Humphrey Humphreys was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England in the closing months of 1880. He was the son of Henry Humphreys (b. 1844) and Emma Smith (b. 1845).
His father, a gardener, hailed from Bramford Stoke in Devon and his mother from Cradley in Herefordshire and the couple were married in 1879 in Worcestershire before settling in Southampton. Humphrey had only one known sibling, Harry (b. 1879).
Humphrey first appears on the 1881 census as a six-month-old when he and his family were living at 4 Standford Street, St Mary, Southampton. His father died sometime between then and the next census in 1891 when he, his widowed mother, now described as a charwoman to support her family, and his brother were living at 2 Roes (?) Court, St Michael, Southampton. His mother was remarried the following year to John Toms (b. 1828 in Weymouth, Dorset), an iron monger and coppersmith and a recent widower.
By the time of the 1901 census his mother Emma and his stepfather are living at 5 Westgate Terrace, St Michael, Southampton. Humphrey himself is listed elsewhere as a night-porter at the South Western Hotel, St Mary, Southampton. When he left to go to sea is not known.
His mother was again widowed in 1906 and is recorded on the 1911 census at 10 Rockstone Lane, Southampton with her widowed son Harry and his two children, Harry (b. 1904) and Stanley (b. 1905), his wife Jessie (née Curtis) having died aged 30 after eight years of marriage in 1910. Humphrey is absent from the census and most likely at sea.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, Humphrey gave his address as 10 Rockstone Lane, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Oceanic. As a second class steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Humphreys, who was unmarried, died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. The following death notice appeared in an unidentified newspaper:
HUMPHREYS--April 15th, at sea, on s.s. Titanic, Humphrey Humphreys, the beloved son of Emma Toms, of 10 Rockstone Lane, Southampton, aged 31 years. May his dear soul be at rest. "Nearer my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee."
His mother continued to live in Southampton and died in 1928. His brother Harry died in 1932.
1. He is sometimes listed as "Humphrey Humphreys Toms"
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Gavin Bell, UK
Peter Engberg, Sweden