Joseph Charles Chapman born in Southampton, Hampshire, England on 10 December 1879. He was the son of Frederick Chapman (b. 1847 in Southampton), a tobacco cutter, and Emma Carpenter (born circa 1850 in Southampton) who were married in 1872 in Southampton.
Joseph had four known siblings: George Frederick (b. 1875), Ada Elizabeth (b. 1877), William Thomas (b. 1878) and Mabel Alice (b. 1881).
Joseph first appears on the 1891 census (there is no sign of the family on the 1881 census) living at 19 Upper Portland Terrace, All Saints, Southampton. His mother had passed away by this point. They have moved several doors down to 65 Upper Portland Terrace by the time of the 1901 census. His father was now working as a dock labourer and Joseph as a draper's porter, a profession he would continue for some time.
Joseph Chapman c.1921
(National Archives, courtesy of Mike Poirier)
Joseph was married in late 1904 to Ethel Smith (b. 1883 in All Saints, Southampton). The couple would have two daughters, Sybil (b. 1906) and Vera (b. 1908).
On the 1911 census he and his family are living at 3 Manchester Street, All Saints, Southampton and he is described as a draper's van man, his wife as a costumer. Joseph went to sea shortly after.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, Joseph gave his address as 31 Belleview Road, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Olympic. As a boots steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Chapman was rescued in lifeboat 9.
He returned to Southampton and continued to work at sea, later serving on the Queen Mary, among other ships. He and his wife later lived at 72 Wilton Avenue, Southampton.
Joseph Chapman died on 24 June 1939 in Southampton. His wife would pass away in 1953.