Dursley Gloucestershire is midway between the major cities of Bristol to its southwest and Gloucester to the northwest. Several members of the Underwood Family were born and lived there in the 1800’s, either in Dursley itself or in the adjoining villages of Cam or Uley.
It is one of the many Underwood towns where members of the Underwood family have lived. There is evidence that people have been living in the area around Dursley over many centuries, and there are stone age burial mounds in the area
From the 15th century the main industry of Dursley Gloucestershire was the production of woolen cloth, and by the start of the 19th century there were seven cloth mills within Dursley with several others located in the surrounding area within the Cam valley. The industry was boosted in 1856 when railway stations were opened in Cam and Dursley, with branch lines and sidings linking the various mills and factories along the Cam valley.
The 19th century brought engineering works into the town, and the engineering company R A Lister became the largest employer in the town. Despite this, at the start of the 20th century the area all around Dursley Gloucestershire remained mainly rural areas.
At least fourteen people listed on the Underwood Family tree were born at Dursley, Gloucestershire. Others were married, worked, or died in the town. George Underwood, for example spent most of his life as a train driver and is first listed as such in the 1851 UK Census. By the 1861 census he is listed as living in ‘Railway House, Dursley‘ and employed as a 32 year old ‘railway engine driver‘. He is at the same location for the next twenty years, by the 1881 Census still being listed as a 60 year old ‘engine driver’.
Fuller information about Dursley in the 1800’s can be obtained from the Visions of Britain website (link below map) or from the Dursley local history guide website.