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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report December 2005

(Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire)

By Bob Sheldon

The Kent and Sussex members were well represented at this year’s Annual Gathering in October. 


Jennifer Ball, with her husband Charles, met again her cousin Georgina Mountford with her husband Peter and Bernard Jones, who is continuing the membership of his late wife Diana.  I was able to introduce them to another cousin Linda Brand, who is a recent new member.  Phil Lynch, who has performed extensive researches into his Irish ancestry which originated in Deal, also attended.  Founder member David Parsons was there representing one of our two major Sussex families and new member Colin Sole representing the other.


We were therefore able to welcome two new members personally at the Gathering and three new members by correspondence.


Linda Brand traces her Sole connection back to her grandmother Annie Sole who married Thomas Sutton West at Woodnesborough, near Sandwich in 1906.  Linda showed us numerous old photos of the family which she had discovered while clearing out the loft of a relative who had recently died.  Many of the photos unfortunately could not be readily identified but there were some which could be, especially G-grandfather Charles Sole, showing a nice growth of fashionable beard, who was born in 1843 at Woodnesborough as were his ten siblings.  Charles married Sarah Rayner at Ryde IOW (so far unexplained why, being so far from East Kent) in 1869 but this proved to be a short lived marriage as poor Sarah died in 1873 before she was thirty leaving two young children. 


Charles Sole 1843 - 1928Mary Sole, nee Rayner, 1843 - 1918Within six months however Charles had married Sarah’s sister Mary Rayner at Sandwich in 1874 and they had five children of which Linda’s grandmother, Annie, was the youngest.  There were nicely posed photos of both sisters in Linda’s collection. 


Linda has since told me that another old photo album has turned up and this time many have names on the photos.  It will take some time for these photos to be sorted but it is clearly a major find.  We always welcome copies of any photographs of members’ ancestors and other relatives for our archive collection.


Ann Christie (née Sole) knew she was descended from John and Jane (née Homans) Sole (1815-1867) via Gilbert, one of their twelve children.  Gilbert was born in Bridge, near Canterbury but moved to Essex sometime after 1880 with his wife Elizabeth where he died in 1918.  Gilbert and Elizabeth were Ann’s G-grandparents.  We were able to tell Ann that we have traced her family back to 1750 when her GGGGG-grandparents John and Elizabeth (née Cook) were married at Nackington which is about 2 miles from Bridge.  So until Gilbert made his move to Essex there had been virtually no exodus from east Kent from any of the family except for Edward who emigrated to America around 1850 with his family.


Another new member who is connected to Linda’s family is Eric Kennett who is a descendant of Henry and Sarah (née Goodban) Sole who were married at Ash, near Sandwich, in 1873.  Henry was the youngest brother of Linda’s ancestor Charles and also grandfather of Lionel Sole whose memoirs are continued elsewhere in this edition.  Eric is therefore a first cousin of Lionel but before he made contact we did not know anything more about his branch than that his mother married Alec Kennett at Maidstone in 1930.


Sue Hunt’s grandmother was Emily Elizabeth Sole, but until Sue told us this and that Emily’s parents were Joseph and Lydia (née Bloomfield) Sole, we had Emily as an unconnected family member because all we knew about her was her birth in 1886 from the Record Office index which gives no details of parents.  So now we have connected her to one of our Sheppey families which goes back to 1695 with the marriage of John and Mary (née Packman) Sole at Eastchurch on the Island.  Some of the male line were connected with the Dockyard as shipwrights and carpenters in the 18th and 19th centuries.


Each of these new members has Kent ancestry but Colin Sole, our recent new member who I mentioned in my previous report, has Sussex connections.  We have now found that Colin is a descendant of Richard and Mary (née Masters) Sole who were married at East Preston, near Worthing, in 1594.  Colin told me at the Gathering that his interest in family history arose during a recent discussion with his brother and sister when they decided they should try to discover more about their ancestry.  He quickly got the ‘genealogy bug’ and has amassed much data in a relatively short time.  He may have solved one mystery relating to the two Philips who appeared in the 1881 census for Portsmouth, one of which was his GG-grandfather.  Colin has given me the results of his researches so far which I shall be comparing with our previous knowledge, and which I am sure will be of interest to Sheila MacInnes our other member who is related to Colin. 

 Return to The Sole Society Home Page