Encyclopedia Titanica

William McCastlin

Mr William McCastlin was born in St John, New Brunswick, Canada around late 1883 or early 18841, the son of William and Mary McCastlin. 

Little is known of McCastlin's background or life and he and his family are not readily identifiable on the 1891, 1901 or 1911 Canadian censuses. He is known to have been Roman Catholic and was perhaps of Irish ancestry.

He first appears on record in Britain in March 1905 when he was serving as a fireman aboard Cearense, operating out of Liverpool and with him giving his address as 8 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn. Later that year he was shown on several voyages aboard the ships Calvin Austin and Salem Austin which were operating between Boston and New Brunswick; the immigration papers associated with these voyages describe McCastlin as aged 22 and standing at 6' and with light hair, blue eyes and a light complexion.

He was married in St John's Cathedral in his native New Brunswick on 23 November 1906 to Agnes McClusky (b. 18 July 1885), daughter of John and Catherine McClusky, the latter née McKeever who were also of Irish ancestry; their residence was given as St Patrick Street and William's profession as a sailor. 

McCasltin Marriage 
Marriage record between William and Agnes McCastlin.

William and Agnes had two sons: William Francis (b. 19 February 1906) and Joseph Leo (b. 9 March 1910). 

Back in Britain and by late 1908 McCastlin was still serving aboard Cearense; over two voyages in 1910 he was still specifying his address as 8 Atlantic Avenue and by which time he was described as a fireman and storekeeper. 

McCastlin signed on to the Titanic in Southampton on 6 April 1912 and gave his local address as 53 French Street, Southampton and his previous ship as the Oceanic. As a fireman he could expect monthly wages of £6.

William McCastlin died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified. 

His widow Agnes was remarried in early 1913 to John Clarke Briggs (b. 1875) and went on to have at least four more children. She remained in St John, New Brunswick where she died on 6 September 1953 and was buried in St Joseph's Cemetery in St John.

Son William died aged 95 on 1 May 2001 and was also buried in St Joseph's Cemetery. 

What became of son Joseph is not clear.


  1. Age frequently mistranscribed as 38 in April 1912; closer inspection of the signing on sheets show that he gave his age as 28 whilst an inadvertent smudge below the first digit makes it resemble a "3". He was 22 years old in January 1906 suggesting that he was born in early 1884 or late 1883, possibly even slightly earlier.

Comment and discuss

  1. Beth Murphy

    I have been researching my Great Grandfather for many years, No one in the family has ever been able to confirm where he disappeared to. I have come across a bio here for him and am wondering how I can go about actually proving it is him. Any advice?

  2. Steven Christian

    If you can't find much info on him you might try researching his wife and see if you can tie him in that way. If the bio of the person here is your great grandfather then she I assume would be your great grandmother. The bio here on E.T. says he was married to Agnes McClusky in 1906. Research her and see where it leads. Just a suggestion. Good Luck on your research.

  3. Beth Murphy

    Thank you. Agnes was my Great grandmother and she did marry William McCastlin in 1906 they had two sons William my Grandfather and Joseph(Perhaps a daughter Mary also but her parentage has always been debated). The problem is William McCastlin disappeared from our family and no one ever spoke of him. Many of us have been searching for him for many years. We knew he was a sailor. The discrepancy in his age on the records is what is throwing me off. Is there a way to see an image of the original showing the smudge or to see any records showing next of kin. If this is our William he... Read full post

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Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr William McCastlin
Age: 28 years (Male)
Nationality: Canadian
Religion: Roman Catholic
Marital Status: Married to Agnes McClusky
Occupation: Fireman
Last Ship: Oceanic
Embarked: Southampton on Saturday 6th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body Not Identified

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