Mr Joannes Joseph Van de Velde was born on 4th August 1876. While his given name was Joannes, he was usually called Joseph. Unlike most of the other Belgians on the Titanic, he had been to America before, and this journey would be his third visit.
He was a weaver with his own weaving loom like Alphonse De Pelsmaeker's father. Like the latter, he had been out of work because of the textile mill competition in Ninove and Aalst.
He married in 1898 to Marie Baudar, who worked as a seamstress in Denderhoutem. The couple had four children.
Van de Velde had been convinced by the local White Star agency to travel to America and earn good money as a farm hand. It was speculated that it was Van de Velde who convinced the others from the Denderhoutem area to come with him to America since he had already experienced it. Marie Van de Velde accompanied her husband on foot to the train station to see he and the others off.
He boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third class passenger (ticket number 345780, £9 10s).
Van de Velde died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
Shortly after the sinking, survivor Theodor De Mulder paid a visit to Marie Van de Velde and her family. According to the Van de Velde descendants, De Mulder comforted Marie and spoke words of comfort, plus relaying the last days he spent with her husband.
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Georges Picavet, Belgium
Kassandra Picavet, Belgium
Herman De Wulf and Michael A. Findlay (1998) The Belgians and the Titanic. Voyage. #27