The Sole Society, a Family History Society researching Sole, Saul, Sewell, Solley and similar names

Solley Co-ordinator's Report - November 1999

By Bob Solly

The main activities in the last month or two have been assimilating more data from both existing and new members. I have had correspondence from two contacts on the internet both of whom we are very pleased to welcome as members. Mike Palmer lives in France and his interests are in the Solly line in the Margate area. He supplied us with the following information:

From Mike Palmer

"Many thanks for taking the trouble to reply to my interest in Sollys in East Kent. I had thought that my Solly line might have gone back to the George Solly and Mary Sythers that you mention, until I got the 1881 census on CDRom. My known ancestor is Catherine (Kate) Solly – I have her birth certificate showing her born 16 May 1865 in West Northdown, and her father Thomas Solley, a Farm Servant (Waggoner).

Her mother, incidentally, was Mary Ann Solley formerly Petts. I had thought that her father was the Thomas Alfred Solly born 1836 to John Solley and Betsey (Elizabeth Bowles, married 1823), but in the 1881 census I found Thomas A. Solley in Ethelbert Road, Margate, a painter journeyman. I found what I now believe to be the correct Thomas Solly in Crixhall, Goodnestone – his occupation Waggoner on farm. Although Catherine is not with them, the names of her siblings match (in part!). This Thomas is shown as born in Woodnesborough. I haven’t been able to find a record of this Thomas’s birth.

From the birthplaces of their children, they obviously moved around, and were probably in the right area when Kate was born in 1865. I wonder if they had relatives in the Margate/Ramsgate area? Her father Thomas Solly is shown as a labourer at Fleet Farm, Margate age 26 in 1861 (marriage cert to Mary Ann Petts), the son of another Thomas Solly, also a labourer.

Also, in the 1881 census I found:

Thomas SOLLEY M 75 M Woodnesborough, Kent, England Rel: Head Occ: Ag. Lab.

Elizabeth SOLLEY M 75 F Adisham, Kent, England Rel: Wife

George SOLLEY U 25 M Woodnesborough, Kent, England Rel: Grandson, Occ: Ag. Lab.

This could be the father of the Thomas born 1835/37. There are also in Woodnesborough Richard born around 1810 and Ann born around 1801, both unmarried, and a James born around 1830.

Sorry if I’ve gone on a bit! Any info you might have to confirm/disprove or amplify these suppositions would be much appreciated. My problem has been too many Sollys in the right place at the right time – too easy to jump to the wrong conclusion. Yes, I would very much like to join your society – I’m just off to check your website.

Hopefully we will eventually find more ancestors in our database."

From Michael Hobbs:

"I am researching my SOLLY family connections in Kent and am hoping that you, or some of your contacts, may be able to help me. I am trying to trace my roots back as far as I can, and to find as many of my living relatives (however distant they may be) as I can. I have attached an abbreviated copy of a descendant tree that you are more than welcome to use, copy, and distribute as you wish. My connection to this report is through Jane Elizabeth SOLLY and Henry NEW. I do have further descendant details if you know of someone who may be connected/interested."

I found many details of Michael’s interest as we already have a large tree associated with Henry New and his ancestors, including Edward Solly who arrived in Lyttleton, New Zealand on 1st Mar 1851 on the Isabella Hercus. Listed as domestic servant aged 19 years and listed on the early settlers memorial at Takaka, Golden Bay, Nelson, New Zealand. He was said to have grown some of the finest hops in the district.

"Thank you for your quick reply Bob. I would be very pleased to receive anything that you have on the SOLLY name that you think may be relevant. I had been in touch with Maeda Entwistle a long time ago. I know that she has done a lot more research since then, so I would be very pleased to receive anything at all that she has sent to you, no matter how far removed it may be from the SOLLY name.

I am currently using Version 4 of Family Tree Maker for my genealogy and have successfully received many Gedcom files from various people. Please feel free to send details of my SOLLY interests to anyone you contact, and to post my name on any bulletin board you wish. I have been neglecting this part of my "tree" for a while now, but now that I have Internet access I intend to rectify that."

There is no doubt that communications, and indeed first contacts, are accelerated by the Internet and all our members are encouraged to investigate this unique medium to find information.

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