Encyclopedia Titanica

John Boyd

John Boyd was born in Plumstead, Kent, England during the closing months of 1867.1

He was the youngest son of Matthew Boyd (b. circa 1824), a carpenter, and Elizabeth Sarah Warner (b. circa 1826), natives of Capheaton, Northumberland and Crayford, Kent respectively who had married in Newington, London on 13 August 1848.

John had three sisters and three brothers: Mary Ann (b. 1848), Frances (b. 1851), James (b. 1854), Charles (b. 1857), Isabella (b. 1860) and Alfred (b. 1865). 

He first appears on the 1871 census living with his family at 78 Beverage (?) Road in Plumstead. His mother died in early 1881 at the age of 54 and he was sent to live with his eldest sister Mary Ann, then Mrs George Ridgen and her family who lived at 16 Portland Place, Marylebone, appearing there on the 1881 census and, aged just 13, was still a schoolboy. Following this he drops off the radar but by 1912 had apparently spent many years in the Merchant Navy, serving for numerous years with the American Line aboard the New York, the ship with which Titanic had had a near miss whilst leaving Southampton.

He was married in Southampton in late-1898 to a young widow named Annie Florence Godfrey, née Rogers. Annie was born in Southampton on 26 May 18732 and was first married to William Godfrey (b. 1864), a fish merchant, settling in Poole, Dorset and having three children: William John (b. 1892), Samuel Dan (b. 1893) and Annie (b. 1895). William Godfrey seemingly died around 1895 and they had lost their eldest child William in infancy. 
John Boyd and Annie went on to have three children of their own: Florence Mary (b. 6 February 1903), John James (b. 14 April 1906) and James (b. 27 August 1908).

John would be absent from both the 1901 and 1911 census reports; on the former record his wife and two step-children were listed as living at 4 Gloucester Square, Holy Rood, Southampton and on the latter at 34 Grove Road, Freemantle, Southampton. Like his stepfather, Samuel Dan Godfrey was described as a ship's steward.

When he signed-on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912 Boyd gave his address as 52 Cranbury Avenue, Southampton. His previous ship had been the New York and as a first class steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s. 

John Boyd died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. The following death notice appeared in the Southern Daily Echo (29 April 1912):

BOYD--John Boyd, of 52, Cranbury-avenue, Southampton, who lost his life on the s.s. Titanic, April 15th; many years on the s.s. New York, American Line. Sadly missed.

His widow Annie never remarried and by the 1930s was living with her daughter Florence in Sutton, Surrey. She died in Poole, Dorset in 1948. 
His daughter Florence later worked as a stenographer and was married in 1927 to draughtsman William H. Taylor (b. 6 December 1903). She died in Dorset on 10 June 1979. 

Son John James later worked as an electrician in the HM prison of Camp Hill on the Isle of Wight. He married in 1963 to Brenda Ayles but he died a few years later in 1968.

John's youngest son James later worked as a fitter and turner; he was married in 1938 to May Edmunds (b. 30 May 1910) but had no known children. He died in Portsmouth on 19 January 1954. 


  1. His birth was registered in Lewisham in the last quarter of 1867.
  2. Birth date as per 1939 register but she may have been older by at least three years.

Comment and discuss

  1. Simon Boyd

    Simon Boyd said:

    I am looking into my family and we know very little about my Great Grandfather John Boyd apart from what is already on ET. We are trying to find photos or any connections with other Saloon Stewards. We have already made 1 connection and really want to try and find out about more, ideally a photo if possible. If anyone has anything at all connected to John Boyd please do get in touch. Thanks

  2. Annie Ross

    Annie Ross said:

    Hi Simon My great grandpa Alfred Boyd was John Boyd’s older brother, and my grandma spoke of John’s tragic death on the Titanic when we... Read full post

  3. Simon Boyd

    Simon Boyd said:

    Hi Annie, thanks so much for your email. I never thought I would hear anything. I don’t have photos but would love to piece th puzzle together of my fathers side of the family. Do you know if there is... Read full post

  4. Mark Baber

    Mark Baber said:

    There's an icon at the top of each page that links to a function called "Conversations." It allows members to engage in private discussions.

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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr John Boyd
Born: circa.1875 in London, England
Age: 37 years (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Married to Annie Florence Godfrey (née Rogers)
Last Ship: New York
Embarked: Southampton on Thursday 4th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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