I previously wrote about Patrick Slowey here. These are the steps I took to attempt to pin down a date of birth for him (and my next steps to do so).
Subject Name: Patrick Slowey, b. Aug 1816, d. 12 Feb 1902
Question to be researched: When was Patrick born?
Date of Search: 10.16.11 through 8.30.14
Place Searched: Familysearch.org
Results: Wisconsin State census index for 1855 shows Patrick Slowey (line 21), but does not give an age or the date of enumeration.
1880 federal census for Yankton, South Dakota, enumerated on 2 Jun 1880, shows Patrick age 65, making his birth date between 3 Jun 1814 and 1 Jun 1815.
1900 federal census for Yankton, South Dakota, enumerated on 11 Jun 1900, shows Patrick age 83, making his birth date between 12 Jun 1816 and 10 Jun 1817. His birth month and year are listed as August 1816.
Wisconsin, County Naturalization Records 1807-1992: Declarations of intention 1852-1892 vol 1 (Lafayette) yielded no index listing for Slowey. There were several McCabes listed.
Wisconsin, County Naturalization Records 1807-1992: Naturalization Index 1847-1878 vol 11, A-Z (Index to Intentions 1847-1878) (Lafayette District Court) revealed listings for Thomas Slowey, Hugh Slowey, and Patrick Slowey. The entry for Patrick Slowey gives his age as 24.
Place Searched: Ancestry.com
Results: Wisconsin State census index for 1855 shows Patrick Slowey (page 4), but does not give his age or the date of enumeration.
1860 federal census for Kendall, Lafayette, Wisconsin, enumerated on 11 Jul 1860, shows Patrick (Sloway) age 35, making him born between 12 Jul 1824 and 10 Jul 1825.
1870 federal census for Kendall, Lafayette, Wisconsin, enumerated on 11 Aug 1870, shows Patrick age 56, making him born between 12 Aug 1813 and 10 Aug 1814.
Place Searched: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/vitalrecords/
Results: Searched this pre-1907 vital records index for surname “Slowey.” No listing for Patrick Slowey’s marriage or the births of any of his children, but the earliest record listed is for 1872, and their last natural child was born in 1871. I also did a search for “Slow,” thinking maybe there was a spelling error. No luck there either. Nothing earlier than 1872. I broadened my search to “Slo” and came up with over 1000 matches (362 birth records), but again, nothing relevant.
Place Searched: Making of America website (Cornell University) http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?page=simple&c=moajrn2
Results: Did a journal search for “Slowey.” Nothing. Did a general search through the entire collection for “Slowey.” Found a match in “Books: Selected 19th Century Monographs,” but in New York 1872, The New York state business directory and gazetteer, for Thomas Slowey, grocer, 126 W. 34th. Also: Barnes, David. “The draft riots in New York, July, 1863: the metropolitan police, their services during riot week, their honorable record” for a person identified only as “Detective Slowey.”
Place Searched: Don’s List http://www.donslist.net/PGHLookups/GuidesM.htm
Results: I looked for a city directory for Kendall, Lafayette County, Wisconsin, but there was only a directory for Milwaukee in 1857. The rest of the directories were for 1907 or later, after Patrick was already dead.
Place Searched: FamilySearch.org – 1860 US census
Results: 26 males listed in Wisconsin as being born in Ireland, none of them named Slowey. Why can’t you browse census records on FamilySearch?
Place Searched: Bureau of Land Management – General Land Office records
Results: Search for Patrick Slowey in Wisconsin netted several entries in Lafayette and Marquette counties. Using Google Earth and the EarthPoint.com website, I attempted to locate these parcels of land to determine what township they were in. Interestingly, Kendall Township Hall lies directly on the border of one particular section, and Patrick’s parcels (40 acres each) were in the SE 1/4 of the NW 1/4, and the NE 1/4 of the SW 1/4.
Another parcel (40 acres), marked as Marquette County is actually in Adams County now, just north of Mason Lake. He had the SW 1/4 of the NW 1/4. The E and S borders of the section actually create the border of Adams County with Marquette on the east and with Columbia County on the south. Will consult AniMap to see which county the property was located in 1857. AniMap says that parcel was always in Adams County. I will check Adams County census for 1860 and see if there are any Sloweys there.
Another parcel (120 acres) actually IS in Marquette County, directly east of the Adams County parcel (one section separates them). He had the N 1/2 of the SW 1/4 and SW 1/4 of the NW 1/4.
Unfortunately none of these records include an age or date of birth.
Place Searched: Ancestry.com
Results: Did a broad search for both Patrick Slowey and Catherine Slowey in Wisconsin for 1860, then I did a broad search for Bernard Slowey, the couple’s first child. I found him – as Bernard Sloway age 7 – living with Mary McCabe age 55 (same name as Catherine’s mother) and John McCabe age 25 (likely Catherine’s brother). This explains why he is not enumerated with the rest of the Sloways.
I did a page-by-page search for more Sloweys/Sloways in Benton Township, but came up with nothing … unless they were on page 16, which was missing. I did find some more McCabes, so I saved the images and source info to determine if they are related later.
Place Searched: WorldVitalRecords.com
Results: Lots of entries for Patrick Slowey; unfortunately, none of them were mine. They were all for a Patrick Slowey who lived in New York and was a grocer.
Place Searched: GenealogyBank.com
Results: A total of 6 historic articles, none of them are my Patrick Slowey.
Place Searched: Google.com
Results: A search for Patrick Slowey +1840-1902 netted a few hits, and only one was my Patrick Slowey. Unfortunately, it referred to the History of South Dakota, which I already have. I did find out that a Patrick Slowey was convicted of murder and sent to serve his prison sentence in Australia in 1828 (but he’s no relation … yet).
Place Searched: Yankton County, SD Clerk of Court
Results: Called to find out if they have probate records from 1902. They don’t. They referred me to the State Archives.
Place Searched: SD State Historical Society & Archives
Results: Probate records only go from 1877-1891 at the moment. The gentleman said that they sometimes get 5 tons of records in at a time, and there is only a staff of 5. He said that the government archivist should be able to tell me if they have any more recent probate records that just haven’t made it to the research room yet.
Place Searched: Legacy.com
Results: Database only goes back to 1930.
Place Searched: Yankton Press & Dakotan, 19 Feb 1902 – Obituary
Results: Says Patrick was born in Ireland in 1815, immigrated to American in the early 1850s.
Analysis: Patrick appears to age differently than other humans. Between 1870 and 1880, he aged only 9 years; between 1880 and 1900 he aged only 18 years. Because he gave his birth month and year as August 1816 in 1900, my working hypothesis is that this is the most accurate. In any case, until I find a birth certificate or register, I will give a 5 year buffer in either direction.
Conclusion: Patrick Slowey was never born. I have narrowed down the possible period of time for his birth as between 12 Aug 1813 and 10 Jun 1817.
Next Steps: I may have better luck with obtaining his Declaration of Intent, which should have his birth date on them … which will give me a foothold at least. It may be included in some of the land records. I don’t know where he filed his declaration (possibly Wisconsin), so it will probably be easier to obtain it through the land office.
Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com
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