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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report December 2007

by Diana Kennedy  


We welcome six new members to the Sole Society since my last report for Soul Search. They are Robin Sewell, Janet Berry, John Cain, Lois Scott, Roy Short and Peggy Keeley.


Robin Sewell’s ancestors are mainly from Brampton, Hun and Graveley, Cam. He has a direct line back to his gt gt grandfather William Sewell who was born in Graveley about 1809. William married Sarah Caress in 1832. Robin also found in the IGI for Gravely, two James Sewell’s, one born in 1806 and another in 1813. Both James’ married in Gravely and Robin assumes they may be siblings/cousins of William. I think that it is possible that there is only one James who married twice, hence the different ages in the IGI. Our records show James marrying Elizabeth Gurry, May 1832, with no further information. Although I have not found the death of Elizabeth it is possible that James then married Mary Ann Rowney in December 1832. We have a lot more information on this marriage in our records. They show that William born 1808 and James born 1806 were the sons of John Sewell and Sarah nee Briggs.


Janet Berry has traced her ancestors back to John Sewell born about 1891 who married Hilda Elsie Coutts Papineau in 1932 in Birmingham. They had one son, Janet’s father in law John Geoffrey Sewell. However John and Hilda were then divorced and father and son lost contact, and so there is very little information on the family. On John’s marriage certificate it gives his father as John William Sewell a Dye Manufacturer’s Work Manager. So far I haven’t been able to trace them in our records or in the censuses.


John Cain is tracing his mother’s family. Edith Sewell was born in December 1903 in Islington, Mdx. John has traced back as far as William Sewell born about 1828 near St Paul’s London. William John Sewell married Eliza Mary Ann Fells in 1850 at Waterloo. From our records I have been able to take John back another two generations to James Sewell born about 1760 and who was married to Elizabeth Rachel.


Lois Scott nee Sewell has started to trace her father’s family name after the death of her paternal grandmother who left Lois a number of birth and marriage certificates together with annotated photos, and inscribed books. Her Great grandfather was Edmund Joseph Sewell who was born in Worcester to John and Julia Sewell. Finally Lois has found the marriage certificate for John and Julia and is hoping it will reveal more information. Lois believes that John was born in 1855 in Bardney, Lin and found John in the 1861 and 1871 census living with his grandparents, John and Mary.  We also have this information in our records, with the additional information that John’s parents were Joseph and Eliza. Plus another three generations back to a Joseph Sewell who married Elizabeth Fridlington in 1753 in Warrington, Lin.  Hopefully when Lois receives the marriage certificate it will put her on the correct path.


Roy Short is researching Abraham Sewell born in Durham about 1723 and who died in 1753 in Maryland, USA. Roy thinks that Abraham’s father was a Jesse Sewell born about 1695 in Durham and died 1727 in Vermont. Although there are several Abrahams in our Durham records none appear to match Roy’s. I have therefore enlisted the help of member Jean Cooper who is researching her Durham family tree that also has several Abrahams and I wondered if Jean had come across Roy’s Abraham. Jean is aware that several Sewells from Cumbria moved to Durham and then to the USA but as yet has no definite link to Roy’s family.


Peggy Keeley is hoping to find out more about her father’s eldest brother Robert born to Alfred James Sewell and his wife Annie nee Boast. The family had nine children in 22years and one daughter Edith is now 99years old. Peggy is descended from William Payne Sewell and Roseanna nee Head from Norfolk. This family has been well documented by member Diana Sewell whose husband is also descended from this family. Diana has researched this family back to the marriage of John Sewell who married Elizabeth Payne in 1761 in Hardingham, Nfk.


Although there was a low turnout of Sewells at our recent gathering in Preston, it was good to see new faces as well as old friends. It is always good to put faces to names and one of these was member Donna Clark from the USA. Donna came with her new found cousin Phil Nendick. A short time ago Phil asked to be put in touch with Donna after he found a photo on our website in which he recognised his mother Erica as a child. Donna and Phil have a common great grandfather in William Shield Sewell. Donna was over from the States to meet Phil and a new set of relatives as well as visiting the places where her ancestors lived.


Jonathan Sewell sent me some of his Sewell research. His x4 great grandfather was Edward Sewell who married Letty Hunt in 1809 at Westminster. They had five sons all christened in Marylebone. Three of the sons Charles, Frederick and George were all builders in London around 1840-1860. Jonathan had found them mentioned on the British History Online website as being involved in the building of the Pitt estate in Kensington, in 1844. Jonathan wanted to know if their father Edward was also involved in the building trade as his father was an architect but had no idea about his grandfather’s occupation. All three brothers died in their 40’s and their children were farmed out so information wasn’t passed on.


In our collection of Sole Society certificates I found one for Charles and his father Edward’s occupation is given as builder. I also noticed that in the 1841 census after the entries for four of the brothers (Henry age 15 was a watchmaker) was a William and Letty Eales. William Eales was a timber merchant and I think it likely that Letty having been widowed from Edward Sewell then married William Eales, possibly a friend of the family. In the British History Online website I found a building report of the Pitt Estate. William Eales, a timber merchant had entered into an agreement with Stephen Pitt to build a housing estate.  The report goes on that ‘the attractive cul-de-sac, formerly Orchard Street, which now forms the south end of Gordon Place, was begun in 1846. The main builders were Charles and Frederick Sewell of Paddington….. and the lessee of No. 39 was George Edward Sewell of Camden Town, builder.’


Nothing much changes as the report goes on that in 1864 there was an extension of the Metropolitan Railway to Kensington and the chosen course cut across the Pitt estate and although the line was carried in a tunnel several houses had to be demolished and when rebuilding took place they were often in disproportionate scale to their neighbours. (Survey of London, F.H.W Sheppard, 1973) Pitt Street and Gordon Place can still be found quite close to Kensington Palace, and to High St Kensington station on the Circle and District Line.


Stephanie Summers sent a message to say she has a couple of wonderful photos of Sarah Sewell nee Taylor who married William Sewell who was born in Gt Munden, Hrt in 1847. The photos show Sarah with their children, Frederick, George, Helen, James and Charles. Stephanie says that she would be willing to send copies to any descendants. As far as she knows the family stayed around the Enfield Ess area.


I was also sent a copy of an article on the Corke family by member Edie Robinson. The article related to a William Corke who died in 1860 and is buried in Halifax General Cemetery. In the article it mentions Sarah Sewell Corke a daughter of William. So far I have not been able to find the Sewell connection to this family.


Finally from New Zealand, came an enquiry as to whether Shuell was a variation of Sewell. I don’t think I have come across this spelling as a variation before and it is not covered by our research, but could it have been a mis-spelling of Suell? 


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