Alexander Underwood

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Alexander Underwood

Birthplace: Baltimore, Baltimore County, Province of Maryland, (Present USA)
Death: Died in Warrington Township, York County, Province of Pennsylvania, (Present USA)
Place of Burial: Wellsville, York co., Pennsylvania
Immediate Family:

Son of Samuel Underwood and Mary Ann Underwood (Wilcox)
Husband of Jane Underwood (Harris); Anne Underwood (Arundel) and Sarah C. Beals-Underwood
Father of Mary Cook; Samuel Underwood; Thomas Underwood; Elizabeth Ailles; Ann Underwood and 8 others
Brother of Samuel Underwood; Joseph Underwood; Benjamin Underwood; Thomas Underwood and Elizabeth Underwood

Managed by: Richard Stanley Teague
Last Updated:

About Alexander Underwood

Excellent notes on Alexander Underwood by Linda Coate [Phone: (614) 915-1243; E-mail:] may be found at

Alexander Underwood, born in Maryland, settled in London Grove, (Warrington MM), Chester Co., PA in 1722, multiple years after his marriage to Jane Harry. He had the land in London Grove Twp. surveyed in 1720. He obtained a deed for the land in 1722 after his father's death.

He was a witness to multiple marriages in the Chester Co., PA region, in 1728 at a Nottingham marriage, in 1731, 1734, 1735 and 1738 in London Grove MM, and lastly in 1734 in New Garden MM. (C-942)

He was a devout Quaker, a Friends Minister for 22 years and named an Elder on Nov. 31, 1735. In 1742 he sold his land to William Boyd. They then moved to Warrington, York Co., PA (Sadsbury Monthly Meeting Territory) in 1743. His wife, Jane, died shortly after this move. On the 3rd month, 28th, 1743, he, Robert Conners, William Underwood and their families requested a Certificate of Removal from the Sadsbury MM (then including York Co. PA). Alexander got a certificate of removal to Monocacy Meeting in Prince Georges Co., Maryland on Sept. 2, 1745. He returned to Sadsbury MM on Aug. 3, 1747 in York Co. where Alexander was recommended as minister.

He married Sarah Boatwater Beals, widow of John Beals, after Sarah had gotten her children's permission. They married after he received a certificate from Warrington to Fairfax Meeting dated 2mo. 16, 1748. Sarah was probably in her 60's at the time. Sarah died prior to Alexander as she was not mentioned in his will. She is last recorded on Sept. 12, 1761 when she was succeeded as "overseer". He, Samuel and William Underwood (probably his sons) pledged money to help buy the land for the Warrington Monthly Meeting while attending Sadsbury MM in 1745. (C-429) His will, dated May 28, 1767 is likely filed at York Co., Pennsylvania

Some of Alexander and Jane's children moved to Delaware and their records may be found in the northern County of a Quaker Record Holding Place. The Book "The Underwood Families of America, Vol. 2:" carries the males lines forward sometimes to the 1900's. As for Alexander's ancestry, it states that it descended from Samuel Underwood of New Castle Co., Del. in the late 1600's. It is fairly definite Samuel was from Maryland, descended from Thomas Underwood of Anne Arundel County, Md. (C-260)

There is some controversy on his daughter, Mary's mother. One out of six major works on the Underwood families believes that Alexander had an unknown wife before he married Jane Harry by whom he had Mary. CD-100 gives his only wife's name as Mary Jane Underhill. This is actually the wife of his grandson Alexander. (C-533)

The mix up in number of wives is due to a literal translation of a Quaker eulogy on Alexander Underwood. However, all other major sources disagree with parts of the eulogy. It was written by friends of his and approved on the 5th mo. 7, 1768, many months after his death when all of his children lived elsewhere and his wife had passed away. It is poorly written with another blatant error, that his parent's weren't Quaker. They feel they confused his adulthood move with the time of his marriage.

The eulogy from which this confusion rises follows: Alexander Underwood was born in the Province of Maryland in the year 1688. His parents who were not members of the religious Society of Friends, removed when he was young and settled in New Castle on the Delaware (when Alexander was about four years old). Here he continued to reside until he reached the thirty-fourth year of his age, when he married and removed to London Grove Township, Chester County (Pennsylvania). Here he became acquainted with Friends and in a few years afterwards he became convinced of the Truth of the principles professed by them, and was received into membership with them. (The timing of these last two statements is not accurate when checked against the time he was a recorded member verses his marriage and move. [C-635, p.21]) By faithfulness to that which led him into the way of the Truth, he grew in religious experience, and became a valuable member of the Church Militant. In a very few years he was appointed Elder, in which he conducted himself with reputation.

About the year 1743, he believed it right to remove to Warrington, where he resided the rest of his life. In a year or two thereafter, a gift in the Ministry of the gospel was committed to him, in which he endeavored to be faithful. Besides his earnest labors among neighboring meetings, he twice visited the meetings to the south as far as North Carolina, and brought back comfortable accounts from his Friends there of his labor of love amongst them. He was a good example of humble waiting in religious meetings, and by dwelling near the Fountain of Life, he was enabled, when called into service by his divine Master, "to minister suitably to the situation of the Church, the comfort of the true mourners of Zion, and the encouragement of the faithful."

He was diligent, as the way was inwardly opened therefore, in visiting meetings around, and was ever careful to maintain the good order of the church, by having the unity of his friends with his prospects. Toward the end of his life, his strength of body failed much, yet he continued of a clear mind, and sound and lively ministry, visiting even in his weakness some of his neighboring meetings, and families of friends. In these exercises, his labor of love was truly comforting to the living. During his last illness, he was resigned and cheerful. At one time he said "He had the good company of his Master to comfort him in his affliction." On another occasion he remarked, "He could say with the Psalmist that he good Hand that was with him in his younger years, had not forsaken him now in his old age." At different times he signified to those who visited him, "that he still felt the Comforter with him," and said his day's work was done. A short time before his close, "He sang praises and hallelujahs to his great Lord and Master," and then he prayed earnestly for the little handful. He took an affectionate leave of those present, and in a sweet frame of mind, uttered praises until his voice was lost, he quietly and joyfully departed Tenth month, 31st, 1767 and was inter'd the 2nd of the eleventh in the seventyninth year of his age. May we who are left behind, be engaged to follow his example so that our end may be like unto his. (C-635) The evident errors in this eulogy are in the timing of events in his earliest life. He moved to London Grove in 1722, and there is no record of his marriage to Jane Harry in the New Garden meeting house in the year 1722 where he was a member. By all known information, Jane was his first wife and they had married a good eleven years previous to that date. These errors are understandable when it's known that they were coming from friends memories.

Noted events in his life were:

• Probate, May 28, 1767, , York, PA, USA.

Alexander married Jane HARRY, daughter of Hugh HARRY and Elizabeth BRINTON, about 1710 in , New Castle, DE, USA. (Jane HARRY was born about 1687 in Chichester, Chester, PA, USA and died before Apr 25, 1743 in London Grove, Chester, PA, USA.)

Alexander next married Sarah Boatwater BEALS on Feb 16, 1747/48 in Monocacy M.M., Prince George's, MD. (Sarah Boatwater BEALS died about 1761.)

Marriage Notes:

Their marriage took place between 1745-1748 depending on which second hand sources are consulted and how Quaker records are interpreted. (C-635)


1 CD 102 (Automated Archives).

2 Harry, Jane, Ancestral File.

3 Richard M. Kelly, The Maryland Ancestors of Rachel Wells THE SOUTHERN FRIEND: JOURNAL OF THE NORTH CAROLINA FRIENDS HISTORICAL SOCIETY; Vol. XVI Spring-Autumn 1994, Numbers 1-2 p. 35-63..

4 Underwood Annals Vol. 1.

5 Dale C. Kellogg, Through the Keyhole p. 18.

6 Lucien Underwood, Comp, The Underwood Families of America (New Era Printing Company, c1913).

7 Billie Redding Lewis, Thomas Underwood 1650 Immigrant, His Descendants and their Families (unpublished, 1993 (copy of the book in possession of Linda Coate Dudick)).

8 Robert Jesse Harry, The Ancestors and Descendants of Hugh Harry and Elizabeth Brinton.

9 Elmer R. Underwood, David Underwood, 1815-1857, His Antecedents and Descendants (A Private Printing, c1974).

10 Family History.

11 An Account of the Underwood Family prepared about 1873 by unknown family researcher with information included from Isaac Underwood as forwarded by Doberteen.

12 Robert J. Harry, Harry Herald Vol. 3, #12 June, 1987.

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Alexander Underwood's Timeline

Baltimore, Baltimore County, Province of Maryland, (Present USA)
Age 22
New Castle, New Castle County, Province of Pennsylvania Lower Counties (Present Delaware), (Present USA)
August 29, 1711
Age 23
Rising Sun, Cecil County, Province of Maryland, (Present USA)
Age 23
Warrington, York County, Province of Pennsylvania
Age 24
London Grove, Chester, PA, USA
Age 28
London, Mercer, Pennsylvania, United States
Age 30
Warrington, Bucks, Pennsylvania, USA
May 18, 1720
Age 32
Province of Pennsylvania
Age 32
Warrington, Bucks, Pennsylvania, USA
Age 32
Warrington, Bucks, Pennsylvania, United States