Mr Samuel Harkin was born in Ballyhackamore in east Belfast, Ireland on 29 March 1869. Hailing from a Roman Catholic family, he was the son of Patrick Harkin, a labourer, and Margaret Gaw.
By 1901 Harkin was a dock labourer living with two siblings at 33 Short Strand in east Belfast. He was married on 25 December 1906 in St Mary’s Church, Belfast to Bridget Jordan (b. 15 April 1876), a native of Carlingford, Co Louth.
Brigid’s first pregnancy in 1907 resulted in a stillbirth. A healthy son named Joseph was born in December 1908 whilst they were residents of 102 Bridge End, a street sitting close the banks of the River Lagan. Another child named Patrick was born in February 1912.
Harkin’s ship prior to Titanic had been the Olympic. He joined Titanic at Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton where he then disembarked.
Only mere weeks after serving aboard Titanic Samuel Harkin became a widower when his wife Bridget succumbed to tuberculosis on 21 April 1912. Their newborn son Patrick did not see out the year and died on 20 November 1912. Brigid and Patrick were buried in Knock Burial Ground (plot SE 188).
Samuel continued to serve at sea throughout WWI but spent his final years working as a dock labourer and living in Belfast’s Short Strand. On 11 June 1931, whilst at work, he was fatally injured when he fell off a stage and onto the wharf at Dufferin Dock and fractured his skull; his death was recorded as accidental. His final resting place remains uncertain.