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

SAUL Co-ordinator's Report November 1995

by John Slaughter

Rosemary has found it increasingly difficult, with young Nicholas requiring constant attention, to find the time to undertake the role of SAUL co-ordinator. I have therefore agreed to take over for the time being.

Since the previous Saul Co‑ordinator's report, we have welcomed some new Saul interest members to the Society.

Jim and Eileen Heaton have obviously been busy researching all lines of Jim's family tree. One branch includes a Sarah Saul who mar­ried John Slater at Manchester Cathedral on 10 March 1851. Her age on marriage is given as 28 years but later census returns indicate the year of birth as 1819. The father's name is given as Thomas, and Jim believes that Sarah was the daughter of Thomas Saul and Hannah Shuttleworth who married in 1806. Sarah's place of birth is given on census returns as Orrell, Lancs.

The maiden name of Margaret Holland's mother was SAWLE, and Margaret has managed to trace her ancestry back to a Robert Sowall who married Susanna Kneebone at Falmouth, Cornwall on 6 September 1756. Her great‑great‑grandfather was Robert Sawle born at Falmouth on 19 June 1814. His occupation was stonemason. Following his marriage at Falmouth on 27 May 1840 to Mary Louisa Elvans, he moved to London where he obtained employment as a solicitor's clerk. Margaret's great‑grandfather William Samuel Murray Sawle was born at Stoke Newington on 24 January 1852. He is believed to have emigrated to Australia about 1875 and Margaret would love to know what became of him. Can any of our Australian members help?

The next correspondent is Alma Merritt whose membership is on behalf of her son‑in‑law Thomas Saul. Though Thomas was born at Wirral, his grandfather William Charles Saul was born at Cockermouth, Cumbria in 1871, the son of Jonathan and Jane (nee Dixon). William appears to have been the youngest child of six with the earlier baptisms taking place at Maryport, Cumbria between 1855 and 1866. Jonathan is shown as being baptised at Maryport in 1819, the son of Robert and Mary.

Finally we welcome Michael Barker. Michael is Pamela Garners second cousin and Rosemary gave details of the family line in her report in Soul Search no. 7.

Pamela and Michael's SAUL ancestry goes back to Byfield in Northamptonshire. The Society's Byfield charts were based on a combination of a copy of the Bishops Tran­scripts and charts provided by Pamela and fellow member Margaret Bowman. There were a good number of discrepancies and loose ends, so I decided to take a trip to Northampton Record Office to consult the original parish registers. It turned out to be a most worthwhile trip and showed how unre­liable the copy of the Bishops Transcripts was. One interesting point to emerge concerned what appeared, from the BTs, to be two separate couples, William and Mary, and William and Ann, having children baptised in the 1750s. However when the parish registers are consulted, it is clear that Mary, has been altered to Ann. Presumably, the error was discovered some years later, perhaps at a later baptism, but clearly too late to correct the BT record.

The information from the parish registers has enabled me to update the Byfield charts that now hang together much better. However, as often happens with family history, no sooner do you solve one problem than another emerges. Pam Garner’s ancestor William Saul who married Elizabeth Devonshire has been identified with the William baptised on 11 February 1759 to William and Ann Gubbins. However there was an earlier baptism of a William at Byfield on 2 February 1758 to a Thomas Saul and (H)ester Boot. Pam is looking at some wills to see if these can resolve the issue. Incidentally, neither of the William baptisms are in the BTs.

The earliest SAUL family at Byfield are Wil­liam (born c1685) and Mercy Daffon. The only earlier SAUL entry in the parish registers is the marriage on 22 March 1699 of a Thomas Saul of Horley, Oxfordshire and Mary Gilks. Thinking that Horley was a possible place for William's baptism, I looked at the Horley charts and found a William baptised in 1685, son of John. There appears to be no further indication in the Horley registers of what became of William so the signs are strong that this is a correct connec­tion.

A few years after William and Mercy were established in Byfield, a James and Jane en­tered the scene. Their earliest child baptised at Byfield was a John on 22 November 1724. Are Thomas, William, and James related? And if so, how? It seems a likely scenario.

William and Mercy's third child William married Elizabeth Burbridge at Byfield on 10 February 1743. They are almost certainly the William and Elizabeth who had children baptised at Priors Marston, Warwickshire between 1745 and 1761, some of whose de­scendants were still in the village in 1851. Priors Marston and Byfield are neighbouring villages, albeit divided by a county boundary.

As our knowledge and information on the SAULs grows, we are linking up SAULs in different locations. We can be reasonably certain that those at Priors Marston, Warwick, are an off‑shoot from Byfield, Northants, and we have some indications of connections between those at Bvfield and Horley, Oxfordshire.

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