Sydney Frederick Stebbings was born in Edmonton, Middlesex, England in 1876 and his birth was registered in the last quarter of that year. He was the son of James Stebbings (1830-1888) and Jane Elizabeth Moody (1834-1880). His father was native of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire and his mother from Bath, Somerset and they were married on 6 May 1855 in Southwark.
Sydney had at least five siblings: Jane Rachel (b. 1857), Louisa Rhoda (b. 1860), Connie R. (b. 1865), Rhoda Eleanor (b. 1869) and Charles James (b. 1872).
Sydney's mother passed away in 1880 aged 46 and the following year, for the 1881 census, the remaining family are living at 5 Prospect Place, Edmonton, with James Stebbings being described as an unemployed linen cutter.
His father passed away in 1888, seemingly leaving Sydney's eldest surviving sisters to raise him.
On the 1891 census Sydney, aged 14, is listed as a pupil at Chase Farm School in Enfield, Middlesex. His sister Jane is listed as a servant living at an address in Penge, London. His sister would marry a William Spencer in 1894 in Croydon and raise a family of her own.
Sydney does not appear on the 1901 census, perhaps already having commenced a career at sea and spending time in Liverpool where, later that year on 1 November, he was married to Liverpool-native Annie Maria Boucher (b. July 28, 1873). They had three children: Thomas Joseph Boucher (b. 1 February 1903), Winifred Mary (b. 1907), Sydney Frederick (b. 9 December, 1909). They resided in Liverpool until around 1908 before their move to Southampton where White Star Line's main dock had moved to.
On the 1911 census Sydney is absent, but his wife and children are resident at 25 Richville Road, Shirley, Southampton.
He was on board the Titanic for her delivery trip from Belfast to Southampton. When he signed-on again, in Southampton, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 25 Richville Road, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Olympic. As chief boots he received monthly wages of £4, 5s.
Stebbings died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. The following death notice appeared in the Hampshire Advertiser (27/04/1912):
Stebbings--On the 15th inst., on the s.s. Titanic, Sydney Frederick Stebbings, 25 Richville road, Shirley, Southampton.
and this from the Southern Daily Echo (26/04/12)
STEBBINGS--On April 15th, 1912, on the S.S. Titanic, Sydney Frederick, the dearly beloved husband of Annie Stebbings, 25 Richville road, Shirley, Southampton. Sadly missed by his wife and young children. A voice we loved is stilled. Liverpool papers please copy.
Sydney's widow Annie Maria did not remarry and she relocated her family back to her native Liverpool. She later lived at 130 Devonfield Road, Walton and died in the Royal Southern Hospital, Liverpool on 14 December 1945, leaving an estate worth £746 13s 9d to her daughter Winifred.
His son Thomas' later whereabouts are uncertain.
Sydney's daughter Winifred was married in 1927 to Francis Thomas Dumbleton and they had three sons, including a set of twins, one of whom was named for his lost grandfather. Winifred died in Liverpool in 1967.
His son Sydney married Louisa McEvoy in 1939 but is thought to have had no children. He died in Birkenhead, Cheshire in 1983.
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Particulars of Engagement (Belfast), Ulster Folk and Transport Museum (TRANS 2A/45 381)
Gavin Bell, UK