James Carson was born at 27 Berlin Street in Belfast, Ireland on 7 August 1875. He was the son of James Carson, a linen dresser, and Mary Bradley.
Carson was twice married; his first wife was Agnes Sloan and they were married in the Methodist Church on Melbourne Street in Belfast on 3 April 1899. Carson’s address at that time was 30 Bellevue Street.
James and Agnes welcomed a son named William on 19 January 1900. Agnes never recovered from childbirth and died aged 20 in March that same year as a result of septicaemia. What became of the child William remains unclear.
His second marriage was on 30 April 1902 in St Mary’s Church and his new bride was Ellen Collington (b. circa 1880), a linen spinner. The couple had welcomed five daughters by 1911 when they were residents of 67 Crimea Street on Belfast’s Shankill Road on that year’s census. Carson was then described as a labourer in the shipyards. Another three daughters and a son followed in the following years.
Carson’s ship prior to the Titanic had been the Olympic. He joined the Titanic at Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton where he then disembarked.
James Carson remained at sea for a number of years. He lived in Belfast for the rest of his life and died at 155 Crimea Street on 18 February 1950. His widow Ellen passed away in 1959; both are buried in Dundonald Cemetery (plot C2 499).