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

The Essex Sewells

By Brian Sewell

This article was originally published in the April 2001 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society.

Creating 540+ apparently separate family trees on Generations, from 1600+ SEWELL [& variants] Essex IGI entries, was not a riveting experience!! But subsequent correspondence from Sole Society members & others, brought the whole project alive, resulting in much additional information being received & despatched, also enabling some of the trees to be linked together. Even more rewarding, has been contributor's willingness to share their information in "Sole Search".

Three people have recently written articles, all of which have a connection with St Mary the Virgin, Great Henny, Essex, where four SEWELL memorial slabs are set in the floor of the nave. The three articles follow this introduction.

Early 16th century Essex SEWELLs feature in an article by new member, Richard Smith, much of the information being extracted from the large number of wills he obtained. Although living in Inverness-shire, Richard's work illustrates what can be achieved, even without easy access to London.

The other two authors start with the family of John SEWELL [1711-1790]. Sole Society member, Adrian Corder-Birch, has stories to tell about this family's involvement in NE Essex, whilst Glennis Sewell, of Albany, Western Australia, takes on the exploits of grandson, John SEWELL [1813-1903], a pioneer in the Swan Colony, which a century ago became the State of Western Australia, forming part of the country of Australia we recognise to-day.

I would like to thank all three for their efforts, which significantly increases our knowledge of Essex SEWELLs and also thank our regular Sole Search contributor, Eric Sewell who provided useful background information. Another Australian helper, Sylvia Lange who gave permission to quote from her book, "Pingelly, Our People & Progress" and Isobel Wilson, an Essex Society for Family History member, who originally alerted me to much of the storylines covered by these articles & subsequently has helped whenever she could. I hope you enjoy the stories they have to tell

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