James Massey was born in Belfast, Ireland on 19 June 18741. He was the son of James Massey, a labourer.
By October 1909 Massey was a fireman aboard the Fleswick, his ship prior to that being the City of Hamburg. He was a member of the Royal Naval Reserves and served for the duration of WWI.
Massey’s ship prior to the Titanic had been the Cardiff. He joined the Titanic at Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton where he then disembarked.
By November 1918 Massey was a fireman aboard the War Cygnet when it arrived in New York from Gibraltar.
In Belfast’s St Anne’s Church on 28 August 1919 he was married to millworker Annie Tomlinson (b. circa 1881); his address was then 44 Nelson Street.