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

SOLLEY Co-ordinator's Report August 2002

By Bob Solly

New members this month include Carole Townend who is interested in Susannah Solly born 1779, who was a daughter of Thomas Solly and Mercy Petley.

I received correspondence with Jane McDonald whereby I was able to send all the details of her ancestors in New Zealand. She wrote “I was truly pleased to hear from you and am very keen to learn more about our connections. Isn’t the internet a wonderful tool? My parents wrote many letters and visited Britain in 1982 trying to track down our ancestors yet I am able to achieve more and cross reference in mere hours!! Thanks to you I am now able to make progress with the Solly side of my ancestry”.

The GRO records are still being computerised – births are now done from 1837 to 1966 and are currently being authenticated. Marriages have been recorded to 1882.

Having a little time this month, I have been able to revisit the internet and tried, as I had done originally some years ago, typing in Solly and Solley in my favourite search engine

This time I came up with 38,000 instances of Solly and 8,300 Solley. Many of the Solly’s can be discounted as they relate to no more than shortened versions of Solomon as a first name.

On the basis of the GRO there are three Solly to each Solley so I estimate there must be about 13,000 relevant Solly records and 4,400 Solley – a total of 17,500. Many of these are duplicates and of course there are many instances being picked up from our own web site at so it would take some time to trawl through. However there may be as many as 1,000 different sites with our names.

So far I have found an article about the Reverend Henry Solly (founder of the working man’s club and union) – we published details in our November 1999 journal and details of Peter Solley Productions (a founder member of Procol Harum) – details were in our December 2000 journal.

Other interesting pages include Allen Solly – a clothing brand in Nottingham dating back to 1744, John Solly a potter (born in Kent) and those shown below.

Dr. Anna Solley is Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of the Maricopa Community College District in Arizona

Bill Solley is one of the most sought after guitarists in New Orleans. He has toured and performed at numerous clubs and festivals around the world, including a recent appearance at the Matsue Jazz Festival in Japan. He is well-versed in bebop, fusion and Brazilian, but his current forte is accompanying many of the fine jazz and blues singers in the New Orleans area. Solley is the 1994 winner of the Louisiana Jazz Composers competition. He is a graduate in classical guitar from the University of New Orleans.

Since 1988, Colin Solly Construction has been one of the leading independent contractors in the Whistler area of Canada. A New Home Warranty Holder specializing in custom log post and beam homes.

So I recommend you do some surfing and perhaps contact anyone with whom you may have a common ancestor – the world is your oyster.

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