Sainsbury


Select Sainsbury Surname Genealogy

The Sainsbury surname is locational in origin, deriving from the place name Saintbury near Broadway in Gloucestershire.  The earliest surname incidence was a Reginald de Seinesberia recorded in the 1190 Gloucestershire Pipe Rolls.

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Select Sainsbury Ancestry

England.  Although Sainsbury may look as if it were one extended family, there have in practice been two distinct groupings of Sainsburys:
  • one in the west country centered around Gloucestershire and Wiltshire from the original Saintbury line,
  • and another of more modern origin based in London from which the supermarket Sainsburys emerged.
Wiltshire  The largest cluster has been in Market Lavington in Wiltshire, a village on the northern edge of Salisbury Plain.  The surname has occurred there more frequently than any other in the parish registers.  The name also cropped up in nearby villages such as Eastcott, Easterton, Littleton, and Urchfont, as well as in places on the western edge of Salisbury Plain such as Bratton and Westbury. 

The earliest recording in Market Lavington was that of a Henry Sainsbury in the late 1500's.  Later:
  • Robert Sainsbury was a clockmaker and gunsmith in the mid 1600's
  • and Thomas Sainsbury established himself in London in the late 1700's and was Lord Mayor of London in 1786. 
The Sainsbury name has lived on in the village.  A Sainsbury family supported Catholic services in the village during the 1930's and a Sainsbury charity has for many years distributed bread to the needy in the parish. 

Somerset  The Sainsbury name was also to be found in various places in Somerset:
  • in Beckington near Frome (where the Sainsburys were rectors) - from the early 1700's
  • futher south in Bridgwater (where the Sainsburys were clockmakers) - from the mid 1700's
  • and further south again in Taunton - from the late 1700's.
London   The other Sainsbury line has been in London.  These Sainsburys may have come from the west country or have been immigrants to England who had adopted the anglicized name of Sainsbury.  They can be traced to the early 1800's in London and included in their midst, most notably, John James Sainsbury - the founder of the famous Sainsbury supermarket chain.

"During the blazing hot summer of 1869 John James Sainsbury and his wife began selling milk, butter, eggs, and cheese from a small shop in Drury Lane, one of London's poorest districts.  Their shop was a success and by 1873 they had opened up another branch in Kentish Town.  Their six sons joined the business and they now began to sell other produce such as cooked meats and smoked hams."

At the time of his death in 1928, he owned more than 200 shops throughout Britain.  The Sainsbury family continued to run the company until 1998 as it rose to become the UK's largest supermarket.

Australia and New Zealand.
  A James Sainsbery and his wife Louise left Bristol for Australia on the Deborah in 1852.  They worked in Melbourne before departing for the Victoria goldfields.  George and Elizabeth Sainsbury came out on the Bowdon in 1881 and also ended up there.  

John Sainsbury came from Taunton to New Zealand in 1868 with his second wife Elizabeth and their five children.

Select Sainsbury Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:


Select Sainsbury Names


Thomas Sainsbury was a master bowyer and Lord Mayor of London in 1786.
John James Sainsbury started his first grocery shop in London in 1869, which led to the Sainsbury's supermarket chain.
Peter Sainsbury was a Hampshire cricketer of the 1950's and 60's.
JD Sainsbury was the forceful chairman of Sainsbury's who grew the company to be the UK's largest supermarket.

Select Sainsburys Today
  • 4,000 in the UK (most numerous in Kent)
  • 1,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia).



PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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