Miss Kate Connolly was born on 25 August 1870 in Tipperary, Co Tipperary, Ireland.
She was the daughter of John Connolly and Catherine Madden (b. 1846) who had married in 1864. She was one of six children (two of whom were lost in infancy): Mary (b. 1864), Margaret (b. 1865), John (b. 1868), Edward Joseph (b. 1873) and Richard (b. 1881).
Kate appears on the 1901 census, listed erroneously as a 24-year-old and residing with her widowed mother, a shopkeeper, at 4 Main Street, Tipperary Town. Listed on the 1911 census at 33 Main Street, Tipperary, Katie was described as a housekeeper whilst her mother was still described as a shopkeeper.
Kate Connolly boarded the Titanic at Queenstown as a third class passenger (ticket number 370373, £7, 15s) and she roomed with two other Tipperary girls, Kate McCarthy and Katie Peters. She was travelling to Dobbs Ferry, New York, hoping to gain employment to help her impoverished and aging family in Ireland. Her elder sister Maggie, a music teacher, was stricken with tuberculosis.
On the night of the sinking, Katie McCarthy, the only surviving member of their group, recalled that Tipperary man Roger Tobin called by their cabin and told them to get up and dressed and to bring lifebelts but assured them there was no danger. McCarthy said that only she sensed any urgency and whilst she implored the other two girls to follow her, she ended up leaving alone and never saw the other two Kates again.
Kate Connolly was lost in the sinking. Her body, if recovered, was never identified. The presence of two Irish women named Kate Connolly travelling in third class initially caused confusion; Kate Connolly, from Co Cavan, was saved but a mix-up initially reported the Tipperary Kate to be among the rescued.
Kate's estate, worth £20, was administered to her mother Catherine on 16 December 1912.
Kate's family received £40 from a Relief Committee in England. The American Red Cross offered a sum equivalent to the price of Katie's ticket to her cousin living in America who paid it, who agreed that this money also should be sent to her relatives in Ireland.
References and Sources
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55)
Noel Ray (1999) List of Passengers who Boarded RMS Titanic at Queenstown, April 11, 1912 . The Irish Titanic Historical Society
Senan Molony, The Irish Aboard Titanic
Gavin Bell, UK