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Mysterious Salters, Devon 1870-1911

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Mysterious Salters, Devon 1870-1911

Postby Lost Clusters » Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:53 pm

Hello everyone,
Until about a year ago I had no knowledge at all of my mother’s paternal family. A wonderful researcher from Plymouth & West Devon RO helped me track them down (since confirmed by DNA).
My Grandfather Herbert John Salter was born in 1898 in Newton Abbot workhouse (obviously illegitimate). His mother was Mary Ellen Salter, a Laundress from Torquay (b June 1876.
? In Manchester, but baptised as a teenager in Torquay, with the superintendent of the Church’s Women’s Refuge as witness). She was living there with her widowed mother, Mary née Carroll, in 1991/3, in Ellacombe. Her father, William Charles Salter had been a Private in 2nd Battalion, the Rifle Brigade. Born 1850 in Awliscombe, Devon to Francis and Elizabeth, Charles was dead by 1891. No military records, as yet. He may have been imprisoned as a deserter in 1876.
Mary Ellen clearly had a very hard life. She was in the Plymouth and Devon Penitentiary and Female home in 1901 - whether she had a child then is unknown. She is reputed to have had a child in around 1890, but this casts doubt on her birthdate. She had another illegitimate child in the workhouse in 1903 - Florence Lilian Salter. It is conceivable she may have been in the ironically named Devon House of Mercy in Bovey Tracy in the 1890s.
My grandfather was brought up in what passed for ‘care’(possibly in St Vincent’s orphanage/school, Torquay).
What became of William Charles Salter, Mary Carroll Salter, Mary Ellen Salter and Florence Lilian Salter (as well as Mary Ellen’s unknown potential earlier daughter)?
I can find NO BIRTH RECORD for Mary Ellen (the family may have been in Ireland with the regiment, despite their claim the daughter was born in Manchester - Mary Carroll and William Charles married in the Church of Ireland in Birr, June 1873). I can find no details of ANY deaths, nor emigration details etc. It is rumoured that my unknown great aunt went to the USA. Again: NOTHING.
They simply seem to have vanished. Can anyone help?
Lost Clusters
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Re: Mysterious Salters, Devon 1870-1911

Postby ciderdrinker » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:57 pm

Good Morning and Welcome to the forum
What a really interesting family!
I can see a possible emigration for Mary Ellen Salter to the US in 1906
23 May 1906
Mary Ellen Salter age 28 servant on the Friesland to Philadelphia, USA on the American line
No sign of Florence Lillian Salter.

(Strangely by the time she arrives she is now Mary E Talbot 28 from Burnley travelling with Phillomena Campbell born 1882)

For some reason, as you say , there is a baptism for Mary Ellen Slater at Tormohun Devon 28 Mar 1893 d of Charles (dec)and Mary Salter soldier born 5.6.1876 .Address 35 Church Road Ellacombe witness Mary Elizabeth Leigh
There is also a possible birth in 1876 Gro Regimental Birth Indices (1761 To 1924) 51 st foot Campbellpore India 51st foot.
However Charles Salter on his marriage is in the 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade and there are medals for that man from the 3rd Ashanti War in Africa 1873/4 regimental no 2057 on Ancestry

She doesn't appear on the birth certificates in Ireland 1873-1878 so it may be true that she was born in Manchester.

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Re: Mysterious Salters, Devon 1870-1911

Postby MayHam » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:34 pm

I notice William Charles Salter usually goes by Charles in the censuses and on his marriage certificate.

There is a Pvt. Charles Salter (#2057) of the 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade in 1871 listed here:
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