Encyclopedia Titanica

James Kirkham

Mr James Kirkham was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on 2 August 1868. He was the illegitimate son of Ellen Kirkham (b. 1852).

Ellen Kirkham, a native of Liverpool,  was the daughter of William Kirkham (b. 1829), a dock gateman, and his wife Margaret (1831-1879). She died in early 1871 when James was just two years old, leaving him to be raised by his grandparents who had children of similar age to him. When his grandmother died in 1879 his grandfather swiftly remarried to an Irish lady named Margaret Mallan and had at least one more child. James perhaps never knew he was illegitimate and believed his grandparents to be his actual parents. When he married, he gave his father's name as William Kirkham.

James appears on both the 1871 and 1881 censuses living at 20 Stephen Street in Liverpool. He later went to work at sea and served for a number of years aboard the Majestic as a fireman .

He was married on 6 December 1891 in Liverpool to Jane Coomer (b. May 7, 1860 in Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire, but would give birthplace as Liverpool--where she grew up-on the 1911 census). Together they would have one child, a daughter named Margaret who was born 14 October 1893 in Wallasey, Cheshire.

On the 1911 census James is absent but his wife and daughter are listed as lodgers at 40 Hawthornedale Road, Seacombe, Cheshire. His wife is listed as a charwoman and his daughter as a servant.

When James Kirkham signed on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912, he gave his birthplace as Liverpool and his address as 4 Chapel Street, Southampton. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a greaser he could expect to earn monthly wages of £6 10s.

James Kirkham was lost in the Titanic disaster, His body, if recovered, was never identified.

His daughter Margaret was married later in the year to Frederick Deakin (1890-1966) and they had nine children. Margaret died in Wallasey, Cheshire on 13 January 1982.

James' widow Jane never remarried and died in Birkenhead in 1931.

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr James Kirkham
Age: 43 years 8 months and 13 days (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Jane Coomer
Last Residence: at 4 Chapel Street Southampton, Hampshire, England
Occupation: Greaser
Last Ship: Olympic
Embarked: Southampton on Saturday 6th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Identified

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  1. Deb Corrigan

    Deb Corrigan said:

    Hi, I am a relative of James Kirkham. I was wondering if I have any relatives in England. Deb Corrigan

  2. Samantha Willett

    Samantha Willett said:

    Hello Deb.My name is Samantha Willett and I am the great granddaughter of the late James kirkham . I have just seen your post on the web page . I live in Liverpool . I'll look forward to hearing from you .

  3. Alexandra Waring-Syms

    Alexandra Waring-Syms said:

    I am Alexandra Waring and my great great grandfather was James Kirkham. My grandmother was Doris Deakin, she married Ernist Hughes. I have photos of me as a baby with my great grandmother Margaret Deakin, James Kirkhams daughter.

  4. Alexandra Waring-Syms

    Alexandra Waring-Syms said:

    My Names is Alexandra Waring, James Kirkham was my great great grandfather.This is a photo of James Kirkhams grandsons and son in law. From front row left, Joseph, Fredrick, Thomas, John. Back left Henry, William and there father Fredrick Deakin Senior. Also a photo of me with my great grandmother Margaret, James Kirkhams daughter.

  5. Alexandra Waring-Syms

    Alexandra Waring-Syms said:

    My great great grandfather James Kirkham's marriage certificate. My great grandmothers Margaret birth certificate and her marriage certificate.

  6. Deb Corrigan

    Deb Corrigan said:

    Hi Samantha, It’s been a long time as you can see since I’ve been on enclylopedia titanica. My grandmother was James niece. I can remember as a kid her often talking about him. I would love to know more about him. Any info would be great. Does anyone have a picture? Deb

  7. Donna Bottomley

    Donna Bottomley said:

    Hi Alexandra, My father is William (Bill) in this photo. I know the photo you speak of with my Grandfather Fred, and the sons. Do you have a photo of James, who is my great Grandfather? I’d love to see one! Thanks x

  8. Donna Bottomley

    Donna Bottomley said:

    Hi Deb, James Kirkham is my Great Grandfather. His Daughter Margaret is my Grandmother, her son William is my Dad. What relation are you to James? Oh, I live in UK!

  9. Donna Bottomley

    Donna Bottomley said:

    I have a copy of the photo, if you would like to see it. My Dad is William (Bill) a brother of Joe.

  10. Geoffd

    Geoffd said:

    James was my great-grandfather,does anyone have any photographs? Email address

  11. Samantha Willett

    Samantha Willett said:

    Hi Alexandra this is my e mail please contact me over the photos you have as my grandad was Joseph Deakin and I would love to see the photo.

  12. Douglas Nolan

    Douglas Nolan said:

    Hi Deb, Hope all is well, since having so much time on my hands with this Pandemic, I started building out the Family Tree. Your Grand mother Mary, which we all called Mom was my Great Grand Mother. I believe William was her Dad, but there are allot of Williams.. it seems part of our family went to Australia. Looking forward to hearing from others because we think about taking the time, but never take the time to understand who we are and where we come from.

  13. Christopher Andrew Deakin

    Christopher Andrew Deakin said:

    Hi my name is Christopher Deakin and James Kirkham is also my great great grandfather, my father is Andrew Deakin son of John Deakin who was one of the 9 children of Margaret and Frederick Deakin better known to the family as Freddy. Whilst we’re in lockdown I’m going to open up a family tree so any info would be great.

  14. Douglas Nolan

    Douglas Nolan said:

    Hello Christopher, The furthest I have gotten is William and Margret Kirkham were the grand parents of James Kirkham. If you search James Kirkham Bio, this is how I was able to back track to my... Read full post

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Gavin Bell, UK
Bill Wormstedt, USA