Encyclopedia Titanica

Edgar Michael Kieran

Mr Edgar Michael Kieran1, better known as Michael, was born on 29 January 18782 in Ballygawley3, Co Tyrone, Ireland4,5, a small village on the Tyrone-Monaghan border and situated in modern-day Northern Ireland.

He was the son of James Kieran (1843-1900), an Inland Revenue officer (aka 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 St James' Church, Dublin on 20 February 1871 and initially settled in that city where their first few children were born.

Michael had eight known siblings: Laurence (b. 25 December 1871), Lawrence John (b. 6 December 1872), James Patrick (b. 6 January 1874), Michael Edward (b. 11 August 1876), Mary Ellen (b. 5 April 1880), Bernard Joseph (b. 1886), John (b. 1889) and Margaret Agnes (b. 1891).

The family moved from Ireland to Liverpool sometime between 1881 and 1886. 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 were being cared for by their maternal grandmother Annie Davies. Michael and his wife, however, were listed as lodgers at 13 Lower Bridge Road, St Mary, Southampton and he was described as a seaman for the White Star Line.

When he signed on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912 Kieran 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 and 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 July 1918 to US Navy Quartermaster Clyde Benjamin 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.

Annie Kieran
Michael Kieran's daughter Annie in 1920

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.


  1. As per his birth record his name was simply Michael Kieran; his marriage record and a few other records state his name as Edgar Michael Kieran. 
  2. Birth date as per birth record but family sources give the date as 28 January 1878
  3. Also spelled Ballygawly and, in Irish, Baile Uí Dhálaigh
  4. Modern-day Northern Ireland
  5. 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)
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Gavin Bell, UK
Richard Kieran

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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Edgar Michael Kieran
Age: 34 years 2 months and 18 days (Male)
Nationality: Irish
Marital Status: Married to Ann Davies
Last Residence: at 7 Avenue Road Southampton, Hampshire, England
Occupation: Storekeeper
Last Ship: Olympic
Embarked: Southampton on Thursday 4th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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