Mr Charles Donald McKay

Charles McKay

Mr Charles Donald McKay 1 was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 10 January 1882 2.

He was the son of John McKay (1857-1930) and Ellen Harriett Field (1857-1914), who had married in Southampton in mid-1880, his father being a native of Navan, Co Meath, Ireland and his mother from Southampton. Charles had one sibling, Thomas Roy, who was born in 1885 and died prior to 1911.

Charles first appears on the 1891 census when he and his family are living at 17 Manchester Street, All Saints, Southampton and his father is described as a Sergeant in the Royal Marines. Charles is absent from the 1901 census when his family are living at 18 Milton Road, Southampton, most likely being at sea at the time.

He was married in South Stoneham in 1908 to Lydia Jane Andrews (born 1888 in Southampton). They would have a child later that year, Nellie Doris, but the child lived only a short while.

On the 1911 census Charles is listed as living with his parents at 18 Milton Road and he was listed as a merchant steward. Also at this address as a visitor was Titanic stewardess Elizabeth Lavington. Charles' wife was listed at a different address, 175 Empress Road, Southampton, and was described as a housekeeper.

Charles Donald Mackay filed petition for divorce against Lydia Jane Andrews in 1912 with a Charles Borham named as co-respondent.

When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, McKay gave his address as 18 Milton Road, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.

McKay was rescued in lifeboat 11.

Details about McKay's later life are vague. He is known to have worked at sea at least into the 1920s.

He remarried in 1949 to a lady named Doris M. Peartree, later moving to London where he spent the rest of his life.

He died 11 April 1956 in 2a Suttons Court, Fauconberg Road, Chiswick, London. His estate, valued at £2179, 9s was left to his widow Doris.


Articles and Stories

The Courier News (1912) 


Gavin Bell, UK
David A Huffaker
Brian Ticehurst, UK


  1. Name frequently misquoted as MacKay
  2. He would give his birth date as January 10, 1878 in later documentation

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
Wreck Commissioners' Court, Proceedings before the Right Hon. Lord Mersey on a Formal Investigation Ordered by the Board of Trade into the Loss of the S.S. Titanic
Photo: National Archives (Courtesy of Gavin Bell)
England and Wales Divorce Records (#2898)

Link and cite this biography

(2017) Charles Donald McKay Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1982, updated 26th August 2017 20:37:01 PM)

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