Onslow Co, North Carolina
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1607-1840
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Where did we come from and where are we going?

Where did the name Sanders start?

Irish:

The Anglo-Norman surname Sanders is derived from the name Saunder, which is a pet form of the personal name Alexander. This name was originally derived from the Greek personal name Alexandros which literally means defender of men. This is one of many theories of where the name came from.

German:

The distinguished German surname Sanders is of two possible origin. First, the name may be derived from the personal name “Sanders”, which is a diminutive of the popular Greek personal name “Alexander”, meaning “Protector”. In this case the surname would mean “son of Sanders”. Alternatively, the name may be derived from the place name “Sand”, the name of several towns in Germany. In this instance, the name would have been originally borne by someone hailing from one of these towns.

Dutch:

 The Surname Sanders was first found in Holland, where the name became noted for its many branches in the region, each house acquiring a status and influence which was envied by the princes of the region. The name was first recorded in North Holand, a province of the Netherlands. The principle cities are Amsterdam, Haarlem and Hilversum. It was the seat of old Counts of Holland.

There is no doubt that the name “Sanders” has deep seated roots across the big pond. The name Sanders has many theories as to its origin however, one constant through all the research is that “honor”, “protector”, defender, etc…..

Sanders spelling variations:

A person’s name was often spelled simply as it sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. A few of the variations include: Sanders, Saunders, Sawnders, Sainders, Saynders, Saunderrs, Sannders, Sanderrs, Saunder, Sanderson, and many more. This famous surname is international and has been 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. The third option is from the pre 7th century word "sand", plus the Germanic suffix "er", and as such describing a person who worked with or supplied sand, used for building or agricultural. The various spellings of the surname include Sander, Saunder, and Sandar, whilst Saunders, Sanders, and Sandars are the patronymics. Early examples of the surname recording include William Sandre of the county of Kent, England, 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 1st 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 first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Henry Sandres, which was dated 1275, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire". This was during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307.

Is There a Sanders Family Crest? 

The question of family crests and coats of arms is common, but there is no true Sanders family emblem. Crests are granted to individuals, not the overall family, then passed down the lineage of male descendants. For this reason, one Sanders family could have a different crest than another Sanders family.

While researching the Sanders of Onslow County, I kept running across the same first names over and over again. However, they were not always the same family. There were multiple people by the names of: John, James, Robert, Richard, William and Elizabeth in the Virginia, Mass, and North Carolina areas and it was difficult to determine who was who in these areas. Dates of birth and death were good indicators but not always certain. Birth dates as well as Death dates needed to match in order to have any level of certainty. In some cases the dates of the Land Patents would give a clue. Another issue is the fact that there was a John Sanders, John Sanders I and a John Sanders II. Each of them had children who were given similar names. John Sanders had 3 sons; John Sanders I, Robert Sanders, Elizabeth Sanders, and William. His son John Sanders I had 3 children; John Sanders II, Robert and Richard. John Sanders II had 5 children; Robert, William, Thomas, Elizabeth and William.

Some documents made it difficult to determine which John, Robert or Richard they were talking about. After about 4 generations and 100 years later, the names started changing. This made it so much easier to identify who was who. It’s enough to say that things get quite confusing when you’re trying to match names on land grants.

One document states that James Sanders Sr. of Johnston County was a grandson of John Sanders Sr. through his son Richard Sanders. So this is another branch of Sanders who settled in the Smithfield/Four Oaks area of Johnston County. You will find many people by the last name of Sanders including African Americans with the last name of Sanders. There was a Sanders Plantation on what is now Cleveland Church Rd just outside of the community of Cleveland near 40/42 intersection. I’ve known there were Sanders in Johnston County for quite some time. I’ve seen Sanders Cemeteries around the area. I decided to investigate some of the cemeteries around here. As I was riding I stopped by an old looking church with African Americans outside talking who looked like church members. I asked one of the men if they knew of any old cemeteries around here. I told them who I was and what I was looking for. I spoke with a man by the name of Raymond. He said that he too was a Sanders and he took me on a tour of his church cemetery and there were several Sanders buried there.

 

 

 




 
           
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