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About the study

The study arises from my own family history research. My great-Grandmother was Jane Sinderson, of Saxby, Lincolnshire. Seeking further ancestors I found that the surname is comparatively rare and it is the slow geographical spread and possible family links which interest me.

Variant names

All the surname authorities agree that Sinderson is itself a variant of Sanderson or Saunderson. However so far as I have yet discovered, it seems to relate (in the UK) almost entirely to one or more Lincolnshire families and their descendants. I have found one Sindersone and three Synderson, all in Lincolnshire together with one Synderson in Yorkshire. Searching Familysearch and with these spellings produces nothing more and other obvious variations such as doubling the '€˜n'€™ and doubling the '€˜d'€™ draws a blank. None of these constitutes a variant of Sinderson.

The variant from Sanderson can be seen in action in some of the 19th century census entries from There are a few '€˜Sindersons€™ outside of Lincolnshire who, on investigation, have proved to be Sandersons by birth. For example a family in Whitby in 1851 can be found in parish registers baptising children as Sanderson. FreeBMD offers some similar origins for others. It is also possible that some Sindersons went (or were sent) the other way to become Sandersons.

Distribution of the name

The earliest clearly possible record so far is in the NBI which has an Elizabeth Synderson buried in Fishlake, Yorks in 1593. She may or may not be related to the 3 Lincolnshire entries in Familysearch which use this spelling. The next, from the IGI/Familysearch, is for the baptism of William Sinderson in 1594 at Killingholme, Lincs.

Until 1737 all the known UK Sindersons were to be found in Lincolnshire but in 1737 William Sinderson crept a mile or two over the county boundary into East Yorkshire to marry in the small town of Thorne. His family were born in the same area and William was a waterman.

Apart from that family the next recorded UK event outside Lincolnshire seems to be the death in Dec 1818 of an infant called George Sinderson in Ashstead St James, Warwickshire followed a few days later by that of Mary Sinderson aged 29 who we might reasonably assume to be George'€™s mother. This family do not come up in Familysearch, and both deaths are from the NBI. Could they be a transcription error?

In 1822 William and Mary Sinderson baptised a child called John in Lamberhurst, Kent -€“ the first long distance move. Two more children were baptised in Lamberhurst and William has been traced to a Lincolnshire family. He clearly maintained contact with them as his daughter can later be found in service in Lincolnshire. Another William Sinderson died in Bradford in 1833 (NBI) but nothing more is known about him at present.

The railways came to Lincolnshire in the 1840s but even so it is some years before many Sindersons travelled far. The surname map of the 1881 census shows the name only in Lincolnshire, no other county producing the required number of examples to register on the map.

Within Lincolnshire the family spread out slowly, first to parishes close Killingholme and then further inland, almost all in the north of the County.

Sindersons abroad

The first possible overseas reference occurs in 1652 when a Thomas Sinderson married in Koge, Kobenhavn, Denmark (from Familysearch). but no children appear on the website. There is an estimate of his birth as 1627 but this appears to be unsupported by evidence.

In the 19th century 2 families of Lincolnshire Sindersons emigrated to the USA. Descendants of both appear in the US censuses and other records and can presumably be traced forward to some of the modern Sindersons who appear on a Google search of the name. There have been, apparently, no similar moves in the direction of Australia or New Zealand and Google brings up no modern references there.

A Scandinavian red herring

Some of the US Sindersons came from Scandinavian countries. However investigation reminded me that under Scandinavian naming conventions Thomas Sinderson would literally be Thomas the son of Sinder -€“ who would have quite a different patronymic. I have therefore discounted US Sindersons of known Scandinavian origin, at least for the present. Whether this also applies to Thomas who married in 1652 is not clear since no parentage is shown in Familysearch. It is, just, possible that he was a Lincolnshire man who traded with Denmark and took a wife while working there.


I have been seeking Sindersons for many years but my file contains only 358 UK baptism/birth registration entries and 183 marriages from parish and GRO/FreeBMD records. This will be a slight under count since FreeBMD has not yet come right up to date and it is some years since I searched the GRO indexes themselves. I have a separate, smaller, file for the USA all drawn from Familysearch. All records are in MS Access and MS Word.