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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report December 2003

by Diana Kennedy  

It was lovely to meet a number of Sewell members at this years Annual Gathering including several new members, quite a few with Essex ancestors and co-ordinators who I usually only converse with through e-mail, as well as a few partners. I think I can safely say we all had an enjoyable day. I should like to welcome three new Sewell members Peter Garside, Kathryn Lea Sewell, and Pam Rose. We also have two new areas with co-ordinators, member Ruth Pringle has agreed to become the co-ordinator for the Northants area and North West co-ordinator Eric Sewell tells me he has already made a start on the Buckinghamshire area where he lives. A lot of interesting information has been received that has added further connections to family trees. I was very excited when I received a letter asking for information that connected to a branch of my own family from Suffolk.

The first of our new members comes from New Zealand. Peter Garside is looking for information on Richard Sewell born 1837 in Newington, Surrey. Richard’s daughter Fanny Elizabeth was Peter’s grandmother. Fanny married David Patrick Fitzgibbon in New Zealand in 1905. In the 1881 census Fanny is aged 3 with two younger brothers, they were living at Ashmore House, Cudham, Kent together with nieces and a nephew and five servants. I have given Peter GRO references for Richard and Fanny and her two brothers and hope this will take him back further.

The ancestors of our next new member Kathryn Lea Sewell from America, come from Spalding in the Fens region of Lincolnshire. Her branch of Sewells moved with the industrial revolution in the 1820’s to work in the mills in Tameside at Ashton-under-Lyne and then across to America to New Hampshire and New York. In America they were involved with manufacturing diverse items such as carriages and sleighs and concrete products, others worked as railroad engineers or as photographers. Kathryn is looking for her family in the early 1800’s and in particular William George Sewell and Susannah nee Walker who married in 1809. William George was the son of William and Mary nee Sands. Kathryn would also like to find those descendants of William and Mary’s sons, who stayed in Spalding, John born 1785 and James born 1791. She would also like to find those she calls the ‘lost children’, Mary Ann Sewell baptised 1813 and Paul Walker Sewell baptised 1816 at St Mary Spalding. Mike Sewell who co-ordinates Lincolnshire is hoping when he visits Lincoln to look at the census returns for Kathryn, meanwhile looking at the 1881 census he found only three people born in Spalding and a few more Sewells in the surrounding districts. He could find no trace of Paul Walker Sewell in the GRO and thinks it is likely that he died before 1837. Kathryn has also offered help with New Hampshire, Hudson Valley or New York Sewells.

Our third new member Pam Rose is descended from Essex. I mentioned Pam in my report in the August 2003 issue of Sole Search. Pam had read on the website an article written by member Sarah Hays. Pam recognised they had family in common and the two met and exchanged information, meeting up again at the Annual Gathering. Essex co-ordinator Brian Sewell tells me that both he and Pam have ancestors called Cross in Ingrave, near Brentwood and it is quite possible that they may be related through the Cross’s although there is still much work to be done. Brian also thinks that his and Sarah’s two families are related. They both have ancestors who lived close to each other and had children with exactly the same year, quarter and entry numbers in the Billericay birth indexes, but so far there is no solid evidence to connect them.

Brian Sewell has also been trying to piece together some of the Essex families and where member Adam Sewell’s Joseph Sewell might fit in (August 2003 Soul Search Report). Brian already knew Joseph’s wife was Ann and from the 1861 census that he was born in Buttesbury but not Joseph’s fathers name. He had already found that the 1841 census had showed a Joseph Sewell staying with his own 2X great grandfather James and his family. A marriage certificate purchased by Brian showed Joseph Sewell, father Mark, marrying Ann Bannister. He also found that Joseph and Ann’s last child Mary, baptised 6th December 1861 at St Mary Magdalen, Billericay was on the same day and church as Brian’s Great Grandparents David and Louisa Sewell had their first child Eliza baptised. As there is no other known Mark Sewell in the area Brian thinks it is reasonable to conclude that Adam is related not only to his but therefore two other Sole members Irene Evans and Ron Edwards.

Also in Essex Brian tells me that member Ian Sewell has at last broken through a frustrating period due to an apparent error in the 1881 census. Ian knew Henry Sewell married a widow, Charlotte Hawkes in 1862. The 1881 census shows Henry apparently married to a Sarah, with a child Louisa born in 1867. Ian was unable to find a death of Charlotte nor a marriage for Henry to Sarah. He has now found Charlotte in the 1871 census with daughter Louisa.

Member Ray Sewell e-mailed Brian to say ‘just thought I’d let you know that I have finally found my Grandfather George Sewell in the 1901 census. His name had been transcribed as ‘’Suvell’’ a spelling I had not thought to try’. Another ‘variant’ for us!

Member Bev Hendy has continued to make progress with her Suffolk/Essex family with the marriage of Russell Sewell and Elizabeth in 1812 in Sproughton*, Suffolk. David Green saw my mention of Bev’s family on our website. He says that he has no direct interest in the Sewell name, but that he is descended from Robert Daniels. Robert’s daughter Elizabeth married Russell Sewell in 1812. David says that a further contact is Elizabeth Sewell who married Joseph Barber at Harkstead in 1709, one of their children born 1729/30 married first William Winter then Robert Daniels in 1759 at Stutton. This Robert Daniels is the father of Robert Daniels whose daughter married Russell Sewell in 1812. With David’s help we have been able to add a few more details to Bev’s tree, particularly with information that David found on transcriptions of gravestone memorials at Ramsay at the Essex Record Office. We had assumed that Russell and Elizabeth Sewell’s first born son Russell born 1813 had died as an infant as we could find no further mention of him. According to the memorial records David gave us, Russell junior died in 1852 aged 38 years.

*(David has subsequently advised us that: Russell Sewell m. Elizabeth Daniel 17 Dec 1812 by licence, witness Robert Dainel (her father I guess) at Falkenham, NOT Sproughton.  (source:- Falkenham parish register).

Member Anne Gould wrote to me having read Ruth Pringle’s article ‘How do I find my Great Grandfather Sewell?’ in the August 2003 Soul Search. Ruth wrote that her Great Grandfather Thomas John Sewell had married Ann Allibone. Anne has a Mary Alibone in her family tree and wondered if there was a connection with Ruth’s Ann Allibone. Talking to Ruth at the Annual Gathering she told me that she believes there is a connection with the Allibone’s and has been in touch with Anne. Anne was also enquiring whether we had any further information on Millicent Seawell her 5x grandmother who married Joseph J Makecock at Fenny Compton 13th July 1718. I had to tell Anne that we still have no more information. Can anyone help?

Member Judy Wright has sent me an update on her family, she has found the parents and siblings of John Sewell, born 1799. His parents were Henry and Rebecca, John and his siblings were all born in Fort St George, Madras.  One sister Rebecca born 1795 married Thomas Bracken. Judy had always wondered where the name Bracken came from as her grandfather was called John Bracken Sewell and her father Albert Bracken Sewell. However Judy is still unable to find John’s marriage to Juana in Chilli as she has been told there are no entries in the GRO consular indexes for Chilli for that period.

Roger Dowse wrote to say he is researching his wife’s Sewell connection. He asked if I knew of her 3x great grandfather John Sewell a farmer at Manor House Farm at Knodishall, Suffolk. I could immediately locate the family as my 3x great grandfather was Dan Sewell a brother of John. Their parents were John and Elizabeth nee Kent who married in 1780 and had eight children including John and Dan. I was able to tell Roger the grandparents of John and Dan, were John Sewell and Sarah Newson who married in Charlton, Suffolk in 1749. This is as far as I am able to go back at present. I also had a great deal of information on the children and descendants of John, including his son James born 1815 and who died in 1849 from accidental gunshot wounds leaving six young children. We have exchange information and Roger has confirmed my belief that ‘his John’ had married twice with the children, including James, being from his first marriage. Roger also sent me details from Essex newspapers of James’ son Jesse Sewell who with his wife Sarah nee Churchyard celebrated their Diamond wedding anniversary in 1932.

Sole member Philip Lloyd told me at the Annual Gathering that he had found a Sewell in his family tree, a John Fielding Sewell. Philip had found the name in a family bible giving the death of Kate Sewell nee Neave in 1883, wife of John Fielding Sewell. However the certificate that Philip had gave John F’s marriage in 1870 to Alice Bignall. I was able to find a GRO reference for Philip for the death of Alice less than 6 months after her marriage. It seems likely that John F remarried and is the John Fielden Sewell who married in Manchester in 1875. Philip also remembers a post card from an Ella Sewell, but so far has been unable to find Ella or her connection with the family.

I had a letter from Sheila Wharton who is researching the Sewell connection for a friend. This friend’s grandmother was Annie Elsie Smith who had a sister that married a Sewell whose parents were connected to Charrington’s Brewery in London. Sheila told me there was an Edward D Sewell on the Board of Directors in the 1920 and 30’s. Sheila asked did we know of a Miss Smith who married a Mr Sewell between 1920 to 1950. With not much to go on I decided to begin with Edward D Sewell. I thought it likely that he was born prior to 1881 and took a look at the 1881 census, typing in Edward and London area. As you can imagine there were several Edwards but one stood out, Edward D, son born 1862. This showed the Hackney area with the head as Rosina age 48, a widow living on funds with two sons and a daughter and several servants. Edward D the eldest was aged 19 and was a Brewer’s clerk, born Stepney. A look in the GRO births showed an Edward Disney Sewell born 1861 registered Mile End and I soon found his marriage in 1887 and his death in 1939. The name Disney set bells ringing, I knew I had seen the name and not just in films. A search through my Sewell files in Generations revealed nothing, I then remembered I had possibly seen the name on a certificate and searched through all of the odd certificates I had. This search revealed a death certificate for Edward Sewell in 1876 that I had purchased in 1996, for some reason I have now forgotten. Edward died aged 45years in Mile End, and was a Brewers Manager. The informant of the death was his brother in law one, R S Disney. It seems very likely that this was the husband of Rosina and father of Edward D. I am hoping that Sheila will be able to confirm the connection. Finding a Mr Sewell who married a Miss Smith may be a little more difficult although I have given Sheila a few possibilities.

Member Carol Saul was going through her notes and found some Sewells in Dumfriesshire. This gave ‘William Sewell of the parish of Torthorwald and Helen Johnston of the parish of Annan were lawfully married 3 Jan 1845’. From the records of the baptisms of their children it tells us that William was a schoolmaster.

Another Saul member Sandie Willoughby was recently in London doing some research and found in the 1851 census William Sewell and his family living in Hackney. William a Grocer came from Great Yarmouth.  This information has added two more daughters to the family I have in my Norfolk records.

Essex co-ordinator Brian Sewell would like to thank in particular Ian Sewell for the considerable amount of work he does so enthusiastically on behalf of the Society. He would also like to thank the other members and non members who have contributed so much information which will appear in the eagerly awaited CD, he says it never ceases to amaze him how much in particular our oversees members contribute to the Society. I can only agree with Brian with the great importance that this information plays in helping us to provide information to build up the family trees and provide help to others.

The Sewell CD should I think be out at about the same time as this Soul Search if not before.  I hope that you find it interesting and informative. The co-ordinators already have new information on some Family Trees on the CD, so please if you have any more information you can add or find any discrepancies please get in touch and we can then make changes to later editions. I should like to thank the co-ordinators for their help in producing the Family Trees and their support. I think we should also say a big thank you to Tony Storey and Tim Soles for all of the hard work they have done in producing the CD for the Sewell’s.

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