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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report December 2009

(Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire)

By Bob Sheldon

You may have noticed that I did not produce a report for the August journal.  The reason was simply that there was nothing to report.


Since January there has been only one new member with connections to our south east families and we welcome Elizabeth Belderson who is a descendant of Edward SOLE and Ann ELLISON who were married in 1816 at Ickham, Kent, a village near to Canterbury, but afterwards lived in Throwley, near to Faversham.  There is currently some doubt as to who were the parents of Edward and more research is needed.  He may have been the son of one of our Chartham families and if so we can extend his line back a further six generations to 1600.  However Edward was the GGG-grandfather of Elizabeth and she is to be congratulated on having traced her line via her WALDEN ancestors through two centuries to find a connection with this SOLE family.


In September I received the following e-mail from Australia:

I recently found the Sole Society’s website when I was googling my family name.  I read your April 2007 report, and the last paragraph contains an item about a woman who was once engaged to a George Sole from Portsmouth. You asked that anyone who could help get in touch.


My grandfather’s name was George Victor Sole, and he was from Portsmouth. I’m not sure when he was born, but 1926 may be a little too recent – that would have made him 19 when my father was born, which is possible, but I think unlikely.  Could I see the photograph that was referred to in the report?  I might be able to recognise him.  If it helps in terms of identification, my grandfather was in the Navy and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1942.  I’m sorry to say that if this is the right George Sole, his ex-fiancée will not be able to get in touch.  He died in the mid-eighties.


I replied:

George Victor's birth was registered in Portsmouth in 1915 so he cannot be the same George that I referred to in my article.


We do not know his parentage but we know he had a son named Geoffrey who was born in 1945; would he be your father?


I cannot find George's death registration in England in the mid eighties, did he die abroad?


She replied:

1915 sounds about right. Yes, my father's name is Geoffrey Lester Sole.  He moved to Australia in the sixties. My grandfather came to live with us in Sydney in 1986 (I think) and died a year or two later.


I concluded:

Thanks for confirming your father's name.  No wonder I could not find registration details in our records; it was not obvious from your address that you are in Australia.


From that exchange we discovered that the family had emigrated from Portsmouth to Australia and another loose end in our records has been solved.


A report on our Annual Gathering in October is elsewhere in this issue and it was good to see a few of our regular attendees representing the south east families.  It was such a sunny day that we were able to have our group discussions in the open air.  One of our members told me he has discovered a distant relative who has been researching in parallel with him and hopefully they will soon be able to compare their findings.


May I end with wishing all members a Happy Christmas and a fruitful year of further family research in the New Year.   n



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