A family with four generations related to Grantham’s son Sir Isaac Newton has helped to launch a new world-wide project to find more relatives.
The project, entitled Lincolnshire Age of Scientific Discovery (LASD), has a focus on social media and has been made possible thanks to £58,600 granted by the Heritage Lottery. If successful, it could lead to a big reunion of Newtons from across the world at Newton’s birthplace next year.
Descendants of the great scientist, who had no children of his own, include two-year-old Seth Newton, who represents the 15th generation directly descended from William Newton – Isaac Newton’s great-great-uncle.
Seth, his father David, grandfather Mark and great-grandfather Philip have strong roots in Grantham, where Isaac Newton was born, educated and did much of his early work from his home at Woolsthorpe Manor.
Philip’s ancestors farmed at Skillington, close to where the young Isaac Newton spent two years on his own family’s farm before resuming his studies.
With his family gathered at Woolsthorpe in front of the tree which reputedly made Newton aware of gravity as he watched an apple fall, 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, chief executive of Grantham estate agents Newton Fallowell, confirmed how prolific the Newton family appeared to be. He said: “The Newton name is spreading round the world.
“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.”
The LASD project was launched at King’s School in Grantham on Monday evening, in the former library where the young Isaac Newton engraved his name on a stone window sill as a pupil.