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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report - November 1999

By Maureen Storey

Things have been busy over the last few months as we have received significant quantities of information on several different SOLE and variants families. The greatest advance, largely due to the input of new member David Taylor - though we have also received information from Tony Watson and Mark Soall - has been with the SOALL family of North London. Previously we had a few small SOALL charts that always looked as if they should join up but the Iinks were not apparent. However, using information from the GRO certificates for the family and those censuses he could find - most elements of the SOALLs seem to be missing from the 188 I census - David has not only fitted all the charts we had together but also greatly expanded them. The family can now be traced back to the marriage of William Soal(l) and Clementina Benson at St l.eonard’s, Shoreditch in 1775. The baptisms of two of William and Clementina’s children at Ponders End Independent appear on the IGI and to date David has found the baptisms of three more in the Edmonton parish registers. However, there is currently a twelve-year gap between the marriage and the first known baptism so there are almost certainly still some missing children of the marriage.

Our initial contact with Angela Knight was an email asking if we knew anything about her husband’s gt-gt-gt-grandfather Thomas Sole, who was born in London in about 1817 and died in New South Wales in 1897. With so little to go on, Angela had been looking in vain for the record of his arrival in Australia. She was hoping it would give her some clue to his origins. A quick glance at our SOLE index revealed that Angela’s Thomas was one of the Layston family Most of the information we were able to give Angela came originally from Gladys Willis who is Thomas’s great-grand-daughter from his first marriage, whilst Angela’s husband is descended from his second wife.

Donna Benwell has been researching her mother’s family and when she contacted us she had got back to her great grandfather Alvin Lawrence Sole who was born in Hackney in 1867. She had been unable to find the marriage of Alvin’s parents, James Sole and Elizabeth Kidd and wondered if we had any information that might help. I did not need to check the index to find out who Alvin Lawrence was because this is a branch of my own family. As well as providing the GRO reference for the missing marriage we have been able to take Donna’s family tree back several generations. In return we have received information on the more recent family members.

We have been less successful so far in helping Edgar Soule trace his English origins. Edgar’s gt-gt-grandfather, Frederick William John Soule, emigrated to South Africa. Edgar’s problem is that he does not know where or when Frederick was born, only that it was in the UK, probably in the 1850s. The most likely candidate we have found to date is Frederick, son of Andrew who was born in Cheltenham in 1857 and who disappears from our records after the 1881 census. Hopefully, further research will show if this is correct.

Cynthia Kimpton approached us hoping we could solve the mystery of why her husband’s family papers include a copy of the pedigree of the SOLE family of Stretham (see Soul Search vol. I, no. 9 pp 201, 207). She had been told by an aunt that these SOLEs were related to the KIMPTONs but as yet she has been unable to find out how. Again we have not been able to provide her with a definitive answer but it may lie in the ancestry of the Martha Sole who married William Kidman in St Neots HUN in 1806. (Their grand-daughter married a Kimpton.) The mystery would be solved if Martha proves to be a daughter of Frances and Elizabeth Sole of Caldecote, CAM, the nearest SOLE family to St Neots at that time. As yet, Martha’s baptism has not been found.

Finally, on behalf of all the SOLE members I would like to say thank you to Bill Soles for all the work he put into the Society during his time on the committee. As well as doing extensive research on the SOLES variant, Bill worked with Fred Sole on the mammoth task of extracting the SOLE variants from the GRO indexes, thus giving the Society one of its most valuable resources.

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