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Our 2,768 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

My name is Robert Newman and I have been researching my family history since 1980. As time went by the NEWMAN records begun to build up and so the Newman One-Name study commenced in 1992. The name was registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies in 1995. The Newman One-Name Study researches and collects records and artefacts relating to the name NEWMAN and its variants from around the world. These records are then use to construct family trees and to try and connect the different family trees. I am always pleased to hear from people researching the name, please see my contact details below.

Variant names

The most frequent variants to the surname NEWMAN are NUMAN, NEUMAN and NEUMANN.

Name origin

The Penguin Dictionary of Surnames gives the origin as 'new man/settler, newcomer' and so appears in many locations. It has also been suggested that could be given to someone who was emancipated from serfdom as a “new man.”
People have asked about the origin of the name NEWMAN, and suggest it might be Anglo-Saxon. This is probably along the right lines, particularly as there is a German form of the name which is quite common. In the UK it is not very common in Wales or Scotland, nor in the north of England where the Vikings made their presence felt.

Unlike very rare surnames that can be traced back to a single person or location it is unlikely that this will happen with Newman as completely separate branches appear in all different locations.

Historical occurrences of the name

Blessed John Newman (1801-1890)

Born John Henry NEWMAN in London he was educated at Oxford and ordained a Church of England priest in 1824. In 1845 he converted to Roman Catholicism, and was appointed a Cardinal in 1879. He was beatified by pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

Max Newman (1897-1984)

Born Maxwell Herman Alexander NEUMANN in London, of German parents. He was educated at Cambridge and later lectured there in mathematics. During WWII he was engaged in important work at Bletchley Park, where he was head of the Newmanry. After the war he concluded with mathematical research.

Paul Newman (1925-2008)

Born Paul Leonard NEWMAN in Cleveland, Ohio. Interested in acting from an early age he first appeared on Broadway in 1951, he continued acting and directing up until his death.

Name frequency

From the index of the 1881 census produced by the Church of Latter Day Saints, there were 22267 Newmans recorded in that census, ranking it 155th.

According to an ONS database there are some 40759 Newmans as of September 2002. This makes it the 143rd most common name in England and Wales.

Distribution of the name

In the 1881 census the most populous counties are Middlesex (4279 entries), Surrey (1943), Hampshire (1392) and Essex (1306). However, the most densely populated county is Wiltshire with 991 entries in a population of 144905, representing 0.3836% (representing 1 in 146).


Most of the Newman Birth, Marriage and Death entries from the General Register Offices for England & Wales (since 1837) and Scotland (since 1855) have been recorded together with all Newman references from the England and Wales census from 1841 to 1911 (1901 and 1911 for Scotland) and those from Ireland for 1901 and 1911. There are still some missing Spouse Forenames and more non-UK records are to be added. Collection of Census Data for Canada and USA has been started, along with earlier Scottish Census. Work on collecting Newman records from Parish Registers continues, along with Wills and other records.
The one-name study also included numerous entries from Parish Registers, from overseas (United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand) as well as pedigrees submitted by many Newman researchers.