Ship's Steward missing off official list


Julia Blease

Member
Aug 20, 2008
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Hello,

Sorry if this is a stupid question - I was wondering if there was any chance that a William Robinson a Ships Steward was serving aboard the Titanic when it sank but was not registered as doing so?

William Robinson was a Ships Steward, born South Shields, Durham, UK in 1861. Lived his last known days in Toxteth Park, Liverpool and sailed regularly from Liverpool UK to US, missing or died round 1900 or so we believed until we found William's daughter Ellen's Wedding Certificate which did not have her dad William as deceased - this was on the 18th March 1912. But on his other daughter Janet's record dated 14 April 1913, it says her dad is deceased. This would mean William died between these two dates - coinciding with the date of the disaster.

I have been unable to find any shipping records for him even though he had been a Ships Steward all his life. So far we have searched the 1899 to 1908 Deaths at Sea but nothing found.

My Grandparents told me the story when I was young that one of my other ancestor Henry George Tilley born Dorset 1876 and moved to Liverpool, He was a Ship's Cook and worked on the White Star Line (No info found to date). They were told that he was on the Titanic and survived! When I started my family tree I found your website and sadly told them that this was untrue as his name is not down on any list! Could they have been talking about William???

Any help with my mystery would be greatly appreciated!

Many Thanks,

Julia
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
>>I was wondering if there was any chance that a William Robinson a Ships Steward was serving aboard the Titanic when it sank but was not registered as doing so?<<

Extremely unlikely. The legal term for somebody who is aboard a ship without benefit of paid fare or having signed on as a member of the crew is "stowaway" and a person openly working on the staff who isn't properly documented would have been noticed.
 

Julia Blease

Member
Aug 20, 2008
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Thank you Michael for your reply, thought it may be a stupid question but needed to ask as I'm trying to cover all possibilities.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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One of the problems here is that the man is listed as deceased on an document dated April 14. The Titanic didn't sink until the morning of the 15th. There would have been no news of that until then simply because up to that time, nothing had happened.

Crew lists are a matter of public record in the U.K. so you might want to give the National Archives a shot. Their website is http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/default.htm
 

Julia Blease

Member
Aug 20, 2008
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Hi again Michael,

Sorry I missed your comment at the bottom - Thank you! Unfortunately I've had a number of researchers looking at the ships list in Kew but because I do not have a name of a ship he was working on we've drawn a blank so far! Unfortunately there were no personal records kept between 1857 and 1918. Thanks again for your time.

Back to the drawing board!

Julia
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Julia,

I understand that National Archive documents MT9/920C, BT100/259 and BT100/260 all of which relate to Titanic's Crew were complied between about May and August 1912. The range of dates reflects updates and corrections.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>He's listed as deceased on a document dated 14th April(1913)a year later.<<

Ahhhh...point taken. You would appear to have a small range for some possibility then. If your reletive was there, he may have been using somebody else's credentials and working under an assumed name. Difficult to do since a lot of these people knew each other but it can't be 100% ruled out.

Still, I wouldn't get any hopes up here. The answers you seek may well lie in a death certificate lying buried and forgotten in the records vault of the town where he lived.
 
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Andrew Williams

Guest
>>>>Still, I wouldn't get any hopes up here. The answers you seek may well lie in a death certificate lying buried and forgotten in the records vault of the town where he lived.<<<<

Point taken Mike and a very decisive move to make. Julia - Lester and Mike are both correct with their own independent advice. However, you may wish to visit two other sites on the net. One based in the U.K., whilst the other is based in the U.S. Both usually have a surprise in stall.

U.K., site - www.findmypast.com

For the U.S.A., turn your attention with Ellis Island - www.ellisisland.com

If the answer isn't found on either, then your only solution is to turn directly to his last place of residence and see if there's an obituary in the local press which are usually stored in the local library.

Good luck with your search

Andrew W.
 
Jul 22, 2001
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Hi Julia

It possible that he had died prior to Ellen's marriage in March 1912 - she didn't know if he was dead or not to put on the certificate. I know her sister said he was deceased on hers but maybe she was less hopeful than her sister ?!

Have you checked the later US censuses? perhaps he settled in America unknown to his family? Do you have his birth certificate or baptism? Has he a middle name so we can searched the UK BMD's over here and try and find a match? There were 3000+ deaths for a WR on freebmd between 1900 and 1914 and that site hasn't got every record transcribed yet!!


Good luck with your search!
 

John Curran

Member
Jul 27, 2008
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Dear Julia,

Of course there was a William Robinson! His name was actually JAMES William Robinson. Here is the information found on THIS site:

"When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as Vine Cottage, Carlisle Road, (Southampton). His last ship had been the New York. As a saloon steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s.

Robinson died in the sinking. His body was later recovered by the Mackay-Bennett (#151) and buried at sea on 24 April 1912."

I hope this helps, and is the correct person.
 
A

Andrew Williams

Guest
Trying to keep well and away from all these coughs and colds. At the moment I am running around like the Mad Hatter.
 

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