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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report August 2002

(Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire)

By Bob Sheldon  

Our recent new member Geoff Knott has followed up our initial exchanges of information with various photos and copies of original documents relating to his Sussex family.

The full set of photos now appear in our web-page gallery. His article, describing some of the family happenings, appears elsewhere in the journal. Geoff has also carried out some specific research for the Society at the Winchester CRO during which he found a Will of Bradley Sole who died in Southampton in 1838. We are grateful to him for this as Bradley turned out to be a ‘stray’, having been born in Deal, Kent. From the contents of the Will in conjunction with the previous research by Phil Lynch we were able to identify more of the Deal line which previously we thought were an unconnected Hampshire family.

Another follow up from my previous report concerns Penny Waymark and her Margate connections. She sent me copies of certificates relating to her Annie Elizabeth Sole and mentioned that her father was a ‘Trinity Pensioner’ and from these we were able to establish that we previously had been investigating the ‘wrong’ Annie. Penny’s ancestor was the daughter of John Sole of Ramsgate who was descended from my own ancestors Edward and Mercy who were married in 1792 at Monkton, Kent. I was able to put Penny in touch with our member Sue Sutton in New Zealand who is a closer cousin than I am.

I have been doubly fortunate this time in finding a connection with my Monkton family. New member Edie Robinson had traced her ancestors back to Phoebe Sole and Thomas Johnson who married in Chislet, Kent in 1833. Phoebe was the daughter of Edward and Mercy and her line down to Edie is now added to those of her brothers Edward and James for whom we have extensive charts. Edie has also sent in photos which may be seen below and on our web-pages.

Another Kent descendant, although as yet unconnected with my family, is new member Beverley Carr who lives in Canada. She contacted us to say that her grandmother Annie Eliza Soal had emigrated to Miami, USA a year or two after marrying Alexander Donald Fossey at Holy Trinity Church, Margate in 1903.

Beverley had found from the 1881 census that her father was Richard Soal who had been born in the village of St. Peter’s near Broadstairs, Kent in 1847. This information filled a gap in our knowledge as we had ‘lost’ Annie Eliza but I was able to advise Beverley that she was descended from William and Ann Soal who married in 1733 at Canterbury but who were both from the village of Reculver, near Herne Bay. Beverley has sent details of her USA family including the fact that Alexander Fossey became Mayor of Miami in 1935. Another descendant of William and Ann is member Marjorie Wigginton who is now in touch with her cousin Beverley.

Sheila MacInnes has been in touch with a Mr and Mrs Taylor who have been studying the history of Rustington, Sussex for over 25 years. They have kindly provided a number of extracts from Parish Records relating to this large family line. Clearly the So(a)le family enjoyed some status in the village; they owned considerable property, John, Simon and Philip (there were more than one Philip – see my article in December 2001) were Church Wardens at various dates from 1633 to 1728 and George was a Parish Clerk from time to time 1816 to 1862. George appears to have been somewhat controversial in his dress from an item in the Poor Relief Records for 1826, “Be it remembered that we the undersigned assented to give the Clerk of the Parish five pounds as a salary instead [of] three pounds ten shillings, on condition of his appearing at church in a black coat instead of a round frock as is often the case.” In another reference to the Poor Book for 1769 there is mention of John Peters being paid two shillings for digging Mary Soal’s grave, burial expenses of twelve shillings for Mary Soal and six shillings being paid out for her shroud. Maybe Mary was one of the poorer relations?

A very recent new member H J Gates is descended from Louisa Sole and Henry Gosden who were married in 1845 at Trotton, Sussex. Louisa was the granddaughter of Edward SOAL from Buriton, Hampshire who married Elizabeth Brown in 1792 at Oving, near Chichester, Sussex. We believe that Edward was the son of John who may well be the brother of Richard who heads another of our large Sussex Charts, but we have yet to confirm this.

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