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

Sole Co-ordinator's Report - March 1997

by Maureen Storey

Among our new members is Alf Cannon who like me traces his line back to William Sole and Dinah Woodland whose 13 children were baptised at St.John-at-Hackney between 1788 and 1815. Alf is descended from their fifth daughter Martha, while their third son John was my great-great-great-grandfather. Of William and Dinah’s children, William and Thomas died in infancy, John, James and William Henry married, raised families and died in Hackney, while the youngest son George turned up in Lewisham in the 1881 Census and we have marriages for two of the daughters, Sarah and Martha. That leaves the fate of five, Ann, Phoebe, Alice, Hannah and Thomas Simon, still to be determined.

One tool that I found invaluable when researching the Hackney Soles is probably one of the Society’s most under-used assets, that is, Fred Sole’s listings of the SOLE and variants entries in the GRO indexes. I have a copy of the SOLE entries for births 1837-1969, marriages 1837- 1949 and deaths 1837- 1989, so if you’ve lost great uncle Bill’s birth marriage/death let me know and I can send you a list of likely candidates. Alternatively, if you’d like to know all the SOLE events in a particular registration district, enabling possible siblings to be identified, I can supply that as well. The entries in the lists are exactly as they appear in the GRO indexes; there is no extra information but they can save hours of hunting

Work over the last couple of months has primarily centred on adding information from the 1881 index to our charts. However, to bridge the gap between the IGI and the 1881 Census we need to find all the SOLEs in the 1851 Census, so please check any 1851 Census indexes that you have for SOLE and variants and let me know whether there are any SOLEs in that area (my thanks again to Ken Hart and Edna Pritchard for their prompt replies to my last request for 1851 information)

Our next project, which we intend to start in the next few weeks, is to transfer all the SOLE information that we have on to computer. Whilst I share Don Steel’s opinion that at present, computer-drawn trees do not give the flexibility in content that hand-drawn ones do, they have the great advantage that they are easily amended and can be reproduced at the touch of a button. Putting everything on computer will also give us a much needed index of everyone who appears on the trees. In our chart system, individuals are allotted a reference number that depends on where their earliest known ancestor originated. Thus my nephew doesn’t appear on a Norfolk chart, though that is where he was born, nor on a Middlesex chart, where the previous six generations were born, but on a Hertfordshire one since William Sole, the patriarch of the Hackney Soles was born in Therfield, Herts. Whilst this is very logical, it means that you need an intimate knowledge of all the SOLE trees to find a specific family, a problem that an index should resolve.



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