This is an Anglo-Scottish medieval surname. It is residential either from one or all of the various places called Netherwood of which there are a number of examples in both England and Scotland, or from living by a "nether (or lower) wood". The surname is first recorded in the English county of Essex as shown below, although this is not one of the known regions that contained a Netherwood village. According to the gazetters of the United Kingdom these are to be found near Pembroke in West Wales, Horsham in the county of Sussex, Dumfries, Ayr, and Renfrew, in Scotland, and near Ilkley in West Yorkshire. Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say names given as easy identification to strangers when they moved to another place. In this case the early recordings include Thomas de Nethewode of Essex in the Hundred Rolls of landowners in 1273, whilst Adam Nethyrwode is recorded in the Poll Tax register of Yorkshire in 1379. It is said that a William Netherwood of Ayshire in Scotland emigrated to Sweden in the 17th century, and set up as a merchant and that his descendants are still in Sweden today.
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