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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report August 2002

by Diana Kennedy  

It has been a fairly busy few months; I think the early unseasonable weather has kept enquirers on their research rather than in outdoor pursuits!

We are pleased to welcome eight new Sewell members to the Society, Bill Sewell, Tracie Sargent, Adrienne Gavin, Julie Betteridge, Pat Scutt, Ruth Pringle, Ron Edwards and Glennis Sewell.

There are also a few changes to our team of co-ordinators. Rutland co-ordinator Robin Barnes and South East co-ordinator Tony Sewell have both resigned, due to work and family commitments. I should like to thank them for their work in the past; they have both added a considerable amount of information to the records of the Society.

Robin and Tony are remaining as members of the Society and I am sure we shall hear from them in the future.

Fortunately long standing member Nigel Sewell has volunteered to co-ordinate Leicestershire and has also taken over Rutland, he is now busy putting Leicestershire names into family charts.

There is still plenty of work to be done on the Sewell records and if there is anyone reading this with a little time to spare and would be willing to act as a co-ordinator or make charts, I should be delighted to hear from you.

The first of our new members I briefly mentioned in the April Soul Search. Bill Sewell is seeking information regarding Edward Sewell born 1824 in County Kerry, Ireland. We do not have very much information on Irish Sewell’s so if anyone can help I am sure Bill would be pleased to hear from you.

New member Tracie Sargent from North London believed her family came from Edmonton, and her Great Grandfather was James Sewell, until she found her Grandfather Clifford Havelock Sewell’s birth certificate. Clifford had been born in Leeds in 1902 and died in Barnet in 1981. Clifford’s father is given as Sydney James on the certificate. From this I was able to help Tracie find his birth in Guisborough 1878 and his marriage.

I also found the family in the 1881 census giving Sydney’s father as John born in Darlington. Tracie was told that she is related to Anna Sewell (of Black Beauty fame), but has not at present been able to prove the link. Another new member Adrienne Gavin also has an interest in Anna Sewell and is writing a biography. I look forward to reading her book.

Other new members include Julie Betteridge who has interests in several counties. Her father James Sewell was one of ten children, so she has plenty to research. Hopefully Julie will let us know how she is getting on.

Pat Scutt approached the Society last year looking for her grandfather’s family in Weybridge, but did not know where they originated. Tony Sewell South East co-ordinator found the family on the 1881 census and that they came from Huntingdon. Pat has now joined the Society.

New member Ruth Pringle sent us her family tree starting with William Sewell born 1789. He married for the second time to Sarah Hawkes in 1819 in Edgecote, Northamptonshire. Their eldest son William was born 1822 in Edgecote, and married Mary Ann Kemp in Kenilworth, Warwickshire. The line continues in Warwickshire down to Ruth who still lives there. Unfortunately we are unable to help Ruth with the Northamptonshire connection, but Midlands co-ordinator Mike Hines found Ruth’s tree very helpful in linking names in his Warwickshire records. Mike has also been busy entering and checking Warwickshire and West Midlands’s data.

Two more new members, Ron Edwards and Glennis Sewell, with Essex connections have also joined the Society. Brian Sewell our Essex co-ordinator had two contacts, following an article they had read on our web site, which were of particular interest to him.

New member Ron Edwards is descended from Phoebe Sewell (1826-1910) and the second contact Irene Evans is descended from Joseph Sewell (1834-1914). Phoebe and Joseph are sister and brother to Brian’s great grandfather, David Sewell (1839-1883). Brian says there has been a rapid exchange of information, including a moving letter from a soldier to Irene’s mother Ina, about the circumstances of the death of Ina’s brother Oscar Sewell Ladbrook in 1917 in Belgium. Ron and Irene are now in contact and Brian is still trying to positively confirm or eliminate another link to their family.

Another of Brian’s long standing contacts Glennis Sewell in Australia has now joined the Society. Glennis has provided Brian with a lot of information and wrote an article for a previous issue of Soul Search and has now sent some Sewell extracts from the 1891 London census. Brian also thinks he has found another sibling for the chart of member Ray Sewell and a while ago Brian put Ray in touch with another member, Ian Sewell who both have ancestors in Stebbing, Essex. It seems more than likely that they are also related.

Member Tanya Sewell told Brian that she has recently purchased a copy of Generations and has so far entered 1079 members of her Family and is sending Brian a copy. Hopefully Tanya will now find it easier to keep track of her family.

Other enquiries for Brian were from Margaret de Nooyer from Australia who is descended from Mary Ann Jane Sewell of Mile End, Middlesex. Margaret thought that Mary Ann’s father James came from Pleshey, Essex. Brian was able to provide Margaret with an 1881 census extract of James Sewell and his family but without Mary Ann, who was already married. He was also able to help with the 1851 and 1861 censuses for Pleshey which gave several other members including James’s parents Joseph and Ann Sewell. Joseph came from nearby High Easter.

Another Essex connection was Jackie Bartlett from Montreal who contacted us about her Great Great Grandfather William Sewell, son of Charles and Judith nee Seldon born 1833 in Loughton Essex. Jackie reports that William used to recount how in December 1846, his father drove him in a dogcart to the East India Dock from Loughton. He later became an apprentice on a tea clipper. From the 1881 census Jackie knew that William was also a coastguard at Inch in Wigtownshire Scotland, he then became a lighthouse keeper after retiring from the Navy. William died in 1913 and Jackie is the proud owner of William’s cottage. Brian found GRO references and two Sewell families in Loughton in the 1861 census for Jackie, who believes one of the families is related to hers.

Brian has also been busy extracting Sewell’s from Essex directories, early Wills and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The last list was something that I appreciated when I recently paid a visit to Ypres and Arras area. I managed to find a few Sewell names, but was taken back by the number of unnamed graves. Standing at the Last Post ceremony at Ypres was very moving and I was able to ponder on all those Sewell names.

Eric Sewell our Cumbria co-ordinator had an enquiry from David Gough in Victoria, Australia. David had read Eric’s article in the April 2001 journal and wondered if his grandfather Joseph Wilson born in Cumrew was related to the John Sewell who married Margaret Wilson in Cumrew. While Eric was unable to help with the Wilson line he was able to give David a couple of contacts.

Another query for Eric came from Harriet Sewell, searching for John Sewell believed to be born about 1792 in Arlecdon, parents John Sewell and Mary nee Reed. Eric was able to give some data from 1851 census that might help and is waiting to hear from Harriet.

Bob Sewell sent a brief message asking for information on Clarence William Sewell, his father, who lived in Heckmondwike, Yorkshire. Mike Sewell our Yorkshire co-ordinator found some GRO birth and 1888 marriage reference and a possible connection from the 1881 census.

Member Sandra Willougby normally researches the name Saul, her Grandfather was Charles Saul. She has now found a Sewell in her husband’s family, a Great Grandmother Louisa Sewell, born Yarmouth 1826. I was able to send Sandra some GRO references and from these Sandra obtained the marriage certificate for Louisa Sewell to Thomas Wright in Newington 1851. Louisa’s father is given as Thomas, deceased. We now need to find Thomas; hopefully a death certificate might help.

Other enquiries include Vicki Mejaski who is looking for her Grandfather Freddy Sewell possibly from Surrey, who went to Australia as a child. Freddy married Mary O’Connor and ran a hotel at Penshurst NSW. Hopefully when Vicki has found a few Australian certificates we maybe able to help.

Richard Shreeve contacted us as a last resort after 35 years research. His Great Grandmother Elizabeth Shrieve nee Sewell was born at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk in 1862 and married Robert Shrieve in 1879. Her mother was Elizabeth Sewell an unmarried servant girl. Richard has not been able to find the family in the 1871 census and believes that Elizabeth senior died in childbirth and relatives raised her daughter, possibly under another surname. Sadly I was unable to help Richard as I only have the same information as him.

Andy Wheatley a member of the East of London FHS got in touch with me regarding his Grandparents Louisa Rose and James Sewell. James who died at Passchendale in 1917 was the son of George Sewell, born 1849, at Leytonstone and Ann Hennessey. It was believed that James’s family owned a florist and greengrocer’s shop in Plaistow. Alan would like to hear from anyone who can help him find the shop. He also thinks there may be a connection with George Sewell the actor.

I also had a message from Doreen Webster who while transcribing Monumental Inscriptions for her Genealogical Society in Ontario, Canada, came upon a stone for Richard Increase Mather son of Rev Dr Robert Cotton Mather and Elizabeth nee Sewell. Member Penny Eden is descended from this family, and was delighted with the news as she did not know of any Canadian connection.

Lastly we had a couple of responses from the April Soul Search, Lorraine Key has now contacted member Sharon Cunningham with a possible connection and member Peter Foreman gave me some contacts for Robert Bishop.

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