Thomas McInerney was born in Bootle, Lancashire, England on 22 September 1873. He was the son of James McInerney (b. 1848), a dock labourer, and Mary Shoulder (b. 1853), both Irish immigrants, who had married in Lancashire in 1872.
Thomas had five known siblings as per the 1891 census: James (b. 1872), Mary (b. 1879), Margaret (b. 1881), Theresa (b. 1885) and Andrew (b. 1888).
Due to inconsistencies with the spelling of the surname 1 the family are not identifiable on the 1881 census records. The 1891 census shows the family living at 51 Boreland Street, Bootle. Thomas, aged 17, has no stated profession although it is likely that he was, like his father and brother, a dock labourer at this time.
Thomas was married in West Derby in late-1897 to Ellen Gannon (b. 1876 in Liverpool). They are known to have had two children: Mary Catherine (b. 1898) and Thomas (b. 1903) and they settled in Kirkdale, Lancashire.
The 1901 census shows Thomas, his wife Ellen and child Mary Catherine living with Ellen's sister and brother-in-law Robert and Mary Catherine Pitts at 58 Elstow Street, Kirkdale and Thomas was now described as a ship's stoker. Thomas and his family would continue to reside at this address.
Thomas was widowed on 17 October 1909 when his wife Ellen died aged 32. Thomas continued to work at sea, leaving his two children with their aunt and uncle. The 1911 census shows Thomas and his children still at the 58 Elstow Street address and he is still described as a ship's stoker.
When he signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 58 Elstow Road, (Liverpool). His previous ship had been the Oceanic. As a greaser Thomas would earn monthly wages of £6, 10s.
Thomas McInerney was lost in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. He is remembered on his wife's headstone in Liverpool Roman Catholic Cemetery, Litherland, Liverpool:
...Of your charity pray for the soul of Ellen McInerney who died 17th October 1909 aged 32 years
also of her beloved husband Thomas McInerney who was lost in wreck of SS Titanic 15th April 1912 aged 38 years...
Thomas' orphaned children continued to live with their uncle and aunt. Their aunt, unfortunately, died just over a year later aged 48 but their uncle may have continued to raise them both. Both Thomas' children later married and raised families.
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- For example, Thomas' surname is spelled McNerney on his marriage record. On his parents' marriage record, his father's surname is spelled McAnany. The 1891 census records the name as McNally.