The surname of UNDERWOOD was a locational name 'of Underwood' in Derbyshire, the dweller below a wood or hillside. Local names usually denoted where a man held land. The name was derived from the Old English word HUNERWUDE. The earliest of the name on record was HUNDERWODE (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name was documented as UNDERWODE, in Derbyshire in the year 1287. Peter Underwode was recorded in the year 1279 in County Lancashire. Robertus Vndrewode of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Benjamin Underwood married Margaret Buxton at St.Dionis, Backchurch, London in the year of 1650. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. In the early 1800's in Australia, most sealing and whaling in the waters was run by three men. Henry Kable, Simeon Lord and James UNDERWOOD. All were ex-convicts. James possessed the inestimably useful skill of knowing how to build boats, and he and Kable built a sloop 'Dianna' and fitted her out for sealing in Bass Strait. Before long they had sixty men working for them and were skinning 30,000 seals a year. UNDERWOOD's shipyard, at the head of Sydney Cove, was turning out up to 200 tons in burthen. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered in London. The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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