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

Is This 'Your' Emily?

by Linda Butler

This article was originally published in the August 2003 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society

My second cousin, Patricia Hamilton, has an excellent website containing a wealth of information about our common HAMILTON ancestors, but also other branches of our respective family trees – in my case this means that there are quite a number of my SOLE ancestors listed on the site.

Patricia’s site has attracted over 10,000 hits since it was established four years ago and she promptly passes on any enquiries relating to my side of the family. The ones that claim a SOLE connection are immediately faced with a “hard sell” to join the Sole Society, and hopefully some of these have followed through and joined. One particular enquiry, received on 30 April this year, was of considerable interest.

American Florence Crago wrote:

“I have an ornate little red book, about 3 ½ in by 4 in, July, 1872, The Illuminated Scripture Text Book for Every Day, 365 Coloured Illustrations, with Interleaved Memoranda, by Edmund Evans, London, Frederick Warne & Co. The flyleaf has the name of a Miss Emily J. Sole, 1421 Napoleon St. [There is a Napoleon St. in Toledo, Ohio, US, where we were born and lived many years]. On a later notation sheet is written "St. Pancras Church London, England, My grandfather and grandmother were married there." And on the back of that sheet were date notations on New Years Day 1921 ("Very mild day"), 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925. There are a few other small notations in pencil on other pages, in the margins, things like on August the 12th, "Aunt Emily died 1920". Edges of the pages are gold and it is a hardback imprinted in gold and black. Pages are tied together with cord and a few have come loose, but the book still lays nicely.”

After a few email exchanges with Florence and with Maureen Storey, we gratefully accepted her generous offer to post off the book to Maureen at no cost to the Society. We hope that it may eventually find a home with a relative of Emily’s, though as yet we have not identified the branch of Sole tree to which she belongs. Perhaps the few details the book contains will jog someone’s memory.

There are some tantalising snippets in the book which add some wonderful background details on Emily’s life. In addition to the notations Florence mentioned, below are a few from the list Maureen extracted (the notes were written in pencil, usually in the margin next to the text on that date:

o 17 May: Took all plaster and cotton off my shoulder and discarded my sling 1925 At last

o 22 June: Went to the dentist for the first time in my life 1925. Sang thru solo in a recital given by Mrs Finch

o 26 Jun Worked all day. Finished three tea towels

o 27 June: Margaret R Walter & Carl Spieldenner were united in Holy Matrimony 1928

o 7 August: Came home from touring 1927

o inside back cover: 1925 - 1878 = 47

There is not a huge amount of detail in the book, but most of us would treasure any information at all about our ancestors from that time to flesh out the bare bones of BDM information.

Such exchanges can also bring to light interesting projects being undertaken by other family history researchers. Florence’s son Tom sent me details of an ambitious project they’re embarked upon:

1) Who are we trying to contact? Any living male with the Crago/Craigo surname, who descends from a Crago/Craigo family line (not adopted, for example). We are particularly interested in Crago/Craigo lines that have known ancestry that goes back into the 18th and 19th centuries.

2) What does the project involve? Project volunteers contribute a sample of their DNA (a scraping from the inside of their cheek -- painless) which is then sent to a laboratory to be analyzed on several key "markers" found on the male Y chromosone. The lab test can be as little as $99 US.

3) What is the aim of the project? These markers on the Y chromosome (which tend to be quite unique) can only be inherited from a man's father, and they provide a method, then, for participants to determine if Crago/Craigo males around the world descend from a common ancestor. So far, the Crago/Craigo males tested in the USA appear to have such a common ancestor, but he may have been born before any of the family ancestors arrived in North America. The individuals tested so far have had no known family connection prior to this DNA testing.

Perhaps we could use this technique to show whether my husband, Mel, really is related to Fred Sole, and thus add extra support to our theories on who their common ancestors are. An interesting idea …….! n

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