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

Saul Co-ordinator's Report - March 1997

By John Slaughter

I have slowly been extracting the SAULs from the 1881 census indexes. This is going to be a long process because not only is my time limited but also there are a large number of SAUL households in some counties. I could do with some help on this; any volunteers? At the time of preparing this report I have completed 22 counties but 7 of these produced NIL returns. The biggest county I have completed so far is London-Middlesex where there was a large number. I have made a start on Lancashire which is a big SAUL county and is going to keep me occupied for a good while. I haven't even looked at Yorkshire, Cumberland, Westmoreland yet; I might get too depressed if I did, hence my plea for help. If anyone is interested please telephone me and I can advise on the counties I have already completed.

This exercise is proving to be very worthwhile though and helps us add considerable detail to charts prepared from the IGI. Preston, Lancs. is a case in point where I have recently finished extracting the SAUL households. When this information was compared to the charts it helped to clarify a number of issues that could not be resolved by reference to the IGI alone. In one instance I had two families of William and Alice and could not identify to which parents some of the children belonged. The census information solved the problem. I was also surprised to find that I had as many as 7 households with a Preston born head that I had no information on. On consulting The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers, which I have recently bought, I discovered that only the St John entries are in the IGI. The Holy Trinity church records start in 1815 so a good number of the missing events could be there. Non conformity probably also plays a part. 

Last September I fancied a few days holiday in the Cotswolds. I wondered if we had any SAULs in the area that needed to be researched. Yes, we did. We had some information about those at Evenlode which is only a few miles from Stow-on-the-Wold, but the information was sketchy. This made my decision easy. One day, I found myself in Gloucester Record Office eagerly reading the microfiche of the Evenlode parish records. Here I found a marriage of William Saull and Patience Field on 14 October 1802. They were both single and of the parish. They had five children baptised at Evenlode between 1803 and 1810. Patience was buried on 16 July 1637 and William remarried an Ann Cole on 22 December 1838, his occupation then being given as parish clerk. I had begun to suspect this whilst I was looking at the marriage registers and noted how many times he signed as a witness, they couldn’t all be relations. William was buried at Evenlode on 23 March 1852 aged 76 years. I was delighted to find that William had survived until after the 1851 census and wonder if other family historians are like me in offering up a silent prayer of thanks. 

As William appeared to be the founder of the Evenlode SAULs, I eagerly turned to the 1851 census and discovered that his birthplace was given as Banbury, Oxon., and his age as 74. I knew that we had a large number of charts for the Banbury SAULs which Rosemary had produced as she is a descendant. I had to wait to return home to consult these charts but expected to find that they would show a William Saul baptised c1774/1776 for whom nothing further was known. There was indeed a William Saul baptised at Banbury on 27 October 1776 but on consulting the charts found that we had married him off to a Mary Satchwell on 6 May 1799. I now suspect that the William who married Marv was the one baptised at Banbury on 24 September 1782. It looks as if a significant rewriting of the charts is required. It is perhaps appropriate to reiterate here that our charts are working copies and many of the connections are made on the basis of best guesses using the available material. Members need to carry out their own research to verify the information. 

I have three more new SAUL interest members to tel1 you about, which makes a total of eight in the last twelve months. I am very pleased with this and am sure that with Rosemary's efforts as Publicity Officer and Tim's as the Internet Liaison Officer we can look forward to a steady flow of new recruits. 

Jan Rogers maiden name was SAUL and though she was born in the Isle of Wight, her SAUL ancestors came from Yorkshire. Her father and grandfather were born in Rotherham and previous generations have been traced to Campsall. There is likely to be some connection between Jan and fellows member Vashti Waterhouse in Australia who also has Campsall connections. Jan has kindly provided me with some details from the Campsall and surrounding areas registers and has other information on the SAULs in Yorkshire. I know that Yorkshire is another large SAUL county that so far we have hardly touched. 

Yorkshire however is also the county of Janette Saul's ancestors. I think her information has come from family sources and she has information back to her great-great-grandfather, John Joseph Saul who married in Sheffield in 1670. Her great-grandfather John William Saul was born in Tickhill, Yorkshire on 22 October 1873. I have suggested to Janette that she looks for the family on the 1881 census index which should indicate the place of John Joseph's birth. 

Lastly Phiilipa Saul of Canada has recently joined the Society. Phillipa was born in High Easter, Essex but appears to have emigrated to Canada with her parents. Her father Herbert William Saul was born in Kentish Town, Middlesex on 28 June 1883 the son of John Henry Saul and Kate Leach. I found John Henry on the 1881 census index in Hackney, Middlesex aged 30 years and which gave his place of birth as Norwich Norfolk. Despite having a large volume of data on the Norfolk SAULs, I had no record of John Henry's birth in Norwich c1851.  

However, what intrigued me in particular was that the birthplace of Phillipa's mother was Stalham, Norfolk. We already have a sizeable family tree of the SAUL’s at Stalham and from correspondence with Phillipa there looks a strong possibility that her ancestors will also fit onto this tree, though we have a missing link to find first. What is becoming increasingly clear is that Stalham is playing a major part in the history of the Norfolk SAULs.

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