Encyclopedia Titanica

David Charters

David Charters
David Charters

Mr David Charters was born in Garvagh, Currygrane, Ballinalee, Co Longford, Ireland on 5 June 1891.

He was the son of William Charters (b. circa 1860) and Mary Anne Vance (b. 7 February 1865) who had married on 23 July 1890. His parents were both natives of Co Longford, his father an illiterate farmer, and they were a Church of Ireland family.

David was the eldest child from a brood of ten and his siblings were: William (b. 1 August 1893), Robert (b. 17 February 1895), Anne (b. 26 February 1897), John (b. 12 July 1898), Sarah Elizabeth (b. 22 February 1900 1), Richard (b. 18 June 1902), Mary Jane (b. 2 July 19042), Alexander (b. 12 August 1906) and James Walter (b. 1 August 1908).

He first appears on the 1901 census living at house 11, Garvagh, a farm which his grandfather David Charters (1808-1901) and his own father ran. Following his grandfather's death it appears his father took sole responsibility in the running of the farm. By the time of the census in 1911 the family address was house 13 in Garvagh and David was described as a general servant.

David boarded the Titanic at Queenstown as a third class passenger (ticket number A/5. 13032 which cost £7, 14s, 8d) and he was destined for the home of his uncle, David Vance (b. 1872), in New York City. Vance had emigrated to the USA around 1892, married Annie Taylor (b. 1873) in 1902 and had two children: William John (1903-1985) and Annie Elizabeth (b. 1904). By 1910 he was living in Manhattan with his two children, having been widowed in 1907.

David Charters lost his life in the disaster and his body, if recovered, was never identified. He is commemorated on a family headstone in Ballinalee, Co Longford.

Following his loss his parents incurred further heartache when their youngest child James died aged 6 on 8 October 1914 following complications from an oedema of the larynx which a doctor had attempted to treat by tracheotomy; he died just hours later. 

His eldest surviving sibling William died aged 27 at the hands of the Irish Republican Army on 22 January 1921, executed by a bullet to the head for alleged informing during Ireland's War of Independence (1919-1921). Another brother Robert served during WWI(3), later moved to Belfast and married Belfast; he died 20 April 1920.

David's parents continued to live in Garvagh; his mother died on 2 February 1919 from pneumonia and his father on 6 April 1944.
Undeterred by David's demise whilst crossing the Atlantic, his two younger brothers Richard and Alexander both emigrated in 1926 aboard the Cunarder RMS Samaria. Both later married and raised families, Richard owning his own grocery store in Southold, Suffolk, New York and Alexander working as an elevator operator in Manhattan. Alexander died In Manhattan on 21 April 1947 following a brain haemorrhage. Richard died in Suffolk County on 30 November 1995 aged 93.


  1. Later Mrs William Frederick Small; married 14 January 1931.
  2. Later Mrs George Frederick Swift; married 18 April 1934.
  3. Some sources state that he died during WWI. However, his probate report, dated 20 April 1920, shows his estate being administered to his brother Alexander. He had been married in Belfast on 19 December 1918, described as a discharged soldier living at Newtonbreda, Belfast, to widow Sarah Park, née Bryons.
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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr David Charters
Age: 20 years 10 months and 10 days (Male)
Nationality: Irish
Marital Status: Single
Occupation: General Labourer
Embarked: Queenstown on Thursday 11th April 1912
Ticket No. 13032, £7 14s 8d
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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References and Sources

Longford Leader, 18 August 2000


David Charters
David Charters on horseback
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    Gavin Bell, UK