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

SAUL Co-ordinator's Report - November 1998

By John Slaughter

In my last Co-ordinators Report, I mentioned that Maureen Storey had kindly offered to chart the Cornwall SAWLEs using data from the IGI and other Cornish publications. Maureen has clearly been hard at work as she has now completed the task and at the Annual Gathering on 11th October, Maureen handed to me all the manual charts she has prepared. Maureen's cover note to me of her findings makes interesting reading and is reproduced as a separate article in this journal. My task now is to enter all this information into Reunion, a considerable undertaking. We currently do not have any members with SAWLE interests but any future enquiries can now be answered in a more positive way and will hopefully lead to new, members. Thank you Maureen, for all your help.

At the Annual Gathering on 11 October, I was very pleased to meet Jan Rogers who was attending the event for the first time. It was particularly appropriate as I had spent a few days in the Doncaster Record Office only a few weeks previous further researching the SAULs in the Doncaster area and this visit formed the basis of my Saul Update report to the meeting. Before my visit to Doncaster, I had collated the information that I had received from three of our members with SAUL ancestors in the area, Jan Rogers, John Amass and Vashti Waterhouse, and supplemented this with the IGI entries.

Doncaster Record Office is housed in a disused school. Most of the parish registers it holds have been transcribed and the transcripts are available on open shelves. Even more useful is a surname card index to the transcripts that appears to be fairly comprehensive. I was therefore able to extract a lot of information during my visit and this certainly confirmed what we already knew; there were a lot of SAULs in the Doncaster area. The Campsall parish registers, for example, contain 69 SAUL baptisms in the period 1792 to 1872. Interestingly there were no SAUL baptisms before I792. This might indicate that there were no SAULs in the Campsall parish prior to say the 1780s or any such SAULs were Catholic; we know from John Amos's research that some of the SAULs in the area were Catholic. The earliest SAUL marriage at Campsall was not until 1816 and as Catholics were required to marry in Anglican churches between 1754 and 1837, this suggests the former may be the case. Evidence has been found of connections between the Catholic and Anglican families but a great deal of further research is needed to establish a lot of the links. Most of the SAULs had drifted away from the area by the latter half of the I9th century. As we continue our research, I think we shall find that quite a number of the later SAULs, both in the UK and overseas, have their origins in the Doncaster area and that this area will prove to have played a significant part in the history of the SAULs. Jan, John and I have agreed to meet to collate information and plan future research.

Annette and David Miller from Maine, USA have joined the Society. Both are descendants of a John Saull and Maria Chaplin. David is a descendant of their second son Herbert and Annette of their eldest son George. Maria Chaplin was John's second wife and John's ancestry has been traced back to the Byfield clan. We now have four members with Byfield origins and the tree is expanding all the time. I only have patchy details on the descendants of John and Maria but Annette and David have much more information, including photographs, which I look forward to hearing more about.

Return to The Sole Society Home Page