Edward Joseph White was born in Ryde, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England in 1885 and his birth was registered in the second quarter of that year. He was the son of Richard White (1857-?), a coachman, and Bessie Roach (1858-1948), both natives of the Isle of Wight who had married in 1878.
Edward, better known as Joseph, was one of ten children, nine of whom survived past infancy. His known siblings were: Ellen Margaret (b. 1879), Milia Elizabeth (b. 1880), George (b. 1881), Constance Edith (b. 1883), Arthur Charles (b. 1886), Harry Pearce (b. 1888), Frederick (b. 1890) and Ernest Evelyn (b. 1892).
Joseph and his family first appear together on the 1901 census when living at 42 Albert Street, Ryde. Joseph, aged 16, was described as a stationer's errand boy. It is uncertain when Joseph commenced his seafaring career, but by the time of the 1911 census he was described as a ship's steward whilst a visitor at 146 High Street, Southampton, seemingly an aunt's address, with his fiancée Emily Attrill (b. 1891 in Ryde, Isle of Wight).
Joseph and Emily were married in early 1912 on the Isle of Wight. They later settled at 41 Thackeray Road, Southampton and are listed there on the 1912 Southampton Street Directory.
When Joseph signed-on to the Titanic, on 4 April 1912, he gave his address as 41 Thackeray Road, (Southampton). His last ship had been the Olympic. As a glory-hole steward he received monthly wages of £3 15s
White died in the sinking. His body was recovered by the Mackay-Bennett (#272) and was buried at Fairview cemetery, Halifax, Nova Scotia on 8 May 1912.
© Bob Knuckle, Canada
NO. 272. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 32. - HAIR, FAIR.
CLOTHING - Blue suit; white jacket.
EFFECTS - One pipe; 6 shillings. G. H. STEWARD.
NAME - J. WHITE (on jacket).
Following the loss of her husband it appears Joseph's widow was remarried, but what became of her is uncertain.
References and Sources
Agreement and Account of Crew (PRO London, BT100/259)
White Star Line (1912.) Record of Bodies and Effects (Passengers and Crew S.S. "Titanic") Recovered by Cable Steamer "MacKay Bennett" Including Bodies Buried at Sea and Bodies Delivered at Morgue in Halifax, N.S. Details compiled from records of the "Mackay-Bennett". Public Archives of Nova Scotia, Halifax, N.S., Manuscript Group 100, Vol. 229, No. 3d, Accession 1976-191
Gavin Bell, UK