Mr Edward Flaherty 1 was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England around August 1860.2
He was the son of Irish immigrants from Co Cork, David Flaherty (b. circa 1818), a labourer, and Mary Catherine Sullivan (b. 1835) who had married in Southampton in 1864.
He had seven known siblings: Mary (b. 1856), Ann (b. 1859), Ellen (b. 1865), David (b. 1867), John (b. 1870), Joseph Daniel (b. 1872) and Catherine (b. 1875).
Edward first appears on the 1861 census as a 9-month old infant at 4 Beehive (?) Buildings, Southampton of which his maternal uncle Michael Sullivan was the head of the household; the family would still be at this address at the time of the 1871 census.
Edward's father died in 1875 and when the 1881 census was conducted he and his family were living at a different address, 3 Sawmill Court in the Queen Street area of Southampton; Edward, aged 19, was described as a seaman. His mother later died in 1895.
Flaherty reportedly went to sea aged 17 for the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company before transferring to the Castle Line. He was married in early 1886 to Julia Eva Macklin (b. 1865), a native of Twyford, Hampshire, and they went on to have seven children: Ernest Edward (1887-?), Frank Charles (1890-1966), Eva Florence3 (1892-1984), Alfred Reginald (1894-?), Lewis Victor (1896-1977), Arthur Edrick (1897-1978) and Jessie Irene (1899-1915).
The 1891 and 1901 censuses show the family living at 28 Rochester Street, Southampton. Edward was widowed in 1904 and by the time of the 1911 census he was absent (apparently at sea) and his children are scattered as boarders around different addresses in Southampton; his youngest child Jessie was living with her married sister Eva and her family at 16 Millais Road, Itchen.
When he signed on the Titanic as a fireman Edward gave his address as 21 Stamford Street. As a fireman he would receive pay of £6 per month.
Edward Flaherty survived the Titanic disaster but it is unknown in which boat he escaped and he was not called to give evidence to either the American or British Inquiries into the sinking.
Following the disaster Edward continued to work at sea; during the 1914-1918 war he was involved in mine-sweeping in the Isle of Wight Company's Balmoral and later of provisions transport to and from France. He would later survive another wreck when the transport vessel he was working on, the Mouyne, was torpedoed between Malta and Gibraltar. His last seafaring work would be on a private yacht, the Liberty. In all his seafaring career spanned 50 years.
Edward Flaherty died in Southampton on 2 February 1940 and he was buried at Southampton's Old Cemetery.
His last surviving child was Eva; she was married in 1910 to Frederick William Inns (1882-1930), a shipwright from Co Durham, and had three children, twins Dorothy and Graham (b. 1910) who were followed by Patricia in 1928. Eva lived in Southampton for the rest of her life and died in 1984.