Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township

HATT | PO Box 2084 | Pocono Pines, PA 18350-2084

**The Newell Family

One of the first permanent settlers of Tobyhanna Township
As recorded in "The History of Wayne, Pike and Monroe Counties, Pennsylvania," by Alfred Matthews, 1886.

Prepared by Rick Bodenschatz | March 2012

Robert Newell is identified by Alfred Matthews in the History of Wayne, Pike and Monroe Counties, Pennsylvania as one of the first permanent settlers of Tobyhanna Township.The account further states that Robert Newell settled in 1812 in Tobyhanna Township on a tract of land subsequently owned by Alexander McKean (around 1886).

Robert was born in 1786 in Monmouth, N.J., presumably the son of H. Newell (b.1750). He married Unity Woodmansee (b.March 2,1788) of Shrewsbury, Monmouth County, N.J., at the First Unity Church on December 24, 1807. Unity was the daughter of John Woodmansee (1757-1803) and Mary Bunting (b.1757).

According to family research, they moved to Chestnut Hill Township, Northampton County, Pa. (today in Monroe County), some time between 1808 and August, 1810. Little is known of their lives as they settled in Tobyhanna Township in 1812. Because Unity and a daughter are buried in the Stoddartsville Cemetery, it is believed they lived in the vicinity of that village.

As large families were the norm in those years, Robert and Unity had nine sons and five daughters between 1809 and 1835 (see below list). On February 26, 1846, at the age of 57 years, 11 months and 26 days, Unity died. She is buried at the Stoddartsville Cemetery. (Headstone pictured left.)

For unknown reasons, some time in the same year that Unity died, Robert decided to move to Wisconsin. Family records state he took with him some of his children, but since 11 of the 14 children were 18 years or older, it is not certain which children relocated with him, or if any older children preceded him to Wisconsin. However, the 1860 Tobyhanna Township census shows three of his sons, and their families, still living there.

Additionally, daughter Mary, having apparently married a Dreher, preceded both parents in death in 1839. She is also buried at the Stoddartsville Cemetery. (Headstone pictured left.) It is not known if the Drehers had children.

Tragically, after his wife’s death and move to Wisconsin in 1846, Robert Newell died of unknown causes later that year on November 18 in Jamesville, Rock County, Wisconsin. He is shown to be buried in LaPraire, Rock County, Wisconsin. According to family records, his property probated after his death was very specific, down to the number of chickens and receipts from the doctor.

The children of Robert and Unity Newell:

Johnb.1809d. June 5, 1852 in Missouri
Julie Annb. Oct. 9, 1811d. June 19,1878 in Wisconsin
Maryb. April 30, 1812d. Feb. 26, 1839 in Tobyhanna Twp.
Robert, Jr.b. 1813
Jamesb. Oct. 14, 1815d. Nov. 4, 1865 in Chestnut Hill Twp., Monroe County
Williamb. Aug. 12, 1816d. Nov. 13, 1904 in Minnesota
Unettab. March, 1818d. Sept. 1, 1874 in Wisconsin
Nellyb. 1821
Harrietb. Oct. 12, 1824d. Feb. 14, 1912 in Iowa
Danielb. May 10, 1825d. Sept. 22, 1913 in Minnesota
Joseph Db. March 20, 1828d. March 7, 1918 in Minnesota
Samuelb. 1830
Franklinb. 1831
Amosb. Aug.12, 1835d. Aug. 13, 1903 in Minnesota

Of the three sons not immigrating west with their father and showing in the Tobyhanna Township 1860 census, son Daniel eventually moved west and is buried in Henrytown Cemetery, Minnesota. Son Robert, Jr.’s whereabouts after 1860 are not yet known.

It is known that son James lived out his life in Monroe County. He married Mary Everitt (b.1822), and they had the following children:

Anna Maria b. 1845Unknown
Johnb. 1846Unknown
Elmirab. 1851Unknown
Mary E.b. 1853Unknown
Lenorab. 1856Unknown
Asherb. 1859Unknown
Harriet T.b. 1865d. November 23, 1920, Fillmore, Minn.

James was recorded as being a farmer in the 1860 census. He eventually relocated to Chestnut Hill Township, Monroe County, and died November 4,1865 not long after the birth of daughter Harriet.

Before Robert and Unity’s son Daniel moved west, he is shown with his wife, Mary Sophia (Young) (age 37) in the Tobyhanna Township 1860 census, being listed as a farmer. The census showed seven children: Anna Maria (15), Orion (12), John (11), Mahlon (9), Sarah J. (6), Harriet J. (4) and Emma J. (2).

Although we don’t know son Robert, Jr.’s life after 1860, he is shown in Tobyhanna Township’s census as being a farmer, and married to Lavina, age 40. At that time they had four children, Franklin (12), Edwin (9), Catherine (7) and Harriet (9 months).

History of Wayne, Pike and Monroe Counties Pennsylvania, Alfred Matthews 1886
1860 Census
Stoddartsville, Pa., Cemetery Record
Newell Family record from Ancestry.com
Robert Newell, great-great grandson of Robert Newell.

Obituary of Harriett Newell,
ninth child of Robert and Unity Newell


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