By Jennifer Ball
This article was published in the April 2015 edition of Soul Search, the Journal of The Sole Society
During February I was intrigued to receive a letter from a Dennis Mathews in New Zealand who is researching his New Zealand family tree and who also had ancestors in England. He had been to a book clearance sale, picked up a past issue of Practical Family History (2006!) and noticed a request placed by me for others researching the Sole family from Kent.
Dennis was kindly offering to help as his mother’s paternal side goes back to Soles from Kent and a genealogist has researched this line and published a comprehensive book on their descendants. Their ancestors in Kent are from the marriage of Edward Sole (1792-1833) and Susannah Gore (1794-1871) in St. Nicholas-at-Wade. Edward died in 1833 and she remarried Richard White Foreman. Edward is the son of Edward Soal (sic) and Mercy Crittenden married at Monkton on 10th December 1792.
In 1841 Susannah with her six sons and Richard Foreman with his children from a previous marriage emigrated to New Zealand on the NZ Company ship the Oriental, landing in New Plymouth. Dennis says they were apparently trying to escape the poverty caused by the Corn Laws in England, so a cheap passage and a land allocation to each immigrant in NZ was tempting.
I do not have any connection to this particular line of Soles, my own going back through Edward Soal (sic) baptised St. Martins Herne Kent on 16th Dec. 1798, Married Rosanna Drayson in St. Mary the Blessed Virgin Woodnesborough Kent on 22nd February 1823. I told Dennis this in my reply and also mentioned the Sole Society, our web site and that articles and photographs from the time the magazine was first published can be seen there.
I know that other members will have connections to his line and I will supply contact details to those interested. My details are on the inside of the back cover of Soul Search under Associate Members.