Updated: Apr 14
My journey to discovering my roots to George Soule, began some 7 years ago when I visited Plymouth Mass. My partner Colin and I did all the touristy things visiting museums, recreations of the past as well as discovering the beautiful streets of Plymouth. We were walking down a beautiful treelined street where we came upon an antebellum mansion with a large brass sign “Mayflower Society.” I told Colin, I know my Aunt Gertrude F Soules was a member lets go knock on the door and have a peek inside. Colin was not interested and said go ahead I will meet you back at the bus.
I proceeded to the front door and knocked; a nice man opened the door; I told him my Aunt Gertrude was a member and could I come in. He asked where I resided, and I said Sydney Australia. Wait a minute he said, he came back and told me I could not enter but I could meet Walter Powell in the rear garden. We had a lovely discussion about my aunt’s membership and would I be interested in applying for membership. I told him I was from Australia, he said not a problem I could apply through one of the fifty states. We decided on Indiana as I was born there, and my Soules family has their roots in Terre Haute.
Upon my return to Australia, I contacted Walter who sent me my aunt’s approved application from December 1969. I contacted the Indiana branch of the society to get instructions as to how to apply as well as contacting Indiana authorities to begin searching for all the necessary documents. After many discussions with the Indiana Historian, I would not be able to continue with my application as my sixth generation Bildad Soule could not be verified. The historian stressed she was not doubting my heritage, we just could not prove it in its entirety.
Moving forward to, April 2021, I was vetting my many files and came upon all my past communication regarding the Mayflower Society and thought to myself I wondered if any progress had been made with verification of my sixth generation, Bildad. I went online finding the Mayflower Society was offering, for a $25 fee, to check my lineage. I said let’s give it another go. I also discovered Australia had a branch of the Society established just 16 months earlier on January 26, 2020, Australia’s 4th of July. Incredibly good news indeed, I did not have to worry about time changes, US$ etc. I emailed my linage to Plymouth as well as a copy to the Historian Australian Society, Andrew C Wells.
Andrew was quick to get back to me, concisely everything looks promising, but my 6th generation Bildad Soule is going to be an issue. We discussed my aunt’s application as it was too old, and no supporting documents were available. I then preceded to tell Andrew about my aunt’s family bible with its many births, deaths, and marriages which I did not have in my possession.
Within 10 days Andrew sent we an email regarding my aunt’s bible. I quote” Attached copy of Soule Kindred Vol XVI, No.3, July 1982, outlines the circumstantial evidence. It mentions that the Historian General of The Mayflower Society concurred with this evidence in 1978”. Andrew preceded to send this information to the current Historian General, Midge Hurtuk, who agreed to allow us to use this information as a secondary source for my application. Needless to say; I was elated and thought to myself I really have a chance to gain membership.
Andrew proceeded with the application, we got to the very end when we discovered my great Grandfather Origen Brigham Soule was married twice, we needed a copy of the marriage certificate, located in an LDS Family History Centre. Both Andrew and I were in lock down due to Covid, as we live in the greater Sydney region. Keith Quimbach Governor of the Australian Mayflower Society as well as a member of Soule Kindred came to our rescue. He was able to get a volunteer in New York to obtain a copy for us.
The application was completed and filed the last week of August 2021 with the Mayflower Society in Plymouth. Approval came, March 17, 2022, St Patricks Day. All I can say is HALLAUJA.
In closing Richard Shaw wants to thank, along with all my other 11 generations of Soules, Andrew C Wells, Keith Quimbach and the Soule Kindred for their outstanding support through out my journey.