John Coleman was born in Queenstown, Co Cork, Ireland in 1854. He was the son of John Coleman, a farmer, and his wife Mary (née Leary ?).
John went to sea as a young man, later settling in England, and he was described as a ship's steward at the time of his marriage in St Nicholas' Church, Liverpool on 3 July 1879 to Rose Ann Campbell (b. 1851 in Dundalk, Co Louth, Ireland). The couple would have one child who died in infancy.
The whereabouts of John and his wife following their marriage is unknown and they may have resettled in their native Ireland before returning to England. Rose "Rosanna" Coleman was listed at their home address, 13 Gladstone Road, Walton on the Hill, Liverpool on the 1901 England census but John was absent. He may have been serving at the time in the Royal Navy; an Irish-born John Coleman, of the correct age, was then listed as serving on the Royal Sovereign, then stationed in Grand Harbour, Malta, but is listed as a carpenter. Whether this is the same John Coleman is not certain.
Perhaps moving to Southampton around the same time of the White Star Line's migration from Liverpool, John and his wife appear on the 1911 census living at 7 Mortimer Road, Itchen and he is described as a ship's steward for the White Star Line.
When John signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 7 Mortimer Road, Itchen. His previous ship had been the Majestic. As a mess steward he could expect monthly wages of £6.
John Coleman died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. His widow seems to have returned to Liverpool where she died a year later.
Gavin Bell, UK
Articles and Stories
Titanic Research (2005)