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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report April 2005

(Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire)

By Bob Sheldon

We recently welcomed Lionel Sole into the Society and discovered very quickly from the research he had performed and our own records that he was our seventh member who is descended from Edward and Rose Hannah Sole of Wickhambreux, Kent who lived almost throughout the 19th century and died within a few days of each other in December 1890. 


Edward SoleLionel will not mind me mentioning his age, 88 years, because he informed us that a few years ago he was encouraged by his family to jot down his memoirs.  The result, “Memoirs of an Octogenarian”, provides a detailed history of his life and surroundings which we are pleased to start serialising elsewhere in this edition of the journal.  Lionel has also provided photos of his family and a very early example of glass plate photography which is believed to be of his great grandfather, Edward (shown here) around 1860.


For the record I list the other six members of Edward’s line.  I have not checked with the other name co-ordinators but I suspect this may be one of the largest groups of cousins who are members of the Society.  They are: Jennifer Ball, Jo Hobbs, Diana Jones, Jackie Marshall, Georgina Mountford and Christine Thompson.


Diana Jones has sent me copies of additional certificates she obtained for her branch of this family including one for the early death in 1911 at the age of 20 of Catherine Cousins Sole who succumbed to pulmonary tuberculosis at her home in Devonport.  Also, via Diana, Jackie Marshall has sent us a photo from the internet of the gravestone in Ryde cemetery of Rosa Stamp her great grand aunt.  This showed her previously unknown (to us) birth (9th April 1868) and death (19th April 1915) dates. 


Mike Martin has also joined the Society and is descended from Thomas Sole of Sheppey in Kent.  We do not know much about Thomas (about 1780 to about 1830) but his eldest son Thomas was a shipwright in the naval dockyard at Sheerness.  There were a number of Sole families living in Sheppey in the 19th century but so far it has proved difficult to connect them with any degree of certainty.  The information that Martin has provided has taken us a little further in doing so.


Another new member is Kathryn Bullen whose husband David is a member of the 5th generation descended via his mother and grandmother from the Kentish family who emigrated to New Zealand in 1841.  David’s parents emigrated in the 1950’s from New Zealand to Australia where he and Kathryn now live.  I referred her to the excellent book “From the Marshes to the Mountains” by Faye Clark which documents the history of this family.  I hope she will be able to update us on events since the book was published in 1991 and is now a little of date.


Annie Sole of Sixpenny Handley in Dorset,Our fourth new member, Neil Paddock, is descended from his great grandmother Annie Sole (see photo) of Sixpenny Handley in Dorset, although she was born in India in 1883 the daughter of a member of the British army, Henry John Bramley and Lucy (née Gifford) Sole, a member of one of the many branches of our largest Sussex family.  Annie married Arthur John Thorne in 1904 and had seven children the first of which Arthur James was Neil’s grandfather. Neil has also sent us a photo taken around 1910 of Annie holding one of her babies on her lap although it is not certain which one it was.


Not a new member but indeed one of our founder members, David Parsons, has recently sent in information which forms a new branch of our main Sussex line.  His maternal grandmother was Ann Sole, the fourth child of Edward and Harriett (née Enticknass) Sole of Lurgashall in Sussex.  David says that family legend is that Edward was killed when Ann was aged eleven (1866) at Haslemere in Surrey by being crushed between the buffers of a train.  David has also sent us some photos of his family and these will be included in our web-page gallery as will the others which are mentioned above.


We received an interesting message from another visitor to our web-page, who did not wish to become a member, but nevertheless helped us to fill a gap in our knowledge of a branch of one of our East Kent families who had moved initially to Hackney and subsequently emigrated to Florida in the USA in 1907/08.  We knew that Richard William Sole, his wife Eliza Ann (née Forwood) and Helen, one of their four children, had set up home there following in the footsteps of their daughter Annie, who had emigrated with her new husband Alexander Fossey in 1904.


We had knowledge of this from our member Beverly Carr who now lives in Canada.  However we did not know until now what happened to Helen.  Thanks to our recent informant it appears that she married his grandfather Richard Tattam and had four children between 1909 an 1917.  Richard Tattam was an ex British soldier who had left the army in India in 1889 and somehow made his way to Florida.  However he died in 1917 and Helen immediately returned to England with her young family and her widowed mother, Eliza (Richard William having died in Miami in 1915), and settled again in Hackney.  Eliza died in 1933 and Helen in 1958.   


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