Samuel Newman was born in 1864 at Camberwell, Surrey, England, a son of Thomas Newman, a bricklayer, and his wife Emma. He was educated in London and was employed in softgoods businesses before sailing for Queensland. He held various positions there for about six years before moving to Launceston. He was employed as a clerk at Hatton and Laws and later worked for The Launceston Examiner as a collector and representative of that journal. From 1895 Samuel managed the Craw Bros and Creed's drapery and clothing business at Strahan, eventually purchasing it. His portrait is in the Cyclopedia of Tasmania, Vol. 2, page 377.
On 8 Jun 1898, when he was 33, Samuel married 38-year-old Christina Ann Coombe at the Wesleyan Church, Campbell Town. They lived at Strahan and did not have any children. In their retirement, when in their seventies, Samuel and Christina sailed to England and then on the Queen Mary to America.