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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report December 2011

by Diana Kennedy  



We are pleased to welcome six new members with an interest in researching their Sewell line. They are Charlyn Meaker, Gabrielle Stevens, Marjorie Pulford, Lesley Maloney, Rosemary Woodbridge-Smith and Judith Cook.

Charlyn Meaker would like to find living relatives as her father, Oswald Charles Sewell, refused to talk about his background. Charlyn knew that her grandfather Frederick Charles was born in 1864 and married Annie Scott in 1903. Oswald was the eldest of three children born around the Kingston area of Surrey. Our records showed Frederick Charles to be the son of Frederick and Catherine. Frederick was born in 1831 in Darrington, Yks, the son of James and Mary. I can find no information on James, but from census data I know Mary was born in Tong near Westerham in Kent. After the birth of two children in the early 1820’s in Westerham, the family moved to Darrington in Yorkshire, where three more children were born, the last being Frederick. By 1841 most of the family had moved back to Westerham, but there is no sign of the father James and in the1851 census Mary states she is a widow. This is the only family I have in the Westerham area and I wonder if James was born in Yorkshire and that is why the family moved there. Charlyn would like to know if she can find any living descendants of the family. Her aunt Freda Ann, born 1907, died unmarried in 1973 and her uncle Eric Stuart born in 1909, died in 1982. I cannot find a marriage for Eric and have suggested Charlyn gets his death certificate to see who the informant was and also to look for a will. The next move would be to find what happened to Frederick’s siblings.

Gabrielle Stevens is descended from a long line of ancestors who come from Hitcham in Suffolk. Gabrielle’s mother was also born in Hitcham and Gabrielle has traced the family back to Edward Sewell who was born in Hitcham in 1732 and married Sarah Balsam. We have this quite large family in our records, and I am comparing the records we have with those that Gabrielle has found. Gabrielle is keen to find Edward’s father in surrounding areas, as far as we can tell there are no more baptismal records for Sewell before 1832. We do have records of movement into Hitcham from nearby areas. Gabrielle has a lot of information that she has given me and I am hoping to find time to go through the records we have to find other Hitcham members and to verify the records we have.

Marjorie Pulford is researching her family from County Durham. The earliest entry Marjorie can find is George Sewell who was born in 1743 and who married Tamar Rumblah in 1765 in Barnard Castle. Marjorie found on our website two articles written by member Jean Cooper and found they share the same great great grandfather, Abraham Sewell. Abraham was born in 1841 and died in 1909. Jean has done a lot of research on her family over the years and Marjorie and Jean have exchanged information and photographs.

Lesley Maloney lives in Canberra, Australia and is researching her Sewell family from Rutlandshire and Leicestershire. Rebecca Sewell married Robert Rayworth (Raworth) a draper. Lesley has been unable to find any records for Rebecca. She has found on the IGI a Rebecca Sewell born in 1794 in Oakham, Rut, whose parents were Thomas and Elizabeth and while the dates fit she is not sure if this is the correct Rebecca. The 1841 and 1851 censuses show a Rebecca Raworth, a widow, and her children living in Leicestershire. In 1851 Rebecca is aged 57 and born in Oakham. This fits with her parents being Thomas and Elizabeth, but our records do not show any further details for them.

Rosemary Woodbridge-Smith’s ancestors came from Great Henny in Essex. With some help from an ex-member of the Sole Society, Richard Smith, Rosemary has traced her family back to John Sewell who married Margery Gibbon in 1520 and are Rosemary’s 12x great grandparents. Another member Glennis Sewell is also descended from this family and our Essex co-ordinator Brian Sewell tells me that Glennis has done monumental research on this family and has sent Rosemary’s information to Glennis for comment.

Judith Cook is interested in her x2 great grandmother Esther Cook nee Sewell. Esther was born in 1794 the daughter of John Sewell of Great Musgrave, Wes. Great Musgrave was not an area I had come upon before and I could find only one family in the IGI dating back to John Suell who married Elizabeth about 1675. Judith would like to know how they arrived in Musgrave, I suspect it was from neighbouring Durham.

Other enquiries include one from Noeline Farley. Noeline is hoping to find what happened to Joseph Showell (Shuell) who was born in Pedmore Worcestershire in 1834. Our records show Joseph as the son of George and Susannah Sewell. I found a marriage for Joseph Showell in 1851 to Mary Parkes. The 1841 and 1851 census gives Mary as his wife, so the question is did Joseph marry Mary Parkes after the birth of his first three children or was this his second marriage and his first wife was also Mary. I believe Joseph may have died in West Bromwich in 1898 and hope Noeline will let me know when she gets the death certificate.


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