SEWELL Co-ordinator’s Report December 2015

Ian Sewell By Ian Sewell

In my last report I asked for help in working on the records I have inherited from Diana Kennedy and I am pleased to say Judy Wright has stepped up and has been helping me with indexing all the inquiries that I had that were printed out on paper. I am sure she was surprised when a 8Kg parcel arrived at her doorstep. She has made major inroads to the pile and has my deepest thanks.
Many of the GEDCOMs in the data I have do not have a unique identifying field but the index of the country does. This means that I am not sure which is more up to date the GEDCOM or the excel index. So another task is to go though and make sure that the GEDCOM has all the relevant data in it. I learnt along tome ago in IT that the best way forward is to have only one source of data. Trying to maintain multiple sources never works. Gabrielle Stevens is helping in this and I hope to have others helping soon.
So onto my inquiries. I was contacted by Ryan Sewell from America hoping for more information on his Sewell family from Omaha. He had some details saying they came initially from Durham in 1720 which I was able to confirm but I did not have any information on how they went to America or the details on the family after that. In fact the details that I had were very limited. I hope that we can confirm the family line in the future as I am sure that there are other lines of this family still in the UK.
David Sewell contacted me regarding the family of Henry Sewell of Biddleson, Buckinghamshire and provided details of three of his children which he had obtained from the Tingewick Historical Society. I was able to show that he had in fact 8 children recorded on the IGI but nothing further. I hope that David will provide me details on his link to Henry so we can expand the information we have on this small tree in Bucks.
Finally I was contact by my namesake Ian Sewell who has just started on his research and was looking for information on his grandfather Tom Sewell. The family story was that he left home to join the army in WW1 and later was in India during the partition in India, 1947. Unfortunately I could not find any details of Tom’s war record but then the records are fairly incomplete. There were a number of possibilities in the medal index but Thomas or Tom Sewell is a fairly common name. Also the 1901 census had a likely family but we needed to be sure that this was correct. A mistake in this phase of the research can lead you off on a merry dance as I know only too well when I was searching for my great grandmother. Luckily we have Tom’s reference in the birth records and so when we have the details of his birth certificate we can be sure that we have the family in the census and perhaps confirm which of the military records is his.
Member Bev Hendy replied to my email to members to let me know what family they were descended from and said that her research had stopped in 1841 looking for William Sewell who was married in Stepney in 1832. I thought it would easy to find this family in the 1841 census and so I went to Ancestry to find them. After many hours of searching I had to give up as I could not find any of the family. However at the AGM I had a chat with Maureen Storey who offered to look in the Find My Past site and sure enough she quickly came back with candidates for the family who were all living at different addresses. Using this information I was then able to find then in Ancestry and realised why I had missed them because a) I was looking for a family and b) some of the nsame were very different in the index. Nevertheless the census showed that William was born in Essex so I looked to my records to find any likely candidates. I found three possible Williams though was able to discount one as someone has a placed him on another tree in Ancestry. Which left me with two possible records, one in Basildon and one in Woodham Walters. Neither are in the 1851 census (William died in 1846) which is no help and I have no further details to go on. The only thing I can do is try and find another burial of a William Sewell born c.1806.
Now I would do that now but I have had a problem with my National Burial Index. Seems that the 2nd edition will not work on the new versions of Windows so I have had to invest in the 3rd Edition, funny that. Hopefully we can find William there and get Bev’s tree back a lot further.