Mr Timothy John McCarthy

Timothy J. McCarthy
Boston Globe, April 16, 1912

Timothy John 1 McCarthy was born in Boston, Massachusetts on 25 November 1857.

He was the son of Irish immigrants, Jeremiah McCarthy (b. 1827), a labourer, and Hannah Murray (b. 1831). His parents had emigrated around 1850 and 1854 respectively and had married about 1856. Timothy's known siblings were Dennis (b. 1859), Hannah (1865-1909), John (1867-1908), Jeremiah Fred (b. 1870), Charles (b. 1874) and William (b. 1878).

Timothy grew up in Boston and first appears on the 1865 and 1870 censuses living with his family at an unspecified address; by the time of the 1880 census was still living with his family and described as a dry goods clerk, his address then being given as 78 Hudson Street.

He was married to Mary Anastasia Haggerty (b. July 1860), also a first generation Irish American, on 26 June 1888; he was then described as a clerk. He and his wife would have six children: Anna Gertrude (b. 18 January 1890), Mildred Denney (b. 24 November 1891-1968), John Joseph (b. 4 November 1892), Justin Leon (b. 6 February 1895), Edmund Charles (b. 13 March 1897) and Brendon Murray (b. 17 May 1901). Their son John died two days short of his second birthday on 2 November 1894.

The family are shown on both the 1900 living at 69 Nelson Street, Dorchester and Timothy is described as a stationery buyer; by 1910 their home address is 52 Nelson Street and Timothy is still described as a stationery buyer in a department store. By 1912 he was a resident of 52 Nelson Street and worked as a buyer for the Boston department store Jordan Marsh.

Following a business trip in Europe, McCarthy and his friend and Jordan Marsh colleague Herbert Henry Hilliard boarded the Titanic at Southampton on 10 April 1912 as first class passengers. They held ticket number 17463 (which cost £51, 17s, 3d) and shared cabin E-46. McCarthy was no stranger to sea travel and had made at least twenty transatlantic voyages in his lifetime.

Timothy McCarthy died in the disaster and his body was later recovered by the Mackay Bennett:


CLOTHING - Grey overcoat; black striped suit; purple knitted tie.

EFFECTS - Prayer book; purse; pipe; wedding ring; knife; gun metal watch and fob; papers; 5s.; $110.00 in notes.


The body was delivered to J. V. Finn of Boston on 30 April 1912 and was buried at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Dorchester, Massachusetts. His funeral, conducted from St Matthew's Church, Dorchester, attracted a large turnout of several hundred, including many from his workplace. Strangely, and not common for many Titanic victims, the State of Massachusetts issued a death certificate for him on 3 May 1912.

Grave of Timothy J.McCarthy
(Courtesy of Michael A. Findlay, USA)

His headstone reads:

APRIL 15, 1912, AGE 54 YRS
MARCH 15, 1947 AGE 85 YRS
OCTOBER 16, 1968, AGE 77 YRS

His widow Mary continued to reside in Boston, never remarried and lived with her two daughters who remained spinsters. She died on 15 March 1947. Her daughter Anna worked as a bookkeeper and Mildred as a cashier; Mildred died on 16 October 1968 but what became of Anna is not clear.

His son Edmund also worked as a department store buyer; he was married to Julia Wholey (b. 1897) and had two children. He died in Wilmette, Illinois on 10 June 1949.

His son Justin later worked as a salesman and was married and raised a family. He died in Dedham, Massachusetts in 1960.

His son Brendon later worked as a window dresser in a department store; he retired to Brevard, Florida and died there on 8 December 1982.


  1. Middle name as per his death certificate; all other records, including his birth record, neglect to inform of his middle name, simply giving the initial as "J."

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Comment and discuss

  1. julie skehen said:

    Timothy J McCarthy was my Great Grandfather as well. We have a copy of the letter too. My grandfather was his son Edmund.

Reply Watch Thread


Gavin Bell, UK
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Michael A. Findlay, USA

References and Sources

Record of Bodies and Effects: Passengers and Crew, S.S. Titanic (Public Archives of Nova Scotia) (#175)
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279]).
Search archive British and Irish newspapers online

Link and cite this biography

Encyclopedia Titanica (2017) Timothy John McCarthy (ref: #203, last updated: 26th May 2017, accessed 11th April 2021 12:11:30 PM)

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