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

SEWELL Co-ordinator's Report December 2012

by Diana Kennedy  



It has generally been a very quiet few months which has left me time to add more details to some of our records, such as some of the wills from the 1930s. This has thrown up a few more Sewell families that weren’t in our records. I hope to soon transfer all of the records onto Family Historian from Generations which has been misbehaving on Windows 7. That should keep me busy for a while!


There have been no more new members since my last report although it is great to welcome back Naomi Linnell who has taken up her family history research again. Naomi’s maternal grandmother was Esther Frances Sewell who was born in Wexford, Ireland in 1860. Esther’s father was Henry Robert William Frederick Sewell, but little is known about him other than that he is a great-grandson of Sir Thomas Sewell, Master of the Rolls, 1764-1784, whose other descendants we have a great deal of information on. Just as I was writing this report I heard from member Judy Wright who has been researching her family for some years now. She is descended from Henry Sewell who married Rebecca Chase in 1790. Judy always believed that her family was connected in some way to Sir Thomas but was unable to find a link. Leaving the Sewell research aside to follow the Chase side she has discovered that Rebecca was a second cousin to Sarah Waldo who married Humphrey Sibthorp. Their daughter Elizabeth Sibthorp married the widower Sir Thomas Sewell, in 1773 in the Rolls Chapel. However we still need to find who Henry’s parents were, maybe there is a double link between the families.


Colin Orton sent me a message to say he was trying to get in touch with member Vicki Parr as they shared the same ancestry. Vicki is descended from Thomas Tokely Sewell the second son of William Sewell and Elizabeth Barker born 1792. Colin had more information and had found Elizabeth’s mother, Elizabeth Tokely born 1766, the reason several of her descendants have the middle name of Tokely. Thomas Tokely Sewell was born in 1826 in Middlesex and was a mariner. Colin found that Elizabeth Barker came from Harwich in Essex and it is likely that William Sewell also came from the area.


In the December 2011 edition of Soul Search we published an article by Stan Gordon ‘An Australian Sewell Reunion’. Stan accompanied the article with some photos which he believed were four sisters but he was not too sure when it was taken, he thought possibly in early 1890, although the girls in the picture didn’t look old enough. Janice Ritchie wrote to say she could identify them as the daughters of John Sewell and Sarah Short who married in 1824. They are twins Esther and Ann born 1849, Emma born 1841 and Sarah born 1836. Janice can trace her line through their eldest sister Jane born in 1827 and thinks the photo must have been taken around 1865.
I had a message from Lawrence Crider who is in the process of writing his third book on the cavalry during the Crimean War. Lawrence had found a report I wrote in December 2004 where I mentioned a Charles Sewell whose name I had found on a memorial in the churchyard of St Mary, Friston in Suffolk. Charles was an officer in the 15th Hussars and paymaster in the 6th Dragoon Guards and had died in 1912 in nearby Aldeburgh. Charles was born in Carleton and baptised in St Cuthberts, Carlisle in 1830. He was the son of Francis Theodore Dudley Sewell and the grandson of Sir John Sewell who was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1820. Charles married Charlotte Georgina Stuart in 1854 in Twickenham, Mdx and the couple had nine children. If you have an interest in the Crimean War look out for Lawrence’s book.


It was very nice to receive a thank you card from Nicola Toemaes, for help in finding a marriage of one of her ancestors. I eventually managed to track down where Nicola had found the reference. It was in an article written by Tony Storey in December 2004 entitled ‘A Walk in the City’. In it Tony mentioned that Samuel Sewells married Jane Holyfield in the church of St Mary Woolnoth in May 1853. I was pleased to be able to pass the card onto Tony. Looking on Ancestry I found a copy of the marriage, giving Samuel as aged twenty three years old and his father as Michael Sewell. Census data shows that Samuel was born in Lincolnshire. It is likely that Samuel’s father was the Michael that married Sarah Warter in 1819 in Asterby, Lin. I have found seven children for the couple all baptised in Asterby, but no Samuel, although it is likely that he was their first child.


Finally I had a phone call from Saul member John Buberle, who said that his local paper, The Portsmouth News, had published an article that mentioned the Sewell name. A local school had uncovered a document about the history of the school’s Second World War memorial on which one of the names was a J. Sewell. I have written to ask if the school has any further details and I will let you know if I receive any information from the them.


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