By Maureen Storey
In this journal we welcome two new members, J Keith Sowell and Jane Showering, and also welcome back Jenny Jemison.
Keith has done a considerable amount of work on his Sowell/Sewell family in the USA and traces his line back to Thomas Sowell, who arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, aboard The George in 1619. He has told us that he is currently trying to prove/disprove the theory that Thomas was the son of Henry Sewell, who was born in Coventry, Warwick, in 1576.
Jane is researching both Sole and Sewell but has yet to give us any details of the Sole family in which she is interested.
Jenny first joined the Society in 2005 when she approached us looking for the family of Sarah Sole who was born in Edmonton in 1825. In 2005, although we knew who Sarah’s parents were we could take the family back no further. However, since then we’ve found the evidence that establishes that Sarah is a member of the Kelshall family.
Diana Phillips’ query regarding her grandmother Isabel Millicent Sole, which was reported in the last journal, demonstrated how poor our records for Sole families in South Africa were. In order to improve this I’ve been looking at the South African records that are freely available on line. The major sources proved to be www.familysearch.org and www.1820settlers.com and using these it has been possible to make significant additions to three of our families.
The Pietermaritzburg Estate Papers on familysearch revealed who Isabel Millicent’s parents were, as she is listed as one of the six children of Tremenheere Charles Sole on his death notice. Although Tremenheere’s baptism has not yet been found, his unusual Christian name indicates that he was the son of Alfred and Caroline (nee Pankhurst) Sole, who emigrated to South Africa in 1850 (one of Caroline’s brothers was called Tremyneer). We previously had data on the descendants of Alfred and Caroline’s son Henry, but we’ve now been able to add the families of Tremenheere and of William, another of Alfred and Caroline’s children. Alfred was a member of one of our Kent families: his father Thomas Sole and grandfather William Sole both worked in Sheerness Dockyards, Thomas as a shipwright and William as a sailmaker.
George and Jane (nee Larner) Soul and their children John, William and Fanny, emigrated to South Africa in 1860. The South African records show that by the time George died in about 1869 they had had a further five children, three boys and two girls. We now have families for six of the couple’s children. When he emigrated Alfred was described as a labourer and gardener, but it seems likely that he had some connection with the South African Railway as four of his five sons became engine drivers and the fifth was a fitter for the railway. George was baptised in Northleach, Gloucestershire, in 1829 and was the son of William Soul and Avis Sims. Philip Sole, the son of Philip and Mary (nee Lush) was baptised at St.Mary’s, Portsea, Hampshire, on 10 March 1817 and until accessing the South African records that was all we knew about him. However, the Death Notices for Cape Province tell us that he worked as a carpenter in HM Dockyard Simonstown, that he received a naval pension and that when he died in 1887 he was a widower with four children (Elizabeth, 21, Philip Richard, 19, Henry William, 17, and Mary Ann, 13). Philip had, in fact, married twice in South Africa; his first wife, who was the mother of his four children, was Mary Ann Brewett and then after her death in 1864 he married Maria Cock, a widow. Philip’s family have been traced back to Richard Sole and Mary Master, who married in East Preston, Sussex in 1594.
St Mary’s Portsea where Philip Sole was baptised in1817