Mr Edwin Henry Jones Petty was born at Henry Road in Freemantle, Southampton, Hampshire, England on 11 January 1887 as Edwin Henry Jones Mason.
His mother was listed on his birth record as Elizabeth Mason, an unmarried domestic servant and resident of the same address; nothing else is known about her and, therefore, Edwin's familial background is unclear.
He appears to have been adopted or fostered from an early age by James Petty (b. 1849) and Susannah, née Stratton (b. 1856); James and Susannah hailed from East Wellow and Ellingham, Hampshire, respectively, and they were married in Southampton in 1877 but would remain childless.
James, a dock foreman, and Susannah appeared on the 1881 census living at 9 Naseby Road, Millbrook, Hampshire. By the time they appeared on the 1891 census they were living at 21 Princes Road, Millbrook and were listed with a four-year-old adopted child, Edwin. Edwin (erroneously listed as Edward) was still with them on the 1901 census when they were living at 29 Orchard Place, St Mary, Southampton.
Edwin perhaps went to sea at a young age and first appears on crew records in June 1907 when he was a steward aboard Majestic, prior to which he had served aboard Celtic. He was absent from the 1911 census but his adoptive parents were listed as living at 25 Orchard Place, Southampton, the same address he gave when serving aboard Majestic.
When he signed on to the Titanic on 4 April 1912 Petty gave his address as 25 Orchard Place and his previous ship as the Olympic. As a bedroom steward he could expect monthly wages of £3, 15s.
Edwin Petty, who was unmarried, died in the sinking. His body (# 82) was later recovered:
NO. 82 - MALE - ESTIMATED AGE, 27 - HAIR DARK, MOUSTACHE LIGHT
CLOTHING - Dark suit; steward's white coat; white shirt; black button boots.
EFFECTS - Discharge book "A" full up; Edwin Henry Petty, 25 Orchard Place; Gold wedding ring; two bunches keys; purse with 10s 1d; two pocket diaries; number of letters; pencil; two collar studs.
BEDROOM STEWARD - NAME - EDWIN HENRY PETTY
Among his possessions was a gold wedding ring; the owner (or, indeed the intended owner) of this ring is unknown.
The following death notice appeared in the Southern Daily Echo (6 May 1912):
Petty--Edwin Henry, only son of Mr and Mrs James Petty, 25 Orchard Place. Aged 25.
Susannah Petty, described as his foster-mother, was assisted financially by the Titanic Relief Fund as a class C dependent. Widowed in 1925 when her husband James died, she was remarried in 1927 to Michael McNamara, a boilermaker. She remained living at 25 Orchard Place in Southampton and died on 1 April 1940 aged 83.