John Maxwell was born in 1882 in Walton, Liverpool, Lancashire, England. He was the son of Andrew Maxwell (1849-1895) and Ellen Day (1856-1939). His father was Scottish by birth and his mother was from Liverpool and they had married in 1872.
John had five siblings: Agnes (b. 1876), Ellen (b. 1879), Annie (b. 1880), Mary (b. 1885) and Andrew (b. 1887).
John first shows up on the 1891 census at 36 Lenthall Street, Walton. His father was described as a marine engineer. They are at the same address for the 1901 census where by now John's father has already passed away and an 18-year-old John is described as a carpenter/joiner's apprentice.
John was married in Walton in 1908 to Ada Sarah Webster (b. 1880 in Litherland, Lancashire). He is absent from the 1911 census but his wife is listed as living at Malvern, Victoria Road, Bitterne, Southampton, Hampshire and the couple are childless at this time. Their only child Dorothy was born on 25 May 1911.
John was on board the Titanic for her delivery trip from Belfast to Southampton and when he signed-on again, in Southampton, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 27 Leighton Road, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Majestic. As carpenter he received monthly wages of £9 10s.
On the night of the collision, John was one of the party of crew, including Captain Smith, Chief Officer Wilde, Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall and Thomas Andrews, to inspect the damage inflicted by the iceberg.
Maxwell died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
He was remembered on the headstone of his father, mother and sister Agnes in Kirkdale Cemetery, Fazakerley, Liverpool.
ALSO JOHN, ELDEST SON OF THE ABOVE WHO
WAS DROWNED THROUGH THE FOUNDERING OF
THE SS TITANIC APRIL 14th 1912 AGED 29
His widow Ada Sarah Maxwell died in November 1912, only 8 months after the Titanic sank, from typhoid and tuberculosis leaving their daughter Dorothy an orphan at 18 months.
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Particulars of Engagement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381)
Gavin Bell, UK
Articles and Stories
Titanic Research (2008)