Edgar Michael Kieran, better known as Michael, was born on 28 January 1878 in Ballygawley1, Co Tyrone, Ireland2,3, a small village on the Tyrone-Monaghan border.
He was the son of James Kieran (1843-1900), a freight clerk, and Mary Josephine Nolan (1847-1891). His father was also a native of Tyrone whilst his mother hailed from Dublin and the two were married in the latter in 1871 and initially settled in that city where their first two children were born.
Michael had six known siblings: Laurence (b. 1872), James (b. 1874), Mary Ellen (b. 1880), Bernard Joseph (b. 1887), John (b. 1889) and Margaret Agnes (b. 1891).
The family moved to Liverpool from Ireland sometime between 1881 and 1887. His mother died in early 1891, possibly during childbirth and the remaining family are recorded on the 1891 census living at 5 Redmond Place, Liverpool. Within the next few years Michael left school and initially pursued a career as a tramway conductor and would be listed as such when he was married and in the 1901 census.
Michael was married in St John the Evangelist Church, Everton on 1 May 1898 to Ann Davies (b. 1878 in Everton, Liverpool) and the couple would have three children: Annie Josephine (b. 1899), Gladys Amy (b. 1901) George William Edgar (b. 1905) and James Edward (b. 1911).
The family appear on the 1901 census living at 15 Franklin Place, Everton. Michael perhaps went to sea within the next few years, working for the White Star Line. The withdrawal of that company's main terminal from Liverpool to Southampton necessitated a move. Michael's first three children appear on the 1911 census living at 34 Herschell Street, Everton and are being cared for by their grandmother Annie Davies. Michael and his wife, however, are listed as lodgers at 13 Lower Bridge Road, St Mary, Southampton and he is described as a seaman for the White Star Line.
When he signed on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, Michael gave his address as 7 Avenue Road, (Southampton), likely another boarding address. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a storekeeper he could expect monthly wages of £3, 15s.
During the sinking, Michael, along with his storekeeper colleagues Frank Prentice and Cyril Ricks, waited on the poop deck at the stern of the ship. As the night progressed and the poop deck became more crowded with people and nearing the ship's final plunge, the three men jumped. Only Frank Prentice survived.
Michael was lost in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
His widow Ann was remarried in Liverpool in the latter half of 1913 to William Peck, a joiner. She, her new husband and youngest son James emigrated in 1923 on board the Celtic to the USA and they show up on the 1930 census living at an address in Rochester, New York. Michael's remaining children also joined them in the USA but what became of the family as a whole remains unclear.
- Also spelled Ballygawly and, in Irish, Baile Uí Dhálaigh
- Modern-day Northern Ireland
- He gave his birthplace as Lancaster (Lancashire) in the crew agreements. The 1891-1911 census records confirm his Irish roots.
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Gavin Bell, UK