Survivor Katie McCarthy


Magda Natalia Piotrowska

I look for some informations about Katie McCarthy, 3rd class passenger. She was born in 1888 and lived in Ballygurtin, Ireland. Her destination was Guttenberg, Iowa, where her sister Mrs. John Woolnough lived. She was rescue in probably lifeboat 15. Katie married in September 1914 John Croke. They had no children. She died in 1948. Does anyone know where she lived after Titanic's disaster and other informations?
Mar 10, 1998
Hi Magda,
After the disaster Katie lived with her sister in New Jersey briefly and then went to New York where she married Jack Croke, also an Irishman. They stayed in New York until after World War I and then returned to Ireland and lived out their lives there. Her sister, Mrs. Woolnough, remained in the United States, had two children and descendants still live in New York. She also had a brother that lived out his life in New York.

Bob Godfrey

Nov 22, 2002
Hallo again, Magda. Here is a little more information (from Senan Molony's book). John Croke worked as a watchman, and Katie probably as a domestic servant. Both were originally from County Tipperary, and in 1921 they decided to go home. They settled in the village of Dundrum, where they ran a shop. Her sister, whose first name was Mary, lived in Guttenberg, New Jersey (not Iowa). Her brother Patrick was at Katie's wedding in New York. He had earlier awaited the arrival of the survivors and, 4 days after the sinking, was able to send a telegram home to Ireland with the three words the family had been desperate to hear: "Katie is saved".

Magda Natalia Piotrowska

Hello Philip and Bob!
Thanks very much! Your informations were very necessary for me.
Apr 27, 2003
Dear Magda,
Here is some more information to help you fill in the gaps:

McCARTHY, KATIE (CATHERINE) (LATER MRS. JOHN CROKE). Saved in Lifeboat number 15. En route from Ballygartin, Bansha, Co. Tipperary, Ireland.
Daughter of Patrick McCarthy, farmer.

(From The Emergency and Relief booklet by the American Red Cross, 1913).
Case number 276. (Irish). Unmarried woman, 23 years old, coming to live with her sister in New Jersey, was severely injured. ($50).
Died 12th November 1948 and was buried in St. Michaels Cemetery, Ballintemple, Ireland.

(Article in the Nationalist Saturday November 2000 1049).
Which see.

(From the Hudson Observer, 19 Aprl 1912)
Among the survivors of the ill-fated Titanic was Miss Katie McCarthy, sister of Mrs. John Woolnough, of 107 Twenty-fifth street, Guttenberg. She is at present among the hospital list being cared for in New York City and is not expected home until to-morrow.
The friends with whom she boarded the Titanic have been reported as lost. They are Roger Tobin and Miss Katie Peters. All three left their homes in County Tipperary, Ireland, to come to this country to make it their future home. Miss McCarthy planned living with her married sister for a few months before taking a trip through the West. Mr. and Mrs. Woolnough are now in New York City caring for her.

(From the Hudson Observer, 20 April 1912, Article # 3


Miss Kate McCarthy, one of the survivors of the Titanic and sister of Mrs. John Woolnough, of 107 Twenty-fifth street, Guttenberg, is a patient in St. Vincent's Hospital, New York, where she was taken upon her arrival on the rescue ship Carpathia. Mrs. Woolnough, who had been through a nervous strain all the week, fearing that the sister had been lost, gave way to joyous expectations yesterday that her sister would be brought to her last night.
When her husband and her brother returned to Guttenberg yesterday without her sister, she was again plunged into despair. She was reassured, however, when told that her sister was only in need of hospital care for a time after the terrible experience that she went through, and she would only have to remain in the hospital for only a few days.
Miss McCarthy, who started for this country to join her sister, was in the company of several other young people from a small country place in County Tipperary, Ireland. Her companions were all lost. Miss McCarthy for over two years had been planning to come to America to join her sister. Several times during that period she made arrangements and all but secured passage, but kept putting the trip off until at last she started on the ship that was to go to the bottom.

(From the Tipperary Star, Ireland 20th November 1948)
Death of Titanic survivor
Mrs. Catherine Croke, Ballinntemple, Dundrum, whose death has occurred is believed to have been the last survivor in Ireland of the ill-fated Titanic. She was aged 21 at the time of the disaster and it was her first experience of being aboard a ship.
When the tragedy occurred Mrs. Croke had a narrow escape from death, for at the last moment acting on instinct, she left a crowded boat and returned to the sinking ship. A few minutes later the boat capsized. She found refuge in the last boat to be launched and was the last but one to board it. The following morning a ship picked up the survivors.
Mrs. Croke was a descendant of the McCarthys of Springhouse, an old Tipperary family. She is survived by her husband Mr. Jon Croke, farmer and merchant.

That enough to keep you busy?


Inger Sheil

Feb 9, 1999
There's a photo of Katie McCarthy in Senan Molony's The Irish Aboard Titanic, p. 125, reproduced courtesy of Nationalist (Clonmel). As you're doing so much work on Irish passengers, Magda, you may want to look into ordering this book - it's a rich source of material, both visual and textual, on these men and women. I recommend it as one of the best Titanic titles available.

Magda Natalia Piotrowska

Hi, Inger!
Thanks for your advice. I hope this book is interesting.
Jul 9, 2000
Easley South Carolina
Magda, the book is a pearl beyond price. I bought my copy two years ago and it's about as comprehensive a source as you'll ever find without having to dig through some dusty archives, albums and newspaper morgues for yourself.

You can find the listing HERE.


Hi Magda, this is a rather late reply to your intial post back in 2003 as I have only just seen it!

My mother came from a place just outside Dundrum in Tipperary called Coolacussane. Her name was Mary Butler (aka "Maisie") and daughter of Mary & Patrick Butler. She was born in 1925 and I can remember her telling me about Catherine Croke and the story of the titantic.

On returning to Ireland Catherine became the local shopkeeper in Ballintemple (close to the graveyard near the Dundrum House Hotel) with her husband John. The shop is no longer there. My mother would visit the shop for goods back in the 30s & 40s. At Christmas time they were generous with the locals and provided some free goodies, I remember my mother telling me.

I can also remember my mother telling me that Mrs Croke's hair turned grey very quickly, almost overnight, presumably from her ordeal.

One night in the 30s my mother, who was one of 11, sat with the family huddled to the radio where Mrs Croke was interviewed about the Titanic. The local shopkeeper on the radio drew quite a bit of attention at the time.

Just a few snippets of information but I hope this provides some interest.


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