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

Research Co-ordinator's Report April 2003

by Tony Storey

This article was originally published in the April 2003 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society

One of the nice things about being research co-ordinator for the Sole Society is the kindness and helpfulness of the members.

I try to reciprocate by gathering as much information as I can and making it accessible to further your research. However, without your active assistance we would soon grind to a halt so I must always remember to say thank you.

Particular thanks this time to Diana Kennedy and Brian Sewell for putting the finishing touches to the Sewell GRO records 1837-1950.

Thanks also to Trevor Saul, Joan Ledger and Lynne Burlingham for their response to my appeal in the last journal for trade directory entries. Incidentally, Joan and I would like to know if anyone has the Reverend William Sewell, incumbent of Troutbeck, Windermere, in 1851 on their family tree.

Finally, a large vote of appreciation to Ian Sewell who seems to have taken up residence at the Public Record Office, Kew, in order to extract soldiers’ records for us. Amongst the hundreds that Ian has transcribed to date, we have already identified several Waterloo veterans.

Nowadays, our researchers consider all four name groups when extracting information and as a result we all benefit.

The first CD-ROM may have already been sent out by the time you read this. It is specifically for our Saul members and John Slaughter and his team have worked very hard to provide updated family charts for the disk. We’ve set ourselves the target of issuing an information disk to all our members this year, the Soles next quarter, then the Sewells and finally the Solleys.

Occasionally in our family history research something unexpected occurs, perhaps a vital piece of evidence comes to light or we discover that we’re related to someone famous. My most recent ‘champagne moment’ happened just before Christmas when the telephone rang and the caller introduced himself as Stuart Reid. Stuart is interested in postal history and was pleased to have acquired a letter written just a week after the introduction of Rowland Hill’s Penny Post in 1840.

But why should I be thrilled by an old letter, and what has it to do with our Society? See “A Letter to Anna” elsewhere in this journal.

Also in this issue, I continue my series on different research sources and how you can make a contribution with a brief article about wills and where to find them.

I hope that some more of you will find a little time to help us.

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