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

Another Canterbury Tale!

By Brenda & Derek Ord

This article was originally published in the December 2005 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society


I have this ridiculous idea of visiting everywhere in England beginning with "Ash".


Itís a long story dreamt up when I was confined at home due to injury and studying the map book for some light relief.


Rather spookily, soon after my "Ash"tranomical decision - I found out my Sewell ancestry hailed from Ashwellthorpe. Obviously the quest was meant to be.


Yet another co-incidence in my family tree adventure lead my husband Dennis and I to some Sole Society information. Recently we decided to have a few days break in Bruges in Belgium and spend preceding days in Kent, as yet untouched territory for us. I booked a B&B in Broadstairs. Within days of this booking Genes Reunited provided "Ed" who gave me an ancestral history for my maiden name of Wraith. I was disappointed to find it wasn't originally Geordie but in fact in 1674 Augustine Wraith came from Fordwich. A coincidence because it is only a few miles from Broadstairs.


Our Kent break became a family trail break starting with a visit to the Fordwich Parish Papers at Canterbury Cathedral Archives. It was a delight just to be there but the people in the archives were so helpful it was great. We found lots of old information from legal papers and guess what - one mention of a Wraith in Ash just a few miles from Broadstairs again.


We visited Fordwich and learned no more of the family but enjoyed the visit to "The smallest town in England".


A memorial to Richard Horsman SOLLYNext day we went to Ash and St. Nicholas' church. Not a hint of a Wraith could be seen anywhere but what should demon eye Dennis find - a memorial in the church to Richard Horsman SOLLY. When we went into the graveyard we found lots of SOLLEY and SOLLY stones. The church even had a churchwarden called George Solley and on the road near the church was Solly Cottage.


We took lots of photos which will be sent to the Society.


Content with our findings we decided on a family tree free afternoon in Sandwich but if you visit old churches you are bound to find yet more Sollys, this time in St.Peters church. Floor stones - the main one of which read:

"When we went into the graveyard we found lots of SOLLEY and SOLLY stones" 

"In Memory of Mary 1st wife of Mr. John Solly mercer, who was ............. to Sr. Henry Furnefe. Nov.8th 1685.


Alfo Martha 2nd wife of the said John Solly, daughter of Isaac Legay of Stoke in Suffex Gen, who died June 14th 1716 and had .......and one daughter where of her 3 & 4 sons died in their minority and here interred alfo. John Solly died Feb.15th 1747 aged 87 and was interred 21st of same month."


No connections in Bruges (so far!).    n


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