Ken Newton, former journalist and script writer has dabbled in the Newton family history for more than 40 years. Thanks to his grandfather, John Thomas Newton, having a keen interest in photography, there are many photographs available for sharing with family members.

As pioneers go, the story of this Newton family is as much a saga of hardship and unknown challenges as any other.

An air of mystery hangs over the actual migration of the Newtons to Australia. There is a theory that three brothers, looking for a new life away from the deprivation, work houses and slums of Lancashire of mid 19th century ventured forth to both Australia and America.

Two brothers, James and John, we know ended up in Rockhampton and Mt Morgan, and started the family line that we are tracing in this history.

A third brother, Peter, also disappeared from his home in England around the same time, and the plot thickens when you find his wife buried alongside his father and mother in Dukinfield old cemetery in north eastern Cheshire.

But try as we might, references to the movement of the three brothers by ship cannot be found in any of the records. We don't have any evidence that they were convicts so we can assume they travelled to Australia as free men.

Of the two brothers, John died without marriage or children that we know of. James had married a servant girl from Surrey, soon after they met at Singleton in the Hunter Valley of NSW.

Next they turn up at the Canoona gold rush, north of Rockhampton and like so many others who chased the elusive gold, they returned to Rockhampton penniless and with a young baby, who died and was buried in a kerosene case on the river bank in Rockhampton just north of the Alexandra Railway Bridge.

From there, a large family was raised. The six brothers and three sisters married and raised their families and today, there's a widespread network of Newtons scattered the length and breadth of Australia.

My branch of the Newton clan stems from one of James' sons, John Thomas Newton, a jeweller, watchmaker and optometrist of Mt Morgan and a fierce loyalist and "orange man" of the Masonic Lodge.

Obviously I have concentrated on his history and that of his family. There are plenty of holes in the history, but lots of interesting stories about the large family which John Thomas and his wife Elizabeth Ann Nash of Gladstone raised.

This branch of the family is now big enough in itself to justify a book of history, but I'm afraid I must rely on donated material to fill in the gaps of other offspring of James Newton.

Hopefully, this history will stimulate others to follow suit. I'm happy to add the information to this web history.

So let's get into the facts and start piecing together the lives and hopes of a family of hatters and railwaymen from middle England.

There's no real secrets in this history, but I think courtesy demands that I know who visits the site and what their interest is in the Newton family. For that reason, I will only allow visitors to browse the site after they fill in this simple form, which will then come back to me as an email message.

Perhaps some of you can help with additional photos or anecdotes. If you see any inaccuracies, please let me know. I have had great support already from many family members.

So please sign in for me and have fun on the website.

When you sign in and hit the SUBMIT button, you will be admitted to the family pages, which I began loading with pics only in August 2003. Over time, the whole written history, with lots more info and photos will be available, so keep coming back for updates.

Regards to all

Ken Newton

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MANY THANKS - You will now be transferred to the Index page of the Newton family website.



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