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





by Martin Saul


 This article was originally published in the April 2008 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society


I have been told by the two oldest family members about two of my great uncles, Albert and Ernest Saul. Albert had died from meningitis and Ernest had moved to Birkenhead and married the daughter of the famous golfer, Henry Cotton, and she had worked for Littlewoods.


From the 1901 census returns I found the initials for their middle names, Albert E and Ernest H and after searching baptism records on film at Warwick Records Office, I was able to ascertain the middle names were Edward and Henry. I was unable to find out anymore until this weekend.


While digging though, I came across a wedding for an Ernest H Saul 1916 2/4 spouse’s surname ‘Dark’, Wirral (1839-1974) Cheshire vol. 8a. Also one for an Albert E Saul 1914 4/4 spouse’s surname ‘Kershaw’, Birkenhead (1861-1998) Cheshire, Merseyside vol. 8a.


Full of excitement and with the help of a friend who works for the Warwick records office, by looking though Cheshire Records Office web site we were soon able to gain more information. The wedding for Ernest gave full names for Ernest and his wife Helena Dark. Wirral, civil marriage. WW/2/79. Soon after, we found Albert’s full name and his wife May Kershaw. Tranmere, St Paul’s BK18/4/347


While talking about the information we had just found over a coffee, one question I had was “why did they possibly move to that area”?  Possibly, enlistment into WW1?  So I took a quick look at the national archives web site, medal cards, and found an Ernest H Saul No.79541 1914-1920, Liverpool regiment.  I couldn’t find Albert E Saul but there were a few Albert Sauls.


Then there is the family story of Henry Cotton’s daughter? Could she have been married before? Or could Henry Cotton be a made up name?


Although full of intrigue and hope, at the moment I am unable to prove or disprove a link to Leamington. Hopefully, I will have an answer soon as I am holding a reunion for the Leamington Saul’s and it would be of great excitement to have another two family lines attending! Anyone with any information on this article or interest in attending the reunion please email me



I have now received copies of the wedding certificates in the post today. Unfortunately this Ernest definitely has no links to Leamington. His fathers name is shown as Ernest Henry Saul and both platelayers. The certificate now is of no interest to me - if anyone would like it, please contact me and I will pass it on.


Albert on the other hand could well be linked. His D.O.B. was 1894 based on the certificate aged 20 on 2nd Nov 1914. Father Henry Saul is correct and it states he was a builder which also fits. I am unsure of how to research this further at the moment. Any views or help would be appreciated.


One strange coincidence is that both brides appear to be unrelated yet they both marry into Saul families, which I assume are two different Saul families. Although two years apart 1914 and 1916 both brides at the time of their weddings give the same place of residence, 19 The Village, Lower Bebington? I may look into this, (maybe it was a finishing school).


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