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

SAUL Co-ordinator's Report April 2002

by John Slaughter  

Welcome to new member Mary J Saul Morgan of Illinois. Mary has connections to the Sauls in the Doncaster area and has had correspondence with John Amos. Mary’s grandfather is William Saul who was born in the village of Norton in the parish of Campsall where he was baptised on 18 June 1837. He emigrated to America by way of Canada the same route taken by his uncle John.

New enquiries have brought in a good deal of new and exciting information.

One such came from Bernard Huntingdon who was trying to trace a connection to a Hull shipping line. It was thought this might be through an Ann Hindley nee Saul, who had recently died. Apparently family papers on this had been destroyed when she remarried. Bernard was fortunate though to have access to a family bible, which contained a good deal of information on births, marriages and deaths.

From this he was able to construct a family tree. The earliest Saul mentioned was a Thomas Saul born at Knottingley, Yorkshire on 19 November 1832. We know that he was baptised at Tanshelf Catholic Chapel on 8 January 1833 and was the son of Michael Saul and Elizabeth Wood. He married a Hannah Spence on 30 August 1859 and had five sons born between 1860 and 1869. Bernard’s information provided some very useful information of what became of the sons, in particular Tom Saul who moved with his family to Salford and where later descendants can be found.

None of this however has established the Hull connection but Bernard has been in correspondence with Hull Archives Department who have been very helpful. They found three Sauls who were ship owners, a John Saul from Hull who owned the Friends in 1856, a John Saul of Liverpool who owned the Favourite in 1862 and a William Saul of Hull who owned the Mansfield in 1804.

There were a large number of Spences who were ship owners so the connection may be through this line. Hull Archives also added that Knottingley was the “hub” of an inland waterway system that fed cargo to Hull and there were many seafaring connections between the two places.

Gwen Hackett from Australia has also provided much useful information. Her grandfather was a John Saul who we managed to locate as a two year old on the 1881 census in Gateshead. His parents were a Joseph Saul and Elizabeth (nee Miller) and it appears that the whole family emigrated to Australia around 1883. In total they appear to have had 11 children, some of which were born in the UK and some in Australia. Joseph died in 1912 in Sydney, NSW and Gwen has obtained his death certificate. The information it contains is amazing. Apart from the normal information it also has sections for Name and Occupation of Father, Name and Maiden Name of Mother, Where born, How Long in Australia, Place of Marriage Age and to Whom, and Children of Marriage.

Unfortunately the details of mother and father were largely left blank, but it believed from family information that Joseph’s father was a John Duer Saul. We think that he is the John Duer Saul baptised at Kirklington, Cumberland on 26 October 1817 the son of Emanuel Saul and Nancy (nee Dewar). If this is correct then it would appear that John Duer Saul who married Margaret Dougherty in 1842 moved to Durham as this is given as Joseph’s birthplace both on the 1881 census and the death certificate. If we can establish this connection then the Saul line will go back to Holm Cultram, Cumberland and a marriage in 1585.

I have had some very interesting correspondence with a lady who is a local historian for the village of Gayton in Northants where we have Saulls. She recently published a book on Gayton as a community project supported by the Heritage Lottery Funding and is planning another volume on Glimpses of Gayton hoping to use family history information. We have a couple of members who are descendants of the Gayton Saulls but I do not believe that they have any first hand knowledge. However I have provided what family history information I have. In return I am being fed back snippets of information.

The earliest Saull at Gayton was a William who married there in 1787, who I had linked to a William baptised at Byfield. I did not know William’s occupation but thought it likely that he was a cooper. This has now been confirmed, further strengthening the theory of the Byfield connection as a good number of the Byfield Sauls were coopers including who we assume is William’s father.

Another enquiry from Australia came from Grace Oakley asking if we had any information on her grandfather William Saul born around 1895 in Warcop, Cumbria. He became an orphan and went to live with his Uncle Tom. He had brothers James and John who emigrated to America and two other brothers Edward and Joseph who stayed in the Penrith area. I have an idea where this family connects but certificates are required which Grace is obtaining.

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