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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report April 2002

by Diana Kennedy  


It has been fairly quiet since my last report in December, although there have been a few developments on some of the names I mentioned. We also welcome four new members. Fred Sewell who lives in Australia has a story to tell of an ancestor’s misdemeanours. His GGG Grandfather George Sewell was transported to Australia in 1814. More about that in the next edition of Soul Search.

Another new member Becky Coleman whose maiden name was Sewell had got stuck on Samuel Sewell who died in Great Munden, Herts in 1840 aged 56. I was unable to take Becky back any further but was able to put her in touch with member Penny Eden who I knew to be researching the same family. Penny is descended from Samuel’s daughter Elizabeth and Becky is descended from his son John. Becky and Penny are now in contact.

New member Maureen Driver from Australia has two Sewell ancestors. Harriet Sewell who married John Brooke from Somerset and with their children emigrated to Australia in 1840. From another branch came John Sewell whose daughter Mary, born about 1755, married a John Watson, from Carlisle. This branch also emigrated to Australia in the mid 1800’s. Eric Sewell who co-ordinates Carlisle has found Mary Sewell baptised in Carlisle 9th November 1755 who married John Watson on 19th July 1791 at St Mary’s, Carlisle. If this is the case then Mary Sewell’s mother was Mary Hartness, and Eric has found four other children for John Sewell and Mary.

Tony Sewell Kent and Surrey co-ordinator is also helping new member James Johnston who has a grandmother, Martha Sewell born 1830. Martha married John Francis Costello at St Mary, Newington. After the marriage they went to live in Dover, Kent where Martha died aged 42 years in 1872. According to the marriage certificate her father was John Sewell a ‘gentleman’. Tony has provided James with some possible connections. A John and Martha Sewell born Newington, maybe Martha’s parents, were found living in Clapham in 1881 aged 82, John was a ‘retired tradesman’. Tony has given James the GRO references for their deaths, and James may be able to find the family in the 1851 census, and link the Clapham connection.

In my last report I mentioned Ross Jilley who was looking for his Great Grandfather who married Margaret Elizabeth Sewell born 1846 in Liverpool, her parents being John Sewell and Mary Forster. Member David Taylor phoned to say that he had found a marriage for them on 27th September 1830 at St Mary’s Carlisle, and Cumbrian co-ordinator Eric Sewell found them in the 1851 census with son William born 1831.

I also mentioned Yvonne Foster whose ancestor Ann Sewell married William Asprey the founder of the famous jewellers. After writing my report for the Journal I decided to have a tidy up, and in doing so I came across some notes that I had made at the PRO thinking I would follow it up at sometime. The notes were of a trial of William Seawell who was accused of the attempted murder of a William Asprey. Yvonne, who is in touch with the Asprey descendants, is delighted with the news. Having done a bit more research you can read about William Seawell’s exploits in this edition of the Journal.

Other news comes from Beth Franklin who asked if we could identify William Sewell from Coventry in 1540 whose grandson emigrated to Massachusetts in 1634. Mike Sewell our Midlands co-ordinator thinks William is the son of William Henry Sewell and Matilda Horne who married about 1540, according to the IGI.

Steve Harper is researching his wife’s grandmother’s family whose maiden name was Alice Maud Sewell born 1900 in Lambeth, her father was George William Sewell who married Elizabeth Sarah Ann Oakley, Surrey co-ordinator Tony Sewell is hoping to go further back.

Two of our co-ordinators got together to help Ray Sewell who I mentioned last time. Ray is researching his Grandfather George Sewell who married Hannah Cooper and lived on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent. Between Brian Sewell Essex co-ordinator and Tony Sewell, Kent co-ordinator they found that the family originally came from Essex with a George Sewell born 1866 in Pitsea. George appears to be part of a large family who regularly moved from place to place along the South Essex coast bordering the Thames. From the 1881 and 1891 censuses it has been established that George’s parents were Jonathan Sewell from Stebbing and Mahala from Pitsea. Unfortunately there is no 1851 census for Stebbing which would take the family back further, but Brian is continuing to work on it.

Member Tanya Sewell saw in my report a mention of Edwin Root Sewell (the first fatal car accident victim) and that his ancestor Peter Sewell came from Chelmsford. Tanya’s husband Peter also comes from the area and thought there may be a connection. Brian doesn’t think this is likely as Peter (Tanya’s husband) appears to be descended from Charles Lambirth the son of Edward Sewell and Ann Raby who married in 1819 in Chelmsford. Charles married Ellen Eliza Watkenson (sic) in 1858 and they had three children, the last William Frederick after the death of Charles from consumption in 1861. However the 1881 census shows Ellen Eliza Sewell with two more children. Brian thinks there may be a link between this family and another Chelmsford family headed by Edward Sewell who married Francis Lark in 1796 in the same church.

One of the biggest Essex Family Trees centres on a John Sewell born about 1665 at Maplestead. Brian Sewell says that while there is limited information on the earlier generations there is a lot of information on John’s descendants and the tree now has over 400 names. He says that thanks are mainly due to Adrian Corder-Birch of Halstead and Glennis Sewell of Western Australia, both of who have written articles for Soul Search. Brian points out that while they are getting a lot of information from the Society they are also making significant contributions to it. I quite agree. The help that members give is vital, and while it may not always be possible to find a link immediately, however small the information may be, it is always added to our records so that hopefully a link can be found in the future.

Finally, some brief details of other Sewell enquiries we have received:

Member Sharon Cunningham continues to search for any information on Mark Sewell who married Florinda Yeoman and lived in Caston/Rockland St Peters Norfolk. Who were Mark’s parents, and where was he born around 1799? Mark died in 1843 and Florinda in 1848, both were buried at Caston.

William George Sewell is desperately seeking information on Edward Sewell born 13th March 1824 in County Kerry Ireland who married Mary Kennedy 9th July 1846.

Is there anyone with an interest in Zuill, particularly from the north of England? Another enquirer has a Martha Sewell who married as Martha Zuill in US in 1820’s.

George Bradley’s GG Grandfather Charles Wisdom married Mary Ann Sewell at St. James the Great, Middlesex on 21 Oct 1867. Mary Ann’s father was Joseph Sewell born about 1810/11 at Bethnal Green and married Maria Carr. Any connections?

Robert Bishop from NZ is looking for ancestors of Aaron Sewell who married Lorina Larter in 1816 in Bacton Suffolk. We have details of the descendants in our records.

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