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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report August 2001

by Diana Kennedy

 Diana Kennedy

Since the last Soul Search we have had several enquiries and information with interesting stories.

Robert Sheldon found a reference to Sewell descendants of Queen Victoria and Donnel Lester from America sent a picture of his pioneering Great Great Grandmother. Both stories can be found in Soul Search.

Two new members have joined the Society with an interest in the Sewell name. The Sewell co-ordinators continue to work on their respective areas, Eric Sewell has now transcribed the 1851 Cumbria Census. Brian Sewell continues to transcribe Essex links and has finished extracting Sewell’s from Pigots 1839 Directory for Essex. I am adding the Norfolk 1851 census to family trees and looking at the Norfolk and Suffolk burials from the National Burial Index. Member Mike Hines has sent me transcripts of Great Yarmouth baptisms, marriages and burials, to add to the Norfolk records.

Our first new member is Diana Whitton who is trying to trace the origins of her grandfather’s family. Her 3x Great Grandfather James Sewell in the 1841 census was living in Brighton aged 55, although he was not born in Sussex. Diana was told by her grandmother that James, who was a vet, was connected with the Royal Horses, as while living in Brighton, James lived near the Royal Pavilion stables. In 1846 he moved to Dublin with his son Edward, born 1819/20. Edward also a vet bought and sold hunters in Dublin, the business later being sold to Goffs (a famous bloodstock agent in Kildare). Edward died in 1898 in Dublin. Diana wants to know where James was born.

The second new member, Miss P J Eden’s 2x Great Grandmother Elizabeth Sewell married Dr Robert Cotton Mather in 1833 in London. Miss Eden knew when Elizabeth was born but not who were her parents. On the IGI Elizabeth was born in 1812 at Great Munden, Hertford, the daughter of Samuel Sewell and Sarah Dilley. Besides Elizabeth they also had another three girls and three boys. After Elizabeth’s marriage she and Robert went to set up a mission in Mirzapore, India. They were in India from 1833 to 1873. Robert Mather died in 1877 and it is believed that Elizabeth went back to India and joined the female mission at Mirzapore, where she died in 1879. Elizabeth and Robert had 14 children, 12 born in India. Elizabeth was also an industrious author and published a Hindustani Dictionary of the Bible.

When on a trip to Boston, America, Miss Eden found several Sewell references, including a Samuel Sewell who was a Judge at the Salem witchcraft trials in 1692. Samuel later publicly admitted he was in error and hoped God would not transmit his guilt either to his family or to the rest of the colony.

Enquiries include Ros Sudworth who found our website and is looking for her Great Grandfather George Sewell who married Hannah Maria Wood, father of Margaret Jane Sewell born 1884. Eric Sewell, who co-ordinates Durham, found George in the 1881 census living in Stockton as an unmarried boarder. He was aged 26, and his occupation is given as a boilersmith. We were also able to give Ros GRO references for the birth of George in 1854, as well as for the births of his children, and the marriage of his eldest daughter in 1901 aged 16.

Julie Nelson is researching her 2x Great Grandfather Jonathan Sewell born 1852 in Cumberland, who died in USA in 1928, and married Elizabeth Graves. Eric, also co-ordinator for Cumbria, found the GRO reference for Jonathan and of his four children. Jonathan was born in Wigton in 1852, and married in Cockermouth in 1873. Eric found the family in the 1881 census for Cleator, Cumberland. Jonathan and his sister were the children of Joseph Sewell and Jane. Eric believes Joseph came from Crosscanonby and was baptised in 1813, the son of John and Jane, who had five other children. In the 1881 census Joseph was living in Bassenthwaite Cumberland.

Penny Stinson wrote to Eric Sewell regarding information on three Sewell brothers, James, born 1872/3 in Newcastle, Robert and David born about 1883 in Durham. They emigrated to Canada in the early 1900’s. James was the second husband of Penny’s Great Grandmother, his first wife and child having died in a fire in England. There were also three sisters, Jennie, Mary and Kate. Eric found the family in the 1881 census living in Gateshead. Their parents were James and Jane Ann. James snr was living in Hexham according to the 1851 census.

Mary Lynne Sewell-Farrell is looking for her GG Grandfather Robert Sewell who married Jane Herbert possibly in 1836 at Marylebone. They then went to Ireland where Robert was a Protestant minister. Their sons James Herbert born in 1849, and William born 1854 went to the US about 1880 and founded the Sewell Cushion Wheel Co. Mary Lynne’s father is Herbert James Sewell, who is now aged 80years. William’s Granddaughter Lucy Forsythe married Arthur Brian Dean Faulkner the last Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

John Cain who is just starting out on his family tree wrote to say to that his grandfather Henry George Sewell and Great aunt Emma were brought up in a Bluecoats orphanage, in London, not as originally thought because they were orphans but because both parents were blind. Henry later became a Freeman of the City of London. I hope he will let me know how he gets on looking for the records at the Guildhall Library, as I believe I have located the reunited family in the 1881 census.

Linda Reid is searching for her English cousins. In the 1881 census William and Elizabeth Sewell were living in Aston, Warwickshire, with their six children, the youngest, John Thomas was aged 6years. John had at least one son Howard William born in 1899 who went to Canada and served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in WW1. Linda is looking for siblings of Howard.

Anne Ion sent a message to say that she had ‘found’ Thomas Henry Sewell born about 1845 in London who married Ann Jane Holmes of Sydney Australia and they then went to New Zealand. Thomas was Anne’s father’s maternal grandfather; she asks has anyone ‘lost’ Thomas Henry from his or her Family Tree.

In the last Soul Search I mentioned Rick Sewell in Australia who was puzzled by the six-year gap between the marriage of his ancestors Daniel Sewell and Hannah Brown, in Rickmansworth, Herts, and the birth of their first child also in Rickmansworth. Rick has recently been to England and spent some time on family research, he believes he has located two earlier children for Daniel and Hannah, from the 1841 census, born possibly in Middlesex or Bucks. Rick also found details of the trial of Joseph another son of Daniel and Hannah who was transported to Australia in 1817. Hopefully when Rick has sorted out all the information he now has he will write an article for Soul Search.

Member Peter Foreman rang me to say that he had just read Maureen Storey’s report of Mike Henson’s Great grandmother, whose grandparents George and Harriet Sowell came from Great Yarmouth. George and Harriet are also ancestors of Peter. The name later changed to Sewell. Family Trees have now been exchanged.

In November 1999 Catriona Mcleod asked for information on her Grandfather’s mothers family, Frank Richmond Sewell, and at the time we were unable to help. A few weeks ago I was contacted by William Sewell who said he had read an earlier report by Tony Storey on the website and that Frank Richmond was his uncle. He was in contact with Frank’s brothers and sisters offspring, they appear to be scattered all over the world, in the UK, S Africa and N America. William was eager to make contact with Catriona, although he hasn’t heard from Catriona as yet. We may not always be able to help immediately with enquiries, but it is always worth keep trying

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