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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report August 2006

by Diana Kennedy  


Although it has generally been quiet since the last Soul Search I am pleased to say we welcome nine new Sewell members.


The first of these is Beverley van der Sluis who posted a message on our forum site to say she would be delighted to hear from anyone with information on Sewells in Cambridge and Tottington, Lancashire.  Her great grandmother Eva Sewell was born 1872 in Caxton Cam, to Samuel Sewell b.1837 Caxton. The family later moved to Lancashire. I was able to take Bev back a couple of generations to John Sewell b. 1769 Cambridge.


Margaret Palmer also made contact through our forum site. Her Grandparents were William Walter Sewell and Flora Kempson, and her great grandparents were William Henry Sewell and Mary Lees, from Lambeth, Southwark area of London. From our records I found William Henry was born to William Sewell and his wife Mary nee Atkinson in 1853 in City of London. William was a Merchants Clerk. This family appears to be connected to members Derek Williams and Tony Foster. Derek recently sent a family tree update that casts doubt on the parents of William Henry that I have given Margaret.


Derek had been searching for a few years for a William Henry Sewell born about 1855. Finally Derek thinks he has found him, although it as yet unconfirmed. Derek knew his William Henry died in 1890 in Dragon Road, Camberwell age 35. Derek had found him in only one census, the 1881, where his occupation was given as a Hotel Waiter. He was living at Foxley Road, Lambeth, age 28 with his wife Mary and son William Walter. Derek decided to go back to the beginning and finally found William H Sowell in the 1871 census as brother of Joseph Rowland Sewell. Tracing back, he found in the 1861 census William H Layland born 1857 son of Mary Ann Layland, again there was Joseph Rowland Sewell, a son of Mary Ann. Tracing back further in the 1851 Derek found Mary Ann was married to Robert Sewell. So far this ties in with the family Tony Foster is researching, but is this Margaret’s William Henry?  Going back to William Henry and his son William Walter from the 1881 census, Derek has been unable to find a marriage for William Henry, although he is sure that he was supposed to have married Mary Readings. Mary Readings was the mother of Thomas J H Readings in the 1881 census at Foxley Rd. He believes she was born Mary Lees about 1841. However a contact of Derek’s found Mary Readings died ten years before she supposedly gave birth to William Walter. William Henry’s wife Mary died in 1910 in Newington age 70. Cause of death senile decay wife of William Henry Sewell deceased, waiter. Derek’s great grandfather, Christopher Thomas Williams married Lilian the daughter of William Henry and Mary. William Walter married Flora Kempson the branch Margaret Palmer is descended from.


Our third new member is Clive Sewell who I met with his mother, who has been researching her family history for some time, at the Northern Gathering in April. Clive had been in touch with Australian member Prue Webster to whom he is distantly related. Both Clive and Prue are descended from William Sewell b. 1798 and Mary Needham b. 1801 of Nottingham. Clive is descended from their son Henry b.1840 and Prue from their son John b.1825. Prue and Clive have exchanged much information.


Also at the Northern Gathering was new member Annette Sewell. Before she joined Annette was searching the internet using the name of her 3x great grandfather Thomas Tokely Sewell and came up with the name from one of my reports in Soul Search. Thomas was a printer compositor born in Wapping, London, he later moved to Cambridge. His parents were William and Elizabeth Sewell nee Barker. Members Vickie Parr and Nigel Sewell are also descended from this family and Annette has been in touch with Vickie.


Sandra Daniels had been in touch with member Diana Sewell. Sandra is researching the William Sewell’s from Kimberley and Hackford in Norfolk. William Sewell married Dinah Cann in 1851 Wicklewood, Norfolk. Sandra is related to the Canns via her maternal line. Member Diana Sewell’s husband is also descended from this Sewell family and Diana has done a lot of research in the Norfolk area and had already exchanged much information before Sandra joined.


Another Norfolk researcher on behalf of her husband’s family is Sarah Sewell. Using Ancestry, Sarah has gone back to George Sewell born abt 1843 in Cromer, Norfolk. I do have this family in our records and believe it could link to other families in Norfolk, but I need to do more research to connect them.


From Norfolk to Suffolk, Angela Sharp was looking on our website to see if she was related to Anna Sewell’s family and discovered she was related to me instead. We share the same 3x great grandfather John Sewell who married Elizabeth Kent in Snape in 1780. John and Elizabeth had eight children, Angie is descended from their second son John and I am descended from their third son Dan. Angie and I have been exchanging information. The parents of John were John Sewell and Sarah Newson who married in nearby Carlton in 1749.


New member Marilyn Joice told me her grandfather was William Sewell who married Frances Annie Doody, b.1871 in Bishopwearmouth, Cumberland. Her great grandparents were John and Elizabeth nee Melvin. Sometime between 1881 and 1891the family moved to Hartlepool. John Sewell was born in 1847 the son of Joseph and Rebecca nee Wardell. Joseph a mariner and Rebecca married in 1832 in Sunderland. Marilyn has been unable to confirm date or place of birth of Joseph on the censuses as presumably he was at sea. She thinks it is possible that he was born in 1806 at Bishop Middleham the son of Joseph and Jane nee Barrowfoot. We have some of the information in our records but nothing that can help Marilyn.


Our ninth new member is Roy Kruze. Roy has been busy and is hoping to get back to me later with details of his family.


Our Cambridgeshire co-ordinator Sarah Hay came across Emily Sewell married to a William Kidman, living in Dry Drayton, Cam. Sarah tracked Emily and her family back to Broomfield on the outskirts of Chelmsford. From here it was easy for Brian Sewell, who co-ordinates Essex, to establish she was part of an existing tree which goes back to the mid 1700s in the High Easter area. Emily’s father William bap 1839 Chignal Smealy was married to Emma Fewell in 1860 in nearby Chignal St James. Both Sarah and member Pam Rose have Fewell ancestry. Harry Fewell is Pam’s grandfather who married an Emily Jane Sewell in 1903. Obviously they are wondering if there is a connection. Meanwhile Brian has been able to develop the Essex part of the tree with currently 80 people.


Brian has also been helping with an enquiry from Mary Crane who was seeking information on her paternal grandfather, Abraham Sewell born in 1881 in South Weald Essex. Abraham had a brother Charles G born 1876 and a sister Grace H born 1878. Brian found their parents Charles born 1845 High Easter and Hannah with several more siblings, totalling 22 people, but has so far been unable to connect this Charles with any other existing family tree.


Earlier this year I sent Brian an e.mail from Peter Gamble who was researching John Sewell b. abt 1813 Felstead Essex. Peter and his sister Bridget Chappelle had been researching for 10 years. John was the father of their maternal gt grandmother, Wilfred b, 1862 Clerkenwell. They have provided Brian with a large amount of information from the Felstead parish register making a substantial addition to the information Brian already held for this tree to which member William deB Murphy is connected. By coincidence Brian was also contacted through the Members Interests of the Essex FHS by Judith Treanor who is also interested in this tree. Judith had also been in touch with a Gill Daniels who also has an interest in this tree. Brian says that there are currently seven people interested in various parts of this tree and their combined efforts have resulted in a tree of 199 people.


Another enquiry has come from Janice Jones, who said it was a forlorn hope but maybe we had an answer to her family solid brick wall. From the Parish Church of Kendal records she had found the marriage of Isabella Sewell to John Smith on 24th December 1797, Isabella’s parents were Henry Sewell and Margaret Bray. Isabella is Janice’s 3x great grandmother but Janice can find nothing before this entry. Maybe some of our Cumbria members can help.


Jean McCarthy asked if she could be put in contact with member Maureen Boocock as they both share the same 2x great grandmother, Elizabeth Sewell born Wortham, Suffolk 1818-1895. Jean is descended from her son Walter Sewell and Maureen from her son George whose father was William Catchpole.  Maureen was thrilled to receive more details from Jean’s side of the family as well as some photos. In the 1851 census Elizabeth was in Pulham, Norfolk workhouse with her sons James, George, Walter and Robert. Maureen has sent an up to date copy of her family tree so I can update our records.


Phil Nendick asked to be put in contact with member Donna Clark, as they are both researching William Shield Sewell. I am hoping to hear more later.


Finally member Edna Pritchard who researches Sewells in Mitcham, see Soul Search May 2006, wrote to tell me she had found William John Sewell the son of the cricketer William Humphries had moved to Manchester and did we have any Manchester records.  Edna had found William John in the 1881 census where he was an embosser living in Hulme, Manchester. Edna wondered what had happened to them. We have very few Manchester Sewells and so I took a look for Edna on the Ancestry website and eventually found William now a packer, with his wife Susanne and two children, Alice and George. They were still living in the same street in Hulme although a few doors down. It was as well that Edna had given me lots of details as Ancestry had indexed them under the name Scuell, although it was clearly Sewell on the original. In 1901 son George was living in Accrington with his wife Maud and infant son George. While Alice had married a John Purcell and was living with her husband and two children in South Manchester together with her father who was now a widower.  


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