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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report April 2009

(Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire)

By Bob Sheldon

New member Lynne Wingate from Canada has connections, via her husband Alan, with one of our Kent families which stems from William SOLE and Margaret PRESCOTT who were married at Nonington in 1809. 


They had seven children from which there are four known branches.  Until Lynne made contact we only knew that Alanís grandmother Ellen Kate SOLE, a gt-gt-granddaughter of William and Margaret, had married Charles Wingate in 1919 at Folkestone.  We now know that they emigrated to Canada after their marriage.  Lynne also tells us that Charles had previously emigrated to Canada in 1908 with his family but had returned to England during the first world war.  We also learnt from Lynne that Ellenís elder sister Adelaide Mary had also emigrated to Canada after marrying Arthur LABEREE, a Canadian, in 1917 also at Folkestone.


More information from Lynne enabled us to link two other brothers of Ellen and Adelaide to their family.  We had previously known about William George and John Franklin SOLES but did not have evidence to link them with any of our families.  The whole family lived in the Folkestone area of Kent.  With our new knowledge of the Canadian part of this family the number of known descendants of William and Margaret has increased from 113 to 141.  So we are grateful to Lynne for making contact and I am pleased we were able to welcome her to membership.


Hilary Hale, who has been a member for over ten years, sent in a photo of her grandmother Fanny Sarah SOLE and her husband William SMART (see photo below).  Fanny was connected with our other large Sussex family, born in 1879 and died of tuberculosis in 1944; the photo was probably taken not long before her death when William was home on leave from the merchant navy.  His ship had been torpedoed twice during WW2.  Hilary says that her grandmother was a very kind person and as a retired schoolteacher knew most of the villagers (Southwick, Sussex) and their children.  If she knew a family could not afford much she used to wrap up parcels and deliver them to those less fortunate.  As a mother of eight children, she was often called upon when village children were ill.  She probably caught the tuberculosis from one of these children whom she knew was dying of the disease. Her husband William survived Fanny by nearly 30 years dying at the age of 90 in 1971.


In January we received the sad news that Christine Thompson, who had been a member for over five years, had died.  Christine was a descendant of another Kent family headed by Edward and Rose Hannah (neť DRAYSON) SOLE of Woodnesborough.  Her cousin, Jennifer Ball writes ďI knew she had been very ill for some time . . . . I never met her but we corresponded for several years.  She was a brave woman.  Her daughter Catriona brought her wedding forward because time was short but sadly Christine was too ill to attend.Ē  We extend our deepest sympathies to the family.


We had an interesting enquiry from Brian who is researching his wifeís connection with the CHITTENDEN family.  He had found Mercy CHITTENDEN who was married to Edward SOLE at Monkton in 1792 and was seeking confirmation from our records that one of their daughters, Ann (born 1810), married Brianís wifeís ancestor Thomas FENNELL at Monkton in 1830.  Unfortunately this was not the right Ann as we are confident that she died at the age of 14 in 1824.  We believe that the correct Ann(e) was born in 1807 to William and Mary (neť WELLS) SOLE at Chislet, some five miles from Monkton.  So far we have not found a connection between these two families.  Easily done, but Brian had wrongly confused the two persons called Ann.   


It is pleasing to note that our web page is visited by persons who are quite distant from the SOLE name.  Margaret contacted to say that Alice HOLMES was her motherís first cousin who had married James Robert SOLE in 1916 at Guildford, Surrey.  James was a descendant of our largest Sussex family who we knew had been born in 1893 and had been killed during WW1.  Margaret wondered if we would like to add to our information that he was killed in 1917 aboard HMS Attentive II and that he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.  She remembers seeing his photograph on the wall of Aliceís home near Guildford and the shock of his death was, as with so many war widows, ruinous to her health.  They did not have any children and Alice, who lived until 1955, never remarried.


Finally, by way of a postscript to Beverly Carrís article in the December 2008 journal, I was very pleased to be able to meet Clifford (or Cliff as he likes to be known) Fossey, the only surviving son of Annie Eliza (neť SOAL), during my stay over Christmas in Florida with my daughter Sue Martin and her husband Mark. Sue is also a member of the Society and had invited Cliffís daughter Rene to bring her mother and father for afternoon (English) tea.  In the photo taken in 1914 on page 46 of the December journal Cliff is one of the twin babies on their motherís lap.  The other twin Thomas died only two years ago aged over 90 and Cliff celebrated his 95th birthday on 27th February 2009.  Cliff is a little frail now but it was a pleasure to meet him and his family and to congratulate him on achieving his great age (see photo below). 



Fanny Sarah (nee Sole) and William Smart about 1943



Bob Sheldon with Cliff Fossey in Florida

Bob Sheldon with Cliff Fossey in Florida


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