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

The Society's Records - Directories

by Tony Storey

This article was originally published in the December 2002 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society

Directories as we know them today first appeared in the 1760s. They can provide us with information about the inhabitants of a town or county as well as a description of the area at the time of publication. The early directories tend to mention only people of a certain social standing, i.e. the gentry or those in professions or business, but most later volumes list all the residents, their full address and their trade.

As well as the famous publications like Kelly’s (first edition 1799) and Pigot’s, there have been numerous local directories published over the years and many may be found in the local history reference sections of major libraries.

One of our current research projects is to build an index to those of our ancestors mentioned in these directories. Work has begun and the publications on the opposite page have already been searched.

It will be immediately apparent that although we have a reasonable selection of data for the south of England, we have hardly anything from the north. Nor do we have anything from outside the UK. Surely these directories are not unique to Britain.

So next time you have a few minutes to spare, why not drop into your nearest main library and see what directories they hold. If your library has a directory edition not in the above list perhaps you could spare an hour or so leafing through its pages, making a note of any entries of interest.

As well as Saul, please note any Sawell or Sawle entries.

As well as Solley, we’re looking for Solly and Soley.

Sewell includes Saywell, Seawell and Suell.

Sole variants include Soal, Soul, Soole, Sowle and Sowell, any of which may appear with an extra ‘e’, ‘l’ or ‘s’.

Please help if you can and either post the information to me or e-mail an attachment, Excel if possible but other formats will do.

 A sample of our database, “Sewells with Alcoholic Connections!!”, appears below for your further guidance.

Surname Other Name(s) County Address Listed under Occupation Year Source
SEWELL Alfred Essex Chapel St Halstead brewer 1839 Pigot & Co's National Commercial Directory
SEWELL Anthony Rutland High St Uppingham maltster 1835 Pigot & Co's National Commercial Directory
SEWELL Benjamin Essex High St Halstead maltster 1839 Pigot & Co's National Commercial Directory
SEWELL Charles London 13 Three Crowns Square, Borough   hop merchant 1839 Pigot & Co's: A Directory of London and Its Suburbs
SEWELL Edward London Ship & Pilot, 27 Wapping   publican 1846 Kelly's Post Office London Directory - commercial directory
SEAWELL Edwin Cambs East Road, Barnwell Cambridge beer retailer & baker 1855 Cravens Directory of Huntingdonshire & Town of Cambridge
SEWELL George London Holme, Wilson, Sewell & Co, 28 Upper Thames St   distiller 1846 Kelly's Post Office London Directory - commercial directory
SEWELL John Suffolk Bungay   innkeeper Falcon 1823 Pigot & Co's National Commercial Directory
SEWELL John Lincs The Bell Houghton Spilsby, Bolingbroke, New Bolingbroke & neighbourhoods publican 1830 Pigot & Co's National Commercial Directory
SEWELL Jos Lincs Boar's Head Northgate Sleaford publican 1830 Pigot & Co's National Commercial Directory
SEWELL Joseph Essex The Bell Baddow (Great) publican 1839 Pigot & Co's National Commercial Directory
SEWELL Joseph Essex Chapel St Halstead maltster 1839 Pigot & Co's National Commercial Directory
SEWELL Mary Leics Talbot Lane Leicester retailer of beer 1835 Pigot & Co's National Commercial Directory
SEWELL Robert Suffolk Long Brackland Bury St Edmunds   landlord of Marquess Cornwallis 1840 Pigot & Co's National Commercial Directory
SEWELL Rose Leics The Fox Hallerton   publican 1835 Pigot & Co's National Commercial Directory
SEWELL Sarah Suffolk Worstead Ipswich   Ostrich Tavern 1840 Pigot & Co's National Commercial Directory
SEWELL Sewell & Co London 28 Upper Thames St   distillers & wine merchants 1839 Pigot & Co's: A Directory of London and Its Suburbs
SEWELL Sewell, Daun & Co London 28 & 215 Upper Thames St   distillers & wine merchants 1846 Kelly's Post Office London Directory - commercial directory
SEWELL William George London Three Compasses 6 White Hart Street,  Drury Lane   publican 1846 Kelly's Post Office London Directory - commercial directory

 

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