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Surname Underhill - Meaning and Origin

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Unearthing Hidden Origins: An Emotional Journey with iGENEA DNA Test

My experience with iGENEA was more than just a foray into my genetic makeup. It was a journey into my past that fundamentally altered how I perceived my family's role in the vast tapestry of human history. The revelation of my Underhill lineage being tied to multiple European regions reshaped my understanding of my identity and heritage.

C. Underhill

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Underhill: What does the surname Underhill mean?

The surname Underhill is of English origin and is derived from a topographic name for someone who lived or worked “under the hill.” It denotes a geographical location, often signifying a person living near or at the bottom of a hill. Surnames were commonly taken from geographical features during early periods where people were easily identified with the places they lived or worked. It was a common practice not only in England, but across Europe. The surname Underhill can be traced back to the Old English words "under" meaning ‘under’ or ‘below’, and "hyll" meaning ‘hill’. Over time, the original spelling has been anglicized to the modern Underhill. As surnames became hereditary, the name could have spread to variety of regions beyond the original geographical location. As a result, today, the name is carried by individuals and families globally.

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Underhill: Where does the name Underhill come from?

The last name Underhill is most commonly found in the United Kingdom. It is believed to have originated as a topographic name for someone who lived at the bottom of a hill. While it has been around since at least the Middle Ages, it’s most well known in connection with Underhill House, a manor house near West Langdon in Kent, England that’s been passed down through the family since the 16th century.

Today, the Underhill surname can still be found in Britain, although it is not as common as it used to be. According to a 2015 review of surnames in the United Kingdom, the name was ranked number 11,322 with an estimated 1,105 individuals. It is most frequently found in England, with distribution also found in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Outside of the U.K., the Underhill surname is most common in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. In the United States alone, the name is ranked in the top 5,000 with an estimated 12,000 individuals bearing the name. It is particularly common in California, Texas, New York and Florida, but can be found in many other states as well.

The Underhill surname is a good indicator of British ancestry, and it’s popularity in other countries is likely due to the large number of emigrants from the U.K. who settled in those countries in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Variations of the surname Underhill

Underhill is an English surname derived from the Old English words for "under" and "hill". Variants of this surname include Underhull, Underhill, Onderhille, Onderhill, Undarhoul, Underhul, Underhulle, and Unterhull. Sometimes an “e” is added to the spellings of the surname Underhill.

Surnames of similar origin to Underhill, but with different spellings, include Ondershield, Ondershilde, Ondershild, Ondershilde, Undersheld, Oudershield, Ondershel, Ondershelt, and Ondershell.

Underhill can also be spelled as UnderHale, Underhal, Underhale, Underhell, Underhale, Underhele, Undershull, Onderhall, Onderhull, Onderhal, Underhool, Onderhale, and Ondershall. These are all recognised spellings of the same surname.

The surnames Apunderhill and Undershulle, which both have the same origin as Underhill, are also used as alternate spellings and variants of the surname.

Underhill is an uncommon surname with origins in the English language. It is a relatively old surname that can traced back to its earliest records in the 16th century. It is believed to have first originated in the northern counties of England.

Famous people with the name Underhill

  • John Henry Underhill (1874–1959), the former mayor of New Orleans.
  • Otto Robert Frisch (1904–1979), an Austrian physicist who discovered nuclear fission with Lise Meitner, born Otto Robert Underhill.
  • Raymond Underhill (1898–1967), a British actor.
  • William Underhill (1532–1592), English lawyer and politician.
  • Charles Underhill Jr. (1856–1917), American entrepreneur and philanthropist.
  • Johnny Underhill (1904–1984), English cricketer.
  • Cassandra Underhill (b. 1985), co-winner of the 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • Franklyn Underhill (18+6–1960), Canadian poet and author.
  • Ed Underhill (1943–2014), Canadian ice hockey player.
  • John Park Underhill (1793–1873), Connecticut state legislator and businessperson.
  • Sylvester Mowry Underhill (1827–1923), nephew of John Park Underhill and a judge in the US District Court for Utah Territory.
  • Drew Underhill (b. 1980), American musician and singer.
  • Richard C. Underhill (b. 1962), American photographer and photojournalist.
  • Ruth Underhill (1883–1984), American anthropologist and writer.
  • Clara Underhill (1859–1957), American temperance movement leader.
  • William Underhill (1768–1851), British cavalry Officer.
  • Peter Underhill (1947–), American geneticist. 18.

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