Over the next 12 months, we will be regularly blogging about and recording the discoveries of a unique social media and internet led adventure. For the first time ever, we will be trying to trace as many descendants as possible from Sir Isaac’s family tree and share their stories, wherever they happen to be in the world.
There’s no better place to start our search than in Lincolnshire, the place of Newton’s birth. Isaac Newton himself had no children, but genealogists have traced many people related to him.
The family of Philip Newton, his son Mark, grandson David and great grandson Seth has its own roots in the Grantham area, where Isaac Newton was born, educated and did much of his early work from his home at Woolsthorpe Manor. The youngest family member, two-year-old Seth Newton, represents the 15th generation directly descended from William Newton – Isaac Newton’s great great uncle. Philip Newton’s ancestors farmed at Skillington, close to where the young Isaac Newton spent two reluctant years on his own family’s farm before resuming his studies.
Philip said: “We are very proud to be related to a man widely recognised as the father of science. It was relatively easy to trace our connection as Skillington parish records went back to 1515. The first name on the register was Robert Newton, Isaac Newton’s grandfather and from that date onwards we have got it all authenticated. We have always been in agriculture, originally in Skillington, and then my grandfather moved to Barrowby in 1895 and we have been there since.”
His christening was the first in 12 generations to digress from the traditional Newton family Christian names of William, Thomas and Robert. Philip’s son Mark confirmed how prolific the Newton family appeared to be. “The Newton name is spreading round the world,” he said. “The family connection has certainly got as far as Canada and the United States although obviously the hard core is here in Lincolnshire. “Let’s encourage everyone who is part of this amazing family tree to come to Lincolnshire and see where it all started.”