William McReynolds was born in the County Down Quarter of Belfast, Ireland (modern-day Northern Ireland) around 1890. He was the son of Thomas and Annie McReynolds who hailed from County Tyrone and County Down respectively1 and he grew up in a Presbyterian household.
William had six known siblings: Mary Jane Crozier (?) (b. 1888) Martha (b. 1892), Frederick (b. 1894), Ernest (b. 1896), May (b. 1900) and Sadie (b. 1904).
William appears with his family on the 1901 Irish Census living at 7 Laganview Street, Pottinger, East Belfast, Co Down. His father was, at the time, described as a stoker in the iron works. Whilst William was still described as a schoolboy and aged 11, his 13-year-old sister Mary was already in employment as a machinist.
Following school William was apprenticed to Harland & Wolff's Engineering department. He joined the White Star Line on 25 March 1912 as a junior engineer and was also a member of the Lodge Temperance Dart Club. By the time of the 1911 census of Ireland William was described as an engineer and still unmarried and living with his parents, now at 20 Rotterdam Street, Pottinger.
He boarded Titanic in Belfast on 2 April 1912 and re-signed for the maiden voyage on 6 April in Southampton, giving his address as Lagan Villas, Belfast. The Titanic was his first ship and as Junior Sixth Engineer he received monthly wages of £8 10s.
William McReynolds was lost in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified. He is commemorated on various Memorials dedicated to Titanic's Engineers. He is also listed on the Titanic Memorial located in the grounds of Belfast City Hall.