Eileen McNamee was born as Eileen O'Leary in Plymouth, Devon, England on 16 December 1892.
She was the eldest child of Richard O'Leary (b. 1866), a Royal Engineer, and Minnie Petheram (b. 1864), natives of London and Gloucestershire, respectively who had married in Swansea in 1891 before going on to have three children, losing one in infancy.
Eileen's only surviving sibling was her younger brother Galbraith (b. 28 January 1899) who was born in Chelsea.
By 1901 Eileen and her family were living in Gillingham, Kent; her parents are recorded on the census residing at 7 Middle Street whilst Eileen is recoded elsewhere as a patient at the Canterbury Road Infections Hospital; the nature of her illness is not stated.
At the time of the 1911 census Eileen and her family were living at Kingston House, 8 Wilton Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire; she was described as an unmarried bookkeeper cashier for Lipton's whilst her father was a clerk in the War Office.
Eileen was married in Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church in Pokesdown, Bournemouth on 12 January 1912 to Neal McNamee (b. 1884), a provisions dealer for Liptons and a native of Co Donegal, Ireland. The two had met whilst he was working in Salisbury.
Her new husband was offered a position at Lipton Ltd. in America and Sir Thomas Lipton himself wrote a letter of introduction to his General Manager in New York. On hearing that Eileen was leaving for New York, the Superintendent of Salisbury Baptist Church who was also Mayor of Salisbury at the time, Mr W. Pritchard, gave Eileen a letter of kind appreciation and a gift of a testament. This gift was the last item that Eileen's mother saw her pack into her trunk.
The newlyweds boarded the Titanic at Southampton as third class passengers (ticket number 376566, which cost £16, 2s).
It is believed that Lightoller was referring to the McNamees when he recalled events of the evacuation:
... One young couple walked steadily up and down the boat deck throughout pretty well the whole of the proceedings. Once or twice the young chap asked if he could help. He was a tall, clean-bed Britisher, on his honeymoon I should say. The girl--she was little more--never made the slightest attempt to come towards the boats, much less be taken on board, although I looked towards her several times with a look of silent invitation, but no, she was not going to be parted from her man...
Eileen and her husband died in the sinking; her body was recovered by the MacKay Bennett (#53) and buried at sea on 22 April:
NO. 53. - FEMALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 23. - HAIR, BROWN.
CLOTHING - Brown velvet coat; sailor blouse; white, with blue anchor on front; blue flannel petticoat with "E. M. C."; blue corsets; blue skirt with black braid; black stockings and shoes.
EFFECTS - Wedding ring and keeper (turquois and diamond) gold; bracelet on right wrist; two third class tickets; one purse with 1s. 11d.; fountain pen; keys; cosmetic, & etc.; and cards as below.
NAME - Mrs N. McNAMEE.
Kingston House, Wilton Rd., Salisbury.
A bench with a plaque and a tree were placed in their memory in Winston Churchill Gardens, Salisbury. The original bench is still there but missing the original plaque; the original tree was destroyed by vandals. On 28 July 1999 a new tree was planted and a new bench and plaque unveiled.
There is a cenotaph for both of them in Convoy on the St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery
What became of her parents in later years is not clear; there is some suggestion that they settled in Canada but there is also a possibility that they spent their final days living in Sidcup, Kent. Her brother Galbraith died in London on 9 August 1979.
THERE ARE ALOT OF TITANIC SITES OUT ON THE WEB, I WAS NOT SURPRISED BUT I DO WONDER HOW MANY WERE AROUND BEFORE THE LATEST MOVIE AND SHOW. WAS HAPPY TO VISIT YOURS SINCE IT HAD SUCH A COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF CREW AND PASSENGERS, WHICH IS WHAT I WAS INTERESTED IN. IT TURNS OUT THAT ONE OF MY 4TH GRADE GIRL SCOUTS HAD RELATIVES (DISTANT) WHO PERISHED WITH THE SHIP, EILEEN AND NEIL MCNAMEE, AND SINCE I WAS ABLE TO LOOK THEM UP, I WILL ABLE TO GIVE HER A PRINTOUT OF THEM. THANK-YOU. WHERE DID YOU GET THE PHOTOS? TERRIFIC SITE! AND I HOPE YOU CONTINUE YOUR RESEACH AND EFFORTS TO COMPLETE OTHER BIOS...
Re:Third class passengers. Neal and Eileen McNamee. Neal was my mother's Uncle. He was 27 not 24 when he died. His wife Eileen was a local girl from Salisbury. They were married 18 mo. His first job was at Lipton's Bridport before he became branch manager at Salisbury. He was traveling to New York to take up the management of Liptons there. There is a plague and tree planted in their memory in Churchill Park in Salisbury. My Mom tells me that Eileen had a chance to escape the ship but choose to stay with her husband. Her body was later found and burried at sea. Part of this information...
If anyone has more information about Neal and Eileen McNamee, please let me know. Some of her personal effects were recorded when they found her body but I don't know where they are. They were third class passengers. MR. NEAL MCNAMEE: Neal McNamee, 24, and his wife Eileen were originally from Ruskey in County Donegal, Ireland by way of Salisbury, England. They boarded the ship at Southampton. He worked in provisioning as a branch manager of Lipton's and was travelling to New York with his wife to take up a new post. K.M. McNamee
We are looking for any relatives or information on three third class passengers: Mr John Adams from Bournemouth, Hampshire and Mr Neil McNamee and his wife Eileen (nee O`Leary) who lived in Salisbury, Wiltshire. We particularly need to know where Neil originally came from - we question Ireland in favour of Edinburgh, Scotland. Also, does anybody know if a transfer list of passengers from RMS Adriatic to RMS Titanic exists? Anything greatly received. Liz Foyle and Cathi Parker Warwickshire, England
Third class passenger Eileen McNamee spent some time on the Island as a child - indeed, the family was shipwrecked going there!
Re: did they have any kids
Re: HE WAS MY GRANDFATHER WILLIAM E MCNAMEE SR.' UNCLE. I DISCOVERED THIS FACT A FEW YEARS AGO WITH THE HELP OF MY UNCLE FRANCIS MCNAMEE. IT IS A FASCINATING STORY ABOUT MY LONG DEPARTED RELATIVES. GOD BESS THEM.
My name is Eileen (McNamee) Davis, I was wondering if anyone had any information on the McNamee's. She married Neal McNamee, She was 19 and on her honeymoon/immigration. I haven't been able to find anything and the photo, name, and birthdate are so eerie that it could have been me. She born on 16th Dec, my birthday is the 29th Dec, our names are spelled exactly alike, and I look just like the photo shown. Could I be related? I would like to know if anyone has any links, info, or can give me any leads to examine this farther. Thanks, Eileen
Neal's sister Catherine married my great uncle Joseph French. There's quite a likeness between the two siblings when you look at their photos side by side. You've written that it's unclear what happened to Neal's mother - her death record shows that she died on the 14th May 1917 in Roosky. Neal and Eileen had a niece born Mary Ellen in 1920 but she was known as Eileen. I wonder if she was called this for her aunt?