John Boyd was born in London, England around 1875 but his exact background remains unclear.
He was married in Southampton in late-1898 to a young widow named Annie Florence Godfrey, née Rogers. Annie was born in Southampton around 1870 and was married to William Godfrey (b. 1864), a fish merchant, settling in Poole, Dorset and having three children: William John (b. 1892), Samuel Dan (b. 1893) and Annie (b. 1895). William Godfrey seemingly died around 1895 and they had lost their eldest child William in infancy.
John and Annie went on to have three children of their own: Florence Mary (1903-1979, later Mrs William Taylor), John James (1906-1968) and James (1908-1954).
John would be absent from both the 1901 and 1911 census reports. On the former record his wife and two step-children are listed as living at 4 Gloucester Square, Holy Rood, Southampton and on the latter at 34 Grove Road, Freemantle, Southampton. Like his stepfather, Samuel Dan Godfrey was described as a ship's steward.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, John gave his address as 52 Cranbury Avenue, (Southampton). As a first class steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s. His last ship had been the New York, the ship with which Titanic had had a near miss whilst leaving Southampton.
John Boyd died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. The following death notice appeared in the Southern Daily Echo (29 April 1912):
BOYD--John Boyd, of 52, Cranbury-avenue, Southampton, who lost his life on the s.s. Titanic, April 15th; many years on the s.s. New York, American Line. Sadly missed.
His widow Annie is not believed to have remarried but here further whereabouts are unclear. She may have returned with her children to Poole and possibly died there in the 1940s.
Gavin Bell, UK