Sanford – Surname Saturday

Name Origin

Sanford is an English variant of Sandford that relates to geographical locations. Possibly refers to ancestors of the Sandford parishes in Devon and Oxfordshire, a township in Berkshire or Salop or other Sandford locations.[i]

Geographical

Today the vast majority of people with the Sanford surname live in the United States. It is most common in French Polynesia where one in 864 people have the surname.

In the United States, most people with the Sanford surname live in Texas and California while it is most common in Mississippi.

My Direct Sanford Ancestors

Historical

1880

In 1880 my 3rd great grandfather, William M. Sanford, was living in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan. Seventy-five other Sanfords were living in Washtenaw County at the time. His father had passed by then.

1840

In 1840, my 4th great-grandfather Ezra Sandford was living in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan, along with his wife and nine children. He was one of four Sanford households in the county.

1800

In 1800, my 5th great-grandfather, Ezra Clugston Sanford, was living in Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont, along with his wife and five children. He was one of four Sanford families in the county.

1760

In 1760, my 6th great grandfather, Amos Gilbert Sanford, was living in Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut. Ezra Clugston hadn’t been born yet, but Amos was married and had two children.

Before 1720

I haven’t had the opportunity to research my other Sanford ancestors. However, it appears that Thomas Sanford was born in Essex, England, and immigrated to the colonies in the 1600s. His son, Samuel, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1643.

So, my Sanford relatives immigrated from Essex, England, and settled in Connecticut for several generations. They then moved west, to Vermont, then Michigan, and on to North Dakota in subsequent generations.

Thomas Sanford’s Descendants

My research has identified 777 descendants of Thomas Sanford, 78 of whom had the surname Sanford. Thomas Sanford was born in 1607, and the most recent Sanford that I have a birthdate for was born in 1846.

Ancestry ThruLines indicates 34 DNA matches with Marion Sanford for which there are family trees. There is another one matching with her brother, William A Sanford, and one more through Marion’s great aunt Sally Sanford. So, I have a lot of ThruLines results to analyze.

Sources:

Ancestry – Don Taylor’s Roberts-Brown 2020 tree on Ancestry.Com.

Endnotes:

[i] Internet: Forebears Sanford Surname Definition – https://forebears.io/surnames/sanford – Accessed 26 Aug 2020.

[ii] Tentative – Amos, the three Samuels, and Thomas Sanford are all tentative ancestors that I have not thoroughly reviewed.

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