There are many branches of the Saunders family in the USA and Canada which have been investigated by researchers over the years, and many of these appear to have various origins within the British Isles.

The Sanders Family History Association is dedicated to the history of the Sa(u)nders family (primarily in the US), and their website contains a range of material related to the history of the family.


A Nathaniel Saunders appeared in King & Queen County, Virginia in the early 1700's [Quit-rent roll 1704, Tax list 1728], dying in 1731, and most researchers record him as the son of Captain Nathaniel Saunders (c.1635-1695) and Mary Stratton (c.1645-1700). Nathaniel's descendants multiplied in Virginia and spread elsewhere in the US. John Konvalinka's line of descent from Nathaniel's son John Wignall Sanders is summarised on his Sanders Family Page. This family may also link to the one described on Martine's genealogy pages, apparently springing from a Nathaniel Saunders (1700-1754), although the details are inaccessible, and also to the Mary, daughter of Nathaniel Saunders, born in Virginia in 1763, and referenced in the Fate Family Genealogy on Rootsweb. Previous researchers have tentatively linked this line back to the Saunders family of West Wales, although the apparent prominence of the name Nathaniel may well suggest a link to the Keynsham area family (see the attached discussion of the distribution of the first name Nathaniel).

Another Virginia Saunders family descends from William and Elizabeth Saunders of New Kent County, whose son William was born in 1694.

Finally, two brothers Thomas and Edward Saunders appear to have been brought to Virginia by their father in 1635, with the family later settling in Havre de Grace, Maryland and with many of the males bearing the names Edward, Thomas and William. This line is being researched by Dorothy Saunders.

Rhode Island

Another North American Saunders family (also including the name Nathaniel 1724-1759) flourished in Rhode Island from the 1660's. 




This page was last updated 20 July 2006