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

SOLLEY Co-ordinator's Report - November 1999

By Bob Solly

In the March 1999 issue of Sole Search, part of the report was omitted, so the full report is included here.

More new members have joined, in particular Mrs Davis and Mrs Haughan who are both interested in the SOLLEY variant. Mr Hewitt has written to us from Ramsgate and has supplied a very detailed family tree with a substantial amount of information from censuses and his own family. Keith Parry has continued to delve into some of the parish records at Canterbury Cathedral (such as Nonington) and supplied information that increases our knowledge of the families outlined in family tree KTM. This research takes up a substantial amount of time and we appreciate his help, he has also met with Susan Solley who lives in Kent and they are striving to find common ancestors.

Another new member is Marion Carmichael who first contacted us through the Internet. Her connection is with the SOLLY-FLOOD family of whom Frederick Flood was the subject of an article in the last journal. We have information gained from a number of sources but Marion’s grandfather is a new one.

A further contact from the Internet is Hazel Burgess who is in Sydney. She is doing a thesis on Thomas Paine, the English author and politician who wrote the Rights of Man. He married a Mary Lambert who was the waiting woman to the wife of Richard Solly. He was mayor of Sandwich three times and I was pleased to be able to send some details including his ancestry, for which she was very grateful.

Elizabeth Hughes has also been active digging into the parish registers concentrating on St Lawrence Thanet. This alone has added about 150 events (baptisms and marriages) almost none of which have previously appeared in our records, this church not having been included in the IGI copies. These all need to be included in our database that currently includes 2,200 verified names, many with detailed notes attached. Much remains to be done to assimilate a further 7,000 individuals from the IGI. These include duplicates, SOLLEY outside Kent and other variants such as SOW LEY and SOOLEY. John Solly has offered to help by consolidating some of the records into families for us.

I am now using the latest version of the Reunion software, called Generations Grande Suite - an interesting American spelling - but originally planned as Reunion 5. There are 12 CDs in total but for most users only the family tree and associated chart programs are really interesting. The program operates rather differently from Reunion 4 although the main screens are similar. However, it contains powerful software. For example, it provides lists of people born or christened in the same village and allows fields to be selected for inclusion on the charts. It is not cheap at 50 for the upgrade version - it needs Reunion 4 to operate - but provides a major step forward in consolidating families from the IGI.

More charts have now been constructed and a list is included in the journal.

This is my latest report:

The last few months have seen a further increase in interest in the SOLLEY variants and we have dealt with many enquiries, many of which we have added to the correspondent’s knowledge and some of which gave us more information. As with all genealogy, some high points are often followed by periods where it seems that all the jigsaw pieces are mixed up again.

New members include Lesley Brown (interested in Durham ancestors), Rosemary Bousher and Sheila Jackson (looking for a PILCHER in Folkestone in 1896).

Francis Barker sent a detailed tree back to the 1850's and, as normal, all roads lead back to Kent, in this case Canterbury. This links into my tree as my gt-gt-gt-grandfather was her ancestor’s brother. There are now 189 people in this tree.

W George Solly, a recent visitor to our shores from New Zealand, is also part of the same tree. All the New Zealand SOLLYs descend from an emigrant Edward Solly who arrived there in March 1851. George had never been to England and planned his trip with meticulous precision to coincide with the All-Blacks rugby tour. He obtained tickets for all seven matches on the understandable belief that they would play in the finals. When visiting Canterbury, he discovered a distant relative living in the same road as the youth hostel in which he was staying by the successful interrogation of the telephone directory. He also met David and Susan Solley who have a dairy farm in Deal supplying ice cream (by appointment to the Queen Mother).

My wife and I had a very interesting morning with George in which he told us that he had now achieved many of his aims in visiting England. These included visiting Wimbledon (in 1948 he had a chance to play there but circumstances dictated it was not to be); the headquarters of the World Lawn Bowls Association, Manchester United and many other places. As a footnote, he mentioned that he had listened to the news even night during the war and had heard Big Ben strike nine. One ambition was to stand at Westminster and listen again to the bells. Whilst staying in London, he did just that. Clearly, tradition is still very important to many people of UK origins and we must value it ourselves. We wish George all the very best and a safe trip back to New Zealand.

Nan Ames living in British Columbia also joined. We found information she was seeking in the 1881 Census leading back to 1803 to a Thomas Wicks SoIly. We have not yet connected him back any further.

Terence Sooley has joined and we hope he may be able to help sort out the SOOLEYs. There is only one incidence found so far of SOLLEY and SOOLEY from the same family. Another new member, Lynda Burlingham, is interested in William and Charlotte Solley. We have provided some information and she is working to fill in the gaps.

Elizabeth and I were pleased to welcome Keith Parry, Susan Solley (interested in Ramsgate SOLLEYs) and Hazel Handley. Hazel has provided information from the 1881 census showing that SOLLEY was recorded for her ancestors as LOLLEY. This is one to watch for, as I had no record of this family. We are now compiling the Ramsgate records as we have at least three members interested in that area. Whether we will be able to trace who moved from Ash to Ramsgate is another question.

Finally, I received correspondence from a very nice lady in Holland, Petronella Elema, who sent me an extract from a book on working men's clubs, the subject of an article in this journal.

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