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John Haggan


Mr John Haggan was born on Constance Street in Belfast, Ireland (modern-day Northern Ireland) on 11 April 1877. 

He was the son of Belfast City natives Edward Haggan (b. 1856), a seaman, and Mary McGee(2) (b. 1858) who had been married in St Anne's Church, Belfast on 14 January 1876.

John's siblings were: Agnes (b. 29 May 1879(3)), James (b. circa 1882(4)), Edward (b. 23 January 1884(5)), Sarah (b. 17 March 1886(6)), Eliza Jane (b. 17 November 1888(7)), Samuel (b. 19 November 1891(8)) and Mary Ann (b. 8 January 1894).

In the late-1890s John joined the Royal Horse Artillery and served during the Boer War. In 1901 he was part of the procession at Queen Victoria's Funeral.

John does not appear on the 1901 census of Ireland but his parents and siblings were listed as residents of 49 Thorndyke Street, Pottinger, Belfast and indicated to be of an Anglican religious background. On the 1911 census John is shown living at 53 Thorndyke Street, Pottinger, Belfast, the home of his younger brother James and his profession was listed as shipyard labourer. His parents and other siblings were listed at 22 Thorndyke Street and both households by then indicated that they were from a Presbyterian background.

John initially signed-on to the Titanic in Belfast for the delivery trip to Southampton. When he signed-on again in Southampton on 6 April 1912 he gave his address as the Sailors' Home, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Braehead and as a fireman he received monthly wages of £6. Also serving aboard was a neighbour from the same street, fellow-stoker William Murdock.

Haggan survived the sinking (in which boat is uncertain, possibly boat 3). He returned to England on the Lapland shortly after the Carpathia arrived in New York City and was not called to give evidence to either the British or American Inquiries into the sinking.

John, who did not like to discuss the Titanic disaster, continued to live in Belfast, surrounded by his extended family. He never married and later lived at 49 Thorndyke Street, East Belfast. His father died 26 April 1928 and his mother on 16 February 1929.

John Haggan died in the Royal Victoria Hospital on 13 January 1952, aged 74 and following heart failure and pneumonia. He was buried in a family plot (C4-670/C4-671) with his parents and several of his siblings in Dundonald Cemetery, Dundonald, Co Down.


  1. Family name listed spelled differently across records as Hagans, Hagan and Haggan. 
  2. Spelling varies between McGee and Magee across records. 
  3. Agnes died unmarried on 19 January 1964 at 49 Thorndyke Street.
  4. James married Barbara Ritchie in 1904 and raised a family. What became of him is unknown.
  5. Edward Married Jane Conway in 1904 and raised a family. He later emigrated to the USA sometime around 1910 and eventually died in Arlington, New Jersey in April 1958.
  6. Sarah died unmarried on 27 May 1964 at 49 Thorndyke Street. 
  7. Eliza married Alexander Hamilton in 1915 and raised a family. She died at 84 Thorndyke Street on 4 November 1968.
  8. Samuel died 5 November 1964 at 49 Thorndyke Street.
  9. Mary married Robert Hamilton in 1920; she died almost exactly one year later on 22 March 1921, still a resident of 49 Thorndyke Street. 

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr John Haggan
Age: 35 years and 4 days (Male)
Nationality: Irish
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: at Sailors' Home Southampton, Hampshire, England
Occupation: Fireman
Last Ship: Braehead
Embarked: Belfast on Friday 29th March 1912
Rescued (boat 3)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Sunday 13th January 1952 aged 74 years
Cause of Death:

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References and Sources

Belfast Telegraph, 14 January 1952, Obituary
Certified Copy of an Entry of Death
Colonel Archibald Gracie (1913) The Truth about the Titanic. New York, Mitchell Kennerley
United States Senate, Washington 1912. n° 806, Crew List
Wyn Craig Wade (1979, 1986) The Titanic: End of a Dream. London, Penguin
Craig Stringer (?) Twenty Lifeboats in a Quiet Sea
Craig Stringer (2003) Titanic People - CD-ROM

Newspaper Articles

Belfast Newsletter (23 April 1912) Belfast and the disaster
A local member of the crew of the Titanic
The Belfast Telegraph (14 January 1952) ONE OF TITANIC SURVIVORS

Documents and Certificates

(1952) John Haggan (Death Certificate)
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