Mr James Heslin 1 was born in Co Armagh, Ireland 2 around 1867.
He was the son of Owen Heslin (b. 1831), a farmer, and his wife Margaret (b. 1833) and he was born into a Roman Catholic family and apparently grew up in Jonesborough, Co Armagh. Other details about his early life are vague.
He was married in Liverpool, Lancashire, England in the latter half of 1891 to Bridget "Biddy" Burns (b. circa 1876) (3) who was also a native of Jonesborough, Co Armagh. The couple had four children in total, all born in Bootle, but would lose one in infancy. Their surviving children by the time of the 1911 census were: Peter (b. 1902), Thomas (b. 1904) and May (b. 1905).
The 1911 census shows Bridget Heslin and her three children residing at 5 Paton Street, Kirkdale, Lancashire along with her widowed mother Ann Burns (b. 1841 in Armagh). James is absent and likely at sea.
When he signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, James gave his local address as the Sailors' Home, (Southampton) and his previous ship as the Olympic. As a trimmer he could expect to earn monthly wages of £5, 10s.
James Heslin died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
His widow seemingly never remarried and returned to Ireland, spending her last days in a nursing home in Newry, Co Down where she died in 1967.
- Spelling of surname varies to include Haslin/Haslim/Hesslin, etc. Their marriage record spells the name as Haslin and the 1911 census as Heslin. Spelling varies among the birth registrations for their children.
- Birthplace uncertain; he gave his birthplace as Armagh on the crew agreements but some sources suggest that he was from Co Cork.
- Age under dispute; the 1901 and 1911 census records give her age as 24 and 35 respectively, suggesting a birthdate of around April 1876. Stephen Cameron (1998) and Senan Molony (2000) suggest that when she died in 1967 she was aged 105, insinuating a birthdate of 1862.
References and Sources
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Susan Wels (1997) Titanic: The Worlds Greatest Ocean Liner, Crew list by Michael Findley
Bill Wormstedt, USA