My Great Grandfather – Worked on the Titanic!

James Berry

James Berry

James Berry (my great grandfather) was born on 18 Jun 1864 in Lagan Village, Ballymacarret; which is in the Belfast area.  He married Mary Agnes Scott (known as Mary) on 25 Feb 1893 in the Willowfield Church of Ireland, Belfast.  The witnesses at their wedding were James Stewart and Anne McIlwain. James was a labourer at the time of their marriage and living at 41 Moore Street in Belfast which was his family home.  Mary was living at 44 Westmoreland Street in Belfast.  It has yet to be validated if Mary was living with extended family at this address.

Mary Agnes Scott

Mary Agnes Scott

Mary had been engaged to a neighbouring farmer (had even purchased her wedding dress) in order to increase the size of the family farm; a practice that was very common in that era.  Oral family history indicates that Mary Agnes changed her mind about the marriage and moved to Belfast to work as a midwife.  Since she refused to marry the “neighbour” she was written out of the family Will.  This fact is no longer family lore as it has been proven with a copy of her fathers, Richard James Scott, Will.

James parents were Robert Berry and Agnes Ann Beatty from Ballymacarret, Co. Down.  Mary’s parents were Richard James Scott and Mary Agnes Hendren who were from the Stoneyford, Co. Antrim area.

Through the years James worked as a gas fitter and plumber and had his own plumbing business where he had several employees.  He and many of his friends worked on the Titanic when it was being built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.

They had eight children; Mary (who died as an infant), Mary Agnes, Frances (who also died very young), Robert, Richard (Dick), Frances, William (Willie) and their youngest daughter was Eliza (Lizzie) Berry and my grandmother.

James and Mary lived in Belfast for the duration of their lives.  Initially living at 3 Tyne Street; this is believed to be their first home together.  Later at 7 Cherryvale Street, which was renamed Cherryville Street, and eventually purchasing 41 Cherryville Street where they resided from 1901 until their deaths.  James died on 17 Nov 1930, and Mary passed away on 12 Aug 1939.  They are both interred at St. John’s Parish Church Graveyard in Stoneyford, Co. Antrim.

Stoneyford Church of Ireland

Stoneyford Church of Ireland

Copyright (c) (2014) ( All Rights Reserved.


About CJ Murdoch

Looking For "Dead People"! My Journey Back In Time - Tracing my ancestors and researching the counties, cities and towns where they resided. Taking a “Glimpse” into their lives and stories and the times in which they lived; all in an effort to learn about their “Dash”! “I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of his friend. He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning – to the end. He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the second with tears, but he said that what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.” I have always been interested in researching my family tree and “hanging out” in cemeteries. Like most of us... I didn't ask enough questions when elderly family were still living. Oh, what I would give for 24 hours and a camera with my ancestors… just to sit and listen! I'm researching many family lines, including: Murdoch, Wilson, Berry, Love, Scott, Beattie/Beatty, Hendren, Sweeney, Robinson and Elvin; just to name a few. My families are predominantly from counties Antrim, Donegal and Londonderry. However, it seems that many of them, both maternal and paternal lines, originally hailed from Co. Donegal. I was born and raised in Northern Ireland and now live in Ottawa, Canada, making frequent trips back home to visit with my family. Of course those visits also include treks to the many burial grounds of my ancestors. My most recent trip back home was during the summer of 2019! Looking forward to August of 2020 when I will return. If you are interested in help tracing your ancestors I’d love to hear from you!
This entry was posted in Co. Antrim, Family History, Geneaology, Ireland and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to My Great Grandfather – Worked on the Titanic!

  1. J Berry says:

    Brilliant ! A detailed,and accurate piece of literary “fuel”! Your hard work and dedication to research is evident. Very enjoyable easy reading. I love it !!


  2. cjmurdoch says:

    Thank you Mr. Berry… Now I have to move back further in time to the mid 1700’s with our Berry line! Time to get back to Ireland and “hang out” in cemeteries!


  3. Pingback: Sentimental Sunday! | TWISTED LIMBS & CROOKED BRANCHES

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