Grendon Underwood is a village and civil parish in Aylesbury Vale district in Buckinghamshire, England. It is in the west of the county, close to the boundary with Oxfordshire and near the Roman road Akeman Street now known as the A41. The village sits between Woodham and Edgcott and has a population of approximately 1500 (in 2012).
The toponym is derived from the Old English for 'green hill near a wood', though the 'Underwood' part of the name was only added in the medieval period to differentiate the village from nearby Long Crendon and to signify the village's position close to the Bernwood Forest. The Domesday Book of 1086 records the village as Grennedone. The manor of Grendon anciently belonged to the St Amand family. Almeric de St Amand of this family was one of the godfathers of King Edward I, who was baptised in 1239.
In 1642, Grendon Underwood lay on the forest tracks used by gypsies and strolling players (travelling performers) and was visited more than once by William Shakespeare, who stayed at the house, formerly an inn, now known as Shakespeare House, currently (2012) a five star guest house and Grade II listed, part Elizabethan former coaching inn What Around 1809, Underwood Junction was the point at Greatmoor, just east of Grendon Underwood village, at which the Alternative Route of the London Extension of the Great Central Railway left the original main line. This was a little north of the point where the main line joined the previous Metropolitan Railway's line from to , and thence to London. The latter junction no longer exists, as the line to Verney Junction has been closed and dismantled as part of the Beeching Axe in the 1960s.
Birth, marriage and death certificates can now be ordered online from Buckinghamshire County Council. The full postal address is Buckinghamshire Register Office, County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1YU.
The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies (County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1UU) holds
In Buckinghamshire, as with other counties in England and Wales, the location of offices where Births, Marriages and Deaths were registered has altered with other changes in local government. A list of the location of Registration Offices since civil registration began in 1837 has been prepared by GENUKI (Genealogy: United Kingdom and Ireland). The table also gives details of when each Registration Office was in existence. In the case of Buckinghamshire, the same registration offices were used for the censuses since 1851.
Nineteenth Century Local Administration
English Jurisdictions is a webpage provided by FamilySearch which analyses every ecclesiastical parish in England at the year 1851. It provides, with the aid of outline maps, the date at which parish records and bishops transcripts begin, non-conformist denominations with a chapel within the parish, the names of the jurisdictions in charge: county, civil registration district, probate court, diocese, rural deanery, poor law union, hundred, church province; and links to FamilySearch historical records, FamilySearch Catalog and the FamilySearch Wiki. Two limitations: only England, and at the year 1851.
During the 19th century two bodies, the Poor Law Union and the Sanitary District, had responsibility for governmental functions at a level immediately above that covered by the civil parish. In 1894 these were replace by Rural and Urban Districts. These were elected bodies, responsible for setting local property assessments and taxes as well as for carrying out their specified duties. Thses districts continued in operation until 1974. Urban districts for larger municipalities were called "Municipal Boroughs" and had additional powers and obligations.
Poor Law Unions, established nationally in 1834, combined parishes together for the purpose of providing relief for the needy who had no family support. This led to the building of '"union poorhouses" or "workhouses" funded by all the parishes in the union. The geographical boundaries established for the individual Poor Law Unions were employed again when Registration Districts were formed three years later. In 1875 Sanitary Districts were formed to provide services such as clean water supply, sewage systems, street cleaning, and the clearance of slum housing. These also tended to follow the same geographical boundaries, although there were local alterations caused by changes in population distribution.
Online Historical References