Mr George William MacKay was born in Tongue, Sutherland, Scotland on 5 January 1892 1.
He was the son of William MacKay (b. 1855), a crofter and general labourer, and Christina Gunn (b. 1855), both natives of Tongue who later went on to have at least a dozen children. Some of George's known siblings, as per census records, were: Mary (b. 1883), Georgia (b. 1886), Janet (b. 1889), Jane (b. 1890), Jamesina (b. 1894), Donald (b. 1895), Angusina (b. 1896) and Alexander (b. 1900).2
George appears on the 1901 census living at Glackbeath in Tongue and was still described as a schoolboy and living with his family. Perhaps not content with the prospect as life as a crofter George moved to London to seek employment amongst the wealthy. He appeared on the 1911 census as a footman residing at 11 Queen's Gate, Kensington, London, the home of a barrister Edward Montefiore Micholls and his family.
A week before George sailed on Titanic his mother reportedly had a dream that she would lose one of her children
George was travelling to Rochester, New York but the reason for his sailing are unknown. It is thought that he had several siblings already in the USA, possibly in Detroit.
He is remembered on a headstone in Torrisdale Cemetery, Skerray, Tongue the cost of which was covered by his friends and colleagues in London:
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
GEORGE WILLIAM MACKAY
WILLIAM AND CHRISTINA MACKAY
WHO WAS LOST IN THE TITANIC
DISASTER, 15TH APRIL 1912
AGED 20 YEARS
"BLESSED ARE THE PURE IN HEART
FOR THEY SHALL SEE GOD," MATT V, VIII
PUT UP BY HIS FRIENDS IN LONDON
George's father later died in 1916 and his mother in 1932. His last known surviving sibling was his sister Angusina who died in 1998 aged 102.