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Celebrate Newport


H. K. Bedford at the Newport Landing

This website is dedicated to the people of Newport, Ohio, in appreciation for our ancestors and as a gift to our children.

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In Memory of Eileen Berga Thomas

We are grateful to Eileen for her years of research and her willingness to share her love of the history of Newport and the surrounding townships. If we had a question, Eileen had an answer. Much of what is on this website originated with Eileen. Eileen Thomas



A Welcome message from your Host Marlene Morris


Shall We Gather at the River?


                                                  Shall We Gather at the River?

                                              By Marlene Morris and Susy Wetz

It has been nearly four centuries since Roger Williams, John Greene, and Samuel Gorton set foot on American soil.  These were men of strong character who stood firmly on their commitment to liberty.  It was a time when Puritans and Pilgrims arrived in New England, seeking freedom of religion and thought.  A dangerous clash of ideals aroused the wrath of Governor John Winthrop.  These three men were persecuted; they were tried in court; they were physically attacked; they were banished from Massachusetts.  

We fast forward to the late 1700s when the pioneers, the descendants of these three men, found their way to the frontier of Washington County, Ohio.  Another generation of brave men and women founded what we today know as Newport, Ohio.  It was not an easy decision to leave the region where most people lived within fifty miles of the Atlantic Coast.  The travel itself was fraught with danger and hardship.  The Indians in the Ohio Country were not pleased to see the white man encroach on their land.  One out of four babies born on the frontier died before the age of four.  Women were isolated and depressed in the drafty cabins darkened by a canopy of primeval forests.  Cholera, diphtheria, small pox, yellow fever, and ague brought heartache to the small communities in which medical care was much the same as in the Middle Ages.  Yet, the pioneers persevered and organized communities that formed the state of Ohio in 1803.

We are proud to present the story of the brave souls who crossed the Atlantic Ocean and those who crossed the Allegheny Mountains.   The story spans more than two centuries, concluding in the mid-1800s.  However, this story in reality has no end.  The descendants of Williams, Greene, Gorton, and the early pioneers in Washington County continue to blaze trails.  Some of the descendants are living in faraway lands.  Some are living in Newport.  

It was our goal to research and write the story that brings life to the brave men and women, our ancestors, who explored new frontiers.  The world is a very different place in the 21st century, and it will be a very different place in succeeding centuries.   We need the inspiration of those who braved the unknown and left lovely footprints on our land and on our hearts. 

The 2008 Greene Reunion Book is available on Amazon.com .

After the hard-copy books were printed, we found there was one factual error, and that error has been corrected on the e-book.  Thanks to Togin Cassell for letting us know!  Follow link to read correction.


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