Mr William Ferris was born in Warrington, Lancashire, England in early 1873 1. Details about his early life are unknown.
He was married in Southampton in 1903 to Alice Hurst, née Miller (b. 1857), a native of that city who was a widow.
Alice had been married in 1878 to George William Hurst (b. 1855) (2), a coal worker, and the couple had six children: George (b. 1879), Ellen (1881-1888), Robert (b. 1883), Florence (b. 1885), Rose (b. 1887) and Alice (b. 1889). Alice was widowed in 1898 and became a cleaner on the ships to support her family before her remarriage to Ferris.
William appears on the 1911 census living at 5 Hanover Place, All Saints, Southampton and was described as a ship's fireman. His stepdaughter Alice was described as a laundress for the White Star Line.
When Ferris signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 5 Hanover Buildings, Southampton and his previous ship as the Atrato. As a leading fireman he could expect monthly wages of £6, 10s. Another crewman was his wife's nephew, Walter Hurst.
William Ferris died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
His widow Alice was never remarried and lived in Southampton for the rest of her life. She died in 1932.