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, the son of John Slatter (a cook) and Sarah Harris Slatter. He lived in London for years and somehow got to Cleveland, Ohio by 1889, where he was a wallpaper cleaner and hanger. (John Slatter's Find a Grave memorial is here.)

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), one great-grandchild, and two great-great-grandkids 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? UPDATE: John Slatter married Louisa Hexter in 1890 in the Gretna Green city of Pittsburgh, PA, after his first wife Mary died.

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 and parents:
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 Shehea Slatter's time in and out of asylums. And 5 of the 6 children were in and out of workhouses and terrible schools in bad parts of London, too.
  • Mary Shehen (mother of Mary Shehan Slatter) was in a workhouse infirmary during the 1871 UK Census. I searched for more info in London, but no luck.
  • Sadly, Mary "unknown maiden name" Shehan, born about 1800 in Ireland, ended her days in a London-area workhouse.
  • Posting ancestor bios (and photos) of Mary Slatter Wood and her husband, James Edgar Wood, on Family Search, WikiTree, Find a Grave, and other sites for future generations to find and researchers to see.
  • Telling the story of the Slatter family, the good, the bad, the ugly, so names and info won't be lost to future generations.
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 (she was also enumerated in a workhouse infirmary). They disappeared from the UK Census after 1871. I now believe John Shehan died about 1875, and I found out that his wife Mary died in a workhouse.

What became of their grandson, Thomas John Slatter, the oldest child of Mary Shehen Slatter and John Slatter? - He lived with his paternal grandma and step-grandpa and never entered workhouses.

In 2017, I connected with the archivist for the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada in Vancouver, who helped 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. I hope to learn more!

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