Stephen James Davis was born in Hull, Yorkshire, England in 1873 and his birth was registered in Sculcoates in the second quarter of that year. He was the son of George Davis (b. 1849 in Winton, Wiltshire) and Rebecca Streets (b. 1845 in Cork, Ireland) who had married in Hampshire in 1867. His father was a Corporal in the Royal Marines and as such the family appear to have moved around frequently, spending periods in Queenstown, Cork; Hull, Dorset and Hampshire.
Stephen had nine known siblings: George (b. 1870), Amelia (b. 1871), William (b. 1875), Kate (b. 1877), Henry (b. 1880), Frederick (b. 1882), Rebecca Agnes (b. 1883), John (b. 1884), and Albert (b. 1888).
He appears on the 1881 census with his family whilst living at 17 Cobden Street, Mill Lane, Alverstoke, Hampshire, the family having moved to Hampshire from Hull around 1878. He is not present with his family on the 1891 census, perhaps already at sea, but his family are listed as living at the George Inn, Melcombe Regis, Weymouth, Dorset, his father now retired from the Royal Marines and working as a licensed victualler.
Stephen was married in Portsmouth in early 1901 to Miriam Maud Bourne (b. 1881 in Portsmouth). They would have one child who did not survive infancy.
On the 1901 census Stephen and his new wife are living at 4 Coast Guard Buildings, Sunderland, Durham where he worked as a boatman for HM Coastguard. Stephen would be absent for the 1911 census, but his wife was listed as living at 9 Ventnor Road, Southsea, Portsmouth.
When Stephen signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 42 Duncans Street, Landport, (Hampshire). His last ship had been the Ausonia. As an able bodied seaman he received monthly wages of £5. Also serving aboard was his younger brother John Davis as a baker.
Davis died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
Stephen's widow Miriam was remarried twice, first in 1919 to William T. Cannon and secondly in 1928 to Arthur C. Cobb. She remained in Portsmouth for the rest of her life and died in 1963.
Gavin Bell, UK