Thomas Underwood 1 2 3 4 5
- Born: Cir 1620
- Marriage: Elizabeth Unknown before 1656
- Died: 1683, Middleneck, Anne Arundel, MD about age 63
- Buried: 1683, Severna Park, Anne Arundel, MD
Underwood means families who lived "under the woods". In early England it was written "Under-the-wode" or "Andewode". Tony Underwood, a researcher in England, has also sent information that it is a surname originally from Scotland from a small place by that same name, in the parish of Symington Ayrahire. The earliest known Underwood was John Vndirwode who was burgess at Prestwick in the 1470's. In Scotland, the surname can be found in the 15th and 16th centuries under the spellings of Wndirwod, Vndirwode, Wndirwod, Vndirwod, Ondirwodd, and Ondirwod. Tony Underwood has traced his family back to a small town just over the border from Scotland in England called Eks. (C-2160E, 2161)
There is a tradition in some of the Underwood families in America that the Underwoods descended through Indians, possibly Cherokee. There are in fact many Choctaw and Cherokee Indians with the name of Underwood, but the relationship is not known.
This Thomas Underwood, progenitor of our branch of this family, probably came from England. He was brought to Virginia with Captain Moore Fautleroy of Lower Norfolk Co., VA in 1650. (It is not known if the Captain was a Captain in the military or Ships Master) No ship's name has been found. Thomas paid for passage of himself and Elizabeth (probably already his wife). They came with 81 others, several of whom were Underwoods of uncertain but now theorized relationship: Mary and husband, George Underwood; Ann Underwood (sister to George and Thomas); William Underwood (brother to Ann & George & Thomas) and parents; William Underwood, Gent. and wife Mary (this is the only name that doesn't fit in my theory unless it was a nickname or a translation error and is actually Margaret). Their relationship however, is suggested in an aged manuscript authored about 1873 that was sent to me by John Dobberteen of Michigan in 1996. It stated that three Underwood brothers "grenadiered" in the British army, came to America and once landed, they separated. One went to New York, another to North Carolina and the third to Maryland. Their father possibly emigrated to America too and lived in Maryland. (C-748)
An Underwood researcher indicates that this info was slightly incorrect for William who settled in the Richmond, VA area and died in 1672 in Rappahannock County (his son William died there about 1734). The manuscript implies that the father of Alexander Underwood was one of these brothers. Although this doesn't fit his father's generation, the family tradition could easily be about his grandfather's generation instead. A book in the Library of Congress with a title similar to "The Underwood Boys" says that the above George Underwood supports this - stating that George, Thomas and William Underwood were the 3 brothers who came together from England (to Virginia?) and were all given land by Lord Baltimore in Maryland. (C-2196, 2202) Through studying the deeds and wills of Rappahannock Co., VA and comparing it to info at www.familysearch.com, I've been able to determine the William of Rapahannok's sisters. This is the same William that came over on the ship with Thomas. Though Thomas is not listed as a child of this same family at www.familysearch.com, he would be of the right age to be a brother of this family. The tradition of 3 brothers would also fit. If he isn't William's brother, he could easily be his cousin, son to one of William's other brothers, Edmund, or John by timing. Their youngest brother was Thomas whom our Thomas would have been named after. (C-2394)
It is not known how long our Thomas or his brothers??? stayed in Virginia but probably soon after he, (his brothers????) and Thomas Meeres, a Quaker friend or relative, traveled to Maryland. Maryland history records that Quakers first entered the colony in 1657-8, after traveling on foot from Virginia. It also states that Thomas Meere's arrived the first year Severn River was settled. It is assumed this applies to Thomas Underwood as well.
There is some conjecture that Thomas Underwood was a Quaker. However, he is in no Quaker records and did not refuse the oath of allegiance as Thomas Meeres did. One of his grandsons became a Quaker minister. Thomas's son, John Meeres lists Samuel Underwood, brother to Elizabeth in his will. Since several researchers submitting info on this Thomas to the Mormon church have said that he died in 1683 in Middleneck, Anne Arundel Co, MD and was buried at Severna Park in that same county, the deceased is more likely to be Elizabeth's mother.
It is not certain if Elizabeth entered Virginia with Thomas Underwood in 1750 as she is not listed in Greer's "Immigrants to Virginia." Possibly she departed her ship in Maryland or Pennsylvania and was later rejoined by Thomas Underwood. She did come in 1650 according to testimony from her husband: "I, Thomas Underwood do assign over to Thomas Bradley, or his assigns all my right and title to land due to me, my wife - Elizabeth, William Jones, William Waddles, Dorethy Grove. I came in the year 50 and so did my wife, Elizabeth, Jones in 58, Waddle in 62, Grove in 58, witness my hand 3 Sept., 1663." Thomas in other words brought over each of the persons mentioned in this quote and actually received land grants for bringing in additional settlers. He could not have been poor to find opportunities to do this. By Feb. 9, 1662 he had 50 acres. On Aug. 6, 1663 he received from Lord Baltimore, a grant for the land which was named "Middle Neck" located at 30 degrees North Latitude and basically 76 degrees West Longitude near the current day Annapolis, Maryland. On Aug. 8, 1863 he received another grant for 100 acres from Lord Baltimore which he had surveyed on Oct. 20, 1663. He named this "The Landing."
Only two of Thomas and Elizabeth's children have been found in any documents. He may have had more as there were other Underwoods in the area years after Thomas and Elizabeth arrived. (C-635)
Thomas married Elizabeth Unknown before 1656. (Elizabeth Unknown died before 1674.)