George Newton

Photograph courtesy of
Maureen Swanson of Kitimat, BC

As a Sapper Newton's Regimental Pay per Diem would have been 1s. 2 1/2d. plus Working Pay per Diem of 1s. to 4s.


1858 -  Sailed with his wife on the Thames City.
1859 - His wife dies on board ship.
1861 - Consolidated Pay List of 30 June notes that Newton is to be paid for the period of 1 May to 30 June ordinary pay plus Good Conduct pay of 1d. and that he was present and on Duty at New Westminster for the Muster.
1863 - Disbands from the Columbia Detachment and stays in BC.
1867 - Becomes constable in Victoria under Corporal Bowden, RA, of the Columbia Detachment.
1869 - Takes up land on North Arm.
- Partner in The London Arms, New Westminster.
late 1870's- Marries daughter of Michel Lacroix

Vital Event Marriage Registration

Groom Name: George Newton
Bride Name: Mary Lewis Gellen
Event Date: 1878 10 22 (Yr/Mo/Day)
Event Place: New Westminster District
Reg. Number: 1878-09-113297
BC Archives Microfilm Number:  B11381
GSU Microfilm Number: 1983709
- Settles at Hatzic as farmer

The following comes from an interview with Mrs. Zina Buker, granddaughter of George Newton, on 28 May 2003, who quoted extensively from George's family bible.

George Newton was born 4 Oct 1837 in Coombeinteignhead or Combeinteignhead, Devon.

Married a woman named Elizabeth prior to coming to BC.  Enroute to BC, she died on the Thames City, the family stories say in child birth.

George disbands from the RE in 1863.  According to family stories, he is recommended to the Victoria Police  Department on the word of Joseph Wood Trutch, Surveyor General and Head of Land and Works. 

On the 22 Oct 1878, George marries Mary Louise Gallandt née Lacroix.  On their marriage certificate she is recorded Mary Lewis Gellen, which may well be how the registrar heard it.

Mary Louise, born 1861, is the daughter of HBC employee Michel Lacroix and a woman on the Babine Nation.  Michel was a middleman with HBC at Fort Babine from 1838-1869.  Mary Louise and first husband Gabriel Gallandt were married in New Westminster 13 Sept 1875

On page 149 of a thesis paper written by John Gibbard, called The History of the Fraser Valley, it says, in essense, "When the RE came, for all their worldlyness and skill in engineering, they didn't know much about living off the land.  Mary Louise had to show George how to kill and dress game, because George didn't know how.  On the other hand, George would send Mary off to a bachelor sapper to learn how to make clotted cream and plum pudding."

And contrary to Gibbard, George and family went to Dewdney to settle, not Hatczic.

The couple had 9 children.  The first was named Elizabeth, most likely after George's mother Elizabeth Newton.   Theresa-Louise, their last child, born in 1894, is the mother of Zina Buker.  Theresa Louise married William Gowan Hairsine, grandson of William Cromarty, the cooper at Fort Langley.

George died 12 June 1896, in Dewdney, at his home, and is buried in Hatzic.  His grave is marked not only with Odd Fellows markings, but with Masonic markings.  As a coincidence, when he came over on the Thames City, he was an apprentice stone mason.

His colonial archive file is at BC Archives in Victoria, file #MSS-1243

We would like to express our most heartfelt and grateful thanks to Mrs. Zina Buker for sharing her grandfather's story with us.   Thank you Mrs. Buker.

As well, we'd like to thank Maureen Swanson for her invaluable input.  Thank you, Maureen.