Family History

I have a passion for genealogy. I've been able to trace my Newell family back to the mid 1700's in London, England. I treasure every snippet of information that I have been able to find, thanks to archives, family history websites, and family members.


My most favourite photos of the Newell ancestors

Great Grandfather

William John Newell (1853-1896)

This portrait was painted in 1890 when he became Grand Master of the Lebanon Lodge in London. It hangs in the Newell Family home in London England.

He was also the organist for the Lodge and was affectionately called "The Big Mason".  Born in Lambeth, he moved to Bermondsey as a child, and then to Deptford when he married Alice Rebecca Attfield. He owned an estate agency and auction house at 487 New Cross Road, Deptford, London. They had four children. He was found in bed, shot in the head,  February 25, 1896. Following an inquest, the coroner reported his death as suicide.

This photo of William John was taken Sept. 12, 1890 at his daughter Elizabeth's wedding. I met a grand-neice of his, years ago, and she told me that her mother used to talk of him. She told her daughter, Patricia, that "Will regularly enjoyed a pint".  Whenever one of his staff would successfully sell a house, he would take the everyone in the office out for dinner and a few pints at the corner pub.  His wife would always comment that his top hat would be at a precarious angle on his head whenever a house was sold.


Great Grandmother

Alice Rebecca Attfield Newell Graves (1853-1913)

She was born in Kensington, London. She married William John in 1875 in Kent. After his suicide, she married William Graves, a family friend. She died in a tragic accident near her home in Greenwich. Her umbrella got caught up by a trolley car while she was crossing the High Street. She took a violent fall, which resulted in coma, and then died later that evening.

This was William John's business premises at 487 New Cross in Deptford, London. He was an estate agent and auctioneer. In his will he left the business to his eldest son, who gave it to his spinster sister Edith Alice. She ran the business until her death in 1956. She is buried in the same plot as her father at Brockley Cemetery. 


Arthur Charles Newell (1882-1953)

He was born in Deptford, London. This photo was taken on March 16, 1901, when he joined up to fight in the Boer War. He moved his wife and children to Canada before WW1 broke out, and returned to Europe to fight. His wife was Mary Roberts and they had four children, James, William, Alice and Johnny (my Dad) Mary died in 1915. He re-married in England, before the war was over, to Jessie (Kiki) Marshall, and they had two children Peter and June. Kiki brought all the children back to Canada in 1920 on the SS Metagama.


Mary Roberts Newell (1885-1915)

She was born in Burnley, Lancashire, England, and grew up there and Blackpool. She died at the age of 30.  After her death, my granda's sister Edith came over to Canada and took the children back to England as granda was fighting overseas in the war.


This is Fernside, front and back, in Sevenoaks, Kent.  The daughter of my great Grandfather, Elizabeth Carter Newell, bought this home when she married Frederick Hamlyn, the business partner of my great Grandfather.  My father and his siblings lived here during WWI, until 1920.

Grand Aunt

Edith Alice Newell (1881-1956)

Born in London and spent most of her life living at Fernside, in Sevenoaks, with her sister Elizabeth Newell Hamlyn.

She spent the final months of her life in Canada visiting her nieces and nephews. She always said that she felt like they were her own children as she'd taken care of them from 1915 to 1920.

She is buried with her father at Brockley Cemetery outside London.


Aunt Edith is bringing the four children back to England from Canada after their mother dies.  She is holding my Dad in her arms on the SS Sagamuca.

Dad and Aunt Edith in London in 1916.

Johnny, Jim, Alice, Bill Newell (l-r)

This photo was taken in Kent, England in 1919. My Dad is the little guy on the left.

Mom and Dad

Patricia Ann Sipes (1918-1983)

Johnny Newell (1914-1959)

They met at a roller skating rink in Winnipeg, dated for a couple years, and then married in 1941.They moved to Ottawa when Dad started to work for the National Film Board. They transferred with the NFB to Montreal in 1955.

This photo was taken around 1948.