Where did they come from? Where did they go?
The Newton story begins in the last decade of the 18th century when George Newton was born somewhere in County Durham. In 1823 he married Ann Watson in Houghton-le-Spring and later the same year their first child was born.
They named him James and subsequently they had four more children -Ann,born about 1826,John,born about 1828,Margaret born in 1831 and George junior born in 1834.
Sadly George died in a mine explosion at the Downs Pit,Eppleton Colliery in January 1836 and Ann was left to bring up their five children on her own.
Of those children their eldest son James grew up to have four children of his own and lived his whole life in the area of his bith,as did John,Margaret and Thomas.George married Eleanor Cummings in Sunderland when he was only 19 and worked as a boilermaker and then as a miner.He and Eleanor were married for nearly 25 years until she died aged 45 in 1878.
The couple had nine children,born between 1854 and 1872. Unusually for that time ALL the children other than Mary survived to become adult. Mary died at 17.
A year and five days after Eleanor's death George and his five youngest chidren set sail for New Zealand on the Opawa where they began a new life in Westland on the South Island.
Of his three surviving elder children little is known other than that John George married Elizabeth Cummings,Hannah married Robert Dakers and Richard married Margaret Richardson. Little is known of the families of Hannah and Richard but it is known that John George had ten children of his own.
Information on those children is sought as nothing is known other than for William and Elizabeth.The children were Eleanor born 1877;George William born 1878;Charlotte bon about 1883;Elizabeth born 1885;Margaret born 1888;Mary born 1891;John born 1893;Charles born 1895 and William born 1903.
The Newtons are indeed a puzzle and it is one their descendants are keen to solve.
Can any readers provide answers-either to all or any bit of the puzzle? Are there Newtons,Cummings,Pughs or Dennetts still in the area and with information on the family?
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