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Family spelling variants includes Saunders

SANDERS Family History


This famous surname is international being recorded in some form in every European country. There are at least three potential origins. These are firstly a derivative of the Greek personal name Alexander, meaning "The defender", and which was first recorded in 2000 b.c. It was introduced into Britain by "Crusaders" and other pilgrims, from the Holy Land, in the 12th century a.d.. Secondly in Britain, it can be locational from the village of Sanderstead in the county of Surrey. This place was first recorded as "Sonderstede" in the famous Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of the year 871, meaning the house on the sandy land...


Sanders (Variant: Saunders) A variant of Saunders. The surname is derived from the name of an ancestor ‘the son of Sander’, an abbreviation of Alexander, also ‘the son of Alexander’ and similarly the surname Sanderson. Sanders also being a Scottish representative of English Sanderson.

Also perceived as pre 7th century word "sand", plus the Germanic suffix "er", describing an occupational name for person who worked with or supplied sand, used for building or agricultural.

The first recorded spelling of the family name is thought to be that of Henry Sandres in the "Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire", which was dated 1275. This was during the reign of King Edward I, known as "The Hammer of the Scots" (1272 – 1307).

In 1891, the general population was widespread in England especially Devon where there 12,401 occurrences in England and Wales and a further 228 in Scotland.

In 1881, in the county of Devon there were 2,010 occurrences recorded with Tiverton and Tormoham being top parishes for the surname.

Agricultural Labourer, Farmer and Labourer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Sanders in 1881. The most common occupation for Sanders in the UK was Agricultural Labourer. A less common occupation for the Sanders family was Coal Miner.

James Sanders, an English convict was transported aboard the "Arab" on 22 February 1834, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia.

A notable Scottish physician and professor in Pathology at University of Edinburgh, William Rutherford Sanders (1828-1881), son of Dr. James Sanders, author of a work on digitalis.

Another was Cornish humanitarian, Helena Sanders (1911-1997), also a cultural activist, politician and poet. In 1951, she was the founder of the political party, Mebyon Kernow as she tried to preserve Cornish culture. She was also well known for her feline welfare efforts in Venice.


1881, 1891 Census

1881 Census in Devon

Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016

1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain

1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain



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    Joy odrobina

    Hello. My name is Joy and Elizabeth Gorman, born sanders/saunders .

    , is my grandfathers great aunts grandmother. Patrick Gorman is her grandfather. I don't know much about them , but I'm researching my mother's family.  Email me at joyodrobina745@gmail.com

    Take care


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    Beverly Rice

    Searching for the correct parents of William Saunders/Sanders b.c .1720 Married in St. Neot. Cornwall on 20th April, 1746 to Elizabeth Skineard b. 7/08/1723. Her parents were Benjamin Skinner & Mary Rundle m: 8/5/1722 in St. Neot, Cornwall .Elizabeth had a sister Grace Skineard/Skinner. William Saunders children were: Mary1746, William 1749, Elizabeth 1752, John 1754, Benjamin 1757, Ann 1760, Grace 1765, Charles 1767 [?] William Saunders father may have been William, John. I do not believe it was "Shadrak" as some researchers have suggested.
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    I am looking for English relatives of Richard Sanders/Saunders who immigrated to the Jamestown Virginia colony in 1624. Information I have indicates he was born in Coxsom, Surrey England in 1598 and died in James City, Jamestown, VA in 1636. Any information would be appreciated.
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    Wanting to connect with living relatives of Sanders family. My gggggrandmother, Eliza Sanders married Patrick Gorman, April 1834 at St Pauls, Arran Quay, Dublin. They emigrated to New South Wales, Australia in 1834 and had 4 children - Patrick b 1835, John b 1836, Mary b 1839 and Bridget b 1841. I do not know place of birth for either Eliza or Patrick. Can anyone help please? Jill
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    My ancestor George Sanders left County Antrim about 1740 for Virginia. My guess is his family were a sept of Clan McAllister in Antrim. Does anyone know how to trace his family in Antrim?
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