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


By Dick Sawle

This article was originally published in the April 2013 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society


In November last year John Slaughter received this intriguing email from member Dick Sawle:

Dear John,

I hope that the Sole Society is flourishing and I always read the newsletter with great interest.

I think that you probably know that my name is Richard Sawle (Dick Sawle), and I moved out to the Falkland Islands in 1986. The name Sawle, as you know, is a Cornish name and as far as I know there has never been another Sawle here in the Falklands.

However, you can imagine my huge surprise when we cleaned out the Blacksmith's shop here in Stanley which was built in 1840. The reason why we cleaned it out was to prepare it for the opening of our new museum which the Duke of Kent opened here last week. I suddenly noticed above the door frame the name J W Sawle. Nobody had actually noticed it before, but there it was painted (I think) on the lintel.

The archives here are looking into it, but I wonder if any of your membership might have any clue as to the origins of JW Sawle who must have arrived here in the Falklands at some time during our history? He was certainly around in the late 1800's I guess, although of course he could have placed his name on the lintel at any stage.

Many thanks Dick Sawle

‘J W Sawle’ written on the lintel above the door of the blacksmith’s shop in Stanley, Falkland Islands

‘J W Sawle’ written on the lintel above the door of the blacksmith’s shop in Stanley, Falkland Islands

Dick added in a later email:

What often happened in those days is an entry along the lines of ‘Charles Dean arrived in the Falkland Islands on the 6th March 1804 together with 12 workmen’ … that type of thing, so unless they stayed and bought property/got married or whatever, their names were not recorded. The building dates from around 1840

And that is all we know, since neither the Falkland’s archive or John’s database has shed any more light on who J W Sawle was!