Mr Edgar Michael Kieran

Mr Edgar Michael Kieran, better known as Michael, was born on 28 January 1878 in Ballygawley1, Co Tyrone, Ireland2,3, a small village on the Tyrone-Monaghan border.

He was the son of James Kieran (1843-1900), a freight clerk, and Mary Josephine Nolan (1847-1891). His father was also a native of Tyrone whilst his mother hailed from Dublin and the two were married in the latter in 1871 and initially settled in that city where their first two children were born.

Michael had six known siblings: Laurence (b. 1872), James (b. 1874), Mary Ellen (b. 1880), Bernard Joseph (b. 1887), John (b. 1889) and Margaret Agnes (b. 1891).

The family moved to Liverpool from Ireland sometime between 1881 and 1887. His mother died in early 1891, possibly during childbirth and the remaining family are recorded on the 1891 census living at 5 Redmond Place, Liverpool. Within the next few years Michael left school and initially pursued a career as a tramway conductor and would be listed as such when he was married and in the 1901 census.

Michael was married in St John the Evangelist Church, Everton on 1 May 1898 to Ann Davies (b. 25 July 1878 in Everton, Liverpool) and the couple would have four children: Annie Josephine (b. 10 January 1899), Gladys Amy (b. 25 October 1901), George William Edgar (b. 12 April 1905) and James Edward (b. 29 July 1911).

The family appear on the 1901 census living at 15 Franklin Place, Everton. Michael perhaps went to sea within the next few years, working for the White Star Line. The withdrawal of that company's main terminal from Liverpool to Southampton necessitated a move. Michael's first three children appear on the 1911 census living at 34 Herschell Street, Everton and are being cared for by their grandmother Annie Davies. Michael and his wife, however, are listed as lodgers at 13 Lower Bridge Road, St Mary, Southampton and he is described as a seaman for the White Star Line.

When he signed on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, Michael gave his address as 7 Avenue Road, (Southampton), likely another boarding address. His previous ship had been the Olympic and as a storekeeper he could expect monthly wages of £3, 15s.

During the sinking, Michael, along with his storekeeper colleagues Frank Prentice and Cyril Ricks, waited on the poop deck at the stern of the ship. As the night progressed and the poop deck became more crowded with people and nearing the ship's final plunge, the three men jumped. Only Frank Prentice survived.

Michael was lost in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.

His widow Ann was remarried in Liverpool in the latter half of 1913 to William Peck (b. 1879), a joiner. Around 1919 she saw her youngest daughter Gladys off to America where her late husband had family; a year later her elder daughter Annie would follow.

Annie, her second husband and her youngest child James saw their own crossing of the Atlantic soon after and they emigrated in 1923 on board the Celtic; they show up on the 1930 census living at an address in Arch Street in Rochester, New York. What became of she and her husband is unknown.

Kieran's daughter Gladys had emigrated to New York around 1919 and lived with her uncle James Kieran, a clerk and his family in Rochester. She was married in 1922 to James Henry Foley (b. 1900), a railroad worker, and they had one son and one daughter, also named James and Gladys. She died in Montgomery, Maryland on 21 November 1994.

His elder daughter Annie had married in 1918 to Clyde B. Weeks and she arrived in New York aboard Princess Matoika in May 1920. It is believed she settled in Hartford, Connecticut and was widowed at an early age. What became of her is currently unknown.

His son George later worked as a machinist on the railroads and was married in 1929 to Edith Hazel Bennett (1908-1993) from Ontario. He died in Florida on 29 July 1983.

His son James worked as a drycleaner. He was married to Patricia and raised a family and made his home near Rochester, New York. In 1951 he revisited Britain with his family and returned home aboard Queen Mary. He died in Fishers, Ontario, New York on 20 September 1998.



Richard Kieran
Gavin Bell, UK


  1. Also spelled Ballygawly and, in Irish, Baile Uí Dhálaigh
  2. Modern-day Northern Ireland
  3. He gave his birthplace as Lancaster (Lancashire) in the crew agreements. The 1891-1911 census records confirm his Irish roots.

References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)

Link and cite this biography

(2017) Edgar Michael Kieran Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #1952, updated 26th August 2017 18:27:02 PM)

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