Onderwood History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The origins of the Onderwood name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived in a forest, below a forest on a hillside, or in either of the settlements called Underwood in Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire. The surname Onderwood belongs to both the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads, and the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.
Early Origins of the Onderwood family
The surname Onderwood was first found in Derbyshire at Underwood, a liberty, in the parish of Ashbourn, hundred of Wirksworth. Underwood is also a hamlet, in the parish of Selston, union of Basford in Nottinghamshire, but it is the former from where the family originated.  Literally the place names mean "place within or near a wood," from the Old English "under" + "wudu." 
However, we must look to Suffolk for the first records of the surname for it is there in 1188 William de Underwode was found. A few years later in Yorkshire, William Underwude de Clokton was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1219. William Under the Wode was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Staffordshire in 1332. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two listings: John Underwode in Oxfordshire; and Hugh Underwod in Cambridgeshire. Robertus Vndrewode was listed in a Latin form of then name in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. 
Early History of the Onderwood family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Onderwood research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 163 and 1632 are included under the topic Early Onderwood History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Onderwood Spelling Variations
Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Onderwood were recorded, including Underwood, Underwoode and others.
Early Notables of the Onderwood family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Onderwood Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Onderwood family
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Onderwood family emigrate to North America: James Underwood settled in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630; Giles Underwood settled in Virginia in 1663; Martin Underwood and his wife Martha settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1634.
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The Onderwood Motto +
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Omnes arbusta juvant
Motto Translation: Groves (Underwood) delight all men.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)