Mr William James Major

William James Major

William James Major, 32, was born in Southampton, Hampshire, 26 February 1880 the son of Edward Austin Major (1853-1933) and Ann Frances (nee Grant, 1854-1920)1.

In 1881 the family were living at 6 Lower back of Walls, Southampton, the house was opposite Ann's parent's home.  William's father, a seaman, was away on the evening of the census.2 A decade later the family were living at 7 Oriental Terrace, Southampton.  Edward was now listed as a Dock headworker.

William married Rose Edwards (1881-1935) in late 19063, and they settled at 4 Oriental Terrace, Southampton4, on 10 April 1907 a daughter, Rose Anne was born5.  In the 1911 census William was listed as a ship's fireman.

Prior to sailing on the Titanic, William had been a fireman on the Olympic.

He escaped the disaster in Lifeboat 13.

William Major returned to life at sea following the disaster.  In 1914, a son, William James Major (1914-1992), was born.

William James Major died in Southampton in the summer of 1960.

In May 2011 several items, including his discharge book and telegrams sent to his wife telling her that he had been saved were sold at auction by a descendant. The telegrams read: "W. Major saved", and "safe arriving Lapland".


  1. His older siblings were: Henry Major (born 1872) who seems to have been born before his parents marrriage in 1876.  He may not have been Edward's natural son  and Edward Major (born 1877); his younger siblings were: Annie V Major (born 1888); Mabel Major (born 1890); Richard Ware Major (born 1891) and Joseph M Major (born 1893).
  2. On 4 August 1871 Edward  was listed among as crew of the Aurora in Poole.
  3. Marriage registred in Southampton in Mar 1907.
  4. A two room dwelling, practically opposite his former home
  5. In 1927 she would marry Albert Dawson.  Rose Dawson died in Southampton in 1994.

References and Sources

United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List Colonel Archibald Gracie (1913) The Truth about the Titanic. New York, Mitchell Kennerley
Donald Hyslop, Alastair Forsyth and Sheila Jemima (1997) Titanic Voices: Memories from the Fateful Voyage, Sutton Publishing, Southampton City Council. ISBN 0 7509 1436 X
Dorset, England, Crew Lists, 1863-1914
GRO Register of Births, Marriages and Deaths
National Archive (CD10 Identity Card: CR10: Discharge No.:688219, Identity certificate No.:489130)
Henry Aldridge & Son Auction Catalogue: 28 May 2011


William James Major


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    (2015) William James Major Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1564, accessed 3rd August 2015 09:38:53 AM)

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