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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report December 2006

by Diana Kennedy  


The Sewell membership of the Sole Society continues to grow with seven new members since the last Soul Search.


It was good to meet two of these at the recent Annual Gathering in Redditch as well as some familiar faces. Everyone was enthusiastic talking about their own research and listening to others. Altogether it was a very successful day.


Welcome to our seven new members, some who have already been able to trace their family trees back several generations and are connected to some of the larger trees we have in our records. The first of these new members is John May, whose paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Sewell. Sarah Elizabeth Sewell came from Winteringham Lincolnshire, to Deal in Kent where she married Percival William May. John thinks that Sarah went to Deal to keep house for her brother who had taken up a teaching post in Deal. A cousin of John’s has already done a lot of research and traced the family back to Barrett Sewell born 1804, who was a farmer in Winteringham. Barratt’s parents were John and Mary nee Barrett. Mike Sewell our Lincolnshire co-ordinator and member Mary Rogers are also descended from this family and they have researched back a further two generations to Samuel Sewell who married Agnes Dalby in 1706 at West Halton, Lincolnshire.


Our next new member, Edward Sewell’s, main area of research is Rutland, although he has also found his family living in Northamptonshire and Derbyshire. Via our forum website Edward has already made contact with another researcher of his family tree. Edward’s 3 x great grandfathers, was Christopher Williamson Sewell born in 1784, Christopher’s mother was Hannah Sewell and father Christopher Williamson. As they didn’t marry, Christopher carried on the Sewell name. His mother Hannah born in 1759 was the daughter of John Sewell and Vartua Mary nee Hawgood, who married in 1745 in Langham Rut. Edward believes he has a possible link to go back two further generations to Theophilius Sewell (Suell) born about 1665, and who married a Mary in 1694 at Ryhall, Rutland. One of their sons William married Catherine Holmes in 1716 and John born 1720 is one of their sons. Christopher Williamson Sewell married Mary Stevens in 1808 and had seven children. One of these was John Turner Sewell born in 1843 but left Langham and married in Wittering, a Mary Ann Barnett. Having had six children by Mary Ann, John Turner abandoned her and headed for the ironworks in Derbyshire where he married again in 1876 and had two more sons. Mary Ann declaring herself a widow, also remarried in 1882. Edward is descended from Ernest Edward the youngest son of John Turner and Mary Ann Sewell.  Edward is hoping to trace the brothers of John Turner. Another Sole Society member, John Sewell is descended from William a son of John and Vartua Mary Sewell.


Carole Hamburger in Australia is interested in tracing her cousins, the three daughters of Guy Beauchamp Sewell. Guy’s father was William Guy Sewell born in 1905 in Colac, Victoria. William Guy was a son of Thomas Murcott Sewell and Sarah Ann nee Bull. Thomas Murcott was born in Daventry, Nth in 1853 and emigrated to Australia in 1876. He was the son of William Sewell and Elizabeth nee Murcott.


The great grandmother of Jackie Giancovich was Frances Sewell born 1861 in Walworth. Her relations were convinced that Frances came from Scotland, although Jackie thought otherwise. In the 1871 census I found Frances was the daughter of George Sewell born 1834 Rayleigh in Essex, Jackie had also found the same information as part of a huge family tree sent to her by another researcher.  When Jackie bought the marriage certificate for Frances this also confirmed George as Frances’ father and she can now concentrate on the Essex connection.


Robert Hilken hoped to trace the ancestry of Isaac Sewell born about 1700. Isaac is the 2x great grandfather of Anna Sewell the author of Black Beauty. Robert is descended from William a brother of Isaac Sewell the father of Anna. William born about 1753 married Hannah Maria Fuller. William’s father was Abraham who married Mary Hayward, and his grandfather was Isaac born about 1670 who married Sarah Turner in 1707 at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. Robert was able to supply a few more dates to add to the considerable records we have for this family.


I wrote about new member Greta d’Albedyhil Newman’s family in the August edition of Soul Search.  Greta traces her family back to Sir Thomas Sewell, Master of the Rolls from 1764 to 1784; Sir Thomas was her 4x great grandfather on her mother’s side. Her grandfather was Robert Arden Dalrymple Sewell born in 1868 and became a Captain in the Hyderabad Volunteer Rifles. One mystery Greta would like to solve is the mother of her 2x great grandfather General Sir William Henry Sewell. His father it is said was the Duke of Clarence later to become King William 1V, but his mother remains a mystery. William Henry was brought up by Robert Sewell, an Attorney General of Jamaica and his wife Sarah nee Lewis who married in 1775 at St Pancras, London. It was said that he took the name Sewell when he joined the army


Our last new member, Louisa Sewell has only just started her Sewell research as her father had no records of his Sewell family and Louisa had only got back as far as her grandfather who was forty in the 1901 census and born in Westminster. He was still living in Westminster and gave his occupation as an Athletic Gymnast.  I found Louisa a couple of possible births for Robert in our GRO records. The most likely was Robert Sewell born in 1861 registered in Islington. Using our CD Louisa found a Robert christened in the Old Street Church, St Pancras in 1861, and also his siblings and the marriage of his parents William Lofty Sewell and Martha Symonds. In our records, William Lofty was born about 1825 in Norwich, Norfolk, and was a pork butcher. Although we do not know the parents of William Lofty it seems likely that he had a brother Edward who married Eliza Broad as one of their sons was a James Lofty Sewell.  However Louisa’s father insists that his family came from Cumbria, so before proceeding we need to make sure we have the right Robert. Louisa does know that he was an entertainer as were his daughters and is keen to find out more about their careers.


Long standing member Anne Gould found a coincidence when she searched the 1901 census of neighbours who become related through marriage. Anne’s mother had an Uncle, George Eden who was living at number 248, Soho Road, Handsworth, Staffordshire in 1901. Next door was Wilfred Jenkins, an uncle of her father, at number 250. Perhaps not that unusual except that it was sixteen years before Anne’s parents met.


The Sewell records continue to grow with over twenty thousand names and dates. It is a constant challenge keeping the records up to date, just when you think a tree is sorted along comes a bit more information. Member Brenda Ord who was also at the meeting in Redditch with her husband Dennis has given me updates on her research into her Ashwellthorpe, Norfolk family tree. As usual the co-ordinators have been working hard on your behalf. Brian Sewell has continued to field Essex enquiries and adding to his records. Pam Rose who helps with the West Country records helped me with a Devon man I found living in Woolwich, Kent. Through the censuses Pam has traced William and his wife Hannah. In 1851 he was a shoemaker, but in later censuses his occupation was given as a Chelsea Pensioner. Pam found that at least two of his children were born in Canada while his wife came from Ireland. We know that William was born in Plymouth, Devon about 1800, but as yet not his parents, although we know he moved around quite a bit. Northants co-ordinator Ruth Pringle has given me an up to date record of the Northants family trees with records of births, marriages and deaths as well as census data.


Finally member Clive Sewell sent a message to say that he had come to a full stop with his family tree and the only option was to create more Sewells. So he now has a new one, Henry James Sewell born 29th September 2006.


 Congratulations to Clive and his wife and elder son.  


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