Mr J. Moore
In Southampton, on 10 April 1912 a Hampshire-born J. Moore signed-on for Titanic's maiden voyage. He gave his age as 30, his previous ship as the Trent and his local address as 64 Arthur Road1 in Southampton. As a fireman, he could expect monthly wages of £6.
J. Moore survived the sinking but was not required to give any evidence to either the British or American Inquiries into the disaster. He stealthily slipped into the mists of time and his identity remains uncertain.
During the 1990s in the United Kingdom, previously unavailable records were made public, including hundreds of seaman records, most of which were adorned with a mug-shot. This proved tantalising for Titanic researchers, with many surviving Titanic crew members gaining a face whilst others were, for whatever reason, overlooked. Some were even misidentified, with J. Moore, it would appear, being among those men. One such identification document, of a man named John Moore who was born in Southampton on 5 June 1882 became accepted as the very man who had walked the decks of Titanic and survived. There was one detail that most overlooked, however; this J. Moore was no fireman, but a sailor. It is unlikely, though not impossible, that this J. Moore was the same man who was on Titanic.
To identify the real J. Moore who was on Titanic is no easy feat. What is surprising though is that the name Moore is surprisingly uncommon in the county Hampshire and searches for birth records of any male named J. Moore between 1870 and 1890 bring a compact set of results. One individual, however, sticks out. Whilst it is not entirely certain that this individual is the same person who was aboard Titanic, there is a very high possibility, bordering on positive. Here is that man's story.
James Moore was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 13 March 1883.
He was the son of Alfred Moore (b. 1850), a dock labourer, and Anna Arnold (b. 1850), both Southampton natives who had married in 1873.
His known siblings were: Alfred Thomas (b. 1873), Anna Charlotte (b. 1875), John Charles (b. 1877), Jane (b. 1878), Alexander (b. 1880), Lucy (b. 1882), Maria (b. 1885) and Helen (b. 1889).
James Moore first appears on the 1891 census when his home address was 3 Brewhouse Lane, Southampton. His mother had just passed the previous year and his father died before the close of the decade. By the time of the 1901 census, with both parents deceased, James was listed as coal porter at 37 Lodge Road, the home of his eldest brother Alfred, also a coal porter, and his family.
James was married in Southampton in 1908 to Charlotte Ethel Stevens (b. 12 July 1888). Charlotte, a native of Winchester, came from a large family and was the daughter of labourer James Stevens and his wife, the former Elizabeth Brown.
Moore and his wife appeared as a childless couple on the 1911 census and as residents of 28a Marchwood Road, Southampton, James being described as a dock coal porter. They would later go on to have several children.
After the Titanic disaster, this James Moore continued to work at sea as a fireman until at least the early 1920s and, being a seafarer was required, like most, to complete a seaman's identification document.
By the time of the 1939 British Register James was still living at Marchwood Road, then number 30, and was still described as a coal porter. Also resident there was his wife and their daughter Gwendoline (b. 27 January 1924). Unfortunately, he was to become a widower the following year when his wife Charlotte died aged 52.
James Moore died in Southampton in mid-1954 aged 71.
As stated above, whether this is the "correct" J. Moore remains open to speculation.