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Did bearers of your surname travel on the Titanic? When researching your family history, or the background of your surname, it is always fascinating to discover connections to famous events. The Titanic and its passenger list are a source on continuing intrigue and here’s why.


The sinking of the Titanic is forever etched in the annuls of history. It is of course one of the most famous maritime disasters of all time. Here we  discover a little more The Titanic and its passenger list. There was such a tragic and huge loss of life, and the disaster is as intriguing now as ever. The passenger list of the Titanic recorded 1517 passengers in total, and each one of those passengers had their own unique story to tell. Was your surname one of those that featured on board this doomed vessel?


Who Built It?


Built by the White Star Line, the ship had been hailed as ‘unsinkable’ and yet only 705 people survived. In total there were 472 lifeboat seats not used, further adding to the human tragedy.

When reading our coats of arms and surname history prints, we regularly find information about people with a particular surname who were on board the Titanic. For example, we learn of a Mr Humphrey Lloyd, age 32, an English Saloon Steward. He died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett. If your own surname is recorded in the passenger list of the Titanic, we make mention of it on our surname history print. Plus, the lifeboat number is often mentioned. You may be able to find bearers of your name that were rescued in a particular lifeboat. We often learn the occupation of the passenger, and also the class they were travelling in. Who knows? It could be the start of a journey of family discovery! It is always sad to think about how discrepancies between the classes had such a bearing on whether passengers survived or perished.



The Titanic lifeboats

The Titanic lifeboats



An example: The Kelly Surname


A particular surname of note is that of ‘Kelly’. On the passenger list, we find a Mr William Kelly, aged 23, who was an Irish Assistant Electrician from Dublin. He did not survive the disaster. We also find two James Kellys, aged just 19 and 44 respectively. They were both third class passengers who lost their lives in the sinking. Also another James Kelly, aged 44, and English ‘Greaser’ from Southampton, who worked on board, but sadly lost his life.

When you discover the interesting details and the background behind the surname, it brings the enormity of the tragedy into sharp focus. Each of these passengers had a story to tell, and hopes for the future as they steamed their way to America.



The Titanic in Southampton

The Titanic in Southampton



Useful links


Click here for a useful site with a list of names and images where available. Biographies of the passengers are also available on this comprehensive site. Titanic Universe, is also a site with helpful information, and if you are in Belfast, home of the Titanic, why not visit the Titanic Belfast, the world’s largest Titanic attraction.

Have you or members of your family uncovered links to the Titanic tragedy? Please share your stories with us.  Find out the history of your own surname with our coat and history print here.If you would like to order a keepsake memento book of The Titanic, showing newspaper articles from the time, click here.

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