Saturday, November 26, 2011

Surname Saturday: Slatter (The Musical Slatter Brothers)

Captain John (Jack) Daniel Slatter (1864-1954), my husband Wally's great-uncle, was not only a well-known bandmaster in Toronto, he had two musical brothers.

Above is Henry Arthur Slatter (1866-1942), who led the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders, 1911-14 and 1919-1925. Here he is circa 1913, standing on the steps of the Vancouver Courthouse, which is today the Vancouver Art Gallery. This photo was posted by "Bold Highlander" on "X Marks the Scot," where he also posted photos of Captain Jack.

The third musical brother was Albert William Slatter, bandmaster of the 7th London Fusiliers. I'm still researching him!

All the brothers were children of John Slatter Sr. and Mary Shehen/Shehan, married in Whitechapel, London, England, in 1859. Their other children were Mary Slatter (hubby's grandma, married to James Edgar Wood) and Adelaide Mary Slatter (married to James S. Baker), of more in later posts. Mary must have passed the family musical tradition down to her son, Edgar James Wood, who played piano and other instruments professionally for many years.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Mr & Mrs Harold Burk, 11/24/46

On this day in 1946, my parents, Harold Burk and Daisy Schwartz, were married at the Hotel McAlpin in New York City.

Here they are with Ida Mahler, one of his Mahler aunts, during the summer before they were married.

Although they became engaged on Dec. 31, 1945, after my father closed the deal to become the in-house travel agent of the posh Savoy Plaza Hotel, they soon set their wedding date for November, 1946.

Why wait, especially since they were very anxious to settle down? First, because of the severe shortage of apartments following WWII and second, I suspect, to save up money. In fact, who exactly paid for their wedding is a mystery I hope to solve one day.

On Thanksgiving, I give thanks for their love and for the family ties I've been discovering through genealogy (dear cousins, you know who you are!).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Future Genealogy circa 2036

For Wedding Wednesday, I'm delighted to post this photo of my lovely youngest niece and her wonderful new husband. May they be as happy and healthy on their 25th and 50th anniversaries as they were on their wedding day just three weeks ago!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday's Obituary: Captain John D. Slatter

This week I connected with the granddaughter of Captain John D. Slatter! As mentioned earlier this month, Capt. Jack was (we now know) my husband's great-uncle. We plan to get acquainted with her and her brother, and exchange photos and info.

Her family knew nothing of my husband's grandmother, Capt. Slatter's sister Mary Slatter, who married James Edgar Wood in 1898 in Toledo, OH, and we knew nothing of her grandfather, an illustrious military bandleader.

A very kind genealogy angel in Canada looked up Capt. Jack's obit in the Globe & Mail of December 9, 1954 (he died on Dec 7). Here it is, complete with the names (not completely correct) of his survivors:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Captain John Slatter was a Bandmaster

Thanks to Stan Milne of the Regimental Museum of the 48th Highlanders of Canada, I found out that Captain Slatter (the gentleman in the kilt in last Wednesday's post) had a long and distinguished career in the military. He served with the 48th Highlanders from 1896 through 1946 and was appointed bandmaster in 1916. He was officer-in-charge of training bands and buglers during WWI!

Among his medals are a Member of the British Empire and the Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal (for serving 20 yrs).

Next step: Ordering his records from the Library & Archives Canada. Finally, I hope to learn who John Slatter's parents were--the parents of hubby's grandmother. This will be a big breakthrough!

PS This just in!
  • I just found Captain John Slatter in the Canadian Encyclopedia of Music--he was a well-known military band master and his brother, Henry Arthur Slatter, is mentioned as well. 
  • He was instrumental (pun intended) in establishing the Canadian Band Assn.
  • Capt. Slatter toured the 48th Highlanders band through North America and played at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1934. In 1935 photo above, Capt. Slatter is at center of front row.
  • And he and the band toured all over the world, including at the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, NY in 1901. Below, Capt. Slatter (center, front) and the brass band from the 48th, which toured around the world.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Day of Remembrance: Captain Slatter of the 48th Highlanders

Captain Slatter, one of my husband's great uncles, lived in Canada and served in WWI (I've written about him here). And once again, I'm posting this photo of the captain in full regalia.
Thanks to Darcy Murray, who posted a comment on my original post about Captain Slatter, I learned that this is the dress uniform of the 48th Highlanders of Canada. This morning, Lt. Kassissia of the 48th Highlanders responded to my inquiry by confirming that yes, Captain Slatter does appear to be wearing the 48th Highlanders' uniform and my inquiry will be forwarded to the Regimental Museum for further study! 


In Canada, November 11 is Remembrance Day, as in America it's Veteran's Day. So this week I want to post a poppy in remembrance of Captain Slatter and all those veterans who have served our nations. Thank you for your service!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tuesday's Tip: Where Would You Go in a Time Machine?

I was lucky enough to sit next to the grandma of the groom at a wedding this weekend...and we started talking about her family's Eastern European roots. She didn't have many specifics, in part because her grandparents disliked talking about the difficult ocean crossing in steerage (like my grandparents, who also brushed aside inquiries).

Then I asked her to think about where/when she would go if she could take one trip in a time machine.*

Suddenly her face lit up, exactly like the bride in the ceremony we'd just attended, and she said without hesitation: June 1, 1943.

That was her wedding day, and the story came pouring out! She was a wartime bride, crossing the country to join her Navy husband for a wedding and a couple of weeks of married life before he shipped out. If only I had my trusty Flip with me to capture all the details and her animated expression. We spent a delightful hour talking about this, and I also learned that her husband had seen the famous flag raising at Iwo Jima.  Oh my, what a time in her family's life.

Of course I'll be doing a bit of research so the groom has more detailed info about his ancestors...and I plan to contact grandma again to learn more and thank her for sharing her special memories with me! It was an honor and a pleasure, truly.

*Personally, I'd go to the future to see who lives happily ever after, but that's not going to help anyone's genealogy research. Where/when would YOU travel to?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Future Genealogy: Snowtober Surprise 2011

We "lucky" New Englanders have been clobbered by a freak October snowstorm, heavy and wet snow that brought down trees, limbs, and power lines all over the area.

Here's a big limb that crashed down on my deck railing but didn't hurt anything! Missed my roof (new this year, thanks to Hurricane Irene) by a yard or two.

A few hours later, another big limb fell in the front yard, blocking the driveway completely. Happily we weren't under it at the time. And happily, we had electricity and could take out the chain saw and hack it apart.

But then our luck ran out and the power went out. For 49 hours. And we're actually fortunate because as of now, 85% of my town remains without power.

What a year: Blizzard in February, Irene just before Labor Day, and now Snowtober in time for Halloween. Stories for future generations! I hope you're all warm and safe.