If you are a descendant of Philip and Magdalena Slicker and want to learn more about them and other Slicker ancestors or, you would like to share knowledge about or to help preserve your Slicker ancestry, you have come to a good site for doing just that!
Philip and Magdalena were both born in Germany. They were the parents of John Slicker, born 1857 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and the grandparents of Samuel John Slicker, born 1885 in Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. It is unknown to me if Phillip and Magdalena met in Germany or in the United States. They were living near Library in Baldwin Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (Baldwin Township covered a larger area in the nineteenth century then it does presently) when the 1860 U.S. Census were taken.
Magdalena’s family name was Friend. Before marrying Phillip, she married John Joseph Steinogle (I’m not 100% certain on this name) in Germany. Magdalena and John Steinogle had at least three children: Conrad, Eva and Mary. I am guessing that Magdalena married Philip Slicker sometime between 1852-1857. For an overview of this family, take a look at the combination pedigree/family chart posted below.
To learn more about Philip and Magdalena, go to the Category menu on the right near the top of this page to find their stories and timelines.
In addition to the stories posted for Philip and Magdalena Slicker, you will find several posts narrating the life of their son, John, and daughter-in-law, Melissa Mansfield. You will also find a post telling the life story of Nancy Jane Mansfield Haney, the mother of Melissa Jane Mansfield Slicker.
The initial purpose of this website was to discover, preserve and share the family history of Phillip Slicker and Magdalena Friend and their descendants. But, two plus years into writing stories, I realize that all who descend from Samuel John Slicker share other family lines like Hardwick and Mansfield; and so, I have begun to include the history of these family lines.
So, what’s up next? John Mansfield will be the star of the next published post. John married Nancy Jane Mansfield in 1857. They were the parents of Melissa Jane Mansfield Slicker and Matilda Belle Mansfield Owen. Shortly after the birth of their third daughter, John enlisted as a private in Company G, 101st Regiment of the Union Army. If you have read the posts covering the life of Melissa Mansfield Slicker and Nancy Jane Mansfield Haney, you know John’s fate. John’s story, however, will tell more about his life.
I also plan to write mini-biographies on each of John and Melissa’s children and stories about James Mansfield (father of Nancy Jane Mansfield), Samuel John Slicker and Ethel Hardwick. So, if you don’t find what you are looking for today, be sure to revisit often for the latest updates.
Please note: Although I am enjoying writing the stories for this website, please understand writing them is a very time-consuming task, and I have other areas of life to attend to as well. One, two or even three months may pass between the posting of stories. If you like, you may sign up to follow the blog. This will give you email alerts each time a new post is published. If you have something to share about our ancestors or want to collaborate in researching this family, leave a comment or drop me a line using the contact form.
How to Navigate the Published Posts: There are two ways you can read the published posts for this family’s history. You could scroll down this page to the most recent published post. If you use the scrolling method, realize you are starting with the most recent post and moving backwards chronologically to the earliest published posts. So, if an ancestor’s story is told in three published posts, you will begin with the last part and move backwards to the first part. You may notice that I have placed hyperlinks in the second and third posts of a two or three part series. These hyperlinks will take you to the first part and allow you to move in the order the posts were written. The second method for reading the published posts is to use the Categories menu on the right near the top of the Home page. Once you are in a category, you will find the published posts begin with the most recent published post in that category and move backwards chronologically to the earlier published posts for that category.
Click Hereto learn more about the purpose of this site.
1 Fred Manners was an adopted son. “1910 U.S. Federal Census.” Ancestry.com., (http://www.ancestry.com: accessed 1, November 2016), entry for Fred Manners (age 6), Conemaugh, Indiana County, Pennsylvania.
Welcome to the Slicker Family History, a website that was started nearly three years ago with the initial purpose to discover, preserve and share the family history of Philip Slicker and Magdalena Friend and their descendants.
I published the first two stories in October 2016 narrating what little is known of Philip Slicker, our ancestor who made his way from Germany to the United States in the nineteenth century. Since those initial postings, I posted stories and timelines – based on published documents – on the lives of Magdalena Friend Slicker, John Slicker, Melissa Mansfield Slicker, and Nancy Mansfield Haney. You can view how these people are related in the family tree chart shown below.
While writing the two part story on the life of Nancy Mansfield Haney and contemplating adding stories narrating the lives of John Mansfield, Nancy’s first husband, and James Mansfield, Nancy’s father, I wondered whether I was getting off course with the purpose of the website – that of sharing, preserving and collaborating on the history of the Slicker family.
But then I realized, that all who descend from Samuel John Slicker and Ethel Hardwick, also share other family lines. These other family lines are a part of our rich history and contribute to who we are as Slicker descendants. So, in addition, to writing about our Slicker family history, I have decided to expand the stories on this site to include the other lines. The family tree chart (pedigree chart) for this site has expanded as shown below.
Is This My Family Tree?
If you have not seen a chart like the one above and are not familiar with your family history, this family tree chart may appear a bit confusing. Your first question may be “Is this my family tree?” To answer this question, you must determine if you are a descendant of one of Samuel’s and Ethel’s children. Samuel and Ethel had five children. They were Violet Florence, Leonard Floyd, Lawrence Austin, John Clifford, and Lester Samuel.
If one of Samuel’s and Ethel’s children is your parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent, then this is your Slicker family tree. Place the name of the ancestor on the line titled “Son or daughter of Samuel & Ethel. The tree can be extended to the left to include you and the other generations, if there are other generations, between you and your Slicker ancestor (Violet, Leonard, Lawrence, or Lester). Now you are ready to read the tree.
Reading the Tree
If you are not sure how to read the tree, begin by choosing a line to follow. If you want to follow the Hardwick line, begin with Ethel. Ethel’s father was George, and her grandfather was William. George’s wife was Violet Davis. William’s wife was Sarah. You can also follow Ethel’s maternal line. Ethel’s mother was Violet Davis, and her grandfather was John Davis. John’s wife was Violet (last name unknown).
If you follow the Slicker line, begin with Samuel John. Samuel’s father was John, and his grandfather was Philip. Philip’s wife was Magdalena Friend. John Slicker‘s wife was Melissa Jane Mansfield.
You can also follow Samuel John’s maternal line beginning with his mother Melissa. Samuel’s grandfather was John Mansfield who died at Camp Sumter, Andersonville, Georgia near the end of the Civil War. Samuel’s great-grandfather may have been William Mansfield. I say may because I don’t have any document to prove this relationship, but I have good reason to believe it is correct.
Samuel’s maternal grandmother was Nancy Jane Mansfield. Following this Mansfield line, Samuel’s great-grandparents were James Mansfield and Sarah McDonald. Samuel’s great-great grandparents were William Mansfield (not the same as John Mansfield’s father) and Elizabeth (last name unknown). And you’re right. William and Elizabeth are not listed on this chart. The page was too small to fit all.
Country of Origin
As you look the chart over, you may notice that Philip Slicker and Magdalena Friend Slicker came from Germany. George Hardwick and Violet Davis were born in England. But what about those Mansfields’ lines? These family lines have proved to be a challenge. I have only one record documenting the lives of William and Anne Mansfield, parents of John. This is the 1860 census. This record shows that William and Anne were born in Pennsylvania. William and Elizabeth Mansfield, parents of James Mansfield, however, were foreign born. But their home country is still unknown at the time of this writing.
If This Is Your Tree
If you have identified this Slicker Family tree as your family tree, then you may want to take some time to explore the family narratives and timelines presented on this site. To begin, click on one of the links in the paragraphs above or use the Categories menu located on the right-side of your screen. You may have to scroll up a bit to find the Categories menu.
If you have any questions or would like to add information to the stories, feel free to ask your question or add your information in the “Leave a Reply” section. You may have to scroll down to find this section.
This is part two of a two-part series narrating the life story of Nancy Jane Mansfield Haney. This second part begins in Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. Nancy, her second husband, Samuel Haney, and their children had moved from Webster, Westmoreland County to Apollo by the early 1880s. The story follows Nancy and Samuel to Saltsburg, Indiana County, Pennsylvania in 1895 and ends in Oklahoma Borough, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in 1917. If you haven’t read part one of Nancy’s story and would like to do so before reading part two, you may do so here Nancy Jane Mansfield Haney: Moving Through Life – Part 1
Between 1881-1882, Nancy and Samuel settled in Apollo, Armstrong County, not far from where Nancy spent her childhood years. This small community along the Kiskiminetas River was well populated in the 1880s. One of the largest employers of the time was the rolling mill which had gone under various name changes with the most well-known name being the Apollo Iron & Mill Co. It is highly probable that Samuel went to work at this mill.
August 21st, 1882 Nancy was received into the United Methodist Church in Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. Her husband, Samuel, was received on August 26th, 1883. In June of 1890, Nancy’s and Samuel’s daughter, Jennie (Eliza), married Lester W. Taylor in Allegheny county. It is in this county that Jennie and her husband, Lester, would take up residence. Two months after Jennie’s marriage, Nancy’s daughter, Melissa, purchased property in Apollo. The family was here to stay, so it seemed.
By 1890 this small community that Nancy and Samuel came to call home was thriving. Its population had grown from 449 residents in 1860 to 1,156 in 1880. The population reached its peak of 2,000 about 1890. The main attraction was the available employment at the Apollo Iron & Mill Co. All seemed to be going well for this company and the small community it occupied when, in 1893 in reaction to an economic downturn, the then president of the mill, George McMurtry, cut wages by 8 to 15 percent. In protest, several rollers angry with the current situation walked out in protest. In response, McMurtry closed the mill down for several months. He reopened the mill a few months later with non-union workers. With the exception of those who chose to leave the union, the doors of this growing company were forever closed to the unionized skilled laborers who once worked there. With no alternative form of employment in the local area, these skilled laborers drifted away.
In 1895, the same year McMurtry moved the Apollo Iron & Steel Co. down the river to a newly built community, Nancy’s daughter, Melissa, and son-in-law, John, sold their property in Apollo. While Melissa, John and their children moved to their newly purchased eight acres of land just north of Saltsburg in Indiana County, Nancy and Samuel with their son, Samuel M., settled in Saltsburg. Their son, James, had married in 1891 and was living with his wife, Frankie Kipp, on Market Street in Scottsdale, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
Nancy and Samuel did not own property and appeared to have moved around in the small community of Saltsburg. In the early part of 1898, they moved from an area of Saltsburg known as the Extension to Ms. Murray’s property at Point Pleasant, at the opposite end of town. By the end of the year, they were living at the Waddle’s property on the corner of Grant and Market Streets. Samuel and his youngest son were employed as sheet iron workers.
Nancy’s and Samuel’s youngest son move to Pittsburgh shortly after the turn of the century. By World War I, he was married and living in Cleveland, Ohio near his brother James. Nancy and Samuel moved to Salina, Westmoreland County as of 1907.
Ten years later, Nancy passed away in the home of her granddaughter, Ruth Slicker Hardwick. Funeral services were held at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Apollo, and Nancy was laid to rest at the Riverview Cemetery in Apollo, Pennsylvania. Her husband, Samuel, moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he lived with his son, Samuel, at 9342 Amesbury Avenue. It was almost one year from the date of Nancy’s passing when Samuel crossed over the threshold of this mortal life joining his wife in the everlasting life leaving behind family and friends whom he loved.
 Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013 for Nancy Haney, Ancestry.com, accessed 30, December 2018.
 Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-2013 for Samuel Haney, Ancestry.com, accessed 30, December 2018.
 Pennsylvania, County Marriage Records, 1845-1963, database, Ancestry.com (https://search.ancestry.com/ : accessed 30, December 2018, entry for Jennie Taylor, 25, June 1890; citing Pennsylvania County Marriages1852-1973; County: Allegheny; Year Range: 1889-1890; Roll Number: 549747.
 1900 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (https://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28, January 2018), entry for Jennie Taylor (age 31), Pittsburgh Ward 5, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
 Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book 75:75, S.M. Jackson to Melissa Slicker, 13 August 1890; Recorder of Deeds Office, Kittanning.
 Martin, Louis C., Tin Plate Towns, 1890-1910: Local Labor Movements and Workers’ Responses to the Crisis in the Steelworkers’ Union, A Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, Vol. 74, No. 4, Autumn 2007, pp. 494-495, online, https://www.jstor.org accessed 30, December 2018.
 Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book 84:196, John Slicker to Esther Owens, 4, November 1895; Recorder of Deeds Office, Kittanning.
 Indiana County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book 6976:296, Julia A. Hartlett to Malissa J. Slicker, 10 December 1895; Recorder of Deeds Office, Indiana.
 Pennsylvania Marriages, 1852-1968, database, Ancestry.com (https://search.ancestry.com/ accessed 30, December 2018, entry for James Haney, age 20, 7 Oct 1891; citing Marriage Records. Pennsylvania Records. VariousCounty Register of Wills Offices, Pennsylvania.
 1900 United States Federal Census, Ancestry.com, (https://search.ancestry.com/ accessed 30, December 2018), entry for James Haney (age 29), Scottdale, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
Saltsburg, The Indiana Gazette, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Weds, 13, April 1898, pg. 13, column 1, database, Newspapers.com (https://newspapers.com : accessed 30, December 2018), entry for Samuel Haney.
Saltsburg, The Indiana Gazette, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Weds, 12, October 1898, pg. 13, column 2, database, Newspapers.com (https://newspapers.com : accessed 30, December 2018), entry for Samuel Haney.
 “1900 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 30, December 2018), entry for Samuel Haney, Saltsburg, Indiana County, Pennsylvania.
 Local Correspondences, Saltsburg. The Indiana Weekly Messenger, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Weds. 11, April 1906, pg. 13, column 1, database Newspapers.com (https://newspaper.com : accessed 30, December 2018) entry for Samuel Haney.
 U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Ancestry.com (https:///.search.Ancestry.com : accessed 30, December 2018), entry for Samuel Haney; citing Cleveland, Ohio, City Directory, 1917.
 Local Correspondences, Saltsburg. The Indiana Weekly Messenger, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Weds. 29, May 1907, pg. 2, column 1, database Newspapers.com (https://newspaper.com : accessed 30, December 2018) entry for Samuel Haney.
This is part one of a two-part series narrating the life of Nancy Jane Mansfield Haney, mother of Melissa Jane Mansfield Slicker, Anne Mansfield, Matilda Belle Mansfield Owens, Samuel Miller Haney, James Haney, Sarah Haney, and Jennie Haney Taylor. Nancy began life in Washington Township, Westmoreland County. She then moved across the county to North Huntington Township with her father James Mansfield and her step-mother, Nancy. According to an affidavit submitted by Gilbert McMaster, the nephew of the alderman who married Nancy and her first husband, Nancy was living in Pittsburgh at the time of her first marriage. After exchanging marriage vows, Nancy and John made their home in Elizabeth, Allegheny County. When Nancy remarried in 1866, she lived for a short time in McKeesport before she and her second husband, Samuel Stewart Haney, moved to Webster, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. About twelve years passed, before Nancy, with her family, moved to Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania. Locating to Apollo placed Nancy closer to her daughter Matilda, who had married William Owens of Allegheny Township, Westmoreland County, and Nancy’s two older sisters, Charlotte and Elizabeth. In 1890, Nancy’s daughter, Melissa Slicker, bought property in Apollo. Property ownership gave a clear signal that the family had plans to stay. But in 1895, the year George McMurtry closed the Apollo Iron and Mill Company and moved it to the newly formed town of Vandergrift, Nancy and Samuel made another move. This move took them to Saltsburg, Indiana County, Pennsylvania. Nancy and Samuel would settle here for about fifteen years. Nancy, with her husband by her side, made her last move to a small community in Washington Township, Westmoreland County. Nancy would pass the remaining years in this small community, not far from her childhood home.
Note to the reader: The informant for Nancy’s death certificate, James Haney – Nancy’s son, reported that Nancy’s mother was Sarah McDonald. This is the only document that I am aware of that explicitly states the name of Nancy’s mother. For this reason, I state in the story that Sarah is Nancy’s mother. However, information provided on a single document by an informant who was not present at the time of Nancy’s birth does not provide definitive proof of parentage. And I must consider that in the 1850 U.S. Census for the James Mansfield – Nancy’s father – household, the woman who is listed on the line below James and is just a few years younger than James, may be Nancy’s biological mother.Although this may be possible, for the sake of telling Nancy’s story, I chose to include both possibilities by treating Sarah as the biological mother and Nancy as the step-mother.
Nancy Mansfield Haney, after living a full life filled with her own unique set of challenges, passed away in the home of her granddaughter, Ruth Slicker Hardwick. Her second husband, Samuel Haney, who walked along Nancy’s side for fifty-one of her seventy-nine years of life, was most certainly by her side as Nancy met her last challenge – that of crossing the threshold from mortal life to the everlasting life leaving behind family and friends whom she loved.
1917, the year of Nancy’s passing, was a time when families could still be found living as neighbors. It was also a time when families began to spread out making homes in faraway towns and cities. So, we find that Nancy as she left this mortal life was surrounded by many loved ones who lived side-by-side on Brick Road in a small community known to the local residents as Oklahoma. This small community was a part of Washington Township until 1931 when it was incorporated as a borough.
Nancy had been the mother of nine children of which five were still living at the time of Nancy’s death. These five living children were Melissa and Matilda, two daughters from Nancy’s marriage to John Mansfield, and James, Samuel, and Jennie (Eliza), children from Nancy’s marriage to Samuel Haney. Two of the children who went on from this life before Nancy were Anne Mansfield and Sarah Haney. The other two children and how long they had lived is unknown to me.
Nancy who gave life to nine children came from an even larger family. Born the daughter of James Mansfield and Sarah McDonald, Nancy, spent her childhood years with twelve siblings on a farm in Washington Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Her mother, Sarah, passed away not long after the birth of Nancy; and Nancy grew to adulthood under the care of her father, James, and her step-mother who bore the same name as Nancy.
One day in the early 1850s, perhaps as early as 1851, Nancy’s father and step-mother packed up the family belongings and headed westerly across the county taking with them the children still living at home. They settled near Cavettsville, now the southern part of present-day Trafford in North Huntington township, Westmoreland County. Two of Nancy’s older siblings, Charlotte and Elizabeth, remained in or near the Washington Township area.,, Charlotte, who was about twenty-seven years old when her father moved, had married John Muffley. Elizabeth had married Lazarus Owens. Nancy’s brother, David, who married Mary Bush, moved from Washington Township to Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County where he began work as a coal digger.
June 17th, 1857, Nancy, who was living in Pittsburgh, married John Mansfield, who was living in Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County. The young couple made their home in Elizabeth, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania where John continued his work as a coal miner for a few years before mustering into Company G of the 101st Regiment of the Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.
Within the first four or five years of marriage, Nancy and John had at least three children – Melissa Jane, Anne, and Matilda Belle. It would be Matilda, the youngest of the three, who would lead her mother back to the Washington, Westmoreland County area about twenty years later.
In 1861, as winter was nearing, Nancy and her neighbor, Hannah Householder, bid their husbands goodbye. The two men left for Harrisburg where they would be mustered into the Volunteer Infantry for the Union Army for the next three years. Like many women throughout the country Nancy and Hannah had sole responsibility for running their households throughout the war years. Their husbands continued to provide financial support by sending money back home when they could. In addition to the money they sent home, both John Mansfield and John Householder sent letters home. Nancy and Hannah, in return, wrote letters to their husbands most likely telling stories of home life.
Hannah’s husband, John, kept a diary while a way. Although for much of 1863 he reported only on the weather and mundane everyday life events, the men of Company G of the 101st Regiment experienced their share of fierce combat. John Householder had the top of his right ear shot off at the Battle of Fair Oaks in 1862. It has been reported that he was shot in the leg as well. His injuries caused ongoing complications, and he was discharged on a Surgeon’s Certificate on March 16th, 1864, one month before the men from his regiment would be taken captive at the Battle of Plymouth. Nancy’s husband, John, would be among those captives.
In September 1864, Nancy received the heartbreaking news of her husband’s death. Her husband, had lived the last four to five months of his life in the deplorable conditions of Camp Sumter in Andersonville, Georgia. This prison built to hold about 10,000 prisoners was holding three times that number at the time of John’s death. The prisoners only protection from the elements were makeshift shanties made of wood and blankets. Food was scarce, and the prisoners only source of water was a creek that ran through the compound. This creek quickly became a cesspool of disease and human waste. When the banks of the creek eroded, much of the compound became a swamp.
In the months following her husband’s death, Nancy submitted a widow’s application to the Pension Office in Washington, D.C. The Pension Office approved the application. This gave Nancy eight dollars a month to use for her and her children’s survival.
As many widows of the Civil War did, Nancy remarried. She exchanged vows with Samuel Stewart Haney on May 17th, 1866 in the McKeesport home of Methodist Minister, H.L. Chapman. As a result of this marriage, Nancy lost her eight dollars a month widow pension. But understanding the law of the day, she knew her two daughters, Melissa and Matilda, would qualify as dependents of a deceased Civil War soldier. Nancy wasted no time in applying for and obtaining approval to receive eight dollars a month for Melissa and Matilda. She began to receive payments on May 18th, 1866 with a promise to receive two more dollars per child starting July 25th, 1866.
In 1867 the Haney household welcome a new member, Sarah Haney. Sarah may have been born in McKeesport, Allegheny County or she may have been born in Webster, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, where her sister Eliza, who later in life would be known as Jennie, was born March 17th, 1869.
Webster was a small village sitting along the Monongahela River. For a tiny community, it had much going on in the nineteenth century. The businesses that help drive its economy included a steamboat building business and a barge building plant along with coal mines, grist mills and sawmills. It was in this small community that Nancy’s oldest daughter would meet John Slicker, her future husband.
Nancy’s husband, Samuel Haney, went to work in one of the sawmills in Webster. He later found work in one of the local coal mines. In 1871, he became a member of the Star of the West Lodge, No. 26. L.O.L., a society of free masons.
It was while Nancy was living in Webster that she received news of her father’s death. Her father, James, died in 1870 while living with Nancy’s sister, Charlotte, and Charlotte’s husband, John Muffley, in South Bend Township, Armstrong County.,
By 1880, the Haney family had grown to include two sons, James and Samuel. During this same year, Nancy’s two oldest daughters, Melissa and Matilda, had married and headed off to begin their own families. Melissa married John Slicker who owned a house at the northern end of Webster. Matilda married William H. Owens and moved to live with William and his parents in Allegheny Township, Westmoreland County. Soon Matilda’s mother, step-father, and siblings, including Melissa and her husband, John Slicker, would follow. They would take up residence in Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.
I was looking through the black and white photos we had inherited from my paternal grandparents, Leonard Floyd and Wilda Pearl Boyer Slicker, when I came upon the black and white photo below – four women sitting on a front porch somewhere.
Who are these women? They must be family members, right? After all their photo is in the family album. Or are they friends of the family? What about neighbors? Unfortunately, it wasn’t common to identify the people or places in photos of the past. But, let’s flip this photo over and see if someone has left us a clue.
Okay, now we see some identification scrawled across the back in two distinct blue inks. In the lighter blue ink we see: Aunt Jen (black dress white socks), and “John Slicker’s sister.” In darker blue we read: Sam Slicker’s father. Questions arise.
Has this photo been properly identified? Who inscribed the backside of the photo? When did they inscribed the backside? Was it inscribed soon after the taken of the photo? Or was it inscribed years later when someone was trying to remember? The two distinct blue inks suggest the third line was perhaps added later.
Who is Aunt Jen? The backside of the photo tells us she is the one wearing a black dress and white socks. It also tells us she is a sister of John Slicker. The third line tells us John was the father of Sam Slicker. Problem is no documentation exists supporting John Slicker had a sister named Jen. What we have here is the typical mystery that commonly appears in the old family photo album.
We have names. We have relationships. We have faces. The names, the clothing, and the photo color and format (white borders) suggest a time period. But the names and relationships offer us our best clues. The best place to start digging for answers is in the family history. The very history that has been slowly unraveling in the posts of this website.
The relationships stated on the back of the photo suggests that John Slicker, father of Sam Slicker, had a sister named Jen. But we know from the stories posted that John Slicker did not have a sister named Jen. But what about a sister-in-law? John Slicker’s wife was Malissa Mansfield. In the three-part series documenting Malissa Mansfield Slicker’s life, we learn that Malissa had a sister, Anne Mansfield, who died within the first few years of her life, and a sister, Matilda Mansfield, who married William H. Owens. Malissa also had two half-sisters, Sarah and Elizabeth Haney. Hmmmm. No Jen. The mystery, or better yet said, the confusion deepens. Who can this Aunt Jen be? Let’s not throw the towel in yet. As all family historians know, we must leave no stone unturned. So, we set the photo aside while we go digging into the archives of the past. And with luck, we find a lead…
….such as this one: a transcription of Nancy Mansfield Haney’s obituary. Nancy is the mother of Malissa and Matilda Mansfield, and of Sarah, Elizabeth, James W. and Samuel M. Haney.
Mrs. Nancy Haney Friday, January 26, 1917
Early yesterday morning occurred the death of Mrs. Nancy Haney aged 78 yrs., wife of Samuel Haney, at the home of her granddaughter, Mrs. John Hardwick, in Oklahoma, after a short illness of pneumonia. She is survived by the following children: Mrs. Owens of N. Washington; Mrs. Slicker of Oklahoma; Mrs. L.W. Taylor of Pittsburgh; and James W. and Samuel M. of Indiana Harbor, Ind…
This transcription of the original obituary appeared in a book titled Obituaries 1916-1920, vol. 3. I believe we found this genealogical gem back in the 90’s at the Apollo Public Library in Apollo, Armstrong county, Pennsylvania. The original obituary appeared in one of the local papers of the time.
Mrs. Owens was Matilda. Mrs. Slicker was Malissa. But who was this Mrs. L.W. Taylor? Was she Sarah or Elizabeth? And if Nancy had four daughters, and the obituary names only three which of the last two mentioned died and when? The answers to these questions may be hidden in Ancestry.com’s digital trove of historical documents. Off we go!
Using the search parameters: L.W. Taylor, Pittsburgh, born 1870, I found a 1910 census record among the results returned that shows an L. Wayne Taylor living on Wylie Avenue in Pittsburgh. L. Wayne and his brother, Merrill, worked as druggist. Today they would be called pharmacists. L. Wayne had a wife named Jennie. Jennie was 41 making her birth year 1869. L. Wayne and Jennie had a daughter, Cecil. This information – L.Wayne Taylor, Jennie, and of Pittsburgh – seems to match our known information. Is this our Aunt Jen ? If so, where did she come from? Did Nancy have a daughter we did not know about? Hmmm. To answer the first question – is this Aunt Jen – let’s head back to that digital trove of historical documents and enter the search parameters: Jennie Taylor, lived in Pittsburgh, PA, and the birth year 1869.
Wow! Would you look at what appeared in the results of our Ancestry.com search – a death certificate for Jennie Haney Taylor! And look at the names of her parents: Samuel Haney and Nancy Mansfield. So, Malissa Mansfield Slicker did have a sister, Jennie. And Jennie Haney Taylor was born March 17, 1869 in Webster, Pennsylvania. And the Haney family had lived in Webster, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania for about twenty years.
So which sister was Jennie? Sarah or Eliza? Or did Nancy have another daughter of which I’m unaware? The answer to these question lies in the 1880 U.S. Censuses for Webster, Westmoreland County, PA.
1880 U. S. Census: Samuel and Nancy Mansfield Haney with children.
Sarah was 13 in 1880. Her birth year was 1867. Eliza was eleven in 1880. Eliza was born in 1869; the same year as Jennie Haney Taylor. If we were to look at the Haney family in the 1870 U.S. census, we would see that Eliza was 1. There was no twin. It appears that Malissa’s half-sister, Eliza Haney, began using the name Jennie at some point in her life. So, now we know John Slicker had a sister-in-law named Jennie. And Sam Slicker was Aunt Jennie’s nephew. I also know this mystery photo landed in the hands of Aunt Jennie’s great-nephew, Leonard Floyd Slicker, my grandfather and son of Sam Slicker. What makes this story even more interesting is to know that Leonard Floyd shared his birthday – March 17th – with his great-Aunt Jennie.
What is disappointing about this story is without more evidence – such as more photos that clearly identify Aunt Jen – we cannot be one hundred percent certain that the woman wearing a black dress and white socks in the photo is Jennie Haney Taylor. And so as it is with the photo of four women sitting on a porch somewhere it is with so many old photos in the family album.
Do you have any photos of Aunt Jen to share and compare? Do you know the names of the other women in the photo? Do you know where this photo was taken? Do you have anything to add to Aunt Jen’s life story? If you have an answer to any of these questions, why not share in the comment section below or drop me an email?
This timeline has a lot of detailed information. If you see an error, I would appreciate it if you bring it to my attention. If you have anything you would like to add to Malissa’s timeline or life story, feel free to share in the comment section below or drop me a line.
The First Few Years in Washington Township, Westmoreland County
On October 21, 1914, Malissa and John sold their property in Conemaugh township, Indiana County, Pennsylvania for one thousand dollars. According to this deed, they had already made their move to Washington township, Westmoreland County where they would spend their remaining years. Two days after selling the property in Conemaugh, John and Malissa agreed to pay three hundred dollars for a property on Brick Road (present-day Thorn Street) in Washington Township. Their new home would become a part of the borough of Oklahoma in 1931.
On January 25th, 1917 Malissa’s mother, Nancy, after suffering from pneumonia for about a month, passed away at the home of Malissa’s oldest daughter, Ruth Hardwick. Ruth’s home was on Brick Road in Washington Township. After they buried Nancy at the Apollo Cemetery, her husband, Samuel Haney, moved to Ohio where his and Nancy’s two sons, James and Samuel, were living with their family. Nearly one year later, Samuel passed away at a hospital in Cleveland. Samuel’s sons brought him home to Pennsylvania and laid him to rest next to his wife, Nancy.
The year between the death of her mother and step-father must have been a tough one for Malissa. One marked with sadness as Malissa’s sister, Matilda Belle Owens, passed away five months after the loss of their mother. Matilda was laid to rest in the Vandergrift Cemetery. In a single year, the Haney/Mansfield family had dwindled from seven to four. Those remaining were Malissa, her two half-brothers, James and Samuel of Ohio, and her half-sister, Jennie Taylor, who was living in Pittsburgh.
Malissa’s World Continues to Change
The 1920’s brought economic prosperity and great political and cultural change. This era, marked by Prohibition, also saw the passage of the nineteenth amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. As women gained more rights and more freedom, an increasing number of them entered the workforce. A growing number of household inventions that included the electric washing machine, the refrigerator, vacuum cleaners, and ready-to-wear clothes help to make adjusting to this new wage-earning lifestyle easier.
Despite these cultural changes, there was one cultural norm that still held strong – that of families living close to one another. And so, we find John and Ruth Hardwick and their four children, Albert and Matilda Slicker Seighman and their three children, George M. And Bessie E. Slicker and their two children, and Samuel and Ethel Hardwick Slicker and their five children and Ethel’s and John’s mother, Violet Hardwick, living on Brick Road near John and Malissa. Fred Manners, John’s and Malissa’s adopted son was living with John and Malissa. John and Malissa’s son, Frank was living with his wife, Estella, and their five children across the river in the borough of Apollo.
But even the cultural norm of families living close together was slowly changing as family members moved across the country seeking employment. Both James and George with their families moved to West Allis, Milwuakee County, Wisconsin by 1921. Here they would pass many years. William Eugene was living as a boarder in Cleveland, Ward 16 and working as a steelworker. His mother’s half-brother, Samuel Haney, was living nearby in Ward 20. William’s wife, Lela, and his six-month old son, Eugene, were living with Lela’s parents on the west side of Warren Avenue in Apollo, Pennsylvania.
Malissa’s Personal Loss
To the world 1929 marked the end of the Roaring Twenties and the beginning of the greatest economic depression. To Malissa and her family this year was marked with great personal loss – John passed away on July 31st, only five and half months before he and Malissa would have celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary. John was laid to rest on August 3rd in the Vandergrift cemetery.
Despite her loss, Malissa’s home was not an empty one. Malissa’s adopted son, Fred Manners, continued to live with her, and her daughter, Matilda and Matilda’s husband and children had moved into the home. And her son, Samuel J. and his family lived nearby.
Malissa Sells Her Property
On July 8th, 1937 Malissa sold the property she and Samuel purchased in 1914 to her daughter, Matilda, and her son-in-law, Albert Seighman, for a sum of three hundred dollars. Malissa reserved the right to use the property for and during her natural life. On May 2nd, 1938 Matilda, Albert and Malissa took out a mortgage with the Apollo Trust Company for the sum of five hundred dollars. They had agreed to pay twenty dollars a month plus six percent annual interest. They debt was repaid in full on August 11th, 1943.
Malissa’s Final Day
After suffering from pneumonia during a two-week period, Malissa Jane Mansfield Slicker died of a cerebral hemorrhage. It was September 8th, 1946, exactly eighty-two years from the date the Department of Interior had accepted as her father’s, John Mansfield’s date of death.
Summary of Malissa’s Life
In her eighty-eight years, five months and five days of life, Malissa had lived through many changes, personally, socially, politically and culturally. She began life in Elizabeth, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. During her lifetime she moved four times. From Elizabeth she moved with her mother, father and siblings to Webster, Westmoreland County. As a young, married woman, she moved with her husband, her mother, step-father and siblings to Apollo, Armstrong County. Malissa and her family passed thirteen years in this small community that lies along the Kiskiminetas River. In 1895 Malissa and John moved their family to a property located a little north of Saltsburg, Indiana County. Her mother and step-father settled in Saltsburg. Then in 1914, the family made one last move. John and Malissa purchased a property on Brick Road in Washington Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. This address would one day become Thorn Street in Oklahoma Borough.
As a young child, Malissa lost her father, John Mansfield, and her sister, Anna. As a married woman, she purchased and sold three properties, a right denied to married women before 1848. She gave birth to eight children and raised seven of them. She lost her first child, Milford, shortly after he was born and her second son, Frank, died before she did. In 1902 or 1903, Malissa and her husband, John, adopted Fred Manners.
Malissa was born a few years before the start of a war that temporarily divided her country, and she died shortly after the end of another war that had divided many nations of the world. She lived through prosperous times like the Roaring Twenties and endured challenging times like the Great Depression. In 1946, she left it all behind and was laid to rest next to her husband in the Vandergrift Cemetery, in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
Should you want to add something to Malissa’s story, see an error in the facts I’ve presented, or just want to comment on the post, use the comment section below.
 Indiana County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book 140:164, Malissa J. and John Slicker to David Kellerman, 10 December 1895; Recorder of Deeds Office, Indiana.
 Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book 554:137, John Orr Chambers to John Slicker, 23 October 1914; Recorder of Deeds Office, Greensburg
 Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate 445 (1917), Nancy Haney, Division of Vital Records, New Castle.
 Ohio Department of Health, death certificate 1256 (1918), Samuel Haney, Division of Vital Statistics, Columbus, Ohio.
 Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964, database-online, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 January 2018), entry for Matilda Owens, death certificate 51204, citing 1917 death.
 “1920 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 25, July 2017), entry for John Slicker Family (3 members), Washington Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Note: Check the entries before and after John’s household including those that follow at the top of the next image to see how one family household was located to the others.
 1920 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28, January 2018), entry for Frank Slicker, Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.
 Ancestry.com, U.S. City Directories, 1882-1995, on-line database, (http://www.ancestry.com accessed 28, January 2018), entry for James Slicker, West Allis, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Note: His brother George’s name, appears two lines above his name.
 1920 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28, January 2018), entry for William Slicker, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28, January 2018), entry for Samuel Haney, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
 1920 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28, January 2018), entry for Lela Slicker, Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.
 Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate 77663 (1929), John Slicker, Division of Vital Records, New Castle.
 1930 United States Federal Census,” Ancestry.com, (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28, January 2018), entry for Malissa Slicker, Washington, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
 Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Deed Book 1013:390, Malissa J. Slicker to Albert G. and Matilda B. Seighman, 18 July 1937; Recorder of Deeds Office, Greensburg.
 Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Mortgage Book 558:83, Albert and Matilda Seighman and Malissa J. Slicker to the Apollo Trust Company, 2 May 1938; Recorder of Deeds Office, Greensburg.
 Pennsylvania Department of Health, death certificate 80354 (1946), Melissa Jane, Division of Vital Records, New Castle.