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

My Saul Family from Cawston

By Lorraine Stacker nee Saul

Emu Plains, NSW, Australia

This article was originally published in the April 2005 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society

Growing up on a dairy farm outside of Kempsey, on the North Coast of New South Wales, my SAUL family history was always been familiar to me. My family instilled in me a sense of pride of who we were and where we had come from Ė Coston in Norfolk. My great grandfather named his house Costonville, a name, which my father used for his prized Jersey stud. It was not until I started researching my family history that I realised that Coston was really, Cawston.

James Saul from Kempsey            William Saul

For whatever reason, two brothers left their home in Cawston in the 1850s to emigrate to colonial New South Wales and I suppose, to find a better life. In 1855, James Saul arrived on the Rose of Sharon with his neighbour from Cawston, Henry High. Jamesí brother William followed four years later. All three men, married immigrant girls and farmed on the Lower Macleay River (at Kempsey) for the rest of their lives.

After visiting Cawston in February 2004, I began in earnest to research James and Williamís Saul family in England. In this article, I would like to briefly explain the SALL/SAUL family in Cawston, as well as provide a brief family history of the remaining ten siblings in England. In the majority of records on this family, the spelling of the name is SALL. It is unclear for what reason the name changed to SAUL (see also John Slaughterís article in Sole Search November 1993). By the middle of the 19th Century most recorded names had changed to SAUL. It is also unclear what the relationship is, if any, between the Sall/Saul family and the village of Salle nearby to Cawston.

At this stage in my research I have followed the family back to the marriage of Thomas SALL to Elizabeth ALEXANDER at Itteringham in 1761. Soon afterwards they moved to Cawston. Their children: 

  John (1762-1802). John married Mary MARISON, who can trace her ancestry back a further couple of hundred years in Cawston. Maryís father, William was appointed ale taster by the local court for a number of years. Their two children, Thomas and William moved to London. They are recorded in the Cawston Manor Records as yeoman from Park Street near Grosvenor Square, and Bedfont, Middlesex. They inherited property in Cawston from their parents. Their mother had also inherited property from her father in Cawston.

  Thomas (1766-1840) married Mary NEWMAN in 1789 at Cawston. Both John and Thomas and their families lived in Cawston. Thomas was a weaver. The cottage in which the family lived was built in 1770, purchased by Thomas Sall in 1818 and was still with the family until the late 1890s. We are fortunate that Thomas left a substantial will, which continued in force to the end of the 19th Century. It is a wonderful window into his life and that of his family. Thomas was able to provide a cottage each for his three sons, John, Thomas and William and his wife. He made provision for these three sons to give their brother Richard £21 upon the death of their mother, Mary. Thomas also gave his son Richard the shop in which he used for weaving. His wife Mary also received the household furniture and his personal items, which then passed on to their daughters Elizabeth, Susan, Anne and Mary, upon the death of their mother in 1843.

  Other children: William (1771-1773), Susannah (1774), William (1779)

Thomas and Mary SALL had nine children and at least seven reached adulthood:

  John (1790-1849) married Elizabeth RISEBOROUGH in 1815 in Catton, near Norwich. They lived in Cawston at Eastgate, having 13 children. John was a blacksmith. Most of their children married another villager and lived in Cawston all of their lives. Related family names were: BETTS, BARRETT, WATERS, KENDALL, and HOWARD.

  Susannah (1795-1875) married Thomas FISHER in 1832. Susan lived with her parents and was present at their deaths. They continued to live in the home provided for Mary in her husbandís will. Upon Maryís death Thomas and Susan lived in this cottage until their deaths. The cottage was then transferred to William (Susanís brother).

  Ann (1797-1862) married John KIDD in 1824. John was a painter and glazier, an occupation carried on by his sons. This family continued to live in Cawston into the 20th Century.

  Thomas (1799) married Sarah Waller. He was a farmer at Buxton.

  Mary (1801) married John DELPH in about 1826. He was a weaver.

  William (1807-1887) was born at Cawston. He married Mary Anne LOWE of Buxton in 1829. They lived at Buxton for a while and later moved to Cawston. William and Mary Anne are the parents of James and William who emigrated to New South Wales.

  Other children: Sarah (1790). She was a twin to John; Elizabeth (1792), Richard (1802-1844).

William received in his fatherís will, the cottage in which his father lived. This cottage was to then pass on to his eldest son James. At the time of his fatherís death in Cawston, James was living in Kempsey, New South Wales, possibly unaware that the property had passed to him. This is probably the same cottage built by Aaron Shreeve in 1770 and purchased by Thomas in 1818. William was a weaver like his father and many of his family in Cawston. But by the 1850s William was poor from this work and he is later listed as a farmer and labourer. His sons are agricultural labourers.

William Saul and Mary Anne Lowe had 12 children. They lived at Eastgate, Cawston. Their children are:

  James (1829-1906) married in 1859 at Kempsey an Irish domestic servant Jane STONE. He was a farmer at Kempsey.

  Thomas (1831). I have not been able to trace Thomas after 1861, where he was living with his parents at Cawston.

  William (1833-1892) married a domestic servant, Scot Janet GRAY in 1861 at Kempsey. They farmed not far from James and Jane on the Lower Macleay River.

  Marianne/Mary/Maria (1834). I have not been able to trace Marianne after the 1851 Census where she is listed with her family at Cawston.

  Sarah (1836) married Cornelius LONG at Cawston in 1876. They moved to Great Barton in Suffolk where Cornelius lived and where he worked as a groom and coachman. They had one child Kate Mary. They were still living at Great Barton in 1901.

  Richard (1838-1877) never married. He was a small farmer in Cawston. He died of broncitis when just 36 years old.

  Samuel (1840-1923) left Cawston in the 1850s along with his brothers, James and William. We can wonder if Samuel also considered emigrating. However, he moved to Hull and in 1859, married Alice BOOTH. Samuel was then, a labourer. His occupations changed over the years from labourer, shipís fireman, and hotelkeeper. In the 1871 Census Samuel was absent from home with his wife, listed as a shipís firemanís wife, at home with their five children. In the 1881 Census their daughter Alice was living with her grandfather in Cawston, a long way from Hull. One can only surmise the circumstances which had Alice with William and her grandmother elsewhere. Samuel lived there in Hull for the rest of his life. He operated several hotels in Hull, North Bridge Hotel on Witham Street, Plumberís Arms on Robinson Row. Alice died in 1888 and Samuel had married Kate Barnby by the late 1890s. He died in 1923 at Hull.

  Susan (1842-1889) married Edward Gallant in 1862 in Cawston. Edward was a carpenter and later a railway wagon repairer. The family moved to Croydon in Surrey, Hull, Malton in Yorkshire, York and settled in Middlesbrough. Edward was possibly following work with the railways. Susan died in 1889, leaving six children, the youngest being 8 year old.  Edward married Frances Hamner in the same year.

  John (1845) possibly married in Norfolk before they moved to Northumberland. He worked as a coalminer in the North Seaton colliery. His wife (Maria) died some time in the 1870s, leaving three children. John married Jane Dent in 1879. They were still living in the same house in 1901. John died there in 1912. Johnís son William moved to London at the turn of the century and emigrated to the United States.

  Elizabeth (1848-1872) lived with her parents until her death from a tuberculosis in 1872.

  Eliza (1852) married William Webster in 1876 at Cawston. William, an agricultural labourer, was born in the nearby village of Oulton. Their first child was born in Cawston. The family moved to Oulton where a further two children were born. William died in the 1880s, leaving Eliza to support herself and her children, as a charwoman. Her son was an agricultural labourer and her daughters, a cook and a domestic servant. In 1901, Eliza was living with her son in Oulton.

  Anna (1854) was just a few months old when her older brothers left home, probably never to return. Anna was also the only child to remain in Cawston after she married. She lived with her family next door to her parents. Anna married Samuel Groom, from nearby Booton in 1879. They had nine children and Samuel operated a small farm at Cawston. Descendents of Anna and Samuel continued to live in Cawston until quite recently.

Although my SAUL family have their roots in Cawston, they had by the end of the 19th Century moved across England and across the world. A great deal more research needs to be undertaken to find those family members who did emigrate. It is not an easy task to track them down in England, let alone the world! My family is typical of many families across England. Economic forces motivated them to change occupations. The woollen industry in Cawston proved to be of great economic benefit, with is own Cawston worsted produced there. Giving up weaving after many generations was as difficult a process in Cawston as it was across England during the 19th Century. Analogies abound even in our own generation with the advent of new technologies, which change peopleís lives.     

Main sources of information: Parish registers at Cawston, Birth Death & Marriage certificates, Census records, Cawston Manor Records, Historical research on Cawston

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