Owen Wilmore Samuel was born in Llandilo, Carmarthenshire, Wales around 1865. He was the son of William Samuel (b. 1808), a schoolmaster, and Ann James (b. 1831). Both his parents hailed from Llandilo and had married around 1854.
Owen had six known siblings: Frederick (b. 1856), Edgar (b. 1858), Jane Letitia (b. 1859), Astley (b. 1860), Emma (b. 1863) and Margaret (b. 1872).
Owen first appears on the 1871 census of Wales when he and his family were living at the school house Cilybebyll, Cadoxton, Glamorganshire. His mother died in 1874 and his father was remarried to a woman named Louisa (b. 1853 in Bonvilston, Glamorganshire).
Owen and his family appear on the 1881 census living at Alltwen Hill, Tawyrallt, Cilybebyll. Owen, aged 16, is still listed as a scholar. His father is believed to have died in 1890. Owen probably left home shortly after this and by the time of the 1891 census he was described as a clerk, working and apparently living at B. Evans and Co, Temple Street, Swansea (a drapery?). Owen was described as an unmarried commercial clerk when he was listed on the 1901 census, then living as a boarder at 47 Fieldhead Road, Ecclesall, Sheffield, Yorkshire.
Owen was married near Liverpool in the second half of 1901 to Elizabeth Mortimer Lamb (b. 1875 in Eastguard, Pembrokeshire, Wales) and the couple had one daughter, Nina "Mina" (b. 14 June 1902 in Sheffield). The family appear as boarders at 125 Osborne Road, Portswood, Southampton on the 1911 census and Owen is described as a seaman in the merchant service.
When he signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, Owen gave his local address as 125 Osborne Road, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Oceanic. As a second class saloon steward he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Samuel died in the sinking. His body was later recovered by the Mackay-Bennett (#217) and was buried at Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 8 May 1912.
© Bob Knuckle, Canada
NO. 217. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 50. - HAIR AND MOUSTACHE, DARK GREY
CLOTHING - Green overcoat; steward's uniform; brown waistcoat.
EFFECTS - Gold stud; glasses; corkscrew; scissors; 1s. 8d in purse. No marks at all.
SECOND CLASS STEWARD No. 22.
NAME ON KNIFE - O. W. SAMUEL. 125 Osborne Rd., Southampton.
His widow never remarried and died in 1945 in Surrey. His daughter was married in Surrey in 1940 to Frederick Cyril Hands (1902-1978) but had no children. She died in New Forest, Hampshire in 1973.
Owen Samuel has a memorial at Brandon Hill Cemetery, Wallington in South West London.