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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report December 2007

(Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire)

By Bob Sheldon

We welcome Duncan Sole who has recently joined the Society after brief exchanges on the Internet Discussion Forum.  Duncan was looking for his grandfather Stanley Dowell SOLE whom he knew played football and cricket for Kings College, London about 1920, also cricket for the Ashford Cricket Club in about 1922.  He said he also had a 1904 copy of an 1868 birth record which had been passed down to him by his father of Edward James SOLE of Southwick in Sussex.  We have a record of Stanley’s birth in 1901 in Wandsworth from the GRO index, but the index does not give the name of his father.  We also have a record of the birth of Edward James in 1868, his marriage in 1894 at Eastbourne to Amy Steward RILEY and the birth of a daughter Nora Amy in 1899 at Greenwich.  We suggested to Duncan that his next step was to obtain a copy of Stanley’s birth certificate. Because his father had that birth certificate for Edward it is most likely that he, Edward, was Stanley’s father and therefore Duncan’s great grandfather.  If this line of reasoning is correct then we can let Duncan know his ancestral line back to around 1600.


We also welcome Mike Gelder to membership.  Mike has traced his family back to his great grandmother, Ellen RAYNER aka SOLE.  She married great grandfather Samuel SMART as Ellen SOLE in 1896 at St Saviours in south east London and Mike was wondering whether this was because she had adopted the name having been brought up by Charles and Mary SOLE or because she was their illegitimate child.  Our records show that Charles SOLE married Mary RAYNER in 1869 at Ryde, IOW and they later settled in Charles’ home town of Woodnesborough in Kent.  In the 1881 census Ellen REYNER (aged 11) is living with stepfather Charles and his wife Sarah and their children at Woodnesborough.  From this information we have assumed that Ellen was Sarah’s daughter who was born before Sarah married Charles and consequently it is understandable that she adopted the name SOLE when she married Samuel SMART.  However member Linda Brand who is descended from Charles and Mary has discovered that also in the 1881 census there is an Ellen RAYNER living with her family in the IOW and we have only found a birth registration for one Ellen RAYNER at about the right time around 1869.  So unfortunately for Mike we cannot be as confidant as we hoped at present about the origins of Ellen SOLE aka RAYNER.


Colin and Debbie Aris have had an interesting find which might link two, so far, separate SOLE families in Kent.  We know that Henry SOLE married Sarah GOODBAN in 1873 at Ash next Sandwich.  We have traced Henry’s ancestry back to Herne in the late 1700s.  Debbie says that after starting to follow the GOODBAN line she discovered that Sarah was born in 1851 at Ash to parents James GOODBAN and Sarah, nee SOLE.  Further research showed that Sarah’s father was William SOLE and that she was born in Sarre about 1818.  Debbie consulted the Society’s CD-Rom and discovered the other SOLE family which we have traced back to 1733 with the marriage of William SOLE and Anne FOREMAN at Canterbury.  Unfortunately this find does not provide a biological link between two direct lines of SOLEs, but it does disclose the first such interesting connection that we have so far found.


We were pleased to receive an enquiry from someone who said “I have had a wonderful time exploring your [internet] site and only wish I could put [in] some useful information and photographic work to help but unfortunately we know nothing about this family.”  The family concerned is LAMBERT and the enquirer had found a connection with the SOLE family when Mary Ann SOLE married Adam Collard LAMBERT at Deal, Kent in 1844.  The marriage certificate shows Mary’s father to be John Sayer SOLE, a shoemaker, and this family has been traced back to 1685.


Another enquirer wrote in to Fred Sole, our founder and President, to say he is trying to trace his SOLE grandfather’s family.  He knows that it was Sydney SOLE born around 1915 in Thanet “and any help would be appreciated as my Gran is too old to remember”.  We hope that this enquirer will take up membership as we have much to tell him including that one of our members is a first cousin of his father.


Finally, a contact of some seven years ago wrote in to say that he had set out recently to find Sole Farm near to Barfreston which is midway between Canterbury and Dover.  He was disappointed to find that the house and buildings are no longer there, only a few foundations.  He then visited St Nicholas Church in Barfreston and came across a List of Patrons for the church included in which were the names in 1349, 1351 and 1364 of two John de SOLES and one John SOLE.  He sent a photocopy of the list which is regretfully of poor quality and unfortunately gives no more information.  It is unlikely that we shall ever be able with confidence to connect these gentlemen with any of our known families.    n


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