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

Spanning the Generations

by Lynne Burlingham

This article was published in the March 2000 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society. 

I already knew of the existence of the Sole Society, as my father, Bill Solley, had been a member for several years until his death in August 1996. However, it was not until the summer of 1999, when I had become hooked on the family history myself, that I came across the Sole Society website while searching the web for genealogy material.

Almost the first things to catch my eye were a mention of my father’s name and the portrait of Richard Solley, thrice Lord Mayor of Sandwich, in the Picture Gallery. Richard Solley is one of the pictures of some forebears of George Solly who my father had corresponded with on the Solley/Solly family history.

Many years ago, as part of my birthday present my parents gave me an ornately framed photographic print of Richard Solley’s portrait, which hangs in my home to this day. Even longer ago, on a childhood visit to Sandwich in the late 1950s, I remember having my photo taken standing below the same portrait in Sandwich Guildhall. A search of the old family photographs eventually brought it to light. There was also one of my parents taken on the same visit but, unfortunately, it is very dark and not worth reproducing. Whether there is a direct link between us and Richard Solley I do not know, but it is nice to think there may be and perhaps one of these days I may get round to investigating it!


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