Miss Margaret "Maggie" Madigan was born on 11 August 1890 in Askeaton, Limerick, Ireland. The daughter of James Madigan and his wife Margaret (née Duggan). She had a brother, Simon (born in 1878), and a sister, Mary (born c. 1886).
Her sister Mary emigrated to America in 1904 and Maggie decided to join her she would travel with Daniel and Bridget Bertha Moran who were returning to New York City with Patrick Ryan. The group originally planned to travel on the Cymric but were transferred because of the coal strike to the Titanic. They boarded the Titanic at Queenstown as a third class passenger (ticket number 370370, £7 15s).
Maggie and Bertha had retired early Sunday evening, April 14, and were asleep when Titanic had her fateful brush with the iceberg. Having a cabin so deep within the ship, they felt the collision much more vividly than the first and second class passengers with accommodations on higher decks. They were actually jolted awake by the collision and roused from their sleep by the commotion in the hallway outside their cabin. Confused and frightened, Maggie and Bertha were soon joined by Daniel and Patrick who hustled them to the third class promenade area where they managed to climb to the boat deck with many other steerage passengers, after having been held back by crewmen for a period of time. Having ascended to the boat deck at the stern of Titanic, Maggie and her friends found Father Thomas R. D. Byles, an English priest from Ongar, Essex, ministering to and consoling many of Titanics steerage passengers, reciting prayers and trying to calm them as attempts were being made to place the women and children in the last of the lifeboats, notably numbers 13, 14, 15 and 16. Daniel and Patrick fought to place Maggie and Bertha into lifeboat 15 shortly before it descended from the boat deck. After narrowly avoiding crushing boat 13, which had become entangled under it as it descended from the boat deck, the overcrowded lifeboat hit the water and barely stayed afloat that long cold night. They never saw Daniel and Patrick again.
Robert Bracken : Maggie Madigan - An Irish Immigrant's Dream Unfulfilled
On arrival in New York Maggie recovered at St. Vincents Hospital before joining her sister, Mary, in Manhattan.
Maggie married Alphonsus Hardt on 28 December 1913, they had a son, Alfred born 1915. He drowned in 1925 and Alphonsus died just three years later.
She later remarried to Thomas OShea, a relative of Patrick Ryan. When Maggie's sister died she took on the care of her two children.
Thomas O'Shea died in 1951 and Maggie died on 14 December 1968 at the age of 78.
References and Sources
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55).
Noel Ray (1999) List of Passengers who Boarded RMS Titanic at Queenstown, April 11, 1912. The Irish Titanic Historical Society
Robert L. Bracken (2005) Maggie Madigan - An Irish Immigrant's Dream Unfulfilled Voyage
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