A Lincolnshire family with four generations related to Sir Isaac Newton has helped to launch a new world-wide project to find more relatives of the great scientist.
The youngest is two-year-old Seth Newton, representing the 15th generation directly descended from William Newton – Isaac Newton’s great great uncle.
Isaac Newton himself had no children, but genealogists have traced many people related to him.
Now, thanks to a social media project from the Heritage Lottery-funded Lincolnshire Age of Scientific Discovery (LASD), the search is on for Newtons world-wide – with the possibility of a re-union at Newton’s birthplace in 2014.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
The LASD project was launched in Grantham on October 14, in the former library at Grantham’s Kings School where the young Isaac Newton engraved his name on a stone window sill as a pupil.