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

SAUL Co-ordinator's Report April 2004

by John Slaughter  

I have been pleased to welcome three new members to the Society since my last report. A common thread with all three is that I had had earlier correspondence with them that had seemingly become dormant. However, as I have said before, sometimes what is being laid are seeds for the future. 

With Derek Sawle I had had a brief exchange of correspondence back in May 2002. After further research Derek came back to me to advise that he has now established that his great grandfather was an Isaac Sawle who had been baptised at Gerrans, Cornwall in 1828. Isaac had moved away from Cornwall and on the 1881 census was found at Liscard in Cheshire. It was here that Derek’s grandfather Charles Isaac Sawle was born in 1879. By the time of the 1901 census the family was at Walton on the Hill, Liverpool. Charles had married by then and had a 4-month-old son James. I was able to connect Isaac with the largest family tree we have for the Cornish Sawles and which contained 214 individuals. This chart is linked back to a Richard Sawell baptised at Gerrans on 7 March 1633. We can now add Derek’s line to this chart.

The second new member is Susan Walton. When Susan joined I checked back through my correspondence and found that we have exchanged correspondence in May and June 2000. From this I knew that her great grandmother was Mary Jane Saul, the daughter of Robert Saul and Jane Wise of Preston, Lancs. I knew quite a lot about these Sauls from research done by Trevor Saul and who we believe is distantly related to Susan. It was Robert Saul who founded the Saul Nurseries in Preston and Trevor has written several articles for Soul Search about him. A photograph of Robert Saul appears in our gallery. Trevor and Susan have since exchanged further information.

It was again back in June 2000 when I had exchanged brief correspondence with Diane Martin of Florida, USA. She was looking for the roots of her grandfather Robert Edward Saul. She was unsure whether he was born in Liverpool or the USA but knew that he had died in 1928 at the age of 41 years. His parents were Robert Wallace Saul and Emily (nee Anderton). The family were believed to have emigrated to the USA sometime between 1885 and 1900. Based on this information I found a possible GRO birth index entry for a Robert Edward Saul in the March 1888 quarter in the Liverpool Registration District. I suggested that the birth certificate be obtained. I heard nothing further until being informed that Diane had joined. On re establishing contact we decided that to make progress we needed to obtain the birth certificates for both Robert Edward Saul and Robert Wallace Saul. The certificate for Robert Edward confirmed that he was indeed the son of Robert Saul and Emily formerly Anderton. The occupation of the father was given as Gentleman. The birth certificate for Robert Wallace Saul stated that he was born in 1845 in Kirkdale, West Derby, Liverpool the son of George Saul and Jane formerly Hanway. George’s occupation was given as a merchant. Our records do not contain a great deal of information on the Liverpool Sauls but I did come across some genealogical information provided to the Society in 1995 by a Mrs Dill-Jones. This information had come into her possession as a great aunt had researched the family history. The information was headed “Some Descendants of John Saul” and it was stated that this John Saul was buried at Downpatrick Cathedral.

Amongst the descendants I found a George Saul who had married a Jane Byrne in Liverpool. The couple are shown as having five children, namely Margaret, Marcella, George, Edward and Robert. There is little information of what became of the children or their father George. It is stated that George was the founder of the “Blackhall” steamship line. From further research I believe that the steamship line was called “Black Ball” but George was certainly not the founder. The only additional information given about Jane Byrne is that she died at Waterloo, Liverpool.

Though the maiden names of the mothers differed I thought there could be a connection. Looking at the 1881 census the only entry that fitted with Robert Wallace Saul was a Robert, unmarried, aged 36 years born Liverpool, a commission agent. He was a boarder in the household of Marcella Polding a widow, aged 34 years, born Liverpool. The list provided by Mrs Dill-Jones showed that Marcella, the daughter of George and Jane had firstly married a William Polden. Marcella and Robert therefore look like brother and sister.

I now believe that their father George Saul is the same George Saul that is mentioned in the Saul Coordinators Report of April 1995 as being an emigrant passenger broker and who gave evidence before the Select Committee on the Passengers Act in 1851. Further research showed that George Saul had his offices at 36 Waterloo Street, Liverpool.

The life and times of George Saul and the Irish Emigration Trade would make a fascinating story of its own. However for now we are concerned to establish if this George Saul is the father of Robert Wallace Saul. If we could find George, Jane and family on the 1851 Liverpool census this might be the breakthrough that we need. I do not have ready access to this. If any member has and could do a look up I would be grateful.

Member Gwen Hackett sends me interesting Saul Snippets. Recently she referred on to me a message placed on the Wirral List of Rootsweb by a Tam Large who was primarily interested in connections with her Rundle and Mott ancestors. Gwen noticed that a Henrietta Atwool Rundle was shown as marrying a George Beamish Saul, a Wesleyan Minister. I had come across this name before; it was on the list of “Descendants of John Saul”, the same document as referred to above. George Beamish Saul was one of three brothers who came to the UK from Ireland and were Wesleyan Ministers. The others were William Beamish Saul and Robert Beamish Saul. The latter married Henrietta’s sister Evangeline Blake Rundle. I have corresponded with Tam and hope that between us we will be able to establish contact with Mrs Dill-Jones.

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