SOLE Co-ordinator’s Report December 2013

Maureen Storey By Maureen Storey

In this journal we are very pleased to welcome two new members: Derek Sole and Terry Sole.
While searching the Internet, Derek spotted an article about his grandfather Alfred Charles Sole (1873-1960) that first appeared in the December 2011 edition of Soul Search and he wrote to give us information about his branch of the family. Derek has been in New Zealand since 1956 and has consequently lost touch with many of his UK relatives and so was very pleased when we were able to put him in touch with Eric Kennett, the author of the article and Derek’s first cousin. Derek and Eric’s male line has been traced back to William Soal and Sarah Holmans, who married in St Martin’s Church, Herne, Kent, on the 4 Jan 1768. However, they are also members of another Sole family: their great grandmother Sarah (nee Goodban) Sole (1851-1927) was a descendant of William Sole and Ann Tanner, who married at St Alphege’s Church, Canterbury, Kent, on 10 October 1733.
Terry saw his uncle Walter Sole’s army records on the Society website. These showed that Walter had enlisted in 1915 but that he had been demobilised later that year when the Army found out that he was underage (he was only 16 on enlistment). Terry wrote to point out that his uncle had in fact re-enlisted as soon as he reached 18 and had sadly been killed in Belgium on 27 October 1917, aged just 19. Terry knew that his grandparents Walter and Caroline Sole, lived in Dulwich, where his grandfather drove a horse drawn ambulance for Dulwich hospital, and he had been told there was some connection with Norfolk but not what that connection was. We have been able to help Terry follow his family back from Dulwich to William Sole and Hannah Staff, who married in Tivetshall, Norfolk, on 25 December 1775. Terry’s great grandfather John Sole (1837-1880) moved from North Walsham, NFK, to south London in the mid-1800s.
David Walker wrote to us from Argentina asking if we had any information on his great-great grandparents John Walker and Elizabeth Soole who he believed married in England in the 1870s/1880s. Their son James, who is thought to have been born in the 1880s migrated to Argentina in 1917. James became ill shortly after arrival and eventually ended up in a mental hospital so the family did not have the opportunity to learn about his background directly from him. David was hoping that we’d at least be able to help him pinpoint where in the UK he should start looking for information. Unfortunately, we could find no trace of a John Walker –Elizabeth Soole marriage, so were unable to help.
A patent (US patent 902616) granted on 3 Jan 1908 to John Walker Flavell Sole, Arthur Farley and Joseph Mackle for an improved railcar coupling sparked a query from Bill Marcroft. Bill was researching his Marcroft ancestors when he came across this patent (both Arthur Farley and Joseph Mackle married into the Marcroft family) and wondered how and where the three inventors came to be working together. We knew a little about John Walker Flavell Sole from information given to the Society by member Judy Steele who is his great granddaughter but nothing about a patent. After further research Judy was able to establish that Albert Farley had at one time worked for the bakery that the Sole family ran in Guelph, Ontario, but how this led on to an engineering patent is still unresolved. An internet search did, however, reveal that this was not the only patent granted to John W F Sole – in 1882 he was granted one on ‘Improvements to Furnaces’.