Thursday, February 14, 2013

Family Tale of Samuel H. Slater from Wayne County Pennsylvania Lost in Boston Fire- Part 3

After I found those wicked awesome articles, I began to search for Samuel Slater and this event on google.  No luck, but wait.  There were three other people that died in this fire with him.  Maybe if I search for them I will find something on google.   

I begin to make my way through my list I created with keywords, places and people.  As I work through my combinations, I search google for "Henry Ward" (one of the other men that died) and Damascus.  I find a website with Henry Ward buried in Lookout Cemetery, Damascus Township with a notation that says "(same plot as Sam Slate)".  I search the webpage for Slater knowing the "r" was missing from Slater.  No Slater named Sam, however once again the "r" was missing.  A "Slate, Sam L. H. GAR GR.L. NY GAV (same plot as Henry Ward)" is buried in the cemetery.  (Slate [Slater], Sam L. [SamL] H. GAR GR.L. [Co. L] NY GAV [CAV]) 

Is this my Sam?  There are other people buried in this cemetery with the last name Slater.  Two of which are jumping off the page.       

"Slater, William T. 1877 - _____ (husband Mary C. Brown)"
"Brown, Mary C. 1876-1913 (wife of William T. Slater)"

These are my great-grandmother's parents!!  William T. [Thomas] is the son of my Samuel H. Slater.  (If you could have only seen me doing the snoopy dance of joy!) 

Another bonus...SAMUEL IS A CIVIL WAR VET!!!  Possible Pension File?

After this discovery, my father contacted the Equinunk Historical Society in Pennsylvania.  They sent us a wonderful article from the Honesdale Citizen that talked about all the specifics of the house fire at Senator Joel Hill's residence at Lookout in Damascus Township, Wayne County, Pennsylvania.  The article stated that Samuel was a pensioner, and left behind "a wife and quite a large family of grown up children".  They also sent information about the National Historical Site - Joel Hill Saw Mill, where Sam may have worked.

I would say based on the evidence collected thus far that this is likely my Sam.  I will continue to search for more documentation to confirm this.  Samuel's pension file is currently "missing" at the NARA, and they are looking for it.

Likely, my 3x great grandfather, Samuel H. Slater, did die in a fire just not in Boston.  He died in a fire at the residence of Senator Joel Hill.  For those of you that remembered from earlier that the only thing that was left was a ring.  Well, that part is kinda true.  It wasn't a ring, but suspender buckles.  That is how they identified him after the fire.

I would like to Thank Linda Blum-Barton, who is the host of the website Wayne County PAGenWeb.  There is lots of great genealogical information for Wayne County, Pennsylvania on this website!  The cemetery information on the website allowed me to help put the pieces of the puzzle together! 

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