Apart from the Newells of ‘The Dock’, the family name Newell is found in several other communities in Newfoundland and in several cases these Newells were established well before Philip Newell settled in ‘The Dock’ in the 1780s. The first Newell recorded in Newfoundland was Richard Newall who spent the summer of 1623 in Conception Bay collecting fish for several London merchants. I have published a paper on Richards voyage and there is a separate section on him in this Web site. The first reference to Newells living in Newfoundland was in in a census conducted in 1675 http://ngb.chebucto.org/C1675/1675berry.shtml. This census enumerated two Thomas Newells: one at English Harbour [Trinity Bay] was married with a son and a daughter, nine men servants, two boats, a stage and a trainvat [for processing oil]; the other at Bonavista with five men, one boat and a stage was not married (see Francis I. W. Jones, Summer 1999 issue of the Newfoundland Ancestor).
While it is tempting to conclude that the Newells of ‘The Dock’ might be offshoots of one of these earlier families of Newells there is no direct evidence that this is the case. However, this might just reflect the paucity of historical records from Newfoundland for the period prior to 1780.
Some of the Newfoundland communities with historic (pre 1800) connections to the Newell family name include:
- English Harbour/Trinity
- Harbour Grace
- St. John’s
- Portugal Cove
- Burnt Head (near the Dock)
- North River (near the Dock).
I have started creating files for these communities which are organized as Tabs under this Page.
I have also included Halifax, N.S. under this heading since James Newell who arrived in Halifax in 1749 is a possible candidate for Philip’s father James.