This page is dedicated to the history of the branch of the Underwood family from Pickering and Egton, North Yorkshire.

The Underwood name appears to derive from a number of associated placenames, of which examples survive in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Devon, and Ayrshire. By 1881, the distribution of the name partly reflected this pattern, but also appeared to point to other, now obscure, places of origin. The principal concentration (around 30%) of the name was in the northern Home Counties and East Anglia, centred on Northamptonshire, with some spillover into London and the rest of the south-east. A secondary concentration occurred in the area around Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, with some spread up into the West Midlands, and a smaller but notable concentration occurred in the south-west of Scotland. The name was fairly thinly spread in the north-east of England.

The Underwood family have flourished in the North Yorkshire Moors since the Middle Ages, with probate records surviving for a Hugh Undirwood of Whitby in 1390 and a Thomas Underwode, Vicar of Lastingham, in 1461. From the beginning of the surviving parish registers in 1559 there were Underwoods recorded in Pickering parish, and although a viable tree can be constructed for the early family, several of the critical links are missing. The James Underwood who married Margaret Watson in Pickering in 1642 was undoubtedly part of this earlier family, and his son Thomas (1646-1729) moved to Egton, marrying Mary Smallwood there on 30th October 1684. Thomas and his second wife Ann were buried in the old churchyard at Egton in 1729, and their gravestone survives there. Thomas's descendants flourished in the Egton area down to the present day, and an outline of the top of the tree and the connections of the various researchers is attached.

This site also includes a directory of other, currently unconnected, Underwood research interests. A significant Underwood family (with surviving probate material) flourished in the area around Selby (including Barmby on the Marsh, Howden, Brind, Hambleton and Drax) from at least the mid-16th century, and it would be interesting to incorporate an outline of this other significant Yorkshire Underwood family here if there were any researchers with an interest in preparing one.

Anyone interested in further details of this branch of the Underwood family, or who is able to provide additional details relevant to this branch, is invited to contact the coordinator for this page Ian Hall. Please note that the majority of previous research has been focused on Yorkshire and the north-east of England, and the author has minimal knowledge of other branches of the name elsewhere in the UK or North America.


This page was last updated 30 November 2010