This playground and nearby street are named for one of New York’s first settler families, the Underhills.
Among the first to settle on Long Island, Captain John Underhill (c.1597-1672) arrived in New Amsterdam (as New York City was then known) around 1664. His descendant, James Underhill (1764-1816) was born in North Hempstead, Long Island and made his home in the Jamaica section of Long Island (now Queens). He served as an Elder in the area beginning on May 14, 1805 and as an Overseer as of 1811. Another Underhill, James Underhill (1784-1855) was born in Yorktown, New York. He lived in White Plains, New York and died in the 9th Ward of New York City. His remains are located in Brooklyn’s historic Greenwood Cemetery, not far from the location of Underhill Avenue. Another James Underhill (1799-1887), lived at 143 South Oxford Street, only a few blocks from Underhill Avenue. He also owned farmland in White Plains, New York.