The Book of Soden

 History of the  Soden Family 1146 - 1950

Profiles 1 / 1591 - 1961

Profiles 1 / 1591 - 1961










 in 3 parts.



George Clotworthy Soden, at Dunlaoire ( formerly Kingstown) harbour, Co. Dublin 

Part 1 : 10 Irish Profiles


1.        Thomas Soden, 1594 -1700                                                                                                                     

2.        Robert Soden  , 1591-1643                                                                                                                    

3.        Clotworthy Soden, 1736 1814                                                                                               

4.        Thomas Soden , Provost , 1745  1818                                                                                   

5.        Edward Soden , 1680-1757                                                                                                                    

6.        Francis Soden , vivens           1824                                                                                                      

7.        James Nicholson Soden , 1779  1833                                                                        

8.        Isabella Letitia Soden , 1825  1916                                                                          

9.        George Wensley Clotworthy Soden , 1873  1929                                       

10.      Peter Soden ,1878-1961                                                                                                             

11.      Monsignor Patrick Soden , 1860  1942                                                                     



1.         THOMAS SODEN , 1594-1700


THOMAS SODEN (1594-1700)


Thomas Soden was born in the year 1594 in the village of Bourton-on-Dunsmore,Warwickshire,

England,son of  Robert Soden ,whose family can trace with certitude their origins back to Swalcliffe,Oxfordshire. Thomas and his brother ,Robert,are seen  first  in Sligo ,the part of Ireland  which served as residence for the Sodens to the present day.

Robert arrived during the Cromwellian period of 1649, and  is first mentioned in Youghal as a member of Lt.Colonel Henry Smythicke 's company.


The first official record of Thomas Soden is as 'titulado' in Sligo in 1659. There he is in charge of the town of Grange on the Sligo/Ballyshannon road having been granted this land, formerly the land of Andrew Crean, as payment for services in the Cromwellian campaign in Ireland. These Sodens were  Protestants in belief and Parliamentarians.


He is seen again in the 1661/2 Act of Settlement  and in the Hearth Money Rolls of 1665 he and possibly his son ,Thomas, are recorded as owning three hearths.  Under the Act of Grace of 1668 they get more land in Lislahely, Sligo. Records show  that a Thomas Soden had houses along with a John Sodon also in Sligo town  as part of the Strafford Rentals in 1682.


In the Chester list his companion is named Catherine and they have a child,whose name is not given. This child could easily be the 1 year old daughter , Jane, of Thomas Soden Junior taken to safety in Chester by her grandparents with Thomas Jnr. remaining in Grange,to defend the garrison against the forces of the Catholic King James II.


This Thomas Senior is remarkable as one of the main records of him is a stone plaque in the foyer of the Protestant church of Drumcliffe,Sligo stating that he died at 105 years of age in 1700. He is found again in a will abstract of 1689 ,wherein is mentioned his brother,Robert,as well as  in the List of Chester Refugees of 1689 just mentioned and most importantly in the Betham Pedigree Table of Ms. 469 in the National  Library ,Dublin. Betham is the most faithful source of corroboration ,having access to all the relevant documentation of the time,these being lost in the fire of 1922.  All corroborate his advanced age. Thomas Soden is buried in Sligo,probably in the cemetery of Moneygold,north of Grange where many other members of his family lie.

According to records his wife is Anne Pretty or Ann Ellis,they had 2 children,Joane and
Margery/Margaret but it is from the Robert Soden, his brother that the whole Soden line
in Ireland descends. However, in the Hearth Money Rolls of 1665, one finds mention to two Thomas Sodens,Snr. and Jnr. It may well be that Thomas Jnr. is either the son of Thomas Snr. or of the elusive Robert. According to the fFolliott pedigree prepared at the Genealogical Office with the benefit of a Betham Will Abstract, it is claimed that Robert is the main progenitor of the Soden family in Ireland.





2.         ROBERT SODEN (1591-1643?)

ROBERT SODEN (1591-1643??)

Robert Soden (Sodden) was born in Bourton-on-Dunsmore,Warwickshire in 1591,

the son of  ? Soden. He is first recorded in Ireland in the company of Lt.Col.Henry Smithwicke

in 1651 as a private soldier and later mentioned in the Decree of Innocents ,

the Claims of Adventurers and the 1689 Will of his brother,Thomas Soden.

According to the pedigree of Rosemary Ffolliott, Robert through his son ,James ,

is the progenitor of the Soden family ,though at this time there is a Thomas Soden Junior

recorded in the Hearth Money Rolls of 1665 for Sligo. On the other hand,Ronald Soden

in his work believes Robert died in Warwickshire in 1643, though  he says little is known

about the movements of the Sodens of Bourton at this time as a result of the Civil War.

There is no recorded burial for Robert in Ireland. However in the the year 1691 ,

Elizabeth Soden is born to Robert and Jeane in Templemore ,Derry City. The presence of a

Robert may well indicate the grandson or grandnephew of Robert Senior,especially as

this name occurs in Enniskillen,Co.Fermanagh  later in 1732.





3.                   CLOTWORTHY SODEN,




This man strikes one as being indeed a controversial  character. The name

Clotworthy came from  his  maternal grandfather,Clotworthy Gowan, and appears periodically

in the family till the 1900's. He became a protestant clergyman ,the only one as far as I know

among the Irish Sodens and an avid government supporter in his parishes as detailed by the

Rebellion Papers. He had one son,Clotworthy ,who died young at 22.

 The unkind remarks of the duke of Bristol about Clotworthy  give some indication

of his standing among his contemporaries though the Torrens/Soden friction may go back to

an earlier association  between the two families  in 1777 as church wardens in St.John's

Abbey,Sligo. Clotworthy Snr.  is buried at Kilcronaghan cemetery  in accordance with the

demands of his will. Major George Wensley Clotworthy Soden  is the last person to bear the name.



4.       THOMAS SODEN ,PROVOST (1745 ? 1818)

was Provost of Sligo from 1787 ? 1818 and it is from him that we  have  the Diary of the Thomas Soden  ,dealing principally with affairs for the years 1809/10 , donated to the Sligo Archives, by James Soden ,Toronto, Canada and preserved by Gerrard Macklin Eccles ,whose mother was Isabella Letitia Soden. By all accounts ,(see O Rorke , McTernan) Thomas Soden is regarded as a hard  public official as illustrated by an article in the Sligo Champion written some 25 years after his death .

He is recorded  by Wood ? Martin as being a Free Mason in 1792 and with his brother ,James, was Public Weighmaster for the town and in charge of the annual fairs.

His son was James Nicholson Soden .




was in all likelihood the brother of Thomas and Clotworthy Soden Surprisingly little factual information is known about his private life but more about his public life.

He was a barrister ,although there is only reference to this but no actual proof. The records of  King?s Inn , Dublin  are destroyed and the other Inns have no record of Edward Soden, barrister.

He is shown in a woodcut (Irish Ancestor , 1972) ;and there it is stated in an article by Rosemary Ffolliott that he is a barrister and remark is made upon his dress and hairstyle.

                He is also recorded as a sizeable landowner in Sligo, Monenean townland  in the Wynne rentals.



5.                   FRANCIS SODEN ,   (vivens 1824)

Templevanny , Co. Sligo

Francis Soden , a Catholic ,was the first recorded member of the Soden family to be a teacher.

He was  recommended by Fr. Richard Fitzmaurice , the priest of Keash for training in 1824. He had at this time the appointment for the school in Templevanny  from Earl Kingston.

He is mentioned 2 years later  as being in charge of the pay school in Templevanny ,in the parish of Drumrat with scholars paying 1/3d to 2/9d per quarter . The school itself was a house built from lime  and stone for between £80-£90.

(Sources : History of Achonry , 1689-1818 by Liam Swords , page 182 & O'Hara Papers Ms. 20,285 & Commissioners of Irish  Education Enquiry ,

1826-27 , XII pages 1310-1330.



?.......Richard Fitzmaurice,parish priest of Keash,recommended for training in 1824,

Francis Soden,who had here appointment by Earl Kingston to the school of Templevanny.?

History of Achonry, 1689-1818

By Liam Swords,published 1997

Page 182


(See de Brun pp. 85,182,238,240,256.

Parliamentary Papers (1825) volume 12

Appendix 223,page 617 and

O?Hara Papers Ms. 20,285)



Parochial Returns for Sligo

Appendix no.22 to the Second Report

from Commissioners of Irish Education Enquiry H.C.1826-1827,

                X11 pp. 1308-1330.

                Francis Soden

                Roman Catholic

                page no.1316

                Parish Drumrat

                Location Templevanny


Pay school 1/3 yo 2/9 per qtr.School house built from lime and

                stone for £80 - £90.

Names of primary schools in different counties and their parishes:


                Parish                    School Name in 1826

                Drumcliffe             Kilsellagh/Carney/Ballinful

                St.John's               Sligo Prison,Oakfield,Sligo Female,Clover Hill,Cabry Female,Upr. St.John's.

                Ahamlish               Mount Temple

                Ballinasoden         Ballinasoden (Hibernian London)

                London Hibernian Society

No return.

Related Reports:

Hibernian Society for Soldiers' Children/1844 (363) XLIII.155

                page 427

The Sixth Report :Hibernian Society for Soldiers' and Sailors'

                Children 1826-1827 (441) XIII/35

                from Dingfelder/NL IR 372/d/38 (4 vols.) &

                Irish Education Enquiry/NL IR 372/1/6 (2 vols.)


6.                   JAMES NICHOLSON SODEN (1779-1833)


James Nicholson Soden was born in 1779

At 16 years of age he joined Her Majesty?s Service

1st Appointment,25/11/1795 to the 32nd Regiment of Foot as Ensign without purchase

2nd Appointment,11/7/1800 to the 85th Regiment of Foot as Captain without purchase

3rd Appointment,20/3/1808 to the 85th Regiment of Foot as Captain without purchase.

4th Appointment,24/1/1813 to the 24th Regiment of Foot as Captain without purchase

5th Appointment,24/10/1813 to Half-Pay.

Rank of Captain while on half-pay was because of a big reduction in the 2nd Battalion

but he was most  desirous of being placed on Full Pay.?

James Nicholson Soden did 19 years full Pay service and 14 years Half Pay service ,

altogether 33 years.

He married at Easter Snow Rose on 24/9/1814 and had 8 children,6 girls and 2 boys:

Sarah Mary, Anne, Matilda Elizabeth, Mary Rebecca, Letitia Isabella , Eleanor Rebecca

Thomas and James.

He was a magistrate for the county of Sligo with no annual salary and was resident in

Mount Temple,Sligo.

He died in 1833.

(PRO , Kew, England./WO)


7.                   ISABELLA LETITIA SODEN (1825-1916)


was the  fourth daughter of James Nicholson Soden  and Arabelle Nicholson. She was born in Sligo on the 6th October , 1825 . She
married Gerrard Macklin Eccles , a native of Tyrone .  His son presented the Diary of Thomas Soden ,Provost, to James Soden , Toronto in the early 1970s.  Isabella did a tapestry  of the Soden Coat of Arms  , now also in Toronto and also played the organ for many years in the Protestant Church  of  Ahamplish. She is buried with other members of the family in Moneygold graveyard . There is also a photograph taken of a picture of Grange Castle  by her son ,which gives us a good idea of what it looked like. This was done from his memory of the Castle in his youth.

She is recorded in the Griffith?s Valuation of 1856 as sole tenant in charge of the Moneygold churchyard with another site nearby.

She built a new home in Moneygold   for the princely sum of £480 in
1857.  There are quite a number of deeds and agreements where both Isabella Dodd Soden , mother , and Isabella Letitia Soden, her daughter are mentioned. in the late 19th century.

She died on the 18th April, 1916 at 91 years of age. Her daughter ,
Isabella, settled and died in Sandymount , Co. Dublin.


8.         GEORGE WENSLEY CLOTWORTHY SODEN , (1873 ? 1929)



Records of the Colonial Office  in the



Map of the Western Frontier between the Gold Coast and French West Africa,

By the Boundary Commission, 1901-03.

English Members : Major Watherston, Captain des Voeux, R.E. , Captain Soden, R.M. Fus.

French members: M. Delafosse ,le Capitaine Bouvet ,le Lieu



Profile of

Major George Wensley Clotworthy Soden

Special Reserve of Officers and Provincial Commissioner of Ashanti

1873?              Born in Dublin,Ireland.

1894/5             Joined 3rd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers as Second Lieutenant

1895/4             Promoted Lieutenant

1895/9             Obtained the Hythe Extra Cerificate Musketry

1897/8             Promoted to Captain

1898/4             Obtained the P.S.Certificate

                              Attached to the following Regiments;

                              2nd North Staffordshire Regiment

1894-99                       1st. Yorkshire Light Infantry

Welsh Regiment

Durham Light Infantry

King?s Livepool Regiment

1899/5             Musketry Instructor to the 3rd Battalion Munster Fusiliers

1899/7             Inspector in the Gold Coast Constabulary

1900/9             Appointed the Travelling Commissioner of the Gold Coast Colony

1900/10-12      Commissioner of British Gaman

During the Ashanti Campaign of 1900 he was O(fficer) C(ommanding)  British Gaman Detachment and held the only independent command of troops in Ashanti from that of Major-General Sir James Wilcox K.G.M.G. who commanded the Ashanti Field Force.


                        Granted the Ashanti Medal

1901/11-1903/5           Appointed one of the British Commissioners on the                                   British/French Boundary Commission

1904/1-9                      Commissioner of Ester Akin & Ewahu

1904/9-1905/4 Commissioner of Southern Ashanti

1905/11-1906/4           Delimited the boundary between the Gold Coast                                   Colony and Ashanti

1906/4             Appointed Provincial Commissioner of Ashanti

  1909/12                       Temporarily retired.


Major G.W.C.Soden was seconded from the 3rd Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers for Colonial Employment in July 1899 for a period of 5 years,and was again seconded in July,1904 for a further period of five years. He was transferred to the Special Reserve of Officers in September 1908 and was promoted to the rank of Major in March,1909.

He died  1929/10/4 and  is buried in Deansgrange Cemetery,Dublin, plot F92.


10-    - PETER SODEN , 1878-1961, Cavan and Dublin


The Family of Peter Soden , Behy , Cavan and Glasnevin , Dublin

(1878  1961)

Peter Soden was born in 1878 in  the townland of Behy,Cavan south of Cavan town. His father,

Peter  was a poor tenant farmer on 11 acres of land married to Catherine Magee (McGhee) . They had 7 children,4 boys,Owen,Patrick,Bernhard,Peter  and 3 girls,Katie , Alice and Bridget.


Some of these children stayed on the land ,others ,particularly the girls went abroad to America Both Peter and Patrick remained in Cavan ,though Peter travelled to London and Dublin serving his time to the drapery business before returning to Cavan town to set up his own drapery business .

He served his time  to Fay?s Drapery in Pearse Street,Cavan , going to Arnotts in Dublin and finally to Snyders of London. After a number of years with these two  prestigious companies he returned to Cavan to take over Fay?s  in 1930.

 During this time he became deeply involved in the local social, political and ecclesiastical  life of the area. He with Patrick was an urban councillor for a number of years,on the Cavan and Monaghan Hospital Boards.a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Stradone Gaelic Athletic Association. He was a passionate supporter of Clann na Gaedhal and James Dillon.

He married Christina Coyle of Abbeyleix, a farmer?s daughter , in the Pro-Cathedral ,Dublin in 1915.

Both Peggy and Josie became nursing sisters in Dublin, Mary was mentally handicapped  but received a full secondary education from her parents,Christina (Ina) married and lived in England and both Seamus and Peter worked as commerical representatives in the Wine/Spirit  trade.

Peter Soden died in St. Mary?s Hospital,Dublin in 1961 at the age of 83. Christina ,his wife,my grandmother survived him by 6 years. Both Grandparents had a charm and attraction which earned love and respect from all  their  children  and the grandchildren always recognising the great achievement that was theirs .

 1915   Marriage of Peter Soden ,Beaghey,Lavey and Christina Coyle,Abbeyleix,Offaly

            in the Pro - Cathedral ,Marlboro St.,Dublin

            February 11th,1915

            Fathers:          Peter Soden,Farmer

                        James Coyle,Farmer

            J.Smith and Elizabeth McEvoy were bestman and bridesmaid

            Fr. M..C.Kelly C.C.was the officiating priest

            Certificate No. 2427GRO


11.               MONSIGNOR  PATRICK SODEN (1860-1942)

            Patrick Soden,son of Patrick Soden and Catherine Cooke,

            Pottlesoden,Denn,parish was born.He was educated at

            St.Patrick's College,Cavan and Maynooth.


 He was ordained on 24 June,1889, was Curate  in Glangevlin (1889),

            Doobally (1891),Swanlinbar (1899);PP in Killesher (1902),

            PP ,VF Knockninny (1912) and PP,VG, in Manorhamilton (1915).

            He died 20 July,1942.

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