Mr John Davies 1 was born in Sedgley, Staffordshire, England in the Spring of 1890.
He was the son of Richard James Davies (b. 1859), a puddler (iron worker), and Mary Ann Cox (b. 1864) who both hailed from Sedgley and who had married in 1885. One of nine children, John's siblings were: William (b. 1886), Alfred (b. 1888), Richard (b. 1892), Joseph (b. 1895), Alice May (b. 1898), Matilda Doris (b. 1902, later Mrs Peter Schroff), Mary Gladys (b. 1904, later Mrs Charles Benedict) and Arthur (b. 1907).
He first appears on the 1891 census as an 11-month-old infant living with his family at 3 Woodcross Street, Sedgley but the family later relocated to West Bromwich in Staffordshire and appear there on the 1901 census living at 131 Bak (?) Lane. By the time he appeared on the 1911 census he was described as a puddler (iron worker) and the family lived at 29 Harwood Street, West Bromwich.
John's elder brother William had settled in the USA around 1905 and another brother later followed around Christmas time 1911. The brothers made a good living in their new home of Pontiac, Michigan and John Davies and his two brothers Alfred and Joseph, along with their uncle James Lester (husband of their mother's sister Alice), decided to make the journey themselves with the intention of saving enough money to have the rest of the family join them in due course.
The men left West Bromwich on 9 April to journey to Southampton by train. Getting the train times incorrect, the men had to make a hurried departure by tram to Birmingham to catch a different train there.
The four men boarded the Titanic at Southampton as third class passengers (joint ticket number 48871 which cost £24, 3s). They wrote home from Southampton and Queenstown saying they were "comfortable" and having an "enjoyable passage".
All four men lost their lives in the disaster. Their sorrowful father later said they were "fine big lads" adding that they were "the best of sons."
His mother and father and the remainder of his siblings emigrated to the USA the following year, departing from Liverpool on 16 February 1913 aboard Carmania and by the 1920s were living in Royal Oak, Oakland, Michigan. His father died on 4 October 1926 in Clawson, Oakland and his mother sometime in the 1940s. His last known surviving siblings were his sister Matilda and his youngest brother Arthur who died on 5 November 1995 and 25 February 1995 respectively, both in Oakland, Michigan.
- Sometimes listed as John Samuel Davies. No middle name appears in his birth registration which took place in the second quarter of 1890 in Dudley.
Gavin Bell, UK
Alan Tucker, UK
Articles and Stories
Free Press (1912)
Staffordshire Advertiser (1912)