As a child, I was fascinated with the story of the Titanic, even more so, when, as a teenager, I read Walter Lords, A Night To Remember. When I learned there was a Moran connection to the Titanic, I felt I needed to include it in the Moran section of this website. While doing the research on the Morans and the Titanic, I learned some things about the Titanic of which I was not aware. I will share some of those in this section with you.


As the Titanic was built in Ireland, there is a remote possibility there were Irish Morans involved in its construction. I say remote because it was built in Belfast, Ireland in the shipyard of Harland and Wolff for the White Star Line. The shipyard did not allow Catholics in its employ. Most Moran families in Ireland were located in Catholic areas.


After it was constructed in Belfast, the Titanic was ready for trials in May of 1912. These were conducted out of the port of Belfast. The painting on the left shows it off the coast of County Down during the trials. They were finished the first week in April. The Titanic then sailed, with some passengers and a small crew aboard, for its official embarkation port for its maiden voyage. That port was South Hampton, England.

Just days before it was to begin its voyage which was scheduled to ultimately end in New York City, The Titanic was still taking on crew from the sailor community of South Hampton. Indeed, this process kept up right until they drew up the gangplank.


This questions the team training these last minute additions to the crew got with regard to lifeboat drills. Able seaman they may have been but they were on a new ship with new officers and deckmates. The lifeboats were all on the Promenade Deck of the First and Second Class passengers. The manual stated the boats were to be lowered to each Promenade Deck below to pick up additional passengers. This was never done on the Titanic. All lifeboats that were launched went straight down to the water and more than half of them were at half capacity.


From South Hampton the Titanic went across the English channel to pick up passengers at Cherbourg, France. Roughly half of the Third Class passengers were embarked there. This was one of the first pieces of information of which I was unaware regarding the Titanic. Previously I had felt from my reading that almost all the passengers were either English, American or Canadian in First and Second Class and that Third Class was made up almost entirely of Irish immigrants looking to start a new life in America. This was statistically true regarding the First and Second Class passengers, but there were plenty of others among them. Also, the Irish who boarded and went to Third Class had many American - Irish among them who were returning to the United States after having made a return visit to the Auld Sod. Two of the Morans aboard were among these.

Painting of the Titanic at Cherbourg by Ken Marschal


At Cherbourg there were quite a number of third class passengers who boarded after having made long interconnecting travel to get them to Cherbourg from a number of destinations. Some of these were from as far away as the Middle East, the Balkans and Scandinavia. Most were immigrants looking for a new start on life in America. Others were going to America with the idea of earning a stake or trade so they could return to their native country and family and improve their lot there. Most of them did not speak English.


There were 708 Third Class passengers, only a 113 were from Ireland. There were 120 listed as British (this number could have counted some Irish who had first become British before going to the US). To my surprise there were 104 Swedes, 79 Syrians, 55 French, 44 Austria-Hungarians, 43 Americans, 33 Bulgarians, 25 Norwegians and several other countries represented including China and Japan. To look at the demographics or the nationalities on the Ttianic closer, go to this link > Titanic Nationality Demographics


Leaving Cherbourg the Titanic headed for Ireland to pick up the Irish contingent of Third Class Passengers as well as 3 Irish First Class passengers and 4 Irish Second Class passengers.
The Titanic arrived at Queenstown, Ireland on 11th April 1912 at 11:30am. As the liner was too big to enter the harbor, she anchored off shore. Tenders were used to ferry passengers and mail from the White Star offices on the dock to the liner. The two White Star tenders used in this operation were named America and Ireland. Seven passengers who traveled from Southampton to Queenstown disembarked.

One interesting fact, more interesting because of what transpired later, a crewman of the Titanic, who was from Queenstown, managed to desert the ship. He was John Coffey who was employed as a Fireman. He may have just hitched a ride from Belfast or South Hampton to his hometown. Whatever the case, how he and his family must have felt in retrospect.


Having taken on her passengers and 1,385 sacks of mail Titanic departed from Queenstown at 1:30pm. Among the passengers boarding at Queenstown, Ireland were Daniel Moran and his sister Bridget but called Bertha by the family. Daniel Moran, 27, was a New York City precinct police officer. He and his older sister (32) were originally from a farm in Toomdeely in the Askeaton area of County Limerick. They had both emigrated years earlier. Daniel settled in New York and Bertha in Troy, New York where she worked at the Peabody Shirt Factory. They had made the trip back to Ireland because their father had died and there were some problems with the estate. There also was a reported $12,000 - $15,000 inheritance.


While in Toomdeely, Daniel met again with an old friend, Patrick Ryan, a 32 year old cattle dealer. Dan's tales of life as a policeman in New York must have deeply impressed Pat Ryan. Certainly the temptations were enough to persuade him to abandon what had been a good job by Irish standards of the time, one paying substantially more than some of the skilled crew on the Titanic were paid. Pat resolved to travel to America with Daniel Moran and Dan's sister Bertha. All three saved some money by travelling on the same ticket.


Also travelling with them was a young, twenty-one year old girl from Toomdeely by the name of Margaret Madigan called Maggie by her family. She is pictured to the left. The picture came from Senan Molonoy. Maggie had earlier received money from her sister Mary (Madigan) Horgan, who lived in New York City, for the voyage. Simon Madigan, a protective married, older brother, would not allow her to sail until he had found others from the Askeaton area who would watch over Maggie on her trip to America.


When Daniel Moran came back into Askeaton with his sister to settle the estate of their father and it became known he was going back to New York with his sister and Patrick Ryan, Simon approached Daniel Moran. Simon knew all three and they agreed to assist him. Simon then entrusted Maggie's care to them.

The group secured accommodations on the small White Star liner, Cymric. However, due to a British coal strike, Cymric, and other small liners, were taken from service and its passengers were transferred to other White Star liners.

The foursome from Askeaton were given accommodations on the luxurious Titanic, due to begin its maiden voyage. How excited and lucky they all must have felt.


Once aboard Titanic, Daniel and Patrick were separated from Bertha and Maggie as they were all taken to their quarters. Daniel and Patrick were berthed in the bow with the other single men and Bertha and Maggie were given accommodations in the stern area of the ship with the other single women. The voyage was relaxing but largely uneventful. Most of their time was spent together in the Third Class general room aft on Titanic's C deck.





Maggie and Bertha had retired early Sunday evening, April 14, and were asleep when Titanic had her fateful brush with the iceberg off Newfoundland.

Having a cabin so deep within the ship, they felt the collision much more vividly than the first and second class passengers on higher decks. They were actually jolted awake by the collision and roused from their sleep by the commotion in the hallway outside their cabin. Confused and frightened, Maggie and Bertha were soon joined by Daniel and Patrick who hustled them to the third class promenade area. Bertha told her family in later life that they were 'barred from getting up to the lifeboats until some managed to break through". They luckily managed to climb to the boat deck with many other steerage passengers at the Titanic's stern. There they found Father Thomas R.D. Byles (Pictured to the right, photo from Alan Byles) an English priest from Ongar, Essex, ministering to and consoling many of Titanic's steerage passengers. They recognized him because he had been in Third Class several times counseling different passengers and only that morning had offered Mass in the Third Class general room. He was reciting prayers and trying to calm them as he led them to where the boats were being lowered. Most all the lifeboats had already been launched. Only 13, 14, 15 and 16 were still loading when our group got to the boat deck. Daniel and Patrick fought to place Maggie and Bertha into lifeboat 15 shortly before it descended from the boat deck. Boat 15 was lowered at 1:35 a.m. from the Starboard side . The boat held about 65 people. It was lowered shortly after boat 13. Boat 13 was tangled in some ropes and was drifting under the spot where boat 15 was being lowered. Lifeboat crewmen on Boat 13 called up to the officers on Boat 15 to stop the lowering but they apparently did not hear him. The crew of 13 managed to cut away the lines and quickly moved from under 15.


The overcrowded lifeboat 15 hit the water and barely stayed afloat that long cold night. Sadly Bertha and Maggie never saw Daniel and Patrick again.

The above illustration is an animation which may have stopped before you got to it.To see it all, reload the page and then quickly scroll down to the illustration.

NOTE: The animated drawing above, which depicts the sinking of the Titanic, is based on sketches by Jack Thayer, a Titanic survivor. The times provided are also based on information found on Jack's sketches -- they may not be accurate. Jack, who was 17 in 1912, drew the sketches while on board the Carpathian on April 15, the day the Titanic went down. He showed the Titanic breaking in two, which was not widely believed until after Robert Ballard's underwater team proved him right in 1985.

At this point in the story, I am going to switch to another survivor who tells what it was like at that point to be in the sea on a lifeboat looking back at the Titanic.


"The bow went down first and the stern stuck up in the ocean for what seemed to me like almost like a long time, of course it wasn't, but it stood out stark against the sky and then heeled over and went down. And you could hear the people screaming and thrashing about in the water and finally the ghastly noise of the people thrashing about and screaming and drowning, that finally ceased. I remember saying to my Mother once how dreadful that noise was and I always remember her reply. She said, 'yes, but think back about the silence that followed it', because all of a sudden it wasn't there - the ship wasn't there, the lights weren't there and the cries weren't there."

 

 

The report is from Eva Hart, she was seven years old and was with her mother in Lifeboat 14. She was in her seventies when interviewed for an oral history project. She and her family, pictured to the left, were from Canada and were sailing in Second Class to return home.

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The space above was left to give a feel of what it was like when the boat, lights and cries were all gone.


Bertha Moran said half a dozen of the fifty passengers on the lifeboat she and Maggie were on died before the Carpathia came to the rescue four hours later. Rescued by the Carpathia, Bertha and Maggie were taken to St. Vincent Hospital in New York to recover. While being interviewed, Bertha commented forcibly that steerage passengers were not allowed on deck until almost all the lifeboats were gone.


Bridget, Bertha, Moran was ill from shock and exposure and unable to work for several weeks. An invalid sister had been dependent upon her and her deceased brother, Daniel Moran. Hospital care and clothing were freely given. Three hundred dollars was provided from the American Red Cross and other American sources of relief. An additional grant of $600 was to be used for the benefit of the invalid sister.


The invalid sister is believed to have been 33 year-old Mary, known as 'Minnie' Moran. She would also apply for funds from the New York American newspaper, which had held a disaster appeal. Bertha's lost baggage was valued at $300, and the inheritance cash that she and her brother went to claim in Ireland was lost along with the Titanic. Bertha made a claim for compensation in the American Courts listing property valued at $1,445. Due to the court's finding of limited liability, Bertha received just $92, enough to replace her dresses and gloves, but nothing else.


In 1913, Bertha, pictured on the left, married Irishman Richard Sinnott. They moved to Detroit, Michigan where Richard worked for the Timken Detroit Axle Company. A son was born on Aug. 29, 1914, whom Bertha named Daniel to fill the emptiness caused by the loss of her drowned brother. But further pain was not far away - her husband was killed in an industrial accident in November 1917 when Daniel Jr. was just three years old, and his sister Eileen only a year and a half. A third child was born almost nine months after Richard's death.

Named after the second man to be wrenched from Bertha's life. Richard Jr. arrived on July 6, 1918. With three young children in tow, Bertha Moran Sinnott persevered. Her fortunes changed, she took work as a beautician and a new relationship developed within just a few years. By the beginning of the 1920s she was married again, to George C. Cooper, and the family of five became six when little Bertha entered the world on February 22, 1923.
Yet this husband too would die young leaving Bertha widowed again - but now with five children to raise on her own through the hungry years of the Great Depression. She coped well, and all her children later went on to marry and have children of their own.


In 1953 Bertha Moran Sinnott Cooper was photographed by the Detroit Free Press at a special showing of the movie Titanic, featuring Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck. Her family said she wept through much of it.


In later years she retired to tending her garden, and tending her soul with daily Mass and Tuesday night Novenas. She taught her grandchildren the sign of the cross in Gaelic, Irish lullabies and the proper way to make tea.


Bertha Moran died on the forty-ninth anniversary of the Titanic's sinking and her younger brother's death. She is one of five survivors to die on the anniversary.


Days before her passing she had been aware that her brother Daniel's date of death was upon her again. She was 77 years old.


Of thirteen children born to Bertha's parents, only one remained in Ireland. He was Patrick Moran of Limerick, who outlived all the others, and at age 96 was still walking out every day for a pint or two of beer.


1901 Census: - Moran. Toomdeely North, Askeaton. Parents: Patrick (50), Boatman; Wife Bridget deceased. Children: John (24), Mary (22) Daniel (18) Patrick (16), Thomas (12)


Maggie Marsden


Following her rescue from the freezing Atlantic by the Carpathia, Maggie was removed to St. Vincent's Hospital for a few days recovery from her ordeal. She visited with Bertha Moran in Troy, New York and then went to live with her married sister, Mary Horgan, in Manhattan.

After working as a domestic in New York City for a year, Maggie met a Swiss-Irishman named Alphonsus Hardt, who had been born in New York City of a Swiss father and an Irish mother. After a short romance, the couple were married in St. Bernard's Catholic Church on West Fourteenth Street on December 28, 1913 and lived nearby in a tenement at 30 West Nineteenth Street in Manhattan. Al Hardt worked hard as a longshoreman on the docks to support Maggie and a son, Alfred, born in 1915.


In 1925, Maggies son, Alfred, drowned in a tragjc accident. Three years later, her husband, Alphonsus, died suddenly in September of 1928 at age 50. Maggie was again alone and went back to work as a domestic.


A few years later, she was introduced to Thomas O'Shea, whose mother was a cousin of Patrick Ryan from Toomdeely. They were married shortly after.

Tragedy again struck Maggie when sister, Mary Madigan Horgan, died suddenly. Maggie was devastated at the loss of her sister, but took on a maternal role in the raising of Mary's two teenaged children. She evidently led a very normal and uneventful life with husband, Thomas O'Shea, until his untimely death at the age of 48 in June of 1951. Maggie, at age 60, was alone again.


She survived by domestic household work and whatever other menial work she could find as a laundress, seamstress or day laborer. After years of toil for her basic survival, Maggie Madigan died on December 14, 1968 at the age of 78. She had lost everything dear to her in life - two husbands, her only son, her beloved sister. She is buried with her two husbands in a single unmarked grave in Calvary Cemetery in Woodside, Queens, New York.

There is a song about Maggie Marsden and the woman intrigued with the lack of information about her, Karen Sue Thomas.

Karen's passionate efforts to learn more about Maggie led to finding Maggie's great, great nephew, Michael Madigan, who is an entertainer and thus the song > Maggie Madigan, Titanic Survivor


Patrick Ryan

Patrick Ryan's elderly father, Thomas, contacted lawyers soon after the disaster. He made a statement of claim, and alleged he had suffered damage from the defendants' negligence since his son was his 'sole support', and by his death he had lost all means of support and living. The grounds of the alleged negligence included the improper speed of the Titanic, failure to heed ice warnings, failure to maintain a proper look out or to supply their look out men with binoculars (they had been left behind in Southampton), and the failure to provide adequate lifeboat accommodation.
The Ryan lawsuit became the Titanic test case in Britain.


Daniel James Moran

Mr. Ryan's case was amalgamated with a claim for the life of Daniel Moran- his fellow passenger from Askeaton, whose family had followed Thomas Ryan's example - and it went to trial before a judge and civil case jury. The case was tried from June 20-26, 1913. The jury found that the navigation of the Titanic had not been negligent in respect of proper look outs, but that the speed had indeed been negligently excessive. They decided that there was not sufficient evidence that a crucial marconigram, containing an ice warning from the Mesaba, had been passed to a responsible officer. The jury also found that the defendants had not done what was reasonably sufficient to Ryan and Moran 'notice of the conditions' (alerting them to the real gravity of the situation or the lack of boats). The jury assessed damages at 100 pounds per life - and Mr. Justice Bailhache ordered this amount paid over, with full legal costs, to Thomas Ryan. It was the equivalent of one year's annual salary for his son.


Another Moran ?

One of the opening scenes of James Cameron's 1997 movie Titanic showed ticket number 30887 laying on a wooden surface. Money was placed beside it for a moment and then it was gone.


Ticket number 30887 had been issued to a James Moran and James Moran showed up on many of the lists of passengers of the Titanic until the tale of the selling of the ticket was told. On the left is the ship's manifest showing James Moran and his ticket number.


The ticket was sold to William O'Doherty, a barman at O'Callaghan's Pub in Cork, Ireland not far from Queensland. It appears James Moran, for whatever reason, sold the ticket to O'Doherty. Nothing more is known of James Moran other than he was 22 years old and worked as a general laborer.


According to the father of William O'Doherty, William Senior, his son had purchased the ticket from an acquaintance at less than the face value of the ticket sometime before the sailing date.

O'Doherty's intended destination in the United States is unclear. O'Doherty's mother, Anne, gave her son £5 towards his transatlantic ticket, "as his father didn't want him to go". Her brother, William Golden, and sisters Teresa and Frances, were in the US and perhaps the plan was for him to go and stay with one of them for a while until he could get on his feet. In the picture to the right which was taken in Cork, Ireland just days before he left, William O' Doherty is shown standing beside his brother John James O'Doherty who is sitting. The picture was not developed until after the sinking of the Titanic.

William O'Doherty, sometimes listed as Doherty in some of the research, was lost in the disaster.

Another person who claimed to be a Titanic survivor was the late George Moran, who for many years was the landlord at the White Horse, in Abingdon, England. He claimed, he - along with his best friend Ned, were Titanic stewards. There is reason to believe his best friend Ned was aboard the Titanic as a steward. He did not survive.


George Moran was well known in Abingdon and had a good standing in the community. They chose to believe him and thus his name is sometimes found among the lists of survivors. Like many publicans before and after him, George Moran loved a good story even if he had to tell it. Maybe he and Ned had planned to join the crew of the Titanic together and in his grief over losing Ned started the telling of the story. The fact is, though he claimed to have been a steward on the Titanic, nobody of that name appears in the crew or passenger listings and no survivor recalled him.

I found this item while researching -

Chicago Tribune, Wednesday, November 5, 1912, p. 10, c. 4 (item):

SURVIVOR OF TITANIC KILLED

Shamokin, Pa Nov. 4Martin Moran, a survivor of the Titanic disaster was killed today by a rush of coal at Natalie colliery. He was employed as a sailor on the big liner and when she went down he jumped into the ocean, swam to a boat, and was saved.

The name, Martin Moran was never on any published crew lists. There were many cases of people claiming to have been on the Titanic.

Then I thought of my sister down with the women. I rushed down the companionway to the womens quarters. An officer would not allow me to

Titanic, The Movies

There have been several movies about the Titanic, but the one made by James Cameron in 1997 won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It also did a lot for the careers of stars - Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet.

I have yet to find any Morans in any of the production crews, but it is quite possible. If anyone reading knows of anyone, please let me know.

"The story could not have been written better...The juxtaposition of rich and poor, the gender roles played out unto death (women first), the stoicism and nobility of a bygone age, the magnificence of the great ship matched in scale only by the folly of the men who drove her hell-bent through the darkness. And above all the lesson: that life is uncertain, the future unknowable . . . the unthinkable possible."
 James Cameron


Titanic
The Musical

In 1997, there was Titanic, The Musical. It was based on the book by Peter Stone, Music & Lyrics were by Maury Yeston. It was directed by Richard Jones, choreography was by Lynne Taylor-Corbett. It opened April 23, 1997 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, (New York) and ran for 804 performances.

 

 

Among its cast was an experienced Broadway actor, Martin Moran. Martin played the part of Harold Bride the Marconi radio operator. The following is from a review of the show.

< Martin Moran as Harold Bride in a picture by Joan Marcus


Before Titanic became the surprise winner of five 1997 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Martin Moran wondered if audiences would "get it," as he puts it. "I always believed that the show had something truly beautiful and unusual to offer, but I wasn't sure that it would be accepted in the commercial arena," he says. "But even early in the run, we could feel audiences responding."

Finally, I chose this painting to end this section rather than one of the Titanic on the bottom of the ocean, to express the sentiment - gone but not forgotten.

Resources:

Encyclopedia-Titanica, http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org

Molonoy, Senan The Irish Aboard the Titanic, 2000

Thomas, Karen Sue, An Irish Immigrants Dream "Unfulfilled" - Maggie Marsden data

Bracken, Robert - Maggie Marsden data

Faris, Craig - Maggie Marsden data

Madigan, Frank - Maggie Marsden data

Cork Free Press, April 17, 1912

Cork Examiner, April 17 and 19, 1912, May 8, 1912

Cork Constitution, April 17, 1912

Oral History Project, City Council of South Hampton, England

The movie posters came from the website - Titianic in Film & Television, http://www.jimusnr.com

and many more.

Three Years later another great ship went down.

The RMS Lusitania, a passenger ship torpedoed May 7, 1915 off Ireland by a German U- Boat.

There were several Morans aboard and all survived:

James Moran of the crew was from Errin, County Mayo, Patrick Moran was another crew member who survived. There were three Lusitania passengers: Patrick J. Moran of New Jersey, Timothy Moran of Montbellow, Ireland and Maggi Moran from Castlebar, Mayo, Ireland. All survived.

The torpedoing of the Lusitania and the loss of 1,198 civilians of the 1,959 aboard set off a firestorm of resentment against the Germans in Europe and the United States. It had a lot to do with American public opinion making it easier for the subsequent entry of the United States into WW I.

 

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