Margaret Devaney was born on May 3rd, 1892 on Kilmacowen, Ireland.
When the Titanic hit an iceberg on the night of April 14, 1912, Margaret, Mary and Catherine climbed a ladder from the Aft Well deck to a deck of the second-class. One of Margaret's friends suffered from seasickness and stopped, along with the other friend. Margaret intended to come back for them when she found a lifeboat. However, once in the crowd, she found herself near Collapsible C and was pushed in. While the boat was being lowered, it got caught on the Titanic's rivets. The crew had trouble loosening the falls to free the lifeboat. Margaret took a pocketknife and gave it to the crew member, who managed to free the collapsible lifeboat.
Margaret's friends Mary and Catherine perished. Their bodies, if recovered, were never identified.
Margaret saved three momentos from the Titanic and these relics are still treasured by her descendants. The first was her third class ticket (which she had in her sweater pocket when she left the Titanic). The second is the actual knife she gave to a crew member to cut the ropes that tied the oars together. The third is a lifeboat iron emblam flag that was removed from a lifeboat and given to Margaret while on the Carpathia. The man who gave the flag to Margaret was in charge of the boat told her that she was responsible for the lifeboat escaping the Titanic by having the knife. As a token of his appreciation, he presented her with it. Margaret's ticket was conserved at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts in Philadelphia, PA by conservator Morgan Zinsmeister prior to its inclusion in "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition" hosted by the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in 2005.
Margaret married John Joseph O'Neill in 1919 in New York. They had six children. She moved to Clifton, New Jersey after her husband's death.
She was 82 when she died on June 12th, 1974. She was buried at Holy Name Cemetery, New Jersey.