the night of the sinking, Katie McCarthy, the only surviving member of their group, recalled that Tipperary man Roger Tobin called by their cabin and told them to get up and dressed and to bring lifebelts  but assured them there was no danger. McCarthy said that only she sensed any urgency and whilst she implored the other two girls to follow her, she ended up leaving alone and never saw the other two Kates or Roger again.

It is not certain which lifeboat Kate escaped in, but possibly boat 16. She later recalled hearing Nearer My God to Thee being played and the horrible cries of those struggling in the water once the ship had sunk. She had also described the ship splitting in two during its final moments.

Arriving safely in New York she continued to New Jersey. She later met a fellow Tipperary man, John Croke (b. 1883) and they were married in 1914, remaining in the USA until the early 1920s when they returned to their native Ireland. The couple would remain childless and settled in Ballintemple, Dundrum, Tipperary where her husband John worked as a farmer and merchant.

Kate was, in later years, reportedly held in high esteem in her local community and was described as a very kindly lady. She died on 12 November 1948 following a three month-long illness and she was buried in St Michael's Cemetery, Tipperary. She was survived by her husband.

Notes

  1. Sometimes spelled Ballygurteen, Ballygurten or Ballygortin; in Irish Baile na nGoirtíní.
  2. Age under dispute. The 1901 census gives her age as 14 and the 1911 census as 21. Upon her arrival in New York she told US immigration that she was 23 and when she was married in 1914 she advised that she was 26. Her death record states that she was 57 when she died, supporting an 1891 birthdate but it is more likely she was in fact born in 1887.

References and Sources

The Nationalist, 20 November 1948, Death Notice
The Nationalist, 20 November 1948, Obituary
The Tipperary Star, 20 November 1948, Obituary
Hudson Observer, 19 April 1912, Guttenberg Woman among those Saved
Hudson Observer, 20 April 1912, Guttenberg Woman's Sister in Hospital
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Noel Ray (1999) List of Passengers who Boarded RMS Titanic at Queenstown, April 11, 1912. The Irish Titanic Historical Society

Credits
Gavin Bell, UK

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    (2015) Catherine McCarthy Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1009, accessed 5th July 2015 10:27:31 AM)

    URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/catherine-katie-mccarthy.html