John & Mary Slatter's story

1861 UK Census for 55 Leman St. in Whitechapel, London
The life of hubby's great-granddad, John Slatter (1838-1901), spanned two continents. He was born in Oxfordshire, Englandon Blackfriars Road, the son of John Slatter (a cook) and Sarah Harris Shatter. He lived in London for years and somehow got to Cleveland, Ohio by 1889, where he was a wallpaper cleaner and hanger.

John Slatter had two wives, and three of his six children (John, Henry, and Albert) grew up to become celebrated military bandmasters in Canada (see listing of posts, below). One of his grandchildren (Edgar J. Wood) and one great-grandchild were also musical.

Where/when did Mary, John's first wife, die? I now have proven that Mary Shehen Slatter was in not one but two notorious insane asylums and died of tuberculosis in 1889. Why did her husband John Slatter leave Mary in the asylum, cross to America, and meet his second wife (Louisa M.), whose maiden name is still a mystery?

What happened to Mary & John's first-born son Thomas John Slatter? Originally I believed he must have died young because he was in the 1861 Census but not in the 1871 Census--WRONG! A commenter found Thomas in the 1871 Census with his grandparents, apparently, so I need to research the rest of his life.

Children of John Slatter and Mary Shehen Slatter

Thomas John Slatter (1860-?), Albert William Slatter (1862-1935), John Daniel Slatter (1864-1954), Henry Arthur Slatter (1866-1942), Adelaide Mary Ann Slatter (1868-1947), and Mary Slatter (1869-1925)

Here are my posts about John Slatter and his children:
Posts about Captain John D. Slatter (we call him "Captain Jack," informally of course):
Obit of Henry Arthur Slatter (name is incorrect in obit)
Posts about Mary Shehan Slatter and family:
  • Mary's parents, John and Mary Shehan, were born in Ireland around 1801. By 1841, they were living in Marylebone, London.
  • Mary Shehan (the younger) married John Slatter in Whitechapel in 1859. At this time, Mary's father was working as a bricklayer, according to the marriage record.
  • Mary Shehen of London, a family link to Ireland (and the mystery of her oldest son, Thomas John Slatter
  • Was Mary Shehen Slatter admitted to a lunatic asylum? More research is needed to obtain detailed records.
  • Local relative will help me access records in the asylum where Mary Shehen Slatter was kept for years. This can only be done in person but it should solve the puzzle on her identity and fate.
  • Proof of Mary Shehen Slatter's time in and out of asylums.
Mary Shehan's mother and father were living in Marylebone in 1851, according to the UK census. Her dad, John, was a laborer and her mother Mary was a laundress. Also in the household: Thomas, age 17, Michael, age 11, and niece Bridget Waddinger, b. in Ireland (age 6).

By 1861, John and Mary were still in the same place (20 Gray's Buildings) and only their son Michael, age 21, was living with them. In the 1871 census, John and Mary were still in Gray's Buildings in Marylebone, he a laborer and she in laundry. What became of John and Mary Shehan? What became of their grandson, Thomas John Slatter, the oldest child of Mary Shehen Slatter and John Slatter?

Early in 2017, I connected with the archivist for the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada in Vancouver, who is helping me with more background about Capt. Henry Arthur Slatter, an early bandmaster. This Slatter brother served before WWI and rejoined in 1916 to go overseas with the 11th CMR, CEF. In 1920, the Seaforth Highlanders band gave concerts to attract recruits (just as Capt. John Slatter's 48th Highlanders did in Toronto). The archivist later pointed me to a photo of the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders in a 1918 parade. And more to come!

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