John McAteer was born at Cranford Court in Warrenpoint, Co Down, Ireland on 15 January 1875.1
Born into a Roman Catholic family, he was the son of Edward McAteer, a labourer, and Mary Anne (aka Marianne or Anne) Murphy. He had at least four siblings: Francis, George, James and Mary Josephine. By 1901 the family lived at 47 Charlotte Street in Warrenpoint.
McAteer had been working at sea since at least 1900 and was living and working out of Liverpool based on the numerous shipping records he appears on in that decade. In 1908 he married Mary Agnes Webb (b. 17 October 1884), a native of Bootle. They had no children of their own but adopted John’s niece Elizabeth (b. 4 January 1907 in Warrenpoint), the illegitimate daughter of his sister Mary Josephine McAteer (b. 1 May 1880). The family appear on the 1911 census as residents of 12 Audley Street in Bootle and McAteer was described as a dock labourer.
McAteer’s ship prior to Titanic had been the Matenes. He joined Titanic at Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton where he then disembarked.
John McAteer continued working at sea and served in the merchant fleet during WWI. During the 1930s he took land-based work as a dock labourer and by 1939 was still a resident of 12 Audley Street, Bootle. He died on 20 May 1948 and was buried in Liverpool’s Ford Cemetery (plot R1043).