View Full Version : My English Roots - Who are George Soule's Parents?

Clay Soules
10th July 2011, 05:44 AM
:)I have been fairly successful in my investigation of my: American family tree. It seems, however that there is some disagreement over on tiny detail:
George Soule, b.9 Feb 1593 in Eckington, England, d.22 Jan 1679, and is buried in Duxbury, MA, came to America in 1620 on the Mayflower. (Google: Mayflower Passenger List). He married Mary Becket (Bucket) , b.17 Jan 1679 in Eckington, d. 16 Dec 1679, in 1635 in Duxbury, MA. She came to America on the sailing vessel "Ann" in 1621 and they married 14 years later.

The question is, who are George Soule's Parents? I have two conflicting possibilities:
1) Thomas Soule (Soole), b.1567 in Hawkhurst, England, d. 1614 in the same location. Mary Iddenden, b. 1573,in Cranbroooke, England, d. 18 Aug 1656 in Barnstable, England.
2) Robert Soule, b. 1517 in Eckington, England, d.18 Jun 1593 also in Eckington. Robert married Elizabeth Tylson, b. 1521, Eckington, d. 1566, Eckington.
Robert is my most probable suspect, if for no other reason, the Eckington tie to Robert/Elizabeth and George. Robert moved to London as a young lad and at an appropriate age took an apprenticeship as a "salter" with the Salter Company of London. In later years he ran the company, or perhaps may have even owned it.

Maureen Storey
13th July 2011, 06:12 PM
I think you need to go back a step before investigating Eckington. In spite of it being an often repeated fact, there is no actual evidence that George Soule of the Mayflower was born in Eckington. We have records of a number of George Soules baptised in various parts of England in the right period, but nothing to indicate which if any of these is the right George! He could have come from anywhere I have even seen it suggested by a member of The Soule Kindred that he was Dutch, not English, though I don't think there's any evidence for this either.

With regard to the two couples you mentioned:
Thomas and Mary (Iddenden) Soole lived in Kent and there is no evidence that they had a son George or that they were connected to the Eckington family.

The Robert and Elizabeth Soule that you mention couldn't have been the parents of George (Elizabeth died in 1566), but this Robert was a member of the Salter's Company. There was another Robert and Elizabeth in Eckington who did indeed have a son George in approximately the right time frame but that George was still in Eckington in 1636 (when he married Susan Nash) so can't be the one you're looking for. (And neither of these Elizabeths was Elizabeth Tylson the Robert Soule who married Elizabeth Tylson lived in Pinchbeck, Lincolnshire and was part of a completely different Soule family.

On a more general note in medieval London tradesmen could not practice their trade unless they were members of a guilds. These guilds were and are still known as the livery companies and the Salter's Company is such a livery company. They were almost invariably set up by royal charter; they are run by the members and are not owned by anybody. There are two ways to become members of one of these livery companies: either by serving an apprenticeship with another member or by patrimony (i.e. the son of a member of the guild could be admitted to the guild without being apprenticed).

Clay Soules
14th July 2011, 06:18 AM
Hi, Maureen.
Thankyou for responding to my query concerning George Soule. Your evidence as presented is very interesting and probably right on the mark. The only reason why I was looking to Eckington was because the sources that I have been consulting suggested as such, as you indicated in that it is an "often repeated fact". In light of these "FACTS", I assumed them to be correct, even though my Father told a very different story to me as I was growing up. But because the story seemed a little bit far-fetched to me as a kid, I learned of the Soule-connection to England and I summarily dismissed the story as being fiction and was swayed toward the English connection.

The tale that my Dad told was that the man who came to America, was, in "fact", a man of Basque decendency. The way the story went was that he was an outlaw and he escaped the Basque region to avoid the French Police. In his escape, he assumed the name of a "French Providence" in the greater Paris area. It was never clear to me how long he lived in this area, but when the "heat was on", he then escaped to England and took up with the English Separatists and eventually booked passage on the Mayflower as an indentured servant to Edward Winslow as a teacher to his children.

Thank-God for the internet...I just tonight decided to try to find the "French Providence" in the 17th century. Not surprisingly, I found nothing in the greater Paris area.
But then I spotted something concerning the Basque region in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain. It turns out that the French Basque Country, or Northern Basque Country (called "Iparralde", in the Basque Language), is in the Northern region, and translates to "the North Side". Ipparralde has three PROVINCES, one of which is called in English "SOULE", (called Zuberoa, in the Basque language) and it is the smallest of the three Providences in the North Side.

Now the "story" that my Dad told begins to make more sence and solves the problem of linking the name to the Soule name in England. I guess that I need to abandon my search in England...and anywhere else, for that matters, as there is no clue as to who this guy (I'll call him "George") really was.

So much for mysteries, huh?

Clay Soules

Clay Soules
16th July 2011, 05:48 AM
Hi, again, Maureen.
I got to looking through some of the documentation that chronicles the families of the American Settlers. It is quite evident that the chroniclers tended to grope at straws and to assume possible untruths, but one item brings me back to Robert Soule. It seems that one chronicler believed that our George was orphand at a young age and was raised by an older brother, Robert. This Robert, more than likely the one from Eckington who had a son named Geoge, was supposed to be the brother. Is there any way that George and Robert's parents are the same? This could explain why Robert's George was still in Eckington some 16 years after Mayflower George landed in America. If this is a possibility, then what was this Robert's wife's maiden name?
I know that this is a stretch, and perhaps a stupid question, but still, in my mind, a question that may put a nail in the coffin of George's English ties.

One thing that you said in your original answer to my post raised still another possiibility. You noted that some "Kindered Souls" :) suggested that George was Dutch. This could have been part of the deception that he pulled in order to get into England after his escape from France and the Gendarmire. It is a distinct possibility that he had to assimilate into another social structure in order to hide his identity sufficiently to be accepted into England. I don't know how difficult it was to get into England in those days, but I can imagine that it wasn't a cake-walk.

Thankyou for your insights...I'll be looking forward to your reply.

Clay Soules

Maureen Storey
21st July 2011, 03:58 PM
The Eckington parish records for the relevant period haven't survived, so the family as it is currently known is constructed from wills. Therefore it's impossible to be categorical, but the Georges known to be part of the Eckington family have been accounted for in the UK. You would expect that if Mayflower George were part of the family he would have been mentioned in one or other of the family's wills - the fact that he isn't perhaps indicates that his origins lie elsewhere but it's not proof.
It seems there is no shortage of suggestions for George's origins but to date, as far as I'm aware, no evidence has been found to prove (or disprove) any of these theories.

Clay Soules
23rd July 2011, 01:44 PM
Hi, Maureen.
I am really curious as to the other "Theories" that you have heard of. The "story" that I shared is but one thread. Have you ever heard that one before? If so, how are other versions different? But more than anything, I'd like to be made aware of the information that you have gleened over your perusal of the mystery.
Anything that you can share will be really appreciated. Thankyou for your time in responding to this thread,