Stick in

“Stick in”, a phrase I associate with James Slater, Pa as we called him, my maternal grandfather. Born in poverty, he crossed the globe, returned to Orkney, bought and grew his own farm, working hard and innovatively. (It should also be said that I write from the perspective of the first child of his favourite  |  more…

Back to school

There were several teachers in my family tree but I’m focusing on one this time: Auntie Mimie. Tomima Slater (1892-1956) Auntie Mimie was born at Gara, Orphir on 18 January 1892, the ninth child of William H Slater and Tomima Groundwater. The family was poor, work was scarce. My maternal grandfather, James, one of her  |  more…

The black sheep of the family?

My great great uncle Nicol Slater/Sclater* was the black sheep of the family. He left his young family in Orkney, went off to Canada and never returned. The name Nicol, shared with his father and grandfather, was not used again for two generations. I’d assumed that he left and never contacted his family again so  |  more…

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