Ernest Hamilton was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on 31 July 1886. He was the son of James Hamilton (b. 1850) and Anne Dartnell (b. 1854). His father was Scottish and his mother Liverpudlian and they had married in Liverpool in 1872.
Ernest first appears on the 1891 census living at 39 Brook Road, Walton, Liverpool with his parents and siblings: Ann Dartnell (b. 1873), Janet (b. 1877), Joseph (b. 1879), Catherine (b. 1881), Arthur (b. 1887), Christina (b. 1889) and Edith (b. 1891). His father was described as a commissioner's agent. They are at the same address for the 1901 census, Ernest now described as a merchant's office boy. His father is absent, having recently passed away in early 1901.
On the 1911 census Ernest is listed as living at 5 Shirley Road, Southampton, Hampshire (a lodgings address) and his profession is given as ship's steward.
Hamilton was on board the Titanic for her delivery trip from Belfast to Southampton. When he signed-on again in Southampton, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 5 Shirley Road, Southampton. His last ship had been the Olympic. As a first class steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s.
Ernest Hamilton died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
Ernest's mother Anne continued to live in Liverpool and she died there in 1925.