Edward Joseph McGarvey was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on 20 January 1878 and he was baptised on 18 February in St Albans Roman Catholic Church, Liverpool.
He was the son of Edward McGarvey (1828-1883) and Teresa Deery (1839-1897). Both Edward's parents hailed from Ireland and had married in St Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Highfield Street, Liverpool on 14 July 1863.
Edward had seven known siblings: Mary (b. 1864), Teresa (b. 1865), Patrick (b. 1866), Margaret (b. 1868), Michael (b. 1870), Bridget (b. 1874) and William (b. 1880).
On the 1881 census the family are living at 13 Hankin Street, Liverpool and his father is described as a coal heaver.
Edward was married in West Derby, Lancashire in 1901 to Ellen Owens (b. 1881 in Bootle, Lancashire). The couple would have a total of six children, only two of whom lived past infancy, Margaret (b. 1902) and Henry Michael (b. 1911). The family initially settled in Liverpool but perhaps moved to Southampton around 1907 to coincide with the White Star Line's decision to shift its main terminus to that city.
The 1911 census shows Edward and his family living at 54 College Street, St Mary, Southampton and he was described as a ship's fireman.
When Edward signed on to the Titanic, on 6 April 1912, he gave his address as 54 College Street, (Southampton). His previous ship had been the New York, the very liner with whom Titanic had a near collision whilst leaving Southampton. As a fireman Edward could expect to earn monthly wages of £6.
Edward died in the sinking. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
His widow Ellen was remarried towards the end of 1913 to James J. Jamieson and returned to her native Liverpool where she had several more children. What became of her is unknown.
His daughter Margaret later became Mrs John Penlington and had two children. She died in Liverpool in 1981.
His son Henry later married Mary O'Grady and had two children. He died in Liverpool in 1978.