Mr William McGonigal was born in Ballymoney, Co Antrim, Ireland in 1857. Born into a Roman Catholic family, he was the son of Thomas McGonigal and Ann Toomey and he was baptised on 2 August 1857.
In St Joseph’s Church in Belfast on 16 May 1903 William, described as a sailor, was married to Mary O’Neill (b. circa 1873), a housekeeper. His address was stated as Gamble Street and his bride’s as 7 North Ann Street, both in Belfast. They had no children.
The 1911 census shows him living at 24 North Ann Street and he was described as a seaman.
McGonigal’s ship prior to Titanic had been the Herald. He joined Titanic at Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton where he then disembarked.
William returned to sea and the following year was serving as an able seaman aboard the Taunton, a ship operating out of Liverpool.