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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report April 2004

by Diana Kennedy  

We welcome several new members with an interest in the Sewell name, including two that turned out to be distant cousins, and one I was able to give a family tree dating back to 1500. It has been a busy and interesting few months and although we have helped solve some problems there are still several ‘missing’ ancestors. If you recognise anyone do please let me know. Our research continues to grow with the help of members and co-ordinators. Derbyshire has now been added to this research by our Midlands co-ordinator Mike Hines.

Following the distribution of the Sewell CD-ROM we have received some feedback and messages of appreciation as well as pointing out a few errors. Any problems, suggestions, comments good or bad, and updated family trees are more than welcome. Brian Sewell and I have been busy updating Sewell trees. For us it is the first time that all the information from the different counties have been put together in this way and we are able to sort out the duplicates and put some trees together. The following are just a few comments. Glennis Sewell found the CD easy to use and Helen Kifford said she was ‘extremely impressed by the Sewell Family Tree’ and will be sending an updated copy of her family tree.

Diana Sewell told me she had immediately found new information from the Military Records that were a new source for her. Diana pointed out missing names and dates from her tree and has sent an update on her Hingham, Norfolk tree that has helped to make a few more connections and we have exchanged copies of GRO certificates. Diana has also sent transcripts she has found in her researches from a few Norfolk parishes and I am busy making sure I have them on file. Diana continues to add to her family tree, she discovered that James Elijah Sewell born 1847 was married twice and of the seven children that she already knew about four were with his second wife. On his first marriage certificate James Elijah gave his occupation as Railway Labourer and on his second as a Policeman.

Pam Rose also found the Military records useful in finding Harry Sewell of West Hanningfield. I have also found these records helpful in finding two of my great grandfathers brothers who were missing from the 1881 census and turned up in the Military Records which showed them to be abroad when the census was taken.

Sharon Cunningham found Rebecca Barrett married George Sewell in 1831 in Eccles Norfolk and had a son George born in 1831. George senior must have died as Rebecca then married Perry Smith in 1834. One of their daughters was Maria Smith who is Sharon’s great grandmother. Maria married Robert Sewell, Sharon’s great grandfather. Robert is featured in our pictures gallery. Sharon says it is strange but then anything can happen in genealogy. Sharon however still cannot find the origins of Mark Sewell born around 1790’s and the father of Robert.

A wonderful resource is how the first of our new members Joan Gaskin describes the Sewell CD-ROM. She was pleased to see her Sewell line and has been able to add a little more information with some extra dates and names. Her 3x great grandfather was John Sewell a Glass Cutter who married Jane James in 1815 at All Saints, Newcastle. Joan has been unable to find the baptism of John, the 1841 census shows he was born outside Northumberland, unfortunately he died before the 1851 census that might have helped. Joan has however already sent in a ‘stray’ marriage she found. Harriet Sewell born Great Kemble, Bucks married to John Drake in 1867 at Wycombe. Eric Sewell, Buckinghamshire co-ordinator, has found a possible link in the 1851 census for nearby Marsh. This gives Harriott age 5, the daughter of Thomas

Two new members Vickie Parr and Nigel Sewell joined the Sole Society within two weeks of each other and from the information they sent I saw they are both descended from the same family. Vickie and Nigel have now been in touch with each other and exchanged information. Vickie tells me that although they are only two years apart in age, Thomas Tokely is her 2x great grandfather but Nigel’s great grandfather. Thomas Tokely Sewell married Mary Bull in 1847 at St Mary’s Church Paddington. However both Vickie and Nigel are having difficulty finding the grandparents of Thomas who was born in Wapping the son of William Sewell and his wife Elizabeth nee Barker.

New member Amy Arbuckle is the granddaughter of Albert Shuttleworth and Amy Jane Sewell who were married in Cowling Yorkshire in 1896. Amy Jane was the daughter of William Bilbrough Sewell and Margaret Roberts who married in 1865, William being a Butler. William was the son of George Sewell and Sarah nee Bilbrough who married in 1828. Amy is looking for information on the burial of William Bilbrough and the birth and death of George. Yorkshire co-ordinator Mike Sewell has been unable to find any further information as yet. William appears to be absent from the 1881 and 1901 census.

Another new member Neil Ward and his brother Adrian are researching their mother’s side where there is a line of Sewells from Norfolk. Their grandmother Edith Annie was the daughter of Arthur Ernest Sewell who was an umbrella maker in London. Neil remembers his Nan showing him how to roll an umbrella ‘properly’, something she had been taught as a girl.  One thing puzzling Neil is why Arthur Ernest left the family farming line to take up the manufacturing of umbrellas. I wasn’t able to help with this but I was able to send Neil a complete family tree back to 1500. John Sowles born in 1500 had lands at Burgh St Margaret and St Mary, Norfolk. One good thing for Neil is the number of Wills, at least ten, that can be found for this family.

Bernard Price another new member has been searching for his great grandfather Thomas Francis Sewell for about three years, he knows he died in Hull in 1929 aged 77yrs, and from the 1881 and 1901 census that he was born in Norfolk, either Hackford or Hingham. However Bernard has been unable to find Thomas in the 1861 census in the whole of Norfolk. Thomas married Alice King in the Wesleyan Chapel in Attleborough in 1879 but unfortunately there is no fathers name given either there or on his civil marriage certificate. I too have the information on this family from the 1881 and 1901 census but cannot find any birth for Thomas. Bernard has contacted Norwich Archives about the Wesleyan records for Hackford and Hingham but without success, he would appreciate any ideas.

Our last three new members are Christine Clayton who is researching in Essex. Susan Walton who is researching Saul and Sewell, the name Sewell is on her husband’s side. Thirdly Bruce White from America. I am hoping to hear from Christine, Susan and Bruce soon and report next time.

The first of the new enquiries was from Susan Galea who lives in Malta. Susan sent a photo of her great grandfather Samuel George Saywell taken in 1924. (see Photo) She has been looking for the origins of Samuel for seven years and wondered if I could help. Susan knows that he participated in WW1, being awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He was also stationed at Tigne Barracks in Malta around 1924 when his son, Susan’s father was born. He is believed to have served in the Royal Horse Artillery and was serving in India when he went ‘missing in action’ in 1925. So far I have been unable to find the birth or military records of Samuel George Saywell. There are a few Samuel George Sewell’s but no obvious link and no Saywell.

Jan Warner was looking for information on her 2x great grandmother Mary Ann who married Edward Sewell in 1851 at St Marylebone. Jan had a birthday book from her great grandmother Kate with a few Sewell names and dates of Edward and Mary Ann’s children, although Jan thought some were a bit ‘suspect’. I was able to find the entries in the GRO of the children, all born in London, which seem to confirm that some dates in the birthday book were not quite accurate. From the marriage certificate of Edward and Mary Ann, Jan has now found Mary Ann’s maiden name was Suckling.

Two enquiries I received were connected to the family of Anna Sewell of Black Beauty fame. Member Ron Edwards was helping a friend to research her Sewell connection. Her cousin’s husband was Nicholas Jelf Sewell Edward. He was descended from Edward a brother of Isaac the father of Anna Sewell. Another link to Anna came from Andrew Hunton who is descended from Joseph Hunton who married Fuleretta Sewell a sister of Isaac. Andrew told me he began to think about his family tree after the birth of his first grand daughter.

Kay Heath has in her line Joseph Sewell who married Eliza Harness in Helpringham, Lincs. in 1853. Joseph was a gardener and the family later moved to London. Joseph’s father was John Sewell who married Mary Everitt in 1833 in Old Sleaford, Lincs. Kay wants to know if anyone has this Joseph in his or her line. So far we have not been able to help.

John Kirk sent me details of the 1851 census of Sewells in Winteringham, Lincolnshire. He went on to tell me that a Jim Sewell used to deliver milk by pony and trap in the village in the early 1950’s when it could still be delivered direct from the farm and ladled into jugs left on the doorsteps.

Essex co-ordinator Brian Sewell has as usual been busy. Two enquiries he had were from Joan Wilson and Adrienne Hall who turned out to be part of the family of members Ray Sewell and Ian Sewell. Ian has been helping Joan with her research as she lives in US. The information already known by Brian and Ian had caused Joan some confusion as her grandparents appear to have married 6 years later than the family thought and her uncle born a year later than originally thought.

Ian has also given Brian an additional list of new and updated parish registers for Stebbing plus Great and Little Dunnow. Brian has found these helpful in updating existing information and in joining trees together. He now has an Essex tree with 388 individuals. He also has a Sewell marrying another Sewell from the same tree and a James Perkin marrying Sarah Sewell in 1837 then marrying Phoebe Sewell in 1842, Sarah and Phoebe being cousins.

Member Sarah Hay drew Brian’s attention to a 1901 census entry relating to Joseph and Ann Sewell, living in Great Baddow who are believed to be members Adam Sewell’s ancestors. However Adam thought from family information that his 3x great grandparents were in Stepney at the time. All of the censuses appear to confirm they are on the right track for Joseph while adding confusion with differing birth dates and places. Adam and Brian are not sure if Sarah has cracked a mystery or given them more headaches!

From the 1841 Essex census Brian has been able to tell member Bev Hendy that he has found one of her ancestors.  William Sewell (1827-1900), the son of Russell Sewell and Elizabeth nee Daniels was not listed at the family home in 1841 census at Little Oakley. Brian discovered William was in fact the sole scholar at Wrabness Rectory. The rector was the Rev. Patrick Fenn whose daughter subsequently married William’s older brother Daniel.

Sole member Geoff Knott produced a list of Metropolitan Police Records (Policemen not criminals) these included three with Essex origins. One of these George William Sewell was in the Metropolitan Police from 1894 to 1914 and is part of Ray and Ian Sewell’s family. Another David Elijah Sewell was a cousin of Brian Sewell’s great grandfather David Sewell. He joined the Metropolitan Police in 1893 as a Constable and worked his way up to Superintendent, retiring in 1928.

I mentioned in Soul Search December 2003 that member Anne Gould had replied to member Ruth Pringle regarding her article in Soul Search August 2003 where Ruth mentioned her Allibone ancestors. Anne now tells me they have exchanged copious paperwork and they been able to make another connection via the surname Eden, and that they have the same 5x great grandparents. Perhaps, Anne continues, there may even be a triple connection if Millicent Seawell can be found. Millicent Seawell married Joseph Makecock in 1718 at Fenny Compton.

The article in December’s issue, People of Wheelbarrow Lane by the author William Gawan Sewell brought a response from Peter Foreman. Peter spotted that this is certainly the William Sewell on the chart of Anna Sewell. This William was also born in 1898 Whitby. The 1901 census however has William S, this appears to be a transcription error and is more likely to be William G. The parents of William Gawan were therefore Joseph T and Agnes Sewell. Peter also pointed out an error in my last report. I mentioned that member Sandie Willoughby  had found in the 1851 Hackney census William Sewell, grocer born Great Yarmouth plus two daughters. Peter asked if this William fitted into Anna’s tree and who were the daughters. Peter had William baptised 1786 with wife and one daughter. I went back to the original message from Sandie and found that only one daughter was mentioned and this did indeed fit into Anna’s family

Ron Sturrock-McMoore asked if the George Sewell that Ray Sewell found in the 1901 census as Suvell was the youngest brother of his great grandmother Elizabeth born in Shoreditch in 1874, the son of Daniel and Mary Ann nee Kempster. However Brian Sewell says that there does not appear to be a connection, but will keep looking.

I look forward to hearing from anyone who can help with anything I have mentioned in this report or from anyone who has any suggestions that might help.

Return to The Sole Society Home Page