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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report April 2004

By Maureen Storey  

In this journal we welcome five new members: Lesley Bradwell, Heather Charleton, Lee Jacobs, Jeff Sole and Michael Soul.

Lesley’s great grandmother was Louisa Jane Sole, who was born in Kelshall, HRT, in 1843. Louisa married George Rayner in Kelshall in 1865 and together they had seven children – their second son, Frank, was Lesley’s grandfather.

Heather’s interests also lie in the Kelshall area. Although she has no direct connection with the Kelshall Soles, she is linked to them by marriage and the family has aroused her interest.

Lee is the 2 x great grandson of Ellen Hannah Sole (1857-1945), the daughter of James Sole and Elizabeth Kidd. Ellen married William Sillett in 1879 and they had five sons and one daughter – Lee is descended from their oldest son William (born 1884). Ellen’s family has been traced back to Therfield, HRT, in the seventeenth century.

The earliest member of Jeff’s family that we know about to date is William Sole, who according to the 1851 census was born in about 1790 in the village of Beechamwell, NFK. As Sole is an uncommon name in Norfolk, it seems likely that William’s father or grandfather migrated to the village, possibly from the nearby Cambridgeshire fens, although we’ve yet to find evidence to support this theory.

Michael has been researching his family who originated in Olney, BKM. His 2 ´ great grandfather Richard Soul moved from Olney to Amesbury, Wiltshire, where he ran a grocery shop. All three of Richard’s sons became shop-keepers: John and Edward, were grocers like their father (John in Corsham and Edward in Amesbury), while Richard was a draper.

Ricky Donald wrote to say that there was information concerning the Ickleton Sooles on his website. This included photos of Susan (1814-1891), wife of Nicholas Walker Soole, and their daughter Emma (1854-1922), which were given to Ricky by their descendant Maureen Weisner. Maureen has allowed us to copy these photos for our website and display boards.

A Google search threw up a surprise for Edward Sowells when he found that his great aunt Sarah Craggy Sowells was mentioned in Soul Search. Some of the earlier generations of Edward’s family appear in the records as Sowell and some as Sewell so by pooling the Society’s resources we’ve been able to help Edward extend his family tree.

A similar search by Marny Hinson, who was looking for data on her great grandfather Samuel Soal (1835-1888), also led to an article from Soul Search. Marny took up family history after the death of her father in 2002 and although she knew a little about Samuel and his wife Zilpah she had yet to find their marriage and so was particularly pleased to see mention of Zilpah’s maiden name (Applebee) in the article.

Frederick George Sole (1876-1966) and his wife Elizabeth (nee McEvoy) of Chipping Norton were the subject of another query. Their grand-daughter Margaret Stokes wanted to know if we had any information on them. We were able to give her the necessary references for her to be able to obtain their death certificates and to extend the family backwards several generations. Frederick worked with horses all his life and met Elizabeth while living in Ireland. Family tradition says Elizabeth’s family only gave them permission to marry on the condition that they stayed in Ireland. However, although their older daughters were born there, Frederick developed rheumatic fever and his poor health forced the family to move back to his home town of Chipping Norton.

We’ve also had two enquiries from researchers who, while they have no direct Sole connections, are related to Sole etc. families by marriage. Dennis South is researching his South family and has traced them back to Reed, HRT, in the sixteenth century. He contacted us after he discovered one of them, Alice South, married William Sole in Therfield, HRT, in 1753. We were able to give him information on William and Alice’s descendants. We also exchanged data with Debbie Sammons about the family of Thomas and Harriet Soles of Eastleach Martin, GLS, who emigrated to Australia in the 1850s; here again Debbie’s connection was through Harriet rather than Thomas.

Finally Adrian Dorling e-mailed to say that he had recently acquired a painting described as ‘an oil on board called Houses by River’, signed by Hilda Sole. He asked if we could identify Hilda and whether we knew anything about the painting. Unfortunately the answer to both questions was ‘no’ – does anybody know who she was?

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