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

SOLLEY Co-ordinator's Report April 2007

By Bob Solly

I have been spending some time transcribing information from the Kent Family History Society’s CD of Marriage Licences granted from 1568 to 1750. It is interesting to note that, although there are a few recorded on our database (from the parish records), many represent new Soll(e)y additions, particularly in the period from 1619 to 1660.


A warm welcome to the following members who have joined since the last report:


Richard Solly

Janet Brown

Janet Sharp

Karen Farebrother

Janet Barber

Henry Phythian-Adams

Roger Sutton

Michael Francis 


The following are extracts of correspondence with the members; please let me know if you wish to contact any of them for further information.


From: Janet Brown (my mother was a Solly before marriage)


I am trying to trace my grandfather’s first marriage (William Solly). His second marriage was in 1905 and on his marriage certificate at that time it says 'widower'.


He was born in 1876/77 in Ramsgate and appears on the 1891 census at home aged 14 and obviously unmarried. No trace on th 1901 census but I have a feeling he may have been at sea. I have looked at every possible marriage on Ancestry and FBMD's but no death shown for any of the possible ladies.


Do you have any suggestions as to where I can go next? I am thinking he may have married in another country but that is just a wild theory as his second marriage was registered in Thanet, Kent.


The Society’s reply:


I cannot find any record of the family in my family tree records. I assume you have looked at these marriages which are listed in the Marriage records – the only dates that make sense. It may be that he was married abroad, but I have no record


1895    M    Dec    William Henry    Solly    KEN    2a-1359

1896    M    Dec    William              Solly    KEN    2a-1900

1897    M    Mar    William              Solly    KEN    2a-1286

1898    M    Dec    William              Solly    KEN    2a-1563

I also sent entries on the 1901 census. Before they changed the program we were able to download the census with the person and page references. You will see that a William Solly boatman is followed by the next person Emily who was 24. This could be the one you are looking for.


No Emily of the right age on the death records though – perhaps she died abroad. I have attached the list of all Solly deaths just for you to have another look


Thank you for your time and for the information that you sent to me. It will be very useful.


Emily has figured in my research but as I could not find a death for her I ruled her out. Maybe she did die abroad or worst still maybe my grandfather was a bigamist. I hope not but these things happened! Surely his second wife's family would have been suspicious. The other possibility is that maybe he just lived with someone but never married her in which case the death would be registered in a different name.


Thank you for your email.  I put some information on the web site forum, about my family.  I have received the Solly CD. I didn't have time to study it in detail but it seemed that there wasn't very much about my Solly relative.  



From: Luke Solly


Hi, My name is Luke Solly and I am trying to locate any information about the Solly family. My father Douglas Solly was Born in New Zealand in 1946 and was orphaned along with his sisters Pam and Barbara at age 2. I believe his fathers name was Francis William Solly and he remarried after Dads mum died.


I dont have much more than these few vague facts and after countless futile searches I have found you, and pray that perhaps you can help me with my search. Dad told me once that Solly is a fairly rare name and that odds are we will all be relatedin one way or another. Although we may not be I would be deeply appreciative of any assistance you may be able to give me. I eagerly await any correspondence from you.


The Society’s reply


Thanks for your e-mail. I have been searching through the records we have. It is likely that you may be a descendant of Edward Solly, who emigrated to Lyttleton in March 1851. We have quite a lot of information about his descendants. I cannot see any of the names you have quoted, so you will have to try and work back


1 Edward SOLLY  - KTJ, 1054

Birth:  8 Dec 1831, KEN, Canterbury[1]

Death:  14 Nov 1905, New Zealand, Takaka

Burial:  14 Nov 1905, New Zealand, Takaka

Occ:  Sawyer, Farmer, Hopgrower, Labourer

Father:  William SOLLY - KTJ, 3 (1791-)

Mother:  Elizabeth SHARPE  - KTJ, 1051 (1801-)


On 1841 census aged 10. Arrived in Lyttleton, New Zealand on 1st Mar 1851 on the Isabella Hercus.  Listed as labourer and butcher aged 19 years.

Is listed on the early settlers memorial at Takaka, Golden Bay, Nelson, New Zealand.

Said to have grown some of the finest hops in the district[1]


So your father as born in 1946 (same year as I) so he is 60 now; if you assume his father Francis William Solly would have been a father at say 30. This would mean he was born about 1916 (my father was born in 1913). You will need to see if you can find any details of his birth (may show his mother & father). By working back you may be able to link to the records here. I am attaching a word document which shows the family tree. It does not appear that NZ registrar has copied its records so you will have to look at the microfiche.  Let me know how you get on.




From: Mike Francis


My ancestor is Ann Solly, born about 1776 in Ash, daughter of John Solly and Jane Gilham. Ann married Mark Marley in Adisham on 29th May 1794.


From my own research, and recently with the help work already carried out by members and contained in the Sole Society CD, I have managed to trace back to Stephen Solly who married Mildred Cocke on 19th June 1578, in Ash.


Although the East Kent branch of my family was not my main interest for research I have become more interested as I have found some of the names, particularly Solley, were familiar to me. Many years ago I represented an Agricultural Merchant based in Faversham and Solley was certainly a name that I often came across in that part of the world. Naturally, if you have the time, I should be grateful for any help you could give in pointing me in the right direction with my research. Meanwhile do you want me to send you details of any information I have on the descendants of Ann Solly?


The Society’s reply


Attached is a GEDCOM file of the family that you are interested in – may keep you busy for a while; can you let me have any further missing details.


Thank you for sending the GEDCOM file. You are right - it will keep me busy for a while! I will have a good look at the file and also let you have some information on Ann's descendants.




From: Karen Farebrother


My wife, Karen Lesley Farebrother (b  Epping. 8/11/1959) of Cheshunt Herts, has been looking into her family tree and is descended from the Sollys of Kent.  She is the daughter of Audrey Sell (nee Shepherd).


Her maternal great, great, great, great grandfather was Dr Thomas Solly of Faversham, who married Frances Crompton on 12/1/1826. She is descended from their daughter Alice Solly, who married George Remington Osborne on 22/3/1851 at St Nicholas Parish Church, Brighton.  She died on 15/12/1874 at 33 Lansdowne House, Hove.


She has plenty of other information about the Sollys connected with Goodnestone and Great Pedding and of the Solly family migration to Essex.


The Society’s reply


Welcome to the Society, Karen; have attached the family details that we hold for your family. From what you have already written I am sure you can help with filling in the blanks etc. Although I am sure the Richard Solly here joins with the Solly's in Essex I would be grateful if you could send us any extra information you have.


From D Solley


I emailed you over a year ago and have only now returned to the thought of finding out where the Solley family, as I know it, have originally hailed from. 


Further, to my last email, I can report that my understanding of my particular branch of my family, is that my GG grandfather and his family came to the South West of Scotland at some point in the late 1800s. I can supply more exact dates if anyone requires them.


But I am unsure where they came from. I am not sure of their lineage other than they appeared to have been associated with horse dealers and traders. They then got into the hotel trade. The Solley family appears to be mainly in this area and was at one time a very well known name in Castle Douglas and Dumfries. There are pockets of other families, which I have always assumed are distant branches of my own South West Scotland family, part of which has branched to the Edinburgh/Fife area through my GG Uncle Sam Solley.


I realise you may have answered previously but would be much obliged if you could advise the best way to go about beginning research and if you know of any link to this area of Scotland? It would be probably be useful if I were to join your organisation. Having viewed the many postings on your site I am amazed to learn that this name exists in such abundance as I have grown up thinking we were a small family with no known origin.


From: Unidentified


Subject: Solley Family--Solley, Maryland


My mother grew up in Solley, Maryland in the 1920's. Her family lived on Marley Neck Road. The Solley's had a grocery store 3 miles down the road from the Tayman's. Thomas Solley would pick up grocery lists from neighbors and deliver their orders later that day. Thomas's father was deceased but he lived at home with his mother, sister Mable and brothers Roland and Walter Solley. Walter Solley married a woman with the surname of Hackman. Roland married a woman from Georgia and brought her back to Maryland.


They had several children including a son also named Roland. The son married a Mary Tayman who was a relative of my mother’s family. Hope this information adds to what you already know about the Solley family in Maryland.


From: Sue Allaby


The death of one of my ancestors George Robert Eyres (5 Feb 1851) was witnessed by William Solly, carpenter aged 31 and John Solly cobbler aged 24.   Both were living in Boulogne sur Mer.  George died at home 12, Rue de Constantine.  Neither Solly was related to George but they signed the death certificate.


I think I may have been in touch with your society before but in case I haven't do you have any information on Annette Solly daughter of Edward, esquire?   She married John Forbes Royle in 1839 in Marylebone.  It is the Royles I am really interested in but am having to try every avenue to make a connection between John Forbes' father William Henry and my ancestor Ralph Royle.


From Roger Sutton


Roger has written to us giving a meticulously researched record of his ancestors, being traced back to one of our largest trees, partly constructed from information given in a reference book written by James Robinson Planché (A Corner of England – published in 1864). Roger informs us that he had a considerable reputation as an antiquary genealogist and heraldic authority.


He is descended from Elizabeth Solly (born about 1554), who was the daughter of Stephen Solly and Elizabeth HOUGHAM (married in about 1547). Stephen died in 1590 and it was at about this time that the Solly family acquired the manor of Overland in Ash from the HARFLEET family. Stephen was the son of Stephen Soley (sic) and Sexborowe HARFLEET.


Roger also quotes from Planché that the SOLLY family took its name from the manor of SOLES in the neighbouring parish of Nonnington (where John de Soles owned the manor). He also quotes that an analysis of Ash parish registers in 1564 (records began in 1558) some 292 Solly baptisms, 104 marriages and 176 burials.


From: Neville Solly (Australia)

While I was searching the National Archives of Australia I came across the war service records for Albert SOLLY. He was on loan from the RN to the RAN 1924 to 1928.He doesn't belong to anyone I know of but some one in England (Hull) might be interested


Passed to Neville Solly:

From: David & Kathryn Bullen


I joined the Sole Society a year or so ago to trace my husbands Soles in NZ but today was working on my maternal great grandmother to find her sister married  William Ernest Solly the son of Aaron Ambrose Solly. Aaron was born abt. 1828 in Margate Kent. He arrived in South Australia before 1851. If this is any interest to anyone I can look at him and his family further.    

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