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

SAUL Co-ordinator's Report - July 1998

By John Slaughter


In my Co-ordinator’s Report in Soul Search Vol.2 No.3, I mentioned that member Vincent Saull of Canada had not at that time got around to letting us know about his ancestors. Giving him what he called as ‘top billing’ did the trick because not long afterwards I received an email from Vincent. He did not have too much information but mentioned that he had an English cousin who had done some work on the family and Vincent kindly purchased a three year membership for her. Vincent’s cousin is Dorothy Marrs of Stoneleigh, Surrey and hope she will be able to provide details of their SAULL ancestry. Perhaps ‘top billing’ will work a second time.

Vincent had done some research on William Devonshire Saull, the antiquarian and amateur geologist, whose obituary in the Gentleman's Magazine was included in my Saul Report in Soul Search Vol.1 No.10. Vincent is a professor of geology and geophysics so shares a common vocation as well as a surname with W.D.S.

I am pleased to welcome three new members to the Society. Firstly, Lorraine Stacker who hails from Australia and whose maiden name was SAUL. Her great-great-grandfather, William Saul emigrated to Australia in the 1850s apparently together with his brother James. The brothers came from Cawston, Norfolk where parish records show that there had been SAULs in residence back to the 1760s. Lorraine has been able to provide me with a lot of information on the Australian descendants of William in New South Wales.

John Amos contacted the Society to enquire if we had any information about his ancestor Elizabeth Saul born in Walden Stubbs, Yorkshire in 1805. We did not have any definite information but knew that there were a good number of SAULs in the surrounding area. I was therefore delighted when John telephoned me to tell me about the wealth of information he had. Elizabeth Saul was born into a Catholic family and was baptised at the Catholic chapel at Burghwallis. John has done extensive research on the Catholic SAUL families and advises that in the registers of the Catholic chapels at Burghwallis and Tanshelf in Pontefract the SAULs make frequent appearances. He has identified SAUL family units from both the Catholic and Parish registers. Amongst this information, I found the family of James and Ann (nee Cawood) who had long been suspected as being the parents of a Michael Saul born in Norton, Yorkshire around 1796 but whose baptism had not been found. John found this baptism in the Tanself Catholic registers recorded on 10 October 1796. This news was of particular interest to member Jan Rogers who was stuck on Michael. There are probably two morals to this story. Firstly do not ignore non-conformity records. Secondly this is one of the benefits of being a member of the Society; even if we do not have the answer to your problem straight away, it may turn up in the records of a fellow researcher.

John mentions that, according to family legend, his SAULs claim descent from Sir Thomas More. He has not been able to confirm this legend, although he has found support for this in a book about the MORE family. If he can make a connection with Basil More, who died in 1709 at Barnborough near Doncaster, the pedigree can be proved. I am pleased that John has joined the Society.

The third new member is Adrian Tedstone. Adrian is just starting out on his maternal surname of SAULL. He mentions that his grandfather Arthur Saull started looking for his ancestors in the 1960s but did not leave many documents. It is believed that Adrian’s great-grandfather came from Gayton, Northants. I know from the Census that there was a SAULL family there in 1881 so it will be interesting to see if a connection can be established.

Finally I must record my thanks to Maureen and Tony Storey. Maureen has offered to chart the Cornwall SAWLEs using data from both the IGI and other Cornish publications. Tony has offered to extract SAULs from the GRO indexes. Both of these projects will be extremely valuable to the Society and therefore of help to both current and future members. I am very grateful to them both for the assistance and hope that it will encourage others to come forward to offer their services, particularly those with SAUL interests where we are desperately short of helpers.

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