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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report December 2010

by Diana Kennedy  



Welcome to new member Michael Sewell. Michael’s sister Margaret was a member of the Sole Society for a number of years and Michael has taken over his sister’s research. Their ancestors were from Rockcliffe and Renwick in Cumberland, going back to Robert Sewell who married Hannah Jackson in 1799. They are descended from Robert the son of Robert and Hannah. Robert junior married Ann Watson in 1826. Michael would like to fill in some of the date gaps in his research; which hopefully we will be able to help with.


We welcomed new member Donna Harvey in our last issue, but it was too late to include details of her research which I now have. Donna is a descendant of John Sewell born about1770 in Tetsworth, Oxfordshire. John married his second wife Charlotte Archer in 1797. Donna had already researched the family and we have been able to exchange some information to bring our records up to date. Like most of us Donna had heard tales of her family but did not record the information at the time, assuming it was correct.


Solley and Sole member Roger Sutton also researches the name Wing from Rutland and was sent a will from 1579 that mentions the name Sewell; he knew we would be interested. John Winge of Denton in Lincolnshire, after making several bequests to his wife and family, gives to Alice Sewell the daughter of Gabriel Sewell of ‘Somerbie’ the ‘greatest pane that I have and the greatest and best brass pote’. To Gabriel Sewell he leaves an acre of land. Unfortunately I have not come across Gabriel before and hope someone can help.


Back in 2002 the Society purchased a number of postcards with mention of our names, from the period 1899 – 1950. After all this time I have had an enquiry regarding one of them. The card itself was undated and said very little of any use. It was sent to a Miss Sewell living in Woolwich Road in Bexley Heath in Kent and was sent by someone called G..ill. The maternal great grandparents of Suzanne Taylor, who enquired about the card, lived at that address in 1911, they were William George Alfred Sewell and his wife Lilian Beatrice. Hopefully Suzanne will be able to provide more details.


One of the enquiries I have had recently was from Larry Hansford in the USA. He is trying to trace the ancestry of MaryAnn Sewell born 1833 in Uppingham, Rutland. He knows Mary Ann died in childbirth in Illinois in 1868 but does not know when she emigrated to the USA. From our records, Mary Ann was one of eight children of Christopher and Mary Sewell. Mary Ann is with her family in the 1851 census but not in 1861, I assume she had left England by then.


Another enquiry was also from the USA; Paul from Michigan is looking for a Mary Sewell. Mary married Robert Winter in 1819 in Morland, Westmorland; unfortunately I don’t have any further details.


Kev Sewell came across our website via a report of mine from 2001. This mentioned a Julie Nelson who was researching her x2 great grandfather Jonathan Sewell born 1852 in Cumberland, who died in the USA in1928. Jonathan had married Elizabeth Graves in 1873. At the time, the information we had was that Jonathan and his sister Jane were the children of Joseph and Jane Sewell. Joseph was baptised in 1813 and was the son of John and Jane. Kev’s interest was in Joseph born in1813 the son of John and Jane. Kev had found two wives for Joseph and ten children but no Jonathan, could I help? Looking at our records I could not find the original connection and with new information from census records it became clear they were two separate families. Our records show, and Kev’s information agreed that Joseph married firstly Mary Robinson in 1837 and they had five children and secondly Dinah Walker in 1846 and they had six children. The first of these children of Joseph and Dinah could possibly be from Joseph’s first marriage to MaryRobinson. In the 1861 census, Jonathan, a brother and two sisters are living in Ireby with no parents. There does not seem to be any connection with Joseph and his family and Jonathan. It is always useful to hear from enquirers as connections do change as we find moreinformation.


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