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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report - July 1999

By Maureen Storey

Our records contain a number of sizeable charts. However, there are still some clumps of two or three generation families that look as if they should join together but we have not yet found the link. The reason for this is often just that none of our members are interested in the group so little research is done rather than that the necessary information is inherently difficult to find. The impetus to find the missing link between these nuclear families often comes from a query from a new contact. I had such a contact recently from Peter and Cathy Reinke. They were looking for the family of Eliza Sole who was born in 1870 in West Ham. In our database, we had a couple of two-generation families from West Ham from the 1881 census. Also, we had some other odd pieces of information that looked as if they might refer to these families but nothing more. By pooling information, we have developed two two-generation charts to one of six generations. These begin with a John Sole who, according to the 1851 census, was born in about 1790 in Enfield, MDX. This is itself rather tantalising. It looks as if John may be another son of the John and Elizabeth Sole who had nine children (but no son John) baptised in Enfield between 1794 and 1808.

Another of our recent queries came from Roger Hobbs who is researching his wife’s family. He had got back to the marriage of Fanny Sole and John Lobbett in Bideford in 1893 but could not find Fanny Sole’s parents. This is a family that we had already investigated with member, Charles Phesse, and it transpired that Charles and Mrs Hobbs are cousins. Although they were in touch, neither had realised that the other was interested in family history! Fanny’s parents were George (b about 1840) and Catherine (nee Cousins, b about 1 844) Sole. There are no other SOLE families in the Bideford area and, as George, a seaman, was not at home on census night 1881 or 1891 we have yet to find where he was born; perhaps the 1901 census will have the answer.

Another, more unusual, query came from Neil Austin who has no family links with SOLE and its variants but who has a large collection of photographs of WW1 servicemen that he is trying to identify. One of these was a photo of E Sole of Sutton, Ely. He wondered if we knew anything about him (and whether our membership included someone from his family who would like a copy of the picture). We were able to fill in some background details for Neil and in return he has promised us a copy of the photo for our archives.

Our North American database continues to grow. Indeed, the information is accumulating faster than I can enter it into the database. However, it will not become a really useful tool for American researchers until it has grown considerably. So, if you have some American information that you have not submitted yet, can I have it please?

Return to The Sole Society Home Page