Miss Norah Murphy was born in Mountjoy, Dublin, Ireland on 11 May 1880.1
She was the daughter of Patrick Murphy (b. circa 1834), a draper, and Catherine Theresa O'Grady (b. 1841) and they had married in St Andrew's Church in Dublin on 3 February 1864. The family were Roman Catholic and from Dublin's North side.
Norah's known siblings were: Mary Julia (b. 1865), Peter Anthony (b. 1867), Mary Catherine (b. 1869), Frances Margaret (b. 1873), Patrick John (b. 1875) and Lillian Angela (b. 1876).
Whilst it is uncertain whether Norah had ever been married she mothered a daughter around 1906 who was ultimately raised by a sister. By the time of the 1911 census Norah was listed as living in Sallins, Co Kildare and was described as an unmarried nursemaid to the family of merchant John Park Healy and his family. Her widowed father Patrick and unmarried sister Frances were still residing in Dublin at 67 Park Avenue, Pembroke.
Norah boarded the Titanic at Queenstown on 11 April 1910 as a third class passenger (joint ticket number 36568 which cost £15, 10s). She was travelling with Michael McEvoy, a native of Queen's County (modern-day Co Laois) over ten years her junior and it has been suggested that they were lovers. Her intended destination was 231 East 50th Street in New York.
Norah is believed to have departed from the Titanic in lifeboat 16, alongside a number of other Irish passengers with whom she was likely acquainted.
Following her arrival in New York she changed plans from her intended destination and instead decided to travel to the Irish Immigrant Girls' Home at 7 State Street. It is said that she had befriended first class survivor Karl Behr, seemingly whilst aboard Carpathia. He gave her a start and she took up employment as a domestic servant with Karl's father Herman Behr in Manhattan.
Norah was shown on the 1920 census still living in Manhattan and under the employ of Herman Behr but following that she drops off the radar and what became of her is unknown, even to her immediate family.
Back in Ireland her father Patrick died on 13 July 1914.
- Age frequently mistaken. For reasons unknown Norah gave her age as 33 on the 1911 census. On the passenger manifest and upon arrival at Ellis Island she gave her age as 32 (she was just a month shy of being 32) and in later census records she removed a few years.
References and SourcesContract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55).
Noel Ray (1999) List of Passengers who Boarded RMS Titanic at Queenstown, April 11, 1912. The Irish Titanic Historical Society