Last name: Saunders

This famous surname of either English or Greek derivation has truly ancient origins. The name in its various spellings has long been accepted as being a derivative of the Greek personal name 'Alexander' which was recorded from 2000 B.C., but it is now certain that for many nameholders, the origin is Olde English and locational from Sanderstead in Surrey. This latter place was recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of the year 871 a.d as 'Sondenstede' - the house on the sandy land. The Grecian 'Alexander' translates as "Defender of Men", a meaning which contributed greatly to its world wide popularity. 'Alexander' was introduced into England by the Crusaders, who, as the Knights of St.John, used the island of Crete as their base for the many fruitless attempts to conquer the Holy Land. The known forms of the name are Saunder, Sandar, and Sander, whilst Saunders, Sanders, and Sandars, are patronymics. Early examples of the surname recording include William Sandre of Kent in 1316, and Richard Saunder of Stafford in the Subsidy Rolls of that county for the year 1332. Other examples include Sir Edward Saunders, Chief-baron of the exchequer to Queen Elizabeth 1 in 1559, whilst Francis Sanders, (1648 - 1710), a Jesuit priest was confessor to the exiled King James 11 of England, at the palace of St. Germain in France. The Sanders of Sanders Place, Surrey, claim descent from Watkin de Sanderstead in pre Norman times. The coat of arms has the blazon of a black field charged with an ermine chevron between three bulls heads cabossed silver. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Sandres, which was dated 1275, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2015

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noeleen saunders

Saunders too ... from Ireland :-)

Christie Saunders

My ancestors on my fathers side was originally from Scotland, the migrated to the Bahamas.

Jason Saunders

My great grandfather Scottie Saunders was a missionary from Scottland who migrated to Bimini Bahamas along with his brother.

amanda saunders
i am Jamaican Cuban and scottish

Richard Lati Saunders
I see there's another Richard on here. Quick fact: Richard means lion h thatearted, so it makes sense that we're defenders of men.

Travis Saunders
:D there's lotssss of Saunders, I'm german, english, scottish, irish, etc mixed, we're all from a great surname :D

all ways had the urge to look my names heritage where I'm from there is no other Saunders ' that i know of or heard of nice to see other saunders

hi Conner-nice to see from you-i am saunders-english guy,live in germany greetings to you:-)

Antony David John Saunders
Well people I have found my family history all the way back to the 18th Century in Shipston-Upon-Stour formerly Warwickshire and now classed as Worcestershire so if anyone can help me go back any further please do get in touch at

Daniel Saunders
Defender of Men. not bad..

tesa saunders
even in the bahamas

Sue Saunders
Saunders was the name my step-father gave me when he adopted me in 1962. I liked it and thought it was anglo-saxon originally. Interesting that my step-father was from a family who settled in Surrey. I know he had a daughter from his previous marriage but we never met. He kept her a secret.

Zara Saunders
Something new everyday

Brie Saunders
We are warriors guys!

Richard Saunders
there's something about a templar knight or priest by the name saundier.

amanda saunders
awesom.wat a great name to have.i feel like royalty

Richard Saunders
the bit about create surprised me i've been there several times and nothings ever made me aware of the name.

egerton saunders

its rather interesting to know and refreshing to be aware about this wonderful surname


I am a Saunders from Jamaica, I lived in the UK and now in the USA. I would like to connect with, and trying to find my Saunders roots. I lived for a short time in the Bahamas as well, during the early1970s.

Michael Saunders
It surprises me just how many Saunders names there are around the world.

DJ Sanders
Please read "GENERATIONS - A Thousand Year Family History" by Ralph Sanders; available on Amazon and other book outlets . This is a well-researched history of the Sanders Family that originated in a manor called Sanderstead in a land that became England around 950 AD. Watkin de Sanderstead was, indeed, the first of what became our family surname.

DJ Sanders
"Saunders" and "Sanders" are the same family surnames - it just how the surname has been spelled by our ancestors.

M Sanders
Rubbish. A waste of money.

Brian Saunders
I didn't realise us Saunders' had such a pedigree!

Emily Saunders
Defender of men! wow! Sounds so brave and awesome! haha!

Cole Saunders
Sweet aint it

cole saunders