James Kirkham was born in Whittingham, Lancashire, England on 29 October 1873. He was the son of James Kirkham (1829-1903) and Sarah Maria Cracknell (1844-1920). His father was from Kirkham, Lancashire and his mother from Suffolk and they had married in 1866 in Preston, Lancashire. James had at least four siblings: Thomas (b. 1868), Jane (b. 1870), George (b. 1872) and Lucy Hannah (b. 1883).
James first appears on the 1881 census when his family are listed as living at Lancaster City Lunatic Asylum, Whittingham where his father was an engineer. They are at the same location on the 1891 census and James, aged 17, was now described as a plateworker.
James was married in late 1891 in Liverpool to Jane Coomer (b. May 7, 1860 in Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire, but would give birthplace as Liverpool--where she grew up-on the 1911 census). Together they would have one child, a daughter named Margaret who was born 14 October 1893 in Wallasey, Cheshire. The family don't seem to appear on the 1901 census.
On the 1911 census James is absent but his wife and daughter are listed as lodgers at 40 Hawthornedale Road, Seacombe, Cheshire. His wife is listed as a charwoman and his daughter as a servant.
When James Kirkham signed on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912, he gave his birthplace as Liverpool and his address as 4 Chapel Street, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a greaser he could expect to earn monthly wages of £6 10s.
James Kirkham was lost in the Titanic disaster, His body, if recovered, was never identified.
His daughter Margaret was married later in the year to Frederick Deakin (1890-1966) and they had nine children. Margaret died in Wallasey, Cheshire on 13 January 1982.
James' widow Jane never remarried and died in Birkenhead in 1931.
Gavin Bell, UK
Bill Wormstedt, USA