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




By Martin Saul


This article was originally published in the August 2007 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society


Hi, Iím Martin Saul from Leamington Spa, or Leamington Priors as it was known.


I started to research my family history about 11 months ago. I had thought of looking into my past some years ago but never did anything about it. After enjoying the television series, ĎWho Do You Think You Are?í, and lots of encouragement from my wife and some help from a friend who works at the Warwick records office, I made a start. Since then, I have never looked back and have amassed lots of information over the months.


I was amazed just how many Sauls have lived in Leamington. As a child we were the only Sauls in the phonebook, so I had grown up thinking we were the only ones in Leamington!


My dad never really got on with his dad. Iím not sure why. My parents split up when I was very young, so I lost contact with my dad. I never knew any other Sauls in Leamington apart from my grandparents.


With all the information I amassed I started to build my family tree back to 1806 with my great, great, great, granddad William Saul and Charlotte Carter. The only trouble I had was with Henry Saul, my great, great granddad whose wife appears to have changed her name after their wedding on 15th Dec.1851. She was known as Hannah (nee Flavel) from Weston, but her name changed to Jane. I can find no other proof apart from the fact that Jane gives her place of birth as Weston on later census returns. The only Jane on the 1851 census for Weston is that of Jane Sumner and she was a witness to their wedding.


I was starting to struggle to get beyond William and Charlotte, as William gave his place of birth as Teach Brook. I assumed this to be TatchBrook, but there is no trace of Sauls coming from there. And I had a pile of information that I could not fit in. One possible lead in all these bits was a wedding for an Ann Tompkins from Leek Wootton, Warwick and a John Saull from Horley on the 30th Oct 1803 at Leek Wootton.

Then, while looking for possible links on Genes Reunited I was referred to the Sole Societyís web site by Pauline who Iíd emailed by chance, and was able to look at a wealth of information. It was satisfying to see that all the work Iíd done myself seamed to tally with the work done by the Sole Society and I was able to tie up most of the loose ends.  This included the link made from William & Charlotte to a John & Ann from Horley and also Johnís brother Thomas on the site, possibly the wedding I had found at Leek Wootton.


My only concern with linking the two together is if two brothers came to Leamington looking to find work, how did John come to meet Ann? They would have missed Leamington, travelling from Horley to Leek Wootton? And if William was their son why did he give his place of birth as Teachbrook? TatchBrook is some 4 miles south of Leamington also nearer to Horley, unless Ann had also moved to Leamington to find work? But that still leaves Williams place of birth as Teachbrook with no entry in the parish records?


The grave of William and Louisa Saul in Horley churchyardAs a result of my research I have written to my dad.  Having had no contact with him for at least 20 years, he has written back with information on his dadís family confirming that one brother, Harry, born 3rd October 1904 had moved to Australia - I donít know a date or location. He also mentioned a sister Eva who I had not come across, and some photos of my Grand parents Arthur & Nellie Saul. I was able to tell my dad about two other brothers and a sister of his dadís. Maybe we will be able to build a new relationship, but it will take time though.


After finding the possible link to Horley, my wife and I went to Horley church for a look around, while on a day trip to the Cotswolds recently. We found a Saul grave in the churchyard, but unfortunately it is not dated. I guess it must be linked to the Sauls of Leamington in some way.


If anyone would like to contact me with any views or more information on the Sauls of Leamington and any details of Harry Saul moving to Australia then please contact me via John Slaughter, the surname co-ordinator for SAUL.


Below are photographs of Arthur and Nellie Saul, Martin's grandparents


Arthur Saul   Nellie Saul



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