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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report April 2010


We are pleased to welcome three new members to the Society who are connected with our south east families.

Peter Cox has now joined us having first been in contact with our founder Fred Sole in 1993 soon after the Society’s inception. We also corresponded in 2003 and established then that he was connected with the larger of our two main Sussex families. He tells me that previously he was concentrating on his other ancestor lines but he has now started to write up on his SOLE connections. We look forward to hearing more from him in the near future and hope that we will be able to progress our mutual knowledge of his family which we have traced back to 1640.

Jillian McGetrick (nee Sole) is another new member with a Sussex connection but from the other of our two main families. She had little knowledge of her family history other than her immediate relatives but from the information she gave me initially I was able to give her brief details of her family back to her grandfather Edward James SOLE from Southwick, Sussex who married Amy Steward RILEY in 1894 at Eastbourne. We have traced Edward’s line back to 1601 but have still not been able to link it with the family of Peter Cox. We are forever hopeful of doing so but those early records have not yet been found. Jillian has now sent me all the details she has obtained from her close relations and by the time she reads this I will have sent to her the tree chart of her branch back to her earliest known ancestor and put her in touch with our other members who are her distant cousins, Hilary Hale, Sheila MacInnes and Colin Sole.

Sandra Gabriel (nee Castle) is our third new member so far this year and she has sent me a very detailed tree of her SOLE ancestry back to 1816 with its CASTLE connections back to 1836. Sandra’s grandmother was Bertha Sarah SOLE who married Arthur James CASTLE at Stodmarsh in 1906. From a 1956 newspaper cutting announcing the celebration of their golden wedding we note that Arthur was a master baker and for more than 30 years he ran a baker’s and confectioner’s business at Bridge winning various diplomas for his baking. In 1938 due to ill health he left baking and carried on a fruiterer’s and greengrocer’s business in Canterbury up to retirement in 1950. Both families are from Kent and our records trace back her SOLE family to 1750. I sent her a copy of our records which showed a few differences compared with hers. She replied “I have a lot of work to do sorting everything out. It is all fascinating, I never realized how complicated it all is. I think I will be having lots of cups of tea!” I am looking forward to receiving Sandra’s further comments.

It was good to hear from Phil Lynch again recently; he has more than once visited Ireland in recent years to research his Kentish SOLE line which moved there from Deal in the early 1800s. He confesses to not having done much work on his SOLE research in the past year. Apart from having changed his job and being much involved in his tennis, he has concentrated more on studying his LYNCH ancestors. He also advised the sad news of the death of the man who had initially set him off on his quest for finding the SOLE family, his grandfather’s cousin Fred Sole (1926-2009). Fred died in June at the age of 82 in a nursing home in Randalstown, Co Antrim. Phil says “he was a lovely man, great sense of humour and was my main link with living SOLE family members.” After all Phil’s efforts he has not heard from his “non-Lynch” SOLE descendants and intends getting back to them. He still has not tracked down the family bible.

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