SOLE Co-ordinator’s Report April 2015

Maureen Storey By Maureen Storey

It has again been a quiet few months, with very few queries and no new members to report, though I’m pleased to welcome back Les Sole, whose membership had lapsed for a couple of years while he was busy with other things. Les is a member of the Layston family, which has been traced back to William Sole and Deborah Skegg who married in Layston, Hertfordshire, in 1713. Since we last heard from him, Les has become a grandfather and has found that he had two younger brothers whose existence came as a complete surprise.
While researching his grandmother Hilda Maud Soul’s family on the Internet, Barry Hawkes came across the article ‘Joseph Soul – A Man of Conscience’ (Soul Search, August 2013), which was about his 6 × great uncle. Barry gave us some further information about the family and remarked that he had been to the National Portrait Gallery to see the painting of the anti-slavery convention mentioned in the article and was surprised to find that his father was the spitting image of Joseph Soul.
Geoff Knott has sent us the results from his research into another branch of his family. Geoff has set himself the task of finding all the descendants of John Soale who died in Steyning, Sussex, in 1634 with his stated aim being to ‘…include in my Family Historian Project all the descendants I can find (whether or not they bear the Soal family name), and every bit of information about each of them that I can glean online (including every Census entry and other facts)…’. The focus of his research this time had been the descendants of Edward Soal who was born in Buriton, Hampshire, in 1769 and who married first Elizabeth Brown and then Priscilla Guy.
Nathan Soles e-mailed to ask if we had any information on his family. Nathan is the 9 × great grandson of George Soule of the Mayflower and although we have a lot of Mayflower data (their family file currently contains almost 5500 people) we had no record of the more recent members of Nathan’s family. I’ve added the details he gave me about his family to our records but referred him to The Soule Kindred of America for more information as their files on the more recent generations of this family are still more extensive than ours.

Ed: For our newer members an explanation concerning ’George Soule of the Mayflower’ to whom Maureen refers. George Soule, as a servant to the Edward Winslow family, was one of the mainly English puritans who travelled to the New World in 1620 aboard the Mayflower. After a difficult voyage the ship anchored at Cape Cod but over half the pilgrims and crew died during the first winter. George survived and went on to have three sons and four daughters. Proving decent from Mayflower passengers is big business in the USA and so there has been much speculation about who George was. For more details of his possible antecedents, see the three articles on our website. To find them go to and enter George Soule in the search engine; they are the first three articles.

Detail from Mayflower in Plymouth Harbour, by William Halsall, 1882
Detail from Mayflower in Plymouth Harbour, by William Halsall, 1882