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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Slater family come from? What is the English Slater family crest and coat of arms? When did the Slater family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Slater family history?

The many generations and branches of the Slater family can all place the origins of their surname with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name reveals that an early member worked as a person who covered roofs with slate. Slater is an occupational surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Occupational surnames were derived from the primary activity of the bearer. In the Middle Ages, people did not generally live off of the fruits of their labor in a particular job. Rather, they performed a specialized task, as well as farming, for subsistence. Other occupational names were derived from an object associated with a particular activity. This type of surname is called a metonymic surname. This surname comes from the Old English word esclate, which means splinter or slat.


Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Slater were recorded, including Sclater, Slater, Slatter, Sklater and others.

First found in Derbyshire where they held a family seat from ancient times, some say before the Norman Conquest in 1066. The earliest seat of the Slaters was at Barlborough near Chesterfield in Derbyshire, anciently the family name was a trade name of a roofer and was originally spelled Sclater, and this name is still used even as far north as the Shetlands and the Orkney Islands, where their territories were in Burnes.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Slater research. Another 153 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1550, 1615, 1684, 1659, 1683, 1684, 1634, 1699, 1679, 1685, 1690, 1699, 1676 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Slater History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 85 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Slater Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Slater family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 57 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Slater family emigrate to North America:

Slater Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • John Slater settled in Virginia in 1617
  • John and Anne Slater who settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Anne Slater, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
  • Bartho Slater, who arrived in Maryland in 1637
  • Bartholomew Slater, who landed in Maryland in 1637

Slater Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Mary Slater, who landed in New York in 1705
  • Richd Slater, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • John Slater, who landed in America in 1760-1763
  • George Slater, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1764
  • James Slater, who landed in New York in 1798

Slater Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Joseph, Michael, Peter, Robert, Samuel, Simeon, Thomas, and William Slater arrived in Philadelphia between 1802 and 1868
  • Robert Slater, who landed in America in 1804
  • Pamther Slater, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1834
  • Christopher Slater, who landed in Missouri in 1840
  • G H Slater, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

Slater Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Katherine Slater, who landed in Colorado in 1903


  • Samuel Slater (1768-1835), British-born, American textile pioneer, who oversaw the construction of America's first successful water-powered cotton mill
  • James Harvey Slater (1826-1899), American politician, United States Representative and Senator from Oregon
  • John Clark Slater (1900-1976), noted American physicist and theoretical chemist
  • Bill Slater (1902-1965), American educator, sports announcer, and radio/television personality
  • Christian Michael Leonard Slater (b. 1969), American actor
  • Frank O. Slater (b. 1920), American Naval reservist, posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, eponym of the USS Slater (DE-766)
  • Glenn Slater (b. 1968), American two-time Tony Award nominated lyricist
  • Helen Rachel Slater (b. 1963), American actress and singer-songwriter
  • Kelly Slater (b. 1972), American professional surfer
  • Lauren Slater (b. 1963), American psychologist and writer



  • The Slaters from St. Albans by Keith Slater.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Crescit sub pondere virtus
Motto Translation: Virtue thrives under oppression.


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  1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  9. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  10. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  11. ...

The Slater Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Slater Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 1 October 2014 at 13:30.

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