Mr William John Carney was born at 40 Capel Crescent in St Woollos, Newport1, Monmouthshire, Wales in late 1880/early 1881.2 He was baptised in St Paul’s Church, Newport on 5 January 1881.
William Carney’s baptismal record
He was the eldest of eight children born of a Welsh father, Charles Carney (b. 1854 in Newport), a pilot seaman, and an English mother, Eliza Jane Harris (b. 1854 in Ilfracombe, Devon).
His siblings were: Bertie Constantine (1882-1961), Frederick Charles (1884-1884), Reginald Henry (1886-1959), Dora Vivian (1887-1966, later Mrs George Arthur Casey), John Edgar (1890-1950), Elsie Alice (1892-1951, later Mrs Joseph R. Smith) and Ivor Charles (1895-1937).
William appears on the 1881 census as a 4-month-old infant, residing with his parents at 40 Capel Crescent, St Woollos; by 1891 the expanding family had relocated to 6 Alfred Street, St Woollos and the 1901 census shows them residing at 43 Robert Street, Newport. His father had died aged 40 in 1895, not long after the birth of his youngest sibling Ivor, and he had now become a breadwinner in the household, listed on the 1901 census as a shipyard labourer alongside his brothers Bertie and Reginald. The 1911 census shows the family still residing at 43 Robert Street but William was by then described as a boilermaker's helper at the docks. Exactly when he went to sea is not clear but he worked for a time aboard Majestic, operating out of Liverpool.
When he signed-on to the Titanic on 6 April 1912 Carney gave his address as 11 Cairo Street, West Derby Road, Liverpool. His previous ship had been the Majestic and, as a first class lift attendant, he received monthly wages of £3, 15s.
William Carney, who was unmarried, died in the sinking; his body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett (#251) and he was buried at Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 8 May 1912.
© Bob Knuckle,Canada
NO. 251 - MALE - ESTIMATED AGE, 50 - HAIR, FAIR
CLOTHING - Brown suit; steward's jacket and buttons; blue pants below.
EFFECTS - Nail clipper; keys; comb; letters; gold ring.
NAME - William Carney
Curiously, and unlike the large proportion of other British Titanic victims, Carney’s death was registered with the offices of Births, Marriages and Deaths.
William's mother died in 1914, just two years after his loss. His family largely remained in Newport and his last known surviving sibling was his sister Dora Casey who died there on 17 August 1966.