Charles Painter was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England in 1880.
He was the son of Frederick Painter, a seaman, and Caroline Bagley (b. 1861), both Southampton natives who were married in early 1880. His known siblings were: Frederick (b. 1882), William (b. 1884), Caroline (b. 1886) and Henry (b. 1889).
He first appears on the 1880 census as an infant living with his mother at 3 Golden Grove, Southampton and on the 1891 census at 39 Cumberland Street. His mother died in 1894 and he and his siblings were forced into work at an early age. Charles is absent from the 1901 census, indicating perhaps that he was already at sea by this point.
Charles was married in 1903 to Mary Ann Edith Houghton (b. 1881), also from Southampton, and they had four children: Lillian Edith May (1904-1941, later Mrs Frank Joyce), Charles James (1905-1977), Frederick George (1908-1911) and Dorothy Alice (1910-1915). The family appear on the 1911 census living at 60 North East Road, Sholing, Southampton and Charles is described as a ship's fireman. Towards the close of the year they lost their younger son Frederick, aged just 3.
When Charles signed on to the Titanic, on 10 April 1912, he gave his address as 172 Mortimer Road, Southampton and his previous ship as the Olympic. As a fireman he could expect to earn monthly wages of £6, 10s. It is speculated that he and fellow fireman Frank Painter were related.
Charles Painter was lost in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
His widow was remarried in 1914, becoming Mrs William H. Turner, and she had several more children. Just one year after her remarriage Mary lost her youngest child Dorothy aged 4. Mary died in Hampshire in 1956.