Thomas Ford was born in Bootle, Lancashire, England in 1879.
He was the son of an English father, Matthew Ford (b. 1832 in Lincolnshire), an ironworks labourer, and an Irish mother, Delia Mary, née Parsons (b. 1841) who had married in late 1867.
Thomas had five known siblings: George William (b. 1869), Matthew (b. 1870), John Henry (b. 1871), Mary Ann (b. 1873) and David (b. 1875).
Thomas first appears on the 1881 census living with his family at 3 First Street, Bootle, Lancashire and his father was now working as a dock labourer. His mother died in 1886 and when the remaining family appear on the 1891 census they are living at 26 Stafford Street, Bootle and Thomas is still a schoolboy. His father later died in 1898. Thomas most likely went to sea as a young man and it appears he was not present for the 1901 census.
Thomas was married in Southampton in 1907 to fellow Liverpudlian Sarah Murray, née Blake (b. 1872). Sarah was previously married in 1895 to John Patrick Murray (b. 1872 in Liverpool), a ship's stoker, and they are known to have had at least four children: Catherine (b. 1895), John Patrick (b. 1897), Anne (b. 1900) and Mary Jane (b. 1904). The fate of John Patrick Murray is not clear but he seems to have died around 1904.
Thomas and Sarah would have one child of their own, Thomas (b. 1908) and the large family would appear on the 1911 census living at 36 Russell Street, St Mary, Southampton and Thomas was described as a ship's stoker.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, Ford gave his address as 36 Russell Street, Southampton. His previous ship was the Olympic and his wages were £6, 10s per month.
At the time of the collision Thomas was off-watch and was in his bunk sleeping. He woke his mate Charles Hendrickson and the pair went to the forward well deck where they saw chunks of ice and hey also noticed that the ship had stopped. Hendrickson returned to his quarters and was later joined by Ford who reported that the ship was taking on water in the forward stokeholds. Hendrickson went to investigate for himself before heading to the upper decks and the pair did not see each other again.
Thomas Ford died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. His wife and children were later assisted by the Titanic Relief Fund. His widow Sarah reportedly never remarried and took herself and her family to the USA before the end of the decade. What became of them is not currently known.
Chris Dohany, USA
Hermann Söldner, Germany
Bill Wormstedt, USA
Link and cite this biography
(2016) Thomas Ford Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1485, accessed 30th April 2016 10:00:57 AM)
URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-victim/thomas-ford.html
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