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

SAUL Co-ordinator's Report December 2008

by John Slaughter  



I am pleased to welcome five new members, John Westerdale, Jacqueline Marsh, Dawn Waddington, Ruth Fowler and Cecilia Bell.


I mentioned the enquiry I received from John Westerdale in my report in the August 2008 journal. Since then further correspondence appears to have confirmed that the William Saull, about whom he enquired, is the one born at Long Buckby in 1840 to John Saull and Sarah Bamford. His full name was William Tomkins Saull and after his period of service in the Army, during which he experienced the Indian Mutinty, he emigrated to America where he married and fathered three children, Selina, William and Ada.


Jacqueline Marshís grandmother was Elizabeth Saul, the daughter of Philip James Saul and his wife Emma who had married in 1895 and lived in Willesden, Middlesex. Jacqueline has advised that in addition to Elizabeth there were six other children. They later moved to Hastings where Philip died in 1945, aged 72 years. Philipís father was also named Philip and it is believed that the father deserted his wife and family and emigrated to either Australia or New Zealand. The 1881 census appears to provide some credence to this story as Philip J appears in the household at 89 Pembroke Road, Willesden which is headed by his mother Elizabeth described as a wife, though her husband is not present. Other children present were William J (7 years) and Albert P (5 months).


This rang a bell with me and after a little digging found an intriguing possibility that there may be a connection with ex member Christine Leather. Christine was one of our early members and lives in New Zealand. She had provided a family chart showing that she was a descendant of a Philip George Saul who had married an Eliza Doherty in New Zealand on 21 January 1882 and who had 11 children. The tree shows that Philip George died on 16 July 1920, his date of birth being recorded as 7 December 1849 at Paddington, London and parents William Saul and Sarah Susanna Savigney (nee Tophill). In the GRO birth indexes there is a Philip Saul in the March 1850 quarter, Kensington registration district. There is no other entry that could fit.


So could this be the same Philip, deserted his wife and children in the UK, went to NZ and had a second family there? Philip George is said to have emigrated to NZ in 1872 on the ship Hydaspras, so if this is the same person then either that information is wrong or he was not the father of Albert Percy born in 1880, although he is recorded as such on the birth certificate.


From Dawn Waddingtonís original enquiry I was quickly able to connect her Saul ancestry with several other members. Dawn is descended from a William Edward Saul who had married Florence Emma Casciani in 1916 in Romford, Essex. William Edward was one of six children born to Albert Edward Saul and Julia Emma Wootten who are also the direct ancestors of two other members. This Saul tree has been actively researched and has been linked back to a John Saul of Islington who died in 1840 at the relatively young age of 38. Though the evidence then gets fairly circumstantial it appears that John was the father of at least four boys, Henry, William, Joseph and Richard. After the death of the father and breadwinner it appears that some of the children were, dispersed around the family. There is a possibility that John also had a daughter, Dorcas, who was taken in by relatives in Norwich and which, if correct, would strongly support the theory that John was originally from Norwich and connects to one of our Norfolk trees.


Ruth Fowler posted a message on the Forum wishing to make contact with others descended from her 2 x great grandparents Joseph and Amelia Saull. I recognised that one of our members, Darryl Hockings, was such a descendant, though Ruth had already been in touch via Genes Reunited. Ruth has provided some very useful information about her descent from Joseph which mainly centres on the Hackney/Hoxton area of London. On census returns Joseph consistently gives his birthplace as Warwickshire, but, unhelpfully, fails to state the place. On his marriage to Amelia Oates in 1839 he stated that his father was James Saull, a cooper by occupation. This suggested to me a connection with the area around Byfield, Northants where the Saulls were largely coopers. After some searching a promising candidate has been found; the baptism of a Joseph at Napton on the Hill, Warwickshire in 1810 to James and Mary Saul. Napton on the Hill is only a few miles from Byfield. The Napton parish registers reveal that James and Mary had five children baptised there between 1801 and 1810, including that of Joseph on 15 July 1810. It appears that the family later moved from Napton and it is possible that they all went to London.


Cecilia Bell is trying to find out more about her 2 x great grandfather John Saul who served for over 21 years in the Royal Engineers. He enlisted in 1839 at the age of 19 years and his attestation papers record that he was born at St Pancras, London. Two of his daughters Bella and Helena were born in South Africa during the 1850ís, with the motherís name being recorded as Mary. It is thought that there was an earlier daughter Maria born at Portsmouth in 1847. On leaving the army John returned to his former trade as a mason but on the 1861 census his wife is recorded as Elizabeth. By 1891 John and Elizabeth are in Newcastle where John may have died in 1894.


The material on our website concerning the geologist William Devonshire Saull, came to the attention of Ann Lowry. Ann is a descendant of Williamís brother Thomas who was present at Williamís death in 1855. The brothers had been in business together at Aldersgate Street, London as wine merchants. Thomas outlived his brother though by only a few months. Thomas and his wife Sarah had seven children, the last of which was Thomas Charles Saull born in Clerkenwell in 1846 and who was Annís 2 x great grandfather. I did not have Thomas Charles on our chart and Ann has promised to send me details of his descendants. Ann has also indicated that she will join the Society.


Amongst recent enquiries was one from Marie McCulloch who found on our web site a reference to Arthur Evelyn Saul and provided some useful information regarding his ancestors. Arthur was one of three known children born to George Hodgson Saul and Eleanor Adelaide Anderson, and the only one born in the UK, the other two children having been born in Florence, Italy. George was known to have had a variety of occupations including that as a sculptor, so perhaps that is the reason he lived in Florence.


Finally Charles Clarke has been researching the Simondson Saul family from Kendal, Westmorland and was interested in my 2003 article that mentioned Teddy the Clown. I was able to confirm that we believe that Teddy the Clown was Edward Jackson Saul born in 1872 in Oldham, the son of Simondson and Eliza Mellon. Simondsonís grandfather was also named Simondson, the one that Charles is researching.  


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