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

Changing Names

By Amy Joan Arbuckle


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


Ed: Amy kindly sent Diana this update on her research and we thought it would be useful to include it in Soul Search as a reminder that you really need to keep an open mind on spellings, particularly on the census transcripts.


My quest for information regarding my Great Grandfather, William Bilbrough Sewell continues and I am happy to say has not all been negative.


1861 Census - William Belbrough Sewell is listed aged 22 years as a footman at the home of Henry Pascoe Smith in Yorkshire.


1871 Census - The whole family is missing under Sewell, however, they all appear under the name of SOWELL with William Billeward Sowell as head. This is definitely my family as it is clearly Sewell in the original entry.


1881 Census - By now I am looking under all likely names and to my surprise I found him listed as a butler named William SAVELL working for John and Mary Coulthurst at South Hill Homes, Tormoham, Devon. Mary Coulthurst was born at Carrhead in Yorkshire where our family were also associated. Once again the original entry was definitely Sewell, it is easier when you know what the name really is.


1891 & 1901 Census - There is still a mystery here, but who knows I may be lucky one day. William Bilbrough Sewell was not named as being deceased on the marriage certificates of his daughters in 1896 and 1900, but was named as being deceased when a son married in 1922. Also his wife Margaret, although being named as the Head, was listed as Married not as a Widow. So my quest goes on. 


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