By Maureen Storey
In this journal we welcome new members David Sole and Kevin Soles and welcome back Sally Pillen after an absence of a few years.
David is the grandson of Donald Bell Sole, one of our very early members. Donald had traced his family back to Alfred and Caroline (née Pankhurst) Sole, who emigrated to South Africa in the 1850s and David is interested in both extending his grandfather’s work in South Africa and also investigating their English roots. Those English roots can be found in the Sole families who lived and worked in the dockyards on the Isle of Sheppey. The earliest record we have for David and Donald’s family is the marriage of John Sole and Mary Packman on 24 Mar 1695 at Eastchurch, Isle of Sheppey. John was a master carpenter as evidenced by apprentice tax records that show he took on Henry Breadstreet as an apprentice in 1713.
Kevin is a member of our largest Gloucestershire family. Kevin’s great grandfather Thomas Soul was born in Sherborne, Gloucestershire, in 1842. In 1872 he married Elizabeth Mary Gee in her home village of Chadlington, OXF, and the couple seem to have spent the rest of their lives in Chadlington and its surrounding villages. They had three children of whom the youngest William Edwin was Kevin’s grandfather. The family has
been traced back to William Soul and his first wife Mary Sansom, who married in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, in 1749.
When Sally first contacted us she was investigating the family of her grandmother Henrietta Sole (b 1898, Islington, Middlesex). Henrietta’s birth certificate named her parents as William Sole and Mary Barham, while her marriage certificate gave her father as William John Sole. Sally had been unable to find the family in the latest census then available, which was the 1901. She also hadn’t been able to find a Sole/Barham marriage and didn’t know where to look for William’s family, though family lore said there was a connection with March, Cambridge. It seemed to me that the most likely candidate for William was a John William Sole who was born in Somersham in 1874 but there was no way to verify (or disprove) this. The 1911 census, which gave William’s age as 36 and his place of birth as Chatteris, added credence to the identification, but the difference in forenames left a niggling doubt in Sally’s mind. DNA evidence has now firmly linked Sally’s great grandfather to the Somersham family and Sally can now follow her family back to William Sole and Sarah Berry, who married in Willingham, Cambridge, in 1783