Mr William Baird Silvey was born in Washington, DC in February 1861.
He was the son of Major William Silvey (b. 1826 in Ohio) and Isabella Heilman (b. 1837 in Virginia). His father was a lieutenant colonel in the First United States Artillery and his family had been associated with the military for generations. He had two siblings: Isabella (b. 1863) and Frances "Fanny" (1866-1944, later Mrs Fred Deshler) who were born in Rhode Island and Connecticut, respectively.
William appears on the 1870 census living in New York with his family. His father died in 1876 and his mother in 1914. He later went on to become a graduate of Brown University and around 1889 settled in Duluth, Minnesota where on 28 June 1893 he was married to Alice Gray Munger (b. 1872), a native of Duluth who came from a prominent family. The couple had only one child, a daughter, Alice Melville, who was born in March 1894.
Mr Silvey and his family continued to reside in Duluth where he was active in the local community in both a public and business capacity. At one time he was a member of the public affairs committee of the Duluth Commercial Club and had interests in the West Duluth Land Company and held the lease on the West Superior Hotel. He had also previously held the lease on the Spalding Hotel where the family lived for a period.
Mr and Mrs Silvey had been on a trip to Europe but had left their daughter Alice behind who was studying in Farmington, Connecticut.
On the night of the sinking Mr Silvey had his wife dress warmly and as they left their stateroom he cautioned her to heed all orders of the ship's officers but to remain calm as there was probably no grave danger to be worried of. Mrs Silvey was ordered into a lifeboat, number 11, and before doing so embraced her husband briefly before stepping into the boat.
William Silvey was lost in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
His widow Alice survived the disaster and was later remarried before her death in 1959. Their daughter never married and spent many years living in New York. She died in her native Minnesota on 24 October 1975.