Mr James Webber was born in 1846 in Kea, Cornwall, England.
He was the son of Richard Webber (b. 1806), a carpenter, and his wife Mary, née Richards (b. 1806), both natives of Kea who had married on 17 December 1834. He had six known siblings: William (b. 1835), Richard (b. 1837), Mary (b. 1840), Jonathan (b. 1842), Joseph (b. 1844) and Jane (b. 1848).
He appears on the 1851 census living at Helston Water, Kea and by the time of the 1861 census he was aged 15 and had already left school and was working as a miner, still living with his family at an unspecified address in Kea. His father died around 1866 and when the 1871 census was conducted James' widowed mother was still living in Kea with two of her children, Joseph and Jane. James is absent and it is likely he had left to settle in America by this point.
He had spent many years living in San Francisco, California before apparently spending time in Johannesburg, South Africa where his late elder sister Mary (later Mrs John Griffin) had lived. He boarded the Titanic in Southampton as a third class passenger (ticket number SOTON/OQ 3101316, costing £8, 1s) and was presumably returning to San Francisco. He died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
He is commemorated on the headstone of his elder sister Mary who died on 17 June 1897 in Johannesburg and who is buried in Braamfontein Cemetery. The inscription reads:
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
OF KEA, CORNWALL WHO DIED AT
JOHANNESBURG 17TH JUNE 1897
AGED 66 YEARS.
BROTHER OF THE ABOVE WHO
WAS DROWNED ON THE
APRIL 15TH 1912.
AGED 62 YEARS.
SAFE IN THE ARMS OF JESUS.
His estate, valued at £350, was administered to a lady named Harriet Julian (née Webber), possibly an aunt or cousin, on 2 January 1913. Harriet Julian was born in 1837 in Cornwall, daughter of William Webber and was married in Kea, Cornwall on 12 June 1866 to Edmund Julian. She apparently died in 1914 in Cornwall.
Gavin Bell, UK