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

Messages and Letters

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


From Dean Sole, New Zealand

I found your website by accident and am pleased it exists. I note that little of the New Zealand information gathered for the SOLE Family reunion in New Plymouth, 1991.

Reply by Bob Sheldon:

We have charted a family tree of well over 1000 persons down the generations connected with the New Plymouth line. I am a 4th cousin of members of the current generation and am in touch with a number of them. You may know that a very comprehensive book was published in 1991 about the 1841 emigrants from the UK. There are three Dean's mentioned in it; Dean Charles, Dean Fitzgerald and Dean James. Which one is you?

If you are not already in contact with her, Marie Sole is the secretary of the Reunion committee living in New Plymouth.


From Sue,

My family of SEWELL's come from Rutland. All I know is that a Robert Sewell married Eliza Riley on 6th June 1881 in Oakham Parish Church. Robert was a wheelwright who married Eliza when he was 46 and a widower. His father is John Sewell with an occupation of geamm (or so the certificate looks). I do not know if Robert and Eliza had any children through this marriage nor if Robert let Eliza's daughter Mary adopt his surname.


From Sally Margaret Sewell Turner

I am trying to trace my European ancestral roots. This is the only information I have from the matriarch of the SEWELL family in Jackson, Kentucky.

Grandfather: Tom Sewell - Quicksand/Jackson, KY

Great grandfather: Jack Sewell - Quicksand/Jackson, KY

Great great grandfather: Joseph Sewell-Tazewell,TN

Great great great grandfather: Tom Sewell--unknown

Some of my first cousins have traced the family tree back to Benjamin Sewell who was a revolutionary war hero. They also have told me that their finds revealed that our ancestors came from Staffordshire County, England (Bingham).

I am thinking of making a pilgrimage to our ancestral homeland, however, I wanted to verify that I have the correct lineage of Sewells before I attempt such a trip.


From Sandra Read

I found this in BHRS Vol 50 of Samuel Whitbread's Notebooks and thought someone might find it useful:

1045. Neale, Clifton overseer, to state that Gregory SOLE, a labourer able to work and earning full wages was placed in the poor house for want of other habitation. Query, is he consequently liable to pay full rent: will enquire: return Sat morning.

1061 Gregory Sole of Clifton applies for an order to the overseers to find him a house, he states there is no vacant cottage in that parish - that he was about Michlemas placed by the overseers in the poor house: they now apply for rent at 1/- per week which he has refused to pay. Promises to pay the rent in future.

Sorry forgot to write down the date. It was about 1813 but will check if you want.


From Catriona McLeod, Australia

My mother, Robin McLeod, is currently researching both sides of our family. She is having difficulty, however, finding an information about my father's mother's family, and was wondering if you might be able to help with any information on any descendants from the marriage of Marjorie KEMPSTER and Frank Richmond SEWELL in 1918, Richmond S. Perhaps EVE SEWELL, born 1923, Salford.

My parents are planning to travel to the UK next May and are keen to find any descendants, particularly living in the London area. My mother would be grateful for any information.


From Nuria Sole

My last name is SOLE and I am from Barcelona (Spain). I know that your society is only for the UK but I am still intrigued about it.

Do you have any data about if any relation between Sole from Catalonia and Sole fromUK?

Reply from Maureen Storey:

As far as I know there is no connection between the Spanish and English Sole families although with the amount of migration around Europe over the centuries it may well be that some of the English Soles have Spanish ancestors and vice versa. I don't know how common the name is in Barcelona but we have had one other enquiry about a Sole family from Barcelona. The lady concerned was the granddaughter of Jose Adolpho Garbayo and Teresa Guarido Sole who married in Barcelona in the 1930s - they later emigrated to Brazil.


From John Soul, Texas

Can you recommend a good software package for building a family tree and record, (including importing gedcom files). I looked at FamilyTreeMaker and it looks pretty good, but wanted to get the advice of an expert before committing.

Reply from Tim Soles:

Most of the Society's records are kept in the Sierra Family Tree software - Generations Grand Suite 6.0. It is a fairly expensive suite of programs, but it is flexible and there is a very comprehensive range of reports and facilities.

If you prefer not to spend much money, then at the other end of the scale I recommend the shareware package called Brothers Keeper. It is not as fancy or as clever as the Sierra software, but it has some good features and works well. You can try it for free, so there is nothing to lose! Databases can usually be transferred between genealogy software applications by exporting the content as a gedcom file. This is a standard file format for genealogy. Brothers Keeper can be obtained from:


From Ruth E. Tindale, Australia

I am writing to seek you help in regards to the family tree of the SEWELL family. My maternal grandmother was Kitty Muriel Johnson nee Sewell. She married my grandfather Frederick Arthur Johnson in Sandiacre Derbyshire England on the 12 th July 1930. Kitty was born in Sandiacre Derbyshire on the 20 th April 1898 and died in Sandiacre on 14 th August 1971. She was buried at Wilfred Hill Notts England. Kitty's parents were Arthur Sewell and Lillian Sewell nee Follows. They too were married and died at Sandiacre Derbyshire England. Kitty had one child my Mother Betty. She had two sisters and one brother. They were Gladys known as Cis, Edith and Douglas. Any help you can give me on the Sewell family will be greatly appreciated.


From Tony Branigan, Australia

I am researching my great-grandfather, Richard Blamire SEWELL, born 21 January 1837, probably in Penrith, Cumberland. His parents were William Willoughby Sewell and Harriet Buckle. William Sewell seems to be the son of Richard Sewell and Isabella Blamire, born Carlisle in 1805. There are IGI listings for Richard and Isabella's marriage and the christenings of their offspring. I can find no IGI reference to William and Harriet's marriage, or to Richard's birth, and I cannot identify the family on a brief examination of the 1850 Cumberland census records. There is a possibility that Richard was not born in or near Penrith, although his death notice in Melbourne, Australia, in 1915 gave it as his birthplace; a later trade directory note on one of his sons said that Richard was born in Manchester. Richard emigrated alone to Melbourne in 1857. I have not been able to trace his parents or any siblings (Family tradition says all died of TB before he left England). Does the Society hold any information that may cast any light on Richard's birthplace, whether he had siblings, and what became of his parents?


From Sheila Bayley, Australia

My 2 x great grandfather was John GOODE born in Rugby, Warwickshire about 1818. I believe, but have not yet proved, that his father was John GOODE whose father was probably Joseph GOODE who married Ann SEAWELL 24 March 1788 in Rugby. Ann was probably christened 29 July 1764 and her siblings were Elizabeth, Esther and Bet. (not sure what that is an abbreviation of).

I am going to England this year and hope to be able to see the Parish Records but thought I would just ask you if you know of this family and if so am I on the right track.


From Miles Sewell, Australia

We are the SEWELL family from New Zealand, now resident in Australia. It has always been a mystery how we became "Blackwood-Sewell" - can you throw any light on this? Yule Blackwood-Sewell, my grandfather born late 1890's in New Zealand, traced his ancestors to a ship arriving in New Zealand and passenger Blackwood-Sewell, but the trail stops there. Are there any Blackwood-Sewells in England?

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