John Coffey

Thomas Kelly

Jun 19, 2004
Family legend has it that my Great Uncle Jack Coffey missed the sailing of the Titanic due to illness he later went to America returning to the UK for a holiday in 1923 on his return to America we lost contact with him.Could he be the John Coffy the Stoker who deserted, can anyone tell me were he deserted and is there any record of his home address when he signed ships articals as this would prove wether it was the same person.
Cheers Tom Kelly
Dec 12, 1999

Dawn Coffey

I would like to ask if there is any updated information on John Coffey born 1889? I have recently come across information on his grandson Brian Coffey and would like to know more about this brian person.


Apr 6, 2012
It's not likely this was the same John Coffey, as the ET bio for John Coffey the stoker lists his death as occurring on 12th June 1957 (his bio can be found at

And the address listed on the articles is 12 Sherbourne Terrace, Queenstown (the relevant page with Coffey's sign-on info can be found at

Hope this is helpful.

A few years ago I had the privilege of being able to visit the Cork Central Library and peruse the Kelly's dtreet Directory for 1912.
I found that there were 9 addresses where the occupant was named 'Coffey' and 3 of these were Mrs Coffey. If we remember the strict religious attitudes it is easy to assume that were the address is Mrs Coffey it means that the woman is separated by agreement, work or prison; since divorce was unthinkable at that time.
We know that John Coffey was married and originated from Cork and thus, had a wife and mother in the town.
It was not at all unusual for a seaman to sign on to 'Work his Passage' thus signing on in Southampton and signing off in Queenstown.
For ships the size of Californian or Carpathia the Crew signing Officer would have filled in the forms and crew members would have retained their Service Books but for a ship the size of Titanic the Signing Officer would have collected the Service Books so that he could fill them in at his leisure.
In this case, if John Coffey had 'jumped ship' his service book would have still be on Titanic thus, when, on the Sunday he signed on aboard the Mauretania he would have no Service Book and thus, would not have been accepted.
Thus, if John Coffey signed on as far as Queenstown (not an unusual event for Irish crew members) when the ship arrives at Queenstown he reports off watch and goes to the Signing Officer and receives his Service Book and three days pay then gows and visits Mummy and his wife.


Oct 30, 2020
My Grandmother married a John Coffey in 1909
he was a merchant seaman i believe with white star, they had 3 children lillian elizabeth and John. John was the only one who had children, Brian and Wendy, brian would then be John Coffeys Grandson. I believe that this John Coffey was the one who Jumped Ship, as he was born in Queenstown, although he later lived in Kirkdale,Liverpool and then Southampton, and was also the same age..........My grandmother later married again to a William Peacock

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