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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report April 2009

by Diana Kennedy  


The Sole Society welcomes six new Sewell members, including three from Australia and two with an interest in the same family.


They are Donald Sewell, Vivian Sewell, Lyn Cooper, Stephen Sewell, Peter and Ingrid Sewell and Jenn Bedlington. They had all found family names mentioned on our website and made further enquiries.


In the December issue of Soul Search I mentioned Donald Sewell and Vivian Sewell who had made enquiries into the same family tree. They are descended from a brother and sister. I am happy to report that both have now joined the Sole Society. Their common ancestor, James Robert Sewell was born 1799 in Camberwell, Sry. He married Caroline North in 1821 and they had nine children. Donaldís great grandfather was a son Charles born in 1836, and Vivian is descended from Charlesí sister, Eliza born in 1842. Charles married Eliza Yuill in 1859 in Kennington, Sry and Eliza married Thomas Nathaniel Embury in 1864. James Robertís father was Robert Sewell born about 1779. Robertís first wifeís name is unknown, it is possibly Maria or Martha, and she was the mother of James Robert and two more children.


After her death Robert married Mary Ann Nash and another son Joseph Rowland was born, it is from this side that longstanding member Tony Foster is a descendant. Robert died in Wigan in 1851. The earliest information Tony has is for Robert Sewell baptised St Saviours 17th November 1779, son of James and Sarah. Member Ruth Pringleís sister in law is also descended from the this family.


Lyn Cooper from Australia has ancestors from Durham. She recently inherited some research from an Aunt. Lyn is trying to find information on George Sewell born about 1782 in Durham. He married Ellen and worked as a blacksmith when he was arrested for burglary. He was sentenced to transportation and arrived in Sydney Australia 16th October 1814 on the Somersetshire. Ellen with her young children followed George out to Australia, in 1815 on the Northampton. The family prospered after George was given his ticket of leave. There have been several articles written about this family in past issues of Soul Search. Recently Lyn went to a reunion organised by Stan Gordon for descendents of George. No one however has been able to find Georgeís origins or Ellenís maiden name.


Stephen Sewell is also researching Durham, he was pleased to find others researching the Sewell name and that he was not alone. Stephen found the Sole Society through the internet with an article written in Soul Search August 2007, by member Jean Cooper about Abraham Sewell of Durham. Abraham was born 1811/12 in Cockfield to Abraham and Jane nee Littlefair of Barnard Castle. Abraham junior and his wife Ann had a son Robert Mark born 1852 at Shotley Bridge, a suburb of Consett. During the course of Stephenís research he had found that his 3x great grandfather Charles Sewell was born in 1832 at Shotley Bridge. Stephen wondered if there was any connection between the two families. Charles a tailor married Jane Allan and the family moved around to Hexham, Glasgow and finally settled in Gateshead. Jean didnít know of any connection but thought she might have details on Jane Allen/Allan, via a friend, and would contact Stephen.


Peter and Ingrid Sewell also from Australia have both been researching Peterís Sewell family, Peter is generous enough to say that this is mainly his wife Ingridís work. They came across our website and found an article by our chairman, Ian Sewell who had researched Henry Sewell a soldier. Ian had found there were no links with Henry and his family, but Peter recognised Henry as belonging to his family. Peter and Ingrid have traced the family back to Henry Sewell, the soldier, born in 1822 in Great Leighs, Ess. Henry married Mary Anne Talbot in 1848 on the Isle of Wight. Henry and Mary Anne were the parents of Jonathan Richard Sewell, Peterís great grandfather. Jonathan and a brother travelled to Australia in the late eighteen hundreds. Peter and Ingrid have sent Brian Sewell our Essex co-ordinator the information they have which has helped Brian to add more details to our records. Brian was also able to help them go back a further generation giving the father of Henry as Jonathan Sewell who married Susanna Thorrowgood in 1820 at Great Leighs.


Another new member from Australia is Jenn Bedlington, her father was Philip Sewell born in 1900. Philip emigrated to Australia with his parents and siblings around 1910. Living in Werribee, Victoria, he was a Horse Collar Maker. Philipís father was Thomas St Albans Sewell born in 1870 in St Albans, Hrt. His father was Thomas Henry Sewell born about 1839, also a collar maker he married Emily nee Bristow. The 1841 census for Leeds, shows Henry Sewell a tea dealer age 25, with Caroline age 20, and children Ann age 3, Thomas H age 2 and Abraham age 1. Jenn is not sure if this is the right family and her Thomas Henry.


I could find only two Thomas Henrys born between 1837 and 1850 in the GRO. One was born in Whitechapel in 1845, our records show that his family came from Lincolnshire and does not tie in with Jennís family. The other Thomas Henry was born in 1831 in Leeds. Henry (Thomas Henryís father) was baptised in 1814 in St Peters Leeds, parents were John and Jane. Henry then married Caroline Greaves in 1833 St Peters, Leeds. I found two children for Henry and Caroline, John Greaves baptised 1836 and Hannah 1837 (could be Ann in the census), but no Thomas Henry. I think Jenn will need to purchase some certificates to confirm whether we have the correct Thomas Henry.


Other enquiries received include one from Pat Gillibrand who wrote to ask if I could put her in touch with member Kay Sewell as she believed they are related. On our website in my report of April 2008, she found mention of her grandfather George William and great grandfather George Robert. George Robert Sewell and his wife Martha nee Cowland were living at Model Buildings, Kings Cross, with their family George (William), Harry Thomas, Martha Hannah, Arthur Robert, William and Amy Louisa. Kayís husbandís father was Walter Pope Sewell born in 1901 in Islington, Mdx, the son of Harry Thomas and Patís grandfather was George William. George Robert according to the 1901 census was born in Long Melford, Sfk in 1840.


Pat very kindly sent me copies of an insurance certificate in the name of George William of Model Buildings, dated 17th March 1879. The sum assured was £9 and 17shillings. The weekly premium was 1d. Pat has also sent a copy of the certificate admitting George Robert Sewell to the City Freedom by purchase in 1870. Pat received a letter from the archivist at the Corporation of London Records Office, whose name coincidently was also a Sewell, giving more information. The reference with the certificate states that George Robert was a brewery assistant, of 7, Model Buildings and was the son of Robert Sewell late of Roworth near Rochford, Essex, deceased. Perhaps this explains why I was unable to find Georgeís family in Long Melford, however we are also unable to find Robert in Essex.


Another enquiry came from Sarah Steele, who wrote to say she believed her family came from Epping Ess. The earliest she had found was from the 1861 census, a John Sewell born 1814, wife Catherine, with children, John born 1848, Sarahís 3x great grandfather, Edwin born 1850, Elizabeth born 1859 and Henry born 1861. Essex co-ordinator Brian Sewell found more children for John and Catherine, although these need to be confirmed. Brianís records show John married Catherine Cordell in 1846, and his parents were John and Mary. 


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