Photo: © Bob Knuckle, Dundas, Ontario, Canada).
John Brown was born in Cardiff, Glamorganshire, Wales (1) around 1884 (2). He was the son of William Brown (1827-?) and Martha Jane Antony (?) (1855-1914) (3). His father was originally from London and his mother from Cardiff.
John was, as per the 1911 census, one of nine children. His known siblings were: Barbara Jane Antony (b. 1881), Nathaniel Augustus Antony (b. 1883), Jane Elizabeth Antony (b. 1886), William Brown (b. 1888), George Brown (b. 1890) and Albert (b. 1896).
John first appears on the 1891 census with his family living at 10 Taylor's Passage, Holy Rood, Southampton and his 64 year-old father was listed as a general labourer. His father seemingly passed away sometime prior to 1900. His mother Martha was remarried in Southampton in late 1900 to John Boniface (b. 1849 in Portsmouth, a merchant seaman). By the time of the 1901 census John and his family are living at 2 Russell Street, St Mary, Southampton and this would be his home for the rest of his life. At this time, aged 17, he is listed as a general labourer. By the time of the 1911 census John is absent, perhaps already at sea and his mother had reverted to the name of Martha Brown.
When John signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912 he gave his local address as 2 Russell Street, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Atrato. As a fireman he received monthly wages of £6.
John Brown died in the sinking. His body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett (#267) and was buried at Fairview Cemetary, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 6 May, 1912.
NO. 267 - MALE - ESTIMATED AGE, 34 - HAIR, DARK AND BLACK MOUSTACHE
CLOTHING - Blue suit; combination grey shirt.
EFFECTS - A purse; 2 foreign coins; comb; B. S. Union Book No. 1180.
FIREMAN. - NAME - J. BROWN,
- He gave his birthplace as Hampshire in the crew agreements
- It is uncertain whether his birth was registered as Antony or Brown. Birth possibly registered second quarter of 1884 in Cardiff as John Brown
- There is no apparent record for his parent's marriage and, indeed, her children Barbara, Nathaniel and Jane (and possibly also John) had their births registered under the Antony surname. They are all listed as Browns under the 1891 census. On the 1901 census Nathaniel, John and Jane are all listed as Antonys whilst the remaining children are listed as Browns. John is absent from the 1911 census but his brother Nathaniel is listed as Antony and, again the remaining children as Browns. When his mother remarried her name was listed as Martha Jane Brown. She indicated on the 1911 census that she had been married for 32 years
References and Sources
White Star Line (1912.) Record of Bodies and Effects (Passengers and Crew S.S. "Titanic") Recovered by Cable Steamer "MacKay Bennett" Including Bodies Buried at Sea and Bodies Delivered at Morgue in Halifax
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Gavin Bell, UK
Bill Wormstedt, USA