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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report August 2009

by Diana Kennedy  


We welcome new member, Oran Sewell from the USA. At the time of writing, Oran hasnít yet sent details of his research.


Members Peter and Ingrid Sewell from Australia recently made a flying visit to England. Ingrid says they visited seven countries in four weeks, spending six days in England. During their time in England, as well as visiting family and sightseeing they managed to find time for family history research.


Ingrid has traced Peterís Sewell family back to Henry Sewell, a soldier, born in 1821 in Great Leighs, Ess. Peterís great grandfather was Jonathan Richard Sewell who went to Australia with a brother. Jonathanís parents were Henry and Mary Ann. Henry Sewell married Mary Ann Talbot in 1848 on the Isle of Wight. Brian Sewell our Essex co-ordinator found in his records that the father of Henry Sewell was also called Jonathan, who married Susanna Thorrowgood in 1820 at Great Leighs.


On their trip to England Peter and Ingrid first went to the Isle of Wight where they found that Henry and Mary Ann had another son George Henry in 1848, just nine and a half months after their marriage. George Henry was born on 16th October 1848, he was baptised the following day and sadly buried on the 23rd October. They could find no records for Henry and Mary Annís daughter, Elizabeth born in 1850, but they were able to find Mary Ann Talbotís baptismal records. She was born 6th August 1828 in Newport, IoW, and was baptised 18years later. Her parents were George Talbot and Rebecca Baverstock who married in Newport in 1820.


At the Chelmsford Ess, record office Peter and Ingrid were able to find the marriage of Jonathan Sewell to Susanna Thurrowgood by Banns on 14th November 1820 at Great Leighs. They also found the records of the baptism of three of their children, Henry baptised 22nd April 1821 and William 4th March 1832 and John 11th June 1837, all at Great Leighs. Another breakthrough came when Peter found Jonathan born 4th March 1798 and who was baptised 6th April 1798, parents George and Frances Sewell. George Sewell married Frances Mitchell at St Maryís, Bocking, by Banns on 16th May 1780. Peter and Ingrid then visited the Great Leighs area and met up with local historian, Pat Watkinson who has written a book on the area. Pat has put together the records of Land Titles and Occupancy at Great Leighs in 1838 which shows a Jonathan Sewell living there with his wife Susannah.


An intriguing enquiry came from Julie Green. Julie is trying to trace John Sewell born about 1842-45. Julie knows that John Sewell married Caroline Harrison in 1874 in St Pancras, Lnd. The certificate states that he was aged 32, a bachelor and a railway porter. His father is listed as Joseph Sewell, farmer. Caroline, born in 1851 in Sudbury, Dby and her four children (another was born later) are on the 1881 census where she states she is the wife of a fireman. But of John who had presumably been promoted to a fireman on the railways there was no trace. John was again absent from the 1891 census as Caroline states she is a widow.


While Julie was researching John Sewell she heard from Keith Sewell-Staples who was also researching a John Sewell who had three children with Emma Alfreda Staples, all out of wedlock. Like Julieís John, he does not appear with Emma Staples in the 1881 census and again in the 1891 census Emma lists herself as a widow. Both Emma and Caroline were living in the St Pancras area in 1891. It is rather odd that a John Sewell was missing from both families in the 1881 census, is he the same John, father of all eight children? Julie wonders if Caroline and Emma knew each other as they both came from Derbyshire, and did John also came from Derbyshire. However there are no GRO records for John Sewell born in that area, the most likely is John Sewell born in Deptford in 1845 the son of Joseph and Mary. John Sewell in both families appears have died about 1890, but again Julie is unable to find a death certificate. The only record Julie has found is his marriage to Caroline Harrison.


And finally just to show that persistence pays, I hear from ex member Anne Gould that after many years of searching she has at last found Millicent Seawell, her x6 great grandmother. Anneís husband finally found her on the IGI after looking many times before. Millicent was baptised 19th December 1697 at Woodford Cum Membris now known as Woodford Halse, her parents were Thomas and Elizabeth Seawell. Millicent married Joseph John Maycock (Makecock) on 13th July 1718 at Woodford Halse, Nth. It just goes to show that it is always worthwhile to keep going back to records to find that elusive ancestor. Anne says that she now needs to find Millicentís burial.


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