An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
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.
The surname Slater was first found in Derbyshire where the earliest records of the family were found at Barlborough near Chesterfield in Derbyshire. As an occupational name, the family name was a trade name of a roofer and was originally spelled Sclater. This spelling is still used as far north as the Shetlands and the Orkney Islands, where their territories were in Burnes. Early census records in Britain revealed Thomas le Sclatatere in Worcestershire in 1255 and Saundr le Sclattur in 1278 in Oxfordshire.  The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Adam le Scatterre and Richard le Sclattere in Oxfordshire and Walter Sclatter in Buckinghamshire.  "The living [of Tetsworth, Oxfordshire] is a vicarage, in the gift of the Slater family: the great tithes have been commuted for £210, and the small tithes for £115."  The Sclaters of Hoddington, claim to have borrowed their name from the parish of Slaughter, or Schlauter in Gloucestershire where they were lords of the manor of over three hundred years. 
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.
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 United States in the 17th Century
Slater Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Slater Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Slater Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
Slater Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Slater Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Slater Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Slater Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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.
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 24 February 2016 at 15:21.