Thomas Underdowne (1610-c1660)

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Thomas Underdowne was born circa 1610 in Devon, England, United Kingdom to George Underdowne (c1580-1609) and Marie Harris (c1579-c1620) and died circa 1660 of unspecified causes. He married Sellinger Adam (1605-c1660) 6 April 1635 in Ottery St Mary, Devon, England, United Kingdom.

Thomas Underdowne was baptized in Ottery St Mary on the 24th February 1610 to his parents George and Marie Underdowne. He was their fifth known child and second son; his older siblings were sisters Alice, Johan and Margaret, and his brother Robert.

This is the first known use of the name ‘Thomas’ in the family. ‘Thomas’ was to become one of the more prominent names to be used in this Underdown line – 7 generations in total are headed by a man called ‘Thomas Underdown/e’.

It is likely that Thomas was actually born in August of 1609 and his baptism delayed due to his father George having already died earlier that year. His father is recorded on his baptism as ‘posthumas’, meaning that he was already deceased.


Thomas married Sellinger Adam on the 6th April 1635 in Ottery St Mary. She was the daughter of Peter Adam. Her siblings were Robert and William Adam.


Thomas and Selinger had four known children baptized in Ottery St Mary – Thomas on 13th December 1635, Edmond on the 2nd February 1637, Richard on 15th November 1640 and Joshua on 14th April 1642.

Civil War

In 1645, with the country split in half and fighting each other during the Civil War, Ottery St Mary became a busy garrison town under the command of Sir Thomas Fairfax. Oliver Cromwell visited and stayed in Ottery St Mary when he came to survey the progress of his army in the south west of England. He allowed his troops to remain in the town after their campaigns, in order that they should have some rest and recuperation. During his stay, Fairfax and Cromwell set up their campaign headquarters in Ottery's Chanters House where they plotted the next stage of their campaign and their next movements. However, an outbreak of an epidemic was instrumental in finally moving troops out of the area.

How Thomas, Selinger and family were affected by these events is not yet known.


No record of Thomas or Sellinger’s burial has been located at this stage.


Offspring of Thomas Underdowne and Sellinger Adam (1605-c1660)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Thomas Underdowne (c1635-c1686) 1635 Devon, England, United Kingdom 1686 Johan Turner (c1635-1677)

Edmond Underdowne (1637-)
Richard Underdowne (1640-)
Joshua Underdowne (1642-)


Sources and notes

‡ General
  • "Recorded Details on the Underdown Families in England", by Peter Underdown, South Australia, 1990
  • GEDCOM details of Maxine Cadzow, Victoria, Australia
  • "England, Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 23 Dec 2012), Thomas Underdowne, 24 Feb 1610; citing OTTERY SAINT MARY,DEVON,ENGLAND, reference ; FHL microfilm 0962974, 0962975.
  • "Ancestral File", database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2012-12-31), entry for Thomas UNDERDOWNE.
  • "Ancestral File", database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2012-12-31), entry for Sellinger ADAM.

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