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

SAUL Co-ordinator's Report - November 1996

By John Slaughter



I have received some very useful information from Mrs Atkinson of Cumbria whose great-grandmother was Mary Saul born in 1863 at Endmoor near Kendal. Mrs Atkinson has carried out a considerable amount of research on the SAULs in the area and has very kindly provided me with full notes of her findings which are quite detailed and impressive and clearly include family letters.

She believes she has managed to establish her SAUL line back through Witherslack, Cartmel and Yealand Redmayne to Beetham. Amongst the information provided was a full list of SAUL baptisms, marriages and burials at Beetham between 1695 and 1812. There was a good number and all of this is going to take me some time to chart. Included under the burial data is an amusing anecdote about a Richard Saul who was buried at Beetham in January 1731. It reads: "A story is told of this man, that having bought a pig, a week after he went to pay for it and to get an abatement said the pig was dead, when he got home he found the pig dead indeed."

I have been in the habit of mentioning in my report, brief details of the ancestry of new SAUL interest members. One of the reasons for doing this is to help members consider possible connections between themselves and generate ideas of where to search next. An example of how this can work is to compare the areas of interest of Mrs Atkinson, mentioned above, with that of Brenda Saul (see Soul Search No.10). Consulting a map shows that they are quite close, about 10 to 15 miles apart, so given our knowledge of mobility, there must be a strong possibility that connections between the two areas will be found. There is nothing obvious at present but we need to keep this very much in mind during our research.

This leads me on very nicely to mention the latest crop of recruits.

Andrew Saul of Stainton, Middlesborough had a remarkable stroke of luck when he decided to telephone Pauline Saul. Not only did he discover the existence of the Sole Society but he was also able to establish a connection between his ancestors and those of Pauline's late husband. We can therefore now add Andrew's family information onto the charts that were previously prepared from Pauline's data. I was also able to provide Andrew with a couple of charts taking his ancestry back to a William Saul and Charlotte Carter at Royal Leamington Spa (or Leamington Priors as it was then called).

I placed an item advertising the Society in the Norfolk Ancestor and was pleased to receive an enquiry from Janice Jackson who was trying to establish the identity of a James Saul, the reputed father of her greatgrandfather Walter Gibbs. This name is recorded as the father on the baptism entry at Hickling, Norfolk on 6 March 1894 and on Walter's marriage certiftcate. The only other information known was that James Saul was a shoemaker. There were no SAULs at Hickling but I knew about those at Stalham, a neighbouring village. Amongst them I found a James Saul, shoemaker, who would have been about twenty-two years of age at the time of Walter's baptism. No definite proof has been found confirming this identification but it is highly probable. If Janice accepts this then she will be related to member Leslie Saul of Canada (see my report in Soul Search No.10). I notice that I forgot to mention there that Leslie's ancestors came from Stalham. Oops!

Another new member is Daphne Duffield of Lowestoft. Daphne's great-grandmother was a Mary Jane Saul born at Sleaford, Lincs. in 1843 and what interested me in particular about her family tree was to discover that the two families at Spalding on the 1881 census were headed by Simeon and Stephen who were brothers (see my report in Soul Search No.9). Given that their birthplaces were shown as Woolaston, Northants and Harbury, Warwks. (not Harborough as I thought), this was not obvious. Their father, Samuel, was an Officer of Excise which helps to explain his mobility. Daphne has obtained his work record which makes interesting reading. A curiosity is that all the forenames of Samuel's children so far discovered begin with S, (Seth, Saul, Susan, Simeon and Stephen). Perhaps I should start one of those games and ask if anyone can better that. Samuel's first three children were born at Harbury which is about five miles from Royal Leamington Spa.

You can see how potential connections keep cropping up. This is really what having a Society is all about. We can collate information from different researchers that might not otherwise be revealed. It is however a large task and much remains to be done. I try and encourage members to continue to research in their SAUL areas and in doing so we can often pick up information potentially of use to other members.

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