Encyclopedia Titanica

Catherine McGowan

Catherine McGowan
Catherine McGowan

Miss Catherine (Kate) McGowan was born in Massbrook, Lahardane, Co Mayo, Ireland in 1869.1

She was the daughter of Anthony McGowan (b. circa 1830), a farmer, and Bridget Mayock (b. circa 1838). 

Her known siblings were: Honor (b. 7 May 1865), John (b. 9 June 1867), Thomas (b. 28 September 1871), Margaret (b. 1 March 1873) and Sarah (b. 20 December 1875). 

Catherine's mother died aged 60 on 11 May 1898 and by the time of the 1901 census of Ireland her father Anthony was still alive, living at house 2 in Massbrook, Addergoole, the home of his son John and his family. Anthony McGowan spent his final months in a workhouse in Castlebar, Co Mayo and died aged 77 on 18 September 1908.2

Catherine, like several of her siblings, had left Ireland as a younger woman, she around 1888, and settled in the USA, initially in Cleveland, Ohio. By the turn of the century she was a resident of Chicago, Illinois where she ran a boarding house at North Paulina Street in that city and where she was listed on the 1910 census. 

Her niece Annie, daughter of her elder brother John, had expressed an interest in coming to live in America and Catherine also wanted to visit family and friends in Co Mayo; her close friend Catherine McHugh had returned home to Ireland in 1910 and was married to John Bourke.

Catherine, therefore, made the journey back to Ireland in the latter months of 1911 and by April 1912 was preparing to leave for the USA again with her niece and over a dozen other (the Addergoole Fourteen) who would also be travelling on Titanic as third class passengers. The group included John and Catherine McHugh Bourke and John's sister Mary Bourke; Nora Fleming, Mary Mangan, Bridget Donohue, Delia Mahon, cousins Patrick and Mary Canavan, James Flynn, Annie Kelly and Bridget McDermott. Catherine boarded the Titanic at Queenstown on 11 April 1912 (ticket number 9232 which cost £7, 15s).

Catherine McGowan died in the sinking and her body, if recovered, was never identified. Her niece Annie was among the rescued.


  1. Catherine's birthdate is a matter of debate. Her birth was registered on 28 October 1869 and her birth date was then given as 16 October 1869. A problem arises in that her baptismal record states that she was baptised on 30 September 1869. 
  2. Although what became of Catherine's brother Thomas remains unknown it is interesting to note that a Thomas McGowan, of the same age as her brother, died in the same Castlebar workhouse as her father on 10 June 1911, suffering from a chronic shoulder ailment.

References and Sources

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279]).
Noel Ray (1999) List of Passengers who Boarded RMS Titanic at Queenstown, April 11, 1912. The Irish Titanic Historical Society
Cleveland Plain Dealer (Ohio), 18 April 1912
Chicago Daily Tribune (Illinois), 20 April 1912
Sunday Independent (Ireland), 9 May 1912

Research Articles

John Kelly Titanica! (2011) Anna Katherine Kelly 1892 - 1969

Newspaper Articles

Chicago American (23 April 1912) Chicago Girl In Last Lifeboat
Connaught Telegraph (25 May 1912) Loss of the Titanic.

Documents and Certificates


Three members ring the Timoney Bell in daylight
by a great-nephew of Anna Katherine Kelly
Addergoole Titanic Society (2011) New Titanic Themed Church Stained Glass Window
New window for Church in Lahardane; Ireland's Titanic Village
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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Miss Catherine McGowan
Age: 42 years 5 months and 30 days (Female)
Nationality: Irish
Marital Status: Single
Embarked: Queenstown on Thursday 11th April 1912
Ticket No. 9232, £7 15s
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Identified

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