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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report August 2001

(Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire)

By Bob Sheldon

 Bob Sheldon

Sheila MacInnes and her husband have been doing more research into the Sussex line going back to Richard and Mary (MASTER) SOLE who were married in 1594. This line contains many Phillip SO(A)LEs and Sheila was able to find a map showing the lands held by one of them in the 18th century in the village of Rustington, near Worthing. Unfortunately the map is not dated but it does indicate that this was a family of substance.

As mentioned in previous reports, on an earlier visit Sheila discovered in the County Record Office a Chart prepared by a Major Pearce in 1986 for his client Frederick Cecil SOLE of West Hartford, Connecticut, USA. Sheila had made contact with Frederick's brother William and met with his son Tom on a UK visit. We have now heard via email from another of William's sons Gene who, seeing the extract of the previous journal articles on our Internet site, advised us that his aunt Dee SOLE, Frederick's widow, was still living at West Hartford. I was happy to write to her enclosing our latest Chart of the family and to extend our thanks to her on behalf of Frederick for the work that he commissioned (I understand "at great expense") which has advanced our own researches considerably.

Before we leave this Sussex line and the many Phillips, Sheila MacInnes has also sent me photocopies and transcriptions of a Will and Inventories of possessions at death of two of them. Extracts of these which will appear in the next journal.

Last year the Society purchased SOLE extracts from the East Kent Marriage Index compiled by Michael Gandy. This has greatly reduced the time necessary to search through Parish records. It proved particularly beneficial to Ann Turner, who lives in Canada.

Ann was born in Devon but emigrated to Canada in 1968 where she married Robert and brought up two children, Andrew and Rachelle. Ann sent us some four years ago a copy of her research into her family back to her GGGGgrandparents William and Ann (STUBBINGTON) SOLE . All the evidence suggested that William and Ann came from the Portsmouth area of Hampshire where four of their six children had been born. However the place of marriage of William and Ann could not be found; we now know why.

The Gandy Index contained a marriage of William SOLE to Ann STUBBINGTON on 1st Dec 1810 at Lower Halstow, a small village on the mouth of the River Medway in Kent.

This was confirmed from a quick check of the Parish Register which described him as a 'widower of this parish' and her as a 'spinster of this parish'. Unfortunately their ages are not recorded and the names of the witnesses do not give us any real clue to their origins. Noting that William was a widower I have checked all other earlier marriages in Kent but cannot find one that fits.

So they were both living in Lower Halstow for at least three weeks prior to the wedding but did William come from the Portsmouth area and return there after the wedding?

My present guess is that he was a naval man who was connected with the Royal Navy dockyard at Chatham and was posted soon after the marriage to the Royal Navy dockyard at Portsmouth.

New member Phil Lynch, who lives in Kent, has only recently caught the Family History bug and it has already taken him to Ireland and Deal, Kent from where his earliest known ancestors originate. We already had records of family groups in Deal from the late 17th to early 19th centuries after which they apparently "disappeared". We now know that at least one branch of the family moved to Ireland in the mid 19th century.

On his first contact Phil told us that his cousin Pat had discovered a gravestone in Ireland on which was stated that his grandfather Charles, who died in 1885 aged 68, was born in Deal.

Further confirmation of his birthplace was contained in a death notice from a local newspaper. In fact Phil's Irish great-uncle Tony Lynch had done a lot of research on the Lynch/Sole family trees before he died and found that he could go no further back than Charles because of his Deal origins. It did not take long to identify that Charles was born in 1816 the son of Eastes SOLE and the grandson of Bradley SOLE who was born in 1749 in Deal.

Since our first contact Phil has sent us photocopies of pages from the family Bible of Charles' son James Eastes SOLE confirming the birth dates of his nine children, a number of newspaper death notices, various Irish birth/marriage/death certificates and sundry other documents.

We now have a Chart containing 10 generations from 1749 and Phil is confident he can find the missing links that will take us back even further to a known Deal family before 1700.

My own personal research has been limited during the past few months due to other commitments so our thanks for these contributions from members which are always very welcome

Return to The Sole Society Home Page