Saunders/Sanders in James City and New Kent Counties,VA (and Successor Counties) in 17th, Early 18th Century

The adjoining Virginia counties of James City and New Kent changed the boundary between them in the 18th century, affecting, among things, the county in which the genealogically important Saint Peters Parish was located. Below is a listing of selected transactions occurring in one or the other county. 



Richard Sanders, 18 September 1636, in right of his now wife Margarett Morgan, late widow to Richard Sanders, of neck of land. William Morgan. 350 acres on an island in the Chickahominy River. James City County.

[WHB – Note the following description of the historic Chickahominy River, where Captain John Smith was captured and then spaed by Powhatan and Pocahontas, prepared by the National Park Service and posted on]

‘The Chickahominy River rises in a bottomland hardwood swamp north of Richmond and flows east halfway to Williamsburg before turning south to enter the James River about six miles above Jamestown Island. Even though the river lies in the fast-developing corridor between Williamsburg and Richmond, and Interstate 64 crosses its upper reaches in several places, much of it still looks as it did in Captain John Smith’s time. Members of the Chickahominy and Eastern Chickahominy Indian tribes still live in the area.

A View of the Chickahominy River; Photograph by VIrginia Department of Fish and Game

The lower 18 miles of the river are tidal, flanked by cypress trees and broad marshes of wild rice and other freshwater plants. Multiple deep creeks flow into this section from both the east (James City County) and west (Charles City County) sides. Along much of the river, wetlands prevent or minimize waterfront development, though there are several sections on the James City side that are heavily built up.”  


Richard Sanders, 28 August 1643, 1 acre near the block house in James City. James City County.


A map of the Mattaponi River before it flows into the York River; from

Thomas Saunders, 6 June 1655, John Hodson grantee 300 acres on the north east of Mattapony River. Beg.g &c. on the southermost corner of Thomas Saunders’ land with a So. So. Et. line unto…creek. New Kent County.

[WHB Note: The modern day counties through which the Mattapony River flows are Caroline County and (on each side of the river) King William and King and Queen Counties.


Geo Sanders, grantee along with Wm Paewde, 11 February 1662, 1000 acres, James City County near Chickahominty River.


Francis Sanders, 7 June 1669, grantee 130 acres at the head of a creek issuing out of Chickahominy River called Jones’s Creek in James City County.


St Peters Church, formerly of James City County, becomes a part of New Kent County, after boundary changes between the counties.


Nathaniel Sanders, 4 June 1722, Larkin Chew grantee 9400 acres on the south side of Mattapony River, adjoins land of Nathaniel Sanders, Bowker, his own patented land, and Major Robinson’s quarter. Spotsylvania County.

John Hyde Saunders, 28 June 1772, ordination papers, clergyman James City.

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