Mr William John Berriman was born in early 1889 in the hamlet of Hellesveor near St Ives, Cornwall, England.
He was the son of John Berriman (b. 1862), a farmer, and Sarah Brooking (b. 1860), both natives of St Ives who were married in 1886. He had two siblings: Lizzie Kate (b. 1887) and Samuel Henry (b. 1892).
William appears on all census records from 1891-1911 living with his parents in Hellesveor. By the time of the 1911 census he was described as a farm labourer, working for his father. He decided to emigrate to Calumet, Michigan where he intended to work as a miner. Travelling with him was a friend, William Carbines. It is often suggested that Berriman was married to Carbine's sister Annie Richards Carbines. William was unmarried and Annie Carbines was only 15-years-old in 1912.
He and Carbines boarded the Titanic at Southampton and travelled in second class (ticket number 28425, which cost £13).
William Berriman died in the sinking and his body, if recovered, was never identified.
Further loss came to William's family following the outbreak of War in Europe. His brother Samuel served in the 8th Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment and was killed in action on 4 September 1916. His parents continued to reside in St Ives. His mother died in 1943 and his father the following year. His sister Lizzie, who remained unmarried, died in 1965.