Looking for help identifying a steward


May 5, 2015
Hi Folks,

I am looking for assistance with a mystery to me that possibly all of you may have more experience with. In doing some genealogy research on my own tree along with DNA testing, I have matched a family as a distant cousin. As it turns out this family had a matriarch named Ellen (eventually to be Helen) Maud Gibson MacCoubrey who was born in England and eventually moved to the United States where she became good friends with my own mother. Of course, both women have long since passed on, but in making this new discovery of a cousin relationship in my DNA to one of Helen's grandchildren, I have opened a dialogue with a daughter-in-law. It is told with the family by Helen, that her uncle was an 18+ year old steward aboard the Titanic and that he died, so who is this person.

Now this would be a nice tale if we had all the details, except this is where the mystery begins because the daughter-in-law for having heard this story repeatedly over the years cannot recall the name of the fellow and is now seeking to relearn who this person may be. Of course, the genealogy hound in me is piqued by the mystery of who this stranger is and I discovered Encyclopedia Titanic a few months ago and began reading some of the Victualling Crew histories but none of them seem to speak to my interest.

In the way of further details, I know Helen's birth parents were Robert Gibson MacCoubrey and Beatrice Elizabeth Coombridge, who were married in Croydon, England in Feb 1906. While looking for an uncle, I began to check for siblings of both Beatrice and Robert. For Beatrice's part, she had 3 other siblings (2 girls and 1 boy), all who appear to have died in 1884, making Beatrice the only person to survive to adulthood. This eliminated the Coombridge side, so I needed to focus on Robert. So far I appear to have found Robert's father, Joseph McCoubray (slightly different spelling) was a schoolmaster who had died prior to Robert's marriage in 1906 and was married to a woman named Ellen Gibson, hence Robert's middle name. Beyond that I have no information as to what happened to Joseph or Ellen. I have also tracked down what appears to be a sister to Robert, named Agnes M'Coubrey (again another spelling issue), but I do not know who her husband may have been or if Robert had other siblings in the area. It appears Robert was born in Scotland, but then moved to England where he married and then divorced Beatrice to go on and pursue a life in the United States.

From all of this, I am trying to understand who Agnes' husband may have been and if he might have been the uncle, Helen had been referring to. I did not know if there was an easy way to gather this information including their biographies from the Encyclopedia Titanic site on just the Stewards of Titanic who died from that event, rather than any of the ones who survived. Thank you in advance for any assistance you may be able to provide.