George William Underwood born 1819

The date of birth, and the parentage, of George William Underwood, is currently not known with any certainty.  His birth and parentage are discussed separately.

George William Underwood appears to have lived all his adult life in the South West of England, mostly in Dursley, Gloucestershire, and usually just used his first name of George.

He married Maria Lane in Gloucester in 1840 and at the time of the 1841 census he was working as an agricultural labourer.  Times were obviously hard because by the end of the same year they were living in Gloucester Workhouse.  Their four children were all born in the workhouse.  Two of those children died the same year in which they were born, John James Underwood in 1849 and Fanny Underwood in 1850.  Maria Lane herself died in the Gloucester Workhouse in 1850.

A year later, in 1851, George William Underwood re-married, and married Matilda Curtis in Dursley, Gloucestershire.

The Dursley Census of 1851 shows him living with his new wife, together with the two remaining children from his first marriage, William George Underwood born in 1841, and Ann Maria Underwood born in 1844.  His occupation is given as a train driver.

It may appear strange that he suddenly became a ‘train driver‘ after being described as a ‘labourer‘ on his first son’s birth certificate and after apparently spending the past ten years living at Gloucester Workhouse.  However, the proximity of the railway station and railway goods yard to the workhouse can be seen on the below map, and it may be that the ‘work’ of the ‘workhouse’ included working on the railway in various capacities.  Perhaps, those who saw him work as a ‘labourer’ were impressed with his work.

1884 Map of Gloucester showing location of Gloucester Workhouse and Gloucester Railway station and goods yards.
1884 Map of Gloucester showing location of Gloucester Workhouse and Gloucester Railway station and goods yards. –
‘OS Map name 025/SE’, in Map of Gloucestershire (Southampton, 1884-1894), British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/os-1-to-10560/gloucestershire/025/se [accessed 4 May 2018].
Subsequent census records in 1861, 1871, and 1881 show him remaining in the same job and at the same location, and with new children being added from his second marriage.  Some of their children were never added to the census, as they were born and died between the ten year census dates.

Matilda Curtis died aged 41 at Dursley in 1873.

George William Underwood died aged 70 at Dursley in 1890, meaning he was born about 1820.

First Marriage  – 1840

UK Marriage Index 1840
Gloucester, volume 11, page 467
Underwood George William
,
Lane Maria,

Hempstead Parish Church Bans
1st Bans – Sun Sept 6th 1840
2nd Bans – Sun Sept 13th 1840
3rd Bans – Sun Sept 20th 1840

Marriage Bans of George William Underwood and Maria Lane. Hempstead Parish Church 1840
Marriage Bans of George William Underwood and Maria Lane. Hempstead Parish Church 1840

Hempstead Parish Church Register 4 October 1840
George William Underwood, of full age, bachelor, labourer.
Residence: Sudbrook in the hamlet of Little Worth.
Father’s name: John Underwood (farmer or foreman – hard to read)
Maria Lane, minor, spinster.
Residence: Sudbrook in the hamlet of Little Worth.
Father’s name: John Lane.

Marriage Register of George William Underwood and Maria Lane. Hempstead Parish Church 1840
Marriage Register of George William Underwood and Maria Lane. Hempstead Parish Church 1840
Map of Sadbrook and Hempstead.
Map of Sadbrook and Hempstead based on data provided through http://www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth

1841 UK Census: Parish of Bradford, Wiltshire

Ann Stone, aged 95, widow, born Wiltshire.
Miriam May, aged 75, widow, born Wiltshire.
George Underwood, aged 20, Agricultural Labourer, born Wiltshire.
Maria Underwood, aged 15, born Wiltshire.

Children from First Marriage – 1841 to 1850

UK Birth index 1841 Oct-Dec,
Gloucester Union, volume 11, page 348
Underwood William George, Mother’s name: Lane

UK Birth index 1844 Jan-March,
Bridgwater Union, volume 10, page 358
Underwood Ann Maria, Mother’s name: Lane

UK Birth index 1849 Jul-Sept,
Gloucester Union, volume 11, page 336
Underwood John James, Mother’s name: Lane
UK Death Index 1849
Jul-Sept,
Gloucester Union, Volume 11 Page 390
Underwood John James,
aged 0

UK Birth index 1850 Jul-Sept,
Gloucester Union, volume 11, page 364
Underwood Fanny, Mother’s name: Lane
UK Death Index 1850
Oct-Dec,
Gloucester Union, Volume 11, Page 285
Underwood FANNY,
Aged 0

Death of First Wife

UK Death Index 1850
Gloucester, volume 11, page 283
Underwood Maria

Second Marriage – 1851

UK Marriage index 1851
Dursley, Jan-Mar, vol 11, page 349
Underwood George
, and  Curtis Matilda,

1851 UK Census: Parish of Barton St Mary, Gloucestershire

George Underwood, head, aged 32, Engine Driver, born Atworth.
Matilda Underwood, wife, aged 20, born Bath.
William George Underwood, son, aged 9, scholar, born Bridgwater, Somerset.
Ann Maria Underwood, daughter, aged 7, scholar, born Gloucester.

1851 Census Barton St Mary
1851 Census Barton St Mary (Click to enlarge in new tab)

Children from Second Marriage – 1851 to 1861

UK Birth index 1852 Jan-Mar,
Gloucester, volume 6a, page 250
Underwood George Thomas, Mother’s name: Curtis

UK Birth index 1853 Oct-Dec,
Gloucester, volume 6a, page 221
Underwood John Henry, Mother’s name: Curtis

UK Birth index 1856 Jan-Mar,
Clifton, Gloucestershire, volume 6a, page 97
Underwood Orlando, Mother’s name: Curtis

UK Birth index 1857 Oct-Dec
Dursley, Gloucestershire, volume 6a, page 170
Underwood Octavious, Mother’s name: Curtis

UK Birth index 1860 Jan-Mar,
Dursley, Gloucestershire, volume 6a, page 193
Underwood Rosa Matilda, Mother’s name: Curtis

1861 UK Census, Parish of Dursley. Railway House:

George Underwood, Head, married, aged 42, Railway Engine Driver, born Atworth, Wiltshire.
Matilda Underwood, Wife, Married, aged 29, born Bath, Somerset.
Annie Maria Underwood, Daughter, unmarried, aged 17, Rope Maker, born Bridgwater, Somerset.
George Underwood, Son, aged 9, Scholar, born Gloucester, Gloucestershire.
John H Underwood, Son, aged 7, Scholar, born Gloucester, Gloucestershire.
Orlando Underwood, Son, aged 5, Scholar, born Bristol, Gloucestershire.
Octavius Underwood, Son, aged 2, scholar, born Dursley, Gloucestershire.
Rosa Matilda Underwood, Daughter, aged 1, born Dursley, Gloucestershire.

1861 Dursley Census
1861 Dursley Census (Click to enlarge in new tab)

Children from Second Marriage – 1861 to 1871

UK Birth index 1862 Jan-Mar,
Dursley, Gloucestershire, volume 6a, page 202
Underwood Sarah Charlotte Eugena, Mother’s name: Curtis

UK Birth index 1863 Jul-Sept,
Dursley, Gloucestershire, volume 6a, page 185
Underwood Florence Jane, Mother’s name: Curtis
Died before next census
UK Death Index 1868
Apr-June
Dursley, Gloucestershire, volume 6a, page 133
Underwood Florence Jane, aged 4

UK Birth index 1865 Jul-Sept,
Dursley, Gloucestershire, volume 6a, page 193
Underwood Eliza Kate, Mother’s name: Curtis

UK Birth index 1867 Jul-Sept,
Dursley, Gloucestershire, volume 6a, page 216
Underwood Alice Curtis, Mother’s name: Curtis

UK Birth index 1869 Jul-Sept,
Dursley, Gloucestershire, volume 6a, page 202
Underwood Arthur, Mother’s name: Curtis

UK Birth index 1871 April-June,
Dursley, Gloucestershire, volume 6a, page 217
Underwood Laura Mary, Mother’s name: Curtis

1871 UK Census Parish of Dursley. “44 Lower Mills:

George Underwood, Head, married, aged 51, Railway engine driver, born Atworth, Wiltshire.
Matilda Underwood, wife, married, aged 39, born Bath, Somerset.
George Underwood, Son, unmarried, aged 19, Gardener, born Gloucester, Gloucestershire.
Octavious Underwood, Son, unmarried, aged 13, scholar, born Dursley Gloucestershire.
Rosa Underwood, Daughter, unmarried, aged 11, scholar, born Dursley Gloucestershire.
Eugene Underwood, daughter, unmarried, aged 9, scholar, born Dursley, Gloucestershire.
Kate Underwood, daughter, unmarried, aged 5, scholar, born Dursley, Gloucestershire.
Alice Underwood, daughter, unmarried, aged 3, born Dursley, Gloucestershire.
Arthur Underwood, daughter, aged 1, born Dursley, Gloucestershire.
* Laura Mary Underwood, daughter, aged 3 weeks, born Dursley, Gloucestershire.

* Laura Underwood is not named on the 1871 Census, but her birth was later registered in those names.

census1871Dursley
census1871Dursley (Click to enlarge in new tab)

George and Matilda After 1871

Matilda Underwood, died in 1873

UK Death Index 1873 Jan-Mar
Dursley, Gloucestershire, volume 6a, page 161
Underwood Matilda, aged 41

George William Underwood continued living in Dursley and working as an engine driver, and his mother in law and father in law were living with him and his surviving children at the time of the 1881 census.  He died in 1890.

1881 UK Census Parish of Dursley.  House: Lower Mills.

George Underwood, head, widower, 60, born: 1821 Atworth, Wiltshire.  Engine Driver.
Rosa M Underwood, daughter, single, 21, born: 1860, Dursley. Invalid.
Eliza K Underwood, daughter, single, 15, born: 1866, Dursley. Dressmaker.
Alice C Underwood, daughter, single, 13, born: 1868, Dursley. Scholar.
Arthur Underwood, son, single, 11, born: 1870, Dursley. Scholar.
Laura M Underwood, daughter, single, 10, born: 1871, Dursley.
Sarah Curtis, mother in law, married, 60, born: 1821, Wick, Glouc. Houskeeper.
William Curtis, father in law, married, 71, born:1810, Dursley

George William Underwood died in 1890 aged 70

UK Death Index 1890 Apr-June
Dursley, Gloucestershire, volume 6a, page 210
Underwood George William, aged 70

A Rose by any other name!

There does not appear to be a George William Underwood birth registered at Atworth at the relevant time, but there is a christening for George Underwood at the appropriate time, and he sometimes appears to have sometimes used the middle name of William although he wasn’t christened with the middle name.

Chapel Marriage register for Atworth, Wiltshire 1820 showing christening of George Underwood.
Chapel Marriage register for Atworth, Wiltshire 1820 showing christening of George Underwood.

1819 George Son of John and Ann Underwood at Atworth, Wiltshire
1840 George William Underwood marriage Register to Maria Lane at Hempsead, Gloucester.
1841 George Underwood and Maria Underwood in Bradford, Wiltshire1841 Census – born Wiltshire
1850 Death of Maria Underwood
1851 George Underwood UK Marriage index to Matilda Curtis
1851 George Underwood and Matilda Underwood in Barton St Mary 1851 Census – born Atworth
1861 George Underwood and Matilda Underwood in Dursley 1861 Census – born Atworth
1871 George Underwood and Matilda Underwood in Dursley 1871 Census – born Atworth
1873 Death of Matilda Underwood
1881 George Underwood in Dursley 1881 Census – born Atworth
1890 George William Underwood in UK death index, Dursley aged 70

George William Underwood‘ who married Maria Lane in 1840 is obviously the ‘George Underwood‘ who was later living with Maria Underwood until her death in 1850. He is also the same ‘George Underwood‘ who married Matilda Curtis in 1851 as the children from the first marriage were still living with him and their step-mother. Because of the presence of his children, he is obviously the same ‘George Underwood‘ who is listed at subsequent census returns at Dursley, Wiltshire, and is undoubtedly the same ‘George William Underwood‘ who died a Dursley in 1890 when aged 70.

There are two possibilities that spring to mind.  The first is that his full name should have been included in the bapism register but was accidentally ommited.  The second is that he may have had a younger sibling named ‘William’ who died, and he wanted to honor his memory by taking his name.  Either, way, he usually just used the name of ‘George Underwood‘, but on his first marriage and death certificate the name of ‘George William Underwood‘ was used.