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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report August 2005

(Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire)

By Bob Sheldon


Andy Colegate is one of our new members with Kentish ancestry.  It may be interesting to note how Andy found his SOLE connection.  He saw (via our web-page) a previous article of mine with a reference to William Albert SOLE and his wife Ada Susannah (née COLEGATE) as being the ancestors of then members Bill Sole and his sister Judy.  Andy’s research had indicated that Ada was the eldest child of his GG-grandparents and her younger brother was Albert Bruce COLEGATE who later married Elizabeth Grace SOLE, the sister of William Albert, at Lewisham in 1901.  Albert and Elizabeth are Andy’s G-grandparents. 


We previously knew about Elizabeth as a descendant of William and Ann (née ARNOLD) SOLE(S) who were married in 1787 at East Langdon near Dover but who appear to have raised their five children in Nonington, some 8 miles inland.  The youngest of their children, Thomas, married Grace MARSH in 1830 at Kingston, a further 4 miles inland but they clearly could not settle and after the birth of their second child they moved to Lee near Lewisham around 1840.  We know from the 1851 census for Lewisham that Thomas was a gardener.  Elizabeth Grace was born there in 1880, the granddaughter of Thomas and Grace, and that is all we previously knew about her until Andy sent us his family tree which now forms a new branch of three generations to this family.


Mike Reeve is another new member with Kentish roots who has solved a little mystery that had me puzzled for some time and which I feel needs a place of its own elsewhere in this edition.


Colin Sole is a new member who is descended from Herbert William Robert SOLE who was born in 1875 at Portsmouth.  Colin provided enough clues to enable us to connect a number of separate families in our records that we had noted from the published indexes.  However we were able to tell Colin that for his grandfather’s marriage in 1894 he had dropped the name ‘Herbert’, which enabled Colin to obtain the marriage certificate.  From this we discovered that he was a riveter at H M Dockland and his father’s name was Philip (deceased), a shipwright.  We have records of two possible Philips, both shipwrights in Portsmouth, who could be Herbert’s father and we are awaiting further contact from Colin after he has obtained the birth certificate of 1875.


Colin Aris is our fourth new member and is related to Lionel Sole whose memoirs are continued in this journal.  Colin says his interest lies in getting back past Edward SOLE, his GG-grandfather (whose photo was included in the April 2005 Journal), who we believe was born out of wedlock to Sarah SOAL in 1798 at Herne, Kent.  Colin is also looking into what he believes could be quite a love story between his grandmother Ada SOLE and his grandfather Capt Walter CURTIS.  We look forward to receiving the results of Colin’s further researches.


Phil Lynch has discovered on the Internet a piece of Kentish history referring to Soles Court or Soles Court Farm, which appears in the Domesday Book (1086) and in Hasted’s History of Kent (1800).  There is mention of a John de SOLES who was connected with the property near Barfreston and Nonington in the 12th century but we cannot yet claim any direct line. However the ownership of the Farm down the centuries does make interesting reading at  If anyone without access to the Internet is interested, I would be happy to forward a copy on request.


Michael Sole, who is currently visiting the UK from his home in South Africa, has sent us his family tree.  He is clearly related to Donald Bell Sole of South Africa whom I wrote about in the December 2004 and earlier journals.  Both are descended from Thomas SOLE, a shipwright, of Sheppey in Kent around 1840.  Michael has not become a member but again I am happy that we are reaching out around the world.


I end on a sad note this time, as I have to record the death after a short illness of our member, Diana Jones, in March at the age of 66.  I mentioned Diana in my previous report as being one of the largest groups of cousins who are members of the Society.  She regularly attended our annual conferences and she was often sending me new snippets about her ancestors that she had found to add to our records.  Our condolences go to her husband Bernard and their family.

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