Wednesday, May 29, 2019

The Farkas Family Tree's Grave Decisions

Threshold of Kossuth Association plot in Mount Hebron Cemetery, Queens, NY
My mother's Farkas Family Tree believed in planning ahead for final resting places. The tree was founded in 1933 in New York City by all the adult children of my maternal great-grandparents, Moritz Farkas and Leni Kunstler Farkas.

Kossuth Association Buys Plots in Mount Hebron Cemetery

Gates of Kossuth plot in Mt. Hebron Cemetery
Even before the tree association was formed, many Farkas relatives had purchased plots in Mount Hebron Cemetery, Queens, New York, through the Kossuth Ferencz Hungarian Literary, Sick & Benevolent Association.

Alex Farkas (oldest son of Moritz and Leni) helped to found the Kossuth Association in 1904. When Mount Hebron began as a cemetery in 1909, many members of the Kossuth Association bought grave sites and paid for special pillars, threshold, and gates to distinguish the association's plot (see photos at top and at right).

Alex and most of his siblings were eventually buried in the Kossuth plot. Among the first to be buried there were both my great-grandparents (Moritz in 1936, Leni in 1938).

As the younger Farkas Family Tree members grew older, however, they faced their own grave decisions.

New Farkas Generation Buys Plots in New Montefiore Cemetery

In 1937, the family tree formed a committee to choose another cemetery in the New York metropolitan area. Nearly all the tree's members lived in the five boroughs of New York City, on Long Island, or in Westchester, and they wanted a cemetery within driving distance or accessible by train. They decided on New Montefiore Cemetery, which began operating in 1928 and had plenty of plots available.
Quoting from the minutes of the family tree meeting on October 2, 1937: 
"The Cemetery headed by Alex Farkas bought six plots in the name of the Tree in the New Montefiore Cemetery - Block 2, 265 to 270 inclusive. Five of these were subscribed for by individual members and the sixth is the exclusive property of the Tree. A motion made by Albert Farkas and seconded was to the effect that full payment be made immediately for the Farkas Family Tree plot amounting to $165..."
On September 12, 1938, when the subject of annual member dues came up during a tree meeting, one member recommended reducing dues because the money was used mainly to pay for the cemetery plot and to buy small gifts for family occasions (weddings, births, etc.). At the time, each member paid $5 per year. The proposal was to cut dues to $3 per year (remember, this was still in the depths of the Depression.)

Great uncle Albert Farkas objected, reminding the tree "that the cemetery expenses were not yet completed" and urging that dues be kept constant. The motion to reduce dues was defeated and members continued to pay $5 per year.

Thanks to the careful planning of the Farkas Family Tree, many of my beloved relatives were buried in New Montefiore years after the plots were first purchased.

Let me again thank Amy Johnson Crow for her #52Ancestors prompts, including this week's "cemetery" prompt.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Great Uncle Abraham Burk Sailed From . . . ?

Unsourced page - BIG rookie mistake!
Years ago, when I was starting out in genealogy, I somehow found the passenger list showing when my paternal grandfather's older brother left England and arrived in Canada.

Great-uncle Abraham Burk (1877-1962) was born in Gargzdai, Lithuania. In his early 20s, he and my Grandpa Isaac Burk (1882-1943) came to live with an aunt and uncle in Manchester, England. I found them there in the 1901 UK Census, in the household of Isaac Chazan and his wife, Hinde Ann. They were learning English and earning money to pay for their journey to North America.

My great-uncle Abraham married Annie Hurwitch (or Horwich) in Manchester in June, 1903. The next time I spotted a record for Abraham, he was living in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 1904. How did he get there? When did he leave, when did he arrive? I rushed ahead to find out more, leaving no paper trail.

Avoid My Rookie Mistake

My research at that time led me to the page at top. It has no ship's name, and no date, but there is Abraham Burk, age 26, married, a cabinetmaker, "Russian Jew," with $2 in his pocket. He had left "Lancashire," and his destination was "Montreal." Yup, it's Great Uncle Abraham.

I excitedly saved only this image of a single page of the passenger list, with the quick note "April, 1904."

My big rookie mistake was not citing any sources. What ship was this page from? When, exactly, did it sail, where did it leave from, and when/where did it arrive? Where else did I search (with or without success)? Without a source or a research log, I couldn't easily retrace my steps. For years, I didn't even try. I had lots of other ancestors to chase. But this rookie mistake (not an isolated incident) has come back to haunt me during my ongoing Genealogy Go-Over.

Looking for Abraham, Page by Page

Today I spent two hours on the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) website, researching Abraham's voyage to find out where this passenger list came from so I can note a complete source and get a better picture of my ancestor's travels.

The LAC website has a key database titled Passenger lists, 1865-1922, which includes 26 ship arrivals for the month of April, 1904. Clicking page by page, I examined every ship's passenger list, in search of Abraham.

You can guess that Abraham did NOT arrive early in the month. Of course not. But eventually, after looking at many dozens of pages, I struck gold.

Liverpool to Halifax in 11 Days 

Abraham arrived on April 30th aboard the S.S. Lake Champlain from Liverpool, England, to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Compared with many of my immigrant ancestors' voyages, this was relatively brief--Abraham crossed the Atlantic in only 11 days. Leaving from Liverpool makes a lot of sense, since it is convenient to get there from Manchester, where Abraham was living.

A bit more research revealed that the S.S. Lake Champlain often sailed directly to Quebec. Why Abraham didn't go there, instead of Halifax, I simply don't know.

Genealogy Go-Over

Today, I strive to save two versions of any image I download as a source. The one directly above shows my source, typed onto the image. On my family tree, I include additional details such as web addresses so I can retrace my steps quickly and easily. Little by little, I'm cleaning up these kinds of mistakes and omissions as I go over each ancestor in my tree and hubby's tree.

Don't make my big rookie mistake. Cite your sources and add them to your family tree as you go.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Cousin Frank Morris Jacob Was a Marine in WWI

Military service of Frank M. Jacob in WWI
On this Memorial Day weekend, I want to honor the military service of a cousin on my father's side of the family tree, who enlisted in the U.S. Marines during WWI.

Frank Morris "Maurice" Jacob was born on October 3, 1896, in New York City. He went by "Frank" and used "Maurice," the Americanized version of his given name Morris, as his middle name. He was my first cousin, twice removed.

Frank's father Joseph Jacobs (1864-1918) was the brother of my long-lived paternal great-grandma Tillie Jacobs Mahler (she was nearly 100 when she died). Frank's mother was Eva Michalovsky Jacobs (1869-1941).

Finding Frank in the NY State Census

1905 New York State Census, Manhattan, NY

1915 New York State Census, Brooklyn, NY
In 1905, Frank (enumerated as Morris) was living with his parents and siblings at 88 Chrystie Street in a large tenement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, NY, an area crowded with immigrants. He was at school, his father was a janitor, his mother was a saleswoman.

In 1915, Frank (again, as Morris) was living with his mother Eva and siblings Flora, Louis, and Hilda in Brooklyn, NY. Eva was shown the head of the household. Where was Joseph Jacobs, Eva's husband and the father of these children? Sadly, he was in the hospital and he died late in 1918 as a result of Parkinson's disease.

By 1925, Frank was living with his widowed mother on Gerard Avenue in the Bronx, NY, and working in advertising (his profession for the rest of his life). Eva was, indeed, born in "Russia" but not Frank, who was definitely not an alien.

Frank Became a Marine in WWI

Frank enlisted in the U.S. Marines on April 18, 1917. Less than three months later, he was fighting in France. As shown at top on his service record, Frank was involved in four major engagements during WWI: in the Toulon Sector, the Aisne Defensive, the Chateau-Thierry Sector, and the Aisne-Marne Offensive.

I found lots of interesting historical background on the Marines in WWI on the U.S. WWI Centennial Commission website here. Clearly, Frank and his units saw some fierce fighting. Frank was wounded on July 19, 1918, during a major battle in which Germany's machine guns took a very heavy toll on the Marines.

Frank was returned to the States in August, 1918, and continued to serve in the Marines until he left the military on June 13, 1919, more than two years after his enlistment. He supported his mother and lived with her in New York City until she died in the 1940s. Frank died on July 5, 1974, in Brooklyn, NY.

Cousin Frank, although I never met you, I salute and admire your courageous military service!

Thanks, as always, to Amy Johnson Crow for this week's #52Ancestors prompt of military.

Friday, May 24, 2019

"Old Settlers" Benjamin McClure and Sarah Denning McClure

Hubby's great-great-grandparents, Benjamin McClure (1812-1896) and Sarah Denning McClure (1811-1888), moved to Wabash, Indiana, in September, 1844.

By the time they arrived, settlers had been clearing thick forests of sturdy timber to make way for family farms for nearly two decades, according to History of Wabash County, Indiana by C.W. Weesner (published in 1914). Swaths of walnut, hickory, oak, and ash trees were steadily being replaced by fields of corn, wheat, and oats.

Pioneer Farmers and Leaders

Like their pioneering neighbors, the McClure family owned a farm. And like their neighbors, they got involved in the community. As shown above, Benjamin was one of the organizers of the "old settlers" organization that recognized and documented the names (and dates) of early Wabash pioneers.

The book actually includes lists of names, birth dates, and settlement dates. That's how I can pinpoint the month and year when Benjamin, Sarah, and their oldest son Theodore Wilson McClure (1834-1927) came to Wabash.

Benjamin also served as master at arms for the Knights of Pythias lodge organized in 1886, according to the book.

By the time Benjamin passed away in 1896, the natural landscape of Wabash had been significantly transformed, with electricity in evidence and other modern conveniences. He was considered one of the last great "old settlers" from pioneer days.

Thanks to Amy Johnson Crow for the #52Ancestors prompt of "nature."

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Playing Tag with My Ancestors

When I first saw Ancestry's TreeTags, I was intrigued by the categories. The idea is to indicate the research status of each ancestor.

Tag, You're It!

I like "unverified" and "hypothesis" because they are a great way to tag ancestors who I've either found on some document and been unable to verify further, or ancestors who I suspect (but can't yet prove) are related in a certain way to my tree. Extremely useful.

"Actively researching" and "brick wall" seem less useful tags for my purposes. "Verified" is, however, highly useful for situations where I've got clear, solid evidence for these ancestors and can verify how they are actually related to my family. 

What Does Complete Mean?

But after 21 years of active research, the word "complete" is not in my #genealogy vocabulary and I doubt I'll ever tag any ancestor in this way.

Ancestry defines "complete" as: "I am confident that I have executed thorough searches to help answer my questions."

As thorough as my research may be, new records become available all the time. And that's not all. DNA is also changing the research landscape.

So although I may have answered my current questions, and may even have amassed a huge amount of data through research, I don't view any ancestor as completely researched.

New Records Galore

Just this month, for instance, Family Search posted a database of 34 million U.S. obituaries from GenealogyBank, 1980-2014. Woo-hoo! I'm searching for the names of cousins, aunts, and uncles who died in the past 40 years. Maybe an obit will reveal a previously unknown spouse or challenge my knowledge of that person's life in some other way.

Family Search also posted databases of Cook County, Illinois births-marriages-deaths from the 1870s into the 20th century, as late as 1994 for the deaths. Another woo-hoo, as I search for ancestors who lived or died in Chicago. Found two already.

I may stop researching some ancestors for a while, focusing on others who I know less about or certain ancestors I have a special interest in, but I can't imagine tagging any ancestor (even my parents) as "complete."

What about you?

PS: To see the very latest collections on Family Search, go to the collections page here and sort by "last updated" (on the far right). 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Ancestor with the Best PR--in 1900

Three of my husband's Slatter great uncles were military bandmasters in Canada, often featured in news items of the early and middle 20th century.

Capt. John Daniel Slatter (1864-1954), his brother Capt. Albert William Slatter (1862-1935), and another brother, Capt. Henry Arthur Slatter (1866-1942) were all born into poverty in Whitechapel, London, England. We found some clues to their early military training on the Training Ship Goliath when researching in the London Metropolitan Archives last month.

At left is a 1901 article from Westfield, Massachusetts, singing the praises of Captain John D. Slatter and his 48th Highlanders of Toronto military band, the original "Kilties." Yes, the same Kilties who kicked off the craze for such bands early in the 20th century! That's part of what made Capt. Slatter so famous.

The article below, "Every Inch a Soldier," points out that the good captain actually earned a combat service medal and is expert with a sword, rifle, bayonet, and other weapons. This is from a Dubuque, Iowa newspaper in 1900.

But the story about Capt. Slatter's military background wasn't based on a personal interview or fresh inside information. In fact, it's from a widely-circulated press release of the time. In 1900! 

I found very similar wording in lots of U.S. newspapers, as the band's publicity people drummed up interest in tickets to Kiltie concerts from coast to coast.

Clearly, my husband's well-known Toronto bandmaster ancestor had a very savvy public relations person paving the way for his Kiltie band's appearances. Lucky me to have all these news clippings of Capt. Slatter's travels and accomplishments.

PS - Any comments won't appear for a few days but I'll catch up very soon!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

In Search of "Cousin Essti"

In March, 1902, my future grandpa Tivador (Theodore) Schwartz (1886-1965) boarded the S.S. Moltke in Hamburg to sail to Ellis Island. Above, his name on the passenger arrival listing (found years ago by cranking through rolls of microfilm, now more easily researched in the Ellis Island records here on Family Search).

Tivador Says He's Going to "Cousin Essti"

Tivador was shown as a "student" (which was probably true in his home town of Ungvar in Hungary) and he told authorities that his father paid his passage to America.

Who was he coming to see in New York? In his heavily accented voice, he somehow conveyed that he was going to see "Essti Shim______." Above, the snippet from this name in the paperwork.

FYI, my Hungarian cousins pronounce this surname name with an initial "Sh" rather than an initial "S" so it may be that when Grandpa told authorities who he was seeing, this written version is what they heard.

Grandpa Theodore's mother (my great-grandma) was Hani Simonowitz Schwartz. Was this cousin Essti a niece of Hani? If so, Essti would be Theodore's first cousin.

Researching Cousin Essti

I found a few "Esther Simonowitz" in New York census records for 1905. I particularly focused on one born in Hungary who was living with her brother, Abraham Simonowitz, at 2058 Second Ave., Manhattan, which was Jewish Harlem. (See snippet above from the NY census for 1905.)

Abraham is 27 years old, head of household, occupation "Delicatessen," and Esther is 20, his sister, occupation "partner" (presumably in the deli). Oh, and they have a live-in servant in this apartment!

They are both aliens, he in the United States for 11 years and she for 8 years.

As a further check, I saw in the New York City directory for 1903, Esther Simonowitz is listed under "Delicatessen" at the Second Avenue address.

But whether these folks are actually relatives of my ancestor Hani Simonowitz Schwartz, I don't yet know. My wonderful Schwartz cousin remembers being visited in Ukraine (before going to Israel) by Simonowitz cousins from America in the 1960s/1970s. These cousins were possibly from the Midwest. Were they related to the Esther and Abraham Simonowitz who are in the 1905 NY Census?

If so, did one of the Simonowitz siblings shown in the 1905 NY census move on, with the other staying in New York? Did Esther get married and change her name, complicating my search for her? There are SO many Esther Simonowitz records in the NYC marriage archives.

More questions than answers at this point! The search continues.

UPDATE: Lara Diamond suggested I investigate the above marriage record, which shows "Esther Simanovitz" marrying Edwin Kramer in 1906. I'll have to get to a Family History Center to see it, but when I do, I'll see the addresses for bride/groom, birthplaces, and more. Very promising lead--especially since the groom's mother was a Schwartz! Thank you, Lara.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Remembering Moms on Mother's Day

Daisy Ruth Schwartz
It's been a very long time since I was able to say "Happy Mother's Day" to my mother, Daisy Ruth Schwartz Burk (1919-1981). She is still much beloved and much missed, not just on Mother's Day. Above, a formal portrait of Mom as a young lady.
Marian Jane McClure
Alas, I never had the opportunity to meet my husband's mother, Marian Jane McClure Wood (1909-1983). An only child lavished with love by doting parents, she's shown above in her 20s. How I wish I could have gotten to know her. She's remembered with great affection on this Mother's Day.

Friday, May 10, 2019

"Very Pretty Home Wedding" Starts off Sam and Anna's Life

Nearly 110 years ago, my great-uncle Samuel Schwartz (1883-1954) married Anna Gelbman (1886-1940). Sam was the older brother of my Grandpa Tivador "Teddy" Schwartz. Interestingly, although Sam was the older brother, he wasn't the first of the Schwartz family to leave their native Hungary and cross the ocean to New York City.

Teddy, three years younger than Sam, came to New York City in 1902. Two years later, Sam joined his brother in New York. Together, they sent money to bring their younger sister, Mary, to New York in 1906.

Sam & Anna's Wedding in Bridgeport

Sam met his future bride, Anna, in Bridgeport, CT, where he was working as a printer. Sam became a naturalized U.S. citizen on October 19, 1909. Days later, he married Anna in a "very pretty home wedding" according to the Bridgeport Evening Farmer newspaper (see above).

Younger sister Mary Schwartz was the maid of honor for her sister-in-law, and Anna's younger brother George Gelbman was the best man.

Two December Marriages for Mary

Fast-forward to late December, 1913, when Samuel Schwartz was a family witness signing the marriage certificate for his younger sister Mary as she married Edward (Avram) Wirtschafter in a religious ceremony.

This was actually Mary and Edward's second marriage within a few days--their first was a civil ceremony at City Hall, where they eloped on Christmas Eve.

Mary and Edward were very happily married for more than four decades, raising a son and a daughter.

Alas, Anna died of breast cancer at the age of 54, leaving behind a bereft husband and two grown sons.

Anna, Sister-in-Law and "Second Mom"

Anna served as a nurturing "second Mom" to her sister-in-law Mary, whose own mother never left Hungary. For a while, Anna and Mary lived in the same Bronx apartment building, and Mary turned to Anna for advice and assistance when she had children.

Not surprisingly, Mary's children became very close to Anna, a strong, loving bond that continued until Anna's untimely death, I was told by Mary's daughter.

Let me honor the memory of Anna and Mary with affection as Mother's Day approaches.

Thank you to Amy Johnson Crow for the #52Ancestors prompt of "nurture."

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Road Trip: At the London Metro Archives

Checking the catalog at the London Metropolitan Archives
In search of more info about hubby's great-great grandma Mary [maiden name unknown] Shehen (b. abt 1801-d. ?) my husband and I took a road trip to the London Metropolitan Archives two weeks ago.

We preregistered online and when we presented personnel with our two pieces of identification, we were each issued on-site IDs. Then we proceeded to the computers, where we entered requests for relevant materials.

In Search of Physical Documents 

Many of the poorhouse and workhouse books have been digitized and are available on Ancestry, including this ledger of admissions and discharges from the Northumberland Street Workhouse.

"Mary Shehan" is the fourth name down on this page from March, 1871. This is unquestionably the right Mary, because on the facing page is her street address--which exactly matches her residence in previous UK census records. She was in the medical ward, due to chronic rheumatism, where she remained for 30 days.

With limited time for on-site research, we concentrated on printed materials only available in person at the archives. We requested a Visitors Book for the Northumberland Street Workhouse, not sure whether Mary would have have visitors during her monthlong stay. This was a physical book from the period that we would be allowed to page through on our own!

Visitors = Oversight

Well, I have to admit that I didn't understood the terminology. "Visitors" were actually committee people responsible for oversight of these institutions for the poor. They would visit the institutions periodically and look at conditions, also indicating whether the diet was good, etc. They weren't actually individually visiting the poor people, only writing reports about the care being provided.

But the good news is that the Visitors Book listed every person kept in the insane asylum areas during each visit. Most pages showed 8-20 inmates, although there were sometimes no inmates present during a visit.

Mary Shehen was not listed in the book, most likely because she was in the medical ward, not in the asylum itself.

Still, we found it a bit amazing to hold in our hands a workhouse ledger from way back in the 1870s. It made a big impression on both of us.

Records of the T.S. Goliath

Having struck out on Mary, we next huddled with the research staff about records of the Training Ship Goliath, where three of hubby's teenaged great uncles, born poor in London, learned maritime skills and were taught to play musical instruments during the 1870s. These three boys, sons of hubby's great-grandpa John Slatter and great-grandma Mary Shehen Slatter, grew up to be well-known military bandmasters in Canada.

We were given a microfilm showing the names of recruits on the Goliath, arranged by date (not indexed). Cranking through, we found some promising leads on one of the Slatter boys to follow up later, but ran out of time to do more in-person research. Guess that means another visit?!
Thanks, as always, to Amy Johnson Crow for the #52Ancestors prompts. This is my post for "Road Trip."

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Honor Roll Project: Manchester, England War Memorial

Walking through Manchester, England a couple of weeks ago, I passed this war memorial with newly-laid poppy wreaths, across from Manchester City Hall.
Although the memorial is primarily for WWI, other military service was recognized. The above plaque reads: "To the honour and memory of Mancunians who have given their lives in other conflicts since 1945." (Mancunians are people from Manchester.)
Here, the wreath is inscribed: "To our fallen comrades...British Legion, Manchester."

Only a few individual names of World War I veterans were visible, which I'm transcribing for Heather Rojo's Honor Roll Project.

They are:

Lt. Graham Lyall, Central Ontario Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force. 27th September and 1st October 1918. (Being honored for valor.)

Lance Corporal John Thomas, Prince of Wales's North Staffordshire Regiment, 30th November 1917. (Being honored for valor.)

Private John Readitt, South Lancashire Regiment, 25th February 1917. (Being honored for valor.)

2d Lt. Henry Kelly, Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment), 4th October 1916. (Being honored for valor.)
Private Albert Hill, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 20th July 1916. (Being honored for valor.)

Private George Stringer, Manchester Regiment, 8th March 1916. (Being honored for valor.)

Thank you to these brave military men for their service more than 100 years ago.

Friday, May 3, 2019

More Resources at HeritageQuest

From Library of Congress collection, accessed via HeritageQuest

Photos in the public domain! HeritageQuest, which many U.S. residents can access from home, absolutely free, with a local library card, has so many wonderful databases for genealogy. It's my go-to for city directories and other databases.

I also like its photo and map databases. They are conveniently searched right from the easy-to-use search box, and it's easy to change parameters to expand or restrict my searches.

Locating Photos for a Wood Family History Booklet

In preparation for a family history booklet about my husband's Cleveland parents and grandparents, I wanted to photos of the time and place, for illustration. Public domain photos would be perfect, the price is right--free!

To find a Library of Congress photo using HeritageQuest, I entered a date (1925) and place (Cleveland, Cuyahoga county, Ohio), plus the name of a well-known building, Terminal Tower, and clicked the search button.

The top results (shown here) are exterior and interior photos of Terminal Tower, taken "about 1933" (close enough to 1925 for my purposes). Good quality photos, with extra information on each page, including a written description of what's in the photo.

If you're looking for photos of a particular city, occupation, etc., or maybe a map of where an ancestor once lived, see whether your library offers access to HeritageQuest from home.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Researching at the London Metropolitan Archives

While in London for #FamilyTreeLive, my husband and I went to the London Metropolitan Archives for some genealogy research.

Some UK records can only be accessed in person, and that includes detailed records from London workhouses and poorhouses. We wanted to request documents about two related families in his tree: Shehen and Slatter.

Mary "Unknown Maiden Name" Shehen

Hubby's great-great-grandmother Mary (unknown maiden name) Shehen (1801-??), born somewhere in Ireland, was married to John Shehen (1801-1875).

During the 1871 Census, Mary Unknown was enumerated twice: Once in the medical ward of the Northumberland Workhouse, where she was suffering from chronic rheumatism, and once at home, with her husband, at Gray's Buildings.

We wanted to see any surviving records of Mary's stay in the medical ward and whether she was there before or after for another reason. We hoped to find clues to her death date.

Mary Shehen Slatter & Family

Mary Unknown's daughter, hubby's great-grandma, didn't escape the cycle of poverty, either. She was London-born Mary Shehen Slatter (1837-1889), who had 6 children with her Oxford-born husband, John Slatter (1838-1901).

Mary and the 5 younger children were in and out of poorhouses and workhouses while the children were growing up. The earliest admission I've found for Mary Shehen Slatter is 1873. In mid-1874, she was sent from a workhouse to the first of two insane asylums, diagnosed with melancholia. Sadly, she died in notorious Banstead Asylum at the age of 51. Cause: Phthisis (tuberculosis).

Although my wonderful cousin Anna has visited the London Metropolitan Archives to see many of this Mary's records, we wondered whether there was anything earlier that we can see--and perhaps something that explains why her husband John Slatter took off for America before his wife died.

More soon about the results of our research visit.
Any comments won't be posted for a few more days. Thanks for reading!