Mr Michael Connaughton 1 was born in Lissaquill, Noughaval, Co Westmeath, Ireland on 17 February 1872.
He was the son of James Connaughton (b. 1839), a farmer, and Anne Murphy (b. 1843), Westmeath natives who had married in 1868. One of a dozen children born to his parents, Michael's known siblings were: Mary (1868-1960), John (b. 1870), James (b. 1873), Katherine (b. 1876), Anne (b. 1877), Ellen (b. 1880), Matthew (b. 1884), Patrick (b. 1887) and Thomas (b. 1890).
Michael's family appear on both the 1901 and 1911 Irish census records living at house 3 in Lissaquill, Noughaval, Co Westmeath but he is not present on either occasion. As per the 1910 US census, Michael had emigrated to the USA in 1907. He was shown on the said census living in Brooklyn, New York with his widowed sister Kate, then Mrs John Horan, and her four children, and he worked as a trolley car driver. Two other siblings are also known to have lived in New York; his eldest sister Mary Conlon and another sister, Ellen Miller.
Following a visit back to Ireland to visit his family, Michael boarded the Titanic at Queenstown as a third class passenger (ticket number 335097 which cost £7, 15s). It seems apparent that Michael was acquainted whilst aboard with three other Co Westmeath natives, Eugene Daly, his cousin Margaret Daly and Bertha Mulvihill, and also a lady from a neighbouring townland, Delia Henry of Cloonown, Co Roscommon. Margaret Daly referred to Connaughton in a letter home following the disaster.
Michael Connaughton died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
His brother Matthew later fought in the 2nd Battalion of the Leinster Regiment following the outbreak of WWI. He was killed in action in France on 19 April 1916 and was buried in Bailleul Cemetery, Nord. Both Michael's parents continued to live in Co Westmeath: his mother died in 1918 and his father in 1924.
- Name listed as Connorton/Connerton in birth records and some census records
Gavin Bell, UK