Thomas Rowan Morrow

Titanic Victim from County Down

Thomas Rowan Morrow

Mr Thomas Rowan Morrow was born in Drumlough near Rathfriland in Co Down, Ireland on 26 April 1880. He was the son of Waddell Morrow (b. 1834), a farmer, and Anne Rowan (b. 1846), both farmers from Co Down who had married on 22 June 1877.  He had four siblings: George (b. 5 October 1878), Susanna (b. 19 February 1882), Waddell Dickson (b. 14 May 1884) and Sarah (b. 10 August 1886).

Thomas belonged to a Presbyterian household, seemingly of Scots-Irish descent, and his family were staunch British Unionists who, at the time, opposed the pledged implementation of Irish Home Rule. The men in the family belonged to the Loyal Orange Orders in their district and Thomas was at one time a Worshipful Master within Drumlough Loyal Orange Lodge 153 and continued to be a prominent Orangeman in his area.

His father Waddell died suddenly on 17 November 1892 aged 58; his mother never remarried and she and her family remained in Drumlough.

Thomas appeared on the 1901 census of Ireland living at 15 Downpatrick Street, Rathfriland where he was described as an unmarried grocer. He was the head of the household and also present at the address were his maternal aunt Sarah Osborne and grandmother Susan Rowan. At home with his widowed mother and unmarried sister Sarah on the 1911 census, his address was given as house 28 in Drumlough, Rathfriland and he was then described as a farmer.

His brother Waddell, a grocer's assistant, had moved to Belfast's Shankill Road area sometime prior to 1901; he appears on the census that year as a resident of 55 Agnes Street. He emigrated, perhaps later that year, to Canada where he reportedly worked as a rancher in Gleichen, Alberta. Thomas decided to join Waddell who reportedly owned a ranch close to Gleichen; he boarded the Titanic at Queenstown as a third class passenger (ticket number 372622, which cost him £7, 15s). As pointed out by Senan Molony in his book The Irish Aboard Titanic, Morrow would have cut a lonely figure among his fellow countrymen also travelling third class at the time, an overwhelmingly Irish Roman Catholic group who favoured Irish Home Rule and at a time when bitter sectarian tensions were on the rise in Ireland in the run-up to the Home Rule Bill being passed.

Thomas Rowan Morrow died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.

His mother remained in Drumlough but fell ill within a short while and ended up paralysed, perhaps from a stroke. She died on 27 December 1914.

His brother Waddell had married to another Irish woman, Isabella, and the pair had two children by the time they appeared on the 1921 Canadian census in Calgary; sons Rowan (b. 1910) and William (b. 1915). Waddell was by then working on the railways, repairing trains. He died on 11 June 1949 and is buried in St Mary's Cemetery, Calgary.

To commemorate the centenary of the disaster Drumlough Loyal Orange Lodge had a bannerette commissioned in Thomas Morrow's memory.

References and Sources

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Senan Molony (2000) The Irish aboard Titanic, Wolfhound Press, Dublin


Thomas Rowan Morrow
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Comment and discuss

  1. J. Thomas Morrow said:

    Was recently in Cobh, and was surprised to find that a Thomas Morrow was amoung the passengers lost. I was trying to find out if he was related, since there is no family history to prove or disprove. J. Thomas Morrow Ventura, Ca USA

  2. joan barbour said:

    Webmaster, I have a photograph of Thomas Morrow, third class passenger who boarded in Queenstown. I believe he would have been my great uncle or my great, great uncle via my mother, her father and his mother. Please send me particulars regarding submitting the photo for posting on this website. Thank you, Joan Barbour weston, ct

  3. Roxanne Myers [Morrow] Neel said:

    How can I get in touch with Joan Barbour? My sons' grandfather was named after his uncle this Thomas Rowan Morrow Neel

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Gavin Bell, UK
Joan A. Barbour, USA
Alan Hustak, Canada
Senan Molony, Ireland

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2018) Thomas Rowan Morrow (ref: #1042, last updated: 6th June 2018, accessed 30th July 2021 05:55:09 AM)

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