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

SAUL Co-ordinator's Report April 2003

by John Slaughter  

Hopefully by the time that you read this most of our Saul members will have obtained the Saul CD-ROM and be making good use of the vast amount of data contained therein.

This data has been accumulated over the years from the efforts of many people but special thanks have to go to Tony Storey and Tim Soles for their tireless efforts in turning the idea into a reality. Armed with this databank we hope that it will enable members to take their research into new areas, make further connections and discoveries and, of course, feed this back to the Society for the benefit of all.

As has been said before family history is not a collection of names, dates and places, it is about the lives of our ancestors. I have found from my own researches how exciting it is to discover more about the lives and times through which our ancestors lived. We need feedback on how useful members find the CD-Rom, so do please let me know.

Since my last report, three new members have joined us. Firstly Steve Edwards, who was briefly mentioned in the last journal, has become a member. Steve has a good deal of data on the Horley Sauls and we are currently comparing notes.

I had some correspondence a few years back with Ian Saul and this was mentioned in my report in the March 2000 journal. Looking back at that report I was obviously feeling in a frustrated mood as I was lamenting that often initial enquires were not followed up. However I did add the sentence ďI 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.Ē These words could not have been more prophetic for recently Ian re-established connect, joined the Society and provided some information on his grandfather and great grandfather.

Ian advised that his grandfather was a John William Saul who was born on 14th July 1892 at Barrow in Furness. His grandfather was John Silver Saul and the family moved to Middlesbrough in the early part of the twentieth century. John William Saul married Edna Parvin in 1914 at Middlesbrough and they had nine children. From the GRO indexes and the 1901 census I have been able to establish that John Silver Saul was born in Priors Marston, Warwickshire in approximately 1863. This then tied in perfectly with a family of James Thomas Griffin Saul and his wife Ann who moved from Priors Marston to Barrow and who appear on the 1881 census at 3 Hertford Street, Barrow. In the household are the children John, aged 17 a hoop bundlar born Marston Warwickshire, Ann aged 10 born Marston Warwickshire and Thomas aged 1 born Barrow. We can now add Ianís family to a family tree that already contained 268 individuals and goes back to the mid 1600s at Horley, Oxon.

I thought my Saul connection was a bit distant, but not as distant as that of Judith Elgie, who found that her 5 x great grandmother was a Sarah Saul baptised at Tunstead, Norfolk on 19th January 1764. Sarahís parents were John Saul and Frances Tinker who married at Tunstead in 1750. I had a small chart for this family but it rather peters out in the male line. I have a theory that there may be a link between this family and the Sauls at Stalham, Norfolk, in that John Saul, the patriarch of the Stalham Sauls, could be another child of John and Frances. However, hard evidence is lacking.

As usual there have been a number of new enquiries and the more noteworthy of these are mentioned below.

Michael Tucker is trying to find out more about a family mystery. His grandfather was an Ernest Sawle and it appears that after he separated from his wife some of the children stayed with him in Cornwall and some went to live with their mother. Naturally the two sides of the family have drifted apart and Michael is keen to find out more. I have given Michael some GRO references to follow up though some of these seem to conflict with Michaelís information, no doubt a case of chinese whispers.

Christopher Cooper has connections with the Oldbury Sauls and has a photograph of his grandmother and great grandmother taken about 1920. He is interested in correspondence with interested parties. At the time of writing I am awaiting more specific information.

Bob Harvey has Scottish Saul connections on his maternal side. His grandfather was a William Saul from the Isle of Arran and born in the 1880ís. He had a variety of occupations including a market gardener and coal miner and died in 1955 at Glespin, Douglas, Lanarkshire. The only Scottish Sauls I know about are not far from the border with Cumbria, which is where I suspect they originated from. Bobís grandfather is close by so some research in the Scottish archives may produce results. I hope to hear more.

Finally Norman Saul has been corresponding with Ian Robinson in Hong Kong. Ian has established Preston connections back to a Robert Saul and Ellen Fishwick who married at Preston in 1835. We know of nine children born to this couple. Further back the connections become hazy and involve a certain amount of guesswork. We think that Robert was born in 1814 and was the son of Robert Saul and Mary Wesley.

When I researched the Preston Sauls some years ago the main difficulty I encountered was that most of the early Sauls were named Robert and distinguishing one from another was very difficult. We seem to be dealing with five if not six Robert Sauls that moved to Preston in the early part of the 1800s when Preston grew dramatically in size.

I eventually found sufficient information to make a reasonable stab at the family trees, though some of it was guesswork and there are a good number of unanswered questions n

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