The surname of SANDERS was a baptismal name 'the son of Alexander'. Early records of the name mention Edwin Saunder of the County of Dorset in 1200. Alisandre de Laycestre was recorded in London in the year of 1273. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. Other records of the name include Sandre (without surname) of the County of Oxfordshire who was documented in the year 1248. William Sandre of the County of Kent was recorded in 1316 and Richard Saunder of the County of Suffolk was documented in the year 1332. Cristiana Sawnder of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. A notable member of the name was Howard Saunders (1835-1907) the ornithologist, born in London. He became a merchant banker and travelled widely to Brazil and Chile (1855-62) and to Switzerland and France. He became a world-renowned authority on gulls and terns and compiled a popular 'Illustrated Manuel of British Birds.' Of this family name was Sir Edwin Sandys (1561-1629) who was a founder of Virginia, the brother of the poet George Sandys (1578-1664) who was treasurer of the colony in 1621. They were born into a Lancashire family, the sons of an archbishop of York. Sir Edwin was knighted in 1603 by James I. but became one of the king's leading opponents. He joined the Virginia Company in 1607, and supported the request of the Leiden group to be allowed to settle there. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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