Mr James McGrady1 was born on 8 March 1885 in Lisnamore, Crossgar in Co Down, Ireland into a Roman Catholic family. He was the illegitimate son of Ann Hagan2 (b. circa 1867).
The identity of James's father is not entirely certain; there have been reports that he was a railway worker by the name of James McGrady who apparently died before the younger James was born. No such records have surfaced for any such death occurring. It may have been a simple case that James' mother and father just never married and the absence of a father was explained away in stark and final terms.
His mother was later remarried to Thomas Alphonsus Savage (b. 11 March 1867), a farmer from Killyleagh, Co Down yet further details about this match remain unclear and it is not known if they had any children.
James appears to have been raised for a portion of his early life by his widowed maternal grandmother, Margaret Hagan (b. 1815 in Co Down) and they appear together on the 1901 census living at house 9 in Lisnamore, Crossgar. He was described at the time as an agricultural labourer and aged 16 and apparently went to sea around that age also. His grandmother died the next year following an aneurism on 15 June 1902 aged 87 and the informant was James' mother Ann Savage.
When he signed-on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912, McGrady gave his local address as the Platform Tavern in Southampton. His previous ship had been the Oceanic and as a first class steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
James McGrady died in the sinking. His body was later recovered, around 25 May 1912 by the steamship Algerine. The body was transferred to the Florizel and returned to Halifax, Nova Scotia on 11 June 1912, and was buried along with other Titanic victims at Fairview Lawn Cemetery.
McGrady's was the last body to be recovered and was listed as #330 but, in fact, only 328 bodies were recovered.
What became of his mother and stepfather remains unknown.