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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report December 2011

by Diana Kennedy  



It has been generally very quiet with few enquiries, however this has left me time to research some of the families we have in our records. A picture of the military gravestone of W. T. Sewell sparked off a research into his family as did the offer of a marriage certificate for another. There always seems to be something new to add to the records even the smallest snippet of information. As member Ingrid Sewell wrote just as she thought she had it all sorted along comes another contact. She was sent the name of another child of Henry and Mary Annie Sewell, from Essex, although the child only lived for 17days. There is always something more to find, you just never finish researching family history!

We welcome new member Stephanie Summers to the Sole Society. Stephanie originally got in touch with us in 2007, hoping we could put her in touch with anyone researching the same Sewell line. Her grandfather William Sewell was born in Nazeing, Ess in 1882, one of ten children born to William and Sarah Sewell. William was born in 1847 in Great Munden, Hrt and married Sarah Taylor in 1868. Stephanie has some photos of Sarah Sewell with her children and is hoping to sort them out for us to see. Our records and Stephanie’s research show that this family goes back another two generations to Samuel Sewell who married Sarah Dilley in 1810 in Cottered, Hrt. William and Sarah moved from Hertfordshire, first to Essex and then to Enfield, Mdx. Stephanie’s uncle was Stanley William Sewell, who was born in Enfield, in 1906, and won a George Cross in the second World War. Stephanie would be delighted to get in touch with anyone researching this family.

Mike Sewell joined the Sole Society at the end of October 2010, he is researching the descendents of Robert Sewell of Carlisle, Cul and has been comparing his research with the one on our CD. While many of the trees on the CD have since been update, Mike was pleased to see that mainly our researches have corresponded. He has also located a file relating to the military record for his grandfather Jonathan Sewell born in 1878. It covers a period when he enlisted in the 1st Borders Regiment and his time in South Africa and India. It was particularly pleasing to Mike as he had inherited his Queens South African Medal from the Second Boer War. Jonathan was also involved in World War 1 and Mike also has his medals from this conflict, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. At this time he was in the Queens Royal Labour Corps in the 97th Company and served in Salonika in Greece. Mike wondered if anyone had any more details, unfortunately Ian Sewell who is our expert on the military says these records have not survived.

Pat Greetham a contact through GOONS has sent me an unwanted marriage certificate. Henry Troake married Alice Sewell on 24th July 1879 Norwich, Nfk. Is anyone looking for the marriage certificate of Alice? Alice was born in 1862 and was the daughter of William and Maria Sewell from Lakenham, Nfk. Earlier generations came from Wrenningham, Nfk. Please let me know if this could be your family.

Member Glennis Sewell sent me a newspaper cutting from Lloyds Weekly Newspaper from the 22nd December 1901. Miss Margaret Sewell was a contributor to the women’s section of the paper on ‘shopping’. The article tells us that Margaret was the daughter of Phillip Sewell brother of Anna Sewell, author of ‘Black Beauty’. After Anna’s death, Margaret went to live with her grandmother, Anna’s mother, Mary Sewell who was also a writer. After her grandmother died in 1884, Margaret went to Newnham College for three years to read for honours. In 1891 Margaret was appointed warden of the Women’s University Settlement in Southwark. The article goes on to say that probably no woman in London is more respected for the thoroughness of her work, the wisdom of her judgement and her thorough grasp of practical questions and of the social life of our day. In returning her article proof to the editor Miss Sewell adds a very important note. “Of course I need not say, ‘don’t buy at all until you have the money to pay’, for it is not really honest to do otherwise”. I wonder what she would have made of this credit card age we live in.  


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