- Derived from the Ancient Greek personal name of "Alexander" at least 2000 B.C., and translated as "Defender of Men", the name was introduced into England by the 12th Century Crusaders. The modern derivatives result from the medieval passion for creating surnames from existent popular personal names. An interesting namebearer, recorded in the "Dictionary of National Biography", was William Sanders (1828 - 1881), a physician and M.D. in Edinburgh in 1849, who studied medicine in Paris and Heidelberg; he was pathologist to the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, and conservator of the museum of Royal College of Surgeons there. He published medical writings. Francis Sanders, alias Baines (1648 - 1710), a Jesuit, was confessor to the exiled James 11 at St. Germain. William Sanders married Jane Chandler at All Souls, St. Marylebone, London, on November 26th 1843. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Sandres, which was dated 1275, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.