I have been doing genealogical research on the Sowell surname of my family for over 40 years. I have also been researching the "Soule" name in Normandy and its connection to the "De Sully" and "Sully" names in Scotland, Wales, and England. My own DNA states my roots are Scottish, Welsh, and Irish even though my family landed in Jamestown Virginia on April 29, 1619 (399 years ago). My family lore says we are from Scotland even though I have traced them to England, and perhaps they immigrated to England in the 1600 to wait on a Ship to America.

I was stationed in England while in the U.S. Air Force in the 1973-77 and 1979-82 near Cambridge (1) and Oxford (2), and have been to Edinburgh, Scotland to research my family surname, and have been researching in the USA since then. I was stuck for years until the internet made it easy to do more research. I have a Masters Degree so I have a lot of scientific research experience besides the genealogy experience, and I am also an Aerospace Historian who has been a Docent and volunteer for several local aerospace museums.

The name "Soule" is from the Basque Region of what is now France, and the "Soulle" name is from the Normandy near Countinen Region. I have connected both of the names from the same family due to the duplicate family "Coat of Arms". The original family seat was in Soule France divided into 3 "feats" or parcels of land. Later a "Sir John De Sully" (cir. 1300) had the sane arms, so this shows a direct link in England from his ancestor from Wales. The "De Sully's" followed William the Conquror to England in 1066 with a promise to get lands. It is said the "De Sully's" were cousins of William. They inherited lands in Sully Wales, Scotland Borders, and some in Kent England. The English Soule's (De Soule) eventually used the surnames of Sewell and Sowell it seems, while the others in Scotland and Wales eventually became Sully and Solly.

"De Soule", or "De Sully" name means "from Soule". Soule is either pronounced "So-Lay" (So-Lay, Sow-Lay, Sew-Lay), or Su-Lay (Soo-Lay, Sue-Lay), hence the spelling in Scotland as "Sully" (De Sully), or "Solly" (De Solly). Other spellings are: Sulli, Solli, Souli, Soulli, and others. If you drop the "e" you get "Soul", "Sole", "Sowell", and Sewell varients (all pronounced the same even though there are variants) in England and the USA. So by dropping a letter, or rearranging it, you get variants of "Soule, Sulle, Solle, Sully (De Sully), Solly (De Solly), Soul, Sole, Sowell, Sewell, Seawell" and several other variants due to the geography and literacy of recorders.

Well, this is my version of the facts and I hope that I am correct. I challenge anyone to do the research and prove me wrong because it would either make my case strong, or the opposite. I love genealogy and history, and will soon be a Board Certified Genealogist (CG). Please comment on any facts that you may have that would help me rather than hinder my research. I will keep you posted on any new historical information.

J. Keith Sowell, MSSS
Sowell Family Genealogist