Mr David Charters was born in Garvagh, Currygrane, Ballinalee, Co Longford, Ireland on 5 June 1891.
He was the son of William Charters (b. 1858) and Marianne Vance (b. 1869) who had married in the summer of 1890. His parents were both natives of Co Longford, his father an illiterate farmer, and they were a Church of Ireland family.
David was the eldest child from a brood of ten; his siblings were: William (b. 1893), Robert (b. 1895), Annie (b. 1897), John (b. 1898), Sarah Elizabeth (b. 1899), Richard (b. 1902), Mary Jane (b. 1905), Alexander (b. 1906) and James Walter (b. 1908).
He first appears on the 1901 census living at house 11, Garvagh, a farm which his grandfather David Charters (1808-1901) and his own father ran. Following his grandfather's death it appears his father took sole responsibility in the running of the farm. By the time of the census in 1911 the family address was house 13 in Garvagh and David was described as a general servant.
David boarded the Titanic at Queenstown as a third class passenger (ticket number A/5. 13032 which cost £7, 14s, 8d) and he was destined for the home of his uncle, David Vance (b. 1872), in New York City. David had emigrated to the USA around 1892, married Annie Taylor (b. 1873) in 1902 and had two children: William John (1903-1985) and Annie Elizabeth (b. 1904). By 1910 he was living in Manhattan with his two children, having been widowed in 1907.
David Charters lost his life in the disaster. His body, if recovered, was never identified. He is commemorated on a family headstone in Ballinalee, Co Longford.
Following his loss his parents incurred further heartache when their youngest child James died in 1914 aged 6. Their eldest surviving child William reportedly died at the hands of the Irish Republican Army in early 1921 1, executed for alleged informing during Ireland's War of Independence (1919-1921). He was 27. Another son Robert reportedly died during WWI 2.
David's parents continued to live in Garvagh; his mother died in 1919 and his father in 1944.
Undeterred by David's demise whilst crossing the Atlantic, his two younger brothers Richard and Alexander both emigrated in 1926 aboard the Cunarder RMS Samaria. Both later married and raised families, Richard owning his own grocery store in Southold, Suffolk, New York and Alexander working as an elevator operator in Manhattan. Alexander died In Manhattan on 21 April 1947 following a brain haemorrhage. Richard died in Suffolk County on 30 November 1995.
i) Ireland Civil Registration Death Index
ii) Molony, Senan: The Irish Aboard Titanic, 2000. Wolfhound Press, ISBN 0863278051
- No reference to the death of Robert Charters during WWI can be found. However, his probate report, dated 20 April 1920, shows his estate being administered to his brother Alexander.
Gavin Bell, UK