The Sole Society, a Family History Society researching Sole, Saul, Sewell, Solley and similar names

SAUL Co-ordinator's Report - March 2000

By John Slaughter

Enquiries continue to be received, largely by email, and as a result of our web site. Increasingly the enquiries are from people who are not family historians but have discovered our web site as a result of doing a search on their name. Typically the enquirer will ask whether we know anything about their grandfather and give a little information. Sometimes I know very little and can do little more than speculate. Sometimes I know a great deal. Either way I try and encourage their initial interest, hoping to extract more information and obtain a new member. Often I find that there is no further response, which is frustrating. However I console myself by hoping that I have planted a seed and that either the enquirer or a family member may at some future time take a keener interest and the seed may flourish into a tree.

One enquiry that led to several exchanges of email was from a Lyndon Saul. He originally told me that his grandfather Joseph Saul had married in 1918 in the Cardiff area. Further coaxing resulted in the information that Joseph was in fact his great grandfather, his grandfather being a Sulliavan Saul who had married Mary Elizabeth THOMAS on 18 March 1918. Based on his age as shown on the marriage certificate Sulliavan would have been born around 1889. Looking at the GRO indexes I could not find a Sullivan however there was a Stephen SALLE registered in the June 1889 quarter in the Cardiff registration district which may have been him. On checking the 1881 census all the Saul households seemed to have Cornish connections so my suspicion is that Lyndon’s ancestry will go back to the SAWLEs of Cornwall.

Another enquiry with a SAWLE connection was received via Maureen from a Pat Nichols. On checking records I found that some years previous Pat had sent us a copy of her SAWLE family tree which went back to an Edward and Jane who had nine children baptised at Veryan, Cornwall between 1807 and 1826. When I compared this with the charts that Maureen had prepared these contained not only the marriage of Edward and Jane SPRY in 1805 but also a couple of likely earlier generations.

Nikki Ball (nee Saul) wrote that she was searching for information on her father’s ancestry and had established that her great grandfather was Jonathon Saul who had married Jane Dixon, when and where not known. Her grandfather was William Charles Saul born on 27 July 1871 in Maryport, Cumberland and who married Margaret Tindall on 11 November 1908 in Birkenhead. I was able to tell Nikki that this was the same line that our member Alma Merritt is researching. The 1881 census again came in handy as I found therein a household at 57 Nelson Street, Crosscanonby, Cumberland which contained a William Charles Saul, aged 9 years, grandson, born Maryport and clearly Nikki’s grandfather. WILLIAM DIXON, aged 70 years headed the household. A search did not reveal the whereabouts of Jonathon or Jane so possibly they could have died pre 1881 leaving the children to be brought up by their grandparents. Alma has Jonathon’s date of baptism as 3 October 1819 at Maryport but I think more research is needed to verify this.

The next enquiry came from Ian Saul. His grandfather was a William Saul who is believed to have migrated to Tees-side from Barrow in Furness in the early part of the 20th century. Ian gave no other dates but I knew there were Saul families at Barrow in Furness from the 1881 census, and the earlier generations of these families are known. Looking at the census, in one household was a William Saul, aged 8 years. Could this be Ian’s grandfather? If so, then Ian will be related to our member Eileen Wolfenden. The head of the household was a Daniel Saul who was born at Witherslack, Lancs. We have a lot of information on the earlier generations supplied by both Eileen and Mrs Atkinson (non-member who supplied substantial information some years ago and about whom I have written in previous updates).

The frustration I mention above turns to real pleasure when an enquiry results in both a wealth of new information and a new member. Such was the case with Norman Saul. Norman had taken over the family history research started by his son Graham. Some years ago Graham had contacted me to enquire if I knew anything about his great grandfather Fred Ingham Saul. At the time I was unable to help. Norman has now sent me a large family tree that shows that Fred Ingham Saul who was born at Habergham Eaves, Burnley on 3 January 1879. He was the fifth child of seven born to Robert Saul and Mary Ann HARKER. Robert in turn was the son of a Matthew and Ann HOYLE who were married at Habergham Eaves on 10 November 1845. Here however the tree becomes a little speculative as the baptism of Matthew has yet to be located. There is some evidence that the Habergham Eaves SAULs came from Chipping in Lancashire and Norman believes that Matthew is the son of a Robert Saul and Mary PROCTOR of Chipping. If this link can be proved the line can go back a further generation to Matthew Saul and Mary HEY. Norman speculates that this Matthew came from Tatham, Lancs.

However, as family historians often say, each link has to be proved so current efforts are being concentrated on firmly establishing the identity of the Matthew at Habergham Eaves. He appears to have been a military man as on the marriage certificate of his son, Robert, his occupation is given as Artillery Private. This may explain why he is elusive on censuses. There is however a Matthew on the 1881 census at Birmingham which may well be him. It looks as if this Matthew had married a widow a few years previous and this fits in well with Norman’s research, which shows that Matthew’s wife Ann had died in 1877. I have given Norman a couple of GRO references for what appear to be the marriage and death of the 1881 Matthew. The census gives the place of birth as Preston. I can find no such Matthew in the Preston records but if Matthew originated from Chipping this can probably be explained. Chipping is a small village a few miles north of Preston, and unlikely to be known in Birmingham. When asked where born, Matthew may well have given the name of the nearest big town i.e. Preston.

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