Slape -- An uncommon name
Genealogy is much easier if you are tracing names that are not common. My
great grandparents include Walter Scott who was a policeman in the Metropolitain
police force in London England. Walter married Julia Slape in 1882. They were
both born in Portsmouth in 1860 and married there. As part of the process of
tracing my family I am attempting to move back to the generation of my
great great grandparents and to determine all of their descendants. M
These great great grandparents include George Thomas Slape and his wife
Sarah Good. And the Slape surname is a much easier one to research than
the Scott surname.
In fact, it is so uncommon that most phone books do not even contain it, which
makes it interesting to look into the phone book for it as I go from place to
place. (Incidentally, if you are reading this, I would appreciate any Slape
name contacts you can provide me with)
South Island Slapes
Recently we visited the South Island of New Zealand, landing in the port of Picton
after crossing the Cook Straight on the Lynx ferry. Picton is a communityh of
about 2500 people and its phone book covers Marlborough county. There are several
Slapes in the phone book, one of them being in Picton!
I went to their door and met Mr. Ivanhoe Slape. We talked for a few minutes and he
indicated that he was one of several siblings, but that I really should talk to his
brother in the neighbouring town of Blenheim. A couple of hours later I
knocked on the brother's door in Blenheim and was warmly recieved by
This Mr. Thomas Henry Slape, his wife and his daughter Gwen who was coincidentally visiting
from Christchurch. Their family story is the following.
Ivanhoe and Thomas, along with at least one other brother and two sisters
are the children of Ivanhoe Slape and Ellen Louisa Burney (b. 1997) who married in 1917. Ivanhoe
was born in Dalverston, Somerset about 1882. Their marriage certificate records that
his father was Thomas Slape, a butcher who was married to a Mary Ann. This Ivanhoe
apparently immigrated to New Zealand in 1905.
Some interesting coincidences occur in this family story:
Gwen is interested in family genealogy and we will be corresponding to
try to determine what relationships will exist.
- The year of Thomas Slape's birth, 1882, is the year in which
my great grandmother Julia Slape was married. Is he a nephew or child of a cousin of hers?
- The name Thomas is very common in the family. Does this indicate
another family member?
- Thomas was a butcher and a number of the Slapes were butchers.
Seattle Slapes in New Zealand
I am not the only person who looks up the Slape name in the phone book. Seemingly
out of the blue, Michael Slape (who I mention in the Mar 10 entry) received a phone
call from Eugene Slape of Seattle who has the same habit, and who was visiting Wellington
for a few days. Michael put him in touch with me, and Gene recognized my name from a
list of names on his son Randy's e-mail list. I have corresponded on a couple of occasions
with both Randy and his sister Regina.
Gene and his wife Marion visited Michael and then later stopped by to see me. They have left
on their vacation trip to head into the central North Island, but I am sure we will
be communicating in the future as we pursue the Slapes.
Interestingly, Gene had not found any Slapes in the Christchurch and Dunedin; the male members of the
Slape family in the South Island appear to all live in Marlborough County.
This page is under development. Correcting comments and identifications of those unnamed
would be appreciated.