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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report August 2007

(Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire)

By Bob Sheldon

We were pleased to see many of our regular attendees at our Gathering at Whitstable in April despite the fact that two had to cancel at the last moment. However we were especially pleased to welcome some new faces. 


Colin and Debbie Aris arrived with a pile of photos of their Kentish ancestors which they had recently discovered.  Unfortunately many could not be identified but one was definitely of Colin’s grandparents Walter Henry CURTIS and his wife Ada Ellen (nee SOLE). Walter was for many years the skipper of the paddle steamer “Conqueror” which sailed between Dover and France during the summer months around 1900.  Colin has written a short article, with the photo, about his grandfather which appears elsewhere in this edition.


Another new comer to our Gatherings was Chris Sole who on the day was the only representative of our members with Sussex connections.  It is always pleasing to meet our members, especially those who have recently joined, at these functions and to hear about their researches.


Alfred Charles Sole 1874 - 1960, taken in 1953Eric Kennett who also attended the Gathering has since sent us details of his line back to his grandfather Alfred Charles SOLE (1874-1960) (see photo supplied by Debbie Aris taken in 1953 when Alfred had succumbed to blindness).  This gave us a few surprises as we had previously (wrongly) connected a person to this family, based on the locations involved in the absence of certificates.  Eric’s list also identified other ancestors whom we had previously not identified as belonging to his family.  We rely heavily on such individual members’ researches to confirm our records are correct.


Linda Brand has found another branch of her tree stemming from Sarah Ann SOLE who was a previously unidentified daughter of Edward and Rose Hannah SOLE of Woodnesborough, Kent.  All previously known children (12) of this family had been baptised at the parish church but for some reason Sarah Ann had not been baptised there; at least there is no record in the parish registers.  However from the certificate for her marriage to Samuel Sawyer  in 1857 at Chatham and from census returns at various addresses in 1861-1881, there can be little doubt that she is the “lost” daughter of this family.  Linda is to be congratulated on her detective work in tracking her down.


Another correction to our records became necessary from a contact with Syd who lives in Australia seeking information about Jane SOLES who married a John PATTERSON in Dover in 1829.  We had  assumed that this was Jane who was born in the vicinity in 1891 and not another Jane who was born locally in 1809.  But when Syd told me that John and Jane had 14 children, the youngest of which was born in 1853 (when our assumed Jane would have been 62 years old) it became clear that our records were incorrect. It is more likely that it was the younger Jane who had married John in 1829 at the age of 20.


We received an unexpected but pleasant message from Malcolm SOLE the brother of Glynis Mayes, a recent new member.  The message was pleasant because it announced the birth of his first grandson Haydon Frazer Sole.  It was unexpected because Glynis had not mentioned Malcolm’s family in her initial contact.  Congratulations to Malcolm and his son David and daughter in law Sue, you are now ‘part of the family’.


Wendy has been looking for Bertie SOLE who was born in Wickham, Kent in 1884.  She told us that he married her Great Great Aunt Ethel PALMER in 1913 in Eastry, Kent.  We believe there was one daughter from this marriage who was born in 1915.  We know from Admiralty records that Bertie joined the Royal Navy in 1902 and served until 1921 in a number of different ships.  Also from these records we know he was only 2 inches over 5 feet tall.  That is about all we know about Bertie, but we have traced his ancestry back to the late 1600s.  I am hoping that Wendy will let us know her line of descent from him.


Another interesting contact via our web-page was Ben who lives in Scotland.  From what he told us I identified him as belonging to one of our Kent Lines and related to me.  Information about his branch of the family has so far been very sketchy and I am hoping that Ben will be able to fill in more details in due course.


Finally we received the following conclusion to exchanges with “handl” in the Society Discussion Forum on the web:  “At last my puzzle has been solved. Alice’s father died when she was very young and she and her sister were raised by her cousin James and his wife Sarah (nee Kingshott).  I have detailed information which has been verified thanks to various sources.  Many thanks to you, too, for your input.”     


Return to The Sole Society Home Page