Sanders Siftings
an exchange of Sanders/Saunders family research

Early map of Northern Alabama, nineteenth century home of the Sanders ancestors of Don E. Schaefer

A Brief History of Sanders Siftings 

Back in late 1994 and early 1995 when email was something quite new and most correspondence between family history sleuths was handled by the U S mail, I had several people with whom I was exchanging Sanders information. Some of you may remember the
very slow computers and modem connections from those early years. But on that early Internet I was finding new Sanders or Saunders searchers in addition to the ones I had found the old traditional way. I had a small "network" going and was looking to expand it. My initial idea was to get a network operating that would connect Sanders researchers both OFF and ON the Internet to exchange information. I discovered a couple of Sanders newsletters but they were poorly done and I knew I could do better. I was a subscriber to two very good surname newsletters, one for Francisco and another for McKinley. So, I knew what good surname newsletters should look like.

I had just retired from the University of Arkansas where I had been preparing publications with a Macintosh computer. I had a Mac and the same publications software (QuarkXpress) at home. My first edition in April of 1995 was only four pages. The remaining 56 issues over the next 14 years were all eight pages. After getting each issue printed -- I folded, inserted, stamped, and mailed each one. I maintained the mailing list on my computer and addressed each envelope on my laserprinter.

The list continued to grow. I found e-mail addresses of individuals who were researching Sanders or Saunders and let them know that I would mail them a complimentary issue of Sanders Siftings (with an order blank to subscribe). I posted the same offer on many lists on the Internet. I never asked anyone to subscribe until they had seen what Sanders Siftings looked like. My subscriber list continued to grow and within a few years I had more than 200 subscribers. And it took more time to get each issue in the mail.

I had many sources of copy. Number one was queries from any researcher, subscriber or not. Since I insisted on having a U.S. mailing address (and an e-mail address, if they had one) with each query, I mailed a complimentary of that issue with a subscribing form to non-subscribers. Also, I wanted longer articles of prominent Sanders or Saunders, excerpts from Sanders histories, and various stories of unusual things uncovered during hunting for Sanders ancestors. Many good articles came from subscribers. Others were found on the Internet, in family histories, or in libraries. Often one published article would bring more information on the subject from another reader. More than once there would be differing views from readers and back-and-forth articles would follow in subsequent issues.

I must confess that I personally like genealogical publications that are indexed. But I drew a line there. My laziness said, "That's too much work." But you can use your computer to search each issue in Adobe Acrobat.

Ironically, the influence of connecting with family history buffs on the Internet, and wanting to connect them with other researchers--that got this surname newsletter started--had much to do with the demise of the publication. More and more of my subscribers were finding it much easier to do all of their genealogy work on the Internet. The subscription list was shrinking. And I was hearing from my wife that my work on Sanders Siftings was interfering with our plans for the trips that we both wanted to take. I gave in to her desires and also knew that the subscriber list was not what it had been. I put out the last issue in April of 2009.  We made many wonderful trips and I'm glad we did. My wife passed away in May of 2012.

I hate that so many people now researching their family history do it solely on their computer without leaving home. But I can't  stop them. They will find information that will excite them and make many enthusiastic to do more research. I only hope that someone can guide them to places where they can verify their findings from more reliable sources.

---Don E. Schaefer, Fayetteville, Arkansas, January 2013   

Sanders Siftings was published from April 1995 until April 2009, four issues per year (January, April, July, October) at Fayetteville, Arkansas. In order to open the individual issues, you will need Adobe Reader or a similar PDF program. If the program is not available on your computer, you can download it by clicking on the icon below. Some of these files are very large and may take take quite a while to download over a slow connection.

All issues of Sanders Siftings reproduced at this site are provided solely for use of individuals researching their family history. This work remains the intellectual property of Donald E. Schaefer or of the individual authors and copyright holders of included material. Copying and distribution for profit or for commercial use, whether in print or through electronic means, is prohibited by copyright law. Opinions expressed in the articles, inquiries, and postings in the journal were those of the individual authors at the time of writing and may not necessarily reflect their opinion today, nor the present consensus of researchers regarding a particular Sanders line.

No. 1, April 1995 No.15, Oct. 1998 No.29, April 2002 No.43, Oct. 2005
No. 2, July 1995 No.16, Jan. 1999 No.30, July 2002 No.44, Jan. 2006
No. 3, Oct. 1995 No.17, April 1999 No.31, Oct. 2002 No.45, April 2006
No. 4, Jan. 1996 No.18, July 1999 No.32, Jan. 2003 No.46, July 2006
No. 5, April 1996 No.19, Oct. 1999 No.33, April 2003 No.47, Oct. 2006
No. 6, July 1996 No.20, Jan. 2000 No.34, July 2003 No.48,Jan. 2007
No. 7, Oct. 1996 No.21, April 2000 No.35, Oct. 2003 No.49, April 2007
No. 8, Jan. 1997 No.22, July 2000 No.36, Jan. 2004 No.50, July 2007
No. 9, April 1997 No.23, Oct. 2000 No.37, April 2004 No.51, Oct. 2007
No.10, July 1997 No.24, Jan. 2001 No.38, July 2004 No.52, Jan. 2008
No.11, Oct. 1997 No.25, April 2001 No.39, Oct. 2004 No.53, April 2008
No.12, Jan. 1998 No.26, July 2001 No.40, Jan. 2005 No.54, July 2008
No.13, April 1998 No.27, Oct 2001 No.41, April 2005 No.55, Oct. 2008
No.14, July 1998 No.28, Jan. 2002 No.42, July 2005 No.56, Jan. 2009
No.57, April 2009

Files concerning Sanders genealogy that are available at this Web site:

Moses Sanders of Franklin County, Georgia, who died  29 March 1817 (pdf files of the work of Elden Hurst of Salt Lake City)

The Sanders  Family of Anson/Montgomery County, North Carolina 1757-1810 (an article by Jim Sanders of Ojai, California)

The Sanders of Stafford, Loudoun, and Fairfax in  Virginia 1739-1783 (an article by Jim Sanders)

Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Montgomery County Original Land Grants (a map by Joe Thompson of Raleigh, North Carolina)

Barbara Radcliffe Rogers' Research on the Descendants of Isaac Sanders (1817-after 1880) and Calvin Newton Sanders (1874-1957)

Sanders Siftings, an exchange of Sanders/Saunders family research, edited by Don E. Schaefer

Sanders of Old Tishomingo County, Mississippi(John Sanders and Abby Robins, Moses Marion Sanders and Cynthia Bruton)

Biographical Sketches, Sanders of Randolph and Montgomery and related families

Other files, articles, and pictures: Sanders of Randolph and Montgomery 
--Gary B. Sanders


Antique map of Alabama Indian cession  provided by RootsWeb.  Other graphics from the freeware collection of  Cari Buziak.