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

SAUL Co-ordinator's Report December 2004

by John Slaughter  



Since my last report I have been pleased to welcome no fewer than 6 new members, two of whom attended the Society’s Annual Gathering on 10 October.


Barbara Taylor was one the attendees at the Gathering. Barbara’s maternal grandmother was Elizabeth Clare Saull. She was the fourth of nine children born to Saul Saull and Elizabeth Clare at Winslow, Buckinghamshire. Barbara mentions that at one time Saul Saull was a farmer and suffered a bad fire resulting in a severe financial loss. Local newspaper reports may tell us more. Barbara is related to a number of other members and her ancestors appear on a chart that goes back via Gayton and Byfield in Northants to, we believe, Horley in Oxfordshire. Barbara has offered to look up a number of Oxfordshire wills.


Jenny Daniel has been helping with the West Country Sawles and has written to a number of Sawle researchers. One of these passed the request to her sister Hazel Jones in Canada who has joined the Society. At the time of writing I am waiting to hear more about Hazel’s Sawle interest and hope to provide further details in the next journal.


Another Sawle researcher to respond to Jenny’s contact was Sylvia Dorey. Sylvia has been trying for six years to find the death of her great grandmother Emma Sumner (nee Sawle). Emma was baptised at Gerrans, Cornwall on 1 December 1822, one of ten known children of George Sawle and Margaret Richards. Emma married David Sumner at Falmouth on 27 December 1847. David, like her father, was a mariner. Neither David nor Emma appears on the 1851 census and though David may have been at sea, Emma’s absence is a mystery. David married again at Falmouth in 1856 so presumably Emma had died by then but no record of her death has been found. As far as is known, David and Emma had no children. Sylvia has a copy of a book “The History of the Parish of Gerrans Part Two – Mariners and Fisherman” by Hilary Thompson that mentions a number of Sawle mariners, but nothing that helps with the fate of Emma.


Judith Russell has joined. Her great great grandmother was Rachael Saul, the eldest child of Saul Saul and Frances Adams. Rachael was baptised on 11 January 1807 at St George in the East, London and married Thomas Fairn. Her father Saul Saul was a butcher in Aldgate High Street, London and Judith has found the baptisms of nine children. The family was at no. 57 Aldgate High Street on the 1841 census. There were also Saul households at nos. 56 and 59 Aldgate High Street headed by an Abraham Saul and William Saul respectively, who were also butchers. It seems likely that Saul and Abraham were brothers and William was Abraham’s son. Abraham and William were still there on the 1851 census but Saul had apparently moved by then.


He died in 1856 and his will was proved at the PCC on 5 February 1857. The will had been written on 11 December 1849 when he was described as of 57 Aldgate High Street, a salesman. He left bequests to his daughters Rachel Fairn, Sarah, Sophia and Harriet and son James. However in a codicil written on 13 March 1855 he is shown as living at 12 Tredegar Place, Bow Road, Middlesex, a carcase butcher now out of business. He now bequeaths everything to his daughter Jane and two friends. Is there a story there?


The second new member to attend the Gathering was Robert Hina. From family information Robert had constructed a family tree back to a Henry and Anna Saul who lived in Islington, London. Robert is descended from their son Joseph. Henry had apparently died by 1881 as on that year’s census Anna is shown as a widow, head of a household at 15 Market Street, Islington that included four sons Joseph, William, Albert and Alfred. All the children were shown as being born in Barnsbury. Middlesex but Anna’s place of birth was given as Ipswich, Suffolk. This tied in well with Robert’s belief that there was a Suffolk connection. Whether Henry was also Suffolk born and connects to our Suffolk trees needs more research.


Completing the new intake is Norah Brown who has Norfolk roots. Her paternal grandmother was Georgina Elizabeth Saul Cox whose birth was registered as Georgina Elizabeth Saul in 1870. She was the illegitimate daughter of Georgina Elizabeth Saul who married Stephen Cox at Barton Turf, Norfolk in 1871. The family are at Barton Turf on the 1881 census, all under the name of Cox. The mother Georgina was the daughter of Robert Francis Saul and Sarah Ann Key of Smallburgh, Norfolk and as far as we know their only child. Robert Francis was himself the son of a Robert Francis Saul and the tree on which they appear originates in Stalham, Norfolk and is our largest Norfolk tree.


I have also been kept busy dealing with a number of interesting enquiries. Rebecca Saull enquired about the origin of her name. She subsequently provided sufficient information to connect her with the Saull family at Gayton, Northants. Her great grandfather was Walter James Saull and was located on the 1901 census at Kingsthorpe, Northants as a ten-year old child in the household of his father Frederick Saull. I was able to establish that Frederick was the Frederick William Saull born in 1859 at Gayton and baptised there in 1863.


A further response to a letter sent by Jenny Daniel was received from Irene Harvey. Her Sawle connection arises from the marriage of a Faith Sawle to James Luke at Cuby with Tregony, Cornwall in 1791. I was able to advise Irene that Faith appears on one of our charts which shows her as the third child of John Sawle and Elizabeth Thomas who married at Probus, Cornwall in 1755. We have allocated eight children to John and Elizabeth though some of this is a little on the speculative side. If our connections are correct then the family appear to have moved from Probus to Veryan sometime between 1761 and 1765.


The next enquirer, Janet Drinnan in New Zealand, also believed that she was descended from John Sawle and Elizabeth Thomas via their son James baptised at Veryan, Cornwall in 1777. James had married Sarah Menear at Gerrans in 1794. As far as is known they had only one child, a James baptised at Gerrans on 14 June 1795. He married Mary Dillon at Gerrans in 1816 and emigrated to South Australia on 13 September 1839 with his wife and children. The voyage and his experiences in Australia were clearly not what he was expecting as in 1841 he wrote a letter that was published in the London Weekly Dispatch as a warning to others. This letter will be the subject of a separate article.


However returning to the identity of the James Sawle who married Sarah Menear, the information that Janet had was provided by a paid researcher. I found an online transcription of the 1851 census for Gerrans. This included a household headed by a James Sawle, married, aged 77 years, a journeyman mason and born Gerrans. Also present was his wife Sarah, aged 80 years and born Mevagissey, Cornwall. It seems highly probable that they are James and Sarah (nee Menear). The age and birthplace of James strongly indicates that he was the James Sawle baptised at Gerrans on 5 May 1774 the son of William Sawle and Elizabeth and not the James baptised at Veryan in 1777.


David Valerio also made an enquiry regarding the Cornish Sawles. His great great grandmother was Margaret Sawle who married Joseph Edward Clark at Ilfracombe, Devon in 1885. She was born at Zennor, Cornwall in 1859 one of eight children born to Robert Sawle and Emily Tregerthen. Emily was Robert’s second wife and the family moved to lfracombe where they appear on the 1881 census. Robert was shown as a retired coastguard, aged 65 years of age and born Gerrans, Cornwall. This links to the large tree we have for Gerrans.


Finally I have been in occasional correspondence with Jane Hodge who has been tracing back from her great grandmother, Rosina Saul, who married James George Henbrey in 1878. Rosina was born on 10 September 1852 at Midway Terrace, Rotherhithe, London, the daughter of Henry Saul, a tar distiller, and Mary (nee Marshall). Henry however died in 1853. He appears to have also been in business as a butcher and we believe is the Henry Saul shown in the Kelly’s Post Office London Directory for 1846 as a butcher at Ferry Road West, Poplar. Henry had married Mary Marshall in 1846 when he was described as a butcher and of High Street, Whitechapel. His father was shown as Jonathan Saul, also a butcher. Jane found the family on the 1851 census at 8 Midway Terrace, Rotherhithe with Henry being the head of the household, aged 34 years, a tar distiller and born at St George, Middlesex. It is thought that there is a Spanish or Jewish connection somewhere and the name Saul Rodriguez is mentioned. I think there may be a connection here with the Saul line of Judith Russell as her ancestor Saul Saul was also a butcher and he had children baptised at St George in the East between 1807 and 1811. Judith also thinks there may be a Jewish connection.

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