SOLE Co-ordinator’s Report August 2016

Maureen Storey By Maureen Storey

In this journal we welcome new members Catherine McFarlane and Amanda Sole.
Catherine is researching the family of Elizabeth Sowels, who married John Branford on 20 Sep 1713 in Rollesby, Norfolk. We have not so far been able to determine who Elizabeth’s parents were but it seems likely that she was related to William Sowels, whose children Mary and Thomas were baptised in Rollesby in 1701 and 1709 respectively.
We’ve had some difficulty contacting Amanda by e-mail and are still waiting to hear which family she is researching. An internet search on Mary Ann Sole led Bobbi Smith to our website
and an article written by Bob Sheldon in 2005. Bobbi is researching the family of John William Bowen, who married Sarah Ann Sayer in 1868 and Ada Hughes in 1881 but who by 1891 was living with Mary Sole and her four surviving children, Annie, Louie, Ethel and Cissie, in Margate. None of the birth certificates for Mary’s seven children (John was born in 1892 and Stanley in 1894) include the father’s name but it is believed that all except Annie, the eldest, were the children of John Bowen. Although each of their births is registered as Sole, they were brought up using the name Bowen and married/died as Bowens and at her death Mary was described as the widow of John Bowen. Mary was the daughter of John Sole and Elizabeth Castle and was born in 1855 in Deptford, where her father was a tallow chandler and her grandfather Thomas Sole worked as a sailmaker. Thomas was born in Sheerness, Kent, in about 1787 but his baptism has not been found.

Mary Sole, seated on right, common law wife of John Bowen whom Bobbi Smith is researching