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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report December 2002

(Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire)

By Bob Sheldon  

We have welcomed two new members who are father and son and both named Michael.

Michael Sole senior lives in Sandwich Kent and his son Michael, who is recently married and now settled in America, are descended from William (1788 to 1870) and Margaret (nee Prescott) Sole of Dover. Few of the family have moved from Dover down the generations of which Michael senior is the seventh. Michael’s father was George and his grandfather, Edward William, was killed in action in 1914 within six months of George’s birth.

Two of our members have experienced a degree of frustration which inevitably is met with during our researches. Phil Lynch has now been able to extend his Deal line back through Barham to Elham, a small village near Folkestone in Kent. Andrew and Alice (nee Verrier) are Phil’s 9xG Grandparents who were married at St Mildred’s Canterbury in 1643. Andrew is believed to be the son of John Soale of Elham who was baptised there in 1619. The frustration arises because although the parish register records a John, son of John (1609), another John, son of John (1611), a Martha, daughter of John (1615) and yet another John, son of John (1620), the entry for Andrew (1619) does not state his parents. However, it does look likely that Andrew was the son of John, and now Phil is trying to find out more about John.

Geoff Knott has also been frustrated by a message he found in an internet message board. The message which had been posted by ‘Brian’ referred to a family bible which gave details of the ancestry and descendants (including Brian supposedly) of James Soal (1862 to 1947). We know of James who was born 1862 to Richard and Maria (nee Pack) of Harting near Midhurst, Sussex. However we had not recorded his death in 1947; the only reference in our indexes to a 1947 death of James gave his age as 75, not 85 implied by Brian’s message. Naturally Geoff has tried to get in touch with Brian via his stated e-mail address but there has been no response. We would very much like to know more about Brian’s connection with this line.

On the other hand Tim Thorne was very excited. “Can’t believe I have come across your site. My grandmother was Annie Eliza Sole . . . .” We knew that Annie had given birth to William Primrose Sole in 1899 at Sixpenny Handley, Dorset and whose third son, Francis Sole is one of our members. We also knew that she had subsequently married Arthur John Thorne in 1904 but had no knowledge of her after that. There was also a mystery about her birth as we had not been able to find her certificate. Tim referred us to the 1901 census for Sixpenny Handley which states she was born in India and her father John (who we knew as Henry John Bramley Sole of Bramshott, Hampshire) was an army pensioner so that mystery is solved. The Thornes had seven children and Annie sadly died giving birth to the eighth. Tim and I are exchanging information on each of the two branches of Annie’s descendants.

Another e-mail contact was from Doreen Neilley in Canada whose husband is descended from the Forwood family of Thanet, Kent. She had found a mention of Annie Eliza Sole’s mother Eliza Ann Forwood and wanted to know if we could tell her any more about the Forwood family. Unfortunately not, as all we knew about her was she was born in Ramsgate about 1847 and married to Richard William Soal in 1868. Their daughter Annie Eliza married and emigrated in 1904 with her new husband to Miami, Florida. Another of our members, Beverly Carr, also now living in Canada, is descended from this marriage.

Diana Jones is still trying to find the marriage of her ancestor William Sole, born 1833 at Woodnesborough, Kent. She thought that if she were to obtain the birth certificate (1868 at Cheshunt, Herts) of his daughter Rose Hannah she could establish the maiden name of her mother which would make the search easier. She did that only to find that Rose’s mother was Hannah SMITH; no help there then!

So the frustration and occasional excitement go on for our members and contacts but these are essential parts of family history research so we carry on regardless in our quest for that breakthrough which will take us another step forward, or should that be backward?

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