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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report December 2008

by Diana Kennedy  



Welcome two new members to the Sole Society with an interest in the Sewell name, they are Jonathan Sewell and Sharon Prydeck.


Jonathan has been in touch with me for some time and I have mentioned his family and research before in Soul Search. His ancestors originated from Norfolk and Jonathan can trace his roots back to 1675 and an Edward Sewell of Binham in Norfolk. Later generations moved to Marylebone in London. Mainly builders by trade they were involved in the building of the Pitt estate in Kensington, which Jonathan found in British History Online. Other sources used by Jonathan to trace his ancestors have included insurance records that indicated that they were fairly wealthy. Jonathan has kindly agreed for us to publish some of his collection of photos and these can be seen in this edition of Soul Search.


Our other new member, Sharon from the United States, is also descended from East Anglia, this time from Hitcham in Suffolk. Her great great grandfather was William Sewell who was born about 1802 in Hitcham; he married Mary Ann Darwin in 1822 in Lavenham. We do have this family in our records and so I was able to swap some information with Sharon including going back another three generations to Thomas and Margaret who married about 1735 in Monks Eleigh in Suffolk, so there is plenty for Sharon to research. I also had an enquiry from a Penny Pilbrow who was enquiring about George Sewell and Mary Ann nee Dedman who married in Hitcham. George was a son of William and Mary Ann. Sharon is descended through their daughter Priscilla Ann and Penny from another sibling. Penny says that she remembers as a child meeting Priscilla who became a great great grandmother and lived to a great age. I have put Sharon and Penny in touch with each other and I am sure they will have plenty to discuss as well as exchanging information.


In the August edition of Soul Search I mentioned new member Alison Day but I did not have any details of Alisonís research at that time. I have finally caught up with Alison and find her ancestors came from Essex. Brian Sewell our Essex co-ordinator recognised the tree that Alison sent and was able to exchange information with Alison. She is descended from Joseph Sewell born about 1817 in Buttsbury, Ess. Joseph was the seventh and last child of Mark and his second wife Phoebe nee Cracknell. Mark and Phoebe and his older sibling Mary died within a year or two of Josephís birth. In the 1841 census, Joseph is living with his older brother James and his family. Brian has also been able to put Alison in touch with another researcher of the same tree as well as being able to combine two families from his records.


It was great to meet with a few Sewell members at the recent Annual Gathering in Cookham and there was much discussion and exchange of ideas. Brenda Ord came along with her husband Dennis. Brendaís ancestors originated from Ashwellthorpe in Norfolk with James Sewell born in 1720, the son of John and Elizabeth nee Stott.  Later her Sewell ancestors moved north to Newcastle, Durham and Northamptonshire. Dennis has been researching his Ord name and has found a Sewell connection. William Ord born in 1803, in Houghton Le Spring, Durham was the son of George Ord and Jane nee Sewell. There are a few Sewell families in the area but so far I have not been able to find one with a Jane of the correct age.


Other Sewell researchers at Cookham were Rita Acres and Lois Scott. Rita is researching her Sewells of Rutland, going back to John Sewell who married Vartua Mary Hawgood in 1745 in Langham, Rut. Rita says she still has much to research. Lois Scott who joined last year also came along with her research of Sewells in Lincolnshire and Worcester. Her great grandfather Edmund Joseph Sewell was born in Worcester the son of John and Julia nee Flynn. John was born in Bardney, Lin in 1855 and was the son of Joseph and Eliza. We think that it is possible to trace this family back  another four generations to Joseph and Elizabeth nee Fridlington who married in 1753 in Waddington, and Lois is working to proof her research.


Two enquiries I received recently were regarding the same family tree. Don Sewell and Vivien Sewell are descended from brother and sister, Charles and Eliza the children of James Robert and Caroline nee North. Longstanding member Tony Foster is also descended from the same family but from Joseph Rowland a half brother of James Robert. The family came from the Southwark area of London. Vivien was surprised to find a Sewell connection as Sewell is her married name. She is now researching her husbandís Sewell family who also came from South London and Vivien wonders if there might be a link between the families.


A more personable enquiry came from Gaynor Parsons who lives in Canada. Gaynor was looking for a William Sewell in Suffolk and could I help. Gaynor told me that her grandparents were Walter and Edith nee Mitchelmore. Walter was the son of William and Sarah Manning. This immediately set bells ringing, as I knew William and Sarah from my own research. William was the son of Joseph born in 1784 and he was the brother of my 3x great grandfather. Joseph married Letitia Hurren in 1822 in Kelsale, Sfk and they had two children, Jane born in 1823 and William Hurren Sewell born in 1828 also in Kelsale. Williamís marriage to Sarah Ann Manning was his second and their son Walter was born in 1866 one of five children from his second marriage. I had a picture in my files of the gravestone of Joseph and Letitia that I had found in Kelsale churchyard. Not only were they born within three weeks of each other in 1794 but died within four weeks of each other in 1882 aged 88years. William Hurren Sewell was a farmer in Middleton, Suffolk at Vale farm and Gaynorís brother was able to send me a photo of a painting he has of Vale Farm. I am off to Suffolk in a few weeks time so I will make the effort to find the farm and hopefully take a few more photos for Gaynor.  Gaynor has updated me on Walter and Edithís family; sadly both Gaynor and my own Sewell lines have both died out.


It only remains for me to wish all of our members a Happy Christmas and happy researching in 2009.  


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