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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report December 2003

(Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire)

By Bob Sheldon  

We welcome new member Margaret Reeve who contacted us about her grandmother Emma Ketcher who married William Sole in 1897 at Guildford, Surrey.  She was widowed and subsequently married George Ketcher in 1915 also at Guildford.  This set us searching for William’s death but nothing was found in our indexes for Guildford so we are now looking at other possible areas.  William Sole is a descendant of our largest Sussex family which we can trace back to 1681.

Diana Jones, ably assisted by her husband Bernard, has been on the trail again and this time to Barnstable, Devon where they had a lucky find in an old newspaper about her great grandfather George Sole.  He was born in Woodnesborough, Kent but died in Appledore, Devon.  Diana’s article about George is elsewhere in this edition. 

Another newspaper extract was found by Hilary Hale in the Southern Weekly News of June 26th 1897 in respect of the Queen Victoria Jubilee celebrations held on Southwick Green, Sussex, the home of her great grandfather Charles Frederick Sole.  “A capable choir of some 500 voices drawn from the Wesleyan Mission, Primitive Methodist Church and Sunday Fishergate and other schools under the direction of Mr C F Sole, sung anthems at appropriate intervals.” 

Phil Lynch has now sent me copies of his latest findings in Dublin about his ancestors from Deal, Kent who emigrated to Ireland in the 1820’s.  These are extensive and I have yet to determine how his new data fits with what we already know about the family but it is likely to be substantial. 

I wonder if any member can throw any light on the term “Holybreads”.  Sheila MacInnes has revisited the Chichester Record Office in her research for more information about the many Philip Soals of Sussex (see Journal for December 2001).  Sheila found two lists of records of Rustington Holybreads, possibly a form of church tithe, but the archivist had not heard of the term and wondered if it was peculiar to Rustington.  One list was an original dated 1723 in a fragile condition and a transcript of a second list which compared the 1723 record with the position in 1755.  The following is an extract: 

Rustington Holybreads with the owners and occupiers

Acres       Roods         Landlords (1723)    Tenants (1723)       Landlords (1755)    Tenants (1755)

1              0              Late Robt Kewell            Philip Soal              Widow Soal             Widow Soal 

2 lands called Camells Croft                         Philip Soal                           do                            do

These three following though not inserted in the Terrier, have been/ time out of mind/ gathered as Holybreads belonging to the vicar.

1              0              called the Culver Croft            Sir Thos. Wrath      Jno. Cortis

                                                                                                                (signed) Jno Woodham, vicar                                                 

We were able to help a little with an enquiry (so far the enquirer has not joined the Society) from Aberdeen to find her father in  law.  Her husband thought he was born in Sittingbourne, Kent but his parents separated shortly after his birth and he was hoping to find his father.  From the brief information given we were able to say that he was not born in Sittingbourne but rather it was at Havering, Essex and hopefully that helped but we were unable to give any clue as to the father’s current whereabouts. 

A similar enquiry arrived from Nevada, USA from a lady who had discovered from the 1901 census that her great grandmother was living in Ringwould, near Dover, Kent.  We were able to give her brief details of her line which goes back to 1788 and we are hopeful she will join our membership.

My own efforts have been concentrated on the 1901 census data and I have been able to find connections of which we were previously unaware and confirm connections where we had only hunches.  I am sure more links will be made from further study.

Elsewhere in this edition you will read about this year’s Annual Gathering where the theme was law and order.  So I thought, just to finish, I would look up how many policemen we know about in our records and found the following:

George Sole, born in Clapton MDX ca 1815, was a Sgt at Lewisham in 1851 (Census)

Thomas Sole, born in Trowbridge WIL ca 1827, was a policeman at Lewisham in 1851 (Census)

Herbert Sole, born in Littlebourne KEN in 1897 was a policeman in 1942 (Father’s Will)

William Howard Soal, born in Manchester ca 1927 was a policeman at Lewisham in 1952 (Lizzie Love)

John (Jack) Sole, born in Steyning, SSX in 1926 was a policeman in Kent (Hilary Hale)

Francis G Sole, born in Tonbridge KEN in 1954, the son of  John (Jack), is a policeman in Surrey (Hilary Hale)

James Leslie Sole, born in Christchurch, NZ in 1963 was a policeman in NZ in 1990 (“From the Marshes to the Mountains” by Faye Clark)

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