Miss Annie Jane Jermyn

Annie Jane Jermyn was born in Derreenaclogh 1, Ballybane, Co Cork, Ireland on 13 July 1885.

Coming from a Church of Ireland religious background, she was the daughter Henry Jermyn (b. 1858), a farmer and stonemason, and Susan Connell (b. 1861) who had married in the summer of 1880.

One of ten children, Annie's siblings were: Mary Grace (b. 1881), Richard (b. 1884), James (b. 1888), Henry (1890-1958), John William (1894-1942), Elizabeth "Lizzie" (1895-1946), Thomas Michael (1897-1965), Susan Sophia (b. 1899) and George Aldred (b. 1903).

Annie appears on the 1901 census living at house 6 in Derreenaclogh and the family would appear on the 1911 census as residents of house 4 in Derreenaclogh but Annie was not listed with them and her whereabouts at the time are not clear.

Her sister Mary had emigrated to the USA and was married in Peabody, Massachusetts in April 1911 to Richard William Draper (b. 1881), another Cork man, leather worker and former farmer from a neighbouring townland, Gortnagrough. The couple lived at 21 Webster Street, Peabody. The entire Jermyn family was making plans to settle in Massachusetts and Annie would head across first, destined for the home of her sister Mary.

Annie boarded the Titanic at Queenstown as a third class passenger (ticket number 14313 which cost £7, 15s). Whilst aboard she shared a cabin with another girl from her locality, Bridget Driscoll, and a girl from Co Westmeath, Mary Kelly.

On the night of the sinking Annie and her two cabin mates managed to secure places in the last lifeboat to be successfully launched from the ship, collapsible D. Annie later reported many third class passengers were trapped in their quarters, not even managing to reach the upper decks, and she stated that large numbers of people "beat madly against the locked gates...." Annie stated that she managed to mount one such gate before rushing over to a flight of stairs that took her to the boat deck. Upon her entry into her lifeboat she apparently stumbled and managed to injure her stomach. One newspaper report states that whilst Annie was collecting herself from her hasty and painful entry into the lifeboat she received a hefty blow on her back, as if she had been kicked. Startled and turning to see what had happened, she saw a man directly over her. Seeing an officer wielding a revolver at the stern of the lifeboat, a gunshot and a flash soon ensued, and the man who had unceremoniously slammed into her uttered a feeble cry before falling overboard.

Upon arriving in New York Annie was treated in St Vincent's Hospital, suffering from exposure and injuries to her stomach. She later joined her sister Mrs Draper at her home at 21 Webster Street, where she was reported to be in a state of nervous shock.

Not long after the disaster Annie's parents and remaining siblings joined her in the USA, travelling aboard the Saconia and arriving in Boston in August 1912. The entire family settled in Massachusetts and Annie would live with them for a time.

It is reported that Annie later became involved with a man of who did not meet the approval of her family. She suddenly disappeared and would have no contact with her parents ever again. Whether she ever married the man she left her family for is not clear. Likewise, whatever became of Annie is not certain.

Annie's parents and her siblings Richard, John, Thomas, Sophie and Alfred were shown on the 1920 census living on Bay View Avenue in Lynn, Massachusetts. Her father died in 1930 and her mother in 1934.

Around the time of her mother's death in 1934 Annie's sister Elizabeth Hurd managed to track her down and at the time she was reported to have been living in New Jersey. Perhaps with the feelings of rejection and disapproval still burning with Annie, she refused to attend her own mother's funeral and would never have contact with her family ever again.

Her sister Mary went on to have three daughters, Sarah, Susan and Edna, and a son, John Henry. She died sometime in the 1930s.

Her sister Elizabeth later married Maynard Lawrence Hurd (1898-1983), a native of Vermont, and had two daughters, Mona and May. They lived for many years in Lynn, Massachusetts before moving to St Louis, Missouri before returning to Massachusetts. She died in Saugus, Essex, Massachusetts on 27 March 1946.

Her brother Henry, known as Harry, worked as an electrician and was married to a Canadian lady named Agnes (b. 1895); they had two daughters, Ivy and Ruth. He lived in Lynn, Massachusetts for the rest of his life and died in 1958.

Her brother Thomas later worked for close to 50 years for the Eastman Gelatine Corporation in Peasbody and was married to Winifred Berg. He died on 24 October 1965 in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

At least one sibling, her brother Richard, is believed to have returned to Ireland.

Credits
Gavin Bell

Notes
  1. Spelling varies of Derreenaclogh, to include Der(r)eenaclough and Dereenaclogh. The name derives from the Irish Doirín na gCloch.
References and Sources
GIRL SAW MAN SHOT ON ONE OF THE LIFEBOATS FROM TITANIC, Unidentified newspaper, 30 April 1912.
Molony, Senan: The Irish Aboard Titanic, 2000. Wolfhound Press, ISBN 0863278051
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