There are two possible origins for this Anglo-Saxon surname, the first being that it is a topographic name for a dweller at or by a patch of sandy soil. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'sand', sand, with the Old High German 'sant', and the Old Norse 'sande', having the same meaning, giving rise to this surname in Scotland, Germany, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. However, Sand may also be a short form of the given name Alexander, or the popular medieval given name Sander, and in this instance would be the patronymic form (the 's' denoting son of). The following examples illustrate the name development after 1205 (see below): de la Sonde (1248), atte Sonde (1296), del Sond (1298) and del Sandes (1332). Sir Edwin Sandys (1561-1629) was a founder of Virginia, the brother of poet George Sandys (1578-1664). They hailed from a Lancashire family, sons of the archbishop of York. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Sandes, which was dated 1205, Curia Rolls of Surrey, during the reign of King John, known as 'Lackland', 1199-1216. 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.
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