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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Dutch, German, Irish

Where did the Irish Sanders family come from? What is the Irish Sanders family crest and coat of arms? When did the Sanders family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Sanders family history?

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.


A single person's name was often spelt simply as it sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. An investigation into the specific origins the name Sanders has revealed that such a practice has resulted in many spelling variations over the years. A few of its variants include: Saunders, Sanders, Sawnders, Sainders, Saynders, Saunderrs, Sannders, Sanderrs, Saunder and many more.

First found in County Wicklow (Irish: Cill Mhantáin), known as the “last county,” created only in 1606, located on the East coast of Ireland, today part of the Greater Dublin Area, where they were granted lands by Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke, for their assistance in the invasion of Ireland in 1172.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sanders research. Another 261 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1555, 1683, 1620 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Sanders History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 113 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sanders Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Ireland experienced a dramatic decrease in its population during the 19th century. This was in a great measure, a response to England's imperialistic policies. Hunger and disease took the lives of many Irish people and many more chose to leave their homeland to escape the horrific conditions. North America with its promise of work, freedom, and land was an extremely popular destination for Irish families. For those families that survived the journey, all three of these things were often attained through much hard work and perseverance. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Sanders:

Sanders Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Lieutenant Sanders, who arrived in Virginia in 1622
  • David, George, Henry, Richard, and Alexander Sanders who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Allexander Sanders, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • David Sanders, who landed in Virginia in 1623
  • Henery Sanders, who landed in Virginia in 1623

Sanders Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Marsey Sanders, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Isaac Sanders, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Thos Sanders, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Debora Sanders, who arrived in Virginia in 1716
  • I John Sanders, aged 10, arrived in New York in 1724

Sanders Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Benj Sanders, aged 28, landed in Key West, Fla in 1837
  • John Sanders, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1837
  • Ths Sanders, aged 24, arrived in Key West, Fla in 1839
  • Jacob Sanders, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840
  • Thomas Sanders, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1841


  • Harland "Colonel" Sanders (1890-1980), American founder of the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurant franchise
  • Carl Edward Sanders Sr. (b. 1925), American politician, Governor of the U.S. state of Georgia (1963-1967)
  • Terry Sanders (b. 1931), American Academy Award winning producer and directed
  • Barry Sanders (b. 1968), former American NFL football running back, inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the College Football Hall of Fame
  • Pharoah Sanders (b. 1940), American Grammy Award winning jazz saxophonist
  • Henry Russell "Red" Sanders (1905-1958), American football player and coach, inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996
  • George Douglas Sanders (b. 1933), American former professional PGA golfer
  • Brigadier-General Richard Condie Sanders (1915-1976), American Commanding General US Army Air Forces Personnel Distribution Command (1946-1950)
  • John Oswald Sanders (1902-1992), New Zealand general director of Overseas Missionary Fellowship in the 50's and 60's
  • John Derek Sanders (1933-2003), English Organist and Master of the Choristers, Gloucester Cathedral



  • Ancestors and Descendants of Henry Simeon Saunders (also Sanders) by R.S. Sanders.
  • James & Alvin Sanders, Livestock Journalists of the Midwest by Richard Bryan Helmer.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nil Conscire Sibi
Motto Translation: Conscious of no Wrong.


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  1. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  2. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  3. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  10. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  11. ...

The Sanders Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sanders Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 9 June 2014 at 10:15.

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