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

SAUL Co-ordinator's Report August 2004

by John Slaughter  


We welcome two new members to the Society. Firstly, Margaret Saul who is interested in finding out more about her husband's ancestors on behalf of their two sons Peter and Nicholas. Her husband Edmund Thomas Saul was born in Liverpool in 1923 and had a brother Thomas born in 1925. Their parents died whilst the boys were in their teens and they knew of no relatives other than a maternal aunt who had predeceased their mother.


It was believed that their mother's maiden name was Manning and I was able to confirm this from the GRO birth indexes. The indexes also showed that in addition to Edmund and Thomas there was three other children, all of whom died as infants namely John (1914 1915), Alice M (1917 1920) and Jane A (1920 1921). Checking the GRO marriage index revealed an entry in 1913 for an Edmund Saul who married a Manning in the Toxteth Park registration district. Understanding that the mother's name was Jane Manning I checked the death indexes to see if there were any entries that could relate to an Edmund Saul and Jane Saul dying around the 1940s. I found in March 1940 a Jane Saul, aged 48, Liverpool South and in March 1941 a Edward P Saul, age 50, Birkenhead which seemed to fit quite well with the known facts. If we have found the correct entry then Edward (Edmund) P would have been born around 1891. The birth indexes showed an entry in March 1891 of an Edmund Patrick Saul born in the Toxteth Park district. Margaret is in the process of obtaining the certificates that should help to confirm all of this and hopefully enable us to get back further.


The second new member is Jack Earl. My first contact with Jack was back in 1991, pre Sole Society days. Jack believed that his Saul ancestors came from Great Yarmouth, which was not far from where my own Saul ancestors were at Mundesley. Jack told me that his mother was born Constance Saul. She had been born in Leeds but had come from a Norfolk family. Her father, Joseph Henry Gott Saul had moved to Holbeck to run a teacher training centre, but had died young. Constance was only 2 years of age when her father had died and her mother brought the family of three children back to Norfolk. Jack's belief that the family originated in Great Yarmouth was evidenced by an inscription in a book Goldsmith's "Animated Nature" which read "James Saul, Kings Head Row, Yarmouth, 1842". At that time I could not tell Jack anything further.


I had written to Jack some years ago telling him about the Sole Society. He came across this again recently when having a paper turn out and it renewed his interest. I was now able to tell him quite a bit more. Joseph Holland Gott Saul died on 21 March 1883 at St Clement's Hill, Norwich leaving an estate worth 284-4s-6d. On the 1881 census he was at 1 Bath Road, Holbeck, Yorkshire, aged 31, a schoolmaster in an elementary school. The household included his wife Sophia, their three children Henry J B, Beatrice M and Constance, his father James and a servant Alice Cheshire. It looks therefore as if Joseph came back to Norfolk prior to his death, perhaps because he was ill.


Joseph had been born in Great Yarmouth in 1849. His father James, who had married a widow Eliza Sowell, was born in Mundesley in 1806. I can link James back a further two generations from the Mundesley records, back to a John Saul who married a Mary Bower in 1750 and had five children baptised at Mundesley. I cannot however positively connect to my own Saul tree, though I suspect that all the Sauls at Mundesley have a common patriarch back in the mid 17th century.


Next an update from my report in the last journal. I mentioned there the ancestry of member Diane Martin and the need for a look up on the Liverpool 1851 census. Subsequently I found on the Federation website "FamilyHistoryOnline" a part transcription of the Liverpool 1851 census.  This revealed that the household of George Saul, the emigrant passenger agent, did indeed include a Robert aged 5 years. Though the transcription did not give relationships it is reasonable to assume that Robert was a son. This is the only Robert in the census that could be the Robert Wallace Saul born in 1845. The marriage certificate of George and his wife Jane was then obtained that confirmed that Jane's maiden name was Hanway. It all fitted and we can now be confident that we have linked Diane's ancestors to George, the emigrant passenger agent. We do not know what became of George. It is quite likely that having assisted so many others to emigrate he reserved a place for himself.


A number of interesting new enquiries have been received. One of particular interest to me was an enquiry from a Shiralee Kerrison Saul. She wrote that her Saul family had come from Norwich and had become very interwoven with another family called Kerrison. She stated that her grandfather Edward Ronald Saul had drawn up a family tree in the 1960s with links back to about the 16th century. From my own research on the Norfolk Sauls I had established a Saul/Kerrison family and where subsequent Saul generations frequently used Kerrison as a family name. It was clear that the practice had continued to the present day. The main chart I had linked back to a John Saul and Phoebe Kerrison. They had married in October 1817 at St Clement Dane, Westminster, though three of their children were baptised at Acle, Norfolk. My chart did not however extend to the 20th century descendants. I found Edward Ronald Saul in the GRO birth indexes for 1903 in the Reigate, Surrey registration district but do not have the information that will link to the existing chart. I am hoping Shiralee will follow up her enquiry.


I was copied in on correspondence between Eric Sewell and Sandra Fulton, which mainly concerned the de Sully name. Sandra mentioned that the name Saul was a common one in Philadelphia and is the name of one of the city's early Quaker families. Many still live there and there are 14 Saul families in the local telephone directory. She believes that the Sauls have been in Philadelphia for many generations, over 300 years. What particularly interested me is that we have a sizeable Saul population of the Quaker tradition in Cumberland. Indeed Sauls played a significant part in the Quaker tradition becoming established in Cumberland in the first place and a number were persecuted and imprisoned for their beliefs. It is therefore entirely possible that some of them may have emigrated to the USA and there could be a link.  

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