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



by Brenda Ord


 This article was originally published in the August 2009 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society



Linda Sewell, a native of Vancouver, Canada, decided to trace her family tree.


It was fortunate for me that she found information about the Sole Society on the internet - leading her to an article about the Sewells of Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk. This was my Sewells and my article, and thanks to the society enabling our contact, I now knew my 3rd.Cousin.


Initially I was disappointed as her ancestor Robert Sewell was not on my tree. However, she had word of mouth proof from an old aunt that we shared some names.


We became detectives.


Her Robert seemed to be an older brother to my William Sewell who was my Great Grandfather. William was born in the workhouse to his mother Sarah Ann Sewell in 1868 but Robert was born in the nearby town of Wymondham in 1865. I had always thought Sarah Ann's mother had thrown her out of their home in Ashwellthorpe for being pregnant with William. My imaginary image of her mother Honor was not too nice. Linda however had a copy of the 1861 census with Sarah Ann working as a servant in Wymondham. So much for the big chuck out at Ashwellthorpe !


So on to the 1871 Wymondham census with, need I say, - "the quickly becoming very nice old lady" Honor, living in Wymondham and now, with grandchildren (including Robert of course), while Sarah Ann is in the workhouse with my William.


How I would love to see a picture of Honor - by now my favourite Gt.Gt.Gt Grandmother of course. She was a silk weaver.


Linda is a weaver. Linda sent me a photo of herself and she spookily has a chin, laughter lines and nose that could double for my own Grandmother, Honor's Great.Granddaughter.


My grandmother was named Honora Ethel and I know why now - it is all in the genes. She never knew why she had such a grand name but it caused much amusement within the family and she was sometimes called The Honourable Ethel on official letters.


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