Encyclopedia Titanica

Robert John Adams

Mr Robert John Adams was born in Shirley, Southampton, Hampshire, England on 7 June 1885. 

He was the son of Robert Adams (1849-1893) and Kate Knott (1853-1934). His parents, both natives of Hampshire, were married in Portsea in 1879.
Robert had six siblings: Kate (1883-1916), Frederick (b. 1887), Ernest (b. 1889), Charles (b. 1891), Ada Lilian (1892-1959) and Ellen (1894-1978) who arrived after the death of her father.

Robert first appears on the 1891 census when he and his family were living at 13 Nelson Road, Millbrook, Hampshire. His father, a mariner, died in 1893.

On the 1901 census the family were living at 27 Pound Street, Shirley and his mother and unmarried aunt Charlotte were supporting the family by working as laundresses whilst Robert was listed as a Points Boy for the Tramway Company. By the time of the 1911 census Robert's mother is listed as living at 4 Oriental Street, Shirley but Robert is absent, presumably at sea.

Several of Adams's siblings had migrated to Ontario; Ernest lived in Toronto; his sister Kate was married in there on 10 May 1911 to William McKenzie Donald (b. 1883) whilst sister Ada was also wed there on 29 June, she to Harry George Heather (b. 1884). 

When Robert signed on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912 he gave his address as 168 Pound Tree Road, Southampton His previous ship had been the Tagus and as a fireman he received monthly wages of £6.

Family report that Adams had intended to disembark in New York and travel to be with his family in Canada; also, his brother Ernest was travelling from Toronto by train to meet him. 

Robert Adams died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified. 

His mother and sister Ellen later made the journey to Canada; Ellen was married there on 4 July 1914 to Thomas Henry Brown Houghting (b. 1885). His brother Frederick was married on 17 August 1915 to Ellen James (b. 1889).

Kate Adams later weathered the death of her daughter Kate who died on 31 March 1916; Kate herself died in Ontario on 7 April 1934.


Comment and discuss

  1. Jim Wild

    Jim Wild

    I came looking for a reference to my grandfather's brother, Robert Adams. The family story was that Robert was working his passage to America on the Titanic and been lost. My grandfather had already travelled down to New York to meet him. Given the apocryphal nature of many family stories, I decided to search for his name and, lo and behold, there is an R. Adams who was a fileman. According to my records, he was born about 1884, which would make him 27 or 28 in 1912 and the listing for for he R. Adams here says he was 26. Other than his home address in Southampton, do you have any more... Read full post

  2. Nicholas Ryan Purcell

    Dear Mr. Wild, My name is Nicholas from Tipperary in Ireland. My email address is Anything on the Titanic subject since the age of thirteen both interests me and fuels my creativity when writing. I was informed last Saturday that I have a connection with Robert Adams from a previous life. I am interested to learn more about Robert John Adams because of a connection. Thanks, Nicholas

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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr Robert John Adams
Age: 26 years 10 months and 8 days (Male)
Nationality: English
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: at 168 Pound Tree Road Southampton, Hampshire, England
Occupation: Fireman
Last Ship: Tagus
Embarked: Southampton on Saturday 6th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Recovered

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