Mr Joseph Foley

Mr Joseph Foley was born in Lisnafulla, Co Limerick, Ireland on 25 February 1893.

He was the son of David Foley (b. 20 October 1866), a labourer, and Mary Hickey (b. 4 August 1866) who had married in Dromcollogher, Co Limerick on 14 February 1892. He was named for his paternal grandfather and he had a younger brother John (b. 7 January 1895).

His mother died during childbirth on 15 December 1897 but there is no record that the child was ever delivered. His father was remarried on 29 January 1901 to Julia Connors (b. circa 1870); that line-up of the family appears on the 1901 census living at house 5 in Mountplummer; his father was described as an agricultural labourer and his stepmother a shopkeeper.

Through his father's second marriage Joseph had a half-sister, Eliza "Lizzie" (b. 10 November 1901). However, his stepmother died due to complications from childbirth a matter of weeks later on 8 December 1901 aged 31. His father, thereafter, took another wife and was remarried on 24 February 1903 to domestic servant Margaret Harnett (b. circa 1862) and this union garnered Joseph a half-brother, William who arrived on 10 July 1904.
The 1911 census shows Joseph's family living at house 21 in Mountplummer but he was listed elsewhere as a general farm servant at the home of the Aherin family in Hernsbrook, Mountplummer. He was unmarried.

Joseph boarded the Titanic at Queenstown on 11 April 1912 as a third class passenger (ticket number 330910 which cost £7, 17s, 7d) and he was journeying to the home of his maternal uncle John Hickey in Larchmont, New York. Travelling with him was his sweetheart Bridget O'Sullivan from Glenduff, Co Limerick who was headed to her sibling in Manhattan.

Joseph and Bridget both died in the sinking and their bodies, if recovered, were never identified.

Confusion arose following the death of Joseph on Titanic; a family of Wexford Foleys in Chicago had been awaiting the arrival of their brother Joseph, aged 26, from Ireland and the reports of a Joseph Foley being among the lost on Titanic threw them into despair. That Joseph Foley's brother Thomas Foley of 3157 Harrison Street in Chicago, who worked as a street car conductor was later interviewed by the press where he mourned the loss of his brother. His brother, however, had travelled aboard the Celtic and later made it to American shores.

Joseph's father remained living at Mountplummer but died aged 49 in Newcastle Workhouse, Co Limerick on 25 April 1916 from pneumonia and heart failure. His stepmother Margaret rallied for many years before her death in Mountplummer on 1 February 1951.





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Chicago Tribune (1912) 

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(2020) Joseph Foley Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #809, updated 27th January 2020 19:01:01 PM)