Mr William John Doherty was born in Co Cork, Ireland around July 1889.
He was one of five surviving children born to Leitrim-native William Doherty (b. 1856), a policeman with the Royal Irish Constabulary, and Anne Golden (b. circa 1858) from Cork who had married on 21 January 1886 in Donoughmore.
His siblings were: Thomas Peter (b. 1887), Annie (b. 1893), John James (b. 1894) and Bartholomew Hugh (1895-1914) whilst another sibling, a brother, died in infancy. The family were Roman Catholic.
He first appears on the 1901 census living with his family at 8 Cross Lane in Rosscarbery, a small town in west Co Cork located about 40 miles from Cork City. His father later fell out of favour with the Royal Irish Constabulary and was described as "superannuated" by the time of the 1911 census; although not certain why, his discharge was perhaps due to his own and his wider-family's perceived Irish Republican political leanings in an Ireland which, at the time, was on the knife-edge of an ethno-religious civil war. The family were making their home in Cork City in 1911 and the census records them as residents of 12 Old Market Place where William's parents ran a grocery store as well as his father working as a railway policeman. William, who was unmarried, was described as a barman and he was employed at W. F. O'Callaghan's at Daunt Square.
William purchased a ticket for Titanic from an acquaintance (ticket number 330877 which cost £8, 9s, 2d) and boarded the ship at Queenstown on 11 April 1912 as a third class passenger, his exact destination in the US being unknown. He travelled under the name of the ticket's original owner, James Moran.
William Doherty died in the disaster and his body, if recovered, was never identified.