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NEWMAN Family History


Recorded as Newman in England and as Neumann, Neuemann, Nuemann, Nyemann, and others, in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, this notable surname was of Germanic and Anglo-Saxon pre 7th century origins. It was originally a pre-medieval nickname for somebody new to a particular place. The derivation is from the word "neowe" with the suffix "mann", meaning a friend or foreman. The surname is widely recorded with Godwin Nieweman in the Pipe Rolls of Oxfordshire, England in 1169, and in Germany Hermann Nyeman of Barth, in 1325 and the similar English version as in Robert le Nyman of Sussex in 1296. Thomas Newman, aged fifteen, who left London on the ship "Plaine Joan" bound for Virginia in May 1635, was among the earliest recorded settlers in the new colonies of British America...



An English nickname derived from Middle English newe ‘new’, meaning 'the new man,' the newly-settled stranger. A newcomer to a place, which relates to similar surname Newcombe or New.

This form has also absorbed several European cognates with the same meaning, for example, in German, Neumann; Dutch, Nieman, Numan; from the Swedish, Danish, Nyman; a personal name.

Early bearers of the surname include: Stangrim Noueman, 1166 in Pipe Rolls (Norfolk); Godwin Nieweman, 1169 in Pipe Rolls (Oxon); Ailwin le Newman, 1195 in Pipe Rolls (Essex); William þe Niweman, 1227 in Eynsham Cartulary (Oxon); Robert le Nyman, 1296 in Subsidy Rolls (Sussex); Johannes Nueman, 1377 in Poll Tax (Shilbottle, Northumb); Adam Nyweman, 1377 in Poll Tax (East Kennett, Wilts); Thoma Numan, 1379 in Poll Tax (Thurnby, Leics); Stephano Nywman, 1381 in Poll Tax (West Hendred, Berks); Nicholaus Newman, 1381 in Poll Tax (Finchingfield, Essex); Galfridus Neuman, 1381 in Poll Tax (Dagworth, Suffolk); John Neweman’, 1459 in Feet of Fines (Herts); Thomas Newman, 1540 in IGI (Farnham, Surrey); Jhon Numan, 1545 in IGI (Bampton, Oxon).

In 1891, the surname was recorded in England and Wales with 23,294 occurrences and a fewer 91 in Scotland.

In 1881, the surname was widespread in South England, especially London. It was recorded as a top surname in Cambridgeshire with 628 occurrences.

In 1881, a less common occupation for the Newman family was Carpenter. The most common Newman occupation in the UK was Agricultural Labourer, along with Labourer, Labourer and Farmer as the top 3 reported jobs worked by Newman.

Max Newman (1897 – 1984) was a British mathematician.

Another mathematician was James R. Newman, an American mathematical historian.


1881, 1891 Census

1881 Census in Hertfordshire

Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016

1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain

1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain


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Lewis Newman

Searching for ancestors of Thomas Newman (c. 1620-1700) who came to Virginia, USA from London in1635 on the ship 'Plaine Joan' at age 15. There seems to be much speculation but little concrete research regarding his ancestry. Any hints would be appreciated.


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