Encyclopedia Titanica

James Kelly

RMS Titanic Third Class Passenger

James Kelly
James Kelly

James Kelly was born on John Street in Carluke, Lanarkshire, Scotland on 6 July 1892.

He was the son of William Kelly (b. 1856), a journeyman tailor, and Robina Barr Reid (b. 1861), both Carluke natives who had married on 20 March 1884.

One of fourteen children, James' siblings were: Daniel Reid (1882-1934), Mary Pillans (1884-1970), Margaret Graham (1886-1971), Euphemia "Effie" Reid (1888-1961), Robina Reid (1890-1971), Jane Reid (1894-1984), William (1895-1911), Janet (1897-1992), Alexander Reid (1898-1908), Betsy Reid (b. 1901), Sarah Reid (1902-1998), Christina Pillans (1905-1981) and Helen Thomson (1907-1993).

James first appears on the 1901 census when living with his family on Kirk Street in Carluke and it appears he lived at the same address for the remainder of his life. By the time of the 1911 census he was aged 18 and still at home with his parents; a house-painter by profession, he was unmarried.

Mr Kelly boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third class passenger (ticket number 363592 which cost £8, 1s) and was headed for Canada, possibly British Columbia. 

It has now been established beyond doubt that a young man belonging to Carluke district was among those lost in the Titanic disaster. The young man was James Kelly, 19 years of age, son of Mr and Mrs Wm. Kelly, Kirk Street, Carluke. The youth, who was a house-painter to trade, was going out to Canada. In some letters received by friends and companions of the deceased, he told of the many wonders to be seen on the great ship on which he was bound, the letters being posted from Queenstown. Ever since the disaster his parents and friends have been making diligent enquiries at the White Star Line Offices for particulars, and this week the youth’s name appears among the list of bodies recovered on the scene of the disaster by the vessel Mackay-Bennett. Much sympathy has been expressed for the parents in their sorrowful loss. — Carluke and Lanark Gazette, 27 April 1912

James Kelly was lost in the sinking and, contrary to statements made in the press his body, if recovered, was never identified (the body of fellow-third class passenger also named James Kelly was recovered).

KELLY--Drowned in the wreck of the "Titanic," on 15th inst., James Kelly, aged 19 years, son of William and Robina Kelly, Kirk Street, Carluke. — Carluke and Lanark Gazette, 27 April 1912

Several of his siblings later emigrated and settled in British Columbia and he still has family there. Both his parents remained his Carluke; his father passed away in 1930 and his mother in 1934.

References and Sources

Carluke and Lanark Gazette, 27 April 1912
Contract Ticket List
, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Michael A. Findlay (1998) Revised Passenger List in Judith Geller Titanic: Women and Children First. Haynes. ISBN 1 85260 594 4

Documents and Certificates

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912, National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279]).
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Jim Campbell

Comment and discuss

  1. Ev (1144)

    Source documents BT 100 260 and BT 334 52 contain what may be transcription errors.  I have been unable to download BT 27 780B from Documents Online to prove the source of the errors and can't speak for the 44 year old James Kelley's records but James Kelly, aged 19, lived on Kirk Street, Carluke, Scotland, in the home of his father, William Kelly.  This address has been posted against the other James Kelley in one of these sources, and between the lines of the two James Kelley/Kellys in the other.  In addition, James' occupation of "painter and decorator" is incorrect and I am curious... Read full post

  2. Alison Dempster

    I’m a relative of James Kelly (died in Titanic 1912). My great gran was James’s sister (Janet Kelly Duncan).Hoping to find out more and connect with any relatives.

  3. Alison Dempster

    Hi I’m a relative of James Duncan (died Titanic 1912). My great gran was James’s sister (Janet Kelly Duncan). Looking to find out more and connect with relatives.

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Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mr James Kelly
Age: 19 years 9 months and 9 days (Male)
Nationality: Scottish
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: in London, England
Occupation: Painter & Decorator
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 363592, £8 1s
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Identified

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