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

Sewell Co-ordinator's Report - March 2000

By Tony Storey

The national network of Sewell co-ordinators is beginning to take shape. Every volunteer we get makes a big difference so if you’ve been thinking about helping us, please take the plunge and contact me now. I’ll be very happy to discuss a role for you that will increase your enjoyment of what is already a fascinating subject.

In the meantime, a word or two about our current team of researchers -

The southeast counties are dealt with by Tony Sewell, whose roots are mostly in Sussex, not a county noted for Sewells - the 1881 census entries for the county fit on a single page of A4. We are hoping the trail will eventually take him across one or two county borders to take in Kent, Surrey and the substantial Sewell families in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Brian Sewell looks after Essex at present and traces his family back to a James Sewell (1799-1884) of Billericay. As time permits, Brian intends to extend into London and Middlesex.

Diana Kennedy has recently finished charting the Suffolk IGI onto Generations and has acquired an index of 300 Suffolk burials, many of which she has been able to incorporate. She has now turned her attention to Norfolk and is fielding any enquiries with an East Anglian connection.

Mike Sewell has been researching in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire for a number of years and has agreed to handle any enquiries we receive regarding these families.

Eric Sewell is our authority on the four northern English counties of Cumberland, Westmorland, Durham and Northumberland and will be familiar to members as the author of several articles in Soul Search. At last year’s gathering in Cobham, Eric spoke about his researches at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.


Recent Sewell enquiries include -

Shan Page is seeking her 3 times great grandmother, Catherine Sewell who she thinks was born in Sidlesham, Sussex, in 1797 and married James Jellet in 1816. Tony Sewell suggests Catherine may be Kitty Sewell, the daughter of James and Emily, baptised in neighbouring Pagham in 1802. If correct, this links her to Tony’s family.

Emma-Jane Maddern is looking for the origins of William Sewell who married Alice Emily Greville in Bathurst, New South Wales, in 1884. His death certificate reveals that William was born around 1851 in Northamptonshire, the son of a bank manager, also William. The family emigrated in 1855 or thereabouts.

Sheila Bayley is researching Seawell families in Rugby pre-1800. Can anyone help her?

Ruth Tindale was searching for her great grandfather Arthur Sewell, born in 1874 in either Sandiacre or Ilkeston, Derbyshire. We found young Arthur on the 1881 census in Nottingham Road, Ilkeston, with his parents Henry (born about 1842 in Nottingham) and Mary Ann and four siblings.

Eric Sewell has been able to provide Tony Branigan with information on the family of Richard Blamire Sewell of Cumberland, establishing the date of death of Richard’s father, William Willoughby Sewell and the existence of a probable brother George Buckle Sewell.

Ken Dodson and Colin Reid have each contacted us regarding the Sewells of Blyth, Nottinghamshire. Both are descendants of William Sewell and Elizabeth Giles who married in 1827 in Blyth. Mike Sewell is assisting.

James Peachey is tracing his wife’s Sewell ancestors. William and Sophia (nee Ward) Sewell emigrated from Yorkshire (possibly from Leeds, although James believes William was born in Blyth in 1806) to Grey County, Ontario in the 1850s. Our thanks to James who has kindly provided the Society with details of Sewell entries in the Ontario GRO: births 1868-1902, marriages 1869-1917, deaths 1869-1927.

Mrs Robin McLeod of Queensland, Australia is visiting the UK shortly and is seeking descendants of Frank Richmond Sewell and Marjorie Kempster who married in 1918 in Richmond, Surrey.


Our research targets for this year are:

To complete the charting by county of all Sewells on the IGI, and

To publish the complete GRO births, deaths and marriages index entries for 1837-1900 and to make a start on 1901 onwards.

As always, we rely on a small but gallant band of volunteers to achieve our objectives and keep the Society moving in the right direction. Please help us. Get in touch by post, phone or email and I’ll tell you more.

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