This article was published in the April 2018 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
We have heard about the death of Don Sole, one of the Societies’ Founder Members (member number 8) from June Sole, our late President Fred Sole’s wife. She wrote:
A few weeks ago I was told by the family of Don and Lou Sole who live in Kansas U.S. that sadly Lou had died in her sleep. Both she and Don had been in a care home for a short time as Don fell and broke his hip in October but following surgery it was not healing well.
I guessed that the shock of Lou’s death would have a detrimental effect on Don and he joined her on February 27th 2018, now they are united for ever. They were both 95 so had had a good long life together and had been married for 69 years.
I believe Don joined the Sole Society in the early days and would have had a low membership number but I suspect his membership had lapsed in his later years when his grasp of technology began to fail and we no longer received e-mails, just long handwritten letters. Both Don and Fred were convinced that they would eventually find some common link in their Bedfordshire/Cambridgeshire ancestry but sadly it was not to be and after DNA testing they both accepted they were just good friends.
I remember a meeting which I believe took place in May 1993 at Dumbleton Hall in Gloucestershire, Fred and I, along with Don and Lou, were staying overnight there before making our way over to Ireland via Herefordshire where we were to meet more Soles. Society members David Parsons and Don Steel came over for the evening and joined us for dinner.
Don (Sole) did write an article about his maternal family which had taken him many years to find and this was published in the December 2001 Journal and headed ‘70 years of Searching’.
Maureen Storey, our Research Co-ordinator for the Soles provided the following information about Don’s family:
Don’s grandfather, David Sole, was born In Guilden Morded, Cambridge, in 1855 and emigrated to Ontario, Canada in about 1875. He married twice – his 1st wife and their baby son died shortly after the baby’s birth and then 2 years later he married Ann Gardiner, with whom he had 5 children including Don’s father, Frederick Gordon Sole. As June says, Don and his wife lived in Kansas and I’m not sure whether it was just Don who moved to the USA from Canada or if it was Don’s parents that made the move.
David Sole was the son of George and Jane (Franklin) Sole. George was born in Eyworth, Bedfordshire in 1819. By 1851 he and Jane and their children were living in Guilden Morden where he was recorded as a beer retailer in the 1851-1881 censuses. The 1891 census shows him running the Black Horse pub but it’s not clear if this was where he’d been selling his beer for previous 40 years or somewhere he’d recently moved to. George died in 1892 and is buried in Guilden Morden.
George was the son of Samuel Sole and Mary Howard. Samuel was an ag lab who was born in Eyeworth in 1772 and died there in 1857, having had 8 children.
Samuel was the son of George Sole and Mary Street. This George was born in Wrestlingworth, Bedfordshire in 1732, he married Mary in Eyeworth and their seven children were all baptised there. He died in Eyeworth in 1813.
Our records for the family go back through 3 more Georges to William Sole and Agnes Clare who married in Stotfold in 1624, though there are a couple of uncertain identifications. Although Don Steele was convinced he’d got them right so up to now, at least, I’ve left the charts as he originally drew them up.