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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report April 2009

by Maureen Storey  



In this journal we welcome two new members: John Loader and Carol Ann Kerry-Green.


John is researching the family of his paternal grandmother Mary Beatrice Soul who was born in Poole, DOR, in 1879. Mary's parents Thomas Petit and Sarah Ann (nee Clarabut) Soul moved to Poole from Olney, BKM, in the 1860s and set up a butcher's shop in Poole High St (a photograph of the shop appears in An Album of Old Poole). Thomas became a prominent member of the local Methodist church and in 1887 was elected to Poole Town Council.


Carol Ann provided the answer to a long standing question of mine when she found the article on our website about Robert Soule, a veteran of the Peninsular War and recognised him as the brother of her 4 gt grandfather Herbert Millington Soole. Robert's army records had indicated he was born in North Cave, YKS, but not who his next-of-kin was, so I hadn't been able to place him in a family. Carol Ann gave us the baptism details of not only him but also the other eight children of Robert Sowle and Elizabeth Featherstone some we knew nothing about and some we had some data on but had been unable to link together. The family has now been traced back to Robert Sowle who was buried in Aughton, YKS, in 1637.


Frank Pursey is still researching the Sooles of Ickleton, CAM, and has given us a database of Soole extracted from the British telephone directories 1880-1984. This database will help to pinpoint where to look for later generations of the family.


We've also received more information from Maureen Horne about the Soles of Banbury. She has recently had contact with the descendants of Henry John Sole (b 1887) and his sister Beatrice Josephine Sole (b 1893). We knew Beatrice had married in 1927 but had lost track of her after that, while Henry had vanished from our records after the 1901 census we now know that a few years after the death of his father John Nicholas Sole in 1908, he emigrated to New Zealand, where his descendants are thriving. John Nicholas's brother was Samuel Heydon Sole, who was for many years the Roman Catholic priest of Chipping Norton, and by coincidence it was drawn to our attention at the end of February that a postcard showing his funeral procession was for sale on e-bay we usually like to acquire such ephemera but on this occasion the price (85) was too high to do so.


A postcard also featured in another of our recent enquiries. Thomas Jones, who collects memorabilia of the American Civil War, asked if we could definitely identify the young Union soldier on one of the postcards in his collection as Ferdinand Bolivar Soles.  This postcard is reproduced on page 19 of  this journal.


Sally Pillen first contacted us some years ago hoping we'd be able to identify which family her gt grandmother Henrietta Sole belongs to. She knew that Henrietta was born in Holborn in 1898 and that Henrietta's birth certificate gave her parents names as William John and Mary (nee Barham) Sole. She also said that she'd been told that the family had connections with March, CAM. However, she'd been unable to find either the family in the 1901 census or a Sole/Barham marriage. From the limited information Sally had it seemed to me likely that 'William John' was in fact John William Sole who was baptised in Somersham in 1875 John had disappeared from our records after the 1891 census, and information from other branches of his family indicated that he had settled in London. However, with neither a marriage certificate to confirm his father's name nor a census to give his place of birth we couldn't prove this. With the release of the 1911 census, Sally has now acquired a few more clues but not the complete answer. Although on the census Henrietta's father's name is given as William, his age and place of birth still fit with the John William who was baptised in Somersham. But the censuses say Henrietta's parents had been married for 14 years and there isn't a marriage for them in the GRO index. A further search for the family in the 1901 census failed to find William, Mary and Henrietta Sole but did find John William Sole (b 1875, Somersham) who was living with Mary Cooper, widow, and her daughter Henrietta (b 1898 Holborn). Could this be them? Further searches of the marriage indexes revealed a Cooper/Mary Barham marriage in 1888 in Islington and, somewhat later than the census leads us to believe, a William Sole/Mary Cooper marriage in Islington in 1915. Sally is now waiting for the latter certificate to see if it's for her William and Mary.


We've also received requests for information from two people with only distant Sole connections in each case the Sole concerned had married into one of the side branches of the family they are researching. Meegan, from Darwin, Austrlia, asked if we had any information on Elizabeth Sole , who married Joseph Edwards in Bourn in 1796 Joseph married again after Elizabeth's death in 1800 and Meegan is a descendant of this second marriage. Unfortunately,  we were unable to tell Meegan little other than that Elizabeth's parents were William Sole and Frances Morgan. Caroline Hayward is researching the Kidman family of St Neots, HUN, and had been told by another Kidman researcher that according to a family bible in his possession Sole Street near Canterbury was named after John Sole Kidman. From the information Caroline gave us it seems John Sole Kidman's mother was Mary Sole, who was one of the Stretham family. The supposed connection with Kent sounds like a mangled version of the controversial family tree that was drawn up for this family in the nineteenth century which linked the family to a mayor of Faversham. Though we've found no evidence to support such a connection, it is still upheld by at least one branch of the family and indeed the tree was the subject of an acrimonious dispute between Don Steel and two of our founder members, Denis and Susan Sole. 


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