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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report - December 2000

By Maureen Storey

We welcome three new Sole members in this journal: Sarah Sole, Frances Davies and Wendy Edwards. Sarah’s husband Jonathan is a member of the Fenland farming family who trace their line back to William Sole and Sarah Berry who married in Willingham, CAM in 1763. Frances’s grandmother was Annie Sole who was born in 1872 and married Harry Sutcliffe in Kingston, Surrey in 1904. Annie’s family were staunch Methodists and her father’s occupation is given in the 1881 census as ‘boot salesman and Wesleyan local preacher’. They are part of the large Bedfordshire group that can be traced back to William Sole and Agnes Clarke who married in Stotfold, BDF, in 1624. Wendy is the 2´ great granddaughter of John Lavers Liscombe Sole, a Plymouth solicitor. John travelled to Australia where he married his first wife Charlotte Spiller in 1847 but he was back in Plymouth for the birth of his second daughter in 1850 – Wendy wonders why he went all that way to stay such a short time.

To date we’ve found very few ‘wrong connections’ in the charts that we’ve received but one such came to light recently. According to our database the Joseph Sole, confectioner who was living in Cheshire in 1881 was the son of Joseph Soul (bap 1804 Whitechapel) and his wife Mary. There are two marriages of Joseph Soul/Mary in the right period on the IGI and I wrote to member Ian Sole, Joseph’s great grandson to see if he had any evidence as to which was the right one. Ian rummaged through some old papers he’d inherited from an aunt and unearthed Joseph’s marriage certificate, which gave his father’s name not as Joseph but as James Sole, a gardener. So now we needed to identify this James but as both James and Joseph are fairly common names we needed further evidence to be sure we had the right one. The records that we had for Joseph the confectioner indicated that he was the son of James Sole, a gardener, and was born in London in the early 1830s. He married in Spitalfields in 1857 and moved to Birmingham, where one son (or possibly two) were baptised, and then to America, where his daughters were born, but by 1881 he was living in Brinnington, Cheshire. These details bore a striking similarity with those of another of the Middlesex strays in the database: David Sole, a confectioner, son of James Sole, a gardener, born in Middlesex in the early 1830s, who in the 1860s was living in Birmingham where three of his children were born and who had moved to Pendleton, Lancashire, by 1881. So now instead of looking for just a James with a son Joseph, I was looking for a James with sons Joseph and David born in London/Middlesex in the right time frame. For once I knew exactly where to find him: my own 4´ great uncle James Sole, a gardener, whose sons Joseph and David were baptized at St John of Jerusalem, Hackney in 1830 and 1834 respectively and who both disappear from the Hackney records after 1851.

Information received from two non-members has allowed us to extend two of our families. Eileen Bruin sent us details of her 2´ great grandmother Eliza Canham, née Sole which have enabled us to identify her as a previously unknown daughter of William and Elizabeth Sole who were living in Pulham St Mary, Norfolk, in 1851. Eliza and her wheelwright husband Thomas Canham lived for many years in Weeley, Essex, near neighbours of George Sole, a blacksmith, who was also born in Pulham St Mary. It seems likely that George and Eliza were brother and sister but we’ve yet to prove it. Steven Sole has provided us with information that has allowed us to link the family of the James Sole, born in Hull in 1908 with the rest of the Hull Soles who are descendants of Robert Soal and Ann Scotney who married in Crowland, Lincolnshire, in 1818.

Linda Butler is continuing to glean references for all the Society names from the Australian records and has now added: Queensland births 1900-1914, marriages 1897-1934, deaths 1895-1935; Victoria inquests; Victoria immigration index.

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