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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report August 2007

by Diana Kennedy  


Welcome to new member Velda Skeggs who lives in Tasmania.


Velda has been in touch before regarding her Suffolk ancestry. Velda originally wrote asking for help with her maternal great grandparents, George Frederick Sewell born 1869 and who married Mary Jane Sturman in Lowestoft, but had been unable to find his parents. I was able to tell Velda that his parents were Frederick William and Emily nee Cummings and he was one of four children. Frederick William a railway fireman died in 1874 in a train collision. Frederick William’s son George Frederick also joined the railways as a signalman. His mother Emily was in receipt of a pension from the railways. Since then I have found that Frederick William was Emily’s second husband her maiden name being Abbot. She also married a third time after Frederick’s death.


When Velda first got in touch I was able to take her back another generation to George Sewell and Susan nee Goldsmith. George was born in Blundeston Sfk in 1807. Since my original correspondence with Velda I have extended this tree back a further two generations to John Sewels born about 1740 in Blundeston who married Elizabeth Shouldeam in 1769. So far I have found only one son of John and Elizabeth, John born 1776 in Blundeston who married Lydia Brown. John and Lydia appear to have had fourteen children.


Louisa Sewell who joined the Sole Society last year has updated me with her research. Her great grandfather was Robert Sewell born about 1860 in Westminster. In the censuses he gives his occupation as a Gymnast. Robert married Elizabeth Hollerhead in Manchester in 1886 and his father is given as Robert a clerk. However Louisa has still not been able to find his parents despite following several possibilities, she thinks it is likely that he is the son of Elizabeth Sewell born 1860 in Kennington father unknown. Robert is listed in the census with Elizabeth daughter of Sarah Sewell. Louisa has however followed up her gt grandfather’s career. In the late 1880’s he teamed up with Fred Westcott (later Fred Karno) and Ted Tysall as the Three Karnos, an act specialising in comic tumbling, playing the mandolin and singing. Fred Karno wrote and performed in slapstick and later invented custard pie throwing. Robert’s three daughters also went into the business and had a Revue act called the Three Redheads and travelled to the USA with Fred Karno with their act.


At the end of last year Gary Taylor asked for help researching his maternal great grandmother. Elizabeth Sewell was born about 1830, and married Daniel Brown in 1855 in Clerkenwell. Gary believed her father was Joseph Sewell born 1801 Pottersbury, Nth, could we help? Northants co-ordinator Ruth Pringle was unable to find in her records Elizabeth and I suggested Gary bought Elizabeth’s marriage certificate. The certificate gave her father as Samuel, a carpenter. From the 1861 census Gary found Samuel a carpenter was born in Bristol about 1807, his wife was given as Jane. Samuel had married his sister in law, Jane Eldridge in 1844, previously having married her sister Elizabeth Clara Eldridge. Samuel and Jane’s marriage certificate gives his father as Samuel an attorney.


Gary thinks he has now traced Samuels’s parents to a marriage for a Samuel Sewell and Ruth Stacy in 1806 at Westbury on Trym near Bristol.


Kathy McInnis-Misenor is looking for information on Sewell’s in Ireland, can you help? Her ancestor Jane Sewell (Sewall) was born in Ireland about 1830-32. Jane’s father was John Sewell and she had an older sister Ann and a younger brother and sister, John and Elizabeth. We have few Sewell Irish records so maybe one of our members can help.


I am continuing to update the Sewell master index; unfortunately I keep getting distracted by looking families up in the censuses so it is a slow process. Help with the records and other information is always welcome in particular our Northamptonshire co-ordinator Ruth Pringle would like to thank Geoff Knott, for his considerable help in transcribing Sewell Wills for her. Geoff researches the Sole name and Ruth says he spent a good part of his Christmas holidays transcribing them for her.


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