Mr Joseph Charles Nicholls was born in Nancledra, Cornwall, England on 24 July 1892.
He was the son of Richard Henry Nicholls (b. 1867) and Agnes Friggens (b. 1861), both Cornwall natives who had married in 1886 and he had two known siblings: Mary Ethel (b. 1886), Richard Henry (b. 1890). His father was a stonemason who worked at the quarry at Trenowith Downs.
The family appeared on the 1891 census living at an unspecified address in Nacledra, Cornwall. When Joseph's father Richard Nicholls died is not certain but his mother was listed as widow on the 1901 census when she and her children were living at Corbis Bay, Uny Lelant, Cornwall.
His mother was remarried in Penzance in early 1903 to Robert Davies (b. 1843 in St Ives, Cornwall), an insurance agent and Joseph gained a stepbrother in 1903, John Morgan Davies. His stepfather died in 1910 and by the time of the 1911 census Joseph, his mother and brothers were listed as living at the Stennack in St Ives, Cornwall.
Not long afterward his elder brother, Richard Nicholls and his wife, emigrated to Kearsarge near New Allouez, Houghton, Michigan. A short while his mother Agnes decided to take her family to join them in America. To raise the necessary funds the family sold all their belongings in St Ives. With this done their ticket (number 33112 which cost £36, 15s) was purchased from William Cogar who was the White Star agent in St Ives. The family left St Ives by train and travelled with a family friend, Maud Sincock of Halsetown. His mother and younger brother occupied a cabin with Maude Sincock and also Alice Phillips of Ilfracombe, Devon whilst Joseph had separate accommodation, possibly with William Carbines.
Joseph was lost in the sinking. On 23 April 1912 his body was recovered from the sea by the MacKay Bennett.
NO. 101. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE. 20. - HAIR, DARK
CLOTHING - Grey overcoat; blue suit; blue socks; black boots; Boy's Brigade belt.
EFFECTS - Field glasses; one wrist watch, gold; two silver watches; silver chain; pipe; comb; padlock; account book; £2 19s. 5 ½d.; £5 in gold.NO MARKS ON BODY OR CLOTHING.
The body was buried at sea as identification proved difficult at the time; possessions, which had been removed from the body were taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia and it was here that they were identified as belonging to Joseph Nicholls by the brothers of William Carbines.
There is a memorial to Joseph Nicholls in the Calumet Cemetery, Houghton County, Michigan where his mother is buried.
References and Sources
Record of Bodies and Effects: Passengers and Crew, S.S. Titanic (Public Archives of Nova Scotia) (#101)
Maude Sincock Roberts The Story of the Titanic
Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio), 20 April 1912, p.1.
Gavin Bell, UK
Stephen Coombes, UK
Chris Dohany, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
Brian Ticehurst, UK
Geoff Whitfield, UK