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About the Surname
Origin. Netherwood is an English surname denoting one who dwells by the lower wood. As a topographic surname — one derived from a feature of the land — it probably did not have a single origin but arose independently in more than one place. Philologist P. H. Reaney has found the name as early as 1274, when Thomas de Netherwode was entered in the Rotuli Hundredorum (Hundred Rolls) for Essex. In the early 1600's the name was taken to Sweden by a ship captain said to have been from Scotland. The name also spread to other English-speaking countries where it remains a relatively rare surname.
Frequency. According to data of the Office of National Statistics on surnames in use in England, Wales and the Isle of Man, in 2002 Netherwood was shared by 432 persons, ranking it 12,720 out of 270,000 surnames shared by five or more people. Census data for 1881 shows 356 Netherwoods (including some spelling variations and errors) for the same geographic area.
Variants. The only true variant to be identified is Neatherwood, used by one West Yorkshire family over several generations but apparently not after the 1880's.
Many "spellings" over time have been found, however. These are not variants because they were not used consistently but differed from one document to another even when referring to the same individual. Most are not actually spellings either, since spelling is a relatively modern concept. The following are therefore better thought of as "forms" of Netherwood rather than spellings.
English Forms (52)
Swedish Forms (18)
It is not always possible to distinguish between an alternate form and simple mistake (which some of the above may be). Following are some definite mistakes, however, probably the result of mis-hearing, mis-remembering or plain inattention, used for individuals known to be surnamed Netherwood:
Conversely, published information, particularly census information, often includes names transcribed as Netherwood which have proved to be something else. Underwood is the most common of these, but Usherwood, Nethercoat, Nethercote, Niethercut, Netherway, Nestleroad, Nuderwood, Rutherwood, Wedgwood, Weatherwood and Wetherwood have also been found disguised as Netherwood. These have of course been omitted from any data indexed on this web site.
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