By Maureen Storey
In this journal we welcome new member Jon Sowell.
Jon is researching his Cornish ancestry and wants to validate the information he already has and perhaps fill in gaps. The earliest record we have for his family is the marriage of John Sowell and Sarah Gilbert in St Keverne, Cornwall, in 1805. We’ve managed to take most of our families back well beyond this but have been firmly stuck at this point for many years. According to the St Keverne burial register John was 57 when he died in 1823, so he was born around 1766. We know that despite living for several years in neighbouring St Anthony in Menage his place of settlement was St Keverne because he and his family were the subject of a removal order to St Keverne in 1821, an order that was upheld in spite of a protest by St Keverne. However, the earliest mentions of Sowells in St Keverne are John’s marriage in 1805 and the marriage of Ann Sowell and James Lawrence, also in 1805. There are several baptisms of a John Sowell (and spelling variants) in Cornwall in the 1760s in our index, but there’s nothing to indicate which, if any of them, is this John.
Denise Gloster is researching the family of her father John Morris Soles. She knew that John Morris, b 1923, was the son of another John Soles, b 1890, but her father had told her very little about his family and she was hoping we could fill in some gaps. This is the family of Bill Soles, who was one of our founder members and an avid researcher, and who was the source of much of our data on the family and several photos of them. By coincidence this is another family that we can only take back to someone born in the 1760s. The earliest ancestor we know of is William Soles, who married Ann Rose in Reading, Berkshire, in 1788. There were no other Sole events in or about Reading at this time so it seems he must have moved to the area shortly before his marriage and we’ve nothing to indicate where he was born.
Judy Steele, a long-standing member, is researching the family of her grandmother Jane Elizabeth Sole, who was born in Guelph, Canada on 15 Oct 1873. Jane’s grandparents John Sole and Elizabeth Rae and their two children emigrated to North America aboard the Great Eastern in 1863, settling first in New York. John was a Baptist minister and served in several churches before the family finally moved to Guelph. Judy has researched both the Canadian and English branches of her family, but until recently had been able to find no trace of John’s brother George after his baptism in Portsea, Hampshire, in 1809. However, she wrote to say that the mystery of what had happened to him was solved when she recently found his probate, dated 1879, in the New York records. That she’d found the right George was confirmed by the bequests he left to his brothers and sisters and their children. She has yet to find when he emigrated but the will indicates he had been in New York for some time and ran a business there, The English branch of Judy’s family has been traced back to Richard Sole and Mary Master who married at East Preston, Sussex, in 1594.