Encyclopedia Titanica

William John Carney

William John Carney
William John Carney

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.

Baptism Record

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


CLOTHING - Brown suit; steward's jacket and buttons; blue pants below.

EFFECTS - Nail clipper; keys; comb; letters; gold ring.

NAME - William Carney
11 Caird St, West Derby Rd, Liverpool.

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.


  1. He stated on crew agreements that he had been born in Bristol; Newport and Bristol are adjacent to each other, separated by the Severn Estuary.
  2. He was 4-months old at the time of the 1881 census, conducted on 3 April that year.

Titanic Crew Summary

Name: Mr William John Carney
Age: 31 years (Male)
Nationality: Welsh
Marital Status: Single
Last Residence: at 11 Cairo Street Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Occupation: Lift Steward
Last Ship: Majestic (1890)
Embarked: Southampton on Saturday 6th April 1912
Died in the Titanic disaster (15th April 1912)
Body recovered by: Mackay-Bennett (No. 251)
Buried: Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on Monday 6th May 1912

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References and Sources

Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
White Star Line (1912.) Record of Bodies and Effects (Passengers and Crew S.S. "Titanic") Recovered by Cable Steamer "MacKay Bennett" Including Bodies Buried at Sea and Bodies Delivered at Morgue in Halifax, N.S. Details compiled from records of the "Mackay-Bennett". Public Archives of Nova Scotia, Halifax, N.S.
Photograph: Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management
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Comment and discuss

  1. William Lloyd Carney II

    William Lloyd Carney II said:

    Having been obsessed with the Titanic since a young boy, I recently found that William Carney was a Lift Steward who died on the ship and is buried in Halifax. I have followed my linneage back to 1895, and found no connection. Would anyone be able to point me toward internet resources to determine if there is any family connection? Any help would be greatly appreciated. It would answer a deep spiritual question for me. Thanks!!!

  2. Arthur Merchant

    Arthur Merchant said:

    Welcome on board. I'm sorry nobody else has responded but if you get to the profile for William Carney on this site and then click the link near the bottom for the complete biography, there is a somewhat blurry photo of him which is part of a picture he had taken with two unidentified gentlemen. This photo was found on his body when recovered. Maybe you'll notice a family resemblence. The full photo is on pg. 241 of the Eaton and Haas book Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy. Best of luck

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