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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report August 2005

By Maureen Storey  


The last few months have proved to be quite busy and I’m pleased to be able to welcome seven new members to the Society: Robyn Smith, Howard Sole, Malcolm Russell, Helen Soles, Tom Barrett, Jayne Soles and Jason Sowell.


Robyn is researching the family of James George Sowells, who was born in Great Yarmouth, NFK, in 1857. James married Alice Elizabeth Brand in 1884 and sometime after the 1891 census they and their children emigrated to Australia. Sewell member Peter Foreman has traced this family back as far as the marriage of Edmund Sewell and Mary Barnes in Great Yarmouth in 1728 – the family name seems to have changed to Sowells in the late eighteenth century.


Howard is looking for the birth of his ancestor John William Sole in about 1798, probably in Pennsylvania. John married first Elsie Church (died about 1836) and later Julia A Yost and by the 1870 US census was living in Center Township, Wetzel County, West Virginia. Family legend says that although the family went to the USA via the UK, they actually originated in Germany.


Malcolm’s great grandmother Mary Ann Soles was born in Eastleach Martin, GLS, in 1842. She was the oldest child of Joseph Soles (1812-1891) and Elizabeth Knight (1821-1905). The earliest record we have for this family is the marriage of William Soul and Mary Sansom in Cirencester in 1749.


Helen is the 3 × great granddaughter of Joseph’s brother Thomas Soles (born 1808). Thomas’s sons John and William emigrated to New South Wales. Earlier evidence we were given suggested that Thomas and his wife Harriet had also emigrated, but the evidence supplied to us by Helen indicates that he died before son John set sail in 1856. It now seems likely that Thomas died in March 1856 and was buried in Eastleach Martin.


Tom e-mailed to ask if we had any information on the family of his great grandmother Rachel Soles (born 1859 in North Witham, LIN). To date we’ve traced this family back to James and Mary Soles, five of whose children were baptised at Colsterworth, LIN between 1813 and 1824. It seems likely that James and Mary were also the parents of the William and James, who were baptised in Stamford Baron, NTH, in 1807 and 1809 and that it was this William who was the progenitor of the Nottingham Soles family, but we haven’t been able to prove this.


Jayne found the Society’s website when searching the Internet for mention of Edward Oscar Soles and his son Clifford Oscar. Edward Oscar, who was her husband’s 2 × great grandfather, was born in Gwersyllt, DEN in 1824 and emigrated to the USA aboard the Roscoe in 1842. In 1848 he married Carolyn Taylor and the couple had 7 children. Edward and his family settled in Woburn, MA, where Edward set up his own business supplying meat and became a prominent member of the community. We’re currently exchanging information on the family.


I haven’t yet been able to contact Jason to learn about his family connections.


The Hackney Soles were the subject of queries we received from Derek O’Dell and Marie Williams. Derek is a descendant of Martha Sole, daughter of William and Dinah, who married Thomas Cannon in Hackney in 1829. Marie’s great grandparents were William Elvin Sole (born 1876) and his wife Annie Amelia Waller. We’ve been able to exchange valuable information on these branches of the Hackney family with Derek and Marie.


Geraldine Burgess wrote asking if we had any information on William Sole and Phillis Runham who married in Hackney in 1878. Geraldine is researching the family of her grandmother Mabel Mellors Sole, whose birth certificate states that William and Phillis were her parents even though she was born in 1883, 2 years after William’s death! It seems that after William died, Phillis sent their son William John to be looked after by his Sole grandparents in Watton at Stone, HRT, while she went into service with a family in London. The key to solving the mystery of who Mabel’s father is probably lies in the 1881 census which lists a servant named Mellors in the same household as Phillis. Geraldine was particularly keen to find out what happened to Mabel’s half-brother William John and we’ve been able to give her some information, including his service record for World War I.


Theresa Smith is seeking the family of Ann Adelaide Wilds (nee Soal) who married Henry North on 12 September 1852. At the time of the 1851 census Adelaide was a widow with a 9 month old son, William, and was living with her parents-in-law in Great Munden, HRT. The census notes that she was then 21 and was born in Islington. Also living with the family was William Soal, aged 19, born in Islington, who is presumably Ann Adelaide’s brother. In 1871 William Wilds is living with a ‘cousin’ called Jane Anthony, which leads Theresa to think that Ann Adelaide and William Soal may be the children of Joseph Soal and Maria Anthony who married in Aspenden, HRT, in 1819 and she wrote asking if we had any record of Joseph and Maria after their marriage. Whilst this looks a likely scenario we are still seeking proof.


Joanne Feldman is looking for information about the family of Margaret Soule, (b 1772, New York) and her husband Caleb Hicks (born about 1768). We haven’t yet been able to place Margaret, though it seems likely she will prove to be a descendant of George Soule of the Mayflower.


Lastly, Susan Goodjohn found our website while surfing the Internet and sent us some details about her mother’s Sole family who lived at Sutton, CAM.


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