Andrew Latimer was born in Lancaster, Lancashire, England on 31 January 1857 and baptised in St Mary's Church, Lancaster on 15 February the same year.
He was the son of Robert Latimer (b. 1812), a railway porter, and Margaret Tate (b. 1821), both natives of Arthuret, Cumberland who were married on 30 May 1841.
His siblings were: Barbara (b. 1841), Jane Ann (b. 1843), George (b. 1845), Robert (b. 1846), Margaret Elizabeth (b. 1848), John (b. 1850), John James (b. 1852), Margaret (b. 1855) and Thomas (b. 1859).
Although born in Lancaster, Andrew did not spend much time there and he and his family had moved to Orton in Westmorland sometime before 1859. Not long after his youngest sibling Thomas was born, his father Robert died in 1860 aged 47. The remaining family appear on the 1861 census living at Station House in Orton.
His mother soon began a relationship with another railway worker, William Johnson (b. 1836), a station master originally from Lancashire, although it is not clear if the couple were officially married. They had a daughter named Mary in 1864. Andrew appeared on the 1871 census living at 7 Station Cottages in Tebay, Westmorland which his parents ran as a lodging and public house. His stepfather died in 1875 and his mother later moved to Newton in Makerfield, Lancashire where she earned a living as a confectioner before her death in 1896.
Andrew, known as Andy, later became a licensed victualler. He was married in Manchester on 26 February 1880 to Emily Hewitt Wolstenholme (b. 12 October 1856), a native of that city, and the couple moved to Liverpool, appearing at 17 Yanwath Street on the 1881 census, the address of the Campfield Hotel of which Andrew was the proprietor. Their first child, Minnie, was born on 7 February 1881. She would be followed by Margaret "Madge" (b. 1884, later Wilson) and George (1887-1974) who were born in Cardiff and Lancashire respectively.
Andrew worked for the Dominion Line on the Canada, New England, Commonwealth, Columbia and Vancouver. He came under the employ of White Star when that company took over the Dominion Line. He was Chief Steward of the Teutonic, Cedric, Adriatic, Olympic and finally the Titanic and was highly esteemed by his colleagues and those in his charge, alike.
He would be absent from the 1891 census when his wife and children were living at 26 Ivanhoe Street, Bootle. He would lose wife Emily on 4 July 1899, her death coming not long after the death of their eldest child Minnie earlier that year at age 18.1 Both his younger children Madge and George later settled in Canada and would live out their lives there, Madge in Montréal and George in Winnipeg. George died in 1974 and Madge sometime after.
Within three years Andrew was remarried (on 1 April 1902), his second wife being Janet "Jennie" Hamilton (b. 26 April 1877 in Liverpool) and he appears with her on the 1911 census living at 16 Cavendish Grove, The Avenue, Southampton, having moved to that city from Liverpool around 1907 when White Star moved its main terminal. Andrew and Janet had three children: Andrew Hamilton (1906-1961), John Ernest (1910-1997) and William Norman (1911-1921).
Latimer signed on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912, giving his address as 4 Glenwyllin Road, Waterloo, Liverpool and previous ship as the Olympic. As chief steward he could expect monthly wages of £20.
Latimer died in the sinking his body, if recovered, was never identified. His estate, valued at £3082, 9s, 3d was administered to his widow on 7 October 1912.
His wife Janet had been pregnant at the time of the disaster and gave birth to a daughter later in 1912 whom she named Janet Hamilton (later Mrs Alfred George Banks). She later suffered the loss of her youngest son William Norman in 1921 aged just 10.
Jennie Hamilton never remarried and remained living in Liverpool, latterly at 48 Waterloo Road. She died on 28 June 1952 aged 75
- Some sources say she was married and died in 1916 as Mrs Charles Annis. This is not the case; the Minnie Annis who died in 1916 was formerly Minnie Evans.
Gavin Bell, UK
Chris Dohany, USA
Gayle Mann, Canada
Rod Stringer, UK
Articles and Stories
The Sun (New York) (1912)
New York Times (1911)
Boston Daily Globe (1912)
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