SAUNDERS FAMILY HISTORY
SOME NOTES ON THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE FIRST NAME NATHANIEL IN THE SAUNDERS FAMILY
The first name Nathaniel appears repeatedly in the Saunders family of Keynsham from at least the 1580's, and given the relatively unusual nature of the name it has seemed reasonable to investigate the potential that the occurrence of the name is indicative of a link with this family. A range of records have been reviewed in an attempt to understand the distribution of the name, but few early references have been found away from the Keynsham area.
PCC will indices
Apart from in the Keynsham line, the name Nathaniel appears in Berkley (near Frome) in Somerset (1654), Surrey (1658), Berkshire (1739), Gloucestershire (1757, the Tetbury branch of the family), Hertfordshire (1779) and Middlesex (1781).
It is interesting to note that some of the earliest representatives of the Saunders family in Virginia bore the name Nathaniel. A Nathaniel Saunders was recorded as the Commander of 'The Globe' in the 1680's, and a younger Nathaniel was settled in King & Queen County, Virginia by at least 1704 (see North America page). Given the number of Nathaniel Saunders in the Bristol area (an active colonial port) around this period, a link does seem likely.
Somewhat later, three Nathaniel Sa(u)nders are recorded among the soldiers of the Revolutionary War.
This page was last updated 20 November 2003