René Aimé Lievens was born 22 October 1887 in Heldergem, Oost-Vlaanderen (East Flanders), Belgium, to Gustavus, a shoemaker born 12 January 1860 at Sint Antelinks, Oost-Vlaanderen, and Maria Egidia Coleta (nee Bisback; born 11 March 1858 at Heldergem) Lievens, who had married 14 June 1882 at Heldergem, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
His brothers and sisters were 'Sn,' b. 3 December 1882 (d. 4 December 1882), Maria Leontina Delphina (b. 4 August 1893), Valentina Caesarina (b. 22 July 1897), Hector René (b. 3 August 1899), Valentina Anastasia (b. 14 December 1886; d. 1887) and Maria Cesarina (b. 18 December 1883), Petrus Arselinus, b. 1885 (d. 6 April 1885), Petrus Arseen, b. 2 September 1889 (d. 10 December 1889).
He was a neighbour of Alphonse De Pelsmaeker (their farms were less than 100 yards away). René's father made wooden shoes all his life but his son did not want to follow in this trade. René became a labourer and continued to live with his mother in Heldergem after his father died. Like others from his local area, he decided to become a farm hand in the United States to help harvest sugar beets. He only planned to stay in America temporarily before returning home.
He boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a third class passenger (ticket number 345781, £9 10s).
René died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.