Select Sloan Miscellany

Here are some Sloan stories and accounts over the years:

Sloan, Sloane, and Slone

Sloans in Ireland could be Catholic or Protestant, the Catholic being Irish and the Protestant originating from Scottish incomers.  One story is that the Protestant arrivals added the "e" to Sloan so that they could be distinguished from the Catholic Sloans.  In certain parts of America it was said that "the Sloanes were rich, the Sloans were the regular crowd, and the Slones were the poor folk."

Sloan is the most common spelling of the name.  There are Sloans and Sloanes in Britain and Ireland.  Sloane hardly appears in America.  But Slone does.  The Slone name can be found in Kentucky and West Virginia. Slone may also refer to an immigrant from Slovenia or may be a shorter version of the Sloniminsky Eastern European name.

Sloans in the Kingdom of Mourne

The Kingdom of Mourne forms a coastal plain in the southeast of county Down.  Mourne covers some 70 square miles in a narrow strip which is no more than five miles in width.  It is bordered on one side by the boggy foothills of the mountains of Mourne and on another by the Irish Sea.  If you or your ancestors are from this part of Ulster in what is today Northern Ireland, the chances are that your name is Sloan or you are related to a Sloan.

Sloan after Cunningham is the second most common name in Mourne.  The greater number of these Sloans appear to have been native Irish and Catholic.  Perhaps some of them were Gallowglass mercenaries for the Scots, allowed to settle on the "waste lands" of Mourne in the 16th century which they reclaimed.  They preserved old Celtic customs.  In 1878 a Victorian writer watched as a family of Sloans carried their mother's coffin three times around an old Celtic rath before they buried her.

There are also Protestant Sloans in the area, descendants of Scottish planters in the 17th century.  The most notable of them have been the Sloans or Sloanes of Killyleagh (or White's Castle) to the north of Mourne at Strangford Lough.

William Sloan in the Faroe Islands

Why should William Gibson Sloan leave his home on the west coast of Scotland for a small windswept island under Danish suzerainty halfway between Norway and Iceland?  

William had become a missionary.  While in Shetland, Catholic-born Sloan had come in contact with local Plymouth Brethren and became exposed to the "believers baptism" and "the breaking of bread."   Sloan converted and became "baptized by immersion in the water" and thence "broke bread" with the local Shetland Baptists.  

It was in this belief that he in 1865 decided to become an evangelist to the Faroe Islands, which he had heard about from Shetland fishermen who earned their living by fishing in the vicinity of these islands.  

For many years, his work in Faroe had little effect.  But eventually a few people started gathering in Sloan's Hall which he had built at Tórshavn.  The congregation eventually grew into the biggest independent congregation in the islands, second only to the established church.  Approximately 12% of the population now belongs to the local Brethren Congregation that had been founded by "Old Sloan" as he was referred to in the Faroe Islands. 

William Sloan died in Torshavn in 1914 at the age of seventy six.

Sloan's Liniment

Earl Sawyer was the inventor of Sloan’s Liniment.  His Irish grandfather had immigrated to Pennsylvania in the 1780’s after the Revolutionary War was over and his parents had moved west to Zanesfield, Ohio where Earl himself was born in 1848.  

As a youth he went to Missouri where he joined his brother in buying and selling horses.  He had previously dabbled in veterinary medicine and, while thus engaged, prepared an experimental liniment for disabled animals.  By chance he discovered that the remedy he applied to their ailments and bruises would also relieve human beings similarly affected.  He placed his preparation on the market as "Sloan's Liniment."  

Its increasing use placed it in the forefront of similar remedies and it soon became widely known.   In 1903 he organized the Dr. Earl S. Sloan, Inc. manufacturing company, of which he was the president and sole owner.  At the time of his death the company had annual sales of approximately $750,000.

The Disappearance of Walter Henderson Sloane

Walter Sloane had arrived in Auckland, New Zealand as a young lad from Glasgow in 1862.  He married Maggie Robertson six years later and become a hotel keeper (the Queen’s Ferry Hotel) in Auckland.  However, around 1898 Walter just faded from all records in New Zealand when he was in his mid fifties.

In 1913 a Mark Walter Stonehill died in Sydney, Australia. In his will he stated that he was commonly known as Walter Stonehill Sloane, late of Auckland where he was a hotelkeeper.  But the only Sloane who practiced as a hotel keeper in Auckland was Walter Sloane and there were no persons with the surname of Stonehill in Auckland between 1880 to 1910.

If this was a match then he must have been quite naughty.  He married Ada Elizabeth Stonehill and taken her surname, despite being still married in New Zealand! At the time of the filing of his will in 1910 he listed his occupation as an 'electrical engineer.'  His estate was worth less than £2

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