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

SOLE Co-ordinator's Report December 2010



It was good to see three of our regular attendees, Linda Brand, Bernard Jones and Eric Kennett, at our annual gathering in October. They are all distantly related through their Gt-Gt- Grandfather Edward SOLE of Woodnesborough, Kent.


Linda had again been successful in finding more photos of her ancestors which means we now have almost a complete set from her grandparent’s generation plus a few others. Shown here are two samples showing Charles and his first wife Sarah RAYNER circa 1870 and Annie WEST (née SOLE) with her young family circa 1919.


Charles and Sarah Sole       Annie West nee Sole with her children


Eric and his wife had recently visited Hull where his grandparents Alfred Charles and Alice (née O’KEY) SOLE had lived during the early 1900s, he wrote,


"We are going up to Yorkshire on Friday for two weeks and hope to visit 16 Russell Place, Sculcales where Alfred Charles was residing in 1901. Of course Hull suffered badly in the war so it will be interesting to see what is left!






Bernard’s late wife Diana was one of the cousins who regularly attended our gatherings with him before her untimely death in 2005. We benefited a lot from the research that they did together into her branch of this family and Bernard tells me he now intends to pick up where they left off.


Another of our members, Hilary Hale, has sent us a number of certificates of births, marriages and deaths to add to our large collection. Hilary’s SOLE connection is through her grandmother Fanny Sarah SOLE (1879-1944) who married William Thomas SMART (1880-1971) in 1904 at Southwick, Sussex. Hilary has also now completed her genealogy report of her SOLE ancestry which, in addition to the normal birth, marriage and death details, contains a number of personal reminiscences of her more immediate relatives. An example follows about her grandmother Fanny:


“I did not know my grandmother and feel I would have loved her. She was a formidable woman according to my mother but was very sweet natured and kind. She stood ram-rod straight as mother put it. She would look after the children in the village (Southwick) if they were ill and the parents couldn’t cope. She nursed a little boy who had TB and mother says that was where she caught the disease which finally killed her. If she knew someone was poor and couldn’t afford to eat well, she would put together little baskets of food and take them round to them telling them that they were helping her out as grandfather had grown too Fanny Sole with husband William Smart 13 SAUL many vegetables or had bought too much, etc. She did all this despite having a large family of her own. “When mother was sent home from school with a bruise from the teacher who had smacked her hard, mother says that grandma put on her coat and marched up to the school and had ‘words’ with the teacher. Mother was sent to Hove to school and I never asked her whether it was because of this incident or because in mother’s own words she and her twin brother were delinquents, (which was probably just mischievous in those days). As grandmother had also been a school mistress she was very strong minded and people respected her. “Grandfather was away at sea and she had to look after eight children, giving birth and coping with the death of two of her children. What a strong lady. I wish I had known her.


Fanny Sole with husband William Smart


There have been no new members connected with the south east this time but we did receive an enquiry from Phil in New Zealand about his Gt-Gt-Gtgrandfather David SOLE, the son of Edward SOLE and Susannah FOREMAN (GORE) who arrived in NZ about 1843. He said “I am having a great deal of difficulty locating any further information as NZ registers do not hold a lot of records from this period as there was little infrastructure in a dominion only 3 years old.” I have mentioned previously this large family exodus from the UK which has been documented fully in the book “From the Marshes to the Mountain” by Faye Clark, published in 1991 to mark the 150th anniversary of it settling in NZ. I have referred Phil to Faye who still has a few copies of the book.



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