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

The Annual Conference 8th October 2000

By Tim Soles

This article was originally published in the December 2000 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society.

The Annual Conference took place in The Village Hall at Houghton Conquest, Bedfordshire, England, a venue that has been used by the Society in the past. This year's theme was Migration.

After a welcome cup of coffee, the day started with our first speaker, Ken Griffen, who gave a fascinating insight into enforced emigration from the UK, otherwise known as 'Transportation'. Ken has made a tremendous commitment to produce a national database and is spending six days a week at the National Record Office compiling his database from a wide range of records. Ken has agreed that we can reproduce extracts from his talk and his comments on ‘records’ can be found on page 54.

We are grateful to Ken, not only for speaking at our conference, but also for his work in putting together records that will become a definitive source of emigration records that will be of great value for researchers in the future. Although his work is not yet finished, we were also privileged to have access to his database during the rest of the day.

Following Ken's talk we had the formal Annual General Meeting reviewing the past year's activity and appointing the Officers and Committee for the coming period. Details are in the article by Bob Solly on page 15.

A generous spread of sandwiches and cakes were provided for lunch, and that provided an opportunity to talk to other members and to look at the Society's display stand. The surname co-ordinators had their own areas where records and other material could be viewed and discussed.

After lunch, Richard Ratcliffe spoke on "My Ancestors went to London". Again, an excellent talk describing in detail how Richard had traced his ancestors to London.

During the next session the surname co-ordinators each provided reports with a migration theme, including Sauls from Oxfordshire, Soules and the Mayflower (see separate report in this Journal), Solleys to New Zealand and the USA, and Sewells transported.

The final session involved workshops led by the surname co-ordinators where members could discuss their research and any other topics of interest.

A noticeable absence was Don Steel's bookstall. Unfortunately, Don had another commitment and was unable to join us. However, the good news is that Don has agreed to produce a regular book review for Soul Search, commencing in this edition.

Thanks to all those involved in the preparation of the conference, and those who attended and contributed on the day. A good time was had by all.

The Sewell members get together for their workshop session

From the left are: Rita Acres, Tony Storey, Eric Sewell, Diana Kennedy, David Kennedy (concealed) and Tony Sewell

Return to The Sole Society Home Page