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

Messages from Readers - August 2004

This article was originally published in the April 2004 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society


From Mrs Alma Merritt

In the April issue of the Journal Mr. Trevor Saul is asking about patents.


I am almost sure I read a few years back that the Patent Office Archives had been deposited at Coventry University, Prior Street, Coventry.


Otherwise, the Patent Office is at Newport, South Wales.


Apologies if my memory is not correct!



From Sandy Fulton

Ed: In our last edition we reprinted a message from Sandy Fulton about Du Sully. I am pleased to say that Eric Sewell has been able to continue the dialogue in some detail and we reproduce below some extracts of their latest correspondence:

Before getting to the Sully and Soulis families, I should tell you that I've perused your "JOURNALS" page and found two other familiar names, "Sewal" and "Saul." The first, Sewal, which is a variant of your surname, is the name of a small rural village in Wayne County, Iowa, the county in which my parents were born, and nearly all those towns were named for a founding pioneer, although I never knew anyone named Sewal in Iowa or elsewhere. Sewal, the village, was very near my grandfather Fulton's farm, and when my Uncle Samuel Fulton (1905-1995) grew up, he married a resident of Sewal, moved there to start a farm, and lived there until retirement. Then my cousin Sam Junior, a lifelong bachelor,took an early retirement as an aeronautics engineer and came home to live in the farmhouse, gradually selling off most of the land to neighbouring farmers.  He died in 1999. Sewal is large enough to have a post office, but very small.


The name Saul is a common one here in Philadelphia, since it's the name of one of the city's early Quaker families. Many still live here, and there are 14 Saul families in my telephone directory. A local school, the Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences, is named for a Saul who endowed it. From about 1975 through 1981, my (ex) husband and I were president & vice president of a Washington, DC consulting firm in energy conservation and community development, and we worked closely with one of the Sauls, Richard, also a Philadelphia Quaker. He was one of the senior administrators in the Community Services Administration, which established educational programs and incentives to enable poor people to raise their level of employment and housing. Naturally, Reagan axed the agency, as he got rid of everything worthwhile, and Richard (Dick) Saul retired. Dick was somewhat above medium height, blue-eyed, stocky in build, and even though he was in his 50s and was turning white-haired, you could see that his hair had been blond. I don't know if that's typical of the Sauls of England or not. They've been here in Philly for many generations-- over 300 years.

Response From Eric L Sewell

SEWAL is a common variant of SEWELL found in America. There has been extensive research in the US into the SEWALLs and details (I think) can be found on the Web.


As you may have gathered the articles I have written are mainly in an attempt to trace the origins of the name SEWELL. Several years ago I trawled the available published reference material in the Bodleian Library, Oxford (I live nearby) and extracted anything likely to be relevant, including SULLY and SOULIS. I did not find any convincing connection with SEWELL. As you may be aware there are coats of arms for SEWELL (see my article in Soul Search July 2000) - chevron and three bees or butterflies. I have not investigated SULLY or SOULIS in this respect.


I will try and follow up the references you suggest and any other material I come across relating to SOULIS.

Ed: Eric goes on to provide a list of Sully and similar references that he found during his search of the Bodleian Library



From Trevor Saul 

Found on the Internet: "North East Diary 1939-1945."


"The R.A.F's No 13 group, commanded by Air Vice Marshall R.E.Saul, made the German air force pay for attacks on the North East in August 1940" Has the society any knowledge of him?



From the Federation of Family History Societies

The web address for the 1901 census online has changed to:

Please update your favourites link.


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