By John Slaughter
Welcome to new member Marcia Allen. Marcia is a descendant of Stephen Sawle who married Margaret Dunn Rowe in 1857 in Cuby with Tregorny, Cornwall, had eight children in the UK and then emigrated with his family to Wisconsin, USA in 1875. It is understood that the couple had further children in the USA and at the time of writing I am awaiting more details about the American descendants which I am told are contained in a publication titled “A brief history of the Sawle family”. Stephen Sawle was a master mariner and some details of his life at sea is recorded in the book History of Gerrans. His father was also named Stephen and also a master mariner. He had married Charlotte Sawle in 1822 in Gerrans, Cornwall and so brought together two separate Sawle families. The earliest Sawle ancestor we have recorded for Stephen is a George Sawle who married Ann Philip in Gerrans in 1721. The earliest ancestor for Charlotte is a Richard Sawell baptised at Gerrans in 1633 son of Margery. It is possible, of course, that these two lines could converge earlier on and they have a common ancestor.
Member Richard Saul kindly drew my attention to some Mathematical books published in 1797 by a Joseph Saul. It appears that the author died in the following year and was buried at Tunstal, Lancashire. Richard has subsequently obtained a copy of these books and has written a separate article for the journal which will appear in a future journal. However at the time of my correspondence with Richard I did suggest an alternative identity for Joseph and I think it will be of interest to report what I wrote.
I was not aware of the book ‘Tutor and Students Assistant Mathematics’ by Joseph Saul. You may be correct in attributing this to the Joseph Saul buried at Tunstal in 1798 as the burial register records his occupation as a mathematician. However there is an alternative, that being the Joseph Saul, headmaster of the Green Row Academy. I found one website that mentions that the author of the book was previously a maths teacher at Rochdale. We know that the Joseph Saul, of Green Row fame, took over as headmaster in 1795. Though published in 1797 it appears that the book was written in 1794.
The parentage of the Green Row Academy headmaster has always been a bit uncertain to me. I have charted him as being born in 1769 at Wolsty to David Saul and Martha Waite. British History Online however records has father as being John Saul, a minister of the Society of Friends, who died in 1812 aged 84 years. This source is not however infallible as it says Joseph died in 1845 and we know it was 1842. Also the Holme Quaker records gives the name of the Saul who died in 1812 aged 84 years as Joseph not John. Green Row Joseph is recorded on our chart NRC and I attach a report of the information that we have recorded thereon. Incidentally I do not know who the Joseph Saul who was buried at Tunstal in 1798 is, but is seems remarkable that we have two Joseph Sauls who were mathematicians around the same time.
Richard replied that the 1807 edition of the book records that it was published at the request of the relations of the author after his death so that clearly ruled out Green Row Joseph.
I have mentioned previously that I have been making my way through the GRO birth indexes and updating charts now that the indexes have been updated to record the maiden name of the mother. In June this year I fractured my ankle requiring being immobile in plaster for six weeks. Not to be recommended but at least this gave me a lot more time to make progress. Currently I am about half way through the birth indexes for the period 1901 to 1925. You might be interested in some statistics. For the period 1837 to 1870 there are 1,501 births recorded in the index for Saul/Sawle and I have now identified and charted 1,336 of these (89%). For the period 1871 to 1900 the corresponding figures are 1,830 and 1,698 (92.8%). I think that’s a good strike rate, as there are always going to be a small percentage that we can not identify. Perhaps if one day the public are allowed free access to the information on the certificates we might be able to make further progress, In the meantime I still have a lot more left to do. Identification gets a little trickier after 1911 as there are no censuses available and it became too much of a chore. However the 1939 Register has proved very useful as it records the persons actual date of birth and whilst relationships are not given it is clear that we are dealing with family units