Mr John Ashby

Mr John Ashby, 57, born in Balham, Surrey, England on 29 June 1854 the son of James Ashby (1818-1898) and Sarah Ann Arlette (1820-1904) and was christened on 23 July in Holy Trinity Church in Clapham, Surrey.

His father was a gardener originally from Norfolk whilst his mother was a native of Middlesex and worked as a laundress. They were married on 1 April 1844 and had at least nine children. John's known siblings were: Lucy (b. 1843), Henry (b. 1848), James (b. 1850), Elizabeth (b. 1852), Walter (b. 1856), Joseph Wright (b. 1858), Mary Ann (b. 1862) and Arthur (b. 1864).

The family appear on the 1861 through 1881 censuses living at Balham New Road, Streatham and by the time of the 1871 census John, aged 16, had already left school and was described as a porter and the 1881 census shows him as a warehouseman.

He married Emma Keely in 1881 in the Hartismere district, Suffolk, England, and had (at least three) children; Amy Emma (May 1882 in England), Edwin Valentine (born 12 July and baptised 7 October 1883 in St. Saviour's church, Brixton, Surrey, England; died in March 1969 in Bergen, New Jersey) and Lucy Ethel (September 1888 in England, later Mrs Greenwood Robertson).

John and his family emigrated in 1889 and they appeared on the 1900 census living in Brooklyn, New York (listed as a packer, name listed as Ashbey) and on the 1910 census in West Hoboken, Hudson, New Jersey.

In 1912 he lived with his wife Emma at 517 Synnes Street, West Hoboken, New Jersey.

Ashby had been working in a cravenette1 factory and had been injured in accident. He had been sent to England to recuperate and was returning to his family in New Jersey.  He had stayed in London prior to booking second class passage on Titanic (ticket number 244346 which cost £13) to return to the USA. He joined the ship in Southampton on 10 April 1912.

Ashby died in the sinking. Contrary to contemporary newspaper accounts his body was never recovered.

His widow Emma never remarried and later lived with her daughter Lucy. She is believed to have died in Union City, Hudson, New Jersey sometime in the 1930s.


  1. Seemingly a method of waterproofing textiles, e.g. raincoats.


Greenwood Robinson, son-in-law of John Ashby

Articles and Stories

Hudson Dispatch (1912) 
Hudson Observer (1912) 
Hudson Observer (1912) 
Hudson Dispatch (1912) 
Hudson Observer (1912) 

Comment and discuss

  1. keith marsh said:

    the address in west hoboken is:- 517 syms street, not synnes street.

Reply Watch Thread


Gavin Bell, UK
George Behe, USA
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden

References and Sources

Names and Descriptions of Alien Passengers Embarked at the Port of Southampton, 10 April 1912 (PRO London, BT 27/780B).
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Marriages, births, deaths and injuries that have occurred on board during the voyage (PRO London, BT 100/259-260)
1900, 1910 US Census
Search archive British newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2015) John Ashby (ref: #332, last updated: 28th May 2015, accessed 13th April 2021 05:13:37 AM)

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