I am researching the ancestors of Clementia Underhill, who married William Caldicott in 1703. According to her burial record from 1760, she was born in about 1675.

I believe that she was the daughter of a George Underhill, and have a candidate born in 1645 in Adminghton, Warwickshire to Thomas Underhill and Ann his wife. He was christened in Quinton but the baptism record of his older sister Jane (b 1635) mentions the parents as being of Adminghton. (NB there is another George born to these parents in 1640. I assume that this was a case if infant mortality and name re-use.)

Several other trees on ancestry.com link Thomas Underhill to Whitchurch in Warwickshire, but disagree on his father. I am inclined to reject this because I cannot find a Thomas amongst the Underhills baptised there (the only one that pops up in the index is a transcription error, of a daughter). There's no particular reason to link these two families, that were more than 50km apart. The use of the unusual name Clementia for his putative granddaughter leads me to suspect that he is in fact the son of Clement Underhill, baptised in 1615 at St Mary Abchurch, London. A London residence near Court followed by a return to country estates in the next generation would make sense if they were a relatively elite family.

But all of that is just background. The strange thing is that while I can find baptisms of several children of Thomas and Ann Underhill in Quinton, as well as children of an Edward and a John Underhill, there isn't a single marriage involving a male Underhill or any burials of Underhills in Quinton in the entire period 1600-1650. (I've just been through the scans of the parish records on ancestry.com, page by page. I might have missed a female Underhill getting married because the from was always listed first.) While I can imagine that marriages might be in another parish, that of the other half of the couple, I'm surprised that there were no burials of any Underhills in the same parish as the baptisms. Infant mortality was very high, and there were plenty of burials of children of other families, including unnamed unbaptized children, in these records.

So my question is: what if anything should I infer from the absence of burials in the parish of the baptisms?

EDIT: Here are the entries I've found so far. Note that the early part of this register is in Secretary Hand, which is very hard to read. Consequently the register is quite badly indexed on Ancestry.com.

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    Not an answer, but I have a couple of examples of infants being buried in their maternal grandparents' parish, although the parents lived elsewhere -- one burial in Pembrokeshire, one in Staffordshire. The Pembrokeshire is particularly poignant -- 3 infant boys in the grave, all with the same name. Another possibility that's been suggested elsewhere but I'm not aware of any evidence for it is that the family were too poor to afford burials, in which case the baby might be quietly slipped in the coffin of another burial and never recorded.
    – user104
    Jul 13, 2014 at 12:30
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    I am fairly certain that I have seen cases where a family starts out in one parish, a child is born and buried in that parish, then the family move elsewhere. Subsequent burials are carried out in the first parish. But whether the reason is to be with the first burial, to be buried "at home", or because a sick child was with granny, I can't guess. I remember someone once suggesting that baptisms tended to be local because walking muddy roads carrying a young child was not fun, whereas going to another town to be married was a one-off. Transporting a body, however, seems an even worse job.
    – AdrianB38
    Jul 13, 2014 at 15:16
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    Not an answer, but a hypothesis. Look in the parishes where female relatives live. Infants who died might be buried there, as @ColeValleyGirl has found. Infants who survived would be brought back home to be baptised in the home parish. That doesn't explain the lack of adult burials, however.
    – Jan Murphy
    Jul 13, 2014 at 17:26
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    Searching for Underhill with exact location Quinton, Worcestershire on ancestry.co.uk gives me George Ander Hill buried 1640 and Merriall Underhill buried 1627...
    – user104
    Jul 13, 2014 at 17:40
  • I think you should edit your question to list the Underhill (and variants) births, marriages and deaths in Quinton for the period in question. I say this because it would seem that the burials found by @ColeValleyGirl undermines the original "baptisms only" observation.
    – PolyGeo
    Jul 17, 2014 at 10:43

1 Answer 1


It might well be that the answer lies in more liberal interpretation of Secretary Hand. I have since found an entry that might be a marriage involving an Underhill. If I read it right, it says:

Mr Edward Underhill of Ebrington in the county of Warwickshire and Mrs Marie Savage of Meane, Widdow, were married February 19, 1649.

And I did find some burials, also badly transcribed and hard to read in the original, for Merriam Underhill, wife of Humfrey, and Alice Underhill, his daughter, both buried November 20, 1627.

It is worth noting that the Ancestry.com transcriptions of this particular register has errors in almost every second entry. I have just spent several hours putting in some edits, which they will hopefully take up. And I wasn't even comprehensive.

BOTTOM LINE: Even when you think you haven't found anything, check the original scan, and check it twice!!

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