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



By Ian Desoer


 This article was originally published in the April 2010 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society


People who have done trees for John Sawle appear uncertain as to which John actually married Susanna Behenna – often known as Susan


The Sole Society, on one of their largest trees, shows John (& wife Susanna Behanna) as having parents John Sawle bpd 1755 & Mary Pascoe b abt 1755. However, son John’s age differs from record to record - enough to raise doubts whether more than one John is involved, and therefore cast doubts on the parental line.


A search on the Internet quickly produced seven trees. Of the seven, three each give a different John - from Probus! - obviously incorrect because there is no doubt that John came from Gerrans; one didn’t say which John, & three showed the father of the John who married Susanna Behenna as Thomas b 1741.


Having contacted two of the latter researchers, I was advised that they obtained their information from “St. Gerrans and St. Anthony Parish Tree” ( Further enquiries were made to Bill O’Reilly, the On-Line Parish Clerk for Gerrans who on has published transcriptions from many sources (LDS, Parish records, school, records etc) that have then been rechecked and later added to. Bill tells me that he made his transcriptions available for the “St. Gerrans and St. Anthony Parish Tree” - so we can assume that it is has a firm basis. However, given the scale of the parish reconstruction, over 14500 records, some of the assumed relationships may not be correct.  It is unlikely that any Author without a vested interest about their own tree could spend the time that I have done on just this one issue.  Unfortunately there is nothing to stop researchers accepting Internet data as fact and publishing it to genealogical sites without firstly doing their own research. 


As identification of which John married Susanna Behenna is essential to tracking backward, I have spent some time (over 2 months) researching the data available. The following pages detail the research undertaken and the reasoning behind the conclusions reached. On the basis of the information available to me at this stage, I am happy with my conclusions.


Comment from Editor:  Ian’s impressive research report runs to many pages and is too long to publish in full in the Journal. However, I am pleased to say that Ian has published it in our forum and the full details can be found here:


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