By Ian Sewell
I was contacted by Judy Wright one of our members to see if anyone had any details on a coat of arms her father brought back from a trip in the 1980s. As you can see in the diagram the coat is quite distinctive with a chevron and three bees.
I actually recognised it immediately as many years ago I was at a fair and an stall was selling plaques of ‘your family coat of arms’. In the end I bought one for my sister and her then husband as at the time I was not aware of my family history. Of course as I know now coat of arms are awarded to a specific family and not to the name in general. This coat of arms was for the Isle of Wight Sewells of which much has been written. As such I was not sure that it had anything to do with Judy’s family and wondered if her father had done what I had done and picked up the coat of arms and assumed it was his. Judy herself was not too sure having only been able to get as far as John Sewell 1799-1871 from India. Well its seems that Judy can indeed use this coat as I was able to place John in the family and was able to provide her with much more detail on the extended family. In return Judy has provided me with more details on her branch of the family.
I was also contact by Ruth Brown who was researching a William Sewell of Littlehampton for a book on the Littlehampton Boys School. William was a pupil-teacher and captain of the town rugby and cricket teams. A brief search of the records shows that William was the harbour Master, like his father, and died in Littlehampton in 1915.