Mr Thomas Manson was born in Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland on 23 February 1843. He was the son of James Manson, a farmer and fisherman, and the former Andrina Hoseason, natives of Yell, Shetland. He had five known siblings.
He was married in January 1868 Wilhelmina Bain (b. 29 July 1843), a native of Yell; they had eight known children: James, Thomasina, John, Eliza, Andrew, Helen, Williamina and Thomas. The family relocated from Lerwick to Liverpool sometime after 1884 and by the time of the 1901 census they lived in Bootle. Thomas was widowed in October 1907.
Having worked on Liverpool ships from the early 1890s, in April 1912 Manson was serving as master-at-arms aboard the Carpathia when that ship rescued the survivors of the Titanic disaster.
Thomas Manson died in Bootle on 27 November 1932 at the age of 89 and was buried with his wife in Kirkdale Cemetery.