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

Solley Searching in Kent & the USA

From Sheila Jackson & Caroline Wheeler Ghys

This article was originally published in the December 2001 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society.

From Sheila Jackson

Originally, I had been researching my Pilcher family, then two years ago, I started to search for the Solly family starting with Ann Solly who was my great grandmother.

I bought the baptism fiche for St Mary's and St. James churches from the Kent FHS, but no luck there.  I had Ann's marriage certificate and worked out her birth date from her age at marriage and managed to get the birth certificate. There was no mention of the Mariners Chapel though.

Ann PilcherI had found Ann and some of her siblings on the 1881 census living at Spring Place, Dover, also her mother, Elizabeth.  I next wanted to find the marriage of Ann's Parents. I knew her fatherís name was William from the birth certificate, but could I find that marriage? No, it seemed to me that they didn't want to be found.

Everything was going against me; my luck was out even trying to look at the other census, as the Mormon Church here in Cambridge is being renovated so it was closed. I asked the Sole Society but it wasn't on the database, and there was nothing on the IGI.

My luck changed slightly when a Mrs Huppert contacted me from Canada and gave me the entry of the 1861 census. This gave me the ages of Elizabeth and William and that William came from Sandwich (which didn't surprise me).

With the Mormon Church shut, I used a researcher. This is against my principles as I enjoy the research myself and feel thatís what family history is all about. But the research came up trumps and I do not think I would have found them, not knowing the Mariners Chapel existed.

My next step is to find Williamís baptism. Any help would be appreciated. From the 1861 census he was 34, so his birth must have been about 1827 at Sandwich. His father was also William, a Labourer.

From Caroline Wheeler Ghys

I have been researching the John Solly line from Kent, England.

He was married to Mary Barwick from Minister, Kent and they came to the USA. She died on the way over. They had a son named George John born in Acol in 1847 and a daughter Jane Ann Solly Duer. George and his father were in the war between the States in 1864 for one year. George and John, his father both were sulkey drivers.

George later took up farming in Ohio and did very well for himself. He was married to Rachael Frederick from Ohio.  John having lots of health problems left the Union Army and homesteaded in Minnesota, County of Otter Tail. He became a holistic Doctor and considered himself a man of sound mind, good moral values, and did not drink or smoke. He gave this in his affidavit to the pension board for his Civil War pension.

His opinion of himself and mine are of him are worlds apart. In his papers he had five wives after he came to the USA, one being Sofia Fox. We think she might have been the wife of one of his brothers in England. She left him in Connecticut and he went to Minnesota and found four more wives. Two leaving him and two that he left. The papers on these divorces show a man with a wondering eye, divorcing his wife and then within one month marrying another. He then divorced her because she was looking at the greener grass on the other side of the fence. What a guy. Jane Ann went to Minnesota with him and was married to William Harvard Duer from Leeds, England. They settled close by in the state of Wisconsin.

We have lots of family traditions that tell us unconfirmed stories. One is that they are relatives of Allen and Solly Clothing Co. that is in South Africa. Also, that they were Jewish in religion when in England. After George came to the USA he was involved with the Pilgrim Holiness movement in Ohio. This group did missionary work all over the world. John's first wife was Mary Barwick from Kent. Her family was Jane Satterfield married to Edward Johncock then to John Barwick. This family was from Minister.

I would like to do more looking into the background of John. He states in his pension paper that his father was John and his mother was Ann. John Jr. was born about 1824. He was 40 when he joined the army in the US in 1864. His son George was 17 and his sister was 15. They were living in Fairfield Connecticut.

If any one has anything to add it would make my day.

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